Best Survival Knife under $50

by Knife Expert on December 24, 2013

I’m pretty sure that a lot of you would have had a tough time searching for the best survival knife under 50 dollars at some point of time or the other! My last post featured top survival knives under $200 but I got a lot of mails from my readers saying that they would love to see a few cheaper options that would not cost them more than 50 dollars. That’s why I decided to create this dedicated resource that features handpicked survival knives under the $50 price range.

I’ve made sure that despite the price point being low, none of these knives compromise on the quality factor (that’s most important to me) and I’ve managed to compile this list after a lot of hard work and made sure each of these tactical/skinning/survival knives is value for money.

Normally, Amazon has the cheapest deals on these survival tools and keeping in mind the holiday season, I thought it would make your job all the more easier if I linked out to the relevant Amazon page because of the holiday season deals.

Some of you might be short on time and if that’s the case, then I highly recommend that you go with my #1 choice for the best survival knife under 50 dollars as it’s been personally tested and recommended by me and other fellow survivalists.

Note – There might be a possibility that the price on some of these knives may have changed slightly (due to discounts, price increase etc) so in case you see a major deviation, do let me know via the comments section below

#1 – KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corp Knife

So my pick for the best fixed blade survival knife under 50 dollars is the KA-BAR US Marine Corp Knife. With a 1095 Cro van steel, the USMC is one of the most famous knife designs in the world and has a 7 inch straight edge blade.

KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corp Knife

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You’ll get an excellent grip thanks to the leather stack handle and I found the balance on the blade to be perfect. The blade has a very sharp point with a sufficient belly to make all your skinning and dressing tasks all the more easier. True, you can always spend more money to get a custom made high grade combat knife but if you have only 50 dollars to spend, then this knife will never let you down.

Key Specs & Features:

  • Blade: 7.0″ length USMC stamp, 0.24″ thickness, 1095 Cro-van steel and flat grind, 56-58 HRC
  • Handle: 4.8″ length, leather handle
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces

#2 – SOG Seal Pup

Coming in close at #2 is the SOG Seal Pup M37N-CP that features a corrosion resistant, partially serrated 4.75 inch fixed blade. The handle is also made of glass enforced nylon and is extremely comfortable to hold.

I’ve abused this knife a lot and can vouch for the fact that it holds its edge very well. Not only does it serve as a combat knife, you can even use this for survival and hunting purpose. The AUS 6 steel might attract a little rust but that problem can be solved by applying a little oil from time to time.

SOG Seal Pup M37N-CP

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It also comes included with a black nylon sheath that has a nice compartment to hold a multi-tool or a sharpener.

Key Specs & Features:

  • Blade: 4.75 inch length, 0.156 inch thickness, AUS 8 steel blade, partially serrated, 56-57 HRC
  • Handle: 5.25 inch length, glass reinforced handle with grip lines, black nylon sheath with a belt loop attachment
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces

#3 – Gerber Prodigy Survival Knife

Another great pick for this list is the Gerber Prodigy Survival Knife that features a 4.75 inch, 420 HC stainless steel blade. It’s one of the best tactical knives I’ve ever used and just the right size – big enough to use in combat and small enough in confined spaces.

The handle is comfortable to hold and comes with a rubber groove to take care of sweaty or rainy conditions. It’s a full tang knife so you don’t need to worry about the pommel breaking off plus the sheath is very secure. The sheath has strappings on the back to attach other relevant items such as ire starter, first aid, sharpener, 50′ of paracord etc.

Gerber Prodigy Survival Knife

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All in all, a great survival knife that costs less than $50; although if you have a little more money to spend, you might want to check out its big brother – the Gerber LMF II.

Key Specs & Features:

  • Blade: 4.75 inch length, 0.24″ thickness, 420HC stainless steel blade with black oxide finish
  • , 59-61 HRC
  • Handle: 5 inch length, over-molded rubber handle, MOLLE compatible hard sheath
  • Weight: 10.4 ounces

#4 – Schrade SCHF9 Extreme

If you’re looking for the best 7 inch survival knife, then the Schrade SCHF9 should be on your shopping list. With an almost 7 inch blade (6.4 inches actually) and with a 1095 steel body, this is one of my favorite under 50 dollar survival knife.

It’s beefy, the handle is comfortable and provides numerous hold positions while the knife itself retains its sharp edge even after a year of abuse. The Kraton handle has a nice swell to it and is checkered with a circle/ half circle pattern which give it a nice, slightly rubbery grip.

Schrade SCHF9 Extreme

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All in all, a great knife to own at this price range and comes highly recommended from my end.

Key Specs & Features:

  • Blade: 6.4 inch length, 0.25 inch thickness, 400 stainless steel, 56 HRC
  • Handle: 5.6 inch length, black nylon sheath with plastic insert
  • Weight: 10.1 ounce

#5 – Condor Tool and Knife Bushlore

One of the best bushlore knives at this budget price, the Condor Tool and Knife Bushlore features a 5.25 inch blade made from 1075 high carbon steel. It has a convex grind that extends all the way to the heel and this wilderness tool is beautifully balanced with just the right amount of weight.

Whether it’s batoning hickory for a cooking fire or simply cutting and trimming branches, this knife will hold you in good sway.  The history behind the knife is also a fascinating one and you’ll always have a good story to tell people about the how the knife is made in El Salvador.

Condor Tool and Knife Bushlore

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Key Specs & Features:

  • Blade: 5.25 inch length, 0.1875 inch thickness, 1075 High Carbon Steel, 56-58 HRC
  • Handle: 5.25 inch length, High Impact Polypropylene, epoxy black coating , made in El Salvador
  • Weight: 14 ounces

#6 – Ontario SP1 Marine Combat Knife

We’re mid-way through this list of the 10 best survival knives under $50 and at #6 on this list is the Ontario SP1 Marine Combat Knife. Again a strong contender for the best 7 inch survival knife, the SP1 is .125 inches thick and is made from 1095 carbon steel.

The blade is full tanged and powder coated and has a good edge on it. I found the grinds to be a little irregular but at this point, that’s kind of acceptable. One point to know before-hand is that the whole handle is made from molded Kraton and this includes the pommel and quillions (I wasn’t expecting that when I bought the knife).

Ontario SP1 Marine Combat Knife

It also comes with a black sheath that has a Cordura covered front panel and has leather fillers or spacers between the front and back panels, along the top and the bottom of the blade to help protect the edge and the clip.

Key Specs & Features:

  • Blade: 7 inch length plain edge, 0.125″ thickness, 1095 carbon steel, 57-59 HRC
  • Handle: 5 inch length, Kraton handle with finger grooves
  • Weight: 10 ounces

#7 – Cold Steel 17T Kobun Tanto

In at #7 is a Tanto style boot knife from Cold Steel that is not only lightweight and sleek but has a reinforced point that’s highly resistant to bending and breakage. It also features a checkered, nonslip Kraton handle that offers an extremely good grip and I’ve not had any problems with it in cold or sweaty conditions.

The blade length is about 5.5 inches long and the AUS 8 steel holds a very good edge even after repeated usage. Because the blade is a bit on the longer size, this can easily be termed as a mid-size knife and is great for carving and cutting. Also, the profile is slender so you won’t have problems carrying it around and all in all, a great self defense knife for under $50.


Key Specs & Features:

  • Blade: 5.5 inch length tanto style blade, 3.5 mm thickness, Japanese AUS 8A steel, 58-60 HRC
  • Handle: 4.375 inch length, non slip Kraton handle with secure-ex sheath
  • Weight: 4.4 ounces

#8 – Buck 105BKS Pathfinder

One of my favorite hunting knives is the Buck 105BKS Pathfinder and this one is sort of an upgrade on my old 102 so yes, I’m a little partial towards it. With a 5 inch fixed blade made from 420HC stainless steel and a comfortable phenolic handle, you really can’t go wrong with this survival tool.

I personally love the taper of the blade and works great for skinning purpose. You’ll realize how easy it is to field dress a white tail deer and it works even better when it comes to large size catfish. However, I wouldn’t suggest you to try this knife for either prying or batoning because the thickness of the blade is on the lesser side at 3mm.

Buck 105BKS Pathfinder

With that said, this is a great low budget quality hunting knife that comes with Buck’s 4-Ever Unconditional Lifetime Warranty. You really have nothing to lose!

Key Specs & Features:

  • Blade: 5 inch length,3 mm thickness, 420HC stainless steel modified clip point blade, 58 HRC
  • Handle: 4.125 inch length, Phenolic handle, polished aluminum butt and finger guard, fitted black leather sheath
  • Weight: 4.5 ounces

#9 – Smith & Wesson CKSURG Homeland Security Tanto Knife

One of the biggest knives on this list of the best survival knife under $50, the Smith & Wesson CKSURG Homeland Security Tanto is perfectly suited for big, tough jobs. I always feel very comfortable when I have this strapped to my bug out bag because I know it’s a dependable knife in rough situations.

It’s great for chopping and prying tasks and a very good batoning tool as well. It features a stainless steel titanium coated 8.06 inch length blade and has very good edge retention. Remember it’s a heavy duty knife so for all those who don’t like weighty knives, this might not be the right choice for you.

Smith & Wesson CKSURG Homeland Security Tanto Knife

However, for those who love a reliable and tough knife (or a machete for that matter), then you can’t go wrong at this price.

Key Specs & Features:

  • Blade: 8.06 inch length, 0.2 inch thickness, 440C stainless steel titanium coated blade, 58-60 HRC
  • Handle: 5.69 inch length, full tang G10 green handle, nylon sheath with sharpening stone included
  • Weight: 14.2 ounces

#10 – Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife

And finally, rounding up my list of the 10 best survival knives fewer than 50 dollars is the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife

The first version of this knife was panned by survival experts and outdoor enthusiasts alike because a lot of people complained of broken pommels and steel quality. However, Gerber listened to those complaints seriously and took out a new version in 2011 which eliminated all the known problems. This knife is thicker and features a 4.8 inch long blade that is made from 7Cr17Mov stainless steel.

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife

For all those on the fence regarding this knife, I can vouch for it from personal experience.

Key Specs & Features:

  • Blade: 4.8 inch length, 0.1875 inch thickness, Saw ground back blade, 7Cr17Mov stainless steel, 57-59 HRC
  • Handle: 5.2 inch length, Molded rubber grip and knurled striking surface butt cap, Emergency micro lanyard whistle
  •  Weight: 11.2 ounces

More Survival Knives Under $50?

The above list is pretty exhaustive and covers all of the top survival knives under the 50 dollar price range but in case you feel I’ve missed out a particularly good blade, then do let me know via the comments below.

I’ll also try and update this list from time to time to include newer and better knives so that you can truly find the best survival knife below $50!


Andre Raul December 30, 2013 at 12:01 pm

WoW…………. wonderful knife………. thank you for sharing this post.

Louis January 7, 2014 at 11:47 am

My son received this knife for Christmas and it’s really a nice knife for the money.

Mike January 18, 2014 at 3:52 am

Thanks for the great information I appreciate it! I did want to give you the heads up that some of the prices here are way off now though. For example the SEAL Pup is now selling for $98.50, The KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corp Knife is about $75.00 on Going down the list the Smith & Wesson CKSURG is about $75 as well on

All the best

Knife Expert January 18, 2014 at 8:24 am

Hey Mike,

Thanks for the comment. Prices continuously fluctuate depending on various Amazon promotions; all these knife prices are from and not

Mika Cagle January 28, 2014 at 7:59 pm

I have never come across a budget survival knife that could compare to the Gen 2 SP43 by Ontario Knife Company. It’s true you will pay a little more for it (about $65), but when you consider everything you get for the price it’s easy to see why this is the best bang for the buck. The knife steel is 5160 spring steel and the blade is a full 8 inches with a width of 3/16th of an inch. It’s a fixed blade knife with a full tang, lanyard hole and comes with a sheath. The sheath could stand some improvement but over all this is the best deal on a survival knife I have ever seen.

Aleous January 29, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Great list just thought I would add a little to it. The Schrade schf10 is great stainless variation of the 9 you listed with Micarta handles. Also the Condor Rodan is great too having a slightly longer blade than the Bushlore and coming with a coated blade as well as a synthetic handle, also comes in two other length as the Varan and Kumunga. And finally from cold steel the Bushmaster is also a great affordable choice in sk5 steel.

p.s. The SOG Seal Pup is made from aus8 steel, not aus6 I believe.

Oak February 23, 2014 at 1:59 am

The Ka-Bar Becker BK10 is probably the best survival knife out there for under $100. For about $50, I like the Ka-Bar Navy Mark 1 or the Schrade SCHF10 (if you are in humid environments), for about $40. I wish Schrade would would offer the SCHF10 with a straight blade (easier to sharpen) in both the 1095 Cro-Van and the stainless for customers to choose which metal they want. It would have that awesome SCHF10 handle and come with an upgraded sheath to the cheesy one with the current SCHF10. That would be hands down, the best “budget” survival knife out there and I would get one in both the stainless and the carbon steel.

james March 20, 2014 at 9:05 pm

You know, I was really loving the Bear Grylls knife. But I have to question if anyone really used it before releasing. I lost the fire stick the second trip I took. As soon as you get in any heavy brush, the resistance will yank it right out.

As far as the knife itself goes, I like it.

Knife Expert June 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm

I was skeptical of the knife at first (due to all the hype marketing).
True the firestick is concerning, but the one that I got my hands on did not have that problem.
Did you have an early release of it while it was still a new knife and did not have all the field time James?
Anyways, I am looking at it a lot closer now and I do think that it is a great starter knife to learn and practice skills.

Taiwo May 29, 2014 at 12:33 pm

The real thing is that i will choose your number one and number three. SOG and Cold steel are masters when it comes to Bowie Knife. I also like Kabar it is one of the Best knives out there. You did a great review keep it up

Knife Expert June 5, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Very good choices, though you can’t really go wrong with any of them. The SOG SEAL pup being a good one to keep an eye on.
Oh yes, the KA-Bar is a great one to have too. Mine is always close at hand.
Let me know how you like your knives.

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