2020 update: Direct links have been removed as I have left the Amazon program. I still recommend these knives as I still have both (and they are still working well), but you can probably find equally good ones elsewhere.
Whether you’re out on a day hike on a well-marked path, attempting a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, or find yourself in a dangerous and fast-paced urban situation, you absolutely need reliable tools that you can depend on. Survival knives are of massive importance to any keen outdoors-man (or woman). It’s important to remember, however, that 80% of the entire US population lives in urban areas. The “stability” and “routine” of our cities hide the fact that there are thousands of urban situations where having such a tool can mean the difference between life and death.
This review is going to compare two fine multi-functional survival knives from BlizeTec, a BlizeTec 5-in-1 Survival Knife and a BlizeTec 5-in-1 Pocket Folding Knife, both of which I own. Hopefully, you’ll come out of this review with a better idea of what your needs are and which knife is best for you.
Some Background on Survival Knives
First, a bit of context. Survival knives, in particular, have come a long way from your grandfather’s Swiss Army knife, not that there is anything wrong with those, it’s simply that manufacturing technology has advanced and become much more refined.
Modern multi-functional knives can contain all sorts of bells and whistles. Usually, the problem I and other knife enthusiasts have is sorting out the wheat from the chaff, something which is harder than it sounds because a lot of these knives have additional tools that can seem useful and valuable in certain situations.
The problem is that you might buy a multi-functional survival knife and find that you’re never in a situation where you need most of the 5 or 6 functions, and almost certainly won’t be in such situations in the future.
A good multi-functional survival knife is one that has (potentially life-saving) features that are useful in as many situations as possible, balanced against portability, ease of use, weight, and other factors.
In this sense, both knives excel, both the BlizeTec Survival Knife and the Pocket Folding Knife are well-made, lightweight, and with great features. Let’s get into those now.
BlizeTec Survival Knife
First up is the BlizeTec Survival Knife. It’s the heavier of the two, coming in at just under 0.4 pounds, specifically, at 5.46 ounces. Made of 420-grade stainless steel with an anodized aluminum handle, it has a 3½ inch blade. When it’s open, it’s 8 inches long, when closed about 5 inches. What I like about this knife is that it is very sharp, very safe, and very durable. The blade, out of the box, is almost sharp enough to shave with.
By very safe, I mean that it has a firm locking mechanism and doesn’t have a spring-operated opening feature, which I appreciate. Instead, what it does have is a very usable thumb-open mechanism.
When it’s open, it locks into place and doesn’t collapse by itself, a very useful thing if you’re in an area with limited possibilities for medical care, because you don’t want to be getting a bad cut on your hand just because your knife decided to close by itself as you were using it.
The top half of the blade is a straight edge while the bottom half is serrated, appropriate for situations where you need to saw through something. That something can be wood to make a shelter with or the bone of a hunted animal.
A small removable flashlight attached to the back of the knife with a magnet can be very handy if you’ve lost your main source the BlizeTec flashlight has a battery life of 12 hours, is nice and compact, and (being an LED light) is bright, too.
It’s a bit too compact for my taste. It really is small, and if it slips out of your fingers in the brush or a dark urban area, it could be tough to find it again.
Still, it’s a very useful tool in low-light scenarios. The knife also has an attached magnesium alloy fire-starter that works well and throws a good spark when used with the back of the blade.
The base of the knife has two great features a glass-breaking tool made specifically for vehicle windows and a seat belt cutting blade that is recessed and angled within the base of the knife in such a way that it is not possible to cut yourself on it.
These functions are great because more people die in road accidents each year than will ever die from wandering off a backwoods trail, and your ability to extract yourself or someone else from a flipped vehicle before first responders arrive can mean the difference between life and death.
BlizeTec Pocket Folding Knife
The second knife of this review, the BlizeTec Pocket Folding Knife, is similar in many respects to the Survival Knife. It, too, has a 3½-inch long blade and has several of the same features, such as the in-built seat-belt cutter and glass breaker.
The blade, however, is not serrated. The magnetic flashlight and magnesium-alloy fire started the come with the Survival Knife don’t come with the Pocket Folding Knife, either.
The Pocket Folding Knife is lighter than the Survival Knife by roughly 0.7 ounces, not much, but in the wilderness, every gram you have to carry counts. On the other hand, you can’t get a spark from the Pocket Folding Knife, since there’s no fire starter, and the option of using an emergency backup flashlight is out, too. (You’ll need to bring some of your own.)
Conclusion: Best Survival Knives for the Outdoors
It’s because of these small, but potentially life-saving features that I prefer the BlizeTec Survival Knife. While it’s the (slightly) larger and heavier of the two knives, its features are more universal. They’re good for first responders pulling someone out of a car wreck, but they’ll serve the committed outdoors-man just as well, too.
The range of survival tools on the BlizeTec Survival Knife and their usefulness in many situations and environments is why the knife is a part of my everyday carry, whether I’m spending the day in a city or wandering off an official trail in a park that I’m visiting. Simply put, I feel more ready to tackle challenges and survive with the BlizeTec Survival Knife than the Pocket Folding Knife model, but don’t get me wrong, both are fine products. They’re both sturdy, made out of quality materials, and come with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
The Survival Knife, though, offers more of those potentially lifesaving tools I mentioned without sacrificing anything in terms of usability and weight, which is why I prefer it over the Pocket Folding Knife.
With my opinion aside, either of these two knives will make a fine addition to your everyday carry gear. Hopefully, this review gave you a better idea of these two knives with their positive aspects and drawbacks.
Any questions, drop them in the comments below.
Looking for a self-defense knife instead? Check out my top pick here.