The Buck Ranger Skinner Hunting Knife is the best survival knife due to its combination of a ranger blade and skinning ability. It is a small knife, just over seven inches, and weighs only five ounces. This makes it the best survival knife for someone who wants something easy to carry.
The blade is made of S30V steel, which is known for its ability to hold a super sharp edge. It also has the strength to cut through skin and wood. It is coated with titanium-nitride to extend the life of the blade and it has the number 113 stamped on it under the Buck trademark. The edge is a drop point with a straight edge for easy sharpening. It is only three inches in length so it is ideal for detail work.
The finger guard is fairly short, so this knife is best used in dry environments or gloves be used to protect the fingers.
The handle of the Buck Ranger Skinner Hunting knife is made of Dymondwood and has brass bolsters. It also has a lanyard hole in the back to allow it to be used as a spear or wrap around the wrist. The lanyard hole does not have any brass bolsters around it. This knife fits snuggly into the leather sheath that comes with the purchase. The sheath is made of heavy duty leather, but has a cheap appearance in comparison to the knife. However, it will do the job completely and has solid stitching to keep the knife securely in place.
Buck Ranger Skinner Hunting Knife – Specifications:
Weight: 5.2 ounces
Blade Length: 3.125″
Overall Length: 7.25″
Edge Angle: Drop Point
Handle Material: Dymondwood
Sheath Material: Leather
Buck Ranger Skinner Hunting Knife – History
Buck Knives crafts the Buck Ranger Skinner Hunting Knife. Hoyt Buck founded it back in 1902. Buck had learned knife crafting from a blacksmith that he was an apprentice to in
Kansas. He started the company with tools before moving to Idaho. After serving time in the United States military, Buck switched to making knives following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Buck donated his knife making skills for the United States military as it headed into World War II. Following the war, he moved his family to San Diego and began the H.H. Buck and Son knife company.
Originally using four unique stamps to put BUCK on the knife, but in 1961, it was upgraded to a single stamp. He also handcrafted 25 knives each week until 1949 when he passed away. The company then changed and began crafting the knives as mass production; however, they are all still crafted in the United States.
Buck Ranger Skinner Hunting Knife – Advantages
* Easy to sharpen
* Titanium coated steel blade
* Solid handle
* Holds the edge very well
* Elegant design
* Made in America
* Forever Warranty
Buck Ranger Skinner Hunting Knife – Disadvantages
* Lanyard hole is cheap looking
* Small handle
* Cheap sheath
* Blade is very short
* Needs better grip to prevent slipping
The Buck 65 Hood Punk Knife is the best survival knife for any outdoor use, both survival and adventure. It can handle a variety of conditions, taking a lot of abuses. It can handle extreme conditions, and it is carried in a nylon sheath. The handles can be removed, but they are comfortable and created from Micarta. The blade uses a Shock Mitigation System (SMS) that will reduce shock during use and reduce wasted energy. It is crafted with a heat treatment that makes it resistant to corrosion. It also produces an edge that remains sharp and hard. The size of the knife makes it perfect for camping and hiking in the woods, which is what makes it the best survival knife.
Buck 65 Hood Punk Knife – Specifications:
Blade Length: 5.62″
Overall Length: 11″
Edge Type: Plain
Edge Angle: Spear Point
Handle Material: Nylon
Buck 65 Hood Punk Knife – History
This knife is crafted by the Buck Knives Inc., and the company was established in 1902. The founder, Hoyt Buck, learned how to make knives while serving as an apprentice to a blacksmith in Kansas. He founded the company only three years later, making only tools and then moved the company to Idaho. He enlisted in the United States Navy and did not start making knives until after the attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941.
The knives were originally stamped with four individual letters, but then were replaced with one stamp in 1961. He donated his time to making knives for the United States troops going into World War 2. After the war, he moved to San Diego and started H.H. Buck and Son. Buck then handmade 25 knives every week until he passed away in 1949. It was at this time that the company switched from hand crafting to mass production. The Buck 65 Hood Punk Knife is based off of a design by Ron Hood.
Ron was a legacy in survival training, and this knife was created in his honor. Ron was a member of the Military Intelligence Community while serving in the Army Security Agency, or the ASA. He spent 12 months in a remote outpost in the Middle East and roughly a year and a half in Vietnam After his service in the military, he completed both his Master’s and Doctorate allowing him to teach Wilderness Survival Skills for over 20 years. In addition, he has written numerous articles and published a guidebook for the Sierra Nevada in California. His skills came from studying natives all around the world, and then practicing their methods. He has been featured on dozens of programs and videos for both the television and educational purposes. He produced the Survival Quarterly Magazine, and after he passed, his wife continued the publication.
Buck 65 Hood Punk Knife – Advantages
* Blade material
* Extremely sharp (retains that sharp edge through multiple uses)
* Comfortable handle
* Can be turned into a lance using logs
Buck 65 Hood Punk Knife – Disadvantages
* Will need to own a larger knife for heavier duty jobs during survival
* One of the pricier small knives
Tasks of a survival knife
Form is related to function and, because of that, what you should look for in a survival knife depends on what tasks you are going to use a survival knife for. A survival knife needs to be: a hunting knife for catching and field dressing game, a camping knife for camp chores, a rescue knife in case of emergencies, and a general utility knife for work.
Best Survival Knife – Hunting Knife
A hunting knife is used to skin and prep animals that have just been killed. For that reason, the knife needs to have good grip even if there is blood all over the knife. Slipping on a bloody knife is a dangerous mistake: there are lots of important nerves and blood vessels in your hands and, if accidentally cut, will require medical treatment.
A hand guard is a good feature to have in a situation like this. A handguard is a guard that exists between the blade and the handle. It prevents the hand from sliding off of the handle and onto the blade.
Another good feature to have is a blood groove. Blood grooves are lines that allow blood to flow from the cutting area out to the sides of the knife. This helps keep blood away from your hands, giving your hands more traction.
For hunting knives come into contact with blood and are needed to cut thick skin, it is best to have a knife that is corrosion resistant while having a hard blade. You don’t want to have to sharpen your knife multiple times to finish a deer. For that reason, a purely stainless steel knife is not recommended: it will dull fast.
Best Survival Knife – Camping Knife
A camping knife is a special type of utility knife that is used to perform utility tasks in the field. Such things range from nailing doing a tent to cutting wood to cutting up meat for dinner. Because of these things, a very important thing to keep in mind is the blade’s thickness. You can use a heavy object and a knife together to chop wood if needed, if you don’t have an axe or hatchet. If this is the case, you’ll need to have a blade that has a thick spine. The knife’s metal should be hard but not too hard where it’ll break.
On top of that, having a pommel allows the knife to be used as a hammer when no hammer is around. A pommel usually a piece of the knife’s tang that extends out beyond the knife’s handle and forms a metal area that is good for hammering things. Some kitchen knives have pommels as well for smashing stuff like garlic.
Best Survival Knife – Rescue knife
A rescue knife is used for everything from cutting seat belts from individuals who are trapped inside of a car to cutting open a fuelsalodge. Because of this, a rescue knife needs to be portable. Size, weight, and bulk are things to keep in mind. You don’t want a knife that is too heavy that makes it hard to carry around. Also, if you are going to be in a survival situation, you might need to hike several miles to find help. A heavy knife would be too much of a liability and not an asset. Some rescue knives feature lanyards that you can tie to your hand to prevent you from losing them. This is good if you are going on long hikes or are prone to losing things.
Best Survival Knife – Utility Knife
A utility knife is a general all around knife that is used for cutting zip-ties to opening cans (not recommended but people do it). Similar to a camping knife, a utility knife can be thought of as an urban camping knife: it is designed for more urban uses then a camping knife who was designed for field use. Utility knives need to be very sharp for a lot of urban uses will dull a knife quickly such as cutting thick cardboard.
Best Survival Knife – Qualities to look for
Because of the uses mentioned above, here are things you would want to have in a survival knife. Depending on your use, area, and what you are prepping for, you might not need all of the features listed below. Make sure to think ahead and plan accordingly: too much is not actually a good thing, especially when you have to carry all of it.
Best Survival Knife – Tang
The tang is the part of the blade that extends into the handle. A knife can have a full tang, rat tail tang, push tang, or encapsulated tang. A full tang is when the handle is made by placing material on either side of the tang. A rat tail tang is when the tang shrinks like a rat’s tail. A push tang is a rat tail tang that does not extend all the way through a handle. Push tangs are common in cheap knives and are the least sturdy. Do not buy a push tang survival knife. Encapsulated tangs are when a knife maker simply wraps the tang with either rope or plastic. Encapsulated tangs are good for survival as it is a very sturdy knife and, in extreme cases, you can undo the rope to get emergency rope.
Best Survival Knife – Handle
The handle is the part of the knife that you hold on to. When choosing a survival knife, pick a knife that has a good grip whose handle is the right size for your hand. A small handle will make long tasks painful and a large handle adds extra bulk that makes the knife hard to carry.
Plastic handles give the user protection from electrical currents. Wood handles are good for they last a long time and can withstand higher temperatures than plastic handles. There are synthetic handles like Myra that are good (but can be expensive) choices. Whatever you do, do not pick hard plastic handles: those suck and will give you blisters. Rubber is a good choice as well.
Best Survival Knife – Pommel
The pommel is a part of the tang that extends out onto the other side of the handle. It is often used as a hammer and adds extra stability to a knife. It is also used to even the knife’s weight in one’s hand and give the knife balance.
Best Survival Knife – Steel
For a survival knife, you would want to have a carbon knife that has alloys that’ll make it more rust resistant. You would rather have a knife with a little rust on it then a knife that is too brittle and crack. You can always re-sharpen a knife after it goes dull.
Thickness of blade
When choosing a survival knife, pick a blade that is about an eighth of an inch thick. Thicker blades give you more weight when chopping but make it harder to do fine work. Thinner blades might snap in heavy duty use. An eighth of an inch to a quarter of an inch is my go to range.
Best Survival Knife – Blood Groove
A knife’s blood groove is a groove within the blade that allows for blood to escape the cut and out the sides of the knife. The blood groove allows for one’s hand and blade to remain dry when dressing game. It also allows for easier cleanup of a knife when one is finished dressing game. If you do not plan on dressing game a lot, a blood groove is not needed.
Best Survival Knife – Weight
A survival knife should weigh enough to help you out when cutting heavy things but it should not weigh more than 1.5 pounds. At that range, the knife is too heavy and is closer to a small axe. The proper weight and what feels comfortable for you depends upon your size.
Best Survival Knife – Size
A knife’s size is important when thinking about survival. A large knife can give you added weight and, therefore, force but it can also decrease your mobility. For me, I like a survival knife that is of similar size to a boning knife. A boning knife is smaller than a chef’s knife but larger than a paring knife. At this size, you can use it for lots of utility work as well as some heavy cutting if needed.
Best Survival Knife – Tip
A survival knife should have a point tip. This will allow you to use it as a spear if needed.
Best Survival Knife – Guard
I highly recommend you getting a survival knife that has a guard so that your hand does not slip. Safety first.
Best Survival Knife – Sheath
A knife’s sheath is just as important as the blade. I recommend a nylon sheath that can easily attach to backpacks and tactical belts. These sheaths usually have straps that button into the tactical equipment. Leather is OK but not good when wet. Kydex is a new type of synthetic material that I recommend as well.
Best Survival Knife – Conclusion
When looking for a survival knife, keep in mind all the features mentioned above. Also, make sure to get a high quality knife and not a cheap, imitation survival knife.