KISS is so much more than the tattered remnants of rock’s bygone era reimagined as a merchandising machine from the mind of Gene Simmons—it’s also one of our favorite acronyms. Keeping It Simple, Stupid, also happens to be why we choose fixed-blade knives over folding, automatic or sliding models (and helps explain our low self-esteem). Fixed-blade knives can’t be beaten for their simplicity and strength. These simple blades are made with fewer parts than the other types, and because of this, their construction is usually more robust. If you’re searching for a knife to use for protection and survival, look no further than a fixed blade.

While non-fixed blades can be carried with less of a profile than their fixed-blade cousins, their extra parts provide weak points that might not withstand everything you could do with a quality fixed blade. Knives can handle much more than just cutting; they are also used for anything you can imagine, including prying, piercing and even digging, when in a pinch. Considering all of these uses, you want a knife that won’t fail when you need it the most.

Also, fixed-blade knives only require simple maintenance such as cleaning, oiling and sharpening to stay in top condition. Here are eight popular standouts that can be implemented for everything from daily use to survival and protection.

Boker Plus Armed Forces Tactical Tanto

  • Grips: Black G10
  • Blade Length: 7.33”
  • Overall Length: 13”
  • Weight: 12.4 oz.
  • Blade: Titanium-nitride-coated 440C stainless steel
  • MSRP: $95.95
  • URL:

Notes: Made to withstand harsh field use, the Boker Plus Armed Forces Tactical Tanto features a titanium-nitride-coated, 440C stainless steel, 7.33-inch-long tanto blade that is chisel-ground. The blade is partially serrated for a variety of uses. Its grips are made of solid G10 and provide a confident grip. It comes with a Cordura sheath.

Cold Steel Kobun

  • Grip: Black Kray-Ex
  • Blade Length: 5.5”
  • Overall Length: 9.875”
  • Weight: 4.4 oz.
  • Blade: Japanese AUS-8A stainless
  • MSRP: $59.99
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Notes: Created to be a boot knife, the Kobun is a lightweight tanto that features a point that is highly resistant to bending or breaking because it is reinforced by the full thickness of the blade’s spine, which runs almost to the very tip of the blade. Its deeply checkered handle is designed to offer a slim profile that maximizes traction. Its blade is contoured to resist turning or shifting in the hand.

Kershaw Diskin Hunter

  • Grips: Black G10
  • Blade Length: 4”
  • Overall Length: 9.5”
  • Weight: 5.0 oz.
  • Blade: Sandvik 14C28N
  • MSRP: $89.99
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Notes: Built here in the U.S. with the hunter in mind, the Diskin Hunter has a big drop-point blade that’s ideal for a wide range of field-dressing tasks. Its wide blade makes it very capable for a variety of survival and defensive tasks as well. It features a slim handle that custom knife maker Matt Diskin designed to offer a secure feel in the hand. Its textured G10 scales have a wide edge bevel for a comfortable grip. A leather sheath with a belt loop is included.

Spartan-George V-14 Dagger

  • Grips: Black or green G10
  • Blade Length: 6.75”
  • Overall Length: 11.5”
  • Weight: 9.28 oz.
  • Blade: CPM S35VN
  • MSRP: $445
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Notes: The result of Spartan Blades’ first collaboration with famedknife maker Les George, the V-14 Dagger has a full-tang design and 0.25-inch precision-ground blade thickness. The blade is vacuum heat-treated, cryogenically treated and double tempered to add to edge retention and toughness. Its textured handle is specifically designed to provide a confident grip, and it includes a sheath for easy carry and transport.

CRKT Minimalist Bowie

  • Grips: Green/black resin
  • Blade Length: 2.125”
  • Overall Length: 5.13”
  • Weight: 1.6 oz.
  • Blade: 5Cr15MoV
  • MSRP: $39.99
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Notes: Don’t judge its usefulness by its small size; the Minimalist Bowie neck knife is great for a wide variety of tasks. It is very lightweight and gives the user a surprising level of comfort and control, thanks to the unusual geometry of its full-tang blade, aided by three finger choils and a friction groove for the thumb. Its green-black resin-impregnated fiber scales provide plenty of grip. It comes with a custom-fitted, glass-filled nylon sheath and neck paracord for inverted carry as a neck knife.

TOPS Jackal Survivor

  • Grips: Black G10
  • Blade Length: 5”
  • Overall Length: 9.75”
  • Weight: 8.9 oz.
  • Blade: 1095
  • MSRP: $175
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Notes: The Team Jackal Survivor comes in 1095 high-carbon steel for its simple-to-sharpen properties and excellent edge retention. The blade’s coyote tan powder-coat finish protects the steel from the elements and reduces shine to provide a lower profile. Strong and sturdy black G10 handles with TOPS’ Rocky Mountain Tread allow for a solid grip in almost any condition. It includes a Kydex sheath.

Zero Tolerance 0180

  • Grip: Black G10
  • Blade Length: 4.2”
  • Overall Length: 9.2”
  • Weight: 8.7 oz.
  • Steel: Vanadis 4 Extra
  • MSRP: $275
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Notes: The 0180 is a small and light fixed-blade knife built to handle tough duty. The blade is made of Vanadis 4 Extra and coated with nonreflective tungsten DLC, which is good for hard use and wear resistance. The 0180’s handle scales are made of G10 for durability as well as reduced weight. The full-tang knife features heavy jimping on the spine for an enhanced grip. It includes a belt sheath.

Spyderco Enuff Sheepfoot Salt SpyderEdge

  • Grips: Yellow FRN
  • Blade Length: 2.75”
  • Overall Length: 6.75”
  • Weight: 3.9 oz.
  • Blade: H-1
  • MSRP: $179.95
  • URL:

Notes: The Enuff Sheepfoot Salt features skeletonized, full-tang construction for strength and light weight, and injection-molded handle scales made from fiberglass-reinforced nylon (FRN). It features high-visibility yellow scales that make it easy to locate and a hollow-ground sheepfoot blade with a fully serrated SpyderEdge edge that performs especially well on fibrous materials like rope and webbing. Its H-1 steel is a nitrogen-based alloy with only trace amounts of carbon, which Spyderco claims is 100-percent rustproof. It includes an injection-molded polymer sheath.

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