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Outdoor Survival Knives

Sld1959

Professional
Well since we are talking outdoors survival the first thing we need to agree on is that a knife is a poor substitute for an ax. And a large knife that can be used decently for ax tasks, will be a poor substitute for a skinning knife.

Therefore a do it all survival knife will have to be a compromise. Everyone will have thier personal preferences.

Mine are I would want a full tang knife for strength, no partial tangs or hollow handles.. I do not want saw teeth or serrations. Saw teeth if poorly done can add stress risers where a blade can break. Both saw teeth and serrations add hard to keep clean areas bacteria can grow on for food prep. Probably A blade length in the 6 to 8 inch range. Single tine guard, double tines make it harder to choke up on the blade for fine work. Almost any steel can do if it's treated and ground properly.

Probably the cheapest, easiest to find example would be the Marine Corp FUK, Fighting Utility Knife, generally referred to the Kabar. My example is made by Kabar and has had the top tine filed down and the handle sanded to make the handle more oval.

I also have a British MOD survival knife which I filed down the top tine, and reprofiled the blade grind to a a full flat grind which I prefer.

I also have an 8 inch Finnish Luekko which is a decent choice over all. But with no guard one must be careful.

I have a lot others but those would be the ones readily available cheaply.
 
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Snake45

Master Class
Probably the cheapest, easiest to find example would be the Marine Corp FUK, Fighting Utility Knife, generally referred to the Kabar.
There might be better knives, but IMHO there's no better knife value for the dollar than a Kabar or mil-spec clone. Mine was made by Ontario.

You're right that no one knife can do everything. Again IMHO, if you have a Kabar equivalent, a machete, a small axe, and a small, VERY sharp blade (folder), you're in pretty good shape. Throw in a good wire saw for even more versatility.
 

Sld1959

Professional
I think when an outdoors survival knife is discussed generally it is considered a blade which will help you survive in the wilderness.

This includes tasks like shelter building, fire building, food procurement and preparation, and any other number of other tasks, including self defense.

Of course this blade will have to be a compromise between large enough and small enough, heavy enough and light enough.
 

cico7

Custom
If I had to choose 1 knife to take with me for survival, it would be a fixed blade, about 12inches total length.
Balanced, hard steel, squarish wood handle
 

ChanceMcCall

Master Class
I sure don't want to use the same knife I prefer to skin squirrels to skin an Elk. I agree with Talyn - the purpose matters.

In the woods or in the mountains I'm going to want more than one knife. The two most experienced knife users - butchers and surgeons - use more than one knife. Who am I to disagree with them?
 

Sld1959

Professional
I sure don't want to use the same knife I prefer to skin squirrels to skin an Elk. I agree with Talyn - the purpose matters.

In the woods or in the mountains I'm going to want more than one knife. The two most experienced knife users - butchers and surgeons - use more than one knife. Who am I to disagree with them?
I agree, I never have less than two knives on me, in the woods usually three if you count a pocket knife, or often a belt ax instead of a larger knife. But, the man asked for a knife, not knives, so I answered accordingly. And it's at best, a compromise.
 

Talyn

Ronin
Founding Member
I sure don't want to use the same knife I prefer to skin squirrels to skin an Elk. I agree with Talyn - the purpose matters.

In the woods or in the mountains I'm going to want more than one knife. The two most experienced knife users - butchers and surgeons - use more than one knife. Who am I to disagree with them?
I carry 3-4 types/sizes of knives in my hunting pack. They range from scapel type/size for caping, a 3" GP blade for work to big for the smallest, a skinning blade, and perhaps a larger blade for heavier duty/tasks.
 

cico7

Custom
I carry 3-4 types/sizes of knives in my hunting pack. They range from scapel type/size for caping, a 3" GP blade for work to big for the smallest, a skinning blade, and perhaps a larger blade for heavier duty/tasks.
But what if your could only choose 1 knife?
 

Susquash

Master Class
Founding Member
I prefer having a larger fixed blade knife and smaller knife for fine work. If I had to pick only one knife I guess it would be a Buck folder with interchangeable blades. It has a clip blade, a saw blade and a fillet blade. The minimum I would want would be the original Buck brass cased folder. When hunting I usually have a fixed blade belt knife, a Buck folder. a smaller pocket knife and a small Gerber Axe with a saw in the handle.
 

Snake45

Master Class
You just reminded me, I've liked that knife for a long time and have been wanting one. Maybe it's time to place an order. Thanks!
Went searching for one (Cold Steel SRK), found them for under $45 at Blade King (best price), ordered two--one for my son's upcoming birthday (he's a USAF C-17 driver who might find it useful someday). They arrived today. VERY impressive looking and feeling piece of kit, and at 6" right between the 7" K-Bar and the 5" USAF survival knife. I think I'm gonna like this thing! :)
 
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