The Best Survival Knife Brands
If you are familiar with your survival knife history, then you know that Mors Kochinski, Canadian survivalist expert, coined the term “bushcraft knives” in his book, Bushcraft. His bushcraft of choice was the original Swedish Mora Knife. Thus, Mora is considered by some to be the original bushcraft knife brand.
Mora offers high quality bushcraft knives, some of which are sold at the most budget-friendly prices on the market. In fact, the Mora Basic 511 model sells for less than $12. Of course, Mora sells more expensive knives as well. The Mora Garberg Carbon Steel model runs for about $110. Though the Garberg is on the more expensive side of the spectrum of price for this brand, it is still more affordable than what many other brands have to offer.
While Mora knives can be used for a myriad of different functions, it’s razor-sharp blade allows it to especially excel at intricate carving, skinning wild game, cutting cordage, and processing natural materials. This is definitely a tool any bushranger would be glad to have when making camp.
It’s no coincidence that Mora is the favorite brand of many expert survivalists; Mors Kochinksi and Dave Canterbury are just two of many experts that favor the Mora brand. That’s not to say that there are no other high quality brand options on the market, but the quality and price point combination Mora offers is unbeatable.
Some of the highest quality survival knives on the market are produced by the brand ESEE. There are many reasons bushrangers opt for ESEE knives, some of which include:
1095 Carbon steel is considered to be one of the best materials from which a blade can be crafted. It just so happens that many ESEE knives are constructed from 1095 carbon steel, making them incredibly durable and easy to sharpen. The majority of ESEE knives containing carbon steel blades are powder coated in order to better protect them from corrosion. Additionally, numerous ESEE knives have a full exposed tang. This feature amplifies the strength of the knife and allows its user to employ more force when taking on substantial tasks. ESEE has created very high standards for quality among bushcraft knives.
ESEE only sells items that have been thoroughly tested and proven by experts to be useful in the field. All features have been carefully planned and designed by the ESEE team, which is dedicated to continuously improving the already high quality of the knives the brand offers. Each and every knife is tested and proven before being put on the market.
ESEE knives are designed to be simple yet effective. This brand does not add unnecessary designs to their products. Instead, the makers of ESEE knives focus solely on efficiency-- which is something that all bushrangers can appreciate.
Their no nonsense attitude extends to the brand’s customer service. This brand displays such a high level of confidence in their products that they offer a no questions asked warranty to fix or replace any broken ESEE knife. This warranty is fully transferable and lasts for the entirety of the lifespan of the knife.
The idea behind this incredible warranty is simple: the brand believes that ESEE knives are tough enough to withstand any job. If a bushranger manages to actually break a knife, they should be able to have that knife fixed or have a new one sent to them hassle-free. This may be the best warranty available on the market, further setting ESEE apart from their competitors.
These are only a few of the many reasons that so many military members, law enforcement officers, and survival enthusiasts favor products like the ESEE 6, ESEE 5 and others made by this first-rate brand.
Another brand that utilizes high quality materials, such as 1095 carbon steel, in the crafting of their products is TOPS. This manufacturer has been in business since 1988, since a group of Vietnam War veterans came together to establish the brand. These veterans addressed issues that they experienced with the military knives they were issued during the war and made it their mission to manufacture stronger, more durable knives.
Thirty-three years later and TOPS Knives is still dedicated to their original mission. This brand employs military, law enforcement, and weapon experts to assist in designing their products. Not only does this lead to TOPS carrying a variety of blade styles, it ensures that they offer options that will fit the needs of any customer.
Though they offer countless options, two of TOPS Knives’ most popular products include:
This knife was designed by The Brothers of Bushcraft (aka: BOB). The Brothers of Bushcraft are a coalition of North American men with a focus on sharing wilderness living skills.
The Fieldcraft Knife was crafted with the culmination of the BOB’s knowledge-- combining experiences from every environment that can be found across the Americas. This includes humid rainforests, arid and scorpion-littered deserts, and frigid tundras.
The BOB Fieldcraft knife has been designed to handle heavy duty abuse and has undergone intensive testing in the wilderness. Survival experts, such as Mors Kochanski and Dr. Gino Ferri, have deemed this bushcraft tool as a “Serviceable Field Knife,” which is exactly what it is meant to be. The BOB Fieldcraft knife can handle virtually any task its user puts it to.
Crafted with a micarta handle and 4.5 inch carbon steel blade, this bushcraft knife is virtually indestructible. The Baja 4.5 encompasses the perfect balance of strength and edge retention.This design was inspired by the Baja California region, which is home to a multitude of environments ranging from mountains to deserts to beaches. The Baja 4.5 is designed to easily handle the challenges that any of these environments would present.
Mora, ESEE, and TOPS are all endorsed by experts and offer some of the highest quality knives in the industry. If you are looking for the most budget-friendly knife on the market, Mora is the brand for you. If an unbeatable warranty is important to you, opt for ESEE products.
If you want a knife that has been designed by military veterans and the Brotherhood of Bushcraft, then check out TOPS Knives. When choosing a bushcraft knife, you cannot go wrong with any of these brands.
Hi Folks… I love near Olean, NY so I’m partial to the K-Bar brand but I specifically use the Becker line while afield. My BK-11 (neck knife) is my “food” knife, my BK-2 is my general purpose tool, & my BK-9 is my seldom used back-up. I have been in SAR for over 45 years and have found these to be equal to the ESEE line in quality and functionality. K-Bar is probably a more “regionally” known tool so it didn’t make your list? Enjoyed your reviews and would have bought an ESEE if I had never purchased a survival tool before… Mike
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