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Best Steel for Survival Knife

by TheSurvivor
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Looking for a Gordon Ramsey’s ultimate knife for cutting vegetables and chopping baloney? Then this article is not for you. You will need a survival knife with the best steel for survival knife to withstand extreme conditions at the toughest of times, to cut through rope, meat, wood and slit throats. We have ideas for the next top-shelf knives if you’re willing to upgrade your Needle.

Any blade with a good handle might seem okay to be a survival knife to you. Spend a few days in the woods and then you’ll learn which knife will suit you well. If it cuts through the toughest of times, any knife is a survival knife. The attributes that enable a knife to be utilized in any circumstances and resists extreme ventures like, dicing, splitting and many more is my personal preference.

Special kinds of survival knives are manufactured for different works. One of the basic things you must remember is that your knife must have a blade that cuts twigs off a tree or be able to use the back of the handle attached to hammer tent pegs into the ground.

Guess the Best Survival Gear a Hunter would Die for?

A knife with the best steel for survival knife. They are exceptionally sharp enabling a hunter to skin a kill and prepare the meat as the black brothers of the Wall often do. One can also use it to cut fish  as well!

As a hunter, whenever I’m buying or customizing knives, I don’t look at the size or shape. I look at the steel. It may be difficult to identify the perfect knife based on the different kinds of steel. Any knife breaker would go, are you kidding me? Of course, you know it better than me. And it all depends on what you’re using the steel for. Whether you’re going camping, hiking or hunting. Maybe a read of this article will change your mind.

You might be also interested in: The Best Folding Survival Knife of 2020

1. ESEE-L5

ESEE-L5 (Survival Knife)

Product Description: Even though this knife is at the top 10, the beauty of this knife lies in its simplicity. The 1095 steel blanketed with a tough coating fights through wear and tear like a warrior.

Design and Quality: The skull logo by the manufacturer makes me give up on wood carved and sail through the seas in my wicked shop. The 4 ⅞” steel blade is fixed with a gloomy grey handled 10” knife.

Product Features:

  • Divot for fire bow drill
  • Complete Tang
  • Lanyard Hole


  • A divot which can be used as a socket
  • Easy to hold
  • Sharp-edge


  • Expensive
  • Bulky

Check the price of ESEE-L5 on Amazon

2. Sandvik 13C26

Sandvik 13C26 (Survival Knife)

Product Description: Even though it’s in the bottom 9, this baby has its qualities. The scratch-resistant steel by Kershaw’s Onion SpeedSafe Knives is sold with a polyamide plastic gripper. Whether you’re a cook, a doctor or a survivalist, this anti-corrosion steel is a must-have!

Design and Quality: The Sandvick stainless-steel has a blend of fine Carbide texture. The steel sold by Kershaw has a 6061-T6 aluminum handle including Trac-Tec insertion.

Product Features:

  • High edge retention
  • High corrosion resistance
  • Good toughness


  • Great for whittling
  • Reliable for everyday carry


  • May have cosmetic surface spots

Check the price of Sandvik 13C26 on Amazon

3. M390 Survival Knife

M390 (Survival Knife)

Product Description: This steel is known for its superb resistance. The powder used in their knife provides bang-up corrosion resistance. Tungsten, vanadium, molybdenum, and Chromium are added to punch up the sharpness and edge retention. Up to 60-62 HRC, Bohler names this steel “Micro clean”. I can almost see my crooked nose with this steel.

Design and Quality: Bohler crafts it with a Titanium pocket clip and a silver Titanium handle. The blade is around 85mm and the whole length is about 201mm for EDC. 

Product Features: 

  • Folding knife
  • bearing


  • High corrosion resistance
  • Excellent Wear Resistance
  • Outstanding edge retention 


  • Difficult to sharpen

Check the price of M390 on Amazon

You might also want to read: Army Survival Knife

4. ZDP-189 Survival Knife

ZDP-189 (Survival Knife)

Product Description: ZDP-189 is another steel containing an enormous quantity of chromium and the usual carbon that creates extreme hardness. ZDP-189 has an HRC of 64 to 66. Without any doubt, the excellent edge retention along with the point of hardness makes any knife collector drool for this. 

Design and Quality: The soft stainless-steel is bound by Hitachi with an ebony handle and silver sterling ring.

Product Features: 

  • Lacquered Magnolia wood cover 
  • High wear resistance
  • High carbon steel


  • Excellent edge retention
  • Maximum cutting


  • Prone to Corrosion

Check the price of ZDP-189 on Amazon

5. AUS-8

AUS-8 (Survival Knife)

Product Description: The manufacturer of AUS-8 is SOG who is remarkably known to make some of the world’s best-specialized knives and tools since the Vietnam War. It makes you wonder how great this steel is that the forces still haven’t looked around Amazon.

Design and Quality: The blade of this steel has a sleek texture with a sharp edge. Its weight is around 11.5 ounces. 

Product Features:

  • High chromium percentage
  • High edge retention
  • Sharp Edges


  • Rust-resistant
  • Excellent steel density


  • Difficult to sharpen

Check the price of AUS-8 on Amazon

6. CPM S90V Survival Knife


Product Description: The carbon content is extremely high but the secret here is the absurd quantity of vanadium. Yes, it’s expensive and requires the patience of a saint to sharpen.

Design and Quality: CPM S90V is slim and its handle is of carbon fiber which is as light as air.

Product Features:

  • High corrosion resistant
  • High wear resistance
  • High edge retention


  • lightweight
  • Favorite for EDC


  • Hard to sharpen

Check the price of CPM S90V on Amazon

7. CPM-S110V Survival Knife


Product Description: This steel is also a must to look for in a survival knife. Even though it’s costly, the CPM-S110V blade by Spyderco is a guarantee value for your money and the edge, fantastic! You can use various sizes and shapes of this steel for even the toughest of wilderness activities and alongside the handle and sheath that Spyderco provides, this knife will be great for EDC.

Design and Quality: It is fashioned in a satin blade. The handle that Spyderco sells with it is of midnight blue color giving it a royal vibe. Choose any of the Spyderco knives with any handle you want.

Product Features:

  • Flat sheath
  • Water-resistant


  • Fantastic edge
  • High durability


  • High cost

Check the price of CPM-S110V on Amazon

8. 1095-HC


Product Description: Apart from the positive side the surface of the steel is susceptible to staining if not regularly maintained so one needs to keep this in mind. This product is manufactured by the Texas Knifemakers.

Design and Quality: The length of the knife is around 6.875 inches. The silver color gives off an elegant look. Elegant and fierce! The widest part of the blade is around 1.2 inches.

Product Features:

  • High carbon steel
  • High edge retention
  • Weighs around 1.00 pounds


  • Resistant to chipping
  • Easy sharpening


  • Low rust-resistance
  • Susceptible to staining

Check the price of 1095-HC on Amazon

9. D2


Product Description: Any knife junkie will know about the D2 steel. Its mouth-shutting hardness with its chromium-rich carbide concentration creates versatility in the steel to be used for rolls, punches, gauges or the best knives. It is available as an Electro- Slag- Remelted (ESR) product. Ameri-Source is the manufacturers D2 knives.

Design and Quality: It weighs around 2.05 pounds and has a density of 0.278 lb/3in. The steel is sold annealed as bar sheets by Amazon.  

Product Features:

  • High carbon steel
  • Used in folding knife
  • High wear resistance


  • High corrosion resistance
  • Appealing
  • Decent toughness


  • Low rust-resistance

Check the price of D2 on Amazon

10. 154CM


Product Description: Now comes 154CM steel which is popular one of the best steel for survival knife. This ultimatum is made of high-end materials used to make most American survival knives. This steal has achieved the perfect concentration to avoid oxygenation. Boker Burnley Kwaiken supplies it with a tough handle and an awesome sheath.

Design and Quality: With a lock-back design, the steel is attached to a pitch-black handle. Overall Length of the knife is 8.54″ while the steel itself is 4.96″

Product Features:

  • Additional Molybdenum
  • Stainless-steel
  • Exciting nylon sheath


  • King of hardness, toughness and corrosion resistance 
  • High edge retention
  • Unmatched toughness when tempered double


  • Can’t spend much time in the garage.

Check the price of 154CM on Amazon

Hence, you can conclude on this boring note that the best steel for a survival knife is none other than 154CM as it’s a top dog from all angles and it’s cheaper too which adds more brownies for you to ponder about it. Even Tony Stark had chosen this for the new Spiderman suit.

Finally, there is no perfect steel, as each steel has its qualities. Even if some steel is okay for EDC, extreme hunters, survivalists, hikers, fighters or any outdoor person looks for the edge retention, corrosion resistance, rust resistance and sharpness of any steel before choosing the “perfect” steel for himself/herself. 

What type of person are you and what do you choose?

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