Knives have always been one of humanity’s most important survival tools because they’re simple, light, relatively cheap, yet very effective in a wide range of emergencies.
Bladed tools come in different shapes: multi-tools with a knife, pocket knives, axes, machetes, hatchets, and so on.
This guide focuses on the quintessential “jack of all trades, master of none” prepping field knife — a simple blade about the size of your hand — the kind you’d want if you were in an emergency and had only one type of blade.
The field knife is the primary knife you’ll keep in your main BOB/GHB kits. Everything else is either a backup or for more specialized jobs (like a chopping axe you keep in your home supplies). And since your bug out bag is always packed and ready at home, you’ll have this field knife around even if you shelter in place.
Fiddleback Forge is one of the best new makers of the past 15 years, and the Duke fixed blade is this brand’s flagship field knife. The design and materials of the heirloom-quality Duke make it perfect for any and all survival needs, and its S35VN steel is one of the toughest and most advanced stainlesses on the market.
Why you should trust us
We’ve collectively spent decades in the knife world. Your primary guides, Jon Stokes and Tony Sculimbrene, have been professionally reviewing knives and outdoor equipment for years, including interviews with knife makers, special forces operators, professional guides, big game hunters, and other serious users of edge tools. We’re preppers, hunters, and bushcraft instructors who often hang around knife-enthusiast communities.