The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Top Military Survival Knives

by Knife Expert on July 19, 2013

I’ve always said that a survival knife can often mean the difference between life and death while out there in the wilderness. Hence, it’s extremely essential to be prepared with the right survival knife for performing various tasks such as chopping wood, skinning animals or lighting a fire. Recently, I’ve become extremely fond of military survival knives as they serve all the above purposes and are also very useful for offensive situations especially involving dangerous animals.

However, with so many options for military survival knives out there, it becomes highly confusion for the common man and that’s why I’ve listed out some few key parameters that need to be considered when buying these types of knives.

Infantry Survival Knives

Things to look for in a Military Survival knife

The key question here is “What to look for in a Military Survival Knife” and based on my experience, I’ve nailed it down to 4 key parameters that need to be taken care of.

1. Strength:

One of the most important things you need to consider in these survival knives is the strength aspect. It has to be durable and almost unbreakable and preferably should be a full tang knife. What I’ve noticed is that in the higher quality knives, the tang extends till the base of the knife and that’s why a partial tang is not recommended because they break easily under high pressure.

2. Solid Handle:

Keeping the above point in mind, the handle of the knife needs to be really solid and one that fully supports the full tang knife. Try and avoid handles that are hollow or come with a storage space (and imagine what would happen if you lose that knife and all its belongings) because personally, I’ve found them to be very weak and ill-suited and they totally negate the strength of the knife. Also choose a knife handle that has a lanyard.

3. The Blade:

Another critical aspect when it comes to choosing the best military survival knives is the blade itself. Always go for a knife that has a carbon steel or stainless steel blade although I’m a little more biased towards the latter. This is mainly because carbon blades (although sharper) tend to rust pretty quickly in wet conditions while stainless steel blades are much more durable in comparison. That said, stainless steel blades tend to lose their sharpness quicker than carbon blades.

Also, one needs to keep the design of the blade in mind and as a rule of thumb; I typically chose a knife between 5-9 inches long and is straight rather than serrated. This is a personal preference because I find it much easier to sharpen a straight blade and is much easier for chopping purpose.

Another important feature when it comes to the blade of a good military survival knife is that it should be of the right thickness to handle stress because you don’t want to be stuck with a blade that bends easily under duress. I typically go in for a blade thickness between 3/16 – 4/16 of an inch.

4. Sheath:

Another important consideration should be with regards to the right sheath and this is one that a lot of people tend to neglect. The ideal sheath should have a belt loop and holes at the end so that they can be attached to the leg and this way, the military knife will sit flush with the body.

Top 3 Military Survival Knives

After testing and using different models out there in the market, I’ve finally nailed it down to these 3 brands.

a)The Buck Special Fixed Blade Knife – This one has a 5-inch blade and weighs just less than 4.5 ounces, which means that it’s extremely light to carry.

b) Case knives – These have been revered for years by the hunting community as it’s extremely effective in butchering and skinning animals

c) The Gerber Gator – And finally, another favorite of mine is the Gerber Gator (read my detailed review on this knife) which is an extremely good military survival knife and is economically priced as well.

Top Military Survival Knives

Some key points to remember from this post are that military survival knives need to be of a very high quality and one should always prefer the full tang ones. Feel the weight carefully and always give preference to a lightweight knife and one that has a solid handle.

The knife should be easy to draw and to complement that; the sheath should have lower attachments along with a belt loop, and a lanyard. Since you’ll be using these knives mainly outdoors and in the wilderness, they need to be durable and should withstand different elements of weather. Choose one of the 3 military survival knives I’ve listed above and you should be good to go.

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