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What You Should Know About Survival Knives

Posted by Self Reliance Outfitters on June 20, 2014  

In the world of survival knives, questions are often asked such as, “Is there such a thing as the perfect knife?” or “Is there one survival knife that is practical for every situation and circumstance?” If you’re an imaginary Hollywood figure by the name of Rambo there might be, but if you’re a bushcrafter you may need more than one knife to do it all.

The term “survival knives” is rather ambiguous and can be used to describe a variation of knives which could potentially be used in a survival situation. While the TV industrial complex has made them out to be almost magical, a survival knife is ultimately just a tool.

There are countless ideologies surrounding the topic of survival knives, and there are valid reasons to possess more than one knife in your arsenal of survival gear.

While some would like to focus on choosing a solitary survival knife for all around use, your “survival” will ultimately be founded upon self-reliance skills rather than on the ‘one perfect survival knife.’

What’s The Difference Between Survival Knives

While possessing necessary and fundamental survival skills are the foundation that will see you through a survival situation, every potential knife buyer should realize the quality of your survival knife could be the defining line between life and death.

This is just one reason why Self Reliance Outfitters carries only top quality knives in an array of styles and sizes. We truly believe your life could depend upon the products we sell.

Fixed Blade

The most important part of a survival knife is the blade. This is the part of the knife which will be doing all the cutting, carving, field dressing, or slicing. When choosing a survival knife, you’ll want to consider purchasing a fixed blade knife, as they are the must rugged, dependable, and purposeful type of knives for most types of self-reliance applications. Unlike folding knives, fixed blade knives are tolerant of abuse and resistant to breakage.


When choosing between quality survival knives, the application of use will determine what knife or knives you decide on. For example, if you want a knife which to baton with, you’ll want to choose a knife like the PLSK1 Pathfinder Knifethat can stand up to the rigors of being hit repeatedly without breaking. If desiring a sharp knife to skin, cape or field dress the game you trap or harvest, a smaller and sharper knife such as, The Pathfinder Trap Line Companion by Blind Horse Knives, would be preferred.

Full Tang

Another feature you’ll want to make sure your survival knife has, is ‘full tang’ construction. A ‘full tang’ when referencing survival knives, is a knife with an approximately 3/16-inch thick solid steel blade which extends all the way through the handle. The wood or Micarta handle is then riveted through the blade for superior strength.

A full tang construction provides for the most durable knife available and one your life can depend on.


Throughout our Pathfinder Classes you’ll find we suggest a knife with at least a 5-inch blade. This allows enough blade length to accomplish most tasks and yet it is small enough to avoid being cumbersome.

Our full tang Chris Caine Survival Knife provides these exact features. It offers strength, weight, and balance, along with a convex grind.


While most bushcrafter style survival knives will have a drop point or spear point blade for prying and drilling, we recognize everyone will have a preference when it comes to their favorite style of survival knife.

Our recommendation is you find a knife that fits your hand, fits your needs, and is one you can put your confidence in. If you have any questions regarding any of our survival knives, please feel free to contact us and we’ll do our best to answer any questions.

It’s about your life! 

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