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9 Best Hiking Knives For Survival: The Ultimate List

hiking knife

Every advanced and amateur hiker needs a trusty survival knife. It’s unwise to venture into the wilderness without at least a few tools to get you out safe in case a survival scenario arises. Your knife is and always has been they go-to tool in the backcountry.

It’s what you rely on more than anything whether you’re simply preparing meals, shelters, and fires, or trying to pull through a serious survival situation. Due to the use that your knife sees while hiking, it’s crucial to own a blade that works ideal for you and won’t let you down if and when you actually need it.

What Are The Best HIking Knives For Survival?

blizetec survival knife Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Emergency flashlight
  • Seat belt cutter
  • Includes a nylon pouch
Price: $21.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
survivor tanto hiking knife Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Magnesium flint and nylon sheath
  • Paracord wrapped handle
  • Sharpens well
Price: $8.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Quality leather sheath
  • Handcrafted in Spain
  • Sharpening stone and fire steel
Price: $90.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
gerber prodigy survival knife Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Drop-point blade
  • Included leg strap
  • Serrate at blade base
Price: $81.89 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
mtech survival knife Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Unique G10 grip
  • Long blade length
  • Two color options
Price: $36.93 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
morakniv hiking knife Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great for meal prep
  • Wide color selection
  • Lightweight
Price: $20.12 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
smith & wesson knife Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Nicely weighted for a great feel
  • Works well as a boot knife
  • 4.7 inch blade length
Price: $18.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
gerber zip knife Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Super lightweight and portable
  • Clips right to your backpack or jacket
  • Highly affordable
Price: $12.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
ka-bar machete Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Compact sized machete
  • Nice balance
  • Good quality steel
Price: $64.84 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Best Folding Survival Knife: BlizeTec 5-in-1 Survival Knife

    • Great Value
    • Includes a nice array of other survival features
    • Includes a convenient nylon pouch
    • Customer reviews praise the flashlight for working well- but there’s several mentions of the light becoming defective before the rest of the knife
    • Flashlight has a tendency to turn on and stay on
    • Poor quality sheath

    Here’s a nice quality folding knife from BlizeTec that’s reasonably priced and multifunctional.

    This stainless steel drop-point blade is equipped with a serrated saw, LED flashlight, magnesium flint, blade lock, window breaker, and seat belt cutter. There’s also a nylon pouch included with the knife for safe and easy storage while hiking.

    The weight is impressive at less than six ounces even with all the included features, and the total length, when opened, is eight and a half inches long (five inches when closed). It’s meant to behave like a larger knife but remains compact and portable.

    I find this hiking knife to be an excellent choice of wilderness folding knife, and the Lifetime warranty included with this blade ensures you’re taken care of.

  2. 2. Best Cheap Tanto Blade: Survivor Fixed Tanto Blade, Outdoor Knife

    • Excellent value knife — I’ve spent FAR more on less superior blades
    • Comes equipped with a magnesium flint and nylon sheath
    • Handle is wrapped in nice quality paracord if you need some cordage
    • Sharpens well and feels really nice in your hand - great length and width to this blade
    • Magnesium flint is easily misplaced if your not careful
    • Dulls quickly
    • Some might not like the feel of the paracord grip

    Here’s a super affordable tanto-style blade that’s far more than worth the cost. 

    I really like my fixed tanto blade knife by Survivor. I’ve owned this knife for about 3 years now, and it has held up quite nicely. For the cost, this is a pretty impressive blade. It feels solid in your hand and the blade holds an edge well. It has a pretty tough look as well, and the sheath fits nicely on a belt mounted on your hip.

    This knife came on a cross country camping trip with me and saw a lot of use – I would trek into the wilderness with this one on my waist just in case I needed a blade or to start a fire. The flint takes a little practice to use, but it is no doubt effective. I, unfortunately, lost the flint that came with my knife because the strapping on the nylon sheath became loose, so be mindful of that.

    The four millimeter thickness of the blade is preferred by a lot of outdoorsmen, and I can attest that the length (seven inches) and thickness are a nice match for each other. For a fixed tanto blade, you won’t find a better value than this. It’s a very decent quality knife at a silly inexpensive cost — and the handle is even wrapped in nice quality paracord if you end up needing some cordage.

    For the price, this knife could make a great gift for the outdoorsmen in your life. Check out this versatile knife sharpener as a potential item to pair with this knife if you really want to keep it sharp over its lifetime.

  3. 3. Best Feeling Survival Knife in your Hand: CDS-Survival MOVA-58 Stainless Steel Survival Knife

    • Includes a nice quality leather sheath, sharpening stone and fire steel
    • Is weighted to feel great in your hand — countless customer reviews praise this knife for its feel
    • Blade and hilt are of top quality — handcrafted in Spain
    • Two different color/pattern options to choose from
    • A bit on the expensive side, but you get what you pay for with this one
    • Inconsistent edge quality
    • Hole at the base of the hilt is not wide enough to accomodate for most cordage

    Here’s a truly high end knife by CDS-Survival for those who appreciate top quality and a sharp aesthetic. 

    This stainless steel blade is handmade in Spain and cut by laser. It’s an almost six-inch blade with about a four-inch cocobolo wood handle. The materials employed in building this knife are meant to make it a top quality outdoor item — and you can really tell by both the look and feel of this knife.

    The Genuine leather sheath is quite classy in itself, and the included sharpening stone and fire steel are both very much adequate for use in the field.

    If you’re a collector of knives, then this could be a nice addition to both your hiking survival kit or display case. The heavy build of this knife furthermore gives it a great feel in your hand, and the blade design allows it to be well sharpened long into its lifespan. 

  4. 4. Best Reviewed Survival Knife: Gerber Prodigy Survival Knife

    • Effective drop-point blade has some added serrate at the base for sawing
    • Comes included with a leg strap and two attachment straps
    • Well built handle with a highly reviewed feel to it
    • Super durable
    • The simplicity of this knife (which I love most about it) may be a bit minimalist for you if you’re looking for more of an all inclusive survival knife
    • This is a fairly large knife that does not pack very compact
    • Hard to attach strapping to MOLLE

    The Gerber Prodigy Survival Knife is a crowd favorite. Simple is better with this one, it’s a straight forward drop-point blade that gets the job done well.

    The Prodigy is a fixed blade knife with a bit of serrate at the base of the blade for sawing through whatever you might need to. In my opinion, the simplicity of this knife is awesome and the added serrate makes it fully functional as a survival knife.

    The blade is stainless steel with black oxide finish and 4.75 inches in length. It’s an ideal size for portability without sacrificing the robustness you want in a survival knife. The ergonomic molded grip has a great feel to it – pairing nicely with the weight (a little under half a pound).

    This knife comes included with a leg strap and two attachment straps, so there are multiple options for mounting this bad boy where you want it. The sheath is equipped with a friction release thumb lock for added safety, a nice touch if you ask me.

    This is an instant classic, great all around survival knife to bring hiking that you will no doubt find all sorts of uses for.

  5. 5. Best Grip On A Fixed Tanto Blade: MTech USA Xtreme Fixed Tanto Blade Tactical Knife

    • Unique and effective G10 grip feels great even in wet conditions and has great customer reviews
    • The longer length on this blade makes it a pretty versatile tool
    • Very reasonable price considering the size of the blade and quality of the included sheath
    • Highly reviewed - this blade receives a lot of praise and very little criticism by reviewers
    • This is a fairly large knife - if you’re looking for something that’s going to pack light, this might not be ideal for you
    • A few complaints the leg sheath is too small for some users
    • Aesthetic does not have a very "outdoors" look

    This blade by MTech USA Xtreme might seem a little ridiculous at a glance, but it’s actually quite a nice hiking knife.

    This fixed stainless steel tanto blade is five and a half inches in length, so this is a pretty large knife. The overall length is just short of a foot at an impressive 11 inches.

    I really like the G10 handle on this knife – the base of the blade extends downwards over your pointer finger. It provides a good grip no matter the conditions.

    Tanto style blades are one of the more effective styles in my opinion, and I really like the look of this unit with the serrate on the back side of the blade. There’s a black nylon sheath included for safe carry, and it will mount nicely on a belt or strapping.

  6. 6. Best Survival Knife for Culinary Purposes: Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife

    • Great blade for filleting/preparing fish and other meals
    • Super affordable - you get way more than you pay for with this one
    • Wide color selection
    • Very lightweight and also is a practical size for use hiking
    • Sharpens well
    • The light weight of this blade although ideal for portability might not have the desired feel of some users of a heavier, more robust knife
    • Lacks any survival features
    • Could be sharper out of the box but sharpens well

    The Morakniv Companion is a great knife for preparing food in the backcountry on top of being a solid survival and hiking knife.

    I really like the blade design for filleting fish in particular – it’s the ideal portable blade for taking on trips where you might expect to be cooking up some fish. As a survival tool – this knife by Morakniv is more than adequate.

    It has a blade length of four inches and a thickness of two and a half millimeters. The overall length is about eight and a half inches, a very comfortable and practical size for use hiking. It’s only four ounces in weight, so this blade packs exceptionally light for the cutting power it provides.

    The handle is simple, but I find the patterned high friction grip to be perfectly effective. There are several different color options with this one, all with matching plastic sheaths and belt clips, so you can choose one that’s your style.

    Hiking knives aren’t meant to be fashion statements, but it’s always cool to be able to customize your gear a bit. As a survival knife, the super low cost and high functionality of this blade by Morakniv is hard to top.

  7. 7. Best Spear Point Survival Knife: Smith & Wesson Full Tang Spear Point Fixed Blade

    • Well crafted, stainless steel blade should sharpen nicely
    • Comes at a great price for a Smith & Wesson product!
    • Works well as a boot knife
    • The weight of this knife give it a great feel in your hand
    • Might be a bit heavy for your use if weight is a major factor for your hiking pack
    • Not great for slashing - more of a stabbing type blade
    • Not terribly compact

    This is one tough knife by Smith & Wesson. This full tang, spear point blade is a serious piece of equipment at a not so serious price.

    The blade on this knife is a little over four inches, and the total length comes out to nine inches. This hiking knife is half a pound in weight, so its built really solid.

    I personally prefer the feel of a knife that has some weight to it. Although packing light is essential when hiking, your knife is your most important tool and it’s worth bringing along whatever suits you best. The black rubber wrapped handle adds toughness to this survival knife, and a lot of users praise it as an excellent blade to conceal in a boot.

    If you’re traveling through wilderness that is frequented by dangerous predators, it might be wise to carry an easily accessible duel-edged hiking knife in addition to your bear-mace.

    The high carbon stainless steel blade should hold up nicely with the proper care, and sharpen nicely once you get little practice with it. A lot of users of this blade purchase this pocket knife sharpener by Smith’s to keep this unit ship-shape. As a survival knife, Smith & Wesson has an awesome and affordable option here.

  8. 8. Best Zip Blade for Hiking: Gerber GDC Zip Blade

    • Super lightweight and portable - clips right to your backpack or jacket
    • Highly affordable
    • Utility blade is a great tool to have in addition to a more robust survival knife
    • Very highly reviewed by outdoorsmen
    • Shouldn’t be relied on as your only survival blade in the wilderness - great tool but you won’t be cutting down any trees with it due to its small size
    • Doesn't incluce any additional survival features
    • Be careful not to damage or lose the tiny lanyard

    Here’s a neat option for a hiking knife that’s a bit different than the other blades listed here. The Gerber GDC Zip Blade is a super lightweight, highly packable option to include in your hiking gear or survival kit.

    It might not be the best tool to rely on as your sole survival knife, but given its size (less than two inches closed) and weight, it could make a great addition to your hiking pack.

    You can attach it by its clip right to your backpack or jacket and not know it’s there – truly a convenient tool to have on hand. A utility blade like this will no doubt come in handy for all sorts of camping and hiking tasks, and the portability of this unit can’t be rivaled.

    Gerber has a nice product here, and for the cost, it’s definitely a great buy. Without a doubt one of the most effective pocket-sized survival tools on the market. 

  9. 9. Best Survival Blade for Clearing Vegetation: Ka-Bar Kukri Machete

    • Crafted from nice quality steel - good blade that will re-sharpen nicely
    • Nice and compact sized machete that will pack and travel effectively with your hiking gear
    • Weighted nicely - customer reviews praise the feel of this machete
    • Might be a little excessive in size and weight to bring backpacking unless you have a real purpose for it
    • Does not include any survival features
    • Black blade finish chips easily

    Ok, so this isn’t exactly a hiking knife, but this machete by Ka-Bar is an excellent blade to take hiking for the purposes of clearing vegetation.

    This carbon-steel 11 and a half inch blade is built tough, and customer reviews insist it is weighted nicely to minimize hand stun when chopping or slashing.

    The edge angle is 20 degrees, ideal for hacking through whatever you need to. If you find yourself off the beaten path and need to trail blaze back to safety, this would be a really good tool to have on your hip.

    Granted it’s a bit cumbersome and heavy to use as a survival knife, this 1.7 pound machete is a high quality and reliable tool that could save your life. Ka-Bar has made a pretty compact machete here considering the blade strength and capability – so although it might seem a little excessive in reality this is a very packable item.

    If you’re hiking in backcountry that is challenging to find an adequate campsite due to overgrown vegetation, this unit will help you effectively clear a space for your tent. Regardless of the landscape, there’s bound to be all sorts of applications for this bad boy.

We've put together a top list of the best survival knives for hiking that should cover whatever your wilderness needs might be.

Don't forget to consider the big three while choosing the blade that's right for you -- edge quality, ability to re-sharpen, and blade type. Once you find the knife that's suited for your wilderness endeavors, you can stride through the outdoors in confidence knowing you have a reliable tool for both enjoying nature as well as helping you safely escape it.