Top Ten Survival Knives

This is a Top Ten list of society popular survival knives. Many of these knives have a long histories and are premium made knives that are built with top quality by hand and cheap prices for some. Also these knives are survival based, and are not singled out to only bushcraft knives but knives that are also for urban survival and forest survival, and that are also tools not just knives.
The Top Ten
1 Becker BK-2 Campanion

Been using this for over ten years, for all kinds of backwoods work. It is still my number one.

A tank. Buff said

The KA-BAR BK-2 was designed by Ethan Becker, a popular bush craftsmen and cook. The BK-2 is 1/4th inches thick, with a glass breaker on the back and is made with 1095 Cro-Van steel which is slightly better than standard 1095 Carbon steel. But it isn't significantly better. The BK-2 is considered by many the best and is number one or in the top five out of the 15 websites that we have visited that talks about this amazing knife and it is only about $65 online and is to be considered the "Barbie Doll" of knives and has no end to the customization you can do to it and it is made in the USA. We pried open wooden doors and a car door with this knife. Tried bush craft work with it which may be difficult for some due to its thick blade. Dropped it, batoned wood far thicker than anything recommended, and is a amazing working machine for the price of only $60 and even cheaper if used. You can buy anything for this knife also from leather and kydex sheaths to custom G-10, wood, and ...more


Have had my for about a year now and haven't had to sharpen it yet. I have abused it and used it many times in the field. Only downside is it will rust pretty quickly if you don't maintain it and leave it in a leather sheath. But aside from the steel it is solid as F... And I carry it along side my small MBB

Granted it's not sold as a survival knife, but it is exactly what it is. What is Bushcraft if not surviving in the bush?

Now many people will say there are better TOPS knives for survival then the B.O. B but for the price, quality, features, and Tride and True factor we like so much, it beat all the other TOPS for these reasons. The TOPS B.O. B was designed by the Brothers Of Bushcraft and has a bow drill notch on the micarta handles, a flint striker, a grind very similar to the amazing scandinavian grind, and a wonderfully, hand formed kydex sheath.

3 ESEE 5

The ESEE 5 is a fantastic knife, second to the BK-2 because of how similar it is to it. Both knives being 1/4th inches thick and made of steels very similar, it is second because it isn't as customizable. There are companies you can order parts from but the selection is far more limited and the starting price for the ESEE 5 is around $120-150 being why it is second because for the same price you can do more to the BK-2.

4 Gerber LMF II

The Gerber LMF II is a wonderful knife designed by a American Soldier. Many people do not like this knife for a couple of reasons. One, it is not full tang, and two, it has serrations. Now the quarter tang it has is for a good reason which is so you can cut electrical wiring without getting a good short zap and a sudden stop yet some people do not care for it because most that would like this knife would not cut electrical wires with this knife. But remember it was designed by a soldier which will most likely use it throughout his deployment. Then the second is it was designed as a pilots survival knife so the serrations can cut the paracord with ease. Now our team couldn't care less about the serrations but the full tang is not a problem with how they designed and fixed the structure weakening problem of the knife

This is an amazing knife, built to handle so many different situations from backpacking, hunting for dangerous animals to ultimate survival in hostile areas to daily carry in any pack. I understand some may not care for the design of the tang or the serrations but keep in mind what may not be necessary today may be necessary tomorrow. The serrations are only partial so you can do anything you need to do without serrations, and if you need them they are there. As far as the tang goes don't count this out until you put it to the test and thru the ringer, Gerber did it right and I mean right. This knife performs without a hiccup on duty in Qatar and field dressed and skinned a nice 8 pt buck last year. For bushcraft duties it performs, enough said, batoning, chopping, feathering, etc it does and does well. I have had two knives for everything and just plain have had to many so I now have the LMF II and a small tactical knife and they are all one needs. All the knives on this list are ...more


KA-BAR's legendary name goes back to the shores of Germany in World War II and to Vietnam and now to today's soldiers using KA-BARS knives for their successful design and durability of knives and knife making techniques. It has a long Rats Tail Tang which goes all the way to the hilt of the handle and has a strong reinforced bolt, 1095 Cro-Van steel, a blood groove, and a razor sharp edge, this knife is meant to be beaten on.

6 Becker BK-10 Aircrewman

This has proven to be a far more practical woods knife for me over the years than the no. 1 pick BK2 model. The BK 10 can do anything the BK2 can (with exception of heavy prying...mostly an urban requirement, not wilderness so much), yet offers ability to do finer chores the its overly thick cousin (BK2). I'm talking about woods chores like making feather sticks, cutting food, and dressing game. The BK2 is too thick to perform these tasks very easily or very well. Reminds me of using a hatchet to do these things--it works in a pinch, but note that well. F. LaFlamme

The KA-BAR Becker BK-10 Aircrewman has a slim blade yet thick enough to baton, make feather sticks, complete most small and large whittling tasks, skinning, and small bush crafting for shelters and such. Also being much like the BK-2 with its 1095 Cro-Van steel, also having a glass breaker and being able to fit any custom handles the BK-2 can. It can also be considered a barby doll to the knife world only to the fact that it does not have as many sheath variations as the BK-2 does for custom sheaths.

7 Mora Bushcraft Black

The Mora Bushcraft Black is a very rugged, heavy duty, work horse of a knife. With it's scandinavian grind that is known far and wide, it can handle almost any task the BK-2 or the ESEE 5 can. Minus the batoning, it will get every task done at a extremely affordable price around $30.

8 TOPS Tom Brown Tracker

The TOPS Tom Brown Tracker is a beautifully made knife, all being by hand, it deserved a spot on this list. It has the best heat treatment out of all of these knives except for the TOPS B.O. B and the ESEE 5, while being 1/4th inches thick. Coming with the knife is a hand finished Kydex sheath, a curve on the spine for batoning, a saw, a curve on the front of the blade for skinning, and a squared off blade towards the micarta handle, for following wood when batoning to make it easier. The only reason it is so far down this list is it is far over 1 Lbs. and the price of this knife only gets as low as about $180 and as high as $220 brand new.

9 SOG Seal Team

Now many people would disagree with this knife being so low but there is reasons. First the good, the knife has a razor sharp edge and can be bought with either a serrated blade or a plane edge. It has a nicely heat treated AUS-8 stainless steel which is used in many of SOG's higher end knives, and is incredibly light weight which is very nice for any camper, hiker, or survivor looking for a lightweight knife. Now the downsides are it is around $100, and has a Clip Point design on the knife and has a thinned, almost sharp spine which is not prefered at all for batoning and also thins the steel not making it capable of prying larger things open. Not doors of coors but things like small pieces of wood nailed together. In our tests over the few months we had it, near the end of the testing we managed to snap the blade do to the far thinner Clip point design.

Next we have the SOG Seal Team, made of SOG's amazing AUS-8 stainless steel with a good heat treat and blade temper. We beat, threw, batoned, and carved wood with this machine, what landed it so low is the clip point, the tang, and the price. Coming in at around $100, it is an amazing knife. The only problems we had were the clip point chewed threw the batoning sticks much faster and with the thinness of the blade and the 3/4th rat tail tang, we managed to snap the knife but called SOG and got a brand new one with the price of only $5 for the shipping, so if they got the handle in a full tang and either made the knife a little thicker or got rid of the clip point in general we would have put this knife much higher, the up sides are its razor sharp, still tough as nails, AUS-8 stainless steel, and light enough to take anywhere.

10 Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro fixed blade

Now before you wine and complain that someone put a Bear Grylls trademarked knife made by Gerber in here, listen to what we have to say. We used and abused this knife almost as much as the Becker BK-2. It is razor sharp, made with a decently heat treated 9Cr19MoV, it is a work horse of a knife. It has a decent sheath and comes with a handy ferro rod and only being around $60 online. Now what landed this knife at 10 is while we were field testing it, the orange polymer handle started to fade in color from use and from the sun, but more importantly the strong reinforced polymer chipped. Now Gerber sent us a new one no problem but nonetheless in a survival situation you can't send the knife back for a new one now can you.

It works and can take what you toss at it.

The Contenders
11 KA-BAR BK16

Great medium size knife for light-medium duty's around the campsite.1095 carbon steel is my preferred blade material for survival and bushcraft.

K bar gose back to 1800 when it was called the hilend knife co. they changed there name to ka bar later in the 30s

12 Schrade SCHF10
13 Schrade SCHF9

A fraction of the price of most of the competition, but still hugely capable. A brilliant blade for the money

14 Kukri
15 Cold Steel SRK

We actually had a hard time deciding between this and the SOG Seal Team and tested both adequately but chose the SOG because of the heat treatment.

16 Schrade Frontier 52 (SCHF52)

Improved on the Frontier line a lot, which should qualify it higher on this list simply because other Frontiers are here, but seriously, it's an incredible knife overall.

17 Puuko
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