There are times when you just can’t carry a 20-ounce, 15-inch long khukuri. In these times, I turn to my Air Force Survival Knife.

This was a gift from a buddy of mine in AFSOC, given to me after he went through SERE (Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape) school.

The knife is barely over 10 inches long, with a blade length only half of that. It hardly weighs __oz., including the sheath. The blade is made of tough 1095 carbon steel and comes to a clip point

1095 carbon steel

Saw tooth back – made for notching wood, not sawing through it.

The handguard has two holes in it, allowing the user to easily tie this knife to a sick to create a spear.

It comes with a sharpening stone, which cracked after two days.

Tang – rectangular and runs the entire length.

The uses for this little knife are impressive and wide-ranging:

Supper – I’ve used this knife to slaughter and butcher chickens. The pommel comes in handy with dealing with an angry rooster who does not want to go quietly into the night. A quick strike to the head will stun him long enough to send him along to rooster heaven.

Digging – Gets the job done.

Hammering – Whether it’s pounding in tent stakes or smacking the aforementioned rooster on the head, this survival knife will do the trick.

We would split wood, do heavier carving, dig, cut dirt (for an evasion fire, small and easy to put out quickly by folding back over the slices of dirt/sod you had peeled back to make your small fire pit) and it could also be used for pounding or be lashed onto a pole as a spear point thanks to the holes in the guard for that very purpose. It’s sawbuck was rudimentary and not our first choice for sawing things but could work in a pinch. I think the biggest thing we used it for was to split wood once we had it cut: generally, we would have a pounding stick to get it started and hold onto the handle while beating the false edge with the pounding stick to work to it the rest of the way through until the wood was fully split.  

This knife is in my standard emergency bag in my car’s trunk.

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Tactical Gun Review, along with Texas Outdoors Network, is published by Michael Coker and Charles Coker.

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