A survival knife is a useful tool in a wide variety of different situations. Whether you are skinning, cutting, using it for first aid or self-defense, a good survival knife can be your best friend.
That knife being able to fold makes it more compact, much safer and easier to travel with.
The problem comes with trying to choose the best one but that’s where we can help. With our extensive reviews, we’ve come up with 10 great options to find the best folding knife.
We also have a buying guide with FAQs to give you all the information you need.
Best Folding Survival Knife
SMITH & WESSON Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1in S.S.
Smith & Wesson are well-known for producing high-quality guns but they also make brilliant knives as we see here. The 3.1-inch blade is highly versatile with different types of serrations on the front and back.
The size makes it very easy to carry, whether that is in a backpack or in your pocket. There is also a removable pocket clip too. When you get it out, you’ll find it simple to open and it can easily be done with the thumb of either hand.
Added to that, the high carbon steel knife is also comfortable to hold. It’s a dependable knife and one that is very well constructed. That means it’ll never let you down in any survival situation.
Steinbrucke Tactical Knife
Steinbruke has been able to make a knife that looks great, feels great and has a brilliant performance. The blackwashed blade finish not only gives it a brilliant look but it’ll also help to fight against any corrosion.
The blade is 3.4” long and is made from high-quality steel. It’s extremely sharp with a partially serrated edge that is going to help with cutting tasks.
The ergonomically-designed anti-slip handle will ensure that you always have a strong grip.
There are a few other great features here too. It has a seatbelt cutter at the bottom of the handle but also has a window breaker at the butt of it. It helps to give this extra survival quality but even if it didn’t have these, it’d still be a fantastic knife.
BlizeTec Survival Knife
First and foremost, this is a high-quality knife that is going to perform well in any survival situation. What helps to make this stand apart is the four other features it has which help to give it added versatility.
There is a mini LED flashlight, a fire starter, a window breaker, and a seatbelt cutter. The light will run for 12 hours from one charge and the fire starter is a magnesium rod that you can use to make sparks with the knife.
The knife itself is made from 420 stainless steel and the blade is 3.5” long. It’s extremely light and easy to carry with an optional pocket clip included. Also included is a nylon sheath to keep this great knife safely tucked away.
SOG Tactical Folding Knife
SOG is another company that has been able to make a high-quality partially serrated knife.
The blade on this model is 3.4″ with it having a closed length of 4.8″. It makes it easy to carry and that is helped by the pocket clip that comes with it.
The aluminum handle ensures that the knife is lightweight while still having an impressive level of strength. The blade is made from high-quality steel with a hard-cased black finish.
There is a cutter at the bottom of the knife that is ideal for cutting seatbelts, cord or wire.
There is also a glass breaker at the butt of the handle. It’s very easy to carry with one hand and it’ll give you a high level of confidence in those survival situations.
MTech USA MT-A845BK Spring Assist
You see with a lot of these survival knives that they will have a seatbelt cutter and glass breaker on there.
It’s because these are such easy features to incorporate without lowering the quality of the blade. MTech is another company that does it very well.
Most of these knives are fairly standard in their design which is why the color choice on this knife is great.
As well as the plain black handle you have the options of two different types of camo and also a USA flag design. It looks great but also performs brilliantly too.
The one-handed deployment of this knife is rapid and it’s going to be able to lock firmly into place. It’s very well-balanced and the 3.5” blade length gives you great versatility. The blade is aggressively designed with a beautifully sharp edge.
Grand Way Spring Assisted Knife
As a pure knife, this is brilliant. It doesn’t have any other features but it doesn’t need too. The 440C stainless steel has a brilliant level of durability with an extra sharp blade that will be able to get through a lot of tasks.
The knife uses the minimum amount of weight possible while still managing to be highly durable. The result of that is a weight of just 4.4oz. It’s well balanced too and feels great when it’s in your hands.
Despite its almost skeletal finish, it’s comfortable to hold and to carry. The blade is 3.4” long and the whole unfolded knife is 7.75” It adds up to the perfect tactical knife and one that can come with you on many adventures.
Gerber Bear Grylls Folding Sheath Knife
Gerber has been able to make a knife that has all the qualities of a fixed-blade. It’s made from high carbon stainless steel that enables it to have brilliant edge retention. It is also partially serrated, making it very good for cutting rope.
The dual-sided thumb stud makes it easy to open with either hand. While most of these survival knives have a solely aluminum grip, this handle is covered in textured rubber. It gives it an incredible grip, even in wet conditions.
As well as the knife, the blade also has a nylon sheath to keep it safe and easy to carry.
The blade length is 3.6″ and the overall length is 8.5″. It’s a great size to get a high level of performance while also making it easy to carry for those survival situations.
TAC FORCE Spring Assisted 9” Pocket Knife
The blade of this knife is very well designed and will be suitable for any survival situation.
It is thick, sharp and well tapered for maximum effectiveness. There is also a partially serrated edge that is brilliant for cutting.
The knife is a little bit longer than many other folding survival knives but it still easily carried.
That extra length makes it very easy to grip and you also get a 3.5” blade. The handle is textured to give you the maximum level of grip.
It also has those common features we see on these survival knives, a high-quality seatbelt cutter, and glass breaker. It’s a perfect option for anyone looking for a slightly longer knife.
Snake Eye Tactical Folding Pocket Knife
Aesthetics may not be the number one priority when it comes to getting a knife but you want it to look good.
The pakkawood finish on the handle gives it a fantastic look but importantly still allows you to have a comfortable and secure grip.
The knife is 3” long and 3mm thick which gives it a high level of cutting power. If you’re looking for additional features you won’t find them here as there is no serration or seatbelt cutter etc.
There is a removable pocket clip on the back of the knife that helps to make it very easy to carry. It’s brilliant value for money and is going to serve you well in many different types of situations.
Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Folding Knife
If you wanted a knife with a unique design then you’re probably going to find it here. There are nine different options here which are all slightly different. That they all have in common is that they are high-quality.
It’s very easy to open one-handed and it’s also very easy to carry due to its compact size and carry clip. The overall durability is very high and this is an impressive model that is going to be able to stand the test of time.
It has a secure lock system, a partially serrated blade and also a glass breaker.
These features, along with all of its other qualities, held to make this an outstanding folding survival knife.
Best Folding Survival Knife Buying Guide
You have to be able to comfortably carry your survival knife and size is going to play a key role in that. You want to make sure that it will fit in your pocket or a pocket in your backpack.
As well as the blade length and overall length, it’s a good idea to focus on the folded length too.
In terms of blade length, ideally, you should be looking between 3 and 3.5” as this is a good balance between portability and performance.
Any bigger and the overall length would be too much as, unlike with other knives, the blade of a folding knife can’t be longer than its handle.
Having an automatically opening knife, commonly known as a switchblade, is still banned in a few states and usually, they aren’t designed in the drop point or tanto blade style which is most effective for survival knives.
There are plenty of manually opening knives out there but this is more effort and requires two hands to open.
A good compromise is to get an assisted opening knife. These require a little more force than an automatic deployment but are essentially the same thing. It only requires one hand to open and this will make it a lot easier for you.
When you have deployed your knife it needs to lock in as otherwise, it would bend back when it comes to using it. There are a few methods for this but the most common for survival knives is a liner lock.
Whatever method your knife has, it needs to be able to lock securely when in use.
The handles of these knives differ a lot from one model to the next. There are two key aspects required here and that is them being both comfortable and with a high level of grip.
Most manufacturers tick both of these boxes by having a contoured handle that nicely fits your fingers.
Are these knives legal?
The laws regarding knives are going to vary from state to state. There are different rules regarding the size of your blade and also the opening mechanism.
It’s important that you check the laws in your area on what type of knife you’re allowed to carry.
Which survival knife is right for me?
You need to be able to work out what you’re going to be using your survival knife for. It could be everyday carry, in your vehicle for emergencies or for backpacking. Make sure you get a knife that will be suitable for your needs.
Which opening mechanism is best?
For a long time, the majority of knives were manually opened but this changed with automatically opening blades. These switchblades, however, were banned.
A modern invention of assisted openings allows you to open the blades with one hand and are the most convenient method.
How safe are folding knives?
People worry about folding knives becoming loose for being difficult to close but with a high-quality knife, you don’t have to worry about that.
All of the knives that we have looked at here are high-quality and you simply need to follow common sense to keep you safe.
How often should I sharpen my knife?
It’s a good idea to give your knife a soft sharpening quite regularly to ensure that the blade remains at its optimal performance. How often it needs to be sharpened will depend on its use.
It’s best to inspect your blade often to make sure it’s up to standard.