Knives are an absolutely essential piece of gear, but when I saw the 12 Survivors Fixed Blade Knife for the first time, my first reaction was one of skepticism. “A fixed blade knife, in plastic packaging, made by a survival company?” If I had to put a finger on it, my personal Bear Grylls stigmas and supposed survivalist media, products, and entertainment industry stereotypes that I hold have probably permanently tainted the word “survival” for me. While that might be unfair at times, as I was soon to find out, I couldn’t help but immediately question the value or quality of a “survival” knife…
First Impressions… Or should I say, Second Impressions?
It wasn’t until breaking through and discarding all of the plastic and paper packaging that I truly begin to get a feel for this knife. And when I did, I was pleasantly surprised at what I found: a high-quality, medium-weight knife that was seemingly well-balanced and durable.
The 12 Survivors Fixed Blade Knife is a stainless steel knife with a smooth black finish. The handle of the knife is crafted out of a hard ABS plastic, centered with a rubbered ergonomic hand grip. The end of the handle has a small hole that is large enough to tie paracord through or some other twine material. The knife comes with a nylon sheath that has a nice rigid compartment for the blade and several snaps for belt loops, MOLE, and the handle of the knife. With the sheath, the knife weighs in at 12 ounces.
I took this fixed blade out into a variety of environments and have been pleasantly surprised by its quality and usefulness. In terms of wearability, the knife and sheath combo is one of the easiest to sport that I have ever seen. It attaches readily to a variety of packs, webbing, belts, and loops. The snap-button strap is a great alternative to wearing it on your pack or hip without having to thread it through a belt. However, the 12 Survivors Fixed Blade does have a great nylon loop built into the sheath if you wear a belt and prefer to holster your knife in this way.
The ergonomic rubberized grip is bomber. The handle is, by far, my favorite feature on this knife. In fact, I just wish that you could hold it right now as you read this review and feel just how comfortable it really is… but my words would then be in vain! Not only is the knife well-balanced, but the designers did a fantastic job of making it a comfortable, ergonomic fit for most adult hands. The rubber makes it anti-slip, which is truly a benefit in rugged, or “survival,” situations.
The blade is a medium-thickness stainless steel blade. The edge came fairly sharp in the packaging, and I have not had to retouch or sharpen it, even after repeated uses in the backcountry and frontcountry. Typically, I am really wary of partially serrated blades because the knife immediately seems less practical to me and harder to sharpen when the blade begins to dull. But, the reality is that serration is there for sawing purposes (see video below) and is a section of the knife that should, in theory, always stay sharp because of the way serration is designed.
Quite the Surprise!
After having reviewed the knife and used it for several weeks, I had what I thought was a great impression of its quality and overall usability. Through this time, I began to formulate ideas about the value and cost of the 12 Survivors Fixed Blade Knife (up until this point, I hadn’t glanced at the price online at all). When thinking of the knife, I began to speculate broadly that it would range between $40 and $70 for the knife and sheath together. Much to my surprise, this knife comes in at an extremely affordable $14-$24 for the entire kit!
“What a steal!” I thought to myself
At under $25 for the kit, I would completely recommend this knife to others as a great option for a good quality, fixed blade, partially-serrated trail knife. I think that the 12 Survivors Fixed Blade Knife is a very high value return for the price that you pay! If you think it may be a good fit for your uses, based on this article and the media provided, I would definitely recommend the purchase!