What is Full Tang? And Other Knife Buying Criteria


So you need to buy a knife, the only problem is where do you even begin? With all the options out there today deciding what knife to buy isn’t an easy task. However, we’ve tried to make your decision easier with our survival knife buying guide here.

There are many things you need to know before making your purchase. The first thing you want to consider is what you will be using your knife for.

After all, if you will be using your knife only for small tasks around the house, it doesn’t need to be the most durable tool. Any knife will do.

However, if you intend to use your knife for hunting or as a potential survival tool, you will want to consider buying a knife of the highest quality. This will inevitably be more expensive, but do you really want a cheap knife when you are out in the wilderness? A knife can be one of the most useful and versatile tools that you own. You won’t regret spending a little more on something that you will have your whole life. (See some great options here).

The strongest knife available will always be a fixed blade and be full tang. What is full tang exactly? First of all, let’s first define tang. The tang of a knife refers to the blade and how it is connected to the handle. The question of what is a full tang is something many people ask and the answer is quite simple.

Full tang means that the knife is one complete piece of metal as opposes to a partial tang; which means that the blade only comes into the handle part way.

There are different kinds of partial tang, from half to three-quarters, but even the strongest partial tang is easier to break than a full tang. There are certainly some very high quality partial tang knives, but generally speaking in terms of strength, you are always better going with a full tang.

However, often people will opt for a partial tang because it is cheaper. Again ask yourself a simple question: Do I want to be out in the wildness all alone only to have my knife break? Full tang is the way to go.

Of course, there are many other things to consider when purchasing a knife. Once you have decided on the tang of your knife you will need to consider other factors, such as handle material and shape, the kind of metal you want for the blade (generally either stainless steel or carbon steel), the design of the blade, and lastly blade length.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are full tang knives better?

Generally speaking, yes, full tang knives are much stronger than average non-survival knives or folding knives. Compared to a tang/handle construction, full tang provides much more resistance when cutting because the point of the fixture between the blade and the handle isn’t interrupted. Instead, the blade goes all the way down, so even if the handle breaks, you’ll still be able to use the knife with a good pair of protective gloves in a survival situation.

Are Morakniv knives full tang?

Morakniv is one of those brands that produce a whole load of different knives. Just like any other company, they offer both half tang, folding, and other types of knives that you can choose from. If you ask us, one of their best full tang knife models is the Morakniv Garberg.

What knives do the Navy SEALs use?

The standard issue knife for the Navy SEALs is the Ontario 6141 MK 3 Navy Knife. You can check it out yourself in the provided link on Amazon and give it a try in case you’re curious to see for yourself what quality knives such special forces use.

What are the top 10 knife brands?

Making a top 10 is quite difficult considering how many veritable knife brands are on the market today. If you were to ask us, we would rate the following brands as being the best, but, of course, each person has their own preferences and needs, so you’ll see different rankings from each survival expert:

  1. Spyderco
  2. ESEE
  3. Ontario
  4. Morakniv
  5. CRKT
  6. Schrade
  7. Benchmade
  8. Kershaw
  9. Victorinox
  10. The James Brand

What is the world’s deadliest knife?

There are many knives out there worthy of the title, but if we were to choose a single one, it would most likely be the Poshland RAM-211, Full Damascus Double Round Edge Dagger Knife, strictly in terms of how effective it is at killing prey.

Final Thoughts

Deciding what qualities you want in your knife can be a long process but it all starts with asking yourself what you will use your knife for. Again, there are so many different knives on the market and if you can define exactly what you need your knife for, your job of choosing a knife will be a much easier task.

The Out sider

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