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One of the great topics in the survivalist / prepping community is about survival knives. Everyone has an opinion about what kind of knife would be ideal for surviving in a post-SHTF / post-TEOTWAWKI world.

Some of the discussions on knives revolve around real world situations, while a lot of the discussions revolves around unrealistic situations, such as bugging out to the wilderness.

After putting much thought into the SHTF survival knife topic, what if I told you just about everyone was right and just about everyone was wrong? There is no perfect knife for a post collapse society. That is why we should stockpile a variety of knives.

Rambo hollow handle survival knife - No article on survival knives is complete without discussing the grandfather of all survival knives. Let's go ahead and get that out of the way. The word "survival knife" brings to mind the 1982 movie Rambo when John Rambo used his knife to survive in the wilderness. Shortly after the movie Rambo was released a survival knife craze kicked in. Survival knives were made in all shapes, forms and fashions. Some were good quality but there was a lot of junk on the market. The hollow handled Rambo survival knife was probably the most popular.

I bought a couple of those hollow handle knives in the mid-1980s. The blade was cheap 440 stainless that would not hold an edge, the compass was cheap, the hollow handle was barely large enough to hold a couple of matches. This is a novelty item rather a knife that will serve us for the long term.

For the sake of discussion let's look at three different types of knives - pocket knives, utility knives and handout knives.

Pocket knife

A good quality pocket knife will be "one" of your best friends in a post-SHTF world. Whether it is picking peas, squash, zucchini, butchering a chicken, skinning a deer, quartering a hog,,,, the pocket knife is the perfect all around cutting tool.

The pocket knife should be a non-serrated edge, good quality steel and made by reputable brand name.

Why non-serrated? When butchering an animal the serrations pull the flesh rather than cutting it. This results in the serrations building up clumps of flesh in them.

Good quality steel so it holds an edge and is easy to sharpen.

Reputable brand name so you know what you are getting. There is a lot of temptation to buy a $10 pocket knife from the corner store and proclaim it is just as good as a Case. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Buy a $10 corner store pocket knife and you have a disposable knife. Buy a $100 Case or Victorinox (Swiss Army) pocket knife and you have something that will last a lifetime.

I am not going to mention any pocket knife brand names besides Case and Victorinox. Do your own research and find a good quality pocket knife that you like.

What is your pocket knife currently used for?

My pocket knife is used for all kinds of stuff around the farm.

One of the mistakes preppers / survivalist make is they stockpile lots of stuff, such as knives, but do not take the time to use items from their stockpile. If you do not use it how do you know its quality? How do you know if the knife is going to hold an edge? How do you know the knife is not going to break? When you need something is not the time to test it.

Utility knife

For the sake of discussion lets call a utility knife anything with a fixed blade shorter than around 12 inches. Once you reach 12+ inches I put that in the same category as machetes.

Why a fixed blade knife? Stronger than folding knives, easier to clean than folders, worn on the belt they are easy to access, can be worn on a harness or body armor, longer blade than folders,,,, etc.



Personally, I prefer to skin a deer with a short fixed blade knife over a folder. I know people who use their Case folding knife to skin and quarter deer. It seems unsanitary to get blood into the hinges of my folding knife, then carrying the knife in my pocket. If I cut myself shortly after skinning an animal what pathogens will I be exposed to? For hygiene reasons I like to keep my butchering knife separate from my everyday carry.



Depending on the blade length this is your hacking, chopping, skinning, hog hunting, a knife you can make a spear out of, cut limbs and build a shelter with, cut up wood for a campfire, all around duty knife.,,, etc.

Some of my selected utility / survival knives:

Gerber Profile
Gerber Big Rock
SOG Pentagon
Mantis TA-2 Seymour
Schrade schf9
Cold Steel GI Tanto
Cold Steel Recon Scout

Of that list the Gerber Big Rock (Supplied by Rocky National), the Cold Steel Recon Scout and the Mantis TA-2 Seymour have to be my favorites.

Cold Steel Recon Scout - I bought the Recon Scout in the mid-late 1990s. In the past 20 years years I have brought it all over southeast Texas - everywhere from the marshes to the piney woods. It has done everything from cut limbs to skin deer. The long blade was slightly unwieldy for skinning whitetail deer, but it got the job done.



Specs: The Recon Scout sports 7 1/2" blade and has an overall length of 12 1/2". The old style sheath came with a belt loop and a leg tie. The new style sheath comes ready to attach to webbing and body armor. Older Recon Scouts were made out of Carbon V steel. The Cold Steel website ways the scout is currently made from O-1 High Carbon.

Gerber Big Rock was supplied at no cost to myself from Rocky National. In my opinion this is an excellent camping, backpacking and skinning knife. I am not saying that because the knife was supplied to me, that is my honest opinion.



Specs: My Gerber Big Rock has an overall length of 9 1/2 inches and a blade length of 4 1/2 inches. The blade material is listed as 440A stainless steel. While not made of the best quality steel 440A is rust resistant.

Mantis TA-2 Seymour - My feelings are mixed about the TA-2 Seymour. The sheath comes with slots for attaching to webbing or body armor, there is also an 1 1/2 inch belt clip. The belt clip seems rather weak and I am not sure if the clip will hold the knife in place as any belt over 1/8 inch thick does not fit the clip.



What the TA-2 Seymour has going for it is the curved blade which makes it good for slicing meat. While butchering a whitetail deer I was impressed how well the blade sliced through the flesh and meat.

Specs: Overall length 7 3/4 inches, blade length listed as 3 inches while my knife is more around 2 3/4 inches, blade material 420HC.

While not the best quality steel I like the overall feel of the Mantis TA-2 Seymour. As I do not trust the clip or how well the sheath retains the knife, so I keep it inside a backpack. The TA-2 Seymour is reserved as a skinning knife only.

Tanto knives - My personal opinion, Tanto style knives should not be stockpiled for a SHTF situation. The tips are made for stabbing, and that is about it. The straight blade is not good for skinning or butchering.

I have a Cold Steel GI Tanto in my collection. It looks cool and was bought at a good price 5 or 6 years ago, but it would not be one of my "go to" knives during a SHTF situation. Chances are the GI Tanto will be sitting in a drawer while I use other knives for everyday chores around the farm.

In review of my utility knives - After listing my utility knife collection it seems I need some skinning knives of better quality steel besides 420 and 440. Something with a 3 - 4 inch blade and made from good carbon steel.

There are a lot of good quality knives on the market. It is just a matter of doing some shopping, reading the specs and reading the reviews.

Handout knives

Earlier in the article we talked about corner store $10 knives. This might sound odd, but I feel survivalist should stockpile a few cheap knives. That is right, get some of those cheap $10 and $15 knives and put them in storage.

Why would you stockpile cheap knives?

To handout to the less prepped people who show up asking for help. These are the zombies who refused to stockpile their own survival gear, or the less fortunate who had to leave their preps behind.

Why would you give someone a knife?

So they can help butcher pigs or chickens, help harvest crops, help do chores around the farm that might require a knife.

Why give someone a $40 or $50 knife to harvest squash when you can give them a $10 knife that will do the same thing? If someone loses a $10 made in China corner store knife, no big deal. Teaching a child how to use a knife and knife safety, do you risk them losing a high priced knife or an expendable $10 knife?
Conclusion

Did we miss anything?

We talked about folding knives, fixed blade knives and cheap knives to give you to your friends and family.

We talked about what knives might be used for in a post-SHTF world.
 

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Deplorable
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I have owned countless knives over the years, most very nice, some junky and clunky. I think a Victorinox or Wenger Swiss Army knife is an integral part of any kit, but if I was going to stick with a single brand to provide various knives it would be Ontario. I think the company offers the best value in a wide assortment of blades and styles.

Having a selection of go-to knives for different tasks is not much different than a selection of go-to firearms.
 

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KOAD; FOAD; ESAD
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I have two fixed and two folders for each family member and one spare of each put back...Im putting up 1/2 pints of cheap booze for trade goods..knives not so much:eek::
 
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There's more knives in the U.S. than guns, and there's more guns than people. So everyone who is capable of using a knife should already have one. And if you don't, then you probably have no knife skills and wouldn't be able to do much with one except cut yourself by accident or allow someone to take it from you and stab you with it.

Knives as barter items is not the best idea.
 

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There's more knives in the U.S. than guns, and there's more guns than people. So everyone who is capable of using a knife should already have one. And if you don't, then you probably have no knife skills and wouldn't be able to do much with one except cut yourself by accident or allow someone to take it from you and stab you with it.

Knives as barter items is not the best idea.
This may be true but it's alwayse good to have standardized kit for your units.
 

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Collecting knives seems cool, and there are lots of great ones out there. But if the SHTF everyone and their brother will have a knife , be it swiss army Rambo or steak. Pick the ones that work for you and what you feel you need . beyond that I don't really see the point. Every household has a dozen, none are perfect for everything but there will be no shortage of them.I can think of many better things to stockpile.
 

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I think high quality knives would be a great bartering item. Booze is for fun. If you're starving to death a knife can be pretty useful (think processing game and gardening) booze, less so. What does a quality mora or old hickory cost? $10 or $15? The utility of a knife would be pretty hard to beat.
 

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I think high quality knives would be a great bartering item. Booze is for fun. If you're starving to death a knife can be pretty useful (think processing game and gardening) booze, less so. What does a quality mora or old hickory cost? $10 or $15? The utility of a knife would be pretty hard to beat.
I would never trade weapons. And if your starving to death your beyond any help a knife can bring.

If you want to have a standard equipent for say a squad or two that's one thing. But I woukdnt do it for barter
 

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Booze is an anesthetic, disinfectant, nerve tonic for freakouts..it has many uses besides "fun"..knives are a dime a doz...every kitchen in America has a stash...anyone who works or plays outdoors has one or three...we keep belt and pocket knife, spares of each in the packs and a couple on the side...that's plenty...Ever since John Rambo sewed up his arm with a fishing line out of his hollow handle and stuck and cooked a pig with his knife/fire steel, everyone has tried to own a Jimmy Lyle knock off...that dude made a friggin fortune off those 3 movies...he made/sold a 100 each of the movie knives at a 1000 a pop...hes good but 99% of Americans don't need that sort of cut...prepper or no
 

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I've always liked all things sharp and pointy. I have all sorts of knives. I've got several folders, hunting folders with gut hooks, utility fixed blades, camp knives, choppers, batoning knives, skinners, bayonets (old collector ones not for real use), a SOG machete and a SOG micro tanto on my key chain, even have a couple of camp axes, a full size axe and maul, and yes even a tactical tomahawk which I really like, but my favorite and the one I carry and use daily is my ESEE Izula. Little over 6" long with a 2-3/4" blade of 1095 carbon steel. Holds a great edge, small enough to carry everywhere, works great for skinning and cleaning game, creates some serious sparks on a ferrocium rod and takes a hell of a beating. I've been wearing mine as a neck knife for over 2 years now and still love it.

Would I stock pile knives for barter? Sure. Anything can be useful as barter if the other person needs it. I wouldn't run out and buy a pallet full of knives just to be able to open my own knife emporium after SHTF but I can see the value of having 10, 20, 30 decent knives you could part with. Just because kitchens all over the world have knives in them doesn't mean nobody will want a better knife or a folding knife they can carry easily. Your average chef knife doesn't do so well in a pocket. If some guy is walking around with a steak knife and several cans of food he might be willing to part with some food for a knife that foods neatly in his pocket.
Another reason is as time goes by, knives get sharpened, blades wear down, knives get lost or unusable so it's good to have multiple backups. Making your own is an option but what's easier to stock pile, cheap knives or forge supplies and leaf springs?

There's never one right answer just like there's never one do it all knife.
 

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богдан;7927519 said:
If I had to stock several knives of any particular type. I would probbably go with the glock field knife
it's $30 well made durable, and simple sheath and not going to break the bank to buy several.

Great knives if you want to take out a sentry but try skinning out anything with them...Can it be done, certainly but not effectively or efficiently.

That's the problem with bayonets, tantos and stilettos.
 

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I have a few crappy knives but I am most interested in keeping my Ontario Knife Company M7 around. It fits on my 590A1 and AR. It also keeps an incredible edge. If you stare too long at this knife it cuts you.

It turns my rifle and shotgun into spears. Even if someone thought I had no ammo they know I can stab them. I had bayonet training and it can be very effective.
 

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Great knives if you want to take out a sentry but try skinning out anything with them...Can it be done, certainly but not effectively or efficiently.

That's the problem with bayonets, tantos and stilettos.
I didn't say it was a perfect knife it is a decent robust field knife. Good for basic knife like things like opening cans cutting rope gutting fish ect.
and yes its good for throwing and terminating soft comprimises.
But if I'm stocking knives for s group I'm not spending 60+ on knives per person. I'm going to get a durable robust easily sharpened functional tool with a good price point.
all my guys got glock knives. And they worked well
 

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all i would add is a group for salt water use, stainless steel knives, for those that live near the coast, as carbon steel will almost corrode on impact if you dont remove the scales, flush everything let dry oil and reassemble....... thats tha only reason i have the spydercos, rope and water work....... everybodys got their preference on large blades, I prefer a drop point or a KuKri,as you gain power in the stroke, Bolo aint bad either
 

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