Why There’s No Such Thing as the Mythical “Perfect Survival Knife”

By James Barton •  Updated: 04/29/19 •  6 min read

People in the survivalist community often talk about what a “perfect survival knife” should be like, but I believe that there is no such thing. I’m not saying that a certain knife design can’t be the perfect survival tool for you, but that there is no single option that’s right for every situation and every person.

There are some basic characteristics that every survival knife must have, but a lot of things will also depend on context and that’s what we’ll be looking at – how to find the perfect survival knife for you.  

Essential survival knife traits

There are a few things you want any survival knife to have so that it won’t break on you or fail to perform properly in an emergency:

Now that you know what to look for, let’s see what other factors are going to affect your final decision.

The main variables

perfect knife

These are the elements of the knife that come down to personal preference. Well, it’s not actually about what you like but what fits you and works for your situation.

Of course, there are several other things that will affect your choice of length, weight, and handle and sheath material.

Lifestyle factors


The way you live your life, the gear you have, and the type of situation you get into are what will determine your perfect survival knife, so consider the:

Consider what type of survival situation you might reasonably find yourself in based on your lifestyle before deciding on a survival knife.   

Personal characteristics

Now that we’ve covered all the basic survival knife characteristics, your local environment, and lifestyle factors it’s important to address one last variable – how your body is built.

Once you’ve gone over the whole list and narrowed down your choice, be sure to take different knives in your hands and see how they feel – it will make a world of difference.

While there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to choosing the perfect survival knife, it’s not too difficult to find the best one for you – it’s all about context.  

Think about all the factors we’ve mentioned carefully, go over the list a couple of times if you have to, and you’ll have a good idea of what kind of survival knife you need.  

James Barton

James Barton

Hi, I'm James. I am the founder and main editor for The Survival Corps. I have been a part of the survival and prepping community since my mid 30's as I downsized and started to prepare to be self sufficient in a time of crisis.