What can you do with a survival knife

Here’s What You Can Do with a Survival Knife (20 Uses)

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A survival knife can be your life-saving tool when a challenging situation arises. That’s why you definitely should have one in your bug-out bag or prepper kit. Yet, what can you do with a survival knife?

You can use a survival knife to:

  • Defend yourself
  • Hunt small game
  • Open cans
  • Cut rope and wood
  • Skin your prey
  • And even start a fire

Basically, a survival knife has a myriad of practical uses that we are about to explain in more detail in the coming paragraphs!

Top 20 Uses for a Survival Knife

Below we’ve hand-picked 20 amazing uses for your knife that you should definitely get familiar with!

1. Hunting

Some centuries ago, people mainly relied on sharp objects to hunt for food.

Nowadays, things are pretty much the same when you are in the wilderness.

With the only exception being that we now have better tools, such as survival knives, to work with.

And if you are skilled enough, you can throw a knife and hit your prey from afar.

2. Food Processing

A survival knife can be of great help when you need to process food ingredients while being outdoors.

Whether it be slicing veggies and fruits, skinning game, trimming meat away from the bone, or slicing down larger cuts of meat, you just can’t go without a sharp knife.

Finding food and processing it when you are in the wilderness can be critical for your survival chances.

So don’t forget to pack a quality survival knife in your backpack so that you’re always prepared.

3. Wood Splitting

You can’t cut saplings or split wood with a flimsy, cheaply made survival knife.

On the other hand, full-tang knives with flat edges could be great substitutes for axes and hatchets alike.

The flat edge design makes this type of knife convenient for batoning.

Batoning is a wood cutting technique where you lodge a knife into a piece of wood and repeatedly hit it with another piece.

4. Self-Defense

This one is pretty self-explanatory as a sharp and sturdy knife can act as a lethal weapon.

Thus, a survival knife can help you to protect yourself from wild animals and other threats lurking out in the wilderness.

5. Cut Your Way Through

There’s no doubt that dense shrubbery is rather tricky to move through.

In this case, you can tie your knife to a strong stick and use it to clear your path.

This way your knife can act as a sort of a machete that lets you hack your way through thick shrubs and brush.

6. Digging

There’s very little chance that you will have a shovel at hand when you’re out there in the wild.

Yet, a survival knife could be a great substitute for a shovel.

You can use it when disposing of waste, digging holes for storing items, digging up warms for baits, or building traps.

7. Building a Shelter

Building a shelter can be a tough task if you don’t have a knife, don’t ever question this.

You will need something sharp to cut larger pieces of wood, to cut into the woods, or to cut the rope to fortify the shelter.

And nothing will be more useful in this scenario than a quality survival knife.

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8. Rope Making

There are plenty of natural materials you can use to make a rope, such as ivy or blackberry vines.

And instead of pulling these with bare hands, cut smaller strips with your survival knife and braid them into a rope.

9. Wound Care

If you end up hurt and if the wound requires immediate intervention, your knife can prove to be quite useful.

You can sanitize it and use it to take out the foreign body or attempt some other type of intervention on yourself.

You can also use it to cut improvised bandages.

10. Start a Fire

Without fire, your survival chances will quickly evaporate.

But you can use your survival knife to produce a tinder and start a fire.

The 90-degree grip makes it very suitable for peeling tree bark, especially cedar bark.

11. Anchor

The wind can blow away your tent if you don’t anchor it to the ground.

The same goes for when it’s raining as your tent has to be stable enough at all times.

What you can do is stick your knife into a solid base and tie your tent or food bag to it with a rope.

12. Tool Making

If you have some hands-on practice, you can use a survival knife to carve various things.

You can even make specialized survival gear such as arrows, make drills, etc.

13. Modify Gear

Your knife can be used as a potent tool for modifying for your gear.

A survival knife might come in handy in case you need to make some adjustments to your equipment or clothing during the trip.

14. Pierce

You can use your knife to make holes in various materials.

Alternatively, you can use it to pierce animal skin too.

15. Open

If you are bringing any type of containers with you such as cans of food, a sharp knife will help you to open them.

16. Give Signals

Some survival knives are almost as shiny as mirrors.

Thus, you can use your knife as a signaling device by using the sunshine.

And by doing this someone might potentially notice your call for help.

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17. Hammer

The handle of a quality knife is typically quite strong and solid.

For example, a massive survival knife handle can serve you as a potent hammer.

18. Storage

Survival knives typically have hollow handles.

Depending on what fits there, you can use it to store water tabs, matches, or smaller pieces of gear.

19. Utensil

If you don’t want to use your fingers to eat food (e.g. when they’re dirty), use your knife as a type of improvised fork.

Still, be careful not to cut yourself as that can prove to be much more problematic than eating with not-so-clean hands.

20. Toothpick

Although this may sound even more dangerous, a knife can also serve as a toothpick.

If you don’t want pieces of food to stay stuck in-between your teeth, take them out with the tip of the knife.

However – be extra careful when doing so!

Cutting your gums can be a horrible thing when you’re out in the wild.


What can you do with a survival knife, knife in a forest

What Makes a Survival Knife?

A thick blade (between 3/16 and ¼ of an inch) that can handle heavy impacts and a sharp tip.

A survival knife should be strong so it doesn’t fold-up while you are jabbing, stabbing, using it for building a shelter, or splitting wood.

Why Do You Need a Survival Knife?

Because regular knives would probably bend if used for prying, batoning, or hammering or other demanding purposes.

That’s why you should have a fixed blade knife with the full tang if you want to survive in the wilderness.

What can you do with a survival knife, a knife held in a hand

Why is a Knife the Most Important Survival Tool?

Because it can replace many other tools and you don’t need any special knowledge to use it.

It’s simple, dead easy to use and highly effective in a plethora of situations.


We bet you couldn’t even guess a knife could have so many awesome uses!

That’s because most of us use it for chopping and slicing food and/or opening envelopes.

However, a survival knife is a whole different story with a myriad of uses.

Now that you know what can you do with a survival knife, would you ever pack a regular knife in your backpack again when embarking on an outdoor adventure?

And do you have any other suggestions about using a survival knife?

Leave your answers in the comments below!

Evelyn - atlantic survival gear
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Evelyn Claire, a young and adventurous spirit fueled by her unwavering passion for the outdoors and survival. From an early age, she was captivated by nature's beauty, and her thirst for exploration knows no bounds.

Evelyn's love for the wilderness extends beyond admiration. She has dedicated herself to mastering survival skills, from building shelters to foraging for food. Fearless and determined, she embarks on thrilling expeditions, conquering rugged terrains and embracing the challenges that come her way.

As an advocate for environmental stewardship, Evelyn strives to protect and preserve the landscapes she cherishes. Through her inspiring journeys and responsible outdoor practices, she encourages others to connect with nature and discover their own inner strength.

Evelyn Claire stands as a beacon of inspiration for young women seeking adventure and a deeper connection with the natural world. Join her on an unforgettable journey of discovery, self-reliance, and the boundless beauty that awaits in the great outdoors.

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