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What to Look for When Buying a Survival Knife
Survival knives have several uses. They’re not just for protecting yourself and hunting prey, although those are two of the uses. They can be used to make tools, as a wood cutter, digging and even starting a fire. There is no one set answer for the best survival knife since there are several different types. Choosing one that’s right for you means getting one that feels comfortable in your hands, but not so big it can’t be used for tasks that require substance, such as hammering. Choose a blade that’s between six and eleven inches to strike the perfect compromise between large and small.
Get a knife that won’t corrode and will stay sharp for a long time. While stainless steel knives won’t corrode, they lose their edge and fail to remain sharp for very long. Knives made of carbon steel have the best potential for retaining a sharp edge and make the best survival knife.
A knife that’s a solid piece, with the handle pieces attached to each side at the base is a full tang knife. These are the strongest types of knives. Having the strongest knife is one of the goals when choosing your survival knife. The handles of the knife should be a harder rubber or a polymer that will stay well planted in your hand and not be slippery. You want to be able to hack at something without the knife slipping out of your hand and attacking you! The base of the knife should be hard. You’ll be using that to pound things into the ground or pound on it to drive the tip into something. With a full tang knife, even if the handle breaks, you can wrap the handle in cordage and continue using it.
The tip of your knife should be pointed, like a spear. It will help you kill prey easier, fish and even help you dig if you need to do that. Pointed spear shaped tips are far superior for most tasks. You can tie it to a stick and create a spear-like weapon that will be effective, yet put distance between you and your attacker or prey.
If you’re ever caught off guard and have only a folding pocket knife available, it’s God sent. However, if you’re buying a knife specifically for survival purposes, go with a fixed blade. It’s more secure, easier to have ready when you need it and doesn’t have any joint that can cause it to break when used for heavy duty purposes.
Since you’ll be using your survival knife for a number of different purposes, stick with the single edge blade for the most versatility. You’ll find a wide selection that have all the necessary characteristics and as long as the knife fits the above criteria, the rest of the decision is based on what you personally like.
The Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Survival Knife is a great survival knife, that meets all the requirements of what to look for when buying a survival knife.