If you’re a dedicated hunter, then you need a quality skinning knife. Bagging the perfect quarry can take hours or even days of careful planning, stalking, and waiting. After going through all of that work, the last thing you want to do is ruin the pelt you’ve bagged with a poor quality skinning knife. Every knife manufacturer would like you to think that their product is the best on the market, but they can’t all be right which is why I wrote this detailed post on choosing the best skinning knife for the money in 2018!
To begin with, there is no such thing as one knife that will perfectly suit the needs of every hunter. Some hunters will be looking for a knife that is built for skinning and skinning alone while others will be looking for a more general purpose knife that can handle all sorts of jobs. Shoppers also need to consider things like blade material, configuration options, and durability. It can all be a lot to keep in mind at once.
To cut through the hype we’ve dug deep into the top blades available to come up with a list of the top five skinning knives available to hunters today. Each of these knives has something unique to offer hunters. One of these blades is sure to be the skinning knife that you’ve been looking for.
1. Buck Knives 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife
#1 on my list of the best skinning knife is the Buck 110. Skinning a kill might be messy work, but the 110 Folding Hunter Knife has a look that is as clean as they come. It’s a truly classic design from a company that has become so synonymous with their product that the term “buck knife” is commonly used as a generic term for any folding hunting knife. But this knife is much more than a nostalgia piece.
The 3.75-inch blade is made of 420HC stainless steel, combining form and function into one sharp package. The blade folds up into a gorgeous dymondwood handle. It’s got real wood in the middle and gleaming medal caps at both ends. All together, the 110 is a very attractive knife. But this knife isn’t just designed to look good; it’s built to get the job done.
The only real downside of the 110 is that it is designed to be an all-around hunting knife and isn’t designed to specifically be a skinning knife. This means that while it can do a decent job with most tasks, it doesn’t excel at any of them. If you’ve already got other hunting knives and you’re looking for one that’s built for skinning and skinning only then you might want to look elsewhere.
Still, the 110 is a classic for a reason, offering a balanced overall package that is attractive to newcomers and experienced hunters alike. Along with the knife itself, buyers also get a black leather sheath that fits this knife like a glove. Buck Knives is so confident in their product that they offer a lifetime warranty for their knives, so as long as you purchase a new 110, you can trust that your knife will be free of defects.
Just note that the warranty doesn’t cover misuse, but Buck Knives also offers affordable repair and sharpening services. This is the sort of knife you buy if you want a blade that is sure to satisfy for years to come.
The Piranta Z is a folding blade from Havalon. When unfolded the knife is 7.25 inches long, but once the 2.75-inch blade is folded back down the knife is less than 4 inches long. Add in a weight of just 3 ounces, and you get a blade that is lightweight, compact, and highly portable.
It’s an ideal blade for hunters who want to pack light. The handle is made of sturdy ABS plastic and comes in both black and orange. If you want to make sure you never lose your knife while out on the trail, then the orange option is a perfect choice. While some knives are designed with blades that are made to last a lifetime but the Piranta Z is built so that its blade can be switched out quickly and easily when it starts to get dull.
When you buy this knife, you get twelve stainless steel blades, so whenever one seems like it’s losing its edge, you can simply pop it out and put another into place. Of course, this design choice isn’t for everyone. The replacement blades aren’t as sturdy as those you’ll find in most fixed-blade knives. If you’re planning on doing some heavy duty cutting, you might want a heavier blade.
Others will find that the time it takes to properly switch out blades means that you don’t save all that much effort in the long run. Still, this option is great for people who don’t enjoy regularly sharpening their blade. And don’t worry, once you’ve gone through the twelve pre-packaged blades you can find additional replacements at very reasonable prices. It’s also worth noting that the blades are positively razor sharp right out of the packaging, so you can get right to work skinning with surgical precision.
This knife isn’t for everyone, but if you hate the blade sharpening process, then the Piranta Z offers a convenient alternative. To sweeten the deal Havalon offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee for Piranta-Z blades that are purchased new, so anyone who decides to buy one of these babies can do so with complete confidence.
25 inches long when open
75-inch blade length
Made of stainless steel
Comes with 12 extra blades
100% satisfaction guarantee
3. Old Timer 152OT Sharpfinger 7.1in Stainless Steel Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife
While there are plenty of all-purpose knives on the market that can do a decent job skinning animals sometimes, you need a knife that is specifically designed with skinning in mind. The 152OT Sharpfinger from Old Timer is one of these. One glance is all most hunters need to spot a Sharpfinger and that’s why
It’s got a sleek and attractive design that has often been imitated but never truly duplicated. The first Sharpfinger was released onto the market in 1974 and more than four decades later it’s still going strong. The full tang approach to design means that the metal of the blade runs the entire 7.1-inch length of the design, but the actual cutting edge is 3.3 inches long.
This knife has a fixed blade design, which means that it’s already ready to start cutting with no pulling or flipping required. The downside of this design is that this knife isn’t as portable as some of its competitors, but it’s still a sleek and lightweight blade. The only other factor holding this knife back is the handle, which is definitely a weak point. It’s slicker than it should be so it can be difficult to get a good grip. It’s not that the handle is terrible, it just isn’t as good as the rest of the knife.
Overall, it’s still a good package. This is especially true when you consider that it comes with a custom-case. This leather sheath will snap onto your belt so you can always keep your blade close at hand. Just keep in mind that you get what you pay for and the free sheath isn’t the best quality, eventually you’ll probably want to buy an upgrade. The handle also has a lanyard hole built in so you can secure it anywhere you find convenient with ease.
Finally, it’s worth noting that this is one of the most affordable skinning markets on the job today that can still make a high-quality cut. If you want a full package without paying top dollar, then the Old Timer 152OT Sharpfinger is a smart purchase to make.
1 inches long
3-inch blade length
Made with 440HC stainless steel
Comes with a leather sheath
4. Case Medium Skinner Leather Hunter Knife
If you’re looking for a blade that looks and feels substantial, then the 9-inch case medium skinner is worth a look. Over half the length of the knife is made up of the blade, with a sharp edge that stretches five inches. This makes it the longest knife on our list of the best skinning knife for the money, with the largest blade.
This makes it a fantastic knife for anyone looking to skin larger animals, though people who hunt small game might want to look for a shorter knife. Also, since this is a fixed blade knife it can’t be folded into a compact travel size, so make sure you’ll have space for this bad boy before making a purchase.
The skinner blade design makes it perfect for cleanly and easily skinning animals of any size. If you decide that you like the feel of this knife you can also check out the range of different designs, including drop point, gut hook, and clip blades that can round out the perfect knife collection for any hunter. While most knives on the market today are made overseas, Case still makes knives in America. This allows for a greater level of quality control, allowing Case to offer a limited lifetime warranty which covers any workmanship and material defects that buyers might encounter.
The knife also includes a genuine leather case that makes it extremely easy to carry and access this knife. It’s a well-made case considering it’s a free add-on, but it should be noted that the loop is a little small so it can’t be hung from wider belts. It’s not the perfect package for everyone, but most of the criticisms are minor in the grand scheme of things. The main things to consider are size and price point.
Knives from Case might not be the cheapest on the market, but buyers can rest assured that the money invested goes into a knife that is built to last.
At first glance, the Swingblade from Outdoor Edge looks like most other folding blades, but a closer examination reveals a truly unique design. This is a knife with not one, but two blades! With this knife on your belt you’ll have exactly what you need to gut and skin your kills with one tool.
This saves time and space since you don’t need to carry two different knives and switch between them. The downside of the two blade design is that you lose the usual advantage of a folding-blade knife, portability. This knife is around 8 inches long no matter which blade is in place. Fortunately, the knife is packaged with a nylon sheath that makes transportation and access a breeze.
Unfortunately, the holster isn’t as tough as it might be and if you aren’t careful, the razor-sharp knife can damage the material designed to hold it. Still, it’s hard to complain about a knife being too sharp. With the Swingblade you can start slicing right out of the box with no problems.
This is a workhorse of a knife that can instantly prepare you for any sort of cutting a hunt might call for. It’s the only knife that offers a two-in-one package deal.
6-inch skinning blade
2-inch gutting blade
3-inch total length
Made of AUS8 stainless steel
Comes with a nylon sheath
Picking the Best Skinning Knife for the Money
If you’ve looked through all of these knives, then it should be clear that each design offers a different take on the skinning knife. Separating them are size, style, and price point.
If you’re having a difficult time deciding between these five options, then it’s worth taking the time to figure out just what sort of knife you want. Think about how you want to carry your knife, what you plan on skinning with it, and what you’d like your knife to look like.
Once you can answer these questions, you’ll have a much easier time deciding on the best skinning knife for your needs. Good hunting!
I’ve been a survival & hunting enthusiast for over 30 years now and even to this day, the first thing I ever pack before even essential clothing is a great survival knife. I just cannot stress the importance of having a great survival tool with you and personally, there have been many an occasion, where my survival knife has helped me overcome the odds & survive in the outdoors.
Trust me, it’s that important!
Thats’ why, I decided to help fellow survivalists & knife enthusiasts by making this monstrous guide on choosing the best survival knife for the money in 2018! By the time you finish reading this, you will know exactly which knife to choose & more importantly, why to choose it. Instead of blindly guessing and getting confused due to the huge number of knives in the market, you’ll benefit from my actual experience of using these knives and know that they come highly recommended.
Although there are many more factors to consider, budget is an important consideration for most and because of this very reason, I’ve classified this survival knife buying guide by picking my top choices under the ranges of $200, $100 & $50. You’ll also learn what parameters to look at when buying a survival tool plus some major brands & why to choose them.
So, without further ado, let’s get going, me lads!
First up on my list of the best survival knife under $200 is the ESEE Knives LSP Laser Strike Fixed Blade Knife that comes equipped with Canvas Micarta Handles. This full tang knife has a blade length of 4.75 inches with an overall length of 10 inches and is made from 1095 High Carbon steel.
It comes along with a few accessories such as a Kydex sheath, handle removal washer, a belt clip plate, tinder tabs and a Ferrocerium fire starting flint which makes it a good well rounded camping survival knife. It looks great in terms of fit and finish and is razor sharp out of the box so you need to be a little careful there.
The 1095 steel blade takes abuse pretty well thanks to the superb heat treatment given by ESEE. I personally like the forward finger choil as well because it gives a much better grip while performing delicate tasks.
The Ferrocerium rod is hidden below the scales while the washer is present on the lanyard paracord. All in all, this is a great balanced knife that is extremely comfortable and ergonomic and is my top choice if you’re looking for a great survival tool below the $200 mark.
Key Features of the ESEE LSP Knife:
Overall length of knife – 10 inches
Blade length – 4.75 inches
Handle length – 5.25 inches
Material – 1095 high carbon steel
Handle – Canvas Micarta
Price – under $200
Tops Knives Steel Eagle 12 3/4 in Sawback
The next survival knife that we’re going to review is the Tops Knives Steel Eagle 12 which is a fairly large full tang knife with an overall length of 13 inches. The blade shape is unique and is called a hunter’s point shape while the blade itself is made from 1095 carbon.
Tops have a huge history of making some amazing survival knives and this one is no exception to that. It’s extremely durable and if you’re one of this who does a lot of notching, then you’ll love the saw back design. The steel holds a good edge and is razor sharp out of the box.
I keep this knife with me when I’m planning to do a lot of outdoor chores such as hammering, chopping, buttoning or prying and it hasn’t disappointed me at all so far. Plus it’s a pure Made in USA knife with an excellent grip.
The handle material is made of black linen Micarta and is about 6.5 inches long. For a price point of under $200, this one is an absolute steal.
Key Features of the Tops Steel Eagle Knife:
Overall length of knife – 13 inches
Blade length – 7.5 inches
Handle length – 6.5 inches
Material – 1095 C, RC 56-58
Handle – Black Linen Micarta
Price – under $200
Benchmade – Hidden Canyon Hunter 15016 Knife
Another great survival tool that you should definitely consider under the $200 price range is the Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter 15016 Knife. This 6.32 inches long drop point blade is made from CPM-S30V and has a superb edge retention thanks to the premium stainless steel used in the blade.
The handle itself is made from glass reinforced G10 material which gives it a good weight plus makes it easier to hold under sticky conditions. This is a fixed blade knife with a Kydex sheath and is ambidextrous so you don’t need to get into a debate upon the virtues of left vs right.
It also comes with the Benchmade lifetime warranty although I’ve never had to use it simply because the knives are so well made and of superior quality. I’ve personally used this knife to process multiple deers and the knife is still extremely sharp!
If you’re looking for a compact horizontal EDC knife, then the Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter 15016 is the one for you.
Key Features of the Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter 15016
Overall length of knife – 6.32 inches
Blade length – 2.67 inches
Blade Thickness – 0.14 inches
Blade Style – Drop Point
Handle – G10, 3.53 oz
Price – under $200
Tops Knives B.O.B. Brothers of Bushcraft Knife with Tan Handle
Number 4 on my list of the best survival knifes under $200 is the Tops Knives B.O.B. Brothers of Bushcraft Knife which is one of the best wilderness knives in the market today and is extremely useful for all survival enthusiasts.
This 10 inches long full tang knife has a Tan canvas Micarta handle with a blade length of 4.5 inches and and blade thickness of 0.1875 inches. This is a great heavy duty knife and I’ve gutted multiple deer with this without any major issue. It’s also performed really well in tasks like cutting tree limbs for shelter or cutting a para cord.
There is a bow drill divot on the handle that allows you to create fires effortlessly while the thumb scallop offer great grip during cutting tasks. There is also a small scraper on the exposed pommel which is great while striking ferro rods. The manufacturer also claims that this knife has gone through some rough duty testing in the wilderness of Canada and is certified by local survival experts!
If you’re looking for a great bushcraft knife under 200 dollars, then this one should definitely be on your shopping list.
Key Features of the Tops Knives B.O.B. Brothers of Bushcraft Knife
Overall length of knife – 10 inches
Blade length – 4.5 inches
Handle Length – 5.5 inches
Blade Thickness – 0.1875 inches
Blade Style – Drop Point
Handle – Canvas Micarta
Price – under $200
ESEE 6P Black Fixed Blade Knife with Desert Brown Molded Polymer Sheath
And finally, rounding up this list of the Top 5 Survival Knives under 200 is the ESEE 6P Black Fixed Blade Knife. This is one of the best hunting knives I’ve ever used and the 11.75 inch long 1095 high carbon steel knife is a true pleasure to wield in the outdoors.
The blade takes up about 5.75 inches of the overall length and is a true survival knife thanks to its ability to perform multiple tasks from chopping to slicing to batoning. There are slight serrations on the top edge of the knife which works well for cutting purposes while the solid handle comes into play while doing chopping tasks.
I did not like the sheath a lot to be honest but it’s not bad overall. You might do well to buy a better sheath just for this knife. The best part about this and all other ESEE knives is the life time warranty and the fact that they’re Made in USA.
One point to note is that while the 1095 is an excellent blade material, it is prone to rusting if not cleaned and cared for properly. What I usually do is clean the blade with some rust preventive oil and this maximises the life of the tool. Don’t overthink on this one; for this price point (about $120), you really can’t go wrong!
Key Features of the ESEE 6P Black Fixed Blade Knife
Overall length of knife – 11.75 inches
Blade length – 5.75 inches
Handle Length – 6 inches
Blade Material – 1095 steel
Handle – Grey Micarta with Desert Tan Molded Polymer Sheath
Price – under $200
Best Survival Knife under $100 – Top 5
Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife
First up on this mega list featuring top survival knives is the Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife which is one of my choices for the best survival knife under $100. This is a ceramic coated, full tang knife with a 420HC drop point blade.
As the name suggests, this is one of the strongest knives out there and with the rugged quality of Gerber, it performs extremely well too. This tool has been designed keeping military survival training in mind and the solid grip on the knife thanks to the diamond textured rubberised handle is a prime example of that. Another example of the same military design is the striking pommel mounted at the handle base which is reminiscent of the kind of tasks needed for a rescue operation.
With a blade length of 4.8 inches and an overall length of 9.8 inches, this knife weighs a total of 7.2 oz and comes equipped with a nylon webbed modular sheath. There are also detachable hoops in case you are carrying a belt and this built in the USA knife also features a snap in MOLLE sheath.
I found that the 420HC stainless steel lent a great edge to the knife and the spine of the blade is also ground to a very effective 90 degree angle which makes it great for combat and piercing tasks. Go ahead and buy this knife and you’ll fall in love with the Gerber quality!
Key Features of the Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife
Overall length of knife – 9.8 inches
Blade length – 4.8 inches, drop point blade
Handle Length – 5 inches
Blade Material – 420 HC stainless steel
Comes with – MOLLE sheath, pommel
Price – Under $100 survival knife
Schrade SCHF1 Fixed Blade Knife
Not a lot of people would have heard about this knife or the brand but if you ask survival enthusiasts, this knife will tick a lot of their boxes in the right places. Made from SAE 1070 High Carbon Steel, this partially serrated drop point blade has an overall length of 12.7 inches with a blade length of 7.5 inches.
It’s a rather heavy knife and not one of those cheap “Rambo” knives that are floating in the market these days. The handle uncorks to reveal a screwdriver set and you can replace that with a fire starter kit as well. The pommel is great for driving those tent stakes and the edge retention of the knife is also very good.
I’ve been using this handle knife for about a year now and so far, it’s held up pretty good. You obviously have to take care of things like rusting but overall for a less than $100 budget, this one will do the job.
Key Features of the Schrade SCHF1 Knife
Overall length of knife – 12.7 inches
Blade length – 7.5 inches, partially serrated, drop point blade
Handle Length – 5.2 inches
Blade Material – SAE 1070 High Carbon Steel
HRC – 57
Price – Under $100
KA-BAR BK-10 Becker Crewman Fixed Blade Knife
#3 on my list of the top survival knives under $100 is the Ka-Bar BK-10 Becker Crewman knife and it’s popularity can be judged by the fact that it has received over 100 positive customer reviews on Amazon!
The BK10 is made from 1095 Cro Van steel and comes equipped with a zytel handle and a polymer sheath. The overall length of the knife is 10.875 inches while the blade length is about 5.5 inches. The BK10 is way lighter than the famous BK2 and that’s why it allows for much quicker cutting and slashing movements. If you’re looking for a great bushcraft cum survival knife, then this one should be your priority.
It’s extremely sharp out of the box and my suggestion to you would be to be extra careful with it. Also, go for the micarta scales options and not the grivory scales option.
The pommel is also very strong and perfect for all hammering and smashing tasks be it rock or nut. Obviously, the BK10 is not a replacement for a machete so don’t expect the world from it when it comes to chopping related tasks. All said and done, it’s a great bushcraft knife to own for less than 100 dollars.
Key Features of the BK10 Becker Crewman
Overall length of knife – 10.875 inches
Blade length – 5.5 inches
Handle Length – 5.275 inches with Zytel handle
Blade Material – 1095 Cro Van Steel
HRC – 55-57
Price – Less than $100
SOG Force Fixed Blade SE38-N
With a 6 inch long, AUS 8 steel blade, the SOG Force Fixed Blade SE38-N sure packs a punch and is a great tactical cum survival knife to carry with you. A true heavy blade tool to use in the outdoors, the SE38-N has a great edge and good overall retention qualities.
Whether it’s battening or hacking or skinning, the knife delivers a positive experience on all parameters and is visually unbreakable thanks to the thick blade and full tang design along with SOG’s unique cryogenic heat treatment. The sheath comes quipped with a lanyard hole, lanyard and MOLLE attachment.
Another great plus is that it comes with a lifetime warranty against any manufacturing defect. All said and done, a great heavy duty knife to add to your portfolio.
Blade Material – AUS 8 steel with cryogenic heat treatment
Price – Less than $100
Cold Steel 38CKJ1 Hunting Fixed Blade Knife
Finishing my list of the best survival knife under $100 is the Cold Steel 38CKJ1 Hunting Fixed Blade Knife. This 10.75 inches long knife has a blade length of 6 inches and a blade thickness of 0.19 inches and has a clipping style blade.
This is one of the best multi-purpose survival cum hunting knives in the market and is extensively used by Navy seals which is a testament to its durability under extreme weather conditions. It works great for all kinds of hacking, cutting, chopping and prying work thanks to the strong VG1 steel and is extremely sharp out of the box.
The blade has a good angle grind which is truly appreciated once you’re doing some battening work. The 90 degree back grind is mainly while you’re using ferro rods. The only issue is that the sheath that comes along with this knife is not MOLLE compatible. Also, while the VG1 steel is more durable and harder than normal steel, this means that you need to spend some more time in sharpening it. However, at this price point, it’s a great value for money hunting knife and comes strongly recommended from my end.
Key Features of the Cold Steel 38CKJ1
Overall length of knife – 10.75 inches
Blade length – 6 inches
Handle Length – 4.75 inches, sheath is not MOLLE compatible
Blade Material – VG1 steel, highly durable
Price – Less than $100
Best Survival Knife under $50 – Top 5
Morakniv Bushcraft Fixed Blade Knife
My #1 choice for the best survival knife under $50 is the Morakniv Bushcraft Fixed Blade Knife which has an overall length of 9.1 inches and a blade length of 4.3 inches. This knife blade is not only tungsten coated to avoid corrosion but is also made from which carbon grade steel which makes it perfect for all your bushcraft & survival tasks.
The spine has been ground purposely so that you can easily use it along with a fire starter while it also has a scandi grind to prevent nay type of slip-offs. The handle can definitely be better and while the rubber grip does provide good grip, it’s not really world class.
If you’re looking to perform some basic batoning or fire starting tasks or scraping tinder, then the Morakniv Bushcraft Fixed Blade Knife is perfect for you. Obviously you can’t expect the world when buying a survival knife under $50, but for this price range, it’s real value for money.
Key Features of the Morakniv Bushcraft Fixed Blade Knife:
Overall length of knife – 9.1 inches
Blade length – 4.3 inches
Handle length – 4.8 inches
Material – high grade carbon steel, 90 degree grind
Handle – Black handle with over-molded rubber grip
Price – under $50
Buck Knives 0102 Woodsman Fixed Blade Knife
One of my favourite survival tools is the Buck Knives 0102 Woodsman Fixed Blade Knife which even at a price point of less than $50 is one of the best full tang knives available in the market.
This Made in the USA knife comes with the standard Buck Forever lifetime warranty and at an overall length of 7.75 inches is a beauty to look at thanks to the hardwood cocobolo handle and the brass pommel at the base.
The knife itself is made from 420HC steel and is a 4 inch long clip blade that is not only resistant to corrosion but also has a brilliant edge retention. It’s perfect for all your slicing and piercing work and thanks to the deep choil and integrated finger guard is a true hunter’s delight. I don’t have large hands so this feels just perfect and this blade is one of my first choices when it comes to cleaning game because it just keeps cutting. Beautiful knife with a great performance and highly, highly recommended.
Key Features of the Buck Knives 0102 Woodsman Fixed Blade Knife:
Overall length of knife – 7.75 inches
Blade length – 4 inches
Handle length – 3.75 inches
Material – 420HC steel, clip style blade, anti-corrosive
Handle – Hardwood cocobolo handle with brass pommel base
Price – under $50
Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Survival Full Tang Drop Point Fixed Blade
Another contender on this list of the top survivals knives under $50 is the Schrade SCHF9 which has over 1000 positive reviews on Amazon alone!
This is one long knife with a total length of 12.1 inches and a blade length of 6.4 inches. Made from 1095 Carbon steel, this drop point blade has been my steady companion for over 2 years now and has a great edge retention. This is a great blade to carry on your next camping trip and especially for those whose primary use for this is going to be batoning.
The sheath that comes along with this knife isn’t that great but the grip on the handle is pretty good. It’s a heavy knife with a weight of approximately 1 pound and is a good addition to any survival enthusiast’s bug out bag.
Key Features of the Schrade SCHF9 Knife:
Overall length of knife – 12.1 inches
Blade length – 6.4 inches
Handle length – 5.7 inches
Material – 41095 Carbon steel, drop point blade
Weight – 1 pound
HRC – 56 to 58
Price – under $50
MTech USA Xtreme MX-8054 Series Fixed Tanto Blade Tactical Knife
I had never used an MTech knife prior to this so was pleasantly surprised once I tested it out last month and the MTech USA Xtreme MX-8054 did not disappoint at all. Made from 440HC stainless steel, this gold titanium coated tanto blade measures about 5.5 inches long and is an ideal tactical knife that you can carry in survival situations or camping expeditions.
The grip of the G10 handle is pretty good and does help during wet conditions and the knife also comes along with a black nylon sheath. There is also a lanyard hole at the end which allows you to attach an additional para cord.
There are serrations long the back and spine along with a blood grove which all aid during cutting, notching and chopping tasks. I particularly liked the finger guard which prevent accidental cutting of your own hand and the only complaint I have is that the nylon sheath could definitely be better. All in all, for around $30, this is a great tactical blade to own!
Key Features of the MTech USA Xtreme MX-8054 Knife:
Overall length of knife – 11 inches
Blade length – 5.5 inches
Handle length – 5.5 inches, G10 handle with lanyard hole
Material – 440HC steel, gold titanium coated tanto blade
Sheath – nylon
Price – under $50
Gerber Bear Grylls Paracord Fixed Blade Knife
And finally completing my roundup of the best survival knife under $50 is the extremely popular Gerber Bear Grylls Paracord Fixed Blade Knife. Made from hard stainless steel, the handle comes wrapped with 60 inches of customisable paracord and is a true budget survival knife.
The overall knife length is 7.75 inches out of which the blade itself takes up about 3.25 inches and this lightweight knife also comes with a removable belt loop. I’ve found this knife to be indispensable on fishing trips and is particularly suited to cutting and cleaning fish. Obviously, it’s not in the range of it’s bigger cousins but at this price point, it sure packs a punch thanks to its sharp edge and low blade profile.
A great all round survival knife to own if you do regular campings and something that won’t hurt your pocket.
Key Features of the Gerber Bear Grylls Paracord Fixed Blade Knife:
Overall length of knife – 7.75 inches
Blade length – 3.25 inches
Handle length – 4.5 inches, comes with 60 inches of paracord
Material – hard stainless steel
Price – under $50
Top 5 Brands to Look for when Buying a Survival Knife (1000)
I’ve always been of the view that one should always look at the brand while buying a survival knife because that’s one of the key considerations and factors that should influence any buying decision. Because there are so many knife manufacturers in the market, it does get confusing as to what brand to pick.
That’s why I’ve picked my list of the Top 5 Survival Knife Brands that one can safely bet on along with a little history on the brand and why it’s included in this list.
Gerber is one of the oldest knife brands in the market and started off as a small company in 1939 which manufactured cutlery sets. However, by 1960, they had branched out into producing a lot of survival gear and their main products were survival knives.
Even after 70 years, the company founded by Joseph Gerber continues to grow and is considered by many survival enthusiasts as one of the best brands in the industry. Right from knives such as “Magnum Hunter” to the more recent “Gerber Bear Grylls”, any knife from this company represents quality and value for money.
Over the last few years, Gerber has done a lot of advancements in production especially in the USA and hence, more and more American knives are now hitting the shelf with better quality steel blades such as the 154CM steel knives and S30V Gator premium knives.
Another American manufacturing company, Buck, is among the finest hunting and survival knife brands in the world at the moment. Starting off in San Diego, the company now has their head office in Idaho and has been owned by five generations of the Buck family so far. They’re credited with inventing the folding or half tang knife so much so that originally Buck knives were associated with folding knives!
Buck has produced a great many survival knives for us enthusiasts including the Model 110, 0102, 119BR, 65 Hood Punk and the 501 among many others. I’ve covered the 0102 Woodsman earlier in this article so you’ll know the kind of quality knives this company manufactures. You can definitely put your money into any knife owned by this brand and you’ll not be disappointed.
Another one of my favourite survival and combat knife manufactures is Cold Steel and almost every survival and outdoor enthusiast is familiar with this name and the quality knives manufactured by this company.
Founded in 1980, the company produces some of the strongest survival blades I’ve ever used and has many innovations to its name. From Krayton handles to tango point style blades, Cold Steel truly manufactures some of the best survival knives in the market as of now.
If you want another proof of the company’s quality, then look no further than the American military and law enforcement agencies where a number of their blades are used in combat and rescue operations. Currently, the company also operates manufacturing plants in Taiwan and Japan – all the Cold Steel knives that use VG1 Stainless Steel are manufactured in Taiwan while the ones that are made from German 4116, 1055 carbon steel etc are manufactured in Japan. Like I said, you can trust Cold Steel knives with your life as they are true value for money and of extremely superior quality!
Another great brand that I’ve always found producing quality survival tools is Ka Bar and of course, most of you would be familiar with their world famous Ka Bar Becker series of hunting knives, a few of which I’ve chronicled earlier as well.
Ka Bar was the first combat knife adopted by the USMC and the US Navy as their official service knives. When it comes to high quality hunting, combat and military knives, you can trust this name as be absolutely content with your purchase. Established in 1988, each knife undergoes a rigorous manufacturing and QC process before it is brought to the market and these processes include blanking, tang stamping, tempering & grinding, inspection and testing.
A prime example of its superior quality is the Ka Bar USMC knife!
An finally, the last brand that I consider as one of the best survival knife manufactures is ESEE. Owned by a parent company called Randall’s Adventure & Training, ESEE is a privately held company operating out of Alabama and is one of the biggest names in the wilderness and outdoor gears industry.
I’ve owned a lot of ESEE knives through the years and some like the ESEE6 and the Junglas remain my favourite to this date. Almost all their survival gear is tested in the jungles of South America and other remote environments before hitting the market which ensures that they are coastal tweaked and worked upon to give you a true survival tool.
Established in 1997 and owned by Jeff Randall & Mike Perrin, ESEE knives carry some of the highest ratings on Amazon and are undoubtably, one of the first brands that you should consider while purchasing a survival knife.
Of course, don’t limit yourself to just these 5 brands listed above; there are a lot of other brands & knives that I have reviewed in this article that are just as good, if not better. However, the whole idea was to let you know you’re getting yourself a quality knife even if you decide to restrict yourself to just these 5 brands!
So there you have it! My mammoth list of the best survival knife for the money is done and dusted and I sure hope you benefit from the detailed reviews listed above. The whole idea of this post has been to segregate survival knives based on budget and then filter out the Top 5 Knives for you to choose from.
Also, because there are so many knives in the market currently and new ones are introduced as well from time to time, I will definitely try and update this list of the top survival knives from time to time. If you feel there’s a particular blade or survival tool that I’ve missed out on and which should have been on this list, do give me a shout out via the contact form here and I will make sure I include your choice.
So fellow hunters and survivalists, do spread the word around for this post and share it as much as possible with all your friends and contacts. The more people get to read this, the better survival knife they will choose!
An average person on the street probably never imagines that he could be a victim of a robbery or a mugging and that an attack of a similar nature cannot happen to them at any time without warning. The assumption in most cases is that bad things like these do take place but they happen to other people. The harsh reality is that you could be the unfortunate victim of the next robbery or mugging and unless you have taken adequate preparations you may suffer some serious damage to your health, finances, and property.
There are unsavoury people around with the sole intention of living off your earnings and property and have made it their business to steal from other people to survive. Unless you are “Rock” the wrestler Dwayne Johnson or someone who participates regularly in the WWF tournaments, you would do best to look for a good self-defence knife.
Best Self Defence Knife under $100 – My Top 3 Choices:
Ka-Bar TDI Law Enforcement Knife – Best Karambit Knife (~$ 38.38)
Spyderco Matriarch Spyder Edge Knife (~$ 80.97)
SOG SEAL Pup Elite E37SN – Best Tactical Fixed Blade Knife (~$ 70.74)
#1 – Ka-Bar TDI Law Enforcement Knife – Best Karambit Knife
My choice #1 is the Ka-Bar which is a tactical knife popularly used by the military and law enforcement in the USA. This self-defence weapon will surely be a dependable friend and maybe your only lifeline in an emergency.
This karambit or curved knife has an overall length of 5.625” while it’s blade is about 2.3125”, but despite its small dimensions, most law enforcement officers have the Ka-Bar as a concealed weapon. This is a good alternate for them to fall back on in the rare case he or she is disarmed. You would expect to inflict deep and painful wounds on your adversary while you change a bit of his anatomical topography, as a reaction to protect yourself, if attacked. The design of the pistol-like grip enables you to use either hands on the knife naturally and as convenient. Better positioning is facilitated when you use your index finger in the finger grip, near the blade for added control. The impact-resistant zytel handle is virtually unbreakable.
Very light at 0.20 pounds
Drop point tip
Doesn’t rust easily
Razor sharp blade and full tang construction
Reverse or forward grip, can use either hand to handle
Comes with a sheath with metal clip
Stabbing motions not very impressive
Purely for self-defence purposes
#2 – Spyderco Matriarch Spyder Edge Knife
This ideal self-defence weapon is my #2 selection for the best self defence knife under $100 as it is almost impossible for someone to disarm you without you causing them some injury first.
In close combat, you can depend on this karambit knife to do some very serious damage. Though the initial impression on this knife is that it is small, it can deliver a superb cutting performance that you can stake your life on and do some cutting and slashing to your adversary. The pistol-like grip on the handle ensures you have a very good and firm grip on the knife using either hand as is convenient.
The overall length is 8.39” while the blade 3.55”. The folding length would be about 5” making it very easy to conceal as it is small and very light in weight. You can even carry this formidable weapon in your breast pocket! The Spyderco knife is a folding knife that has a lock-back mechanism. If you slash at flesh using this knife, you can expect to cause a lot of damage to your opponent or adversary because of the uneven cuts from the serrated edge which will hit more veins than just cutting or slashing them. This knife has a serrated edge very unlike most other knives.
Some other features of this Spyder edge knife are the fibreglass reinforced handle and the four-position clip on it.
Very lightweight at 0.22 pounds
Blade is razor sharp and supreme cutting performance
Easy to conceal
Tip-up/tip-down carry position
Reverse or forward grip
Not much for stabbing motions
Easily dulled and needs sharpening
#3 – SOG SEAL Pup Elite E37SN – Best Tactical Fixed Blade Knife
My #3 choice is this fixed blade tactical knife originally designed for the US Navy seals.
This knife can be used as a great self-defence weapon by ordinary citizens, though generally used by military personnel. Having an overall length of 9.5” it’s blade is 4.85” long and has a convex shaped tip point which is an example of clip point blades. Concealing this knife on your person may be a little difficult but would easily discourage anyone from meddling with you to their hurt. You can slice, cut, and even stab a human opponent with it easily. Besides this, you can also use this knife for other everyday tasks.
The unique factor with the Pup Elite knife is that the other side is partially plain edge and partially serrated with wide teeth. The spine is serrated form tip to handle and has a straight portion for you to place your thumb for control. The knife resists corrosion and rust as it is made of AUS-8 steel and is coated black, while the downside is that the stainless steel could easily dull.
The handle grip has deep finger grooves and is made of glass-reinforced nylon (GRN) which is a thermoplastic material that is very strong and impact-resistant. The handle is both weatherproof and waterproof. The nylon sheath provided with the SOG Pup knife has a belt loop attachment for easy conveyance and comes with a lanyard hole at the end of the handle.
Versatile and lightweight at 0.34 pounds
¾ tang and partially serrated
Rust-resistant and razor sharp blade
Good for stabbing, cutting, slashing
Limited lifetime warranty
Steel prone to dulling
Bulky, not easy to conceal
Conclusion – Best Self Defence Knife under $100
My top choice is still Ka-Bar TDI Law Enforcement Knife as best self-defence Knife under 100 dollars or even under $200 for its affordability, light weight, easy concealability and its features.
However, I would not hesitate to select any of my two other choices in that order, as all three knives are very good and useful as a self-defence knife.
If you are a hunting enthusiast, then the Buck 192BR Vanguard is the perfect hunting knife for you. It is usually difficult to find high quality hunting knives in the market these days but the Vanguard is an exception to this rule. Always remember that one should use a high quality hunting knife when it comes to outdoor activities like camping or hunting.
In order to have long lasting user experience, you should use knives with good quality. This knife is perfect right from the aesthetics to the functional sharpness and is great even for a beginner. However, intermediate and expert hunters will also find great use of it.
Buck 192BR Vanguard Quick Facts
Blade Length (in): 4.125 inches
Steel Type: 420HC Stainless Steel
Handle Material: Woodgrain and polished brass
Sharpness of the knife
For great experience, sharpness while using is extremely vital and cannot be ignored. To address any kind of cutting need of a hunter or camper, the Vanguard Fixed Blade knife is made extremely sharp. It is an all purpose knife for hunting because of its sharpness. It is made up of quality material which makes it versatile and contributes to its longevity from normal to heavy use and prevents it from wear and tear. The Owner would not regret buying and owing this amazing stainless steel knife with its 4.125 inches drop point blade.
Edge retention of knife
The Buck 192 BR Vanguard has superb edge retention and for a hunter to cut meat with this knife, it becomes extremely easy and simple because of the length of blade which gives a productive outcome. Because of the sturdiness in blade of the knife, it can be used to cut through the hard skin of any wild animal.
In comparison to other hunting knives this one does not dull so quickly. Irrespective of the usage, whether heavy or light, the edge of the knife retains its sharpness and will impress you with its results. The knife will become extremely addictive if one starts using it and I’m pretty sure, you will always remember to carry it along with you while hunting.
Buck 192 BR Vanguard sharpen ability
The Sharpness of of knife is a pivotal attribute for any hunter. A hunter’s preference is always towards a knife with good sharpness and longevity. It is simple and easy to sharpen the blade of this knife because of which it can be used for long.
Considering its sharpness and longevity, this knife is definitely value for money in comparison to dull knife which is of no use to a hunter. A smart hunter would not let go of this versatile and useful knife.
Durability of Tip
The Knife’s blade tip is made of stainless steel which enhances the performance of the knife and does the job in the best possible manner to give a satisfactory outcome. To add more to the Vanguard’s user convenience, the tip of knife is extremely sharp and strong for any hunter to use it.
Design of the knife
The knife is aesthetically designed so that it is comfortable to use. A User can hold it for long irrespective of the purpose of use as it has wood grain handles, finger guard and its end is polished in brass for better user experience.
The Design of the knife ensures safety of the user using the knife. Apart from its superb make, the overall look is extremely pleasing and sophisticated which makes any hunter proud to have it. In comparison to other similar knives, the Vanguard is preferred because of its functional experience and aesthetics.
Ease of Use of knife
Hunters possessing the Vanguard not only experience the functional benefit and aesthetics but also find it convenient to use. It is convenient to carry the knife comfortably because of its fitted brown leather sheath.
It comes with a knife box to ensure the storage and safety of knife when not in use. Regardless of its age, the Vanguard is easy to use and will help anyone to be a better hunter. If you are a savvy camper, then also it will enhance your experience and will make you rely on it.
All in all, it’s a great knife for hunting and for use in the outdoors.
My KA BAR BK-22 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife Review
The KA-BAR BK-22 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife is the upgraded version of the BK-2 model fixed blade knife from KA-BAR. It comes with a polyester sheath that replaced the previous glass-reinforced nylon sheath and is made with 1095 Cro-Van Steel. It is a heavy-duty blade that is excellent for the weightier jobs that a knife can handle such as chopping, batoning, prying and hashing. It is also good for skinning wild game and field dressing. The knife is praised for its high-quality design and durability all for good reason.
You can definitely carry it with trust and confidence and here is why.
The parts make the whole. And the BK-22 is made with some of the best parts around. Along with a considerable amount of craftsmanship that KA-BAR puts into their products you can tell that this blade was meant to last.
So let’s get into the specs:
The length of the whole knife is 10 ½ inches long
The weight is approximately 14.6 oz
It has a drop point blade that measures 5.25 inches long and ¼ of an inch thick, straight edge
The blade is made from 1095 Cro-Van Steel, flat ground
The blade is covered in black epoxy powder coating
The handle is full-tang and made of Grivory which is a glass-reinforced nylon Swiss material
It comes with a sheath and front pocket that is perfect for holding firestarters
To start, we know that the BK-22 comes from a good home. KA-BAR has a tradition of quality blade making which can be seen in their world-renowned USMC Kabar fighting and utility knife. That blade has a remarkable history of its own, which would be another entire article to ramble on about. So even if these guys are short in some areas, they will deliver a razor sharp blade out of the box every time.
The BK-22 blade is basically one solid piece of steel as per the manufacturer’s production methods where the blade is popped out one full piece at a time. It is also made with 1095 Cro-Van Steel which is a popular choice in KA-BAR knife making. It is a plain carbon steel that you will find simple to sharpen and is an improvement of plain old 1095 as well as the original Sharon 170-06 that came from another company the Sharon Steel Company.
This type of blade is also described as flat ground which means that it is a type of annealed steel that has been grounded. It is also designed with a typical drop point blade for this model. Drop point blades are perfect for hunting, easy to control and have a strong hefty tip that delivers when needed. It is also strong enough to endure heavy jobs and won’t break on you. An all-around campanion for sure.
Next, we can mention the knife’s powder coating. Powder coating is common with all forms of metal and gives the product a hard finish along with a thicker shell. This just adds to our previous discussion on toughness and durability.
The handle is another story. It has received a few poor marks because it doesn’t offer a whole lot of grip straight out of the box. This is mainly when wet though and feels pretty comfortable otherwise. It is also a full-tang design which lends to its ability to provide leverage with hefty, weighty jobs.
But if you are concerned about the grip issue it can be countered with a small piece of bike tubing over the handle or just by purchasing another grip or handle. The product is very customizable and easy to personal or add your own flare to it.
It is also made from Grivory material which is actually just a brand name for a Swiss-made plastic. The plastic is quite strong though and has been used by other companies to make plastic knives that are actually able to puncture well.
Other features of the handle include a wrist lanyard hole. Lanyard holes usually do not provide too much use outside of having easy access to the knife but some may find it a nice addition. Others just may prefer to attach the knife to something using the sheath such as a backpack or belt strap.
The last feature that will be expanded on here is the MOLLE compatible heavy-duty polyester sheath. The polyester here is important to note as the previous model came with a glass-reinforced nylon sheath. This old sheath caused some problems as it would dull out the blade. But the new polyester one however, rectifies this.
The BK-22 sheath is a great piece of construction and has received lots of rave reviews. From the compartments to the material and special features, everyone loves an awesome sheath. Especially for survivalists, sometimes a great sheath is half the buy.
This one comes with plenty things to help you feel secure. It has a plastic insert to keep the knife in place along with a front cargo pocket, snaps, Velcro straps, riveted leg lashing holes and a metal snap for extra security.
The price of the BK-22 seems to range quite a bit depending on where you purchase it. The official KA-BAR company website offers it for around $120. You can also find it from third-party vendors for about $20-$40 less factoring in some discounts and promotions especially on Amazon. Many would consider it to be an affordable knife and sheath overall. Other blades can definitely run much higher so this is a good value knife for its construction and ability.
The general reviews of this product are pretty positive with it receiving 4.7 out of 5 stars. People are pleased with the fact it that it is well-made with 1095 Cro-Van Steel, has great handle to it and movement when it comes to chopping, skinning and the hard work of hunters and campers. They are also happy about the weight in some cases. Though some have stated that it would be hard to fight with or do finer tasks because of the weight. But it does provide confidence and zeal for harder jobs.
So to recap we can review some of the Pros and Cons of this tool and campanion:
The BK-22 is well-made and very impressive at first glance
It is perfect for hunters and can serve multiple purposes to campers
It has good edge retention
The Grivory handle is very comfortable and controllable
The sheath is polyester and comes with many attractive features
The knife is heavy which makes it difficult for some jobs
The handle gets slick and slippery when wet
Summary – KA BAR 22 BK2 Review
Overall the BK-22 from KA-BAR is a durable fixed-blade knife that should please any moderate spender that is into hunting, hiking, or camping. The few cons that it does have really don’t do much to deter prospective buyers. It is well-constructed with Cro-Van Steel in a full-tang drop point design that is perfect for skinning game. You can also play survivalist with all the sheath has to offer and should be well-quipped for whatever adventure you have ahead. Lastly, the cost won’t break the bank so it is a good buy and nice addition to any knife collection.