Most important considerations for an outdoor/survival knife

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by TopSpecUS, Jan 31, 2014.

Most Important Consideration For An Outdoor/Survival Knife

  1. Blade Type (Fixed vs Folding)

    0 vote(s)
  2. Blade Steel

    1 vote(s)
  3. Blade Length

    0 vote(s)
  4. Blade Thickness

    0 vote(s)
  5. Tang

    0 vote(s)
  6. Sharpening Ease

    0 vote(s)
  1. TopSpecUS


    Dec 30, 2013
  2. sirupatespecial


    Oct 16, 2013
    It's kinda hard to narrow it down to 1 specific thing. I guess if you have to the poll so far seems about right. I would say personally that if you didn't have the right combination of the first 4 tho, that the question would be moot.

    Like, let's say you have a fixed blade. But it's made out of crappy steel. Or fixed blade but it's only 3" and made outa crappy steel and 1/8" thick. In those cases I'd rather have a quality folder.

    Out of everything tho, I'd say ease of sharpening would be the least important.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  3. It has to be fixed. Otherwise, you may as well forget batoning or chopping.
  4. gytheran


    Apr 6, 2009
    This is what I would look for...

    Fixed blade
    Full Tang Construction
    High Carbon Steel (Tougher than stainless and easier to sharpen in the field)
    Decently thick stock blade (not talking 3/8" here, but also not 1/8")
    Longer blade to handle a whole multitude of tasks from smaller whittling to chopping/splitting of smaller pieces of wood(getting to dry wood in a wet environment) - 4-6 inches seems to be a good range for me.

    A "survival knife" should be the jack of all trades. The master of none, it should adequately handle any task you throw at it and last as long as you need it to.
  5. marcinek


    Jan 9, 2007
    All depends if your are trying to sell "survival knives" to us or to the general public. For the general public, the most important consideration is which guy on TV endorses it. And that's fine. They'll take it out car camping at the state park one weekend a year and play "survival" within 100 yards of the car.

    If you are trying to sell "survival knives" here...then I would do some research on whether or not "survival knives" and "survival" "sell" here among serious knife and outdoor enthusiasts. It may not be a selling point.
  6. I like to pair a blade (like the BK17) with these specs:

    Full tang
    Carbon steel--yay Becker HT
    slightly over 1/8 inch stock
    4 to 5 inch blade

    with a blade (like the BK9) with these specs:

    Full tang
    Carbon steel--yay Becker HT
    3/16 to 1/4 inch stock
    6 to 9 inch blade
  7. k1ssthecook


    Jan 17, 2014
    Definitely fixed blade (try batoning with your folding knife).
    I would never buy a fixed blade knife that wasn't full tang.
    Thicker blade, but with an appropriate grind for the thickness. If it is to be a hard use knife it must be robust.
    The handle would have to be very sturdy, I prefer scales bolted onto the tang of the knife.

    As far as steels go, it doesn't have to be super high carbon, there are some really nice steels that can inhibit rust a little better.
    I have an esee 6, which is a large blade knife, and I pair it with my spyderco bushcraft for hunting, etc...I find I use the bushcraft more, because it's shorter blade is a lot more user friendly with skinning, and finer work.

    If you want to sell knives though, put a survivalists name on it, put the word "tactical" somewhere in the name, add a full brass knuckle style finger guard...and don't forget the seatbelt cutter! It could be made of tin and it will sell.
  8. stabman

    stabman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Done that:
    (time travelled too...look at the date)


    To make this:



    (I survived...)
  9. stabman

    stabman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Most important consideration: something you'll have with you.
  10. HwangJino


    Dec 2, 2012
    Fixed scandi at about 3-4" blade.

    Tang spine thickness is not important unless you can't properly use a knife and need to baton.
  11. stabman

    stabman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Ah dang, how did I survive before the internet was invented to tell me I didn't know how to do things? :D
  12. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Gold Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    This Stabman guy is alright. :thumbup:
  13. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker

    Feb 28, 2011
    Ergonomics would be it for me. Using an uncomfortable knife for extended periods of time can cause blisters, blisters burst and become wounds, wounds get infected and I don't want MRSA when I'm trying not to die. Having a knife that can chop and batton is handy, no doubt, but I carry a tiny little folding saw all the time, and a larger folding saw most of the time so that I don't really have to do that with my knife.
  14. bpeezer


    Jan 27, 2013
    I keep waiting for him to say something that ISN'T witty and original. I've been waiting a year, and I suspect I'll have to keep waiting for quite a while.
  15. k1ssthecook


    Jan 17, 2014
    Stabman, what kind of folder is that? Very nice.

    I'm not saying that batoning with a folder is impossible, it requires proper technique. If you put too much torque on the joint, it will snap. The handle could also break the handle, rendering it useless.

    Folders require more maintenance, if you let moisture get inside it can rust from the inside. Which is why i don't skin with one.

    If a folder is all you have, so be it. If given the choice, fixed.
  16. McVeyMac


    Feb 19, 2013
    Glad you made it back stabman!
  17. dalefuller

    dalefuller Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    Dang... that was a good looking shelter you made... or will be... or... ?!


    May 6, 2001
    Hi all,

    Stabman bet me to it. While I don't yet own the likes of an ESEE Izula ll, it is most likely something this size that I want on my person (i.e. EDC) in the event of an emergency.
    Hell, I can carry most anything in my Car but, what if I can't get to my Car ? That being said, I usually carry (on my person) three knives......a small SAK, a Spyderco PM2 and a small custom FIXED blade Nick Rossi EDC.

  19. TopSpecUS


    Dec 30, 2013
    Yeah he is. His book looks interesting too.
  20. TopSpecUS


    Dec 30, 2013
    thanks for sharing the pics. glad you survived to fight another day.

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