This article originally appeared on Fix.com and has been republished with permission.
‘A good survival or pocket knife can be very handy in the wilderness’—that’s a severe understatement; having a knife up to any task can be the difference between surviving or not! Though it’s certainly handy around the camp.
So—whether you’re planning a camping trip, or just like to be prepared, a survival knife is a crucial tool to have. It can be used to cut, dig, split, and pry, to name just a few functions, and its compact, pocket-sized exterior makes it easy to bring with you anywhere you go.
There are multiple options when it comes to survival knives. A fixed blade knife is the most reliable; knives that have a bending joint tend to be weaker. Look for a knife with a full tang. These knives are safer because the blade and the handle are constructed from one continuous piece of metal.
Stainless steel blades are stronger and do not rust as quickly as carbon steel. However, carbon steel knives keep a good edge longer. Regardless of the steel you choose, aim for a solid knife that is between 3/16 to 4/16 of an inch thick.
Unlike a survival knife, a pocket knife tends to have multiple tools. The three most common types are jack, pen, and multi-purpose knives. A jack knife is the most basic of the three, usually consisting of one blade, and a simple hinge. A pen knife has between 2-3 blades and hinges at both ends of the handle. The tools on a multi-purpose knife vary, but the most popular functions include a can opener, scissors, and a screwdriver.
Whether you’re looking for a heavy-duty survival knife or an everyday pocket knife, consult this guide to pick the best one for your needs!