The “Economical” Knife

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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Scott H. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.

The knife is an essential part of any survival kit. We all know that. We all carry a knife on a daily basis. If you don’t, you need to move to a Free State or start carrying one if it is legal. That said, knives are like vehicles and firearms. Everyone has an opinion on which knife is the best and most economical knife. Today you get mine.

Based off of every day, or at least situational use, my choices have been tested. The following opinion is based on practical, not tactical use of edged tools. All may be used for offensive and defensive purposes, but are not designed for that said purpose specifically.

The pocket knife – Tier 1

Spyderco makes high quality knives at very reasonable prices.

Spyderco makes high quality knives at very reasonable prices.

Every Day Carry. There are plenty of cool “tactical” folders on the market know. Open-assist is the bomb! I own several, as well as pre-ban switch-blades. There is nothing cooler than flicking a button/scale/lever and having a blade pop out to impress your friends. I have yet (even with the “high end”) to have one not fail in one way or another. So you really need to put some thought into your EDC pocket knife. It is not a “do-all” like a fixed blade. It is the do-most for everyday use.

As a kid growing up on a farm, I had the original “Leatherman”… An “Old Timer” multi-blade folder and a pair of pliers. Later I graduated to a “Buck” lock-back, single blade folder. I still have both of them. 30+ years’ worth of EDC. When pocket clips became the rage, I switched to a Gerber EVO Jr. I carried and used it for many a year. It finally got to the point that the blade would wobble no matter what I did to fix it. So it got retired. I picked up a Kershaw “Onion” as its replacement. Great knife. It is now retired as a Kershaw “Barge” has replaced it. So far, this is the ultimate pocket knife for me. I do tasks with it I would NEVER do with any other pocket knife. Besides everyday use, the wedge end is a fantastic Kubaton and the thick blade is very durable for defense. Check it out.

The fixed blade knife – Tier 2


Fixed blade knives offer greater strength and can be used in more situations.

This is my GHB knife. There are SO many good options in this category that an article unto itself could be written. The main thing I want is a decent steel and full tang construction. Several factors also come into play depending on your AO. I kicked this one around for a couple of years and determined for me, that the blade should be no larger than 7”. Single edged. Light weight. Full tang. Hold a good edge and be easy to re-sharpen in the field.

I tested 3 knives extensively. 1st was the Morakniv. This is a GREAT knife! Unfortunately it did not meet the criteria for me. They are not full tang. While they are strong and functional at most levels, the two I field tested broke at the hilt after a few rounds of batoning. I still keep multiples of this knife around. I really do love it. It just doesn’t fit my needs for a tier 2 knife.

The 2nd test was the Smith & Wesson SW6 Extreme Ops recurve. This dude is a beast. I believe it is 420 steel, so not the best, but it is thick and hefty. I have batoned 100’s if not 1000’s of logs with it for the backyard fire-pit and camping adventures. You do need to Loctite the scales if you want to keep them on if you baton. I use a file to sharpen it as that is the only way I have found to get a good edge on it. Yes, I know how to sharpen a recurve knife. Cheap steel. I beat the crap out of this thing and it keeps coming back for more. Between the steel and the weight, I have placed it in the Plano Box as opposed to regular carry. I have lost one set of screws batonning with it. I am not sure it can retain a decent edge for defensive purposes? It would make a great billy club though.

The 3rd test was the SOG Seal PUP. This is a good, light-weight, all-purpose knife. It retains a good edge, it is easy to sharpen and it comes with a decent sheath. I take this where ever I go. I don’t even know it is there. Mine has the serrated edge which is great for Para cord slicing and general rope duty.

The Kitchen Sink Knife – Tier 3


This is the big boy. A large knife can do everything a small knife can, but not vice-versa. As a proud American, I absolutely LOVE the Bowie knife. It is large and heavy. It really meets all of the requirements if you look hard enough. Decent, full-tang Bowies can be found for around $20. That said, the do all for me is the Kukri. I like the Ghurka House blades. It is an ax. A hammer. A scythe and a terrifying offensive/defensive weapon. If you get one of the budget ones, keep in mind that they are typically good steel. You will need to modify the ceremonial handle to not get blisters. They usually come with a couple of utility knives. Work with them. The sheath is moderate. You can modify it to your needs. Of course other options are available. “Combat” knives usually fall into this category as well. They are typically designed for one reason. I’m not saying that they can’t handle most situations, but do you really want to baton with your $300 “Hisshou”? Or dig a trench with it? Look at your overall situation and make an informed decision. Think about what you need and not what you want because it is cool.

Summary. Get the most bang for the buck. You can go all “Mall-Ninja” and get worthless gear. Survival relies on true and proven gear. I am offering my field tested opinion. Mileage may vary.

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The Deplorable Cruella DeVille

Interesting choices, and a suggested path to finding your own preferred knives for various circumstances. I too have a significant selection of folders and fixed blades, although all the fixed blades without a full tang now reside in one of my tool chest drawers. I don’t enjoy the experience of an unexpected hilt-blade failure. My daily is a all stainless clip knife – Gerber Ripstop. My GHB has a Browning “Ignite” fixed blade knife. Quite durable, full tang, light weight, holds a razor edge, although it takes time to put the edge back on it after abuse. Also has a… Read more »

Scott Hubbell

I love the name!!! I need to change mine to Adorable Deplorable now 😉 I have loved the Gerber line since my early teen days. I even have a couple that still say USA on the blade. I hear you with batoning with the smaller knives. The SOG gets light duty. The S&W splits logs on a regular basis. I’m not familiar with the m-7? I am assuming that it is a mate to the the M1 Garand? My father fought in Korea and the M1 is what he carried. Ask him and he will tell you, “Best damn gun… Read more »

The Deplorable Cruella DeVille

Here yah go….
I assume Pat will allow it after verifying the link.

Scott Hubbell

Right on. Thanks!


Sorry, but this is just my opinion. I have carried a benchmade reflex for 20 years. I havent had to retire it and I occasionally have to adjust it, but it is an automatic that just will not quit working and I have no intention of retiring it any time soon. I have Old Timers, Gerbers, Bucks, ect…..I love knives, but if you get the right one, treat it like its intended, and do the proper maintenance, they dont fail and you dont have to retire them…Im 50 and have used this knife since I was 30.

Scott Hubbell

Don’t be sorry. I would LOVE a Benchmade, they just are not in my pay grade. The point of the article was economics. Granted, saving up and buying a really, high quality knife will save you money over time…kudos!!


What is the name of the black spear point knife listed under the Tier 2 heading? Also need to know the manufacturer. Any other info would be appreciated.Why wasn’t it covered with a description like the others?

Pat Henry

The knife is sold out or very expensive pretty much everywhere I checked. It is called the Marfione Microtech

Scott Hubbell

Another similar, high price, high quality spear point is the Vehement Combat Dagger. But, it is over the list price for the article.


I’ll be honest, seems to me that if you want to use a knife for batoning, get a 2nd one you can keep sharp, and stowed for an actual GH/BO situation.

Scott Hubbell

Hey BobW,

That is exactly what the Kuk is for. Not an EDC type of tool or an intermediate.


I once heard someone say that the best knife to have is the one you have with you when one is needed. True. But there are so many choices of really quality blades in every configuration that there is no excuse for not having a blade that will perform for you. I have carried a Benchmade “Doug Ritter” folder for at least 20 years it seems. Its built on the Griptillian, and has been a constant companion everywhere I go, even the gym. I lost it once and was so distraught I laid awake at night thinking about it! So,… Read more »


Gerber, CRKT both great knives for most situations, but if you really want a tough knife go to Tops knives.

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