Whether at home or on the road, having the correct knife at your disposal is of absolute necessity. Ranging from recipe preparation in your home kitchen to shelter building and firewood cutting in your next trip to the great unknown, there’s much value a knife plays in our everyday life.
Now, knives come in different shapes and sizes, each for a specific task. Hence, before you shell out your hard-earned money for one, it pays off to direct some energy to do some research. Things like size, weight, sharpness, and cost are among the many aspects you have to consider before you buy one.
Now, with a wide variety of blade types and aspects to factor in, choosing the right type of knife for a survival situation remains a job that’s easier said than done. But not anymore—in this article, we will be reviewing some of the top-notch small survival knives. Join us as we walk you through our exceptional survival knives.
Top 11 Best Small Survival Knives
#1 KA-BAR Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife
- Full tang heavy duty field knife suited for camping chores.
- Made in Olean New York, U.S.A
This option opens our list of reviews as one of the most reliable options in the market. It is one of our favorite survival knives and comes as the editor’s choice. It comes from Becker Knife & tools and possesses some awesome features to make it an excellent option to try out the next time you and your buddies are out camping.
For instance, this lightweight plan edge survival knife features a durable, 1095 Cro-van carbon steel blade. This type of steel is a solid choice for knives. Hence, this option should be fit for chopping onions for the campfire grill, skinning, and splitting kindling while you’re out in the woods. You can enjoy a whole enchanted experience with this heavy-duty knife.
The knife is covered with a heavy duty nylon sheath making it hard and strong enough even for the most extreme situations. The blade measures 5.5 inches, while the whole knife is 10.5 inches. The measurements are pretty up to standard for every task at hand.
The fixed blade knife is molded in a drop point design that enables it to cover a large belly while in use. Also, the durable drop point blade has 20-degree edge angles on a flat grind to make it easy to sharpen. So, if you go for this option, you are guaranteed nothing short of the best.
For the handle, it is made from Grivory. It provides an excellent grip for any outdoor activity. Finally, it’s worth acknowledging that the blade here is razor-sharp, that you can multitask it for different uses.
- Good for multitasking
- Good size
- Doesn’t come sharp as you may like.
#2 Gerber LMF II Survival Knife, Black [22-01629]
- Originally designed to free an aircrew from a downed aircraft
- Tough enough to cut through the fuselage of an aircraft
If you need a primary survival knife, I would recommend a small knife to you. Small knives come along with many benefits that you like to incorporate in your outdoor adventures. They are easily portable and can nicely fit in a pocket. You can take it wherever you go without issues.
If you are looking for a small knife, Gerber LMF II Survival Knife is the perfect option that suits the task. It takes the place of the top small survival knife on the list. The partial tang knife measure 10.59 inches, and the blade is 4.84 inches. It weighs 1.3 pounds which makes it convenient to carry along all day.
The firm grip handle is glass-filled nylon with TPV overmold, while the sheath is of ballistic nylon with a fire-retardant coating. Hence, the blade is highly durable and can survive harsh surroundings. It will keep you equipped even when you got the least options at hand.
In terms of design, the wilderness survival knife is well built with a drop point serrated blade. The tang is separated from the pommel to prevent shock while cutting live wires. You can comfortably cut through electrical cables without fear of being electrocuted.
Lastly, the LMF II has holes that allow the attachment of the blade to a pole, making a spear and the ability to use the butt-end as a hammer. With all these features, the LMF will win space in your kit the next time you are out.
- Solid built to withstand the abuse of wood.
- Easily portable
- Easy to lash to make a spear
- A partial tang model.
#3 SOG Fixed Blade Tactical Knife
- 4. 75 INCH AUS-8 STEEL PARTIALLY SERRATED BLADE: The SEAL Pup outdoor knife is a perfectly balanced combat knife, boot knife and hunting knife with sheath; measures 9 inches overall length
- 5. 4 OUNCE WT. W/ BLACK GRN HANDLE: This stainless fixed blade military knife includes a nearly indestructible field knife handle; glass-reinforced nylon offers great grip w/ zero maintenance
The SOG Fixed Blade comes up as our runner-up for the best small knife in our superlative list. If you need a knife for your combat needs, this model is perfect for the job. It is a tactical knife that is suitable to carry around anytime. You may need it in case of an emergency situation.
The blade measures 4.75 inches and is made from AUS-8 steel, and is partially serrated. You can carry it along to be used as a combat knife, boot knife, skinning knife, for basic bushcraft tasks, or for any other tactical situation. It measures 9 inches overall length, ideal to fit in a pocket or a bag.
The knife offers a MOLLE-compatible sheath attachment. Easily carry this flexible bag pack knife, camping knife, and compact belt knife sheath with the nylon MOLLE knife case.
For quick and clean cuts, the blade is partially serrated, and a clip-point design for better piecing-style cuts that make you proud of your work. It also brags a glass-reinforced nylon handle. What’s more, the effective handle has excellent finger grips for the utmost in ergonomics.
The full-tang knife is powder-coated for excellent corrosion resistance. Additionally, the blade is hardened for more decisive blade action. Hence, you can use it for the toughest materials as the blade is built to last for a long time and serve you greatly.
- MOLLE-compatible sheath attachment
- Clip-point design
- Partial serration
- It might be too small for some tasks
#4 Keenstone Folding Knives with Knife Sharpener Set
The folding of a knife makes it more portable and convenient to carry around. Before use, you can unfold it and fold it back. The Keenstone Folding Knife has this fantastic feature and comes in as the best folding small surviving knife in our list of reviews.
You can easily open and close the knife as you please. You can use the dual-sided thumb studs or the cut-out holes in the back of the blade to open. For closing, push the liner lock over from the middle, and the knife goes back folded. The liner lock system protects you from being hurt in case the blade unfolds accidentally.
The model is highly multifunctional. It can be used as a saw, a glass breaker, a bottle opener, to mention but a few of the many functionalities of this all-around knife. It is flexible and incorporates both left and right-handed users to switch sides efficiently
Additionally, the knife comes with a sharpener (a conical diamond rod), an emergency whistle, and a compass. It keeps you on high alert while maneuvering the hostile terrains, be in the woods for adventures or military use to subdue an enemy.
Finally, the knife is a perfect present for people around you. If you want to put a smile on their face, you can consider giving them this knife as a gift. Well, that depends if the person loves dealing with knives.
- Easy to fold and unfold
- Perfect for gifts
- It comes along with a sharpener
- It may have problems opening or folding back
#5 Ontario-3278 Survival Knife
- ✔ Iconic 499 survival knife carried by pilots for generations for survival in any environment
- ✔ 1095 carbon steel blade - 0. 1875 thickness.
We can agree that cheap products are usually not the best. It would be best if you went deeper into the pocket for one of the expensive survival knives that will serve you with gratitude that equals the amount you’ve invested. This decent survival knife is a high-end option that does not disappoint and gives the best results.
Of course, it comes with quality features that will make your outdoor ventures incredible and breathtaking. You may spend a little more coin on this product, but you get what you paid for and even more.
The classic knife measures 9.5 inches overall in length, and the blade is 5 inches long with a thickness of 0.1875. That’s within the acceptable ranges, and that makes it strong enough to counter some of the complex tasks you can find your way.
In terms of material, this camp knife has 1095 Cro-van high carbon steel blade. Also, the edge is plain to ensure clean and smooth cuts. And just in case you are a fan of leather, you will be delighted to learn that the handle here is of heavy duty leather. What that means, it’s not only durable but also non-slip, making it ideal for delicate tasks.
This option serves as an excellent entry-level survival knife for those who are starting camping or hiking. It is also a fun knife as you can work the leather parts as you please. If you are on a budget, you may find it hard to get something better.
- Leather handle
- Will cut a chunk of wood with ultimate ease.
- It has a serrated blade on one side.
- The sheath may loosen
#6 RoverTac Pocket Knife Multitool Folding Knife
- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: WE STAND BEHIND OUR PRODUCTS AND WARRANTY. Your satisfaction is our top priority. We offer lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship and no reason return policy to guarantee you the BEST purchase experience.
- A Perfect Christmas Gift: This is a Year round useful tool for Campers, Hikers, DIYer's for Father, Son, Boyfriend, Men or Women for Birthdays, Christmas, and Father’s Day. It makes a special gift for teenage boys as well. Will be used year round, not tossed aside like most gifts.
Portability is an essential factor to consider before settling for a knife. No one wants a blade that is bulky to move around with. A model that can easily fit in a pocket or a bag pack is an ideal option to buy. The RoverTac Pocket Knife is highly multifunctional and comes in as our best versatile small survival knife.
The Rovertac multi-tool knife will tackle almost all types of jobs in nearly every emergency situation. Featuring an ergonomic handle design, a secure locking system, and a durable nylon pouch, you can easily fold it and walk around with the knife without experiencing any difficulty.
The general construction of the knife is breathtaking. The knife for survival has upgraded pliers handle that enables convenience and support. It won’t break easily, even when taking on the most demanding tasks. The spey point blade is made from stainless steel and is coated with black oxidation to make it corrosion resistant.
The lightweight multi-tool integrates seven convenient tools that bring about the difference. It can be used as a can opener, bottle opener, and a Phillips screwdriver, to mention but a few. Hence, you will not load your bag with cumbersome tools; this model does all for you.
Are you looking for a gift for your spouse, friend, or relative? If yes, the Rovertac multi-tool knife is a perfect option for that purpose. It is a compact and unique problem-solving tool that all will appreciate.
- Ergonomic design
- Multi-tool for just about survival situation.
- A compact knife for survival.
- Pretty thick because of the many tools in it
#7 Poshland TR-1213, Custom Handmade D2 Steel Tracker Knife
- D2 Steel Tracker Knife.
- Stunning Micarta Handle with Mossaic Pin
A sheath protects the knife and the knife while not in use. Leather is an excellent material to use for a sheath due to its many advantages it brings forth. It is durable and feels good on your hand when handling it. The Poshland TR-1213 knife is our pick on the best with leather sheath.
The knife has a heavy duty leather sheath made in the right size and shape, which offers a fitting pair with the knife. The sheath has a plastic skeleton on the inside. This design prevents the blade from cutting the sheath. The sheath provides for safety, and it portrays a good appearance.
The distinctive handle design provides a better grip while on task. Ten inches overall length while the blade and the handle measure five inches each. The high-quality contents give you a superb edge and sharp cutting abilities.
The affordable survival knife is designed for your full benefit. It weighs 1.15 pounds. The blade is relatively thick and is made from D2 steel that is strong and durable. There is a notching at the spine of the blade that provides for notching of wood for lashing.
In general, the knife is incredible and serves you with honor. Whether you are in the woods camping or hiking, the blade is fit for any task. However, the handle looks cheap and dull, and the pins are not uniform. But this drawback doesn’t make it less a knife to help you in your day-to-day activities.
- Good leather sheath
- It batons through wood smoothly.
- Excellent edge cutting abilities
- The handle looks cheap, and the pins are not uniform
#8 Coast 20809 DX338 Double Lock Folding Knife
- DOUBLE LOCK: One blade, twice the safety. During standard use, the Liner-Lock automatically engages and locks the blade open. But when you need to make more rugged cuts, push the Double Lock switch forward to block the Liner-Lock from possibly disengaging and allowing the blade to close on your hand. Adjust the safety detent-action (which controls how easily the knife closes) with the tension screw on the side of the knife.
- THREE POSITION KNIFE CLIP: Carry your knife how it suits you best. Use COAST’s Three Position Knife Clip to adjust the pocket clip to how wear the knife, with easy access to your dominant hand.
A double-lock mechanism might be a reasonable precaution in the quest to avoid unwanted accidents when handling a knife. The mechanism is reliable and ensures the safety of the user. The Coast 20809 DX338 Double Lock Folding Knife comes in as the best knife with a double lock.
It incorporates a dual lock system that makes it standard for use. When in use, the linear lock automatically engages, and the blade opens. When you need to make more rough cuts, push the double lock switch forward to block the linear lock allowing the edge to close in your hand. A screw can adjust it at the side of the knife.
The three-position knife clip allows for adjustments for the pocket clip to put the knife and easy access by the dominant hand at any given time. Carry your friendly knife in the way that best work for you
The blade is made from 7Cr17 stainless steel, which is solid and durable. The handle is made from nylon for grip and support. It measures 8.3 inches overall in length, whereas the blade is 3.5 inches, and it generally weighs 0.23 pounds.
Lastly, the blade is reasonably sharp, but for more efficiency, you can sharpen it further for more stunning results and improved performance while you are out having fun. Additionally, it can be easily rinsed off after use, and no issues of rust or decolorization.
- A double-lock mechanism
- Three-position knife clip
- The grind is slightly inconsistent.
#9 RoverTac Multitool Pocket Knife
- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: WE STAND BEHIND OUR PRODUCTS AND WARRANTY. Your satisfaction is our top priority. We offer lifetime warranty and no reason return policy to guarantee you the BEST purchase experience.
- Compact, Durable & Practical: It’s well built with full stainless steel and coated with durable black oxidation. Perfect for Survival, Hunting, Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Outdoor activities, and Home Improvements.
We all hate disappointments. Every person wants to invest in a product that is worth the money put into it. In this case, purchasing an expensive knife but which serves your precision to the letter might be a good deal where you win, and the seller also wins. RoverTac Multitool Pocket Knife gives you the best value for your money.
It is well built and designed to give you the most exhilarating experience while using it. The knife is pretty priced. It would be best if you did not spend much but get good quality and gig from this magnificent knife.
The budget knife is compact, durable, and practical. The blade is made with full stainless steel and coated with double stable oxidation for long-lasting and support. It is ideal for outdoor activities and some house improvements.
For safety purposes, the knife has a locking system that prevents the blade from accidentally reaching your fingers by needing you to push inwards to lock it up. It is easy to carry around as it comes with a nylon pouch that you can wear on your belt and move around swiftly.
The knife comes with a combination of some other tools that we use in our daily lives. A scissor that is incorporated along with it, a fire starter, and a whistle, all of which are necessary for outdoor activities. It is a must-have in your daily life.
- Decent value for the price range.
- Good for outdoor activities
- A bit complex to use
#10 SOG Fixed Blade Knives with Sheath
- 4.85 INCH BLACK TINI AUS-8 SHARP KNIFE BLADE: The SEAL Pup Elite outdoor knife is a perfectly balanced camping knife, hiking knife & belt knife w/ sheath; measures 9 inches overall length
- 5.4 OUNCE WT. W/ GRN HANDLE: This stainless fixed blade military knife includes a nearly indestructible field knife handle; glass-reinforced nylon offers great grip w/ zero maintenance
A good knife with a handle that is comfortable to hold and gives a good grip when in use might be what you are looking to purchase. Handles are made from different materials such as leather, metals, or synthetic materials. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. When talking about a heavy duty survival knife with the best comfortable grip, not many options are close to what SOG fixed blade offers.
The handle is made from glass-reinforced nylon that enhances maximum grip when in use. It feels good in the hand. Whether you are searching for a tactical knife, backup survival knife, or hunting knife, SOG fixed blade is simply an ideal option that you may not regret giving a try.
The blade is stainless steel chilled to -300° and then heated for hardening. This type of steel means that it’s solid, sturdy, and will last for a long time if well maintained. Also, it has a MOLLE-compatible sheath making it possible to attach it to your belt or a bag pack when moving.
It features a longer blade for quick and precise edge cuts. A clip-point design for better piercing style cuts that will make you proud. In addition, it has a rasp along its spine for notching and filing advantage. The back of the blade has a crest shape that allows applying of pressure when in use.
However, the sheath is not that good. It is a bit dull. But if the knife pocket isn’t a big issue, generally, the knife is built to last and will stand ready to serve you when in need.
- Longer blade for clean cuts
- A rasp on the spine for notching and filing
- It offers a cushioned, non-slip, grip.
- The sheath is not that good.
#11 Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B 9in High Carbon S.S. Fixed Blade Knife
- Dimensions: 9 inch (22.9 centimeter) overall length with a blade length of 4.7 inches (12.1 centimeter) and a weight of 7.7 ounces
- Durable: Blade is made of reliable 7Cr17MoV high carbon stainless steel with a black rubber wrapped handle
Over the years, we have been prone to the notion that the most popular products work best. In most cases, that statement is always true. A product with very many reviews comes out as one of the top-notch in the industry. Well, if you are looking for the best seller small survival knife, here comes Smith & Wesson fixed blade knife.
Firstly, the blade of this famous knife is highly durable as it is made with 7Cr17MoV high carbon stainless steel. Therefore, whether you want to use it for light or demanding applications, this model won’t disappoint you.
Also, the handle is wrapped with black rubber. It is double-edged, a feature that maximizes the angle of attack when using the knife. Also, this knife has a handguard to prevent slipping. With that said, it’s safe to see it as practical and efficient when in use.
The full-tang knife fits for self-defense purposes. It can be of great help in times of emergencies. But it is advised that it is used as the last option for self-defense as it needle-sharp and can cause severe damage when used on a person or anything that portrays danger.
It measures 9 inches overall in length; the blade is 4.7 inches long, weighing 7.7 ounces. It is light and comfy to carry around. The company offers multiple colors to choose from, and you can select your pick depending on taste and preference.
For maintenance purposes, you can clean the knife and put it back in the sheath after use to ensure it lasts long and serves you for a prolonged period. Finally, the blade has a visible hilt that makes it legal to use it in public without interfering with the law.
- It has a visible hilt to ensure its legal
- Handguard for security
- The black handle is comfortable.
- Not double-sided
Frequently Asked Questions
Which material is best for a knife handle?
Various materials are used to make knife handles. They include natural materials, synthetic or some metals. A good handle should provide a good grip and smooth comfort when in use. So, the material used will decide whether the knife will have a good grip when used.
How long should a survival knife be?
A good survival knife should have a blade length ranging from 4.5 inches to 8 inches. Smaller knives might be able to execute the task effectively.
What is the strongest knife locking mechanism?
Different brands come with contrasting locking mechanisms. A sturdy lock system allows for safety and enables the knife to open and close freely. The double-lock system, axis lock, and linear lock are some of the typical set-ups in place.
Is D2 steel better than S30V?
S30V is more resistant to wear and tear and is more durable compared to D2 steel. However, D2 tolerates the lower edge angle better. In terms of sharpening, they both respond well.
What makes an excellent outdoor knife?
Some specific critical features in a knife make it fabulous for outdoor adventures. Blade thickness and size should be solid and durable that will persevere the harsh outside environment. Remember that you may need the knife to skin deer/rabbit and then to baton wood the next minute, and that’s where extra thickness turns helpful. A broken knife can be your trip’s greatest frustration!
The handle should also be made of good material for grip and support. For the handle, metal isn’t the most appropriate as it conducts heat and may make for ice cold grip during cold days.
Whether you are stranded in the woods or enjoying your outdoor adventures, you will need a multi-purpose knife that can tackle a wide range of tasks for you. A combination of quality, versatility, and durability will give you a hand while you are out there in the unknown. Above is a detailed review of the best survival knives that won’t break the bank. Please scroll through and check our recommended buys to select the option you think meets your precision.