The knife is one of the most important, versatile, and practical tools ever invented by man. As such, it is an invaluable item to have for survival and disaster preparedness. In fact, a case can be made that if you could only have one tool in a survival situation, a knife would be the one to have.
That being said, not all knives are created equal. Different kinds of knives are built for different purposes, and there is no such thing as a ‘do it all’ knife. What this means is that you can’t just purchase one knife for survival and call yourself good, regardless of what type of knife it is.
Since different types of knives fulfill different requirements, it’s important to have a variety of knives in your collection. Don’t believe that having a collection of knives is excessive. Each knife will prove its worth to you when the time comes.
Here are the eight primary types of knives every prepper needs:
1. Auto Emergency Knife – The auto emergency knife is easily the most overlooked type of knife there is. Nonetheless, it’s also an essential one. An auto emergency knife is, as the name suggests, a knife that you keep in your vehicle at all times for emergencies. But not any knife will do.
A true auto emergency knife consists of a serrated blade, a glass breaker, and a seat belt cutter so you can successfully escape your vehicle if you are trapped. Keep at least one auto emergency knife in the glove compartment of each of your vehicles.
2. Swiss Army Knife – We should all be familiar with the Swiss Army Knife. It’s one of the most popular types of knives in the world. There is a good reason for their popularity: Swiss Army Knives are practical. They are extremely compact and lightweight and easily fit into a pocket while also being useful for a wide variety of applications.
Swiss Army Knives commonly come installed with a knife blade, reamer, corkscrew, screwdriver, can opener, cap lifter, scissors, tweezers, and so on. While it’s not a fighting knife, the Swiss Army Knife is still a great knife to have for utilitarian purposes where minimal force is required.
3. Stockman’s Knife – Another very popular knife, similar in function to the Swiss Army Knife, is the Stockman’s knife, which consists of three separate blades: a spey, a clip, and a normal blade. A Stockman’s Knife will serve as a great alternative or addition to a Swiss Army Knife for utilitarian purposes.
4. Fishing Knife – A fishing knife is primarily used for cleaning fish after you catch them. It features a very thin and narrow blade that make it well-suited for this endeavor. Keep at least one fishing knife with a sheath in each of your tackle boxes.
5. Hunting Knife – Just as a fishing knife is used for cleaning fish, a hunting knife is used for cleaning game. Hunting knives usually feature a short blade that is razor sharp so it can cut through organs and separate the hide of the animal from the flesh. There are an extremely wide variety of hunting knives available in the market, with some featuring a gut hook built into the blade that will make it easier when cutting through flesh.
6. Tactical Folding Knife – The next knife you need is a tactical folding knife. This is a knife that you can carry in your pocket every day and for fighting and self-defense if needed. The best kinds of tactical folding knives feature a serrated and durable blade around 2 inches in length at the most, with an ergonomic grip, a clip to attach to the inside of your pants, and a locking mechanism so the blade will only open when you push or slide a button.
7. Fixed Blade Knife – Up next is a fixed blade knife with a larger blade. The most famous example of a knife in this department is the KA-BAR knife. The blade length of your fixed blade knife should be around 4-6 inches, and it is designed to be carried on your belt in its sheath.
Your fixed blade knife can fulfill a wide variety of both fighting and utilitarian purposes: you can use it to defend yourself, you can tie it onto the end of a pole to make a knife spear, you can use it for chopping wood (strike the back of the blade down a log), building shelter, cutting ice, cleaning game, and so on. A popular concept with the fixed blade knife is the survival knife, where the grip is hollow and filled with versatile survival items such as string, fishing equipment, and a compass.
8. Machete – Finally, while some don’t consider this a true knife, you’re going to need a machete. The machete is a highly useful survival weapon that, like the fixed blade knife, fulfills a variety of fighting and utilitarian purposes. The machete is a devastating up close self-defense weapon, but it can also be used for chopping wood and ice, hacking your way through brush and thick undergrowth, and so on.
The machete is instantly recognizable for its long and wide blade. This blade is sharp, but not as sharp as say a tactical or fixed blade knife, so as a result, the machete relies more on hacking and weight rather than a sharp edge to do what it does best.
Conclusion – Every serious prepper or survivalist should consider getting at least one of each of these kinds of knives. If you find yourself in a survival scenario, you will use each of them sooner or later.