Having a single knife that can handle any and every situation is a tall order. Does that knife exist? If pushed, there are some that could suffice. But a great deal of what makes the selection of a single knife to do everything so difficult, is that they’re many specialized knives on the market capable of doing specific jobs incredibly well. Which is why, if you don’t have to worry about mission-specific limitations, or a shoestring budget, you’re likely better off having more than one knife in your bug out bag.
In our humble opinion, there are three knives that every survivalist should own. Each serves an important purpose and is capable of doing the job it is intended to do flawlessly, provided you hold up your end of the bargain.
The Recon 1
The Recon 1 from Cold Steel gets our vote for best all-around, every-day-carry knife. As any die-hard survivalist or self-reliant individual knows, whether you’re headed to work or out into the woods, you’d better have a knife on you. That every-day-carry knife likely needs to have a blade length of less-than 6 inches, be easily transportable, and durable. The Recon 1 meets all of those requirements, and has recently been given an upgrade in steel quality. This is a folding blade knife, with a heavy and durable blade that gets extra points for being incredibly impact resistant. It is also quite affordable if you dig around in the right places, although the more expensive of the three knives we have selected for this article.
Blade length: 2″ (micro), 3″ (mini), 4″ (standard), 5.5″ (XL)
Overall length: 4.3″ (micro), 7.1″ (mini), 9.3″ (standard), 12.25″ (XL)
Closed length: 2.3″ (micro), 4.1″ (mini), 5.3″ (standard), 6.75″ (XL)
Weight: 1.2 oz (micro), 3.6 oz (mini), 5.3 oz (standard), 8 oz (XL)
Blade material: CTS-XHP steel
Price range: About $75
Survivalists, preppers, homesteaders and hunters all have one thing in common when it comes to knife needs, cleaning fish and game. The Havlon Piranta is hands-down the most efficient skinning knife on the market today. The blade is essentially a surgical scalpel, allowing you to make the precise cuts needed to process an animal quickly and effectively. It comes in bright hunter orange color, so you don’t have to worry about losing it on the forest floor as you place meat into game bags in the dark. This knife also comes with 12 additional replacement blades, making sharpening a non-issue. You simply won’t find a better game-care knife than this, for the money.
Blade Length: 2-3/4”
Overall Length: 7-1/4”
Blade Material: #60A Stainless Steel
Weight: Incredibly light!
Price Range: About $45
Not only does this knife live up to its name but it could easily be called one of the best SHTF knives on the market right now. In terms of a fixed-blade knife, that can be used in a survival situation for anything from cutting branches to self-defense, it doesn’t get much better than the Cold Steel Bushman. There is no joint or seam between the handle and the blade of this knife, which makes it incredibly strong. The hollow handle makes it easy to convert into a formidable spear tip. The only thing that is as indredible as the pragmatic construction and supreme durability of this knife is the price that you can find one at. Clicking around in the right places, you can cop this Cold Steel Bushman for about 30 bucks.
Blade Length: 7”
Overall Length: 12 ¼”
Blade Material: SK-5 High Carbon
Weight: 9.8 oz