Last updated on October 24th, 2023
What Is The Ideal Thickness Of A Survival Knife?
An integral aspect to consider when choosing a survival knife is its thickness. The ideal thickness of a survival knife strikes a balance between durability and usefulness.
Typically, a Thickness Survival Knife ranges between 3/16 of an inch to 4/16 of an inch (or 1/4 of an inch). A knife with this thickness can handle heavy-duty tasks such as chopping and batoning, while still being thin enough for precise tasks.
However, the choice of knife thickness may vary depending on personal preference and the intended use of the knife. Remember, a survival knife is a versatile tool, and its thickness plays a crucial role in its performance.
Being outdoors and experiencing nature is not only a great way to stay healthy, but it’s also great for your mental well-being. We love indulging our passions for the outdoors, whether that’s camping, hiking, fishing, or hunting, there’s very little we like better than being out under the big blue.
But there’s one hobby that we enjoy above all others, and that’s camping. If you’re wondering why, it’s because it’s not just one activity, it’s a multitude of activities.
We can go on hiking and camping breaks, fishing and camping weekends away, or any number of combinations.
But no matter what we’re doing, there’s one piece of equipment that we always take away with us, and that’s a survival kit, which of course includes a survival knife.
These kits are not just for preppers and those of us who are survival-mad. I would argue that a survival kit is perhaps the most important piece of equipment that anyone who likes to spend time in the wilderness should have.
You never know when disaster might strike, and being prepared for any eventuality can make the difference between getting home safely, or ending up as a statistic.
Survival Knife: The Most Important Piece of Kit
I would argue that if you could only take one item away with you, it should be a decent-quality fixed-blade survival knife.
With a survival knife, you can create a shelter, fashion tools, start a fire, hunt, prepare food, or even defend yourself in a pinch.
We won’t list all the great survival knives that are available on the market today, of which there are hundreds, instead, we’re going to answer one simple question.
What is the IDEAL thickness for a survival knife?
As you might have already guessed, the answer is it depends on what you’re going to do with your survival knife. However, we’re going to go out on a limb and say a survival knife which is 3/16 inches thick is ideal for 90% of the tasks you’re likely to use it for.
We’ll go into the reasons below.
How Does Blade Thickness Affect A Survival Knife?
In general terms, the thinner the blade, the better the knife is for slicing, cutting, and other delicate tasks.
A knife with a 1/16-inch thick blade will be easier to handle in most situations that require a delicate touch.
If you’ve ever had to thinly slice ham for a sandwich, what knife did you use? If you used a carving knife, it likely had a long thin blade. You probably didn’t choose the meat cleaver, unless you were looking for ham chunks rather than ham slices.
The same is true of a survival knife, thin equals more accurate slicing and control.
However, what if you need to do some batoning or chopping?
Batoning, chopping or feathering can be done with thin blades, but it’s far from ideal.
You really want some weight behind your blade when you’re carrying out these tasks. Chopping a piece of wood with a ¼ inch blade is far easier than chopping a piece of wood with a 1/16-inch blade.
The reason for this should be obvious, but in case it’s not, we just need to look at a bit of high school physics.
An object with a higher mass will have more energy when it is moving compared to an object with a lower mass moving at the same speed.
In our case, the object is the knife. So, a thicker and therefore heavier knife will hit a piece of wood with more energy than a thinner and lighter knife.
If you need to make light work of some chopping, batoning, or feathering, then a thicker knife will work much faster than a thinner knife and will require less effort on your part.
In an ideal world, we’d have specialized tools for all the jobs we’re likely to perform, but a survival situation is unlikely to give you fair warning and you’ll need to make the best use of the tools you have with you.
That’s why we recommend selecting a survival knife that is 3/16 of an inch thick. It offers the best balance between the two extremes of thick and thin blades.
A 3/16 blade will allow you to cut and carve things with a respectable amount of accuracy, but it’ll also have enough heft behind it to chop or pry things open.
If you can afford to and have the space for multiple survival knives, then, by all means, choose a range of thicknesses, but if you have space for one, then you’ll want to get as much use out of the knife as you can.
What Else Should We Look For In A Survival Knife
The thickness of a survival knife is only part of the story, and there are several other factors that you need to take into consideration which are as important or even more so.
I would suggest only choosing a full tang fixed blade survival knife, as these are much sturdier and less likely to fail in an emergency.
You may also want to consider the following:
- Length of the blade
- Type of blade steel
- The grind
- The type of edge
- The blade design
- The handle
All of these factors are important and can make or ruin the knife in question.
If you feel we’ve missed anything or have anything to add to this article, please let us know in the comments below.
What is the thickness of a Combat knife?
US combat knife made in the USA is manufactured by many companies. It is a durable steel tool that never needs reloading and is 1/4″ thick. The TOPS US Combat Knife is a bayonet-style fighting and field knife made in honor of the U.S. Marine Corps by Marine Laci Szabo.
It is a durable steel tool that never needs reloading and is 1/4″ thick.
What knife does Navy Seals use?
The Navy Seals, an elite special operations force, utilize the Cold Steel SRK (Survival Rescue Knife) as their standard issue knife. This knife, known for its exceptional thickness, is specifically designed to meet the rigorous demands of military and tactical law enforcement personnel.
The SRK boasts a robust SK-5 blade with a substantial knife thickness that provides the resilience and durability required in high-pressure survival situations. Its design is tailored to ensure optimal performance when it matters the most. The Cold Steel SRK, with its impressive knife thickness, is therefore not just a tool but an indispensable part of the Navy Seals’ survival gear.
The ideal thickness of a survival knife is of paramount importance, as it directly impacts the knife’s performance, durability, and ease of use. The Thickness Survival Knife typically ranges between 3/16 of an inch and 1/4 of an inch.
Knives within this thickness range are typically robust and capable of withstanding heavy-duty tasks such as carving, chopping, and even prying. They strike a balance between strength and precision, offering enough heft to handle intense activities, while still maintaining a level of finesse for more intricate tasks.
However, the ideal knife thickness also depends on its intended usage. For instance, if the knife is primarily used for delicate tasks like skinning games or preparing food, a thinner blade might be more suitable. Conversely, if the knife is used for demanding tasks like chopping wood or breaking glass, a thicker blade would be preferable.
Therefore, when choosing a survival knife, it is crucial to consider not just the blade’s thickness but also its intended purpose and the user’s specific needs.
In conclusion, while there is no universally ideal thickness for a survival knife, a range of 3/16 to 1/4 of an inch is widely accepted as a good standard. Ultimately, the perfect knife will depend on personal preference and intended use. It’s always recommended to physically handle a knife before purchase to ensure comfort and suitability for the task at hand.