The Evolution of Survival Knives

 survival knife in wilderness

The need to survive has been written into our genetic code. Since the beginning, the human race has taken great lengths to create tools that help us survive the harsh conditions of the world around us. One of the most prevalent tools throughout history has been the survival knife. This tool has been used throughout the generations as a day-to-day instrument that has a wide variety of uses. Let’s take a look at the history and evolution of the survival knife.

What is a Survival Knife?

Survival knives are simple tools that can be used for a variety of purposes, including self-defense. While there are a ton of different types of survival knives, they are usually incredibly portable and easy to deploy and use. These kinds of knives are also typically more durable than other knives because they need to be able to take a beating and still perform under the harshest conditions.

The Beginning of the Knife

The knife was one of the very first tools humans invented. In fact, the earliest semblance of the survival knife is thought to be around 2.6 million years old. In the beginning, they were likely used to cut and prepare food. These early knives were made from stone that had been broken apart to create the sharp edge. As early humans used the tool more and more, it began to take a shape similar to what we see today. Handles and hilts became commonplace and knife owners began decorating their knives with animal skins and feathers.

The Age of Metallurgy

As humans evolved, so did their ability to create better tools. Since the survival knife was one of the most integral tools in the day-to-day life of the primitive human, it was also one of the first tools to be improved when the process of metallurgy was invented. In the early days of metallurgy, softer metals like bronze were used to create knives. These blades weren’t as durable, but they provided a sharpness and aesthetic that stone knives would never be able to achieve.

Medieval Europe

In medieval times, we learned steel metallurgy, and began crafting steel survival knives and even started creating longer blades for swords and other weapons and tools. During this time, people also started regularly using their knives as eating utensils and weapons simultaneously. As time moved forward, the diversity of knives began to grow, influenced by a wide variety of factors. For example, a French Cardinal hated using sharp knives for eating. So he influenced the King of France to ban double-edged knives, which led to the development of forks and kitchen knives for eating.

Survival Knives in Today’s World

If primitive humans were to see a modern survival knife, they would likely recognize its purpose, even though it looks drastically different than the first stone knives. A knife is a knife, and that tool will never change. While we may continue to find new ways of creating more durable and sharper survival knifes, we’ll always recognize the utility that the tool provides in its timeless form.