SURVIVAL

Best Fixed Blade Knives: Top 8 Fixed Blade Knives Reviews

Fixed blade knives review
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Finding a high quality knife that provides you with all of the qualities that you need while still keeping it practical can be difficult. But it doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think. We’re going to help you by showing you the best fixed blade knives to help you with your everyday activities and survival needs.

Product NameSizeMaterialTangPrice
Buck Knives 0119 Special10 ½ inches total length420 HC steelFull tangCheck price on Amazon
Cold Steel 39lsf Leatherneck Sf11 ¾ inches total length4116 stainless steelFull tangCheck price on Amazon
Sog Specialty E37sn-Cp Seal9 ½ inches total lengthAUS-8 steelFull tangCheck price on Amazon
Ka-Bar Bk-22 Companion10 ½ inches total length56-58 HRC steelFull tangCheck price on Amazon
Gerber Lmf Ii Survival10 ½ inches total length420 HC stainless steelPush tangCheck price on Amazon
Fallkniven A1 Kraton Handle11 inches total lengthVG10 bladeFull tangCheck price on Amazon
Esee 6p-B Plain11 ¾ inches total length1095 carbon steelFull tangCheck price on Amazon
Helle Gt9 ¾ inches total lengthTriple layer stainless steelRat tail tangCheck price on Amazon

Most Important Features

Blade Material

The blade material is an important consideration when purchasing fixed blade knives. The most resourceful and versatile materials that you can consider are:

420HC stainless steel; 1095 Cro-Van, 56-58HRC blade steel; triple layered laminated stainless steel; 1095 high carbon steel; and AUS-8 stainless steel. All these steel materials offer you blades that are easy to sharpen, corrosion resistant, and high performing.

If you can’t afford these types of materials, however there others that are going to give you some great results. Even if you don’t find these exact versions, however, make sure you’re looking at carbon or stainless steel as a way to get high quality as well as longevity and aversion to rust.

Serration

Serrated blades offer great improvement in cutting ability. These blades are particularly useful for tough cutting chores, such as cutting tough fibrous ropes and plastic. The most reliable, full-length knives are partially serrated. This offers you increased usability and durability.

Serration-on-fixed-blade-knife

In addition, partially serrated/combo knives are extremely strong, easily re-sharpened, and capable of holding a fine edge. For some, however, a serrated knife takes away from some of the ability of the knife and a smooth edge is considered a much better find.

It’s going to be up to your own preference whether you like a smooth edge or you prefer a serrated one and it’s likely going to depend on the specific types of tasks that you want the knife to be able to perform. If you need to have the utmost control, a clean cut and complete accuracy you’ll want to look at a straight edge knife, for example.

Ergonomic Handle

You want the knife that you choose to be completely comfortable in your hand. Having an ergonomic handle helps to ensure that your knife is going to stay right where you want it and you shouldn’t have to worry about dropping it while you’re in the middle of a cut or even while you’re walking through the woods.

You should be able to hold it firmly and still be comfortable with it, rather than having to grip it tightly in order to retain control at any point. A good handle should be made with sturdy materials however, as well. You want something that is going to last and be comfortable to hold onto.

ergonomic aluminium handle

Just because it’s ergonomic doesn’t automatically mean it’s comfortable. If it has seams going through the middle it’s definitely not going to be comfortable on your hand for a long period. You want a material that is sturdy, strong and smooth under your hand, but keep in mind if it’s too smooth that could actually make it harder to hold onto.

It’s a very special balance that you want to make sure you have between smooth and just enough roughness to keep you from dropping the knife.

Size Overall

The size of your knife is going to be important because you need it large enough to take care of any tasks you need to perform, but small enough that it’s easy to carry around with you. It’s also important to note that a bigger knife doesn’t always mean that it’s going to be a better knife for everything you need to do.

If you’re going to dress small game or even if you’re going to carve a snare you need something that is able to cut a fine edge and a large knife is definitely not going to be able to do that for you. A larger knife can be a good option for things like cutting branches and wood for a fire, however.

Fixed-blade-knife

So how do you decide which type of knife you actually want? A good overall option is a 10” knife. Keep in mind, this is the length of the entire knife, not the length of the blade. The blade, however, should be around 5” or so, and the handle makes up the rest so you’re ready for smaller tasks as well as larger tasks that may need to be performed.

A survival knife can be your best weapon against anything from hunger to cold to danger, but size is definitely important to that.

Full Tang

This is one of those things that a lot of people don’t consider, but it’s extremely important. The blade and handle should be considered full tang. What this means is that the blade and the core of the handle are made with one long piece of metal that’s been carved out to form the blade and the handle.

If you look at any knife you have you’ll most likely see a piece of plastic or wood as the handle, but inside that knife is the ‘actual’ handle. The blade and this inner core are one piece in a high quality knife and the more balanced the knife the better it is. A full tang means that not only is this one piece, however, but also that the two are balanced.

full tang blade knife

The blade and the tang, without any extra outer handle pieces, would be perfectly balanced in weight if you were to try to balance them at their center point. This is important for the durability and the strength of your knife. Other types of tang, such as half tang, push tang or rat-tail tang are going to give you less balance and less durability.

Top 8 Fixed Blade Knives Reviews

We talked about the features to consider before purchasing a fixed blade knife, but what are the best option the market has for you? Let’s find out.

Buck Knives 0119 Special FixedBuck Knives 0119 Special Fixed

Price: Approximately $60

Weight: 13.6 ounces

Overall length: 10-1/2 inches

Specific features: Model 119; 420 HC steel; 6-inch blade length; fixed blade; phenolic handle w/ aluminum pommel guard; 0.175-inch thickness; and genuine leather sheath.

Best use: Outdoor & Hunting

The Buck Knives 0119 Special Fixed is one of the most resourceful outdoor and hunting fixed blade knives. It does set the standard for other fixed blades. The blade is made of 420 HC steel, which offers corrosion resistance and great edge retention. It is reinforced to a standard RC 58 for the most amazing performance, and it is easy to re-sharpen.

It is fitted with an ergonomic handle, made of resin and wood. You can choose between the black phenolic and the wooden handle. This particular model is equipped with a black phenolic handle. The only challenge with the handle is its smoothness.

Therefore, it may get slippery when used in wet conditions. You should certainly buy this piece to use on your camping expedition. It is a classic model that will offer flawless performance, particularly in dry environments. The cutting edge comes razor-sharp from the box.

It has a handy crescent tip, which makes the edge thinner providing it with a sharper point. This particular clip offers great control when cutting through tight surfaces. The crescent tip is also useful for puncturing holes. You can use it to add holes to your belt. Moreover, it comes with a forever warranty and a well-crafted sheath.

PROS:

  • Made with 420 HC steel
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Edge retention
  • Ergonomic resin and wood handle
  • Crescent tip with sharp point
  • Forever warranty
  • Made in USA

CONS:

  • Smooth and slippery in wet conditions
  • Comes with a less than sharp tip
  • Leather sheath doesn’t seem quite real
  • Somewhat large
  • Shows some grind marks

Related: If you are looking to get a knife you definitely want to have a sharpener that will take care of it, which is what the Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener.

Check the price on Amazon

Cold Steel 39lsf Leatherneck SfCold Steel 39lsf Leatherneck Sf

Price: Approximately $140

Weight: 10.4 ounces

Overall length: 11.75 inches

Specific features: SK-5 high German 4116 stainless steel; Griv-Ex & Kray-Ex handle; five-inch handle; 4.75 mm blade thickness; 6.75-inch blade length.

Best use: Outdoor

Measuring 11.75 inches and weighing 10.4 ounces, Cold Steel 39Lsf Leatherneck Sf is a highly resourceful and versatile knife for outdoor activities. This piece is engineered with a saber ground clip point, which is hollow ground as well as refined by hand to shave sharpness.

It is fitted with a thick steel substantial guard that ensures your fingers do not slide forward onto the blade’s edge. The guard offers exceptional hand protection along with minimal interference when you are conducting utility tasks. The knife is fixed with a profoundly checkered Kray-Ex handle that does effectively encircle an extra-wide full tang.

The handle is equipped with an oval cross-section along with a unique finger gutter, which offers an impressive and strong grip. Therefore, you can conveniently use it in wet conditions without losing your grip. It is topped with a thick, forged steel butt cap, allowing you to use the knife as a hammer for blunt defense.

It comes with a strong secure Ex sheath along with an ambidextrous and detachable belt loop. You can switch the sheath to left-hand carry by just removing the nylon web section of the structure and placing it on the other section of the sheath. You can easily do this with a Phillips screwdriver.

PROS:

  • Full tang
  • Finger gutter and oval cross-section for grip
  • Includes ambidextrous sheath
  • Stainless steel blade
  • Machined steel butt cap
  • Less than 11 oz.
  • 11.75” long

CONS:

  • Handle is uncomfortable
  • Slightly large knife for everyday carry
  • Belt loop system isn’t durable
  • Small amount of wiggle in the handle
  • A little heavy

Related: If you’re heading out into the woods with your knife you need a sheath that will be durable and keep it ready for you whenever you need it. That’s what the Ka-Bar 1216 is for and it’s inexpensive too.

Check the price on Amazon

Sog Specialty E37sn-Cp Seal KnifeSog Specialty E37sn-Cp Seal Knife

Price: Approximately $60

Weight: 9.9 ounces

Overall length: 9.5 inches

Specific features: Has a limited lifetime warranty; black glass-reinforced nylon handle; AUS-8 steel blade; racy new blade shape; added blade spine rasp, and injection molded glass reinforced handle.

Best use: Outdoor & Survival

The Sog Specialty E37Sn-Cp Seal Knife has triumphed over the most wide-ranging tests and evaluation programs. This particular model has endured and earned its right to wear the SOG seal. The blade has undergone the following tests and processes before it could gain its reputation:

penetration test, prying, hammering, chopping, gasoline & acetylene torch resistance, 2-week salt water immersion test, handle twist-off force, edge retention, sharpness test, blade breaking limit, and blade breaking stress. All these tests and processes prove that this is a durable general-purpose knife.

This piece has a straight, AUS-8 stainless steel, 4.85-inch edge with a black TiNi-coated finish. This is a heavy duty blade that does not only retain the edge but has the ability to withstand the effects of extensive use. It has an ergonomic handle profile.

The handle is black in color and engineered from glass-reinforced nylon that feels comfortable to the touch. The handle is scored with deeper finger grooves and grip line, providing you with a strong grip, which is slip-free.

It also comes with a MOLLE compatible nylon sheath that is very effective for concealing and carrying of the blade whenever it is not in use.

PROS:

  • Stainless steel blade
  • Ergonomic glass-reinforced nylon handle
  • High quality tested
  • Straight edge blade
  • Includes nylon sheath and belt loop system
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Spine rasp for notching and filing

CONS:

  • Grip is not comfortable
  • Not an ideal everyday carry knife
  • Handle is not as good quality
  • Sheath is not as high quality
  • Knife is not sharp out of the box

Related: The SOG Firestarter and Sharpener is a great option to add on with this item because it helps you be prepared no matter what happens out in the wilderness.

Check the price on Amazon

Ka-Bar Bk-22 Companion Fixed BladeKa-Bar Bk-22 Companion Fixed Blade

Price: Approximately $80

Weight: 16 ounces

Overall length: 10.5 inches

Specific features: Zytel handle material; 1095 Cro-Van, 56-58HRC blade steel; 5.25-inch blade length; black epoxy coating; incredible cutting power; a textured coating on the blade; removable grip panels; and choice of sheath.

Best use: Outdoor & Collectors

The Ka-Bar Bk-22 Companion Fixed Blade is a 100% synthetic knife that is highly resourceful for different outdoor activities. It is the best piece for outdoor and collectors services. If you are looking for a big and capable cutting tool, then this is it, you need to look no further. It is tested by the manufacturer to ensure durability and quality.

It has a blade thickness of 0.25 inches, providing the knife with a hefty and sturdy feeling when held. The edge has an aesthetically pleasing coating that does not reflect light. The blade material is highly durable, apart from maintaining the edge after some serious chopping and cutting, it is also easy to sharpen.

This model is fitted with an ergonomic handle that has a comfortable and strong grip. The handle offers you secured vertical forward and reverse grips. However, the sideways grip is not effective when compared to the other grips. You should not be worried that the grip being slippery when the knife is exposed to wet conditions.

However, you can always enhance the grip to eliminate any doubts. The lanyard hole is a bit larger, but the knife’s edges are not rounded. Therefore, it is a good idea to check the lanyard every now and then for wear. Generally, this model is designed to provide you with devastating cutting and chopping power.

PROS:

  • 100% synthetic material
  • 0.25” thick blade
  • Edge coating does not reflect light
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Ergonomic handle for vertical forward and reverse grips
  • Includes lanyard hole
  • 10 ½” total length

CONS:

  • Lanyard hole edges are not smooth
  • Not ideal for sideways grip
  • Sheath is not ideal
  • Blade coating chips over extended use
  • Too large for hunting purposes

Related: Go ahead and take this knife into the wilderness with you, but don’t forget this firestarter either. The Light My Fire Fire Starter gives you 12,000 strikes and an emergency whistle.

Check the price on Amazon

Gerber Lmf II Survival KnifeGerber Lmf Ii Survival Knife

Price: Approximately $80

Weight: 33.6 ounces

Overall length: 10.59 inches

Specific features: 4.84 inches blade length; 420 HC stainless steel blade; separated butt cap; blade & handle holes; skull crusher, coyote brown textured Kraton handle profile; partially serrated edge; drop point; and molded plastic & nylon sheath material.

Best use: Outdoor Activities

The Gerber Lmf II Survival Knife is one of the most renowned survival knives on the market. The blade is made of 420HC stainless steel, which is not only corrosion resistant but also easy to sharpen. The steel material is hardened to acceptable standards for improved cutting performance.

This is a heavy-duty, partially serrated blade that you can use in almost any outdoor. You can use the edge to build a shelter when camping, cut through vegetation when hiking, and cut firewood for campfire. The knife is fitted with a stainless steel pointed buttcap, which you can use to pierce glass.

The buttcap has a smart structure that is detached from the tang, providing shock absorption whenever you use the buttcap for hammering. This prevents any electrical shock. You will certainly fall for the design; it is smart, comfortable, and versatile.

The handle is over-molded, thus providing you with a secure and strong grip while preventing hand blisters. In addition, you can extend Gerber LMF II usability by utilizing the lashing holes on the handle and buttcap.

The sheath is integrated with a built-in sharpener; therefore, you won’t incur extra costs of purchasing a sharpener. Apart from attaching to a MOLLE vest or a belt, the sheath eases movement.

PROS:

  • 420 HC stainless steel blade
  • Corrosion resistant blade
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Partially serrated
  • Stainless steel pointed butt cap
  • Over molded handle
  • Built in sharpener on sheath

CONS:

  • Not full tang
  • Needs sharpening consistently
  • Hammer paint scratches easily
  • Thigh straps are not easy to use/comfortable
  • Finish wears quickly

Related: If you’re going to be heading out into the wilderness a good water filter is definitely a lifesaver. The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter lets you filter while you drink, which is definitely a great bonus.

Check the price on Amazon

Fallkniven A1 Kraton Handle BladeFallkniven A1 Kraton Handle Blade

Price: Approximately $230

Weight: 15.2 ounces

Overall length: 11 inches

Specific features: 6.3 inches blade length; 11 inches overall length; VG10 blade material; Kraton handle material; and Zytel sheath.

Best use: Outdoor Activities

Measuring 11 inches and weighing 15.2 ounces, Fallkniven A1 Kraton Handle Blade is one of the most resourceful fixed blade knives for the money. This piece has gained its place among the top fixed blade knives in the market. It combines contemporary knife technology and ergonomics, providing you with amazing cutting power.

This is because it meets, as well as exceeds, the recognized standards for cutting strength and safety. The high performing cutting edge is made of heavy-duty laminated VG10 steel, which is not only easy to sharpen but also has the ability to withstand stress and physical abuse.

The handle is made of Kraton, providing you with a highly ergonomic grip for handling tough cutting chores. Its full tang extends through the handle. Therefore, you can strike a surface without interfering with the strong and non-slippery grip. It comes with a heavy duty, black Zytel sheath that is highly useful.

You can use the sheath to secure the blade, and then attach the sheath to you backpack or belt. The whole piece has a unique and wear-resistant finish that will last for a considerable amount of time. Generally, this is a fantastic cutting tool.

It will hold a razor-sharp edge even after doing some serious chopping. Minimal sharpening is required when using Fallkniven A1.

PROS:

  • Laminated VG10 Steel blade
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Kraton ergonomic handle
  • Full tang
  • Includes sheath
  • 11” overall length
  • Very hardy, strong blade

CONS:

  • Sheath is not MOLLE compatible
  • Sheath is not highest quality
  • Coating comes off during use
  • Not sharp out of the box
  • Needs sharpening consistently

Related: If you’re going to have a knife you need to be able to sharpen it and the Fallkniven Knives Whetstone will help you do just that. It even comes with its own case and a low price so you can use it whenever you need.

Check the price on Amazon

Esee 6p-B Plain Fixed BladeEsee 6p-B Plain Fixed Blade

Price: Approximately $120

Weight: 12 ounces

Overall length: 11.75 inches

Specific features: Made in the U.S.; unconditional lifetime warranty; thumb jumping spine; 57RC Rockwell hardness; flat pommel; grey linen Micarta handle material; flat grind; drop point blade; 1095 carbon steel blade, and textured powder coat blade finish.

Best use: Outdoor Activities.

Measuring 11.75 inches long and weighing 12 ounces, Esee 6P-B Plain Fixed Blade is a highly resourceful and versatile plain edge fixed blade knife. This piece is particularly made for survival. It has combined features for bushcraft and survival outdoor cutting chores. This knife is top rated as one of the best wilderness and outdoor knives.

It is a full tang engineered from 1095 high carbon steel. The edge is black powder coated and flat grounded. It does feature jumping on its spine for improved and strong thumb grip. It is fitted with an ergonomic, gray Micarta handle, which offers a strong comfortable grip and balance.

The rounded pommel has a lanyard hole. In addition, the knife comes with a heavy-duty black molded polymer sheath along with a removable clip.

PROS:

  • Full tang blade
  • 1095 high carbon steel blade
  • Lanyard hole
  • Includes sheath and removable clip
  • Well sharpened out of the box
  • 3/16” thick blade
  • Powder coated blade

CONS:

  • Large for everyday carry
  • Heavy for extended carry
  • Not a 90° angle
  • Sheath scratches the handle
  • Handle scales are not ergonomic

Related: A high quality MOLLE sheath is a great investment with any fixed blade knife and the ESEE Fixed Blade MOLLE is something you’ll want to look at for yourself.

Check the price on Amazon

Helle Gt KnifeHelle Gt Knife

Price: Approximately $150

Weight: 5.5 ounces

Overall length: 9.7 inches

Specific features: Fixed blade; straight edge; drop point blade; triple layered laminated stainless steel blade; birch handle; aluminum guard; and genuine leather sheath w/ snap closure.

Best use: Outdoor Activities

Measuring 9.7 inches long and weighing 5.5 ounces, Helle Gt Knife is one of the best knives for camping, hiking, and fly fishing. This Norwegian-based dagger is made of heavy-duty triple laminated stainless steel, which is well-known for retaining its sharpness.

The blade profile comprises a straight edge and drop point shape, specifically designed for outdoor activities. The absence of a pommel and the inclusion of an aluminum guard, make it lightweight and easy to maneuver.

The handle designed is made of curly birch, providing you with an ergonomic grip. It also comes with a uniquely made leather sheath w/ snap closure.

PROS:

  • Triple laminated stainless steel blade
  • Retains sharpness
  • Very lightweight
  • Curly birch handle
  • Leather sheath included
  • Drop point blade
  • Shiny finish

CONS:

  • Rat tail tang
  • Not 90° angle spine
  • Blade edge gets micro rolls and chips on hard surfaces
  • Handle not comfortable over extended use
  • Sheath is not kydex

Related: Learn all about surviving out in the wilderness with this Bushcraft 101 Field Guide to help you out.

Check the price on Amazon

In Conclusion

A fixed blade knife can serve you best if it feels good and safe in your hand. It requires thought as to size, length, design, material, handle, and carry. According to the most important features, the blade material should be the first thing to check.

fixed blade knife and case

The edge must be hard enough to stand up to the rigors of cutting. It must also be easy to sharpen, and it should be capable of retaining a fine edge. Also consider the serration, blade profile, handle profile, and sheath.

Do you think we have missed any resourceful fixed-blade knives? Do you have one of these that you like more than the others? We definitely want to know about it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

  • David Laing

    I’ve been in the market for a versatile and durable knife for hunting and camping for quite some time now, after quite a bit of research, I settled on the Buck 119.

    I understand that this model is Bucks best selling, and it’s clear why. Right out of the box, the blade is razor sharp and it’s simple design is capable of handling everything from larger cuts to intricate work. It has a great weight and balance and unlike many other knives available on the market, the Buck 119 has a full tang, something I specifically wanted to add that extra durability and strength.

    Do yourself a favour, if you’re in the market for a great all-round knife, this handsome classic is a must have.

    • Dennis Owens

      I have my own Buck 119! Yes this is an all-around, reliable, and well-built knife that provide you its service for lots of years. What captured my attention before buying it? The simple and no-nonsense design.

      • Stuart Wood

        Sorry guys, though I have never actually handled a Buck 119, I still have to disagree – when comparing survival/bushcraft knives, the ESEE 6P-B wins out every time. It’s strong, durable, and holds an edge better than any other knife I have personally ever used. I’ve used it for everything from batoning firewood to food preparation. Without a doubt, the best survival knife out there.

        • Dennis Owens

          We appreciate your feedback, Stuart. Indeed, ESEE 6P-B is another great fixed blade option for our co-enthusiasts to consider.

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