If you have ever researched survival knives for a budget, then I’m sure you will have come across Schrade. Schrade is known for producing high-quality knives in every price range. Having roots in England and Germany, this American knife brand is one of the oldest on the market and has been ever-present for over 100 years.
Our list is made up of the best Schrade survival knives. These knives all come with a list of features and have years of testing behind them. Making them some of the most reliable. I’ll highlight the most important features and some of the things which could be improved so you know what you are buying.
Considerations Choosing Schrade Knives
The knives on this list range from; short blade to long blade, full tang to half tang and have a range of building materials. Picking which Schrade knife suits you best comes down to a few factors; chiefly how you are going to use it. In our guide below, we will discuss what you should be looking for when you are picking out a survival knife.
Our Top 8 Schrade Survival Knives
Schrade SCHF28 Little Ricky
For a knife named “Little Ricky”, it’s not so little. This knife is best suited to those you are looking for a large knife, but something smaller than a full size machete or kukri knife. This knife has an overall length of 14.1 inches and is well suited to survival, bushcraft and hunting. The blade comes in just shy of 8 inches and is made from titanium coated stainless steel. The handle is made from TPE and is textured to provide a lot of grip. The handle is comfortable, designed with finger shaped grooves. The last thing you want is this flying out of your hand whilst you are clearing some brush.
In reality, even though this knife is made from heavier materials, this gives it a quality feel. This is not a knife which is cumbersome. The weight actually works to its advantage and helps achieve a powerful swing. A lot of this comes from how the blade is designed. Distributing the weight more evenly makes this blade feel well balanced.
This knife came sharp out the box, not sharp enough to give yourself a shave. But sharper than almost any knife i have seen at this $50 price point.
This is a really great survival knife for camping. I have used it to cut logs into kindling for campfires and it makes light work of 3-5 inch thick wood. On the same camping trip I also used the schrade little ricky for trimming a branch into a spit for that same campfire.
Schrade includes a secure sheath which has both a friction fit security catch that holds the knife into the sheath while going about your usual normal activities. And a velcro strap which holds the knife into the sheath while running and more strenuous activities.
This is an impressive knife which is made even more impressive when you consider it matches $100+ knives in performance. This is best suited to clearing brush, stripping branches and setting up a campsite. I haven’t used it for hunting but if it performs anything like my kukri knives it will do the trick.
Blade Length: 7.9″ | Overall Length: 14.1″ | Weight: 20.7 oz
Our second knife by Schrade is another great every day, all round knife. A bit of a jack of all trades. When buying your gear, it’s important to keep in mind what you are intending. Schrade knives really do perform well on a small budget and this is no different.
It’s a little heavy from every day carrying, a little more heavy duty than your usual camping knife and a little too long for hunting and skinning. However this knife still gets 5 stars. This knife is one of the best, one stop knives. If you are limited to one tool, you would have a difficult job finding something more suitable to most tasks. This paired with its great build materials, ergonomic design and comfortable handle help it fill the roles of 3 or 4 knives.
This knife has a robust 7 inch blade that is 5mm thick, so it is on the thicker end. The knife material is 1095 high carbon steel, the same material my $150 kukri knives are made from. 1095 high carbon steel holds an edge really well so even with more heavy duty tasks it wont go blunt so fast. This lends itself to more heavy duty tasks like cutting, wood processing and chopping.
Out the box this blade doesn’t come as sharp as i would have liked. Like with most knives you will need to sharpen before you set out to use it. The sheath it comes with is only really usable if you are right handed. The knife can only be inserted into the sheath with the blade facing forward. So if you have the sheath attacked as a left handed person, you will be pulling the knife out backwards. Not great if you need it ready as soon as you pull it out.
Blade Length: 6.4″ | Overall Length: 12″ | Weight: 15.9 oz
Schrade SCHF36 Frontier
For $30 you won’t find a better budget survival knife. Like most of the knives from Schrade, this blade is made from 1095 Carbon Steel and is Powder Coated to help with corrosion resistance. The blade length is a little shorter than the previous knives coming in at 5 inches.
Whilst this knife is only 5 inches long, it’s very heavy duty. You could happily spend all day chopping and batoning with it without it blunting or breaking. This knife is a full tang design, meaning the blade starts at the bottom of the handle. This really helps you hack away with this knife.
The handle is not the most comfortable, but there is no risk of it slipping out of your hand or cutting yourself on the edge. The finger notches are great for keeping grip. This really helps with more fine detail work such as carving. This is counter balanced though, as the thick blade does make it a little more challenging to carve with. So I wouldn’t buy this as a knife for carving if you are a beginner.
The sheath included is pretty practical but you may want to consider getting your own, more attractive sheath as it’s pretty basic.
Whilst this knife isn’t the greatest of the all round knives, it’s incredibly good value for money. It holds an edge well thanks to the 1095 Carbon Steel and is easy to sharpen. This is definitely suited to someone who is looking for a reliable knife on a smaller budget.
Blade Length: 5.05″ | Overall Length: 10.5″ | Weight: 12.3 oz
Schrade SCHF45 Leroy
The Schrade Leroy is another larger knife. This is best suited if you are looking for a larger knife, but something with a slightly shorter blade than something like machete or Kukri. This knife has an overall length of 16.5in with a blade length of 10.4in (9.5in cutting side). The blade is a full tang, Bowie style point and is titanium coated steel for corrosion resistance. This knife has about double the cutting length of the Schrade SCHF9.
The plastic sheath has a molded belt loop and a ton of lashing points so finding somewhere to attach this knife won’t be difficult. The sheath does a really good job of firmly holding the knife in place and for extra security it comes with a velcro strap with a friction fit security catch.
The TPE handle has a rubbery feel and has finger holds to make sure you dont drop the knife when you are using it. The handle has a more rectangular shape, which isn’t what I would prefer in a chopper. The jimping is really one usable with gloves, otherwise it’s not comfortable. This is especially important for this model. This knife is definitely for those looking for a knife to chop thin trees and limbs.
Overall this knife is impressive, especially when it comes to chopping. It’s not the most comfortable to use and it’s too large to be an everyday knife. The handle could be improved by introducing a curve instead of the rectangular edges. This is a good budget chopper.
Blade Length: 10.34″ | Overall Length: 16.49″ | Weight: 20.96 oz
I really like this knife and happily recommend it. This is definitely an everyday knife (EDC) and is great for chores around the house as well as finer bushcraft. I love having this at hand to cut down boxes, zip ties and other packaging. As well as carving some softwoods. I have used this to prepare food while camping and handles that perfectly too.
The blade is 3.4 inches and comes with the usual quality you would expect from Schrade. Meaning it will keep an edge for a longer period than some other brands. This is another full tang design which really helps with finer control. This also came really sharp out the box, not something that i expected.
The sheath isn’t great, so i would recommend buying a separate one that fits this blade. This is one of the knives I use the most. And for the price it’s great. If you are looking for something with the purpose of outdoors and camping, you may want to consider something with a larger blade.
Blade Length: 3.4″ | Overall Length: 7.9″ | Weight: 6 oz
Schrade SCHF38 Frontier
By now it should be clear I think Schrade is a great brand. The quality you get for the price is fantastic. This is the bigger brother to the Schrade SCHF36 Frontier with a slightly larger blade of 5.8 inches. The knife can take a beating and does more than most 11 inch knives will.
The handle is made from TPE, just like most Schrade blades. The handle shape is really comfortable on your hands, however, the jimping for your thumb is super aggressive and I wouldn’t use it without wearing gloves. Unless your hands are leather.
The 1095 Powder Coated High Carbon Steel holds a sharp edge really well, and this knife came really sharp. I would still sharpen it right away. The powder coating isn’t for everyone and does make cleaning the blade a little more difficult. However it’s used to help with corrosion resistance.
This is an excellent quality knife for the price you are paying. Comes razor sharp and holds a sharp edge really well. And to top it off Schrade includes a ferro rod for camping and survival. This is great for camping, hiking and general use.
Blade Length: 6″ | Overall Length: 11.15″ | Weight: 13.44 oz
Schrade SCHF52 Frontier
This is a well made knife. The quality and finish is obviously less than the $100 knives but punches above its weight when you consider its price point. Having used it for carving, chopping branches from trees, starting fires and creating kindling. It has shown itself to be a really versatile knife.
This is a middle of the road knife which is somewhere in between the carving knife and the chopping knife. Meaning it can do a bit more of a variety of tasks. If you are looking for something for finer detail then I would go for the Schrade SCHF15 and if you want something better at chopping then go for the Schrade SCHF45 Leroy. If you can only get one knife, this is a good middle ground.
The sheath is really well designed. The velcro holds the knife in firmly when you are running and attaches to your belt really easily. This is perfect if you are looking for a larger bushcraft knife.
Blade Length: 7.04″ | Overall Length: 12.99″ | Weight: 16 oz
Schrade SCHKM1 19.7in Kukri Machete
This blade is a full tang design and manufactured from 3cr13 steel which has great properties for use in knives. It has great hardness, good sharpness retention, durable but not brittle, and resistant to rusting and corrosion. And it’s easy to sharpen and is relatively cheap. Which is why this knife manages to pack so much performance into a kukri in the sub $50 price point.
Designed for chopping and more brutal tasks around a campsite, the 13.3 inch blade is on the longer side of versatile kukris. Meaning this knife is more suited to survival situations where you require to cut smaller trees and more brush. But this budget kukri machete has the classic curved shape which allows for maximum chopping power and makes it much faster to wind up a swing.
The Schrade Safe-T-Grip handle helps gain more control over your swings and makes up the remaining 6 inches or so, totaling just shy of 20 inches. Which means it’s comfortable to use and easy to grip firmly.
I would attach a lanyard through the lanyard hole for extra security. The sheath is another schrade classic, much like the others on this list is made from durable polyester and includes a shoulder pouch, shoulder strap, leg strap, and belt loop making it easy to attach to any location which feels most comfortable.
Overall a really high-quality survival knife which is what we have come to expect from Schrade. And to get this quality and the added extras for around $50 is incredible value.
Blade Length: 13.3″ | Overall Length: 19.7″ | Weight: 22.6 oz
This is another larger Schrade knife. The blade is just thinner than ¼ inch thick. The micarta handle has ergonomic grooves to help you hold this knife more firmly. The blade is made of reliable 8Cr13MoV High Carbon Stainless Steel and is 6.4in. This is another full tang design knife which is great for its use purpose.
The sheath is made from the usual nylon that Schrade seems to love. I find whilst this is not the most attractive sheath. It certainly gets the job done. You may want to upgrade if you are using this in wet and muddy conditions but this will last for a good 6-112 months before you need to buy a fresh sheath.
This can be used to split wood for campfires, light fires with a ferro rod and preparing food. I would not use this knife for chopping trees or thicker wood.
Blade Length: 6.4″ | Overall Length: 12″ | Weight: 22 oz
When buying a survival knife, or any tool for a survival situation, you need to know that it’s reliable and won’t fail when you need it the most. Before you purchase any tool, you need to know what you are going to use it for. Our list of the best survival Knives made by Schrade includes knives which handle a variety of tasks. From bushcraft and carving to chopping wood and taking out small trees.
The most significant factor for blade sharpness and durability. Schrade uses a small selection of steels. Most use the 1095 High Carbon Steel and some use 8Cr13MoV: A Chinese steel with similar performance. This helps keep these knives in the budget of under $50.
Thankfully you don’t have to worry. We have only selected knives which we know are quality and won’t break after a few weeks.
Sheaths are vitally important for carrying around your knife. The sheath materials will range and the designs also differ. The most important things to look for are;
The number of attachment points. This is especially important for the larger knives which you can attach to bags and such.
How firm the knife is held in place. Some sheaths won’t provide the support when you are running. The knives we have highlighted in our best picks all have fantastic sheaths.
Knives come in two different designs. Full tang and half tang. Full tang is when the blade runs full length of the knife, through the handle. Half tang is when the blade does not continue into the handle.
Full tang provides more strength, especially for survival knives which are going to be going through some brutal tasks. So if you are looking for a chopper, then this is very important. On smaller knives which are used for finer detailing work, then it doesn’t matter so much.
The handle design really comes down to, how comfortable is it to hold and how easily the knife will be dropped.
Examples of good knife handles are, Schrade SCHF9 and Schrade SCHF28
Size of Blade
In survival situations, bigger isnt always better. The length of the blade is directly tied into what you are going to be using it for.
Blades lengths 10 inches and longer are great for chopping wood and small trees and batoning.
Blades shorter than this are much better suited to carving and more precision, finer detailed work. Short knives are also much easier to light fires with when using a Ferro rod.
In my opinion the most versatile length and by far my favorite is in the 8-12 inch lengths.
Shape of Blade
There are a number of different blade shapes, but the most important in regards to this guide are listed below.
Drop Point blades are usually the most durable, versatile, and effective at stabbing strikes. An example would be the Schrade SCHF28
Clip Point blades are: traditional, great for detail work, and are an ideal choice for stabbing strikes.
Tanto Point blades are: strong, piercing, and tactical.
Standard blade knives are: utilitarian, versatile, and effective at both slicing and stabbing.
Kukri blades are: utilitarian, battle-ready, and traditional.
Our Top Schrade knives
Schrade SCHF36 Frontier
Schrade SCHF28 Little Ricky