5 Best Survival Knives [2021 Reviews]

For the serious Prepper or Survivalist, we can ask a lot of our knives. Lucky for us, supply is now meeting demand and the makers of several survival knives have stepped up their game! The new standard for survival knives is a full tang knife that can take a serious beating. Knife material, comfort level, and sheath are all additional requirements that we looked at to decide the best survival knives.

A knife can be a very personal decision given its versatility. It can be virtually impossible to decide for a mass of people what type of knife is the very best, therefore we are going to do a number of best survival knife categories to hopefully meet your needs.

We have 5 of the top survival knives in the market today and we are going to introduce you to these knives below!

1) ESEE Model 4 114 - American Made Best Survival Knife

ESEE has long made incredible survival knives. Their models just look the part. The canvas micarta handle of the model 4 has the look of a knife that is meant for hard work.

The knife is 9 inches long in total with a 4.5-inch blade which can handle most of the tasks you ask of it. I am a big fan of these simple drop point blades as they make sharpening very simple and add consistent blade contact to any task.

This made in American survival knife is definitely one you can depend on.

The Best Parts

  • Serious Durability
  • Lightweight to Carry
  • Included Sheath


  • Handle is a Little Short

2) Arthos Carnivore – Best Value Survival Knife

The Arthos is a lesser known knife brand and one that deserves your attention. To be right up front about this knife, it is my personal favorite and I keep it handy most days. There are many reasons for this.

The 8.5-inch knife is a great length and offers 4 inches of blade length. The hollow ground drop point blade, made of D2 tool steel, is great for all survival tasks. The wide blade of the Arthos is something that you don’t see mirrored in many of the other knives on this list.

With matching G10 grips the Arthos not only looks great but it handles well. This is a knife that fits comfortably in the hand and the G10 is a great when preforming time intensive cuts.

The Arthos is also the lowest priced knife on this list. While that is not the selling point on this survival knife it certainly helps.

The Best Parts

  • Comfortable Grips
  • Great Price
  • Thick and Wide Blade
  • Kydex Sheath


  • Grips can come loose and need retightening with lots of batoning

3) Morakniv Garberg – Overall Best Survival Knife

To me the Morakniv has always been a no fuss survival knife option. The comfortable and durable handles make a big difference when you are holding this knife a long time. Plus, the Garberg has ballistic nylon – very nice upgrade.

This 9-inch knife has a blade just over 4 inches and is made of durable 14C28N Sandvik stainless steel. Its an incredibly durable steel that really holds up to corrosion over time and use.

The included sheath is MOLLE compatible and is made of tough leather. The Garberg also features a squared edge pommel for processing plant fibers into tinder or striking a ferro rod. This is a knife that is made with survival in mind

The Best Parts

  • Great Survival Blade Design
  • Powerful Steel Makeup
  • Nice Long Grip


  • The simple sheath might not fit all users’ needs

4) Benchmade Bushcrafter 200 - Best Designer Survival Knife

The razor-sharp cutting edge of the Bushcrafter by Benchmade is not by accident. They have long been making some of the top American made knives on the market. This made it a very easy candidate for best survival knife.

This is a knife that looks as good as it feels. At just over 9 inches with a 4.4 inch handle the Benchmade is plenty big for dealing with things like batoning wood or chopping and clearing. These are essential functions of any survival knife.

Made right here in America this knife also comes with a Lifesharp warranty where the blade can be sent back to be cleaned, oiled and sharpened. That is a very interesting service offered by Benchmade and for people on a time crunch it’s a pretty cool upgrade.

The Best Parts

  • Powerful and Durable
  • Beautiful Design
  • Great Warranty


  • Tough to Self-Sharpen

5) Fallkniven F1 Pro 225 - High End Best Survival Knife

If you get to the upper echelons of the survival knife market you run into names like Fallkniven. These folks take knife making very seriously and offer everything from a butcher knife to a survival knife. They are blade masters that use a variety of steels for a variety of blade applications.

The simple handle on the Fallkniven is very comfortable. At the but end you get a pommel for various uses. The pommel is quickly becoming a standard of any survival knife. This one is squared and effective which makes all the difference.

The blade itself has been upgraded to a cobalt steel and its durability increased from the original F1. The blade is a hair under 4 inches and the knife at full length is 8.5 inches.

The Best Parts 

  • Beautiful and Efficient Design
  • High Quality Steel
  • Welded Stainless Cross Guard


  • Pricey

Best Survival Knives

We have 5 very effective knives here. Anyone of these could take the cake as the best survival knife. From varying prices and blade design, we also have knives of various steel types. The world of the survival knife can get very deep.

Hopefully the categories help you decide which of these great knives make the most sense. If you are on a budget or if you just out for toughest blade on the market, I think we have isolated both of those categories for you and more.

A survival knife is a very personal thing. It’s a purchase that you should take very seriously and even if none of these knives fit you just right keep looking! The best experience is getting that perfect knife in and watching it gleam. Sitting down and admiring the design while simultaneously fantasizing about the adventures it will accompany you on!

Happy Prepping!

Be sure to also check out our other top picks below.

The Simple Prepper