Ask any survival expert if they could only have one item with them if they became lost or stranded and most would tell you they would want a quality fixed bladed knife. However, there are quality knives and then there are knives that just look good but should never leave home with you. Some knives are just meant to look at and never use.
In a survival situation, you want your knife, which is a survival tool to be able to perform multiple tasks. The so-called Rambo knives should be left behind, they look menacing but no one cares. The handles are typically hollow with a mini survival kit, which usually means the knife is not what is called a “full tang”, how can it be if the handle is hollow?
Full tang means the entire knife is made out of one piece of material with a section designed to be the handle. If the handle is, a separate piece from the blade (riveted or even glued to the blade) then that means the knife cannot be used for chopping or splitting of wood. Any rough handling anseparatedle separates from the blade. This brings us to the handle material, which must be as tough as the knife itself because in a survival situation you simply do not need the problem of dealing with a broken knife handle.
Your knife will get a work out in a survival situation. You will need it to make shelter, so it must be heavy enough for chopping and hacking brush or saplings. You may need it to dig for water so the blade has to be stout enough to be used as a mini shovel. Your knife will be used for delicate work, as well, such as cutting thread or sutures if you have to stitch up a wound or mend gear and clothing. Your knife should be such that it can be used to carve small fishhooks or trim a sapling to make a fishing spear. Your blade needs to be sharp enough to skin game and trim meat so the blade material has to be such that it can be sharpened easily and holds its edge.
The Best Survival Knife has to Actually Be the Best
One of the best survival knives on the market today that can perform all of the needed survival tasks is the Esee 4S-KO 9-inch survival knife with a Micarta handle. Micarta is some of the toughest handle material available today.
Micarta is a brand name for composite materials that are bonded together using resins and sealed using high-pressure techniques. Over the years since Micarta was developed in1910 different materials such as fiberglass, were introduced into the process along with better resins. Now the process creates a handle material practically indestructible. Unlike the typical wooden or even leather handles, Micarta handles will not crack/split from drying out and are not susceptible to rot from moisture damage.
The Esee 4S-KO survival knife has a carbon steel blade, which as most of you know holds an edge better than stainless steel because carbon is a harder material. Once sharpened the carbon blade will hold its edge through some of the toughest tasks you can throw at it.
The handle itself on the Esee 4S-KO is designed with your hand in mind. Handling a blade when your hands are wet can be risky and your hand can slip up the handle and catch on the blade. The Esee 4S-KO has a handle designed to keep your hand in place even if it is covered in blood from skinning game or wet from the rain.
The knife of course is full tang and the pommel has a place for a lanyard, which many assume is for a “dummy cord” designed to wrap around your wrist to keep from losing the knife. On larger knives such as a machete, a lanyard can be wrapped around the wrist for control when chopping and to keep you hand from slipping up to the blade.
A lanyard is also used to keep from losing the knife if you have to drop it from your hand quickly to grasp a limb or branch if you fall or slip, and yet still maintain the knife. However, survival experts also realize it is another place to attach the ever-valuable 550 Paracord.
The overall length of the knife is 9″ and frankly any longer of a knife and things can get awkward when using it for some tasks. Remember your knife is designed for a multitude of tasks and not just for one task. If you think you need a knife any longer you can bump up to a machete type knife designed just for breaking through brush.
The blade itself is 4.5″ inches long, which means you can carve small pieces of wood for hooks and still use the blade to carve large spears and split wood for shelters or your fire. To use your knife to split wood strike the backside of the knife with a piece of wood and not a rock or metal. Solid blows straight down on the back of the blade will allow you to split sapling ends for fishing spears and you can split pieces of wood to make a fire board that is used with a bow and spindle.
One you own a Esee 4S-KO 9-inche survival knife never leave home without it because it may mean the difference between surviving and not. Quality does matter in a survival situation so there is absolutely no reason to leave home with a knife not up to the job.