Without doubt, a well made fixed blade survival knife is an essential tool, if not THE essential tool while out in the wilderness. Be it splitting wood for kindling, hammering stakes into the ground, making then setting traps, or any number of miscellaneous tasks, a good knife is simply one of the most versatile pieces of equipment at any outdoor-man’s disposal.



Appropriately, there are a great many different variations of knives which all attempt to be the best do it all tool! However, there are some things one may need to consider while choosing which knife is best for you. Do you need the full length which some longer blades can afford? Can you rely do all you have to with your knife?


Let’s take a closer look at what defines a fixed blade survival knife.


What you’ll need for survival will be mainly determined by what your surroundings are. So, here are some of the main things one should consider before deciding which knife would be best for them!


1.) What sort of work are you expecting your fixed blade survival knife to preform? Will you be doing wood working, such as making traps, tools or shelter building?
2.) What kind of weather will you and your gear be exposed to in your survival situation?
3.) Will the knife be light enough / small enough for you to comfortably carry with your other gear, while being large enough to do the work you need it to?


These are only a few of the major considerations that need to be taken before choosing the correct knife for you, without having to break the bank! Examining each will help you determine what feature you want in a knife. Suppose we’re in a forested, mountainous region in the summertime, intermittent rain showers and fairly warm weather throughout the hypothetical trip.


Taking a look at the first item on the list, we can decide which type of knife we’ll need. If we’re not bringing an axe with us to our camp, either due to weight restrictions or other factors such as mobility or availability, it may be useful to bring a longer, thicker blade which we can use to baton through wood in order to make kindling for fires.


By using our knife blade, we’re imitating the job of an axe’s wedge-shape, thereby splitting the wood. If we’re in need of such a fixed blade, I would select a Cold Steel Leatherneck. It’s 6 3/4″ 4116 stainless steel blade would have the length necessary to process wood for burning efficiently. The steel will also hold an edge for long periods of time without easily chipping or rolling the edge, while being easy to re-sharpen.


The second consideration is just as important as the first. We must determine what type of weather we’ll be enduring, which will influence nearly everything about our knife. If those showers we’ll be experiencing in our forested mountainside happen to be longer than we anticipate, and we have to, for example, continue working in the rain building a shelter, are we going to be able to keep our grip on the knife?


Will the blade be able to stand up to the corrosive effects water may have on it? If we stick with the Cold Steel Leatherneck, we will be able to take advantage of the high-traction Grivory / Kray-Ex handle, which will allow solid control of the knife. In addition, the black coating on the stainless-steel blade should be more than enough to protect it from exposure to water. However, the coating will wear over time, so it may be a good idea to bring along a small bottle of mineral oil, which you can use to clean your blade every so often.


The final question we have listed to ask ourselves is whether the knife will be light and small enough to carry and use comfortably while being able to do the work that is necessary. A good idea would be to carefully examine your plans for the knife. Are you expecting to use it for one or two tasks that will happen often?


Perhaps a blade more streamlined to those tasks would be optimal. Or are you planning to put this knife in an emergency kit to take with you in case of flood, earthquake or other disaster? Maybe you want a more well-rounded knife which can handle the possible abuse you may need to put it through.


For basic hiking, camping and survival needs, the Leatherneck again is an appropriate option, weighing in at 12.3 ounces. It’s shallow clip-point blade is useful for a variety of tasks, and the guard is just large enough to keep your hand from sliding onto the blade without being obtrusive itself.


We believe that the fixed blade survival knife will continue to gain popularity, and with it, a wide market full of different brand names and styles. One of the most affordable, and easy to use, would be the Cold Steel Leatherneck, a knife that has been tried and tested for reliability, and has passed with flying colors.


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