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What Is the Best Go Bag (Bug Out Bag) Knife?

A 'Go Bag' or 'Bug Out Bag' is an emergency-preparedness bag packed in advance to help in emergencies that occur unexpectedly and on short notice. And to boost your survival chances, it's crucial to have the right set of gear and tools. One of the tools at the top of this list being a bug-out bag knife. But with numerous knives to choose from, which is the best option for your go-bag?

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The best bug out bag knife should fit comfortably and securely in the bag. And since a bag out knife is meant for emergencies, it should hold its edge well without the need for constant sharpening. The ideal go-bag knife should also have an ergonomic, well-shaped handle that’s easy to grasp.

Are you looking to learn more about the best bug out bag knives in the market? Read on as we shed light on what to look for as you look to purchase an emergency knife for your go-bag.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Go Bag Knife

Knife Size

Finding the right-sized knife for your go-bag isn’t as straightforward as most people perceive. While you might want a small and easy-to-use knife for detailed work, a large-sized knife can also come in handy in self-defense situations (let’s hope not) or preparing your shelter and other bushcraft tasks.

Ideally, you’ll need a knife that perfectly fits in your go-bag and how it’s intended to be used. This means that the size of your knife should be determined by what you intend to do and how you will be using it. Packing an extra-large blade for small, detailed tasks not only increases safety hazards but also makes carrying a bit more work, which shouldn’t be the case with survival bags.

Knife Design

A great area of contention when packing a bug-out bag knife is the design. That is, should you pick a fixed blade knife or a folding knife? Well, it all comes down to personal preferences. But most outdoor enthusiasts and backpackers will agree that fixed blade knives offer durability, perform better at intended tasks, and are thus more desirable.

But if you must carry a folder in your go-bag, pack it as a secondary knife to complement your fixed blade. Having two knives can also come in handy, assuring you that you have another standby option if one goes down or gets lost.

When selecting a knife for your go-bag, choosing full tang options is usually considered best. This is because full tang knives have blades that extend to the handle, making them stronger and less likely to break.

Blade Type

When choosing a survival knife, it’s best to consider the types of blades you’ll be working with and how you will be using it. Carbon steel is preferred over stainless steel since it’s easy to sharpen and holds its edge well.

On the other hand, stainless steel is known for its corrosion-resistant properties, making it an ideal option if you’ll be in the outdoors or in wet, saltwater environments. 

Top 4 Bug Out Bag Knives

Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife

Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife

The Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife is made in Sweden and features a 4.1-inch high carbon steel fixed blade. The high carbon steel blade is easy to sharpen and holds its edge well, giving you the peace of mind that your knife will perform in emergencies.

With a total length of 8.8 inches and a net weight of 135g, this survival knife can easily fit in medium and small-sized go-bags without any hassle. You’ll also love the 3.2 mm (0.125 inches) blade thickness that allows you to cut wood, skin animals, and even defend yourself without the fear of breaking.

In terms of grip, there aren’t too many knives that can match the Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife’s ergonomic handle. The handle is extra large and features patterned, high-friction grips that enhances comfort and ease of use.

Pros

  • Features a high carbon steel blade that holds its edge well and is easy to sharpen
  • Comes with a large ergonomic handle with a patterned, high-friction grip for increased comfort
  • The total length of 8.8 inches makes it perfect for go bags 

Cons

  • The large-sized handle might be uncomfortable for people with small hands.

ESEE Plain Edge Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife

ESEE Plain Edge Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife

This fixed blade knife is among the best for go bags and survival situations. With an overall length of 11.75 “, this knife can easily fit in the tiniest go bags without compromising on safety and comfort.

And as a full tang handle knife, you won’t need to worry about the blade separating from the handle after prolonged, heavy-duty use. Another great feature is its black-coated high carbon steel that, besides holding its edge well, is easy to sharpen and durable.

Pros

  • Perfect size for both small and rough tasks
  • Full tang, making it harder to break after repeated use
  • 1095 carbon steel makes it easy to sharpen and maintain
  • Perfect for hiking, tactical, military, fishing, and hunting purposes

Cons

  • The rough handle can prove uncomfortable for some users.

Benchmade Bugout Folding Knife

Benchmade Bugout Folding Knife

Although folding knives aren’t best for bug out bags, they can still get the job done if well maintained. The Benchmade Bugout Folding Knife stands out due to its CPM-S30V stainless steel blade that’s corrosion-resistant.

If comfort is what you’re after, then you’ll love the glass-filled Grivory handle that’s thin, tough, and attractive. The folding knife is fully ambidextrous and features a strong Axis lock that guarantees durability.

This knife is perfect for light to medium outdoor activities. With a closed length of 10.72 cm (4.22 “) and an open length of 18.95 cm (7.46 “), the Benchmade Bugout Folding Knife is an ideal option if you prefer compact and versatile knives.

Pros

  • Foldable and can be used for survival needs as well as EDC
  • Light and easy to carry
  • Features a corrosion-resistant blade that’s durable
  • Slim and ergonomic handle

Cons

  • Not suitable for heavy-duty activities

Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife

Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife

This fixed blade knife by Gerber is well known for its durability. It features a high-carbon stainless steel blade with a nice finish that is corrosion-resistant and easy to sharpen. With an overall length of 10.59 inches, you won’t need to worry much about the knife fitting inside your go-bag.

For enhanced comfort, the Gerber LMF II Infantry Fixed Blade boasts an over-molded soft grip that absorbs shock when using this knife for batoning or hammering. Another outstanding feature is this knife is made in the USA and offers a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • The knife is “full tang”, which enhances its durability.
    • It has an integrated break between the tang and the butt cap, providing insulated protection against stray wires and absorbing any shock from hammering.
  • The 420HC stainless blade is corrosion resistant and holds its edge pretty well.
  • Comes with a nylon sheath with a fire retardant coating.

Cons

  • The weight and size may be a little too much for some users.

What Is the Best Go Bag Knife? Final Takeaway

Although finding the best knife for your bug-out bag isn’t a walk in the park, finding a suitable one shouldn’t be too hard either. The trick is to pick a knife that perfectly well inside your bag and is able to carry out the tasks you need it to do. This is very subjective, so make your decision wisely.

And since you’ll need the knife for survival situations, it’s best to pick one that’s sturdy and comfortable for use. In terms of blades, try your best to choose blade types that work well for the environment and circumstances you will likely find yourself in.

Also, since you’ll need a blade that you can rely on during emergencies, choosing fixed blade knives is highly recommended. But if you must use a foldable blade knife, be sure to select a high-quality one with strong construction and proven design.

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