Get The Most Out Of Your Automatic Knife

There are few gears in life as adept and handy as a knife, especially in the wilderness ... when you're trying to survive on your own. But not everyone knows how to make the most of it. Now they can.

Simply carrying a knife gives us an edge like no other. It doesn't have to be the best pocket knife or a lightning-fast switchblade. Carry any standard tactical knife and it'll make your life easier whether you're in the garden preparing barbecue for the guests or alone in the wilderness setting up traps and building fire. But imagine if you could get more. What would it mean to you if you could wield your steel like a pro survivor? Will it push the boundaries of discovery?

Let me show you a few simple tricks that will help you unlock the full potential of your tactical knife when you're in the backcountry.

Wingman For Your Automatic Knife

Your knife is a powerful tool on its own, but still needs a few wingmen or additional tools to unleash its full cutting prowess. These tools allow you to use your automatic knife more effectively.

- Whetstone or knife sharpener
- Firestarter
- Chopping board
- Rope

Your knife works best in conjunction with other tools and survival gear. Support gear enhances your knife's peak performance and helps maintain condition.

Choosing The Right Automatic Knife

It's obvious but many users seem to forget that the quality of the knife dictates performance. Our modern culture of budget shopping has removed us from quality tools. Unlike clothes, quality tools make a hell and heaven difference compared to cheap tools. The last thing you want in a survival situation is an automatic knife that'll break on the job, bend, chip, or malfunction. You want a razor-sharp workhorse that boasts quality construction.

You don't always have to break your bank to get a quality knife. Some of the best automatic knives come at a budget price from reputed manufacturers. Invest in a good flipper that'll survive the stormy weather when you're camping alone in the backcountry.

Best automatic knives under $150.
Editor’s Choice: FROST and TAKT V2.

Remember that processing your game in the wild is more important than carving notches when choosing your knife. So, pick an automatic knife that can gut, filet, and skin.


More Than A Cutting Tool

Most modern tactical knives and even plain chef knives are capable of much more than we give them credit for.


A Drill

When you're in the wild, you'll face plenty of occasions where you'll wish you could drill a hole. Men have been drilling holes since the dawn of mankind. One of the first tools ever used to make holes was a stone knife. And even today, the knife remains a reliable tool for drilling all kinds of holes. Drill holes in trees to collect sap, tiny holes in animal bones to hold needles and fishhooks.


A Spear

We've all seen our favorite action heroes do this (Sly was famous for it) - bind your knife to the end of a sturdy branch, stick, or pole and make an improvised spear. This is great for both hunting and self-defense and is man's oldest weapon (that's still in use).


Flash Rescue Signal

A clean, polished, reflective steel blade can act as a mirror and help send out distress signals. It's easy to point the blade in any way you want and then let sunlight bounce off it. With a bit of luck, rescuers will be able to notice the flash.



The automatic knife handle is more than a shaft that houses the blade and is used for holding the knife. A beefy handle can be used to drive stakes in the ground or breach a car window with its glass breaker. Many automatic knives come with a pommel at the base of the handle for precise impact. Your automatic knife may also feature a flat pommel for driving stakes into the ground.