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Economy Camping Knife Review: MTech, Tac-Force, and Survivor

Camping knives need to be durable. They should be able to handle a variety of tasks from as simple as cutting rope to splitting wood. There are a number of knives on the market that are great for first-time campers and are within a reasonable price range. For our purpose, we wanted to see what would hold up to the car camping experience. This includes cutting rope, creating a feather stick, and splitting wood (specifically campfire wood you’d find in stores). Then there are the basics of general feel of the knife: Is it comfortable to hold and use?

Mtech Tactical Minimalist Rescue Spring Assist

Application Tests

Feather Stick: Poor
Splitting Wood: N/A
Rope: Clean cut

How it Feels

The Mtech Tactical Minimalist Knife’s balance point is just below the bolster, giving you good control over the blade when performing basic tasks. The beveled tip adds more cutting angles, but it also makes it a bit more dangerous when using. The handle is cut in a way to display the design of the blade; however, this creates an uneven hold. It feels that a quarter of the handle is missing. In a men’s large hand, it was a little uncomfortable to hold for any extended use. We did like the addition of the glass breaking tip and bottle opener on the butt of the knife. It’s a good car camping knife for smaller tasks around the campsite.


Mtech Xtreme Tactical Knife

Application Tests

Feather Stick: Good
Splitting Wood: N/A
Rope: Clean cut

Hot it Feels

The Mtech Tactical Knife is a solid knife with a good balance between the blade and the handle. It’s heavy enough to know that you’re holding a tool, but it’s not excessive. The blade stuck a bit when opening, and the spring wasn’t able to push the blade to the fully open position, which can be a hazard; however, it’s not something that loosening the pivot screw didn’t solve. This amount of adjustment of the Mtech Tactical appears to be typical for economy knives; however, the knife fit comfortably in the hand when cutting kindling.


Tac-Force Speedster Tactical Knife

Application Tests

Feather Stick: Good
Splitting Wood: N/A
Rope: Clean cut

How it Feels

Out of the box, the spring assist on the Tac-Force Tactical Knife wasn’t strong enough to open the blade to the fully locked position. This can create a hazardous scenario if you’re expecting it to open on the first flick. Loosening the pivot screw helped a lot. Overall, the knife had a good feel in the hand with the fingers fitting comfortably around the handle. There was no noticeable give in the blade when in the open position.


Mtech Tanto Combat Blade

Application Tests

Feather Stick: Great
Splitting Wood: Great
Rope: Clean cut

How it Feels

The Mtech Tanto Combat Blade is a heavier knife compared to the other fixed blades; however, that’s due to the construction. Unlike the Mtech Stealth and Survivor Outdoorsman knives, the Mtech Tanto Combat Blade has a full tang, which means that there’s one piece of steel from tip to butt. This design adds a ton of strength to the knife, and we’d expect it to hold up for many seasons of camping.  We wish the handle pads were the same size as the tang. As it is, the tang peeks out on either side creating ridges that can dig into the hand when applying a lot of force. This is by design, and unfortunate, because we really enjoyed this knife. The tanto-style blade is a nice addition and creates another angle that grabs on to the wood for a longer slide.


Survivor Fixed Blade Outdoorsman Knife

Application Tests

Feather Stick: Moderate
Splitting Wood: Moderate
Rope: Clean cut

How it Feels

The Survivor Fixed Blade Outdoorsman Knife fits solidly in the hand and responds well to a variety of tasks. There’s a slightly noticeable gap between the decorative wood handle and metal bands that we believe may lead to cracking sometime down the line, but we anticipate this knife to maintain it’s integrity season after season. The snap on the sheath is easily undone with the thumb, making the knife easily accessible.


Mtech Fixed Blade Stealth Survival Knife

Application Tests

Feather (Fuzz) Stick: Good
Splitting Wood: Good
Rope: A bit toothy

How it Feels

The Mtech Stealth Survival Knife handle is considered a ‘tennis’ handle due to the rubberized plastic and designed texture for grip. If we were tasked with a lot of kindling, we may consider another knife; however, the extra compartment for the survival supplies is a nice touch. The compass is passable, but it’s not adequate for proper orienteering, and we’d be hesitant to recommend relying on it solely when you’re on the trail. The snap to release the knife from the sheath requires a little bit more leverage than some of the other knives we tested, but it’s by no means a struggle to get to the tool. The Mtech Stealth Survival Knife is a lighter than the others reviewed due to the hollowed handle, which is designed to house emergency supplies like waterproof matches, a compass, and a line. The knife is relatively well-balanced given it’s overall weight.