If you’re thinking of putting together a survival kit to keep on hand for emergency situations, there’s one piece of equipment which must be included, a survival knife. A survival knife can help you through some scary situations, and there is a quite the variety of different types of survival knives available with several different price ranges.
There are several situations which can call for the necessity of a survival knife. Say you get separated from a hiking group, and you have to find a way to make it through the night safely. A survival knife can help you cut small chunks of wood for a fire to keep you warm. At the same time, it can also be used to help start that fire by being used to create tinder or just striking it against an ignitor.
At the same time, a survival knife can help you build shelter. It can be used to cut pieces of wood to stack as a lean-to for sleeping under. It can also be used to dig holes to secure the ground side of lean-to poles. After a shelter is built, that same survival knife can be used for hunting or dressing wild game.
A survival knife isn’t just useful if you become stranded in the woods. It can also be useful for safety situations where you are caught walking alone in a dark neighborhood. Outside of defense uses, a survival knife might also come in handy if you become stranded on your boat for a period of time in the middle of a body of water. That knife might be used to cut makeshift bandages if an injury occurs in a survival situation. There are numerous uses for a survival knife, both in emergency/survival situations and in day-to-day activities.
Clearly, there’s much for which a survival knife can be used. That being said, it might be a good idea to find the right survival knife for emergency situations. This can be trickier than it might sound, as there are many different types of survival knives available for purchase. Some things to consider when comparing survival knives include different blade characteristics, knife size, and price range.
A blade can have different styles, be made of different metals, and have varying degrees of thickness. When it comes to style, a blade can be smooth or serrated. It can also have a rounded, angled, hooked, or straight tip. The ideal survival knife would be a smooth edged, straight tipped knife with a thickness between 3/16 and 4/16 of an inch. The smooth edge makes for easier chopping of wood and is easier to sharpen with a stone, unlike a serrated edge. The straight tip has more capabilities than other tips and can puncture through objects easier. Finally, a thickness between 3/16 and 4/16 provides the right amount of strength to use the blade for activities like chopping wood without breaking the knife.
Another blade characteristic which should considered is what’s known as the tang. The tang is the part of the blade that goes into the handle. When buying a survival knife, you should always go with a full tang, as this provides the most strength, and thus a more durable knife. To understand tang, look at the width of the knife. If the knife has a full tang, the knife will retain a very similar width from the blade all the way through to the end of the handle. Without a full tang, the width dwindles to no more than a third of the width of the blade, providing less support.
The ideal size of a survival knife is between 6 to 12 inches. If you go any smaller, the knife won’t do what you need it to do in extreme situations. For example, imagine cutting wood for a shelter with a 4 inch knife. It wouldn’t be productive. At the same time, when you have a knife over 12 inches, it becomes less effective to carry the knife. At this point, the knife really is more of a nuisance and hindrance than a welcome survival tool.
A final consideration for finding the ideal survival knife is the price range. It’s important to expect to spend close to the fifty dollar range for a quality knife. Cheaper knives might not be as durable as higher priced knives. At the same time, you can get by with an averaged price knife and avoid spending a hundred or more dollars on a top of the line knife. Before you, buy, consider the characteristics described above, and then do a little research on top knife brands. Ka-Bar, Gerber, Buck, and SOG are all some of the brand names which offer quality, affordable survival knives.
Whether for everyday use or survival situations where you’re stuck in the woods, stranded on a boat, or just stuck in a dangerous neighborhood, a survival knife is the key component of any survival kit. The functionalities of a survival knife are almost endless, and it could just save your life when one of those survival moments comes around.