If you’re a fan of knives–drawn to their quality and functionality rather than mere design–you’re probably already an avid fan of Emerson Knives.
In 1979, Emerson started making knives in his garage (like many other knife makers during that time). It wasn’t until 1996 when he founded his own company, Emerson Knives, in Torrance, California. Over the years, Emerson stayed true to his unique designs and original tactical influences by utilizing his own experiences and work as a respected weapons instructor specializing in edged-weapon close combat.
You can easily see military influences present in Emerson’s products, such as his inspiration for the wave-shaped rapid opening system and the Titanium Walker liner lock mechanism. Both features are crucial in efficiency and effectiveness.
Ernest Emerson stands apart from other knife makers because of his consistency to remain a traditionalist, and even a little conservative, regarding his craft as he blends in modern technology and pragmatic design.
When looking for survival knives, in particular, certain capabilities have to be considered, such as the knives’ durability to withstand demanding activities–like cutting wood, hunting, skinning–and even for self-defense against animals and humans. Whether you’re an outdoor survival enthusiast, the avid hunter or the tactical fighter, there’s an Emerson survival knife that matches your agenda.
Here are some of the best Emerson-crafted blades for survival:
The Emerson CQC-7 Flipper Knife
The impressive reputation that Emerson built for himself and his company started with his dedication in its folding, or flipper, knives. And this one is no different.
This classic flipper “hard use” knife paved the way for all other flipper knives that came afterward. Like most Emerson knives, the rapid deployment system works seamlessly in the CQC-7 that allows the user to draw out its blade with one hand easily. The 3.3” tanto chiseled blade shows off its sleek black finish against the 4.6” handle length, combining minimalist design with maximum functionality.
Inspired by the military’s necessity and desire for optimal tactical usage, Emerson flipper knives served some of the world’s most elite forces. Did you know that the Emerson CQC-7 knife was the same knife that was used to kill Osama bin Laden in 2011?
If that doesn’t convince you of this knife’s tactical capabilities, I don’t know what will!
The Emerson Commander Black Wave
It’s easy to see how the Emerson Commander won the “Best Overall Knife of the Year” award at one of the most renowned cutlery competitions in the past. The battle-tested tactical knife is thoughtfully crafted, from its black finish on the 3.75” stainless steel blade in contrast to the textured exterior of the epoxy glass handle. The handle’s length extends a bit longer than usual–a little over 5 inches–which makes it great for flexible and comfortable handling.
Because of this knife’s unparalleled features in style, performance and blade sharpness, the Emerson Commander is used by military regimes and organizations, including the NATO Counter-Terrorist Units, Elite Armed Forces and European Military.
The Emerson Government Mule
Even though Emerson folding knives are fairly popular, it’s important to acknowledge all the advantages fixed blades can offer, especially for the experienced outdoorsman (or woman).
Where the folding blade falters, the fixed blade prevails. Without having to deal with the folding mechanisms, a fixed blade can handle heavier-duty tasks and offers full tang–meaning that the blade extends all the way down to the handle–for increased power and resilience.
The Emerson Government Mule runs a bit longer than the folding knives at 10.2”, rocking a 4.8” stainless steel blade finished with black Cerakote. This useful ceramic coating enhances physical performance, impact strength and corrosion resistance, making it the perfect knife to withstand laborious outdoor activities. Whether you’re skinning game or splitting wood, the Government Mule can take it.
Furthermore, the style of this thoughtful blade mirrors a spear point. If necessary, you can tie its hard epoxy glass 5.4” handle to a pole or another tool to create a makeshift spear, giving you more options on the knife’s tactical and survival usability.
The classic rugged style provided combat-ready durability for the U.S. Military for decades. Combine that with Emerson’s unique ergonomics and curated design and you get a knife that could withstand it all without worrying about its retirement.
The Emerson Karambit
Many words come to mind regarding the Emerson Karambit Knife, but one in particular sticks with you: timeless. The Karambit’s origins can be traced all the back to Indonesia in the 11th century when users took advantage of the knife’s curved design that made it ideal for cutting and tearing through plants and weeds. If situations got hairy, the knife used by modest farmers could be quickly transformed into a weapon of defense against unwarranted invaders.
This beautifully crafted, but lethal, folding knife boasts a 3.5” blade with a 4.5” handle, totaling the length to a full 8 inches. Titanium lines the exterior while the holes and thumb slot offer an ergonomic grip, allowing the user to practice complete control.
There’s a reason why the Karambit knife is still widely used and respected today. After years of tweaking and refinement, the present-day Karambit knife is ideal for survival, whether you’re stranded in an isolated jungle or warding off attackers.