As you are trying to setup your survival kit, you realize that, apart from your foldable knife, you can’t go without a good fixed blade knife.
No matter how efficient or sharp a foldable knife may be, there are some situations where the fixed blade knife is the better option.
Why get a fixed blade knife
The fixed blade knife is a versatile tool and it’s not only bush craft or wilderness survival where you can use it.
A fixed blade knife helps you break glass, hunting, cleaning game, shelter building, cutting rope, prying doors and windows or hammering. You may use it very efficient also when preparing food, eating, hunting or even for self-defense.
When we talk about strength, the fixed blade knife is certainly a very strong knife that doesn’t pivot around like a folding knife.
As for the size, even a small fixed blade knife is longer and heavier than a folding knife. These are good points when it comes to the heavy use. The longer the knife is, the greater the leverage would be.
You don’t have to worry about taking care of your fixed blade knife. You don’t have the problems of hinge and locking mechanism that a foldable knife has (prone to clogging).
Last but not least, keep in mind to always go with a fixed blade knife as your primary blade in your bug out bag. You also want to get a foldable knife for your EDC kit, but make sure you get a strong, reliable fixed blade knife as your primary knife.
What makes a good fixed blade knife and what doesn’t?
There are many fixed blade knives out there, at low prices, and even though they look pretty string, the blade is in fact pretty weak. Don’t get fooled by the aggressive design and it only takes some short time until they fail on you and even cause some injury.
Despite the fact a double-edge looks rather cool on a fixed blade knife, this actually weakens the blade’s strength and you can’t use the knife for prying or batoning wood.
The blade is never thin on a fixed blade knife and a drop-point knife blade is the thing to look for. Go for a curved edge also, as this type of blade makes it easier for you the skinning and the finer cuts.
Stay away from an tanto-style blade, even though it’s thick at the tip. As this type of blade has no belly, it’s more difficult when slicing.
Try to find a full-tang constructed knife as this means the blade goes all the way to the end of the handle. This gives a structural strength to the knife, allowing better leverage when cutting through a hard object. A partial tang means less force on your fixed blade knife, no matter how well the two parts may be assembled.
No matter how cool a knife with chainsaw teeth might look, it’s also less practical than you might think. A plain blade means versatility and a combination edge (plain and serrated) places in the middle.
You also need to check the grind of your knife. A flat grind is more popular and efficient, but it has to fit your needs, more than everything.
Don’t stick with a fixed blade knife that doesn’t have a good, sturdy, comfortable grip, no matter how great the blade is. The material of the handle is also very important and it’se very obvious you should run away from the plastic/hollow handles. Try to find knives with G10, Kraton, Micarta on the handle as they are strong and lightweight at the same time.
As the previous features are highly important when you choose your fixed blade knife, there are also some other things to consider. A good fixed blade knife gives you more than that, like a blunt end (for hammering) or a lanyard hole to thread rope.
Top 5 Fixed Blade Knife Reviews
When you want a low-priced, yet efficient and reliable fixed blade knife, the ESEE 6P-B Plain Edge Fixed Blade Survival Knife with Grey Micarta Handle is one wise buy. Here are the pros:
- The Esee 6P-B is a full tang knife
- The knife is 11.75” overall long
- The blade is 6.50” long
- The material for the blade is 1095 carbon Steel
- There is a black powder coated flat ground on the blade
- The blade features a jimping on the spine for better thumb grip
- The blade is strong and long lasting
- The blade is very sharp
- The handle is Grey Micarta scales
- The handle is lightweight, yet durable and strong
- The knife comes in a black molded Polymer that protects the knife
- The lanyard hole in the rounded pommel make the knife easy to carry around
- The removable clip on the sheath adds up when it comes to easy carry
- The knife is versatile
- You may use the knife for carving, hacking, digging and so much more
- There is a comfortable, sturdy grip on the knife
- The knife is very well balanced
As much as we like the knife, there are some minor issues that count as cons:
- The knife is not for the survival missions
- The design is not very aggressive
- The sheath is a bit long and tight
- The clip could be better
All in all, for the money you pay, the Esee 6P-B is a good, reliable, versatile and efficient fixed blade knife.
In case you don’t really care about the looks of your knife that much, but more about its performances, the SOG Specialty Knives & Tools KU-2012 Kiku Large Knife with Straight Edge Fixed 5.6-Inch Steel Blade and Linen Micarta Handle really fits the bill. Here is our list of pros:
- The knife is a version of SOG’s collaboration with the famous Japanese knife maker Kiki Matsuda
- The KU-2012 is a straight edge, fixed blade knife
- The blade is made of AUS-8 steel
- The shape of the blade is a resurvey with a black Tin finish
- The blade is very sharp and efficient
- The KU-2012 is versatile and solid
- The Linen mascara handle is ergonomically shaped
- There is a good, sturdy and very comfortable grip to the handle
- The knife is heavy weight and strong
- There is great balance for the knife
- The knife as an optional belt clip
- The knife comes protected by a black hard nylon sheath
- The lanyard hole on the knife gives safer and easier carrying on the knife
- There is a limited lifetime warranty for the knife
There are also some cons on the knife, even though they are not deal breakers:
- The KU-2012 is a bit too heavy weight
- The steel of the blade is not the best steel out there
- The rugged look of the knife is not very appealing
- The knife needs non-traditional sharpening method due to the curve of the blade
- The Kydex sheath does scratch the blade
Efficient, reliable, strong, heavy and well balanced, the KU-2012 is a good fixed blade knife, with some limitations just as well.
Strong, long lasting and with high quality materials and the best words to describe the next fixed blade knife. The Fox Spartan 2 Leonida Combat Fixed Blade Knife has many other good things so here are our pros:
- The knife is a very strong and high quality cutting tool
- The knife is 12 ¼” long overall
- The blade is 7 1/8: black finish N690Co Cobalt Vanadium stainless steel
- The blade is partially serrated saw back
- The blade is very sharp
- The serrated edge is very efficient
- The knife is great for heavy cutting and fine skinning
- The handle material is great
- The handle is made of Tan Forprene
- There is an integrated guard for the knife
- The Tan Forprene and nylon Molle compatible belt sheath comes with stainless wire cutter and diamond sharpening plate
- There is a great, sturdy and comfortable grip on the knife
- The blade remains sharp for a very long time
- The cord lanyard makes it easy to carry around the knife
As for the cons, we would only need to mention one. The handle attachment needs to be better than it is at the moment.
When it comes to high quality fixed blade knives, you don’t really know the feeling of handling a really good one until you had a Fallkniven knife. The Fallkniven Knives 42 TK1 Fixed Blade Knife is a lots of things, and strong and long lasting are the most important features. Here are the other pros:
- The knife is 8 ¾” long overall
- The blade is 4 inches’ long
- The blade is 3G, which means strength and durability
- The steel is 3 G laminate powder steel with three crowns etch
- The knife takes the heavy use and the powerful cuts
- The knife has plain edge blade
- The handle is made of Micarta
- Micarta on the handles means less weight, more durability
- There’s a good grip, never slippery, thanks to the Micarta from the handle
- The design of the knife ensures a comfortable, sturdy grip
- The knife has a full tang construction which means great endurance for the long, heavy duty use
- The nickel silver finger guard and inlay shield means safer use
- The lanyard hole is efficient as it’s easier to hand and carry around the knife
- The leather sheath protects the knife when not in use
- The knife comes in a Deluxe storage box
- The design of the knife is elegant and the colors contrast amazing with the strength and endurance of knife
When you get to the downsides, we can’t think of any. It’s nice, sleek, elegant look might be its only flaw, if you like a more aggressive appearance for your fixed blade knife.
With an impressive, aggressive and powerful look, the Microtech Jagdkommando Knife, Titanium is reliable and ready to save you in a defense situation. Here are the pros on it:
- The knife wears the name of the Austrian Armed Special Forces Operations group, the Jagdkommando
- The knife is 12-5/8” overall long
- The blade is 7” long
- The blade has three sharp edges that twist to a point
- The knife is definitely an efficient defense tool
- The design of the knife is functional
- The grooved faces and drilled holes make the knife efficient when defensing yourself
- The blade is made of sharpened 440A stainless titanium
- There is a bead blast finish on the blade
- The titanium hollow handle is practical and gives stability
- You may use the handle to store a small survival gear or cord (not included)
- The knife comes with a black waffle design aircraft grade titanium threaded “sheath” cover
- The lanyard holes on handle and end cap make it easy to carry around the knife
- The metal belt loop has model, date of manufacture and serial number
- The knife and the sheath cover are serial numbered to match
- The knife is the limited production version of Marfione custom
- The knife is made in our USA
As efficient as it may be in defensive missions, the knife has some flaws:
- The knife is not for slicing
- The knife is not versatile, but it’s an efficient defensive tool
As long as you are certain you are going to get into life threatening situations, the Microtech Jagdkommando is a great choice, very sharp and definitely lethal.
What strike you when you see for the first time the next knife is its badass appearance. The Idun Hunting Knife is a Fallkniven knife and that sums it all when it comes to quality and performance. Still, we owe it to point out the pros:
- The Idun is made of the highest quality materials
- The craftsmanship is great
- The knife is 8.5” overall long
- The Idun comes in a limited number
- The blade is Cowry X Damascus steel
- The blade is very sharp, strong and takes great heavy use
- The edge comprises a powder steel
- The hardness of the steel is 64HRC (very high, in case you don’t know)
- The fittings are made of tough nickel silver
- The Idun has a plain edge blade
- The knife has drop point
- The rest of the handle is in stacked leather and fiber washers
- The knife gives a good, sturdy, comfortable grip
- The handle is brown/tan
- The knife is versatile and may become your first choice when hunting
- The finish on the knife is excellent
- The knife comes in a nice, protective, long lasting leather sheath
- The knife is made in Japan
As for the cons, we have none. None when it comes to its looks, quality or performance. You only need to consider of saving some extra cash before getting is, as the Idun is a collectable knife, and not a common fixed blade knife.
It’s not that we don’t want to talk about other knife manufacturers, but when we talk about high-end fixed blade knives, it’s almost impossible to mention something else but Fallkniven knives. The Fallkniven HK9 with Ivory Micarta Handle and Damascus Blade brings the same “old” good things that Fallkniven knives have, but this doesn’t make it less unique or attractive. Here are the pros:
- There are only the high quality materials used on the knife
- The knife has an amazing, elegant look
- The knife is 7.6 inches’ overall long
- The knife has polished Damascus steel blade
- There is a core of CowryX powder steel
- The blade looks great and is strong
- The steel on the blade is 64 HRC, which means very strong (it would be such a waste not to use the knife!)
- The edge is powerful
- The knife is for the heavy duty use, but it also looks nice in a glass cabinet, completing your knife collection
- The handle is made of Ivory Micarta
- The handle doesn’t get slippery and it gives a sturdy, reliable grip
- The handle looks also very elegant
- The knife comes in an open, high rider leather sheath, protecting the knife
- The sheath protects the knife without any snappers
- The leather on the sheath is more than 3mm thick
- The sheath fits tightly to your belt, giving you still the chance of one-hand opening
- The sheath is easy to clean and dry with regular shoeshine (never grease!)
As for the cons, it’s almost needless to say that Fallkniven HK9 is an incredible fixed blade knife, that comes with a high price.