Disaster can strike anytime anywhere.
Your car might suddenly careen off the road before landing upside down in a creek or your clothing could get trapped in an escalator unexpectedly.
In either situation, only a knife can save you from certain doom. While any knife can save someone in a pinch, manufacturers have seized on the opportunity to create models specifically designed to aid in a rescue.
So we compiled a list of 20 of the best rescue knives. These come in all designs and styles, from small folders to massive fixed blades.
Take a look and let us know your favorites.
1. Kershaw Funxion
The Kershaw Funxion EMT is an updated version of the knife with a feature-rich design. The knife comes with a 3-inch partially serrated blade that deploys with the SpeedSafe assisted-opening mechanism.
Hidden within the K-texture GFN handle is a carabiner clip, hex wrench, cord cutter, glass breaker tip, and screwdriver tip. This is a nice multitool to carry that would come in handy in the event of an emergency. This knife is particularly useful for an EMT or medic.
2. Spyderco Assist
Spyderco makes some bizarre knives, but there’s no denying they’re great at their job. The Assist is no exception.
This article was originally published in July 2018 before being updated with newer models.
We’re continuing our run-through of the best knives from each brand. Narrowing down the 10 best currently in production is no easy task, but I did the best I could using personal experience, consensus around the internet, reviews, and more.
Here are the 10 best Cold Steel knives.
Cold Steel Recon 1
Let’s start with a gimme: the Cold Steel Recon 1. The Recon series helped usher in a new era for Cold Steel, one that is currently dominated by tough knives with a tactical bent that use Andrew Demko’s famous Tri-Ad locking mechanism.
The Recon 1 uses high quality material with a 4-inch blade made from S35VN steel (recently changed from CTS-XHP). The handle is a grippy G-10.
One of the great things about this flagship model is that it comes in tons of sizes and blade shapes, so you can get exactly what you want.
Cold Steel Ti-Lite
Reminiscent of the switchblades of the 1950s, the Cold Steel Ti-Lite is a thin yet lengthy folder with an eye on self-defense. There’s a 4-inch or 6-inch version — both come in either budget or premium builds.
From collectors to avid outdoorsmen (and women), day laborers or simply those who like having a versatile tool ready at hand, spring assisted blades have skyrocketed in popularity.
Also known as assisted-opening knives, these blades are revered for their fast and reliable deployment while reducing the risk of human error and injury.
Many of us have been there, with even the most well-practiced knife-wielder experiencing a misfire from time to time with manual flipper knives. The same cannot be said for spring assisted openers. Short of catastrophic mechanical failure (a rarity), these blades deploy with unparalleled reliability.
This post was originally published in August 2018 and was updated in August 2021.
When Sal and Gail Glesser started a company in the 1970s based around a device called The Portable Hand — which could assist jewelers and other professionals who work with small parts — they likely never imagined it would become one of the premier knife brands in the world.
But, more than 40 years later, the company known as Spyderco is a top-tier brand with some of the best and most revolutionary knife designs ever made.
This post was originally written in September 2017 and updated in July 2021 to include newer models.
Finding the perfect steel is tough. Not only are there so many types available but there are also tons of factors to consider — price, ease of sharpening, hardness, corrosion resistance, and more.
The perfect steel is ever elusive, but you can pick the right steel for the job. If you want a steel that’s nearly stainless but has great edge retention and wear-resistance, opt for D2.
This post was originally published in April 2017 and was updated in 2021.
Along with the trapper pocket knife pattern, the stockman is one of the best and most iconic American slipjoint patterns ever created.
The history of the stockman is nearly impossible to track, but Gary Zinn of chuckhawks.com speculates it was made first developed around 1900. The stockman design typically consists of three blades: clip, sheepsfoot, and spey (or pen).
This post was originally posted in August 2018 and is updated every year.
Formally known as Columbia River Knife & Tool, CRKT is a relatively new company in terms of big knife brands, having only been established in 1994.
However, over the nearly three decades the company has been around, it’s put out hundreds of different models. There’s a lot to love about CRKT, from its truly innovative designs to its collaborations with some of the top knifemakers. Unfortunately, the use of inexpensive materials leaves a lot to be desired by the knife community. In the last few years, CRKT has tried to remedy these failings.
KA-BAR is a legendary brand that’s been making knives under different names for a century. While the KA-BAR knife is the most well-known model from the company, the Olean-based company makes a diverse group of knife designs.
Teaming up with some of the best knife-making minds out there, such as Ethan Becker, Rick Hinderer, and Bob Dozier, shows this brand is committed to quality designs.
There have been a number of great new models over the years, but none have been quite strong enough to topple these classics.
The karambit is an ancient agricultural tool created by the Minangkabau people of Indonesia and modeled after the claws of big cats. These days, the karambit has entered the knife realm as a versatile self-defense tool that allows for different fighting techniques, thanks to its curved design and finger ring.
While karambits are probably best known for their self-defense qualifications, they can also make great everyday carry tools. Not only do they have comfortable, ergonomic designs but the blades also sometimes work much better than straight edged blades in certain situations (like cutting rope, for example).
To some people, weight is no issue in a knife. They will happily EDC a large half-pound folder made of steel because they love the design or appreciate the heft.
For others, even just a few extra ounces can feel like extra pounds when they’re carrying it around all day every day.
If you’re a weight watcher, then you’re in luck. We’ve been working on posts about knives within certain weight limits. The first post from a few months back dealt with knives that weighed under an ounce. This post focuses on the best knives weighing under 2 ounces (more specifically 1-2 ounces).
See which knives made the cut. Continue reading