Did you know that there are actually dozens of different survival knife uses? Yes, a good strong sturdy survival knife is arguably the most important tool in your arsenal. But how many ways do you use yours for?

Strictly for cutting things here and there? Or do you get creative and find more and more ways to use your knife? There are dozens of different uses for a knife that can help you in more ways than you may have thought.

There are dozens of different uses for a knife that can help you in more ways than you may have thought.

How do you use your survival knife?

When was the last time you used it for something new?

Well now is the time.

What Is A Survival Knife Used For?

As you’ll discover below, there are dozens of different ways and uses for a survival knife.

They are sharp, strong, large and in charge. Rambo used one to assist him on his rampages.

Primarily, survival knives are built for intended use out in the wilderness. Survival in the wild. Which is why they are larger in size than other types of knives.

For outdoor enthusiasts, there are dozens of uses for a knife while camping alone. So the question is.

How much knife do you need?

If you think you’re fine with a little pocket knife, you may think twice after this post.

We won’t cover the survival knife types and uses in this post, but we’ll be covering that in a more in-depth guide with more survival knife tips.

Next, we’ll start the list of different uses for survival knives.

53 Survival Knife Uses Will Keep You Alive

When it comes to using a knife for survival, discovering and developing new knife tips and tricks are essential. Upgrade your knife skills with a few of these ways to use your survival knife. Unleash more of it’s potential. It’s easily one of the most versatile tools in your arsenal.

1. Splitting Wood

Being able to split wood is essential, especially when camping and living off the grid.

2. Cutting and Slicing

Need to cut or slice something? A Survival knife will be able to cut and slice just about anything.

3. Chip

These weapons are big and brutal. If you need to chip something, this kind of knife will do it.

4. Fire Starting

Firemaking is one of the essential survival skills and you can learn and develop.

Watch Bear Grylls make a fire with just a survival knife.

5. Screwdriver

Don’t have a flat head screwdriver? Use your knife. You can use the tip of the blade to turn most flat head screws. Phillips screws are a bit tougher.

6. Forage

Foraging for food? Having one of these to do it makes it easier.

7. First Aid and Medical Uses

If you injure yourself and get wounded, you might not have scissors with you to cut bandages. This knife would be able to cut what you need to get stitched up.

Also, you really wouldn’t need to carry scissors at all if you carry a one of these. A small way of saving room and being more efficient.

8. Pairing

Ditch the cute little pairing knife and use a behemoth-sized knife. Why? Because it’s hilarious.

9. Spread

If you want to get a laugh out of whoever is in your kitchen. Take out a survival knife and use it to spread peanut butter on your toast. It’s definitely worth the laughter.

10. Eat

Speaking of food. You can also use it to eat. Nearly anything. Use it to cut the fruit off of trees or to cut your steak.

11. Maple Sap Tap

Survival knives allow you to collect maple sap as well.

Watch this video to see how.

12. Batoning

Batoning in case you’re not familiar with it is splitting logs into two pieces. Think of using an ax to chop wood. You can essentially accomplish the same thing with a blade like this.

What you do is put the edge of the blade on the log you want to split in half. Try to get it a few centimeters deep in the wood.

Then you smash the knife with another log which produces the force to split the log in two. The higher the quality steel and construction, the better. I wouldn’t do this with a cheap plastic handle, it will just break.

13. Wood Carving

Want to carve a wooden action figure or something similar? These knives will work well for carving.

14. Food Prep

Prep your food with a survival knife. This kind of knife can handle any type of food you might have to prepare.

15. Open Your Beer With A Knife

Forgot your bottle opener and need to open your Heineken? Easily open it using your blade.

It’s easy, but you still want to get the technique down.

Click here to see how to easily open it using a knife.

16. Preparing Food

If you need to prepare food and need something sharp, this knife will do it. It’s big and sharp enough to be able to help you prepare anything from a 30 lb Thanksgiving turkey to a sandwich for tomorrow’s camping trip.

17. Shelter Building

Survival knives come in handy when making a DIY shelter. Because of its size, it’s very good at staking equipment in the ground securely. You can cut small branches with it. And dig out what you need to be able to properly make your shelter.

18. Sharpen Your Spear

Sharpen your spear using nothing but your knife. Take the knife and shave off shavings of wood at one end over and over. This forms a sharp point on that end of the stick.

19. Camping

We could probably list dozens of uses a survival knife has just for camping. Bottom line, it’s one of the best survival items you could have with you during a camping trip, along with paracord survival bracelets and marshmallows.

20. Firewood

Need to crack open firewood for a fire? You can get the job done with this. But proceed with caution.

Watch this video.

21. Make Tools

You can use this knife to make tools mostly for hunting. You can make crossbows and spears. You’d be able to use it to make any DIY tool you can think of that requires a strong sharp blade.

Essentially, you’re using one survival tool to make more survival tools. You can make a DIY Fire Bow and Drill.

22. Hunting Weapon

This type of knife makes a good hunting weapon because of its size and knife shape. It’s massive so gutting wild game animals is ideal.

23. Pry

Need to pry something open? If you have a knife with quality steel, using it to pry something open works well. I wouldn’t try to force it too much if it was a cheaper stainless steel blade.

24. Knife Fighting

If you’re going to fight with a knife, my money is on the guy with a survival knife.

Survival knives are built for combat. They’re for fighting. There’s a reason Rambo uses a one. To kill anything and everything.

25. Smash Things Like A Hammer

If the knife has a glass breaker on the handle, you can smash just about anything with it. Some brands of knives make a glass breaker that’s attached to the end of the handle. These things are like hammers. Use it to break and smash what you need, including skulls if need be.

26. Clear The Path

These knives make it easy to clear your path through the woods. If you don’t have your machete, just use this.

27. Camp and Shelter Making

Having one of these knives with you when you go to make a DIY survival shelter is ideal. You can use the knife to cut small branches. You can stake equipment down with it. It comes in handy for outdoor shelters.

28. Stab

This is the knife to use if you need to stab something. For hunting or for self-defense, if you’re going to stab something, use this knife.

29. Skin

After hunting for the day, you want to skin your wild game. This is the knife for it.

30. Break Glass

Some brands make survival knives with glass breaker built on to the handles. You can literally break glass or just about anything else with them.

31. Protection and Self-Defense

Since knife fighting is a big part of what survival knives are for, it makes sense that using them for protection and self-defense would work well.

If you have one of these knives and learn how to fight with it, I’d say that’s a pretty sharp personal-defense plan. No pun intended.

32. Fillet

You’re able to filet just about any fish or piece of meat. The blade is long and tough. So no matter how large the fillet is you need to cut, this knife will be able to do it.

33. Open a Can

Forgot your can opener? You can easily open your can of beans with this knife.

34. Carve Your name

Stranded on an island and want to leave your name? Use the knife to carve your name into the stones.

35. Sterilize Wounds

This is a last resort type of use. A true survival situation would call for a survival knife to close a wound.

If you have no other way of closing an open wound or sterilizing a wound. And it’s a survival situation. You can use the knife to close to the wound and sterilize it if you can heat up the blade enough for it to work.

Proceed with caution.

36. Fishing

Need to fish for food? You can fish using nothing but a survival knife.

Watch this survival challenge video to see how it’s done.

37. Digging

Use it to dig works twofold. You can use the handle to smash hard pieces of the hole and make room. And use the blade to dig out smaller pieces and refine its shape.

However. In general, you don’t want to use your knife to dig if you don’t have to. It will ruin the knife. Use only if you don’t have your tactical shovel and really need to dig.

38. Throw

Knife throwing can be fun and a little addictive. And if you get good at it, you can throw knives for many different reasons. It makes a killer defensive skill.

39. Butcher Meat

You can dress and butcher meat with this type of knife.

40. Make Gear Adjustments

Making minor adjustments to your survival gear and tools are part of the lifestyle. Using your knife to make adjustments becomes makes the process easier.

41. Shave

Shave like a badass. You can shave with a big bad blade like Rambo. Might feel a little different than a safety razor.

42. Open Packages and Letters

If you don’t have your tactical folding knife around, you can always whip out your knife to get the letter open.

43. Whittle Wood

Whittling wood is possible with these knives.

Here’s a good video on whittling for beginners.

44. Stake

The size of the blade makes it easy to stake gear or equipment securely into the ground. It’s also very useful for making a DIY shelter in the outdoors.

45. Scratch

If you need to scratch something, whether it be a small or a big scratch. These knives will do it. Might do more damage than you thought it would though.

46. Making Rope

Make your own rope.

Watch this video on how to do it, step by step.

47. Cook

Need to flip your eggs or pancakes and don’t have a spatula? The big blade makes it easy to be able to flip foods with.

48. Inspect

Sometimes you got to poke something to inspect it. Fewer things are better for the job.

If what you’re inspecting turns out to be hostile and a threat. You have your weapon right there, ready to go.

49. Make a DIY Survival Crossbow

Use your knife to make a primitive survival crossbow.

50. Signaling

As you saw before in this post. You can make a fire with a survival knife. Then you can use the fire to create a fire signal for help. Also, if you have ever used a signaling mirror. You can use the blade of the knife to act as a mirror to create a signal for help as well.

51. Scribe Marks

Make marks and writings with the knife. Using the sharp point of course. If you need to mark something for navigation or write something to fellow survivors. This knife is perfect for it.

52. Rescue

Rescue friends and family by waving a massive knife in your hand. I’ve seen people get truly intimidated and back down by the sight of a Rambo looking blade.

Sometimes that’s all it takes.

53. Makeshift Screwdriver

Lastly, if you forget your screwdriver. Which a lot of people do. It’s often an overlooked item to bring with you on a camping trip. You can use your knife to turn screws and to hammer nails.

It might not do a perfect job, but it will get the job done when you need it to.


There are dozens of different ways and uses for a survival knife. Using it just to cut a few things doesn’t cut it. No pun intended.

Use it for more than that. Take some from this list and start applying. Use the knife for its full potential.

What do you use your survival knife for? Tell us below in the comments.

UP NEXT: Make A DIY Camp Coffee Cup


53 Gnarly Survival Knife Uses That Will Keep You Alive
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