The 11 Best Survival Knives for Outdoor Adventures in 2023

Best Traditional Nordic Knife: Helle Viking Knife

Okay okay, so this isn’t really a classic survival knife. BUT, it is a truly badass, handmade knife of the exact type carried by some of the most hardcore survivalist, adventurers of all time: The Vikings! The design of this fixed blade knife is based on a 1,000-year-old artifact found in an archaeological dig in Norway, originally crafted for Viking longship expeditions. The lightweight, Norwegian-made knife features a thick, extra-sharp, triple-laminated Helle carbon steel blade with stick tang construction that runs through the handle for stability and durability. The tapered barrel handle features a stacked designed made of curly birchwood and reindeer antler with black leather spacers, riveted to the blade using traditional methods. A naturally-tanned leather sheath designed to hang on a belt loop is the icing on the cake.

Blade Length: 4.4 inches
Overall Length: 8.5 inches
Blade Material: carbon steel
Weight: 4 ounces (113 grams)

Price: $225 $149


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a survival knife?

While any knife can be a valuable tool in a survival situation, there does exist a category of knives specifically made for wilderness survival. These knives tend to be, but aren’t always, fixed-blade knives with full-tang blades usually 6-10 inches in length. Survival knives typically use durable blade steel that holds an edge to stand up to survival-oriented tasks like building shelter, starting fires, and hunting. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, and the survival knife category is wide and growing.

What is a fixed blade vs a folding blade?

A fixed blade is a a knife blade that is static and attached to its handle with no moving parts. Fixed blade knives typically come with a sheath made of leather or nylon to protect the blade. A folding blade is a knife that hinges where the blade meets the handle so that the blade can pivot and fold into a channel built into the handle.

What is the best length for a survival knife?

There’s no definite best length for a survival knife, despite hot debates among aficionados. Many agree that the ideal blade length is around nine inches, though you’ll definitely find survival-oriented knives below and above this number, including on this list.