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Best Folding Survival Knife Reviews 2021

When you are out in the wilderness and facing the elements, having a good survival knife can be a true blessing. With all that in mind, in this guide, I will go over five of the best folding survival knife options on the market.

In addition, I will provide useful information about folding and survival knives in general.

Last update on 2021-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Folding Survival Knife Top Five Reviewed

SOG Tactical Folding Survival Knife

Designed with practicality, speed and efficiency in mind, the SOG Tactical Folding Survival Knife is a great option for survival enthusiasts. Featuring a blade length of 4.8 inches, the tool walks a thin line between compactness and potential power. Unassuming and yet stylish, its handle is perfect for one-hand deployment as well as pocket carrying.

SOG Tactical Folding Knife - Escape Pocket Knife, Emergency Knife and Survival Knife w/ 3.4 Inch Serrated Edge Knife Blade and Glass Breaker (FF25-CP)

Without a doubt, one of the most interesting design choices that this survival knife has to offer is its deployment mechanism. Using small and stylish thumb studs, you can quickly and easily deploy and lock the blade using one hand. As a result, the SOG Tactical Folding Knife may easily be the best folding knife for survival when it comes to reaction times and preparedness.

Apart from its sharp blade edge, the SOG Tactical Folding Knife offers a serrated side for performing certain tasks with ease. This side includes grooves that can help cut things like cords, lines and seatbelts. As if all that was not enough, the knife also includes a glass breaker, a wire stripper and even an extra line cutter that sits under the pocket knife handle. The 6061-T6 hard-anodized aluminum handle material houses additional line cutter blades.


  • Quick-open features
  • One-hand assisted opening and lock
  • Lightweight Extremely durable


  • Blade lock is not as secure as you would want


Blade: Clip pointMaterial: Stainless steel
Overal Length: 12.25 inchesWeight: 4.8 ounces


Elk Ridge ER-A003 Series Spring Assist Folding Knife

Those who are looking for a classically-styled, reliable and basic foldable survival knife would be remiss not to check out this product. Featuring a traditional blade style with a drop point and an ultra-sharp edge, the Elk Ridge ER-A003 Series Spring Assist Folding Knife can be very helpful in situations where quickness of action is essential. This knife has an overall length of 6 inches making it a great option for everyday carry. The blade length is 3.5 inches. The handle material is brown wood with black bolster and includes a leather lanyard and a pocket clip.

Elk Ridge - Outdoors Spring Assisted Folding Knife, Black Stainless Steel Blade, Brown Wood Handle, Black Bolster, Leather Lanyard, Pocket Clip - Hunting, Camping, Survival, EDC - ER-A003BW

Using a spring assisted mechanism of the highest quality, the Elk Ridge ER-A003 Series Spring Assist Survival Folding Knife is capable of deploying its sharp, trusty blade with incredible speed. Amazingly, the blade becomes locked in place automatically after it pops out, eliminating the need to perform a second movement in order to use the knife.

While it is certainly not as modern or technologically-advanced as various other folding knives, the Elk Ridge ER-A003 offers the kind of verified and proven reliability that you need when you are in the middle of a difficult survival situation. Featuring a tight pocket clip, the tool is also very practical making it easy to carry.


  • One-handed deployment
  • Great balance
  • Comes with a pocket clip for easy carry
  • Black stainless steel
  • Liner lock for added security


  • Spring mechanism may get jammed
  • Somewhat heavy for a compact knife


Blade: Drop pointMaterial: 3CR13 black stainless steel
Overal Length: 6 inchesWeight: 7.2 ounces


Buck Knives 4012567 0836BRS Folding Selkirk Survival Knife

Sturdy, powerful and incredibly practical, the Buck Knives Folding Selkirk Survival Knife can be a great option for no-nonsense hikers, campers and survival enthusiasts with an overall length of 6.25 inches and a blade length of 3-9/10 inches. This is another great option for everyday carry. Despite the simplicity of its design, this folding survival knife is perfectly capable of assisting you in the performance of difficult survival tasks. The handle material is CNC contoured micarta with steel bolster.

Buck Knives 4012567 0836BRS Folding Selkirk Survival Knife with Fire Striker and Sheath

The Buck Knives Folding Selkirk Survival Knife features a tried-and-true drop point blade style that allows a wide range of uses. More than that, its practical one-hand deployment mechanism allows for quick, on-the-spot reactions. All this considered, it’s easy to see why this is advertised as an old-school all-purpose folding survival knife.

While it does not offer a whole lot in terms of bells and whistles, the Buck Knives Folding Selkirk Survival Knife is remarkably effective and functional. Its size is perfect for most tasks, and its blade style is very versatile. The fact that it also features a fire striker with a whistle integrated in the grip, and a sheath only helps increase its level of practicality and makes it easy to carry.


  • Very sharp drop point blade
  • Easy one-handed opening action
  • Includes injection-molded nylon sheath
  • 420HC Stainless Steel


  • Needs to be cleaned with care to prevent damage to the fire striker.


Blade: Drop pointMaterial: 420HC Stainless steel
Overal Length: 6.25 inchesWeight: 5.6 ounces


BGT 11 Inches Huge Pocket Folding Knife

Compact, sturdy and ergonomic at the same time, the BGT 11 Inches Huge Pocket Folding Survival Knife feels great in your hand. That is not all, however, as it also provides a fantastic balance and just enough weight to make your strikes count. More than that, the knife’s ergonomic rosewood handle helps precision and accuracy without producing strain on your hand and comes with an overall length of 11 inches and a blade length of 4.7 inches. The eye catching handle material is made from rose wood and has a steel inlay to provide a comfortable non slip grip.

11 Inches Huge Pocket Folding Knife Stainles Steel Blade With Titanium Plated and Red Wood Handle Tactical Camping Survival Knives WOLF TATOO

One of the first things you will notice about this knife is that its blade is unusually long in comparison to its handle. Do not worry, however: Its design more than allows this, providing a good grip and a fantastic balance without sacrificing effectiveness or striking range. The blade’s spear-point type is also very practical for performing a variety of tasks.

In terms of material quality, the BGT 11 Inches Huge Pocket Folding Survival Knife is up there with the best. Its blade is coated in titanium in order to ensure maximum resistance and durability. The same treatment was given to its handle, ensuring the rosewood will not decay due to the action of external elements or the pass of time. Apart from making it more durable, the titanium coating helps prevent rot and problems caused by external elements like humidity.


  • Lengthy, sturdy blade
  • Liner lock system for security
  • Titanium-coated stainless steel blade


  • Handle is somewhat uncomfortable


Blade: Drop pointMaterial: 7Cr17Mov
Overal Length: 11 inchesWeight: 12.8 ounces


Smith & Wesson Border Guard SWBG2TS Folding Knife

Featuring a very unique design that promises versatility above anything, the Smith & Wesson Border Guard SWBG2TS Folding Survival Knife is certainly a looker. It’s not all about looks when it comes to this knife, though. Durable, dependable and amazingly effective, it is certainly among the best knives for survival out there with an overall length of 10 inches and a blade length of 4.4 inches. The handle material in aluminium.

Smith & Wesson Border Guard SWBG2TS 10in High Carbon S.S. Folding Knife with 4.4in Serrated Tanto Blade and Aluminum Handle for Tactical, Survival and EDC

Despite being more than 10 inches in length, the Smith & Wesson Border Guard SWBG2TS Folding Survival Knife has a very compact blade. While that may be a deal-breaker for some, anyone who knows the benefits of a compact support knife in survival situations will come to appreciate its design. More than that, its long, ergonomic handle allows for expert manipulation.

Without a doubt, one of the best features that the Smith & Wesson Border Guard SWBG2TS Folding Knife has to offer is its ambidextrous thumb opening mechanism. Apart from being incredibly ergonomic and comfortable, this mechanism is remarkably quick, allowing for adequate, speedy reactions whenever the situation calls for them. What is more, the folding knife’s blade lock is automatic and very reliable.


  • Features Trac-Tec inserts
  • Ambidextrous grip
  • Very secure
  • Stainless steel
  • Liner lock


  • Very heavy


Blade: TantoMaterial: 7Cr17MoV Black oxide high carbon stainless steel
Overal Length: 10 inchesWeight: 8.8 ounces


The Best Folding Survival Knife Buyer’s Guide

Types of Folding Knives

There are three main types of folding survival knives. They are as follows:

Single-Blade Folding Knives

The most common type of folding survival knife is single-blade. Simple and compact, they are extremely practical. Normally, these knives have locking mechanisms that help make them stronger and more resistant.

Often, they also have spring-loaded mechanisms for opening and closing. This type of mechanism allows you to pop them open quickly.

Multi-Blade Folding Knives

Some knives feature two or more blades instead of a single one. These multi-blade knives often combine spey, sheepsfoot, pen or drop-point blades into a single tool. These options make multi-blade survival folding knives a good option for those who can expect to perform a variety of tasks in the same setting.

However, they are not as tough, durable or resistant as their single-blade counterparts.

Swiss-Army Knives and Multi-Tools

If you are looking for a variety of tools rather than blades alone, a Swiss-Army or multi-tool survival knife may be the best choice. Versatile and multi-dimensional, this type of tool can help you in a wide variety of survival situations.

Things to Know Before Buying a Folding Survival Knife

In life, before making a commitment, it is always a good idea to be as informed as possible. That is no different when it comes to folding survival knife products.

Take the following into account:

Blade Design

All pocket knife blades have two main parts: the edge and the point. Other than that, their design may vary wildly. Depending on the type of cutting or stabbing you will be doing, it may be beneficial to choose a particular type of blade.

Less important than functionality is style. However, you may be able to find a survival knife with a blade design that is both effective and nice to look at.

Size of The Blade

More than anything, the size of a knife’s blade will depend on the type of use you want to give it. If you are looking to cut ropes, make small repairs and similar tasks, it may not be necessary to get a knife with a blade larger than the palm of your hand.

If you need the survival knife to perform harder tasks that require forcefulness and lever, however, it may be a good idea to get a larger option.


When it comes to knives, ergonomics are incredibly important. The best folding survival knife should be easy to grip and manipulate. The way you hold a knife will determine how effectively you are able to use it.

Even more than that, using a knife that is not ergonomic can result in strain and even injuries in the long run. Granted, ergonomics can vary from person to person. For that reason, it’s a good idea to hold and test the survival knives you are considering.


As with anything in life, materials are very important when it comes to folding and survival knives. In particular, the material that the blade is made of will play a huge factor in the durability, effectiveness and overall usability of the tool.

What is more, it will determine how the blade is affected by external elements like water. It’s not all about the blade, though. The handle of the best survival knife products is often made of a durable, resistant material that provides a sense of security and balance during use.

Blade Locks

When talking about these types of knives, blade locks are essential. A blade lock secures the blade in place, allowing you to apply force to the tool without provoking a retraction. If its blade lock is not effective (or if it’s non-existent), the knife can be completely useless.

Worse than that, a defective blade lock can result in accidents and self-harm.

Carry Options

If possible, it’s always a good idea to go for a survival knife that provides one or more carrying options. Folding survival knives with a sheath is always a good idea, particularly if it can be securely and easily attached to your belt or pocket. Carrying clips can also be a good option as long as they are secure and provide a tight, close grip.

Folding Knife FAQ

What is the Difference Between a Pocket Knife and a Folding Knife?

Generally speaking, the best survival knife can be a pocket knife as long as it’s compact enough to fit in your pocket. However, some pocket knives are not folding knives because they have a fixed blade.

What is the Best Type of Blade for a Folding Knife?

The best type of blade for a folding knife will always depend on its intended use. Generally speaking, however, a mid-length (five to seven inches) blade with a single edge and a clip point would be the most versatile.

Are You Legally Allowed to Carry Survival Folding Knifes?

Simply put, it depends on where you are. In the USA, most states allow carrying a knife for survival and self-defense purposes. However, in some states, the size of the blade and other factors may be taken into account as well.

In Conclusion

With everything on the table, it’s easy to see the advantages and disadvantages of these and other folding survival knives. Without a doubt, each of the options featured in this guide is worth looking into.

However, it wouldn’t be beneficial for anyone to admit the facts: Taking everything into consideration, I can confidently say that the best survival folding knife is the SOG Tactical Folding Knife.

Expertly made using the best materials available, this tool is efficient, durable and incredibly effective. That makes it a great option for all survival enthusiasts out there.

SOG Tactical Folding Knife - Escape Pocket Knife, Emergency Knife and Survival Knife w/ 3.4 Inch Serrated Edge Knife Blade and Glass Breaker (FF25-CP)
  • QUICK ACCESS POCKET EMERGENCY KNIFE: The SOG Escape is a quick open tactical knife that serves well as a rescue knife for SWAT team, paramedics, and firefighters; measures 4.8 inches in closed length.
  • FIRST RESPONDER RESCUE KNIFE: Features a cord-cutting groove for cutting cords, lines and seatbelts; includes a glass breaker, wire stripper, and extra line cutter blade under the pocket knife handle.
  • ONE-HAND OPEN + LOCKBACK: Use the thumbstuds to access this assisted opening knife; lockback mechanism secures the blade while deployed.
  • SPECS: 3.4 inches long black stainless steel knife features a partially serrated clip point blade; 4.8 ounce lightweight utility knife and EDC knife handle is made of hard-anodized 6061-T6 aluminum.
  • SOG KNIVES FOR LIFE: Take care of your pocket knives and we’ll take care of you; SOG folding knives are built to last, and we consider all repair and replacement requests.

Last update on 2021-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Matthew Russo
Hey, my name is Matt, an avid outdoorsman, prepper and action taker. If you have found this article informative please feel free to leave a comment below and share it with your friends and family, it would make my day!

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