How to choose a survival knife

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Of all the knives in your collection, what could possibly be the most important and difficult to choose is your survival knife.

Your life could literally depend on your decision.

The number of disaster situations faced by residents around the world has increased in recent years where, for example, at the beginning of this decade the annual number of disasters was much lower than in the 1950s.

Climate change, man-made disasters and a higher population have led to situations where a survival knife could come in handy.

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Here are some ideas to keep in mind when choosing your survival knife.
Consider that learning how to use the knife in a survival context requires training and so my advice is to attend a basic survival course and then continue updating you in the various contexts.
This is a very large subject.


Uses for a Survival Knife

Before making the choice of knife, consider the many ways in which a survival knife can be used.

Depending on the situation, the uses of the knife can be:

  • to cut
  • to dig
  • Split/Split
  • Personal defense
  • First aid
  • Preparing food
  • Building a refuge
  • Hunt

Despite the multiple uses, it is better to keep in mind that the knife must keep a simple line.

Never choose the aesthetic over the function.

When it comes to survival knives, you should always choose the knife with maximum versatility and a simple design.

Some things to keep in mind

Here are some practical ideas you need to keep in mind when choosing your survival knife.


Bigger is better – but not too big.

Hollywood movies have made the knives of characters like Rambo “ridiculously” huge.

A knife of about 25 – 30 cm can provide a sufficient blade for what you need to accomplish without becoming too heavy and cumbersome.

Fixed blade

A fixed blade is typically a more robust choice for a survival knife, given the heavy tasks it is likely to be used for.

Full tang

Consider a knife that is a “full tang” knife, which means composed of a single piece of continuous metal.

One-sharp blade

In most cases, better not to choose a double-edged blade on a survival knife.

Consider a knife with single wire and with a flat edge on the other side.

A solid, long handle

The lower part of the handle of the knife should be suitable for a light hammering, such as planting in stakes for a tent and must be long in order to be able to grab it further down the “arm” of the knife.


These are just a few of the things to keep in mind that can help you choose the right type of survival knife that works best for you.

Just remember that a sturdy blade that can handle multiple tasks on its own is the best way to tell if it’s a good knife.

Remember that a basic rule when it comes to survival for the choice of equipment is that if an object you carry behind serves to do only one thing then it’s not good.

On a knife you have to be even more demanding but if you want to contact a real survival expert and attend one of his courses I recommend Daniele Dal Canto who in Italy but not only do I think he is one of the greatest experts and also the creator of the design of the Selvans the survival knife of the Extrema Ratio.

If you want to make a custom survival knife such as design, type of steel, materials, etc. contact me!

I with my knife friends can offer you a personalized service according to your need, it is a unique knife, made for you!


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