The Best Knives to Have in an Emergency Situation

Emergency situations can be of any type – even fatal too. In such situations, you need to act in either a flight or fight response against your imminent threats – and being prepared well for such scenarios beforehand can enhance your survival. If you want to get prepared for an emergency situation and looking for the best knife, you are in just the right place. 

In this guide, we will take you through various features to look for in a knife, its uses, and then some recommendations to start with. Let’s get into it then. 

Before you go ahead and buy a knife that looks attractive to you, here are some features that you should look for: 

Blade Length

You should buy a knife that you can easily carry in your bug out bag or a scabbard – so for that purpose, four to six inches is an ideal blade length that you should look for. longer than four to six inches of blade length would not be much efficient to control or it won’t provide ideal stability and grip because of the extra weight that comes with extra length. However, if you do need a larger blade for other purposes, you should go for a Blackhawk knife, a machete, or even a hatchet. 

Knife Tang

In easy words, a knife tang is the unsharpened and usually an unexposed part of the knife that extends down to the handle. You would want to go with a knife that either has a full tang or narrow tang. The former indicates that the unsharpened piece of metal that constitutes the blade runs down the handle as well. On some knives, this part is left exposed to make the knife lighter and more versatile. But to inexperienced eyes, such a blade would look pretty unattractive. 

Narrow tang, unlike full tang, is where the unsharpened part of the blade is narrower and is covered by more handle. One great way to ensure that the blade is up to the mark is by checking its tang’s length; if it is running all the way through the handle, then it surely will have an excellent grip and provide more control.

Type of Blade

Usually, a knife comes with two common types of blades; smooth blade and serrated blade. The former are harden to sharpen when you are out there camping in the woods. The latter, as the name suggests, has a smooth surface that can easily be sharpened on a rock, unlike the serrated one. Choosing one type over another totally depends on your needs and requirements, but if you want a convenient blade, choose the one with a smooth blade. 

Carbon Steel or Stainless Steel?

When it comes to choosing the best knife, you will usually have two common options – carbon steel and stainless steel. Back then, 440 stainless steel was one of the best metals for general purpose knives, but today, several survival experts recommend going for carbon steel. Why? Because it is strong and relatively easy to sharpen when you are out there in the woods, and it holds that edgy sharpness for quite some time. 

On the other hand, knives made of stainless steel are more corrosion resistant than the ones made of carbon steel. This property of stainless steel knives makes them a better choice to be used in wet environments, especially saltwater. That being said, stainless steel is harder and hence can be more difficult to sharpen when you don’t have proper sharpening tools on you. 

Uses of a Tactical Knife

Carrying emergency tools, like a tactical pocket knife, doesn’t just help in survival but also in various other situations, such as:

  • Freeing Entanglements: cutting a seatbelt, forging through the underbrush, or cut through a net.
  • Food: skin animals and gut your catch, or opening acorns and pecans as well as cutting down fruits in the wilderness. 
  • Water: a tactical knife can be used to dig a hole or chip ice for water, or cut open trees, cacti, and other plants that contain liquid. 
  • Start a Fire: a knife cannot build a fire for you, but it can help you start a fire by shaving and cutting kindling wood. You can use that fire to send a rescue signal or create a blaze for food.
  • First Aid:  you can use a knife to cut bandages for tourniquets, can be heated to seal open wounds, and remove splinters. 
  • Protection and Self Defense
  • Dig out burrows or cut down limbs to make yourself a shelter for the evening. 

Our Top Picks

Where to Buy
CRKT Squid Folding Pocket Knife
Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade
Condor Tool & Knife Condor Tool and Knife CTK232-4.3HC Bushslore Survival Knife
Gerber 30-000469 Dime Mini Multi-Tool, Black
Perkin Handmade Bushcraft Hunting Knife
Bahco LAP-KNIFE Laplander Folding Saw and Multi-Purpose Knife Set
BPS Knives BK06 Camp Bushcraft Knife With Leather Sheath
KINGMAX Pocket Knife,Multitool Tactical Knife with Blade
Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool, Evolution Pocket Knife


CRKT Squid Folding Pocket Knife

CRKT is known for its top-notch workmanship and products that are free of defects in materials. If you are looking for a knife that can help you in every emergency situation, then you can opt for this pistol of a folding pocket knife by CRKT. This is an everyday carry knife that is equipped with a frame lock for enhanced safety and friction grooves on the blade for a more secure grip. 

This knife, designed by Lucas Burnley, is always ready to take on your largest cutting challenges. Due to its compact size, it is easy to carry in your pocket or bug out bag. It has a blade length of 2.156 inches, a thickness of 2.79mm, features stonewash blade finish, and weighs 3.5oz only.

Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife

Having a 4.1-inch hardened Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade, this knife by Morakniv is an ideal choice for carving, preparing food, and cutting tinder. Its steel blade is razor-sharp and exceptionally tough for all kinds of emergency situations. It is equipped with a patterned, high-friction grip that sits comfortably in your hand and offers enhanced control, safety, and performance in wet and cold conditions. 

It has a blade thickness of 2.5mm and weighs 4.1oz. The knife is available in a variety of colors to choose from, and the interesting thing about it is that it comes with a color-matching plastic sheath. The product is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. 

Condor Tool & Knife Survival Knife

This survival knife by Condor Tool & Knife is crafted from the highest quality materials. Its handle is made of hardwood that provides a secure and stable grip when using it in an emergency situation. Its blade is made of 075 high carbon steel that makes it much easier to sharpen when you are out there in the woods. Its blade has a length of 4.3 inches and a blasted satin finish that makes it quite sharp.

Gerber 30-000469 Dime Mini Multi-Tool

You might need to use various tools in an emergency situation which isn’t possible with just a single knife. For that purpose, this multi-tool by Gerber is an excellent choice to opt for. It is made of stainless steel for enhanced performance and quality. Being lightweight and compact, you won’t face difficulty in storing it in your pocket. This multi-tool offers ten different tools, including a wire cutter, needle nose spring-loaded pliers, fine-edge blade, retail package opener, scissors, medium flat driver, bottle opener, tweezers, and more. 

It has a butterfly opening that makes it easy to access and use. It has an overall length of 4.25 inches when opened, and 2.75 inches when closed. It is available in 7 different colors to choose from. 

Perkin Handmade Bushcraft Hunting Knife

A bushcraft knife such as this one by Perkin makes an excellent hunting, survival, and emergency tool. It is rated 56/58 HRC on the Rockwell Scale, which indicates an ideal hardness level for a hunting and survival knife. It is equipped with a razor-sharp 420C stainless steel blade that will help you in carrying out a number of tasks. 

It has a full tang blade, and its handle is made from walnut wood, which means more grip and control. It has a blade length of 4.5 inches and 8 inches of overall length. The knife comes with a handmade leather sheath so you can easily carry it in your pocket or bug out bag. 

Bahco LAP-KNIFE Laplander Folding Saw and Multi-Purpose Knife Set

This one is a multi-purpose knife set that includes a Bahco 396-LAP general-purpose folding saw and a 2444 multi-purpose knife with a holster. The saw has a blade length of 7 1/2 inches with seven teeth per inch – an excellent choice for cutting wood and doing other tasks. The folding saw is equipped with a safety lock that you can use to lock the knife in place in when open or folded. 

The knife’s blade is specially coated to protect against rust and corrosion. It is an ideal choice for fishers, various emergency situations, working in the garden, and more. The knife also comes with a plastic case with a belt clip you can attach it to your belt when on the go. 

BPS Knives BK06 Camp Bushcraft Knife with Leather Sheath

This one is another amazing bushcraft knife by BPS Knives that is excellent for outdoor camping and different emergency situations. It is equipped with a razor-sharp durable fixed blade that is made of stainless steel for enhanced protection against corrosion and abrasion. It is an ideal choice for survival, hunting, camping, fishing, hiking, or outdoor sports. 

It has a blade length of 5.1 inches, an overall length of 9.8 inches, and weighs 4.8 ounces only. Another best thing about this knife is that it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means you can easily return it and get 100% refund if you don’t like its quality or anything about it. 

KINGMAX Multi-tool Tactical Knife 

Kingmax multi-tool tactical knife doesn’t just score full points in the functionality department but also in the department of aesthetics. This single tool provides you with five different tools, including a knife/saw, pliers, opener, can opener, and a screwdriver with a 9-in-1 bit set. It is made of 440C stainless steel for premium hardness, performance, and rust resistance. Another best thing about this tool is that it weighs only 7.7 ounces means you can easily carry it in your pocket without bearing any extra weight. 

Additionally, this multi-tool is equipped with an ergonomic, grooved handle for a secure and comfortable grip. All in all, it is an amazing tool for emergency situations, your projects at home, at work, or campsites. 

Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool

Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-tool provides you with everything that you might need in an emergency, such as a sharp knife, can opener, and a screwdriver. Its knife has a blade length of 2.5 inches and weighs 1.9oz only that is good enough for a pocket knife, which also makes it an excellent choice for everyday carry. The best thing is that this Switzerland-made product is backed by a lifetime guarantee against defects in material and workmanship – so don’t worry if you don’t find its quality poor as you can easily return it.

This tool comes in various styles, and every style offers different types of tools to help you in one way or another. 

Final Verdict

You never know when you might have to confront an emergency situation, which means it is essential for you to be always prepared for it. And to prepare well, you should have the right tool or set of tools on you, such as a knife. All the knives we have mentioned above are of top-notch quality – you can get the one that aligns perfectly with your needs and requirements. Stay Safe!