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The Top 20 Best Survival Knives Under 50 Bucks in 2023

by | Jun 29, 2023 | Knives, Survival Gear | 0 comments

It’s possible to get he best survival knife under 50 that can ensure unmatched wilderness resilience, providing essential reliability in crucial scenarios.

Yes, you can get your hands on a high-carbon steel, full-tang survival knife without breaking the bank.

Whether you need a small, manageable blade or a trusty full-tang knife, we’ve got some excellent recommendations up our sleeve.

We have here a list of the 20 best survival knives under 50. You’ll be surprised by the superior quality you can find within this price range.

So if you’re ready to navigate the wilderness with a reliable tool that won’t empty your wallet, read on. 

Knife left in the wilderness on a rock.

The 3 Best Survival Knives Under 50 You Need To Buy Right Now

Here are our top 3 picks for the best affordable hunting knife, ensuring unmatched performance and lasting blade precision.

In This Guide

The 20 Best Survival Knives Under 50

Here’s our list of the 20 top-notch blades, each promising unmatched survival support in various settings.

1. Morakniv Kansbol Sandvik Stainless Steal Fixed-Blade Survival Knife

Blade Material: Stainless steel

Blade Length: 4.3 inches

Weight: 4.8 pounds

  • Sturdy and high-quality build
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Maintains a sharp edge
  • Some users find it difficult to sharpen

Crafted with premium Swedish stainless steel, the blade on this knife is designed to stay sharp for an incredibly long time. The semi-matte finish adds to its rugged appeal, but its durability and functionality are the real charms.

Its sleek design and sturdy construction make it an indispensable companion for all outdoor needs. It also arrives sharp and ready to accompany you on your bushcraft camping adventures.

But it’s not just the blade designed with the utmost attention to detail. The ergonomic handle with a soft friction grip and finger guard adds comfort, control, and safety. 

Plus, it features a Scandi grind and a fire-starter-compatible spine that’s sure to be your best friend when you need to start a fire for warmth, protection, or cooking.

2. MASALONG Outdoor Survival claw Tactical Teeth Knife

Blade Material: Alloy steel

Item Length: 7 inches

Weight: 6.7 ounces

  • Arrives sharp out of the box
  • Comfortable grip
  • Good weight and solid construction
  • The serrations and inner edge may need additional sharpening

The Karambit is not just a knife; it’s a weapon of tradition, used in pencak silat and Filipino martial arts. It can cut through anything that comes your way, from thick branches to stubborn packaging or even an emergency self-defense situation.

The Masalong knife is an extremely sharp, sturdy tool ready to leap into action when you are. Built to feel like an extension of your hand, it offers a comfortable grip that makes handling a breeze.

The real game-changer here is the innovative sheath design. Whether you prefer to carry your Karambit on your right or left side, the sheath adjusts in seconds at whatever angle you choose.

It’s razor-sharp right out of the box. And while Karambits can be a bit challenging to sharpen, the peace of mind of knowing that you’re starting with a sharp edge is worth it.

3. KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Knife Fixed Blade

Blade Material: Stainless steel

Item Length: 5.63 inches

Weight: 6.4 ounces

  • Has a comfortable and ergonomic grip
  • Ideal trained users, especially for self-defense purposes
  • Blade cuts effectively, demonstrating good-quality steel
  • Handle feels cheap
  • Sheath and metal clip isn’t suitable for all clothing types

This knife boasts a unique blade crafted from high-quality AUS-8A stainless steel that’s hardened to ensure an edge that holds up under stress. Its drop-point edge makes for precise, controlled cuts, while the non-reflective black coating adds a stealthy touch.

The sheath, too, is meticulously designed, offering versatility in carry options, whether you’re left or right-handed. You can adjust it for handle-up or handle-down carry to suit your draw style. 

Yes, it has a unique design, but it’s been carefully crafted for a purpose. The slight protrusion on the back helps to secure the knife during movement and ensures a reliable draw.

However, this knife is not meant to be an everyday carry for opening packages or cutting rope. Still, it’s there for when you need it most, and you’ll be glad you had it when the time comes.

4. Condor Terrasaur Fixed 4.15 in Blade

Blade Material: 1075 HC carbon steel

Blade Length: 4.15 inches

Weight: 9.5 ounces

  • Rugged design
  • Blade is sturdy and has good edge retention
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Lacks grip on the handles

The Condor Terrasaur easily does it all — whether you’re carving, making feather sticks, or splitting small pieces of wood. This knife sharpens easily, even in the field. A few minutes on a stone or a quick hone-and-stroke, and you’re back in business.

The over-molded polypropylene handle is surprisingly comfortable and fits in multiple grip styles.

What’s more, the Terrasaur is a budget-friendly miracle. Despite its rock-bottom price, it offers perks usually reserved for more costly counterparts.

You’ll find yourself the proud owner of a full-tang, quality steel knife complete with a sheath without resorting to a diet of beans for the rest of the month.

5. Ontario Knife Company Sp-1 Combat Knife with Black Nylon Sheath

Blade Material: 1075 carbon steel

Item Length: 7 inches

Weight: 16 ounces

  • Highly durable; can withstand heavy use
  • Solid grip texture
  • Flexible and sturdy molded Kraton handle
  • Knife doesn’t come sharp out of the box
  • Bulky

The Ontario SP-1 is a no-nonsense, full-sized, high-carbon steel knife that isn’t here to play games. Instead, it’s here to work.

Hand-crafted in the USA, the SP-1 is a knife that sports a 7-inch blade of 1075 carbon steel. It boasts a comfortable Kraton handle, designed to give you a firm grip, no matter the intensity of your tasks. 

Although its powder coating might appear rough and utilitarian, remember this isn’t a decoration piece. It’s built for work, and the coating protects the blade from rust and damage.

If you’re seeking a museum piece to marvel at, you might need to dig deeper into your wallet. But if you desire a sturdy, reliable companion for your outdoor escapades, the SP-1 won’t disappoint.

6. Cold Steel 17TZ Kobun

Blade Material: AUS-8A stainless steel

Blade Length: 5.5 inches

Weight: 4.2 ounces

  • Ideal size for carrying
  • Grippy handle
  • Good sheath retention
  • Sharp and well-ground blade
  • Handle may feel too thin after prolonged use
  • Poor sheath clip design

Named after the Japanese word for “soldier,” this knife is your fearless ally in the face of uncertainty. Thanks to its mid-sized blade, this knife is adaptable enough for any task you throw at it.

With its reinforced point, it’s almost indestructible — resistant to bending and breakage — just like the tenacity you need when things get tough.

Not only that, but this knife is also ideal for all those mundane tasks that demand a trusty blade. So whether you’re carving a roast chicken for a family feast, breaking down boxes for recycling, or even shaping a perfect point on your pencil, this knife doesn’t falter. 

Despite its durability and power, the knife maintains a slender profile. As a result, it won’t bulge in your pocket, nor will it feel cumbersome. Plus, the sheath is designed to make carrying this knife comfortable and effortless.

7. Morakniv Carbon Steel Fixed-Blade Bushcraft Knife with Sheath

Blade Material: Carbon steel

Blade Length: 4.3 inches

Weight: 6.2 ounces

  • Tough and resilient blade
  • Handle provides a comfortable and firm grip
  • Sheath dries quickly
  • Delicate knife coating

With a blade that’s razor sharp and made of tough-as-nails ⅛ inch-thick carbon steel, it doesn’t just cut — it carves.

Also, its tungsten DLC anti-corrosive black coating ensures it’ll endure and last long.

Its ergonomic handle, equipped with a high-friction rubber grip, ensures that it becomes a seamless extension of your hand — firm, reliable, and always in control, irrespective of how intense the weather gets.

And while this knife might not be taking home any prizes for its aesthetic appeal, let’s be frank: it’s not about how your knife looks, but how it performs that truly matters.

That’s what this knife offers — raw, unadulterated, reliable performance.

8. Schrade Frontier 10.4in High Carbon Steel Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife

Blade Material: High carbon steel

Blade Length: 10.4 inches

Weight: 12.3 ounces

  • Built for heavy-duty use
  • Safe and great grip handle
  • Full-tang knife
  • Bulky for its blade length
  • The coating on the knife comes off easily

This Schrade knife features a full-tang fixed blade with a reliable, thick, and durable powder-coated design to ensure it lasts long. It slices through the toughest food items like butter yet maintains its sharpness.

Its handle? Tailored to perfection, designed to give you a firm grip, even in the slippery wet aftermath of a downpour. Plus, its ergonomic design makes it a joy to hold and use, regardless of hand size.

Plus, Schrade comes with a ferro rod and diamond sharpener that fit snugly into the sheath. So you’re not just carrying a knife but a compact survival kit.

However, no tool is without its quirks. Schrade comes with a sheath that may seem a tad bulky and less visually appealing. But think about it — the extra room houses your mini survival kit — a trade-off worth considering

9. CRKT M21 EDC Folding Pocket Knife: Special Forces Everyday Carry

Blade Material: Stainless steel

Blade Length: 3.13 inches

Weight: 2.8 ounces

  • Durable
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Modern and elegant look
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Some users find it too small
  • Folding mechanism can be tricky to figure out

The CRKT M21 features a robust frame lock that guarantees blade safety in any situation. Coupled with a slick black oxide finish, it’s not just sturdy but corrosion-resistant too.

And the blade, you ask? It has triple-point serrations. This knife is sharper than most high-end knives you’d see around. And whether you use it for chopping vegetables or slicing through materials in a wilderness survival scenario, it remains sharp.

However, like every worthy tool, this knife has its unique quirks. It’s compact, which might make it a tad tricky to use for some. But hey, doesn’t that also make it perfect for keeping it concealed until needed?

Plus, its guard-style handle offers the safety you’d want in a trusty blade, and it’s got a commendable balance that feels great in the hand

Also Great
10. Gerber Gear Ultimate Survival Knife - with Fire Starter, Sharpener, and Emergency Whistle

Blade Material: Stainless steel

Blade Length: 4.8 inches

Weight: 11.02 ounces

  • Sharp right out of the box
  • Blade is made of durable steel that stands up to heavy use
  • Versatile for everyday carry
  • Comes with other survival tools
  • Size may be too small for some

This knife is more than just a tool, it’s a survival kit that fits snugly in your pocket. The Gerber Ultimate Survival Knife isn’t just sturdy — it’s designed for comfort and precision. It also features an ergonomic textured rubber handle that ensures a non-slip grip.

This Gerber Gear knife has a firestarter that’s locked into the durable nylon sheath — a quick strike on the blade’s notch, you’ve got yourself a fire.

Aside from that, it also includes an in-built stainless steel hammer pommel, an emergency whistle, and sharpener. 

And that’s not all! With its half-serrated drop point blade, it’s perfect for maintaining a sharp edge or cutting through ropes. 

Plus, it’s more affordable than most counterparts, offering a fantastic bang for your buck

11. SOG Ace Field Fixed Blade Survival Knife w/ Cord Cutting Sheath

Blade Material: Stainless steel

Blade Length: 3.5 inches

Weight: 5.6 ounces

  • Well-balanced design
  • Can withstand heavy-duty use
  • Retains a sharp edge
  • Sheath feels cheap

The SOG Ace is crafted from highly corrosion-resistant 7CR17MOV steel with a durable stonewash finish. It was designed to withstand the harshest of outdoor conditions.

With its full-tang fixed blade, it becomes an extension of you, a tool always ready to serve its purpose. 

And despite its compact size of 8.75 inches, this knife doesn’t shy away from heavy-duty tasks, from cutting to carving, and even the demanding job of batoning camp chores.

But what truly sets the SOG Ace apart? It’s all in the details — edge retention and rust resistance.

This isn’t just a knife that stays sharp for a few uses. No, the Ace stands leagues apart, maintaining that razor-sharp edge far beyond what you’d expect.

12. BPS Knives - Full Tang Bushcraft Knife With Leather Sheath

Blade Material: Carbon steel

Blade Length: 4.25 inches

Weight: 4.96 ounces

  • Ergonomic design
  • Sharp right out of the box
  • High-quality and hand-finished polished grind on the blade
  • Wood handle may be uneven

If you’ve ever questioned the cutting prowess of your current knife, rest assured, the Bushcraft Knife promises you unwavering dependability.

Crafted with a Scandi grind and made from durable 1066 high-carbon steel, this blade doesn’t just shine in the sunlight; it comes with exceptional sharpness right out of the box.

It features a durable full-tang handle, made of robust walnut wood and coated with Danish oil that’s resistant to moisture and dirt.

However, even the best need care. Remember to wash and wipe dry the carbon steel blade after every use. Protect your knife from corrosion, and it will be there for you time and again.

13. Hultafors Messer OK4

Blade Material: Carbon steel

Blade Length: 3.66 inches

Weight: 4.2 ounces

  • Handle provides a comfortable grip
  • Knife arrives sharp
  • Excellent quality and finish
  • Not easy to sharpen
  • Difficult to unbutton the loop on the sheath

Crafted from high-quality Japanese knife steel, this tool isn’t just sturdy, it’s incredibly durable. Hardened to an impressive 58-60 HRC, which means this blade stays sharp for a long time and is easy to sharpen.

Additionally, this knife boasts an electrophoretic deposition coating (EPD), providing an armor-like defense against corrosion. So you’ll never again have to dread opening your knife pack only to find your blade ravaged by rust.

But the blade isn’t the only star of the show here. The handle, designed for comfort, ensures you can keep going without your hand feeling fatigued.

Plus, it fits small to medium-sized hands perfectly, making it a versatile tool for everyone in your outdoor-loving family.

14. Buck Knives 285 Bantam Folding Pocket Knife with Pocket Clip

Blade Material: High-carbon stainless steel

Blade Length: 3.12 inches

Weight: 2.4 ounces

  • Solid and sturdy knife steel
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Excellent grip, thanks to its thumb studs
  • Handle feels cheap

Engineered from 420HC steel, the Buck Bantam is built rugged and sturdy.  Its resistance to corrosion, and exceptional edge retention, ensure the blade stays sharp and efficient, no matter the task.

But the Buck Bantam isn’t just about strength — it’s also designed with your convenience in mind. The thumb stud on the blade empowers you with one-handed operation, streamlining your multitasking needs.

Complemented by the reliable lockback mechanism, your safety is prioritized while you work. And at a weight of just 2.4 ounces, it won’t weigh you down.

The Buck Bantam is a choice that won’t disappoint. It’s lightweight, sturdy, and reasonably priced — a solid knife for any user

15. Mossy Oak 14-inch Bowie Knife

Blade Material: 3CR13 stainless steel

Blade Length: 8.5 inches

Weight: 14 ounces

  • Visually appealing knife
  • Arrives sharp and ready to use
  • Full-tang and sturdy blade
  • Narrow handle
  • Not for heavy-duty tasks

This knife features a blade forged from 3CR13 steel that ensures robust strength, enduring sharpness, and unbeatable resistance against corrosion. Designed to stand the test of time, this knife can outlast even the harshest conditions.

The knife’s finger groove design guarantees a firm grip, no matter the task at hand. So be it slicing fishing lines or crafting a survival feast, this knife is your companion. 

Of course, what is a remarkable knife without its trusty sheath? This knife includes a genuine leather sheath, complete with a snap fastener — easy to carry, access, and, most importantly, safe.

Now, remember, this knife is a tool, not a toy. It’s suitable for various military, hunting, survival, tactical, industrial, and outdoor situations.

However, we don’t recommend it for chopping or batoning, as it’s built for precision work.

16. GERBER Paraframe I Knife,

Blade Material: Stainless steel

Blade Length: 3.01 inches

Weight: 2.8 ounces

  • Lightweight and slim
  • Great balance
  • Very sharp out of the box
  • Opening mechanism is stiff at first

Built with a smooth stainless steel handle and a clip for secure travel, the Paraframe I is everything an everyday carry knife should be.

It’s lightweight and easy to clean. This knife slides out effortlessly when you need it and securely locks back into place when you’re done.

It’s a versatile tool perfect for all hands, even the smaller ones. Easily extendable and retractable, this knife is a trusty companion whether you’re in the kitchen, at a picnic, or even trying your hand at a bit of target practice.

This knife might be a bit stiff when new, but with time, it eases up and becomes a part of your daily life. With a sturdy pocket clip, you won’t even notice it’s there until you need it.

17. Smith & Wesson 9inch High Carbon S.S. Fixed Blade Knife

Blade Material: 7Cr17MoV high-carbon stainless steel

Blade Length: 4.75 inches

Weight: 0.48 ounces

  • Lightweight and has the just-right size for most users
  • Offers more than expected for its price
  • Strong and durable
  • Comfortable grip
  • Belt clip on the sheath is quite low

Crafted with dependable 7Cr17MoV high carbon stainless steel, this knife is sharp and can slice through materials like butter.

It also has a black rubber-wrapped handle, so you’ll have a secure grip that won’t slip, regardless of the task at hand.

The grip may seem a bit compact, but it still offers a firm hold, even for those with larger hands.

Plus, it comes complete with a durable leather sheath, a well-ground blade right out of the box, and an ergonomic grip, all at a steal of a price.

18. Morakniv Companion Fixed-Blade Outdoor Knife

Blade Material: High-carbon steel

Blade Length: 4.1 inches

Weight: 4.1 ounces

  • Maintains sharpness well
  • Sturdy and retaining sheath
  • Lightweight and durable design
  • Comfortable grip
  • Knife is not full tang
  • Might be too light for some

This outdoor marvel boasts a 4.1-inch Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade, making it your ideal buddy for various tasks, from carving out intricate patterns in wood and preparing food in the wilderness to scraping together tinder for your campfire. 

One of the best features of this tool is its razor-sharp Swedish steel blade. Exceptionally tough, the blade stays sharp longer than carbon steel and is rust-resistant.

Plus, the knife’s high-friction grip will stay firm in your hand, no matter how wet or cold it gets.

19. Gerber Gear EAB Lite Pocket Knife with Money Clip 

Blade Material: Stainless steel

Blade Length: 2.8 inches

Weight: 2.5 ounces

  • Compact and portable design
  • Equipped with a replaceable blade system that maintains sharpness
  • Durable and rugged design
  • Lock function for safety
  • Unlocking the knife can initially be difficult but eases over time

Don’t let this knife’s compact size fool you, it may be short, but it can deliver the performance of a full-sized knife. But here’s the best part — it folds down to a mere 2.8 inches, so it’s always with you without being in the way. 

Crafted from sturdy stainless steel, the handle doubles as a pocket or money clip. And with deep finger grooves for a secure grip, you’ll confidently handle this knife in any situation.

Also, this utility blade is replaceable with 2 ¼ inch contractor-grade or standard-size utility blades. That means you’ll always have a razor-sharp edge at your disposal.

If you’re tired of the traditional limitations and ready for a knife that works with you, not against you, then this is the blade for you. You won’t have to worry about quick changes or oversized tools anymore.

20. MTech USA – Spring Assisted Folding Knife

Blade Material: 3Cr13 stainless steel

Blade Length: 3.75 inches

Weight: 7.84 ounces

  • Good weight and size
  • Comes with a functional belt cutter and window punch
  • Sturdy feel and design
  • Blade does not hold its edge for long
  • Handle can become slick when it's wet

With a 3.75-inch blade length, this knife is compact but highly effective. The steel is 3Cr13 grade, meaning it’s built for resilience and endurance.

Crafted with an embossed printed blade and aluminum handle, this knife is not only practical but a piece of art too. In fact, it has been proudly described by users as one of the best additions to their collection, adding a patriotic touch to their everyday carry.

Here’s the best part — it comes with a pocket clip, ensuring it’s always by your side. It’s a knife that impresses you with not only its size but also its spring mechanism, which delivers an effective blade extension for all your cutting needs.

Survival knife resting on a mossy rock.

What Is A Survival Knife?

A survival knife is an ultimate tool that should have the essential tang construction for sturdy and steadfast support. It’s designed to assist in various survival situations — think of it as your reliable sidekick in the wilderness.

It’s typically a fixed-blade knife, usually with a blade length that’s manageable enough for intricate tasks yet long enough for more demanding jobs.

Some knives also include a fire starter in the handle, enabling you to ignite fires for warmth, cooking, or signaling for help.

A survival knife can be a lifesaver in an unexpected emergency like a natural disaster. You can use it to cut through ropes or heavy materials during a rescue operation.

Its multipurpose design, durability, and typically compact size make it an essential part of any emergency preparedness kit.

Woman preparing a fish to be cooked.

Uses Of A Survival Knife

A survival knife is a crucial component of any survival kit, designed for multi-functional use in the wilderness. Here are its common uses in survival situations:

Food Preparation

Preparing food with a survival knife is an essential wilderness skill. Ensure your survival knife is adept for culinary tasks, offering both functionality and efficiency in food preparation.

Balance size and sharpness, ensuring optimal food processing in outdoor settings. For hunting, the sharp, reliable blade can be used to dress game, from skinning to gutting.

For fishing, you can use it to clean and filet fish. If you come across edible plants, you can also use a knife to cut these down to size.

It’s an essential tool in ensuring that, no matter what you come across or what hunting or gathering methods you utilize, you can turn it into sustenance.

Man sitting next to a fire in the woods. Wishing he had one of the best survival knives under $50.

Fire Making

In firemaking, a survival knife paired with ferrocerium can be a life-saver. You can create a spark with your survival knife, so you’re never left in the cold. Some knives even have a fire starter feature, allowing you to create sparks by striking the blade against a flint.

Building Shelter

Use your survival knife for cutting strapping or cord, facilitating swift and sturdy shelter construction. Whether crafting notches on wooden stakes or slicing through thick material, a survival knife is a great solution for DIY housing in the wild.

Image of a shelter in the woods.


A survival knife is a fundamental self-defense tool. Its sharp blade can ward off threats so you can secure peace of mind knowing your survival knife is ready for unexpected encounters, offering timely and effective self-defense.

First Aid

In first aid, a survival knife can aid in creating bandages or removing obstructions. Ensure your knife is clean and sharp, providing quick and efficient first aid when required.

A cut in the wild without a first aid kit can spell trouble. But you’re in good hands if you’ve got your survival knife. It can slice cloth for bandages, fashion a makeshift splint, and even remove splinters.

Of course, you’d have to sterilize it afterward, but in urgent situations, a survival knife can make the difference in providing immediate care.

Signal Creation

Your survival knife can step up as a signaling device. Position it right, and its reflective blade can flash sunlight visible for miles.

This improvisational signaling mirror could be the key to your rescue, highlighting the survival knife’s function beyond that of a cutting tool.

survival knife shimmering in the sunlight.

Craft and Tool Making

Carve, shape, and construct necessary tools, showcasing the versatility of a robust survival knife. In survival situations, you’ve got to be resourceful. And your knife? It’s your top tool for crafting. 

By giving you the power to alter and mold your surroundings to your advantage, you can expand the purpose of your knife from a mere cutting implement to a tool of creativity and resourcefulness.

What To Consider When Buying A Survival Knife

When venturing into the great outdoors or preparing for possible survival situations, one tool you shouldn’t overlook is the knife.

But with so many options, how do you choose a great knife under 50 that meets your needs? Let’s break it down:

Blade Length

A knife with a blade length of about five inches offers a good balance between control and versatility. An appropriate blade length ensures efficient task execution, tailoring your survival knife to diverse outdoor demands.

Choose wisely, aligning blade length with specific survival scenarios. A blade too long might be unwieldy, while one too short could limit your utility.

4 different survival knife blade lengths.


Ensure robust construction, by selecting a knife made from durable materials like 440 stainless steel. It’s best to choose a blade made of steel.

High-carbon steel is a popular choice due to its superior strength and sharp edge retention, although it might lack corrosion resistance compared to stainless steel blades.

However, if the salty sea strands you, a cold steel knife with better corrosion resistance, such as stainless steel, might save the day.

Type of Blade

Understanding the type of blade, be it Bowie knives, machetes, bolos, or a bayonet, is essential. Also, a fixed-blade knife, like a field knife or a full-tang knife, is a great choice because it doesn’t collapse, unlike folding knives.

However, if portability is your concern, a folding knife or pocket knife, like a Swiss Army knife or multi-tool, could be your best bet.

Blade Design

The blade design — clip point, drop point, or others — should also be considered. The clip-point design allows for more precise control, making it ideal for intricate tasks such as making traps.

On the other hand, the drop point offers more strength, which is beneficial when splitting wood for that life-saving fire. Prioritize designs that enhance functionality and ease of use, ensuring your survival knife is a trusted companion in survival situations.

Price Point and Value

The best knives don’t always come in the highest price range. So whether it’s the overall length, blade steel, or specific features, choose a knife that gives you great value for your investment. Secure a survival knife that delivers exceptional value, meeting and exceeding your survival expectations.

Survival knife next to backpack in the woods.

How To Maintain Your Survival Knife

Prolong the life and efficiency of your knife through regular cleaning, sharpening, and inspection. Safeguard your investment, ensuring your survival knife remains a steadfast ally in all your outdoor adventures.

With proper care, it can last a lifetime. Here are ways to maintain it:

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning keeps your survival knife in optimal condition. Remove debris and moisture, ensuring the longevity and performance of your survival knife. Protect your survival knife, ensuring it’s ready for every expedition.

If you’ve used it in a marine environment or for food preparation, a quick wash with mild soap and water will remove corrosive elements and prevent the blade from staining.

However, remember to dry the knife thoroughly immediately after washing it to prevent rusting, especially if the blade is made of high-carbon steel which can be prone to corrosion.

Sharpening and Honing

A dull knife isn’t just inefficient — it’s also dangerous, as it requires more force and is more likely to slip. You can use Strider Knives as a benchmark for sharpness, ensuring your survival knife is always ready for action. You should regularly sharpen your survival knife to maintain a sharp edge.

Depending on your comfort and skill level, you can use a sharpening stone, a honing rod, or a knife sharpener.

Also, the frequency of sharpening depends on how often you use your knife and the hardness of the blade steel. But a good rule of thumb is to sharpen it when you notice a decrease in performance.

Checking the Locking Mechanism 

If your survival knife is a folding knife, check the locking mechanism regularly to ensure it functions properly.

A malfunctioning lock can lead to the blade folding unexpectedly during use, posing a significant safety risk. So if you notice any signs of wear, it may be time to consider getting your knife serviced or replaced.


When not in use, your knife should be stored in a dry, cool place. If it comes with a sheath, ensure it’s clean and dry before sheathing your knife.

If the knife is to be stored for an extended period, consider lightly oiling the blade to prevent rust and corrosion.

Regular Inspection

Be vigilant in assessing your knife, look for chips or cracks in the blade, ensure the handle is secure, and check the blade for any signs of rust. This way, you can address any potential issues before they escalate and impact the performance or safety of your knife.

Image of a survival knife.

FAQs About The Best Survival Knives Under 50

What size of knife is best for survival?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all, most survival experts recommend a knife with a blade length between four and six inches.

A knife this size is versatile enough to handle various tasks but is still manageable to carry. It can help you prepare food, cut small branches for firewood, or even defend yourself from an unexpected wild animal.

But at the same time, it’s not so large that it becomes a cumbersome load on your journey.

What metal is best for a survival knife?

High-carbon steel has some fantastic properties, making it a top pick for many survival experts. It is renowned for its exceptional hardness and edge retention.

This means that a survival knife made from this material can maintain a sharp edge for a prolonged period, even after heavy use.

Plus, it’s relatively easy to sharpen, and you can use a simple sharpening stone or even the edge of a rough rock to bring your blade back to a razor-sharp edge.

Photo of two survival knives.

Wrap Up Of The Best Survival Knives Under 50

An effective survival tool doesn’t always have to burn a hole in your pocket.

While price is a significant factor, it’s crucial not to compromise on key features like blade material, overall length, sharp edge, locking mechanism, and more.

But remember, the best knife is about how well it fits your needs and how effectively you can wield it in survival situations.

After all, in the hands of a skilled user, even a simple Swiss Army knife can be the ultimate tool for survival.

So equip yourself with knowledge, and pick the knife that best suits your needs!

Bill Montgomery
Bill Montgomery


Bill Montgomery is the co-founder of Modern Day Prepping. He and his wife Angie have been dedicated to the self-reliant lifestyle since 2008. When he’s not working on the homestead, he enjoys tinkering with electronics and family movie nights with Angie and their two boys. To learn more about Bill, visit the About Us page.

If you want to know how to keep your family safe in the modern world, visit Privacy For Patriots, a sister site that Bill started to help fellow Patriots stay “off the radar” from bad actors and big tech.


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