When choosing the right survival knife, usefulness and durability are the prime concerns.
- Forget cool: If you’re buying a knife because it looks cool, great – assuming you’re gonna put it on display and never use it. If you are going to actually use your knife, buy something practical, not something flashy. If it looks awesome, it’s probably useless.
- Size matters: Don’t get an over sized knife in an attempt to do everything with it. It will do nothing well. If you need to chop wood or clear brush, you’ll do well to pack a parang or machete for that purpose. Otherwise, remember that you will need to do detail work at some point, and trying to do that with a huge knife is going to suck.
- Solid construction: Many knifes are built cheaply, with a blade that is attached to a handle. This results in a weak spot where they are joined. Instead, look for a blade labeled full tang – this means that there is a single piece of metal to which the grip of the handle is mounted.
- Quality matters: You want something durable that can take a beating and still hold an edge. This means steel, and ideally carbon steel.
- Like a glove: Find a grip that suits you. Your knife needs to feel comfortable to the point that it seems like a natural extension of your hand. Also, the grip should be made of a non-slip material. You don’t want a knife that becomes your worst enemy when your hand is wet or sweaty.
- Put it away: Get a knife that comes with a sheath, and make sure it fits well. It shouldn’t move or rattle at all.
By following these guidelines, you’ll be sure to find a knife that will suit your every need when the shit hits the fan.
Photo credit: mikepetrucci