In case you haven’t already guessed, survival knives are great versatile tools that can be used for just about anything when you’re in a predicament. In fact, most people would consider them the single most important tool you could carry in your inventory in survivalist situations due to their vast range. It’s easier to understand what they’re built for when you attempt to contrast them with other types of common knives. Standard pocket knives, although great for small scale applications like whittling or cutting rope, lack the size and strength to perform most of what is expected from survival knives.
Before moving further, also check our list of best survival knives in 2021.
Swiss Army knives too, although are capable of proving very useful for multiple purposes (they come with a series of nifty gadgets and attachments like cork-screw openers and filers), lack the stability and resilience of survival knives.
Uses of Survival Knife 2021
What distinguishes the survival knife from the rest of these is how well it adapts to new situations in the wild. In sudden survival scenarios, you want a knife durable enough to cut through a range of different materials whilst offering you reasonable precision and edge. Despite this being the prime application for them, it is nowhere near the only use:
As previously stated, these are ideal for cutting or slicing wood or other fibrous vegetables in the wild. It also allows you to slice off plants or dense shrubs when you travel a beaten path. Any standard survival knife should be appropriate for this activity since It is primarily built for this function.
Although it’s not the best at it, or as good as an actual shovel, in a pinch your survival knife can help you when excavating root vegetables or worms to use as fish bait. It can also help dig up fire pits, dispose of waste and carve out distress signals when you have nothing else at hand. They’re particularly nifty when setting up traps for game as well, especially if you have a rather large blade.
This is where a survival knife can truly shine. Compared to other flimsy knives, a survival knife performs just as well as an axe or a good quality hatchet when you have the right type. A large, full tang knife can prove to be a very powerful tool when batoning. Just make sure you have a strong and durable knife for this and you can easily swap it for an axe on your next camping trip.
This is maybe the most obvious one besides cutting, your survival knife above anything else is meant to be a weapon for self-defense. You can use it to defend yourself against predators and wild animals as well as to hunt down small game and even fish for food if the need arises.
5. Food prep:
The chopping and slicing function of a survival knife extends beyond just shrubbery and wood, it can also help you when it comes to cutting up vegetables or meat for food. Particularly smaller ones with more precision allow you to skillfully skin game and gut any fish you might catch as well. They’re a great replacement for kitchen knives and take just as little time as well.
6. First Aid:
Picture this: you’re in the woods and manage to get bitten by a wild animal, there’s no first aid kit on you besides the rudimentary alcohol swabs. What do you do?
Well if you have a survival knife on you, you can heat it up and use it to cauterize your wound to prevent the risk of a deadly infection. It can also come in handy when cutting improvised bandages.
7. Building Shelter:
To be entirely honest, building shelter is not exactly a survival knife’s forte, you’d be better off with a saw or a hatchet if you had one. But assuming you don’t (because who really does), your survival knife can make a satisfying substitute. It’s already ideal for chopping up wood and other materials you might need, you can even use it to make notches in stakes and the handle can be used to pitch your tent as you hammer in the tent pegs. For this you might need a particularly hefty and large survival knife though, we would recommend one with a large base and heavy handle.
8. Carving/ Making tools:
Although a survival knife itself can serve as an impressive, multi-purpose tool, it can also help you carve other tools you might require in the wild. For example, your knife can be used to carve and whittle a spear, snares, stakes and so on, it also helps you make modifications to already existing and overused tools.
9. Fire Making:
It is fairly easy to imagine yourself in a precarious situation in which you have run out of lighters, matches or any other fire starters. Lucky for you though your survival knife can help in crafting yourself a bow drill. It takes a bit of practice to get a better natural feel for what type of wood to use and how to keep pace, but once you’ve learned the method you can easily start making sparks against a stone by striking your blade on it and keeping a tinder closeby to catch them. You’ll have a roaring fire in no time.
10. Hunting Weapon:
As previously stated, a survival knife makes for a great self-defense tool but also an impressive hunting weapon. Your best shot would be to tie it to the end of a long pole and use it a spear to give yourself an extended reach for safety. It makes for an adequate replacement when you’re devoid of a gun or rifle, enough to hunt small game and fish with at least. It also has the added benefit of essentially an all in one since you can use it to skin your catch, cut it and do other various forms of meal prep.
This can work in two different ways. Firstly, you could use your survival knife to make an impressive fire and signal for rescuers. Secondly, you could also use it as a signal mirror to get people’s attention. For the latter, you obviously need one that is kept in great condition and retains its shine to be able to accomplish this.
There’s a variety of things that can go wrong when you’re outdoors, it’s always best to come prepared in case you are faced with an emergency and need rescue.