Gear Review – Cold Steel Survival Rescue Knife (SRK)

I’ve heard people talk favorably about the Survival Rescue Knife (SRK) in the past and when I saw it on Amazon for $66.08 I decided to order it.  This puts it in the same price range as my Ka-Bar Bekker Campanion, what I consider to be one of the best affordable knives out there.  Would I like to have one of the $400 high-end Cold Steel knives out there?  Hell yeah!  But since I’m highly unlikely to buy one (if someone wants to send me one to review let me know!) this is what you’re going to get.

Here are the specs for the SRK off Amazon:


Cold Steel Survival Rescue Knife (SRK)

· Blade: AUS 8A stainless steel

· Sheath: Secure-Ex

· Blade length: 6 inches

· Handle length: 4-3/4 inches

· Overall length: 10-3/4 inches

· Thickness: 3/16 inches

· Weight: 8.2 ounces


Here’s the specs for the Campanion:


· Weight: 1 pound

· Blade Length: 5.25 inches

· Overall Length 10.5 inches

· Grind: Flat

Ka-Bar Campanion

· Shape: Drop point

· Edge Angle: 20 degrees

· Steel: 1095 Cro-Van

· Handle Material: Grivory

· Stamp: Ka-Bar Becker

· Knife Made in USA

· Sheath Made in Taiwan

· Limited lifetime warranty

The SRK is a little lighter than the Campanion, but still has a very good heft to it.  So far it’s proven to be a tough knife and in most areas does just as well as my Ka-Bar.

One area where it falls a little short is with chopping.  I used it to cut a spear haft for the Bushman and had to work a little harder because it doesn’t have quite the weight of the Ka-Bar.


This was not a big turn off for me because what it lacks in weight it makes up for in versatility. The blade is a little longer than the Campanion and it’s got a sharper tip. I found that out the hard way when I accidentally stuck it in my finger.  Ouch!  It would be easier to process small game and it felt good and solid when I used it to split firewood using the baton method. The knife came with a sharp edge and after using it quite roughly for a few hours it’s still sharp.

One thing I like better about the SRK is the handle. The Campanion has a grip where the bolts can work loose if you’re not careful, but the SRK’s handle is checkered kraton, which makes it very easy to grip.

As much as I love the Campanion I’ve pulled it out of my pack to give the SRK a fair shake. My plan is to use it through the spring to really get a good feel for it. Chances are good that this knife won’t replace the Ka-Bar, but it’s likely to earn a place by its side.

What’s your favorite knife?  Any recommendations?  (That’s a loaded question:  I think the only topic more popular to an outdoorsman is possibly firearms.)

Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor

14 comments… add one
  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. April 9, 2012, 7:54 am

    If possible, seek the older Carbon V bladed SRK – that Camillus manufactured steel took a great edge! Still can be found on ebay and other sources where knives are sold.

  • Spook45 April 9, 2012, 8:48 am

    If I had to choose between these two, I would take the becker. I have the becker nad the SRK is a fine knife but it lacks the heft that I prefer in a fixed blade. I have several Knives in the $100+ range and I would trade them ALL for a randell #14 and be through with it but no one I know would be willing to make that trade so I guess I ll keep what I have. I like the becker and my Gerber LMF IIs and M cold steel Recon Scout(like it better than the SRK) I also have an old parker survival knife thats a very nice pc. Hell, theyre kind f like gus, I have my preferences bt in the end, I LIKE EM ALL:)

    • Jarhead Survivor April 9, 2012, 9:07 am

      Hey Spook – I do love my Becker!

    • Brion April 9, 2012, 10:22 am


      Now if (and when) I own a Randal , I will then , for sure , have a ‘favorite knife’ . . . . and the #14 is a great choice .

      They are probably the biggest reason I trek down to KTP from Dover Foxcroft . The guns are decent and theres a great reloading dept. , but the fact that they’re a Randall Dealer is the icing on the trip .

      • Spook45 April 10, 2012, 9:29 am

        IF I had to pay full price for al the ones I have, I would have already spent the money to buy the Randall. Truth is, I rarely pay the price. Got my BK2 at a trucking liquidation outlet, payed $40 Out the door. NEw in the box, got the two Gerbers surplus in new condtion and the cold steel recon scout from an old guy at a gun show for $40(still dont know why they were so cheap, but who cares!?) The retail cost on this little collection would be enough to pay for a #14.

  • Leon April 9, 2012, 9:26 am

    I’m in the SRK camp, and that is based on a lot of hands-on use. But there are a lot of great knives out there, and in some instances, for specific purposes, the SRK is not the absolute best choice.
    Here’s a comparison between the Cold Steel SRK and Master Hunter after I used both of them in the field:
    Wish I could afford to own one of everything!

  • Brion April 9, 2012, 10:12 am

    I dont have a favorite knife . . . many I like , a few I love , but no one-clear-favorite .
    I’m not a big fan of the slippery grips on the Beckers . I’ve got one of the larger BK7 models and I noticed that Becker offers replacements made from micarta , on their site . I think I’ll try my hand at making a set of slabs first , and order the replacements should I fail . As far as the rest of the knife goes , it’s a great general-purpose camp-utility-fighter that seems rugged enough and takes a great edge .

  • Jason April 9, 2012, 1:58 pm

    My favorite knife? The electric knife because it reminds me of Thanksgiving!

  • Ben Price April 9, 2012, 2:31 pm

    While I was in Baghdad, the PX in the IZ stocked Carbon Steel SRKs. The cost was somewhere around $60. They regularly ran out of stock on these knives within the first 2-3 days of getting them in. I asked a Seargent who bought one if they were popular. He said that a lot of soldiers preferred them to the issued KaBar knife. I bought two of them while I was there. I found them durable, functional, and well suited to my needs. For anything heavier, I went to Busse knives and got a FBM (another Seargent’s recomendation). They are expensive, but you get what you pay for. My cohort asked me what the imposing FBM was for. I told him “for lopping heads, of course”. He choked on his tea.

  • T.R. April 9, 2012, 7:43 pm

    Lot of good knives out there , I have a decent S&W stainless , and even though its not a bad product , I noticed a big difference when I use carbon steel blades . Now I wont buy a stainless blade no matter what the reviews say , Carbon has more weight and is so much tougher . Seems to hold the edge better as well . Then again , its what you want it for .

  • Anonymous April 10, 2012, 1:36 am

    Tartarus aye, i long for practise authorship affair wish this end didnt consider period, may i repost this Tackle Re-examine – Unconcerned Hanger Survival Deliver Knife (SRK

  • extremesgs April 10, 2012, 6:54 pm

    I have had an SRK for about 18 years (yes, they’ve been around that long). I think Cold Steel was new(er) to the market then- I saw this and bought it. Short time later I was stuck on a mountain in snow. Ended up using it to cut some trees and split some (already downed) wood. Baton method for both. It helped save my ass. I still have it- its on my plate carrier vest for work.
    On the mountain adventure, the chopping managed to scave off some of the black finish. I don’t even think i sharpeded it for a couple years after. They did (do?) this “laser sharpening” thing with it- held an edge like i’ve never seen. Its definitely not the end-all though. Great for the name- survival/rescue.

    I recently got the Gerber LMF ASEK, but haven’t put it through the paces. I did see some reviews of totrure testing and was damn impressed. I’m not buying two knives for the sole purpose of breaking one though…

    The LMF seems like its got more applications than the SRK, but you’re never going to find one tool for all jobs.

  • Legion7 April 11, 2012, 12:42 pm

    I love my silver trident. Nice solid knife, but it’s really not mine yet. Until I cut or poke myself with it, it’s not truly mine!!!

  • Joe April 18, 2012, 10:44 pm

    Hey Jarhead – I bought a BK2 a while back partially based on a review on your web site. I LOVE IT. In the past month I’ve taken it camping twice and have used it to split wood up to 4 inches in diameter by batoning with the knife. It’s no worse for the wear.

    Great knife that’s definitely worth the 16 oz weight, even when backpacking in my opinion.



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