The best fixed blade survival knife is what you should keep a lookout for if you’re serious about getting through rough wilderness scenarios. A fixed blade may not be concealable or easy to control all the time, but it’s the most reliable blade design for heavy duty work.
Fixed blade knives can help you with just about any type of outdoor labor, from wire stripping to hunting, gutting, and preparing food. They’re also great building tools due to the usual extra blade length and hardness rating.
If you’re looking for the best and you can’t afford to spend too much, check out the following picks which cover a wide range of fixed blade tactical and survival knives.
Best Fixed Blade Survival Knife Reviews
1. Gerber Ghoststrike Fixed Blade Knife
The Gerber Ghoststrike is one of the best survival knives in its class. Alongside the durable profile and ergonomic handle, there’s also the option of ordering a custom sheath as well as an ankle wrap.
The 420HC stainless steel alloy is a great choice for the blade. It’s inherently strong and has good anti-corrosion resistance. But the Ghoststrike goes one step further. It also features a ceramic blade coating to guarantee even more protection against the elements and surviving rough wilderness conditions.
The drop-point blade is quite versatile and it’s no wonder it’s such an overused blade profile. It’s good for piercing and cutting and it’s easy to control. The handle is quite interesting too – it’s diamond-textured which makes it very comfortable to use.
It also has a low-carry skeletonized profile. This not only makes the knife lighter but also easier to pierce with.
The knife is small for a fixed blade survival knife, which is both good and bad. It’s good because it helps with portability and concealment. However, this also means that the blade is a bit shorter at just 3.3” in length.
- Hard stainless steel alloy
- Ceramic-coated blade
- Ergonomic handle
- Custom sheath and ankle wrap available
- Accessories sold separately
2. Mossy Oak Bowie Knife
Bowie knives have come a long way. Not only are they feared combat knives but the blade design also makes them highly sought-after survival knives.
The versatility of the Mossy Oak Bowie Knife comes from its long blade. Its 8.75” length makes it excellent at chopping, hammering, and most importantly, digging. Short blade knives have a massive disadvantage when it comes to building shelters, which is something that this Bowie knife excels at.
The metal alloy used has an unfamiliar designation, 3CR13. This is a Chinese stainless steel alloy with a surprisingly higher carbon content compared to the similar AUS-4 stainless steel more popular in the US. This may make the 3CR13 better at dealing with corrosion and rust.
The full-tang design improves the durability even more. It gives more leverage when handling heavy objects and debris and it allows for better balance. The wood handle has a classic design and is reinforced with a pinned brass pummel that’s great at breaking stuff.
This type of knife is difficult to carry everywhere, but Mossy Oak includes a custom leather sheath with a snap fastener and belt loop. The leather is thick and offers good chipping protection as well as protection against the elements.
The applications of the Mossy Oak Bowie Knife are endless when it comes to survival situations. It’s equally good as a hunting knife, shelter making tool, and fire starter.
- 5” blade
- Rugged military-style handle
- Razor sharp blade
- Can withstand harsh environments
- Wire cutter
- Not the best balance
3. HX Outdoors Fixed Blade Tactical Knife
HX Outdoors makes its premier tactical knives in a variety of colors and coatings. But it’s in the design that we find the actual value of the knife. The combat-oriented blade profile and its durability give the knife good value for the money.
This is not a full-tang tactical knife. It does come with a G10 handle that’s highly durable and easy to grip. The blade is made from 440C stainless steel. The 400 series is known for its low hardness. But the 440C has a high carbon content of around 1.2% which gives it a hardness rating of 60 HRC.
This HX Outdoors tactical knife also has other things going for it, such as the blade profile. The blade is a Tanto blade which means that the tip is reinforced. It has extra piercing power which means that this is a great knife for splitting wood and breaking objects.
What’s most important is the resistance to repeated head-on impacts. The profile and layering of the steel in Tanto blades are not only great at penetrating but also at absorbing and distributing the force of the impact. It protects the blade from structural damage.
The combination of hard steel, non-slip handle, and proper balance between blade and handle means that you can use this knife with swiftness and precision.
- Hard stainless steel alloy
- Tanto blade
- High-quality handle
- Sheath included
- Limited use in shelter-building applications
4. Wetop Karambit Fixed Blade Tactical Knife
With a blade profile made popular by the video game series Counter-Strike, this Wetop Karambit Tactical Knife has become very appealing within the younger survivalist consumer base. As for its overall use, it’s not one of the most versatile models.
This is one of the smallest fixed blade survival knives not because of its overall length but because of the blade profile. The unique curvature of the blade makes it seem a lot smaller than the 3.5” specification.
However, the blade happens to provide a unique advantage when trying to drag or pry stuff out of the way. It’s also a reliable blade for gutting and skinning, which are common wilderness applications whether you’re a survivalist, camper, or hunter.
The blade is made from stainless steel but the manufacturer doesn’t advertise the specific alloy. This and the low price may very well mean that it has a low hardness rating. But the blade is slightly over 4 mm in thickness, which doesn’t make it a bad blade overall.
The ergonomic handle is always a nice thing to have. However, it’s made from an average-quality plastic and the profile doesn’t allow it to be used as a blunt instrument. As extra perks, the knife also comes with a sheath and some paracord.
- Unique blade profile
- Good for prying and hunting applications
- Ambidextrous handle
- Paracord and sheath included
- Short blade
- Undisclosed stainless steel alloy designation
5. Ontario Knife Company 8689 Gen II SP53 Survival Knife
The SP53 is one of the most reliable survival knives on the market. It has the blade length, profile, and build to handle the most extreme wilderness conditions. It also uses one of the better carbon steel alloys in the industry.
The knife features a saber grind blade. This is a partial height grind which is most efficient in cutting and chipping applications. It has a relatively strong tip, close in strength to that of a full flat blade profile. It also has decent control when piercing and slicing, which makes it more versatile than a full flat design.
The length of the blade is 10.10”. This gives you a lot to work with and may in fact be considered too much by more experienced survivalists; usually 7 to 8 inches is more than enough. Of course, the extra inches might give you more chopping power or at least speed up some tasks.
The steel alloy used is 5160 carbon steel. It doesn’t get better than carbon steel when it comes to durability.
Its composition contains 1% chromium and around 0.6% carbon which help enhance the hardness after the heat treatment. What makes this unique however is the hardening treatment developed for it by Dan Marangi, one of the world premiere blade masters.
It also comes with very good corrosion resistance. Add to that the fact that it’s also a full tang model and the Gen II SP53 is a real obstacle mover out in the wild. It may be slightly hard to handle due to its size but it’s packed with utility.
- Great blade hardness
- Versatile blade profile
- Quality handle
- MOLLE compatible sheath included
- Extra-long blade
- May be difficult to handle
The best fixed blade survival knife may just be the one that you’re most comfortable using. But after all is said and done, some knives are clearly superior to others. Just because a blade is smaller or larger than what you’re used to doesn’t mean that it’s not worth upgrading to.
As you can see from this list, a survival knife doesn’t have to be labeled as a survival knife to be useful in dire situations. Tactical knives, EDC knives, hunting knives, or rescue knives, each have their own unique properties and tasks they excel at.
There’s no single knife that does absolutely everything right. Therefore, when picking out your trusty companion it’s best to get a knife that ticks the most boxes for the conditions you’d expect to face. Finding one that’s well-balanced and not too heavy for you to handle or carry is a nice luxury too.