There are many types of gear which make up a well-rounded bug-out-bag (BOB), but a few are reliable and versatile as a good-looking knife. Don’t you think that a good, reliable knife can help you with EDC and survival needs? In this case, finding the best fixed blade knife should frequently top the list when developing your survival kit, obviously for a good reason.
A good quality fixed blade knife should be applicable in various survival applications, should not take up much space in your pack and should be simple to take care of. The vast myriad of options may make it difficult to find the best. However, do not worry as we have taken our time to review the best models in the market.
In this article, you will find not only the top-rated blade knives but also some crucial considerations when purchasing. Perhaps, the best way to begin this is by drawing out a clear head-to-head comparison of the top knives that you can buy in the market. Find the details in the chart below.
|Product Name||Weight||Blade Length||Handle Material||Price|
|SOG SEAL Elite E375N||12.2 oz||4.85 in||Glass Reinforced Nylon||Check price on Amazon|
|Navy Seals 9” Bowie||8.8 oz||5 in||Full tang nylon fiber||Check price on Amazon|
|Gerber Ghoststrike||3.6 oz||3.3 in||Rubber overmold||Check price on Amazon|
|Morokniv Companion||4.1 oz||4.1 in||Polypropylene with rubberized overmold||Check price on Amazon|
|MTech USA 20-14 Series||1.8 oz||2.75 in||Nylon fiber||Check price on Amazon|
|Columbia 2125KV River||12 oz||4.95 in||Glass reinforced nylon||Check price on Amazon|
|Scharde SCHF57||7.8 oz||2.63 in||G-10||Check price on Amazon|
|Smith & Wesson CKSUR1||7.4 oz||6.03 in||Deep grooved rubber wrapped||Check price on Amazon|
Things to Consider Before Buying
There are many options out there when it comes to finding the best model. This is based on both the features of the blade and its specific intended functions. To save your precious time and money, have a look at the guide below to find a good fixed blade knife.
As mentioned before, a fixed blade knife is one of the most versatile tools you can have in your gear/survival kit. So to say, its use isn’t limited to wilderness survival and bushcraft, as many other tasks can be simplified by having this knife at your disposal.
Some of the tasks include:
- Breaking glass
- Cleaning game
- Chopping wood
- Opening containers and cans
- Prying windows and doors
- Preparing food
Bearing this in mind, get a fixed blade knife that suits your intended practical use.
Handle options of fixed blade knives can be categorized into two – the tang and grip options. You ought to understand each to find one that fits your particular environment.
- Knife tang – this part extends from the base of the blade to the butt of the knife. It is commonly covered by the knife’s handle or in other cases wrapped with a paracord. In all knives, there are three varieties of tangs, including the full tang, partial tang and hollow handle.
- Full tang knives have a solid piece of metal extending from the hand guard to the butt of the knife. Generally, these handles comprise of a single piece of steel with a blade and tang. Full tangs make the knife stronger than other handle options present, perhaps the best choice for heavy duty knives used for high abuse such as chopping, butchering animals and prying.
- Partial tangs describe a handle with a blade steel extending partially into the handle. To many, it could be a sign of a cheap knife, as manufacturers use this approach to lessen costs. However, this is okay if you need a knife for display at your home.
- Hollow handle knives are weaker than full tang options, but some people may consider having it as it allows them to carry some of their gear. Therefore, before judging if this is the right handle, you ought to identify what you have as part of your gear and your intended use. In their cavity, the hollow handle can store a map, fire starter kit, first aid items and paracord.
On the other hand, grip options are limitless. Some of them are certainly as old as recorded in history while others take advantage of cutting-edge technology. Some of the commonly used grip materials include the Glass reinforced Nylon, Zytel, Micarta, and G10.
Regardless of the choice you make, have some questions in mind when choosing your fixed knife blade grip. For instance, does the design have finger grooves? Can it be used both with gloves on and barehanded? Does moisture affect your grip? Is it comfortable for use over long periods?
Size and Weight
First off, never think that there is a perfect size or weight for a bug-out-bag knife. An ideal size and weight overly depend on what you intend to use it for. Obviously, a longer knife, greater than 10 inches will take up more space in your pack and is heavier. Nonetheless, longer knives are best for hacking, splitting, self-defense, prying, and hacking.
On the contrary, shorter knives are better at finer detail work such as scraping, skinning, and carving. Besides, they are lighter and take up less room. That said, it all comes down to what you intend to use the knife for. Weigh the costs and benefits of each.
About fixed blade weight, you should find the right balance when assessing the knife’s weight. Certainly, you don’t want to carry around more gear than what you need, which includes choosing a heavy knife. Just like knife size, the final decision comes down to what you will be using the knife for.
Lighter blades cause less fatigue when carrying and using the blade. It is also a good choice for detail work. Heavier blades impart greater force when hammering or breaking glass. Therefore, make a careful assessment when choosing the fixed blade knife.
Modern tactical, hunting and bushcraft knives have countless blade options. This provides a great option for customizing your knife to suit perfectly your intended needs. Some of the blade option and the typical matching uses include:
- Drop point – drop point blades are great all around for multipurpose knives. They typically have a gradual curve along the knife’s spine and a wide belly making them easy to control and highly versatile.
- Serrated – fixed blade knives can either come as fully or partially serrated. They allow the knives to cut faster, either rope, plastic, cloth, rope and other man-made materials. Besides, serrated knives typically stay sharp for long.
- Gut hook – this is a special blade type where the spine (back of the blade) has a sharpened hook or indentation. This specific feature makes it perfect for opening the abdomen of an animal during field dressing. It is due to this that it gut hook blades are popular for hunting.
- Tanto – these blades have flat rather than curved edges, which comes to a triangular point. With this design, such blades have superior strength used in piercing tough materials. Increased penetration of tanto blades makes them popular among those looking for expert tactical blade knives.
- Chisel tip – just as the name suggests, a chisel tip is a flat tip sharpened to allow digging of cuts. It is wide enough to make the knife an ideal choice for situations where the knife is used as a prying tool, especially in search and rescue situations.
- Clip point – clip point fixed blade knives have straight or curved sections running from the mid-spine to the tip of knife’s blade. Such cutout allows for enhanced/maximum control when cutting as well as expert piercing potential. It is a popular choice for those looking for bushcraft or hunting knives.
Whilst finding the best knife is overly important, something goes beyond this when searching for the knife. How do you intend to carry the knife around? Will you keep it in your BOB? Will you attach it outside the BOB? Are you going to strip it on your belt or strap it to your body?
Any of the options mentioned above can be good, but it is important to find a sheath that accommodates whatever blade and style you intend to use. Various knives come with sheaths that have more than one carry option. Therefore, find one that has multiple options to keep your choices open.
Sheath material is perhaps another integral aspect of this factor. Common sheath materials include Kydex, Nylon, and Leather. Kydex are plastics molded to fit the knife’s shape. They are lightweight and indestructible. Nylon is weaved lightweight, durable and inexpensive materials. On the other hand, leather sheaths are typically tough but not as lightweight as nylon.
The factors mentioned above are not all – but crucial features to consider in any fixed knife blade before purchasing. With these factors in mind, have a look at the best products on the market today.
Best Products on Today’s Market
Are you in a dilemma of finding the ideal fixed blades? Have a look at what we thought are the best products in today’s market below.
Price: Approx. $57
Weight: 12.2 oz
Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.6 x 0.7 in
Specific features: Straight edge, stainless steel fixed blade, hard case black TiNi finish, glass-reinforced nylon handle with deeper finger grooves, MOLLE compatible sheath and limited lifetime warranty
Best use: Backpacking
Description: Is performance your priority? If so, look no further as the SOG SEAL Elite E375N Fixed Blade got you. Coming from the SEAL group of products, a company known for incredible reliability and performance of their products consider this for your backpacking needs.
This model comes with a new design and ergonomic handle made of glass-reinforced nylon with deeper finger grooves, which provide great grip. There is an added blade spine rasp, which enhances notching, thumb placement, and filing.
It comes with a straight edge, fixed steel blade measuring 4.85 x 0.185 in with a clip point shape compounded by a black TiNi finish. This not only ascertains durability but also strong when in use. The back of the blade (spine) has jimping, which helps in demanding tasks.
Before release, the knife’s blade goes through a thorough cryogenic heat treatment, which increases the toughness and wear-resistance as well as ensures that the edges stay sharp longer and decreases risks of micro-fracturing and edge chipping.
- Comfortable with great grip
- Tough and blade-resistant blade
- MOLLE compatible nylon sheath
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Quite heavy
Related: With continued use over time, the need to sharpen your SOG SEAL Elite Fixed Blade will become necessary. This is why getting a SOG Countertop Sharpener is prudent, with suction technology, lightweight, quick and easy sharpening.
Price: Approx. $16
Weight: 8.8 oz
Dimensions: 9 x 3 x 0.13 in
Specific features: Stainless steel blade, saw back tanto blade, full tang nylon fiber handle with lanyard hole and nylon sheath.
Best use: Camping
Description: Tagged the best survivor knife blade, the Navy Seals 9” Bowie Fixed Blade comes with all it takes to provide maximum self-defense capability. It is a tactical combat fixed blade knife, popular for its affordability yet expert quality.
The first thing you would be concerned with a self-defense knife is its grip, which this model doesn’t disappoint. The handle is a full tang, nylon fiber model with a lanyard hole. When it comes to the blade, expect nothing of doubtable quality. It encompasses a 5-inch, 3.5 mm thick blade made of stainless steel.
Carrying the blade around wouldn’t be a problem, thanks to the included nylon sheath.
- Steel blade
- Good shape
- Good length
- Super sharp
- Small handle
Related: This product is an ideal choice to take when camping or hiking. The other item you will definitely need is the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, an award-winning water filter, to purify any contaminated water during your escapades.
Price: Approx. $60
Weight: 3.6 oz
Dimensions: 10.5 x 3 x 1.8 in
Specific features: 420HC steel blade with ceramic coating, full tang rubberized diamond texture grip handle, nylon sheath and lanyard hole.
Best use: Self-defense
Description: If you need a knife that will always be on hand, ready and never unprepared get the Gerber Ghoststrike Fixed Blade Knife. The knife is lightweight, concealable and easy to use. Always standby, when there is need to withdraw.
Stealth defense knifes out to satisfy some certain prerequisites, discretion topping the list. You need a knife that won’t let you down when it comes down to matters of life and death. This is a fact that wasn’t lost when the Gerber Ghoststrike knife was designed.
Concealed carry option of this knife lies proprietary on the lightweight, sleek and slim design. Handling of self-defense knives also should not be negotiated about. This is perhaps why its handle features a rubberized diamond texture with enhanced grip.
On the blade, expect a 420HC steel blade, measuring 3.3 in with ceramic coating, which offers unbeatable corrosion resistance and minimal reflection. For easy carry and use, the knife comes with a modular sheath system and a neoprene ankle wrap that can be mounted horizontally or vertically on a belt.
- Steel blade
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Small handles for extra-sized hands
Related: If you find the Gerber Ghoststrike blade quite huge, consider the small, stainless steel Gerber GDC Zip Blade, a fine edge utility blade with frame lock safety and clip for quick removal.
Price: Approx. $14
Weight: 4.1 oz
Dimensions: 1.38 x 1.77 x 9.25 in
Specific features: Edge steel and corrosion resistant blade, performance grip, color matching and hard grip sheath and limited lifetime warranty.
Best use: Outdoor activities
Description: Since inception, Morakniv are well known for producing excellent simple fixed blade knives of high quality and utility in an unbelievable affordability package. Available at approximately $14, the Morokniv Companion Fixed Blade Knife is a perfect knife for any outdoor use.
Perhaps the selling point of this knife is the high-quality Sandvik 12C27 edge steel, which provides an excellent cutting performance allowing for razor sharpness. Expect also exceptional blade toughness as well as superior corrosion resistance.
With such a blade, the knife suits all individuals with tindering, woodcutting, carving and food prep needs. The blade is corrosion resistant and can be enhanced by regular cleaning of the blade with oil.
The knife’s handle is the other awing feature of this knife. It comes with a performance grip, a high-friction and patterned grip, which works well in both wet and cold conditions. This is important to provide great control, safety, and unbeatable performance.
Also, note that the knife comes with a color-matching and hard plastic sheath with a belt clip to keep the knife secure.
- Lightweight and well balanced
- Easy to handle
- Quite hard to sharpen
Related: This knife is an ideal choice for any outdoor enthusiast. To complete your outdoor tactical gear, ensure that you also have the Light My Fire FireSteel 2.0 Fire Starter with an emergency whistle.
Price: Approx. $7
Weight: 1.8 oz
Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 0.5 in
Specific features: Black stainless steel blade, black and grey plastic handle, and nylon fiber hard sheath with a chain.
Best use: Survival training
Description: MTech is well known for its diversified lineup of various tactical knives, security items, and archery products, all available at competitive prices. Joining the list is the MTech USA 20-14 Series Fixed Blade Knife, a perfect blade for camping and survival coaching.
This knife is made of a durable 440 stainless steel blade, which provides all you need during your camping and survival training escapades. Ranging from razor sharpness, resistance to corrosion and durability, you won’t regret getting this knife.
For unbeatable grip, the blade comes with an extra grippy nylon fiber handle with a lanyard hole at the rear end for hanging and doubles up as a glass breaker, especially in emergencies.
To alleviate worries of losing the knife, it comes with a hard nylon fiber sheath with a chain for hanging around the neck.
- Durable dual-blade
- Lanyard hole
- Nylon fiber sheath with chain
- Small handle
Related: If you find the MTech USA 20-14 Series blade, not your type, consider the Master USA MU-1121 Fixed Blade, which is half-serrated with a hard plastic sheath.
Price: Approx. $70
Weight: 12 oz
Dimensions: 12 x 10.3 x 1.5 in
Specific features: Ergonomic glass reinforced nylon handle, titanium nitride blade, black oxide blade finish, Tanto-style tip, MOLLE compatible, partial blade serration and full tang construction.
Best use: Tactical knife
Description: Like other Ultima blade products, the Columbia 2125KV River Fixed Blade Knife embodies great power, class, and strength. This is affirmed by its rugged construction and custom molded grip.
The core of this knife is the amazing 1.416 steel blade, which sharpens easily with a unique carbon content offering an impressive edge retention capability. The Tanto edge style grip increases the blade’s piercing strength making it an unstoppable cutting tool especially when coupled with the Veff serrations.
The entire blade surface is coated with black oxide finish, which is weather resistant. Its injection molded handle is engineered to deliver a balanced/proportional hold, which accommodates various grip positions.
The butt-end features a tactical flare, which ensures superior retention strength as the front guard protects the hand when making extra-aggressive cuts.
- Strong and coated blade
- Ergonomic handle
- MOLLE compatible
- Quite heavy
Related: The Columbia 2125KV River blade knife weight may discourage you from purchasing it. In such situations, a better alternative would be the Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunctional Sharpener, retailing at only $7 yet with amazing features.
Price: Approx. $15
Weight: 7.8 oz
Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.6 x 1.6 in
Specific features: High carbon steel drop point blade, G-10 handle, lanyard hole and multi-carry option belt sheath.
Best use: Utility knife
Description: If you are looking for a small knife that feels big, consider the Scharde SCHF57 Fixed Blade Knife. This coveted characteristic describes a knife that performs higher tasks without taking up much space or hard to come by. It gives utmost strength in its compact package.
This blade takes advantage of its drop point feature, making it excel in piercing and slicing. Besides, the high carbon steel blade provides the much-needed wear resistance and is hard enough, making it a perfect all-around tool.
Perhaps many users attribute its adaptability to the textured G-10 handle material, with a pronounced finger groove and jimping, which allows you to chock on the handle for better control of finer tasks.
The versatility of this blade is expounded by the multi-carry thermostatic belt sheath, which makes it possible to have the blade whenever you need it.
- Ergonomic handle
- Great sheath
- Perfect size
- Not that sharp
Related: Utility knives such as the Scharde SCHF57 are best paired with other reliable tactical gear such as pens and flashlights. In line with this, consider pairing this item with the NYKKOLA Tactical Pen for first line defense.
Price: Approx. $26
Weight: 7.4 oz
Dimensions: 12 x 3.5 x 2 in
Specific features: 7CR17 high carbon steel blade, a deep-grooved handle that is rubber wrapped, polyester belt sheath and a front attached nylon storage pouch.
Best use: Hunting knife
Description: Excellent hunting knives often have outstanding features, durability, and reliability being top considerations. This is what the Smith & Wesson CKSUR1 Fixed Blade Knife doesn’t fall short of. This is perhaps because hunting knives have various extended cutting tasks, ranging from prep work to field dressing.
To meet your hunting needs, the knife comes with a 7Cr17 high carbon stainless steel blade, dual-edged point blade for excellent cutting and piercing. The blade also features an ergonomic deep grooved rubber covered handle, which provides great grip.
Carrying the knife all around won’t be daunting, thanks to the ballistic polyester belt sheath which comes with a removable storage pouch and a sharpening stone. This enables you to maintain the razor sharpness of the knife.
- Ergonomic handle
- Included sharpening stone
- Sheath for carrying
- Good for money
- Not full tang
- Small handle
Related: Since you are going out to hunt, have you considered including a hunting camera in your gear? If not, consider tagging the TEC Bean In-flared Wildlife Camera for a great hunting experience.
With this, we have reached the end of our review. You definitely agree with me that fixed blade knives are an integral part of any hunting, camping or BOB gear. However, finding the best would work towards your benefits. Consider the guide and top products mentioned above to ease your search.
Did you find a fixed blade knife that suits your needs? Is there anything you would consider when searching for the best product or any top model we missed out? Please let us know in the comments section!