When it comes to the tools you need in a survival situation there are few that are as important as a survival knife. Your standard everyday carry folding knife is great for smaller, daily tasks, but when it comes to chopping, batoning (splitting wood using a knife and the assistance of a “baton-like” object), preparing game or even starting a fire you probably want a more serious, full tang, fixed blade survival knife. What’s the best survival knife on the market? A lot of it comes down to personal preference and factors like blade length, coating, style and cost, but we rounded up a few of our favorite survival knives that check boxes across the board. Here are the 12 best survival knives for every budget.


Cheaper Than Dirt Rough Use Classic Bowie Knife

For less than a six pack of good beer you can pick up a Cheaper Than Dirt Rough Use Classic Bowie Knife or three for all your survival needs. Is it going to have as fine an edge as some of the other options? Of course not. Does it have any sort of warranty? Not likely. You don’t even know which one of “Multiple Manufacturers” actually made your knife. But none of that matters when you consider the 13.5″ overall length, 8″ blade, 440 stainless construction, black texture coating, sure grip rubber handle and the fact that, once again, it’s cheap as hell. Worried about batoning, rough chopping or prying? Not with a knife built to be abused. At this price you can stash one in every bug out bag, glove box and cubby hole you’re responsible for. $10+


Tool Logic SLPro Folding Knife

If we’re going to make any exceptions in the full tang, fixed blade department for what constitutes a survival knife, it’s going to be for the Tool Logic SLPro Folding Knife. This little workhorse of a knife pops up in almost every list of best survival knives because of the multitude of functions it serves around the campsite. With a 3-inch, 50/50 serrated stainless blade, bright white LED flashlight and magnesium alloy fire starter rod, it’s easy to see why this knife can be considered a survival knife even without a full tang or a longer blade. $21


Condor CTK232-4.3HC Walnut Bushlore Knife

The Condor Bushlore Camp Knife is around 12oz, four and quarter inch blade length, nine and a quarter inch overall length and completed with a wooden handle and blasted satin finish. It’s a survival knife perfect for bushcraft that’s as comfortable in the hand as a standard kitchen knife. The smaller size and lightweight construction makes the 1/8″ blade easy to carry in a pack or on your belt with the included leather sheath, and that means you’ll have it any time you need to gut something, start a fire and then eat it. $35


Glock OEM Field Survival Knife

Glock might be more well known for their handguns, but the Austrian manufacturer has also produced some fantastic knives over the years like the Glock OEM Field Survival Knife. The ergonomic handle, spring steel HRC5 phosphate-treated blade and just over 11″ overall length are all great features in a durable survival knife, but what really sets this Glock Survival Knife apart from other options is the saw edge on the back side of the blade that’s useful for everything from firewood to traps. The well built knife that was developed in close cooperation with the special forces also comes with a Glock polymer sheath to securely hold the knife. $35


Buck Knives 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife

In 1902, Hoyt Buck produced the first Buck Knife. Forty years later–after the US government made a request for blade donations for military use after Pearl Harbor–he began hand-making the 119 Special in the basement of a church. Three quarters of a century later, the Buck Knives 119 Special remains one of the most iconic fixed blade knives ever created. Built in the USA with 420HC steel and a 6″ clip blade, the 10-1/2 inch long 119 Special retains the same basic engineering the knife was originally built with, and that means the same solid feeling, fixed blade knife capable of almost anything and backed by a forever warranty. $51


Schrade SCHF2 Extreme Survival Fixed Blade Knife

Matte finished SAE-1070 high carbon steel with a partially serrated clip point blade. Multiple carry position ballistic sheath with storage pouch and lanyard. 7.5″ blade length. 5.2″ handle. Ergonomic, knurled handle. Those are all great features of a fixed blade survival knife that’s as easy to use as it is to clean, but the Schrade SCHF2 Extreme Survival Fixed Blade Knife is different because of the handle construction. Rather than a standard handle, the Schrade has a waterproof, hollow handle sealed with a screw-down end cap and O-ring that hides a removable, magnetic 10-piece bit set inside. While you might not find much use for a hex bit set in the great outdoors that same compartment can be used for matches, flint, a fire starter or even some paper currency. $62


KA-BAR US Marine Corps Knife

This knife should require no introduction, and you should absolutely have one in your collection. Why? KA-BAR says it best: “The most famous fixed blade knife in the World – “the KA-BAR” – was designed to serve our troops during World War II and is still doing its job, with honors, 70 years later.” Made with 1095 Cro-van steel with a 7″ straight edge blade and almost limitless uses, it’s easy to see why this knife has been in use, officially and unofficially, by various branches of the military for 75 years. The KA-BAR USMC Knife isn’t just a highly functional utility knife designed for everything from combat to survival, it’s the bar that all other knives are judged against. $70


Ka-Bar Becker BK7 Becker Combat Utility Knife

Designed by Becker Knife & Tool and built by Ka-Bar, the Ka-Bar Becker Knife and Tool BK7 Becker Combat Utility Knife was made for soldiers and adventurers who need a lightweight, sturdy knife that can stand up to hard use for both survival and combat purposes. With a 1095 Cro-van steel 7″ clip point blade sporting a 20 degree edge angle, Swiss-made Grivory handle and an overall length of 12-3/4-inches this knife delivers on all counts and more than lives up to the heritage that both brands have delivered over their decades in operation. It might just be the best all around survival knife out there. $74


Gerber LMF II Survival Knife

Because of their presence in every big box store and partnerships with people like Bear Grylls, Gerber is a household name when it comes to knives. Originally designed to free aircrew from downed aircraft, the LMF2 is one helluva survival knife. Drop point, black oxide coated blade with a partially serrated edge made of 420HC American steel. Ergonomic handle made of glass-filled nylon with TPV overmold and a spiked pummel built for glass breaking. Multiple holes for lashing that allow you to turn it into a spear. Ballistic nylon sheath with MOLLE compatibility and a built-in knife sharpener. When a knife is tough enough to tear through the fuselage of an aircraft, it’s tough enough for whatever you need it for. $77


ESEE 6P-B Plain Edge Fixed Blade Survival Knife

With two decades in the business and a clientele ranging from military and law enforcement to film crews and professional adventurers, ESEE has a fair bit of experience when it comes to what’s needed in a great survival knife. The ESEE 6P-B is a full tang, 1095 high carbon steel construction survival knife with a black powder-coated, flat ground six and a half inch blade. Jimping on the spine of the knife and an ergonomic grey Micarta scale handle make this hefty knife easy to handle and use without being too heavy to carry on a regular basis. $117


Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife

Swedish brand Fallkniven is one of the world’s premier knife manufacturers because they’re willing to use some of the best materials available in their knives even if it means the end product isn’t cheap. The Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife is the perfect example of this. Made from laminated VG10 steel with full tang construction and paired with a checkered Kraton handle, this knife great for striking and chopping as well as finer daily use tasks. $186


Randall Knives Model 5 Camp and Trail Knife

Founded almost 80 years ago, Randall Made Knives have a quality, dependability and function that have made them the blade of choice for soldiers and sailors, generals and infantrymen, astronauts and royalty. A few of their knives have even ended up on display in museums. You could pick any knife from the collection and be prepared, but our favorite is the Model 5 Camp and Trail Knife because of the 1/4″ stock, leather handle, 5″ – 8″ blade length options and the familiar feel. It’s a gorgeous, 100% handmade knife that you might feel bad for actually using, but it’s built to tackle just about anything. As you might imagine, heirloom knives of this quality are in high demand and take time to produce. Don’t expect to get your Randall Made Knife soon because they’re currently taking orders for five years out. $385

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