Knives in Survival Situations

Knives in Survival Situations

Posted by Sam Flaherty on

In any survival situation, improvising and adapting to the circumstances is critical.

A survival situation is a scenario where one's safety, health, or life is threatened, and essential resources such as food, water, and shelter are scarce.

In such situations, having the right tools can be the difference between life and death, and one of the most important tools is a knife.

Let's explore the different types of knives suitable for survival situations and how they can be used.

We will also discuss the importance of knife maintenance and safety considerations when using knives in survival situations.

Types of Knives for Survival Situations

When selecting a knife for survival situations, there are two main types: fixed-blade and folding knives. Each type has unique features and benefits that suit different survival scenarios.

Fixed Blade Knives

Fixed-blade knives are typically more durable and sturdy than folding knives, making them ideal for heavy-duty tasks such as chopping wood, hunting, and building shelter.

Their simple design makes them easier to clean and maintain and less prone to failure.

Fixed-blade knives typically come with a sheath for easy storage and transportation.

The best fixed-blade knives for survival situations are made of high-quality materials, such as stainless or carbon steel.

They should also have a comfortable and ergonomic handle for easy gripping and use. 

Watch this space for a Koi fixed blade survival knife.....

Folding Knives

Folding knives are typically smaller and more compact than fixed-blade knives, making them ideal for situations where portability is a concern.

They are also easier to carry around in a pocket or backpack.

Folding knives are best suited for cutting rope or opening packages rather than heavy-duty tasks.

The best folding knives for survival situations are made of high-quality materials like stainless steel or titanium.

They should also have a locking mechanism to keep the blade in place. 

Click here to view our range of Koi pocketknives 

How Knives can be used in Survival Situations

Knives are essential tools in survival situations. In addition to providing a means of self defence, knives can be used in numerous ways to help ensure survival. Here are three key ways knives can be used in survival situations:

Building Shelter

When building shelter, a good knife can be a lifesaver.

Knives can cut and shape materials such as branches and foliage to create a shelter that protects from wild elements.

Different types of shelters include lean-tos, debris huts, and tarp shelters. Using a knife to construct a shelter can also provide a sense of security and comfort in an otherwise precarious situation.

Starting Fire

In a survival situation, fire can mean the difference between life and death.

A good knife can create sparks that ignite kindling, providing warmth, light, and a means to cook food.

A knife can also create fire-starting tools, such as a bow or hand drill.

Hunting and Preparing Food

In a survival situation, finding food can be a challenge. However, hunting and preparing food using a knife is possible with the right skills and tools.

Knives can be used to prepare traps, skin, gut game, and cut and prepare edible plants. Some games that can be hunted and prepared with a knife include fish, birds, rabbits, and deer.

Knife Maintenance in Survival Situations

A well-maintained knife is essential in a survival situation.

Regular maintenance ensures the blade remains sharp and in good working condition.

A dull or damaged blade can impede your ability to start a fire, build shelter, and prepare food.

Proper maintenance of your knife can ensure that it remains a reliable tool in these crucial situations.

Techniques for Knife Maintenance in Survival Situations

Sharpening: A sharp knife is essential in survival situations. Sharpen your knife regularly using a sharpening stone or a sharpening rod.

Cleaning: Clean your knife after every use to prevent rust and corrosion. Use a cloth to wipe the blade, and apply oil to prevent rust.

Lubrication: Apply oil or lubricant to the hinge of folding knives to prevent them from getting stuck.

Common Knife Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

Over-Sharpening: Sharpening your knife too often or aggressively can damage the blade.

Neglecting Rust: Rust can quickly spread and weaken the blade. Regular cleaning and oiling can prevent rust from forming.

Using the Wrong Lubricant: Using the wrong lubricant can damage your knife. Be sure to use a lubricant designed for knives.

Safety Considerations for Using Knives in Survival Situations

In a survival situation, a single mistake when using a knife could result in severe injury or even death.

Therefore, it is crucial to understand safety considerations when using knives in survival situations.

Techniques for Safe Knife Use in Survival Situations

When using a knife in a survival situation, it is essential to follow proper safety techniques.

These include:

  • Keeping the knife sharp to reduce the risk of slipping.
  • Holding the knife with a firm grip and using it with controlled movements.
  • Always pointing the knife away from the body.
  • Never throwing a knife, as it can be hazardous.

Common Knife Safety Mistakes to Avoid

There are several common mistakes to avoid when using knives in survival situations.

These include: 

  • Using a knife that is too big or too small for the task.
  • Holding the knife with an unsafe grip or posture.
  • Trying to cut through materials that are too thick or tough for the knife.
  • Attempting to use the knife for tasks that it is not designed for.

By following these safety considerations and techniques, you can ensure you use your knife safely and effectively in a survival situation.

Always prioritise safety and take the necessary precautions to prevent accidents and injuries.


Survival situations are unpredictable and demand quick thinking and practical skills to survive.

A knife is one of the most essential tools in such situations.

A well-chosen and well-maintained knife can make all the difference from building shelter to preparing food.

Different types of knives have different benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, choosing the right type of knife for your needs is essential.

Additionally, it's equally important to maintain your knife correctly and use it safely to avoid accidents. 

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