Gear Review – Schrade Extreme Survival Large Fixed Survival Knife

When Tim from Knife-Depot contacted me and asked if I wanted to do a gear review on a survival knife that cost less than $50 you can excuse me if I was a little skeptical.  But I said, “Sure!  Send it over and I’ll check it out.”  A few days later it showed up on my door step and I left it on the counter for a day before I opened it.

I hate to admit, but I was ready to dislike this knife without even looking at it.  Then I pulled the Schrade Extreme Survival Knife out of the unmarked box.  At first I thought schradesomeone had goofed and sent me a far more expensive knife by accident.  Of course I was delighted, but then the honest side of me started to speak up and I went looking to see if they’d messed up somehow so I could give the good knife they sent back.

Imagine my shock when I discovered the knife I had was the correct one!  This knife looks, feels and performs far better than any other knife in it’s price range that I’ve used in the past by a healthy margin.  It’s sturdy, well balanced (I’ve had a lot of fun throwing this bad boy), and attractive to look at.

Let’s talk about the knife for a minute.  It’s got a Kraton handle that feels excellent to hold, which means you can maintain a good grip on it even when it’s wet.  The blade has a nice coating that has somehow maintained over the last few weeks that I’ve used it.  It came with a decent edge.  Not spectacular, but certainly usable and I haven’t bothered doing anything to it yet.

And it’s sturdy.  It probably weighs as much as my beloved Bekker Bk2 knife, but is a few inches longer.  The long blade and hefty weight make it an excellent chopping tool and the extra length also makes it easier to split thicker pieces of wood using the baton method.

Here are the stats:

Specifications:
Blade Length            6.4 inches
Blade Material         Carbon Steel (1095)
Sheath Material       Nylon
Blade Edge                 Plain
Point                           Drop Point
Handle Material     Kraton
Total Length           12.1 inches
Blade Color               Silver/Gray
Knife Type                Fixed Blade
Knife Weight            15.9 ounces
Handle Color           Black
Country of Origin   Taiwan

 

Check out the description from the website:

When the chips are down and the giant mutated rats have overrun your neighborhood, you’re gonna want a knife that don’t take no guff. This Extreme Survival fixed blade knife from Schrade is ultra-stable and jumbo-sized to make you feel safe as can be in any circumstances. Its drop point blade makes it suitable for all sorts of survival tasks, from opening cans to skinning wild game. This knife may not have all the bells and whistles that other survival knives come with, but in the right hands it can be a lifesaver.

What they don’t tell you is that this knife is pretty versatile too.  It has a spot on the blade where you can choke up on it and use it for finer work.  I’ve done everything with this from chopping down small dead trees to making a bow drill set and it’s worked flawlessly.  From taking big whacks to doing small delicate whittling it’s worked beautifully.  I took my nephews camping a few weeks ago and it instantly became the center of attention when I pulled it.  The youngest boy was lusting after it so much I just might have to get him one for Christmas this year.

The Sheath

It comes with a nylon sheath, which has a small carrying compartment installed on the side.  The knife itself slips into a plastic piece built into the sheath that I actually like.  You do have to keep it snapped shut though because if you turn upside down (falling over for example) it will fall out.  But it makes pulling the knife out and putting it back in again much smoother and easier.

The small compartment is just the right size for a firesteel and small flashlight and maybe a couple of other pieces of small gear making the whole thing a small survival kit you can carry right on your hip.  Later on when I have time I’ll see what I can pack in there for a comprehensive survival kit.  I love little challenges like that.

Overall Rating

My over all rating of this knife is a surprising 4.8 out of 5 stars.  Why?  I tend to prefer slightly smaller knifes like the Kbar BK2, which has a 5″ blade.  That’s just a personal preference, but as far as performance goes I have nothing bad to say about this knife at all.

What really gets me is the $50 price tag. (Actually, as I’m writing this it’s on sale for around $45 – a freakin’ steal!)  How they managed to pack this much goodness into one knife for such a low price is beyond me, but it’s to our benefit.

Some people like small knives and that’s totally cool.  Everybody has their preferences and there’s no right or wrong answer here.   If you’re looking for a good sized main survival knife and you don’t want to a pay a mint I’d suggest this bad boy.  If you’re looking for a solid knife in your back-up BOB this would be a splendid choice.

Questions?  Comments?

Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor

  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. October 21, 2013, 8:59 am

    I haven’t seen that one before – Cool! I’ve never been impressed with the Taylor manufactured made in China products but that one could change my mind, if only for a little bit :^) I like the blade shape and the lanyard hole in pommel. 1095 carbon steel – heck yeah, it rusts easier than stainless but takes a very good edge. I definitely need to check this out!

    I have an old Remington sheath knife (made by Camillus USA some years back) that actually had a ‘dot’ of roughened material about 1 1/2″ in back of the blade tip. I thought it was a manufacture 2nd (damaged) but in fact found out it was on purpose, meant for fingers to pinch for choking up on blade. Nice feature.

    Thanks for the review.

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor October 21, 2013, 7:29 pm

      Hey j.r. – let me know if you get one and what your impression of it is. I’d value another outdoors man’s opinion.

      Reply
  • Mrs. Acha October 21, 2013, 9:14 am

    Man, my oldest boy would *LOVE* this… it maybe very well end up being his Christmas gift.

    Reply
  • chilichef October 21, 2013, 9:57 am

    I picked up different version, the Special Forces 5.6 inch SCHF2SM a few months ago, for about $55-$60. Mine is a bit shorter and has a hollow handle. I have to say, for the price; I was impressed. I carry a Benchmade Nakamura as a pocket knife; and I love it, and it’s a lot more finely made than the Schrade, but that’s a $200 pocket knife; the Schrades are good, basic, solid steel fixed blade knives at a very modest price. As you note, they are not necessarily that sharp from the factory, but that’s fixable, and for the money, it’s superb value. Not everyone can drop a couple of bills on a knife.

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor October 21, 2013, 7:26 pm

      “…good, basic, solid steel fixed blade knives…”

      Perfect description! Someday I might buy a really expensive knife, but I’ve had good luck with the knives that I have.

      Reply
  • sput October 21, 2013, 10:03 am

    I spotted this knife a while back, and have tried to find an excuse to add ANOTHER knife to my collection. Christmas gifts for the boys may just be the way (by “oops” hit the 5 instead of 4 in the Qty. column)

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor October 21, 2013, 7:25 pm

      I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, Sput. Like I mentioned in the post… my nephew is probably going to have one under the tree this year.

      Reply
  • waterboy October 21, 2013, 2:00 pm

    Thanks, it’s about time Schrade gets some credit for making really good products that don’t break the bank. I have several of their knives and a multi-tool. I love them all.

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor October 21, 2013, 7:23 pm

      Waterboy- I’ve only had a couple of Schrade knives and they were all pretty good, but this knife is really nice. They did a very good job with it. And I’m still marveling over the price.

      Reply
  • kevin October 21, 2013, 4:32 pm

    question have you ever tried the cold steel bushman knives I have 3 of em one of em this 13 years old and STILL is one tough knife the rust proof coating has worn off but it still holds a edge with best of em and you can throw anything you want at it and still comes back for more

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor October 21, 2013, 7:20 pm

      Hi Kevin – yes, I have one of those knives. I bought a couple for my nephews too. It IS a good tough knife and I have it in my garage where I used it often.

      Reply
  • ARamseyW October 21, 2013, 9:07 pm

    I have picked up a few schrade tools over the past year including the SCaxe3 and I have to say their quality is quite impressive.
    Great gear review, I may have to pick one of these up for myself

    Reply
  • Pineslayer October 21, 2013, 10:04 pm

    The design looks solid and 1095 steel, it will stand the test of time. Why give your nephew a new knife when you can just pass this one on, he will get to learn to sharpen a blade too.

    Reply
  • Steve (From the Cape) November 1, 2013, 9:08 am

    I Just ordered one of these from Amazon based on your recommendation. I have had a KaBar USMC knife in my get home bag in the car. I was recently in an Army – Navy store on the Cape and they had KaBars for sale for $139.00! Suddenly that looked like a lot of knife to loose in a car break in. I will compare them, but this looks and reads like a good but less expensive replacement for the KaBar in my get home bag. Thanks for all the ongoing reviews of stuff. (I really want an ammo can stove too, but it is a little too big to hide from the non-prepper Mrs.)
    Steve

    Reply
  • phiber101 November 2, 2013, 9:05 pm

    I sprung for a few K-Bars for my primary self defense weapons, but also have a few others stocked away. I like the specs on this knife so I’ll definitely be picking a few up……especially since it’s 1/2 (even a 1/3rd or 1/4th) the price I paid on the K-Bars

    Reply