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Old 02-20-2012, 04:39 PM
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Default Best 25 dollar survival knife



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You have $25 to spend, you want to buy a good quality knife, so which one do you buy?

What is the purpose of a $25 survival knife? In my opinion, knives in that price range are disposable. They are the knives that if lost or stolen are not going to be expensive to replace.

From a survivalist point of view, spend $100 on 3 or 4 knives, store them at your Bug Out Location, keep one in a tackle box or use them for hand out knives to friends and family. Someone breaks into your Bug Out Location, steals your knives, you are not out several hundred dollars.

Considerations:

Sheath Belt loop or ALICE / MOLLE attachments
Made from quality steel
Full tang
Fixed blade

Most of the corner stores around here have knifes made in third world countries. Most of the ones I see sell for less then $10. For this purchase we need something that is made from quality steel, will hold a good edge and will be easy to sharpen.

Back around 1983 I bought into the survival knife craze created by Rambo First Blood. My first survival knife had a hollow handle, made of some kind of 440 stainless steel, held an edge like butter, and took an hour to sharpen. That knife was more of a play toy then a real duty knife. The hollow handled knives are a novelty item. If you want a serious knife, steer clear of them.

Related forum thread Best survival knife for under $50

There are a lot of good knives out on the market, so please do not get offended if your favorite was not listed. Picking a good knife is like picking a good car. With so many options on the market, its easy to overlook some of the best ones.

Something to consider with $25 knives

When a certain company that will remain nameless moved the production of some of their knives to china, I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under my feet. How can one of the best knife companies in the world have their products made in China?

What happened to the people the company had been employed in the US? Were those people laid off? Were they able to find jobs? Did said company contribute to the number of people drawing benefits from the US government? Did my tax money go to help those affected by off-shoring jobs?

There is a hidden cost to $25 knives, and that is the sacrifice of American jobs to overseas labor.

Enough with the politics, lets get on with the list

Cold Steel GI Tanto



Cold Steel has been in the knife business for decades. As the owner of 3 cold steel products, I can attest to their quality.

From the Cold Steel website, G.I. Tanto Specifications:
Overall: 12″
Thick: 4mm
Weight: 10.6 oz.
Steel: 1055 Carbon
Blade: 7″
Sheath: Secure-E

When the GI series was first introduced, there were 3 knives in the family. It likes like 2 of the knives have been discontinued and the only one still being produced is the GI Tanto.

The older GI Tanto knives came with a nylon sheath instead of a polymer sheath like today. The original version also had their handles wrapped with 550 cord instead of having a polymer handle.

Over the past few years, the GI Tanto has gone through at least 3 changes.

Version 1:
550 cord handle
Nylon sheath

Version 2:
Polymer handle
Nylon sheath

Version 3:
Polymer handle
Polymer sheath

While the Tanto point does not make for a very good skinning knife, the point is extra strong due to the design. With a Tanto you get a trade off, strong tip, straight edge which does not make for a good slicing / cutting edge.

Other suggestions from Cold Steel

Cold Steel Warhead Discontinued from the Cold Steel product line, can still be found online from time to time.
Shanghai Shadow
Bowie Machete
Barong Machete
Cold Steel Bushman

Gerber Profile

Gerber has been in the knife business for a long, long time. They make everything from cheap pocket knives all the way to top end fixed blade knives.



From the Gerber website, Gerber Profile Specifications:

Overall Length: 8.56″
Blade Length: 3.5″
Weight: 6.1 oz
Full tang drop point fixed blade
Nylon Sheath
Lanyard attachment
Belt loop

Couple of things I like about the Gerber Profile its compact size makes it easy to carry in a fanny pack, the short curved blade makes it good for skinning deer, and the serrated spot on the back give your thumb something to rest against.

Other suggestions from Gerber

Gerber Bear Grylls Scout Survival Knife
Gerber Freeman Guide Knife
Gerber Big Rock retails for around $30.
Gerber Prodigy Tanto
Gerber Warrant Knife
Gerber Serrated Edge Epic Knife

In conclusion

There are a lot of good $25 dollar knives out there, this article only mentions a few.

With the wide selection of knives on the market, its going to be easy to overlook a few. If you want to add a few to the list, please do so.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:13 PM
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Default re: <25$ knives

On the knives you have mentioned already:

I have the Bushman, Profile, and Shanghai Shadow. I would definitely second the Bushman and the Profile, however, the SS is double edged and while useful as a defensive weapon or as a solution to a back-up knife(two edges), I would say it would be limited in the survival realm since many tasks with a knife require a blunt spine to do efficiently.

I would like to suggest Condor, as they have a nice selection at either just above or just below the priceline at this online retailer:
http://www2.knifecenter.com/brand/33/Condor-Tool--Knife

I dont know anything about their tangs, but I have heard first hand of their usefulness.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:19 PM
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Glock field knife proved to me not all good blades have to be full tang. Also, what company moved overseas?
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:23 PM
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I would have to say the best survival knife under $25 would be two moras.
Old 02-20-2012, 05:31 PM
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Condor Rodan or Kumunga
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:38 PM
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Condor Rodan or Bushlore
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:39 PM
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I was under the impression that Gerber knives are also offshored to China. Could be wrong.

$14 - Swedish Mora.
Can't go wrong with a Mora. Just have to oil it and touch up the edge every so often because it is carbon steel.
They make a stainless model, but I can't attest to the quality.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macvy119 View Post
Glock field knife proved to me not all good blades have to be full tang. Also, what company moved overseas?
I saw at the gun show that all the cold steel knives were made in China
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappy357 View Post
Condor Rodan or Bushlore
These two knives i've handled before. They're seriously strong.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuellerBueller View Post
I was under the impression that Gerber knives are also offshored to China. Could be wrong.

$14 - Swedish Mora.
Can't go wrong with a Mora. Just have to oil it and touch up the edge every so often because it is carbon steel.
They make a stainless model, but I can't attest to the quality.
most knives, epescially the affordable ones are made in china. the us made knives usually have a flag somewhere on the front.the country of origin is usually on the back somewhere.I have a bunch of old knives I carry, ive bought a few cheap kbars(made in China) but mainly am going back to knives Ive had a loooong time.
Old 02-20-2012, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikean View Post
most knives, epescially the affordable ones are made in china. the us made knives usually have a flag somewhere on the front.the country of origin is usually on the back somewhere.I have a bunch of old knives I carry, ive bought a few cheap kbars(made in China) but mainly am going back to knives Ive had a loooong time.
i was saddened to see the sog knives with gunnys face on it were china made.As far as i know the kbar fighting knives are from here,i been buying the neck knives.
Old 02-20-2012, 10:27 PM
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Spyderco sent some of their work to china also. I refuse to buy any knife made in china. I mainly buy used knives when I drop below or around $25. The local flea market is a haven for bargain bin bushcraft.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSHINER View Post
I saw at the gun show that all the cold steel knives were made in China
Many are. More of the higher end ones are Taiwan and Japan.

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Old 02-21-2012, 12:58 AM
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Default

Bucklite Max (large).



4", full tang, that great Buck 420HC steel. And made here.

24.50 from Amazon w/ free shipping.




- OS
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:22 AM
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Carbon steel fixed blade CONDOR... Or Mora knife and a decent folding lockblade.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:02 AM
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condor rodan full tang mine is sharp and tuff as nails great leather sheath too!
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:01 PM
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Knives for 25.00 that I would feel comfortable recommending

Cold Steel Bushman Bowie
Mora (any of them)
SAK Soldier ALOX
BUCK 55
AG Russell Woodswalker
Kabar Dozier Folding Hunter
AG Russell Hunter Scalpel
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oh Shoot View Post
Bucklite Max (large).



4", full tang, that great Buck 420HC steel. And made here.

24.50 from Amazon w/ free shipping.

Amazon.com: Buck BuckLite MAX Knife: Sports &amp; Outdoors



- OS
I have the same knife cant find a better one at that price and built in USA!!!!!
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:09 PM
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Cold steel kukri = $16.00
Mora knife = $9.00
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:34 AM
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I too would say Mora but since the big boss man said full tang I'll say...drum roll...the $50 knife bought used for $25

Seriously, the best way to get quality for cheap is to buy a used knife at 1/2 the price.

To me full tang is full length and full width, no rattails are full tang.

So my full tang fixed blade under $25 knife (even cheaper if you just buy the blade): http://www.crazycrow.com/mm5/merchan...de=841-400-100

PS It is not a $25 knife if you have to pay another $25 to have it shipped. Check local pawn shops and local websites like kijiji. I get Green River knives at local maritime (aka salt water) fishing stores.
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