What makes a good survival knife?.

What makes a good survival knife?.

Nomad survival knife


Your spending time in the wild so a good survival knife is an essential bit of kit, a knife which is as adept as a hunting knife as it is a survival knife. So survival knife / bush craft knife what if any is the difference?, while many knives are basically both, personally i always view a survival knife as a heavier more robust knife than a bushcrafter. Some things to consider is the knife versatile enough?, practical?, what are you going to be using it for?. While you could subset the survival knife into various differing environments we will stick with the general all round principles.



No ifs or buts here, the knife must be full tang ,the knife blade and handle tang are formed from a single piece of steel, if you are unsure about what this means let me explain, a full tang knife ( the tang is the part of the blade where the handle scales are attached) this will be at least the same size as the handle, you will see on the knife that the tang is visible all the way to the end of the handle.

This is essential for heavy chopping etc and gives you a knife that with proper care will last a life time,


Blade material:

While there are a dizzying array of steels to had out there on any given knife, some steels by their nature are more suited to a survival knife, two schools of thought here, on one hand you have carbon steel, which is cheaper than stainless steel but with a much higher level of blade maintenance required as it will not be as corrosion resistant as a stainless steel, while on the other hand you have stainless steel which as the name says { though i would caveat that with any steel will eventually corrode if left  exposed to the elements for long enough) while more expensive is much more resistant to corrosion.


Blade size:

Length wise 4-6 inches is an ideal size, too long of a blade general over complicates any of the tasks you'll likely be putting the knife to. Blade thickness which is important when you need a robust tool in the field should be around 5mm to 6mm or in old money 3/16 of an inch to 1/4 of an inch.


The grind:

Typically you will find either a scandi or flat grind on your survival knife and indeed your bushcraft knife, there's a good reason for this, they are very easy to sharpen when your deep in the bush.


Some other features to note, jimping (notches on the spine of the blade near the handle) is used to prevent your fingers from sliding when using the knife. Lanyard hole, ( that hole your looking at in the rear of the knife handle) basically a security measure, the lanyard cord that likely came with your survival knife loops through here and around your wrist so if the knife does slip from your hand it is retained by the cord.


Check out the new Joker Nomad survival knife on Knives Ireland.