What Are Bushcraft & Survival Knives Used For?

When it comes to usability and appearance, we just can say that both knives are the same and even if there are small differences, they are negligible.

Some people still say that bushcraft knives are used for Forest activities in particular, while the term survival knife is used for the knives that we should use for emergencies.

Moreover, just as discussed above, survival knives are the ones that we use for life-saving events so they tend to be smaller as compared to bushcraft knives.

The fact is, they are essentially the same. There are no considerable differences in the structure and function of these knives. Even if these differences exist, they are so minor, that we can easily say that both are interchangeable terms.

In other words, the difference only lies in their usage. When we use this knife to carry out daily tasks or for hunting purposes, it is called a bushcraft knife and when we use the same knife for our survival or emergencies, it is called a survival knife.

There are no other considerable differences in them. Thus, in the upcoming lines, we will use the term bushcraft knife and the survival knife as the same term.

The Importance

If you love to go hunting or adventure like hitchhiking, you should ensure the presence of bushcraft knives. It can not only help in cutting the hard objects but also help in saving your life at times.

The best part of this knife is its portability, sharpness, and light-weightedness. Thus, you can bring this knife anywhere you want.

In short, it is a must-have tool for all outdoor events and activities.

Are you still wondering how you can do a lot of things using this knife?

Well, let’s have a detailed look at the uses of bushcraft or survival knives.

Wood Cutting

The most common and ancient use of survival or bushcraft knives is the cutting of wood. It has a very sharp blade and edges that give it a perfect shape for wood cutting. Thus, it is likely that the old woodcutters use this knife as the main equipment to carry out their woodcutting jobs and activities.

As a Kitchen Tool

The use of this knife is not associated with outdoor use only. It is an all-in-one tool that can perfectly help you in handling the kitchen chores from cutting to slicing and dicing. Simply, if you have this knife in your kitchen, it shows you have a perfect tool for your carving purposes. With this knife, cutting the meat and the vegetables in the beautiful slices is no longer a difficult thing.

Cutting The Ropes

Cutting the ropes is another major task where you will badly need survival or bushcraft knives. They can help in cutting all kinds of ropes and strings, no matter how strong they are and how hard their material is.

I have personally used this knife a lot of times for cutting the ropes.

Batoning Wood

An important technique to have while out in the woods while either hunting, camping or simply exploring is batoning. This is a technique in which a knife is inserted into a piece of wood by repeatedly striking the wood while waving something at the wood in a baton-like motion. This technique is used to split the wood. For this purpose, you will need bushcraft knives. They are specialized to perform this function very efficiently.

Digging The Holes

It may seem incredible but it is an amazing digging tool that will help you in digging the holes for various purposes. Whether you’re digging in the wilderness or making a posting hole in your backyard, the process is generally the same. Digging a hole can present more challenges than you might give it credit for at first. The amount of work will vary based on the type and extent of the hole you’re making, but it can be made much easier and fast using these holes.

Skinning The Animals

While you go hunting and hunt your favorite animal, you immediately need a knife for skinning the animals and starting a fire. The sharp edge of this knife is so piercing that it will assist you in removing the skin and then cutting the meat into desired pieces. Thus, you need this knife for hunting, skinning, slicing to cooking the meat. Now you can understand why you need a bushcraft knife or survival knife for cutting purposes.

This was the comprehensive list of uses that you can take from the bushcraft or survival knife and it is something you must consider for all of your indoor and outdoor activities.

Physical Appearance

On average, the overall structure of these knives reveals that they are the super-smart tools that you need for carrying out tasks daily. However, it is a common perception that the bushcraft knives that are used for survival purposes are smaller than the ones used for cutting and hunting purposes.

Thus, the typical survival knives are almost 5 inches longer while the bushcraft knives come in the length of roundabout 12 inches.

Or simply, we can say that if you are going to buy the knife for hunting purposes, then you can opt for the longer ones. The reason behind small survival knives is that you can easily keep them under the belt. Its edges are so sharp that you can easily use them to save your life and threaten the other creatures. The intensity of the sharp edges of the survival knife is matchless and you should be very careful while handling this knife.

The bushcraft knives that are designed for survival purposes have much thicker blades than the ones that are designed for other tasks.


Though we have already discussed the importance of these knives, let’s have a look at the distinguishing traits of these knives.

  • The sharpness of the steel gives a very sharp blade.
  • They are highly durable.
  • Handle ergonomics of this knife are very great.
  • They are often full tang knives, so you can proceed with all kinds of cutting processes with maximum strength.
  • Nowadays stainless steel bushcraft knives are also coming on the market that has Triple-layered laminated stainless steel blades.
  • They are compact, lightweight, and portable. Often the size of these knives is not more than 3 ounces.
  • The handles provide you with a strong grip that enables you to hold it well and perform the cutting tasks with maximum balance.
  • Sometimes, these knives have safety features and come up with a safety box or cover.
  • It is a versatile knife that can perform multiple tasks.
  • These knives have very good edge retention.

Well, here we have summarized the benefits, now let’s get to the next point.


Here some things about the bushcraft or survival knives that you may dislike.

  • They are helpful in batoning but if you want to baton the longer wood, they are not as helpful as they should. The reason is their blade sizes are much smaller as compared to the other batoning knives.
  • The length of the blade is short and often seems smaller than the needed length.
  • Bushcraft knives are the ones that may cost you much higher than the other knives. So while discussing the cons of these knives, we can say that they are expensive. However, you can proceed with the purchase if you can afford it and need it due to the versatility of the usage.
  • Although high-quality material is used in the formation of the blades, the blades are not stainless. Thus, you need to do regular maintenance to avoid the rusting of the blade. Nowadays, some knives are still available that are made up of rust-free steel, however, they might be unaffordable for most people.

Final Verdict

This knife was particularly designed for survival and tactical activities, but with time, many users found it useful for many other tasks too. The feature of handling versatile tasks with maximum efficiency is the most distinguishing one, and you can keep it with you as an all-in-one tool for all of your indoor and outdoor cutting activities.

Then, what are you waiting for?

Buy this knife and just do anything when you are in the wilderness.

Last Updated on July 22, 2021 by Andy Wang

  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Knife Knowledge
  4. »
  5. What Are Bushcraft & Survival Knives Used For?

My name is David Strong. I'm a knife expert and a US Marine veteran. I used to fight in Iraq, so I gained lots of combat experience there, especially when it comes to combat, tactical, and outdoor knives. And this blog is where I share my expertise with you alongside my friend Andy.