A good knife can get you through all kinds of difficult situations. If you spend any time outdoors camping, hunting, or working, then you know things can go wrong in an instant. Having a top-quality survival knife can get you out of trouble from bears invading your camp to needing to build a fire in the middle of a winter hike

Finding the best survival knife for the money is difficult if you're not sure what to look for, always consider factors such as durability, size, and versatility. Most survival knives have minor differences in how they're deployed and how accessible they are.

A survival knife is a thing you reach for when trouble strikes or a job needs to be done. The list of knives below can help prepare you for the unimaginable and get you out of many tight situations.

Top Budget Knives For Survival In 2020

Product Name

Price

Rating


Schrade SCHF9

$$

Schrade SCHF57 

$

Gerber Freeman Guide Folding Knife

$$

Fallkniven A1 Fixed Blade

$$$

Kershaw Blur Black EDC Pocket Knife

$$

ESEE Laser Strike 

$$

Gerber Prodigy Survival Knife

$$

Gerber LMF ll Survival Knife

$$

KA-BAR BKR7-BRK

$$$

Condor Tool & Knife Bushlore Camp Knife

$$

1. Schrade SCHF9


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

The Schrade SCHF9 12.1in High Carbon Steel Fixed Blade survival knife is a durable, strong blade. Made with 1095 High Carbon Steel, the blade sits in a thermoplastic elastomer handle that feels good in your hand. The knife comes with a ballistic belt sheath that makes it easy to carry along with a removable storage pouch for extra survival gear.


The drop point blade is easy to hook to your belt without having it move around. The design of the handle is easy to grip with a lanyard hole you can use to loop rope through. The twelve-inch blade is a good choice for going out in the backcountry prepared as it is a quarter of an inch thick.

Pros

  • The blade is strong and stays sharp through multiple activities.
  • The knife has a good balance in your hand.
  • The handle is easy to grip.

Cons

  • The sheath needs an extra button for an extra tight hold.

2. Schrade SCHF57


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

The Schrade SCHF57 6.3in Steel Full Tang Fixed Blade is a compact, yet durable survival knife. The knife blade is a little less than three inches in length with a full blade and handles the length of a little over six inches in length. The blade is a strong sixty-five Mn high carbon stainless steel drop point, which will allow you to cut without having to worry about dulling out the blade.


The blade design is a quick and easy way to get a job done. The knife folds out from a small, compact design and comes with a multi-carry thermoplastic belt sheath, which feels amazing everytime you hear the click. The handle is easy to grip and comes with a thumb rest to help you maneuver the blade through any number of activities.

Pros

  • The knife is easy to carry on your belt.
  • You can wear the knife as a neck knife.
  • The knife is a good weight in your hand.
  • Super tacti-cool

Cons

  • It needs to be sharpened out the box.

3. Gerber Freeman Guide Folding Knife


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

The Gerber Freeman Guide Folding Knife is a tactile knife with a handle grip designed to be comfortable in all situations. The grip features a TacHide Onlay design with large finger grooves that help you grip the knife even during adverse weather or tricky situations. The knife comes with a sharp blade that holds its edge through multiple jobs.


The knife is easy to carry with a lightweight handle and knife design. A wide slit in the handle enables you to carry the knife on a lanyard. A nylon sheath comes with the knife that is wear-resistant. A liner lock comes with the knife as well, which hold the survival knife in place until it's ready to deploy.

Pros

  • The knife has a good weight.
  • The knife can take a beating and not show the damage.
  • A full steel core comes built into the knife.

Cons

  • Knob on the blade needs to be tightened

4. Fallkniven A1 Fixed Blade


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

The Fallkniven A1 Fine Edge Fixed Blade Knife fits easily in your hand. The blade is one hundred sixty millimeters long with a total length of two hundred eight millimeters, including the handle. Made with stainless steel, the knife is strong enough to do fine cuts daily while holding an edge.


This survival knife is a high-tier and meant for heavy duty use. It's perfect for cutting through tough surfaces with ease without dulling out. It's a full tang VG10 steel throughout the knife with an ergonomic handle, that can handle the stress of impact.


It comes with a Zytel sheath that you can wear on your belt or carry in your backpack. It will never slide out of the sheath even if your pack turns upside down. The blade and handle are waterproof and will work well in all temperatures.

Pros

  • The balance of the A1 is perfect for your hand.
  • The sheath is a very low profile.
  • The blade can cut through tall brush and trees and hold an edge.

Cons

  • Luxury knife - pricey

5. Kershaw Blur Black EDC Pocket Knife


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

The Kershaw Blur Black Blade comes with a heavy-duty reinforced handle. The handle comes with a speed safe assist opening function to let you open your blade quickly and safely with one hand. A reversible pocket clip helps you store your pocket in whichever pocket you choose and have it be accessible. It is noted to be one of the best folding knives.


A convenient thumb stud is located within easy reach of your thumb for quick opening with the flick of your thumb. A Trac-Tec grip lets you carry the knife in all weather conditions and have it stay in the same condition as you got it, including snow, freshwater, saltwater, and mud.

Pros

  • The knife is a fast action knife.
  • The knife is easy to grip in multiple situations.
  • The knife stays sharp through many trials.

Cons

  • The knife is difficult to sharpen.

6. ESEE Laser Strike Fixed Blade


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

The ESEE Laser Strike Fixed 4.75 in Black Blade is almost five inches in length with an oversize grip that brings the knife up to ten inches in length. It has a micarta handle, which makes it easy to grip and use it in many situations. It's unique and feels great to grip with your bare hands.


This survival knife comes with a Kydex sheath to protect and carry the knife. It also comes with a belt clip and a removable washer that lets you carry flint and tinder tabs to start a fire in the woods. Even with the flint in the handle, the knife weighs only a little over a pounds.

Pros

  • The spear point design makes the knife easy to camp.
  • The blade can handle delicate woodwork.
  • The knife fits easily into large hands.

Cons

  • It is not easy to start a fire with.
  • You need two washers to remove the handle to access the flint.

7. Gerber Prodigy Survival Knife


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

The Gerber Prodigy Survival Knife comes with a four hundred twenty HC stainless steel drop point blade coated with a black oxide finish. The knife had a molded handle that is easy to grip and soft to ensure a strong grip.


It has a blade length of 4.75 inches with serrated teeth which are great in certain types of emergencies when you need to cut through rope or thick vine. The end is also great for breaking through glass and windows without hurting yourself; as it hits a pressure point in the glass, shattering it in an instant. The all black feature is sleek and super tacticool.


The sheath is a sturdy Molle hard sheath with a friction-release thumb lock to prevent the knife from slipping loose. It also comes with a ballistic nylon belt loop and straps to strap to your belt. The extra straps let you strap it to your leg for easy in-the-field use.

Pros

  • The locking mechanism is very strong.
  • The knife holds a sharp edge through multiple jobs.
  • The legs straps do not rub your leg.
  • Anti-slip handle

Cons

  • The knife is difficult to sharpen.

8. Gerber LMF II Survival Knife


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

The Gerber LMF II Survival Knife was designed to cut crew members free of a downed aircraft. The blade is four hundred twenty HC stainless steel with a handle that is glass-filled nylon for durability and longevity. Designed with a serrated edge, the knife can cut through anything you can imagine.


A solid ballistic nylon sheath comes with the blade. The sheath comes with a fire retardant coating so that you can use the knife if fiery situations. A built-in sharpener ensures you can always have a sharp knife on hand. The knife is the United States of America manufacturing.

Pros

  • The knife is capable of hunting all kinds of animals.
  • The sheath holds tight to the knife, so it does not slip out.
  • You can wear the knife horizontally on your belt.

Cons

  • The blade can loosen in the handle.
  • The handle can come apart with heavy use.

9. KA-BAR BKR7-BRK


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

The KA-BAR BKR7-BRK Combat Utility is a 1095 Cor-Van steel blade with a molded glass-fiber-filled nylon handle that fits easily into your hand. The blade comes with a twenty-degree edge on a 7 inch blade. Weighing less than a pound, the knife is sturdy as well as durable. It's designed make it looks like a tactical version of the bowie knife.


The ka-bar is a one of the best and most popular knife since it was the first combat knife to be adopted by the U.S marines for the sheer power and durability. This is the preferred blade most survivalist would go due to it's heavy-duty capabilities.


The knife has a Swiss Grivory handle that fits most hands perfectly. The survival knife comes with a tactile sheath you can attach to your belt and is easy to sharpen for combat or camping.

Pros

  • The knife holds an edge through many uses.
  • The knife has a good balance.
  • The sheath can take a beating as much as the knife.
  • TACTI-COOL

Cons

  • The knife may be too heavy for some people.
  • No serrated teeth

10. Condor Tool & Knife - Bushlore Camp Knife


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

The Condor Tool & Knife is a product of El Salvador. Made with 1075 High Carbon Steel, this bushcraft knife comes sharp and ready to work. A walnut hardwood handle makes the blade easy to use and comfortable to hold through many adventures.


This survival knife is almost nine and a half inches long in overall length with a bead blasted finish. You can hang a lanyard through the handle for convenient use. A black leather belt sheath comes with the knife, so you will be ready when you go out in the woods.

Pros

  • The knife has a good drop-point design.
  • The sheath is good quality leather craftsmanship.
  • The handle fits in your hand with a molded design.

Cons

  • The design of the knife makes the cleaning of game difficult.

Buying Guide For Survival Knives

A survival knife is the one of the most popular tools to bring while your camping or hiking. It's simple and easy to use, which is also why it's so difficult to buy one for the wilderness.

There are factors that matter more than other in a survival situation, here is what we have based the best survival knives on:

Knife Design

The design of survival knives affect hows it looks and functions as one. There are fixed blades which is one solid knife what can either be full tang or half tang, which describes how long the actual blade stems down to the handle. Then there are folding knives, also known as pocket knives that can fold away, so that the blade is not visible. The 3 most common blade tips include drop point, clip point, and spear point.

Blade Length & Thickness

Size matters, at least if your life may depend on durability of the survival knife you're carrying. This is to help keep your knife's shape and strength throughout usage. The standard blade length is 4' to 7' with a thickness of .17" - .25".

Blade Material

The best blade material would need to consist of high-quality stainless steel that can withstand the environment and slice through tough surfaces like wood and animal hide. A good survival knife should also be corrosion resistant so that it will never rust.

Handle

The handle of a survival knife should be just as strong as the blade, either its full tang or half tang. A high quality handle should be ergonomic with a slip-resistant grip. 

Size & Weight

The average weight should be approximately 10" and 8 ounces. Some survivalist prefer a heavier knife because it just feels better in your hand, so just make sure you find the knife suitable for you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Survival Knives

Is a fixed blade or folding blade better as a survival knife?

When it comes to the outdoor, it's better to have a fixed blade because a full tang is more reliable in terms of strength and durability.

A folding knife is more commonly used as an EDC, or everyday carry knife you can easily conceal and deploy.

How to sharpen a survival knife?

Ceramics and whetstones are popular surfaces to sharpen your blade on by scraping lightly with the blade facing the opposite direction.

You can also use portable knife sharpeners, where you can just run the blade through, which is the easier and more preferred method.

What is the best steel for a survival knife?

The best steel for a survival knife is 1095 which is a form of carbon steel. If offers you blade retention, corrosion resistance, and allows for heavy duty activities.

Bottom Line

When it comes to a knife for survival, the knife is only as good as the materials of its manufacturing. There are many different kinds on the market, and how you select the right one depends on what you want to use it for. The best survival knife for a multitude of purposes is the KA-BAR BKR7-BRK.

The KA-BAR BKR7-BRK Combat Utility is a solid 1095 Cor-Van steel knife. Made to use in all kinds of weather and situations, the knife is sturdy and ready to take a beating. The knife features a glass-finylonnyon handle that is easy to grip in all weather situations and easy to use.