When you’re looking for a best fixed blade survival knife you must consider a lot of factors. In this article, I will recommend you the best fixed blade survival knife based on many criteria such as user reviews, company reputation, price, and specifications.

After reading a lot of user reviews I’ve decided to purchase Cold Steal Trail Master San Mai III because many people described this knife as an ideal for camping, hunting, hiking and in general as the best fixed blade survival knife.


san mai trail master reviewThe Cold Steel Trail Master is one of the top survival knives that you will find on the market today. There are a lot of high-quality production knives out there, but this is one that has been tried and true for literally decades.

The Trail Master is a survival knife in every sense of the word. It is 14.5 inches overall and has a 9.5-inch blade. It is exceptional at chopping, slashing and clearing your way through the brush. If I had a need to build a shelter for the night or prep firewood this survival knife would be my first choice.

The blade of the Trail Master is a full flat grind with a cantled edge, the San Mai version that is described below has a rolled edge but both knives are a full 5/16 of an inch thick. Yes, 5/16 of an inch thick, that is almost a 3rd of an inch.

This is one of the thickest knives that I have seen or researched. The majority of my survival knives are ¼ inch thick which is pretty much the standard I look for in top survival knives.

The trail master out does that and that is why it is viewed as the best survival knife available, by many survivalists.

There are two versions of the Cold Steel Trail Master the first is forged in an SK-5 steel which is a Japanese equivalent of 1080 carbon steel. SK-5 and 1080 are both know for hardness and superior edge retention. This knife comes out of the box absolutely razor sharp and will stay that way when putting through its paces.

The Trail Master also comes in San Mai steel, which is very expensive, but VERY nice. The San Mai steel is essentially high carbon steel sandwiched between more flexible carbon steel. This allows the knife to have excellent edge retention, extreme toughness, and resistance to chipping or breaking.

San Mai III Cold Steel Trail Master comes extremely sharp out of the box. It has awesome balance and weight, it has a very comfortable grip (Krater rubber with very aggressive texture) and feels perfect in the hand. Many users described this knife as an ideal for hunting but this knife also can be used as a great self-defense knife. After you try this knife you’ll no looking further. This is in my opinion the best fixed blade survival knife.


  • Blade Length: 9 1/2″
  • Overall Length: 14 1/2″
  • Steel: VG-1 San Mai III®
  • Weight: 17.5 oz.
  • Blade Thickness: 5/16″
  • Handle: 5″ Long Kray-Ex™
  • Sheath: Cor-Ex Sheath


  • extremely sharp out of the box
  • design
  • 5/16 of an inch thick
  • all in one survival knife (great for hunting, making shelters and for self-defense)


  • Price is the only thing that I can mention here, but on the other hand, it is worth every penny


Both of these knives are the best in their price classes and once you get your hands on one, you will immediately understand that these knives are tools that are meant for a lifetime of use and then to be handed down to your son for another lifetime of use.

I highly recommend the San Mai Cold Steel Trail Master to anyone that is serious about owning a superior tool for survival, hunting, wayfinding or camping.