Tips for choosing the best folding knife for survival

Folding Knife
Folding Knife

A knife is one of those critical items to carry with you everywhere you go. However, most of us are not able to carry the fixed blade knife due to its size. Instead, we tend to prefer the folding knife which is light and portable. A folding knife for survival is highly recommended as chances of being with the knife most of the time are high. Most folding knives are less than 3-inches which might not be ideal for most survival tasks. However, you can all agree with me that a small knife is much better than being without a knife. 

Usually, the bigger the knife, the better but this doesn’t work most of the time because a bigger knife is difficult to carry with you most of the time.  When choosing the best folding knife for survival, there are a few things to consider.

What to consider when buying a survival/hunting folding knife:

  • Ideal size of below 4-inches
  • Blade thickness
  • Wide blade with a flat ground
  • Stainless steel
  • Standard Edges
  • A robust locking system
  • Thing, well-rounded and light grip
  • Ambidextrous lock


The first thing to consider with any folding knife is size. Folding knives are meant to be lightweight, unobtrusive and convenient to carry. The ideal size should be between 3 ¼ -inches to 3 ¾ inches long. A knife more than four inches long is much better, but the problem is usually portability. In general, bigger knives are better to a point where they are difficult to carry.


The thickness of the blade is quite important when it comes to survival. Survival tasks can be quite strenuous requiring thicker knives. Thicker blades about an eighth of an inch are highly recommended, but the best is about a tenth of an inch. However, ensure you don’t go for the thickest as this might make the knife quite heavy.

Blade width

For survival, a wider blade tends to be more versatile getting different tasks done with ease. Wider blades are ideal for slicing giving preppers a long cutting edge. Another important consideration here is the flat ground (which is usually the sides of the blades down the edge making a V). This hollow part where the blades of the knife curve inwards producing a thinner edge that is sharper. Flat ground is quite necessary for a survival blade and has many uses.

Stainless steel

The nature of folding knives is that they tend to stay more in the pockets. They require a blade that is stainless steel to resist rusting. The carbon formulation steel can still be used, but then it requires a lot of maintenance. If you have to buy a carbon knife, then it has to be coated to prevent rusting.

The edge of the knife

The best survival knife should have a thick and wide point which is in line with the center of the axis. The sharp pointed edged knives are not the best as they are best suited for combat. Sharp pointed edges are fragile and not ideal for the rigorous tasks of surviving. Knives with serrated edges have their benefits but are not the best for survival.

A robust locking system

Folding knives have two types of the locking mechanism; the lock back and liner lock. The liner lock uses a spring mechanism that snaps into place when the blade opens. This is one of the strongest locks but a bit difficult to close. The lock back mechanism comes with a hook at the end of the mainspring that snaps into a cutout when the blade opens.  There are several other lock methods out there, and most can be strong or weak depending on the design. An ambidextrous lock is the best when it comes to survival. This is a lock that can be closed with just one hand.

The opening system of the locks should also work for you. Folding knives open in three main ways; manual, assisted and automatic. A manual opening system is more reliable for a survival knife than the assisted and automatic ones.

Grip requirements

The best grip should be thin, rounded and light to reduce its outline in the pocket. It should also be non-slip and fairly comfortable to hold. Ends of the blades must have some topography like anti-slip grooves to prevent the chances of the hands slipping forward.

Final verdict

It is important that any folding knife you choose be portable, durable, rust-resistant and durable. It should have a place to attach so that you can have it with you at all times.  While a folding knife might not be the toughest for survival, it is highly portable and easy to carry with you.

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