Best survival knife under $25

If want to find a medium size low cost survival knife, expect to come across mediocre craftsmanship, poor quality materials and Rambo type gimmicks. One such gimmick is a knife that holds survival items inside the handle, which at first seems like a cool feature. However, such knife construction lacks the necessary ruggedness a survival knife must possess to be a dependable long term tool. As a general rule, you should avoid knives that are not full tang (meaning the blade steel runs all the way through the entirety of the handle), and you should also avoid knives with hollow handle.

However, there is an exception to this rule… and that is a Cold Steel Bushman series, which have no joint or seam between the blades and handles that requires a mechanical fastener. Instead, the Bushman’s blades and integral handles are each expertly cold forged out of a single piece of 2.5mm thick SK-5 high carbon steel. The resulting knives are expertly heat-treated and tempered to RC54 and when subjected to tests, have withstood over two tons of pressure on their blade/handle transition! Their hollow handles will accept survival supplies or a variety of handle extensions which can maximize reach, leverage or ease of throwing, making them a truly versatile. For these reasons, we chose Cold Steel Bushman SK-5 as the best medium sized budget (under $25) survival knife.

However, if you are willing to spend just a couple of bucks more, we also recommend the Condor Rodan, also an excellent budget survival knife, which unfortunately lands in the next price tier because it’s just above the $25 price. But if you are absolutely constrained to a “$25 or less” budget, than the Bushman or any of the other top 10 knives listed below are all excellent choices.

Cold Steel Bushman SK-5

Our Top Pick as the best survival knife (4.6″-7.5″ fixed blade) under 25 dollars is Cold Steel Bushman SK-5. Unlike most hollow handled survival knives, this one has no joint or seam between the blades and handle, giving you the versatility (spear making, throwing, etc.) without sacrificing durability. For the money, this knife might be the strongest survival knife in the world!

  • Blade: 7″ length, 0.098″ thickness, SK-5 high carbon
  • Handle: 4.75″ length, non-slip rubber
  • Weight: 9.8 ounces