12 All-Time Best Survival Knives, Tools | Field & Stream

12 Top Survival Blades

The tools you want in a jam

Get in a fix—the truck goes into an ice-swollen river, the boat engine dies, aliens attack—and one of these dirty dozen survival blades and tools is sure to help get you out.

 

Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife

Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife

$185 | Buy It Now

Fallkniven

I can’t imagine what the Swedes are so scared of, but it must be big, mean, and covered with gator hide. That’s the only explanation for a knife like this. It’s nearly a foot long and has a 6-millimeter-thick blade of laminated stainless 420/V10/420 steel that will slice a tomato or cut open a coconut. It’s sexy, too, in that sexy Swedish way.

 

Innovation Factory Trucker’s Friend

Trucker’s Friend

$53 | Buy It Now

Innovation Factory

This is a well-built mashup of hatchet, claw hammer, crowbar, grapple hook, and it's nicely sized for everyday, under-the-truck-seat carry. Who needs a cool demolition tool that doubles as a zombie killer? You and all your friends.

 

ESEE-4

ESEE 4

$120 | Buy It Now

ESEE

Designed by jungle survival experts and made in Idaho, the ESEE-4 is 9 inches of near perfection, with a 4½-inch-long full-tang 1095 tool steel blade and micarta handles that could pound railroad spikes. Nothing fancy, nothing flashy, nothing left out, nothing left to chance.

 

Cold Steel Recon 1 Spear Point

Cold Steel Recon 1 Spear Point

$82 | Buy It Now

Cold Steel

Lose your grip on this double-choil folder and you probably deserve what’s coming. Everything is hard-use about this pocket beast, especially its deeply grooved G10 handles, the CTS-XHP high-carbon stainless steel blade, and super-strong Tri-Ad locking mechanism. It’s almost too big, almost too much knife—which makes it just about perfectly right.

 

CRKT Onion Halfachance Parang Machete

CRKT Onion Halfachance Parang Machete

$45 | Buy It Now

CRKT

Yes, of course you need a machete, and this is the one you want: A chopping-ready parang (like a machete but burlier) that will make short work of heavy brush and mincemeat of dense vines. Its 14-inch-long high-carbon blade is a cinch to resharpen in the field, and the angled handle, with deep finger grooves, will cut down on hand and arm fatigue while you clear the route.

 

Tops Knives Tom Brown Tracker 1

Tom Brown Tracker 1

$240 | Buy It Now

Tops Knives

Put a small hatchet and a large knife in a blender and this is what you’d get—a whopper of a love-it-or-hate-it tool that tries to do it all. The ¼-inch thick, 1095-tool steel blade sports two separate cutting edges, a weighted, beveled forward section for chopping, and a carving blade that can be used as a drawknife. It has an overall length of 11.88 inches.

 

MSR Basecamp Snow Construction Saw

MSR Basecamp Snow Construction Saw

$95 | Buy It Now

MSR

You might not need a snow saw every day, but when the time comes, nothing else will do. The folding, curved blade has specialized teeth that will gnaw through packed snow and ice like the Abominable Snow Beaver. You’ll be able to put up an emergency snow shelter, igloo, or backcountry ice bar in a jif.

 

Silky Big Boy

Silky Big Boy

$135 | Buy It Now

Silky

I’ve cleared a country mile of shooting lanes with a pile of different hand saws, but none have been as useful as this 14.2-inch folder. At just 1 pound, it is super light, tough, and easy to jam into a daypack. And the cutting power of the Big Boy is almost hard to believe. It comes in four different models with varying tooth layouts, but opt for the curved blade with extra-large teeth, then write your name on it with a Sharpie, to keep everyone’s paws off.

 

Gerber Center Drive

Gerber Center Drive

$90 | Buy It Now

Gerber

Gerber’s new multitool has garnered great reviews for its ergonomically designed bit driver, but don’t overlook the oversized blade, one-thumb-opening pliers, and a magnetic replaceable bit set that can help fix a fuel pump or busted bow.

 

Leatherman RAPTOR Emergency Medical Tool

Leatherman RAPTOR Emergency Medical Tool

$70 | Buy It Now

Leatherman

This is the survival tool you hope that you never need: A dedicated medical-emergency device. The shears make quick work of bloody clothing, fresh bandages, and even tattered flesh, while other tools can snip seat belts, webbing, shattered windshields, and cut off rings from swollen, snake-bitten hands.

 

UST Sabercut Chain Saw

UST Sabercut Chain Saw

$20–$30 | Buy It Now

UST

Wire saws tend to be gimmicky throwaways, but this 24-inch model is essentially a chainsaw blade with handles. It’s not as light as a survival wire saw, and it takes some calories to get it working. But it makes for a good packable wood-cutter, for both survival and regular camping uses.

 

Leatherman Signal

Leatherman Signal

$100 | Buy It Now

Leatherman

The traditional multitool gets a prepper upgrade, with a diamond-coated knife sharpener that works on both straight and serrated blades, a ferro rod for sparking fires, an emergency whistle, and a mini carabiner clip to keep it all instantly deployable.

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