Schrade Extreme Survival Knife Review – What!? Only $45?

Well, a few months ago one of our subscribers contacted me and said that he found the “real” Ultimate Survival Knife and encouraged me to review the Schrade Extreme Survival knife.

Honestly, I was very skeptical… and about ignored his request.

Then, shortly after this, I received several more requests for me to review this knife… so I decided to take a look…

As I took the survival knife out of it’s sheath, my first impression was a mix of surprise and disbelief. I smiled and just waved the knife around in my hand for a while trying to figure out how in the world Schrade was able to put together such a formidable survival knife package for such a crazy low online street price.

Schrade-Extreme-Survival-SCHF9-1a

Honestly, I just wanted to hang it from my belt, strap it on my leg and go play in the woods.

I’ve been checking this knife out now for several weeks and my initial enthusiasm has not changed.

So, the Schrade Extreme Survival (SCHF9) was designed for Schrade by Griffin Design and is a fixed blade knife that has a fine edge, which means there are no serrations on this blade.

The SCHF9 is one of three primary designs from the Schrade Extreme Survival line up of knives.

The other two designs, are the equally rugged, woodsy looking, SCHF3 that comes in fine and serrated edge versions…

Schrade-Extreme-Survival-SCHF9-1c

And the intriguing, military-styled, SCHF2 which is made of a solid piece of steel, including a waterproof barrel handle that can hold a nice bit of survival gear.

The Extreme Survival Knife SCHF9 has a 6.4 inch blade, a 5.7 inch handle and a total length of just a over a foot, at around 31 centimeters.

The knife weights nearly a pound, at 450 grams…

So this is a really hefty knife compared to the Bear Grylls Ultimate survival knife at 8.1 ounces, the SOG Seal Team Elite at 10.4 ounces and the Gerber LMF II at 11.5 ounces.

Schrade-Extreme-Survival-SCHF9-1d

Okay, Let’s Talk About the Blade

The blade of this Schrade Extreme Survival knife is full tang construction which means the blade steel runs the entire length of the knife, from tip to butt, and is considered the strongest knife construction technique by experts. See…

Schrade-Extreme-Survival-SCHF9-1e

The Steel
The Schrade Extreme Survival knife is made of 1095 high carbon steel. 1095 steel is a favorite of many knife lovers because it’s not too expensive, it’s pretty tough and it holds an edge very well. 1095 steel also sharpens to an edge that is great for all around cutting, slicing and chopping.

And 1095 steel is often used for swords and cutlery.

Now 1095 is not stainless, so you’ll want to wipe the blade edge with mineral oil now and again to prevent oxydation. Mineral oil works great because it’s cheap, easy to get and safe if you want to chop up some food with your knife.

The Blade Coating
The entire blade is covered in a very durable, almost gun metal gray, anti reflective coating that’s designed to protect the blade from corrosion. It’s done a great job resisted dings and scrapes.

Blade Thickness
This knife blade is a beast at a quarter inch wide… which made me not at all shy to twist and turn this survival knife while it was well sunk into logs in my bushcraft tests.

See the difference in width compared to the Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival knife?

Schrade-Extreme-Survival-SCHF9-1f

Blade Profile
Next, this knife has a drop point blade profile.

You can usually tell a drop point blade because spine of the blade drops slightly toward the point.

Drop point blades make for really strong blade tips and are great for multipurpose survival knife blades, like this one.

Blade Grind
Now this Extreme Survival knife edge is a flat grind. The grind is what makes a knife sharp… It’s the angle cut of the steel on both sides of the blade that meet to form the edge of the blade. A flat grind simply means that both ground surfaces of the blade edge are flat opposed to being concave or convex.

Flat grinds are sturdy and simple to sharpen on basic equipment. And this edge has a deep flat grind, which means the ground surface on each side of the blade is a bit deeper (or longer) than normal which makes this edge similar to one you would find on a hatchet.

Edge Profile
Okay… now look at the knife edge profile… See how the blade widens just before it curves up to make the tip?

Schrade-Extreme-Survival-SCHF9-1g

I’m not sure what the intent was here… but the slight concave edge curve toward the handle seems to make carving sticks and bark skinning a little easier.

Knife Geometry
And the geometry of this knife, combined with it’s mass, and the deep flat grind of the edge, seems to provide a bit more power when chopping than any of the other knives we’ve tested so far.

Now of course a knife is never going to replace a hatchet or an axe… but it’s nice to know that if you only have this knife with you in the field, you can cut and split wood quite nicely.

See how it kicks out a nice chunk with just about every stroke?

Schrade-Extreme-Survival-SCHF9-1h

One Tough Point
Now one more thing about the point of the SCHF9.

See how the spine edges converge, right at the very tip, to make the point? This stout point design almost ensures that your tip is not going to bust even if you have to pry or dig with it.

But a point like this is not going to be as good for tactical and combat functions such as piercing… which is something knives like the SOG Seal Team Elite are designed for. See the difference?

Schrade-Extreme-Survival-SCHF9-1i

Now Let’s Talk About the Handle.
At the bottom of the blade steel, toward the handle, we have a concave cutout for the forefinger. This cutout helps to provide more leverage and control for slicing and carving.

There is a corresponding cutout on the spine toward the handle for my thumb to rest. The edge of this cutout area is also a great place to strike your fire steel.

Here I am using the SOG combo fire steel and sharpening tool, and this knife to start a little blaze.

SOG Fire Starter

Handle Grips
The Schrade Extreme Survival knife has one TPE handle grip on each side of the knife steel. These grips are securing fastened to the knife, using 4 rounded and recessed bolts.

TPE stands for Thermoplastic Elastomers… which are a mix of plastic and rubber. Handles made of TPE enjoy the advantages of both plastic and rubber materials.

In the case of this handle, it’s both tough and resistant to wear while being very grippy, comfortable and shock absorbent.

This handle’s grip is enhanced even more through the use of a raised pattern of concentric circles, which makes it very grippy, even when it’s soaked.

Schrade-Extreme-Survival-SCHF9-1k

Handle Comfort
This is a hefty and meaty handle that widens to nearly an inch and a quarter to fit nicely in my palm, and it narrow toward the front and back, to fit very naturally, as I wrap my hand around it.

There are 5 notches in the blade-steel-spine side of the handle, toward the blade, that provide some additional grip for my thumb.

Now on the bottom of this handle, there are 3 generous finger cutouts, that keep my hand firmly locked onto the knife.

Schrade-Extreme-Survival-Handle

This is one knife that those with small, medium AND large hands should all find comfortable to use, even for extended periods, due to the excellent forethought that was put into it’s design.

Handle Versatility
At the butt end of the Extreme Survival, the handle flairs and curves, so you can wrap your thumb and forefinger firmly around the very bottom of the handle, for chopping and splitting.

This knife also has this nice sized lanyard hole.

Oh, one more thing… although there’s not pommel on the but end of this handle… the blade steel is flush with the grip and could certainly be used to crush or break things in a pinch.

Schrade-Extreme-Survival-SCHF9-1m

Knife Balance
The Schrade Extreme Survival knife is well balanced, with the center of gravity right about where my forefinger naturally wraps around the handle. This makes the knife pretty agile in my hand, even for it’s weight.

Now I know that several of you guys have told me that you would never throw your survival knife. But I have a general theory, that a well balanced survival knife can also be throw well.

So I can’t resist taking the Extreme Survival out to the knife range and giving it a few tosses.

This knife throws quite well considering it’s size and mass, which really cause it to sink into the wood. In a life and death situation, and hopefully with a backup knife on me, I would not hesitate to throw this knife if I needed to.

Okay, Now Let’s Talk About the Sheath.

The Schrade Extreme Survival knife sheath, has a tactical look and is made out of a good quality black nylon that is double stitched in most places… which is good.

It has a heavy duty plastic liner that the knifes fits snugly into.

The plastic liner is designed for the knife to be placed in the sheath for right hand carry.

The knife secures in the sheath, through the use of this adjustable strap, with a snap, closure system.

The sheath easily straps to just about any belt, up to about 2 inches wide, and uses a flip and tuck belt strap system, to attach to your belt, without taking it off.

Next, we have an interesting little removable pouch, on the front of the sheath.

The pouch secures to the sheath, with the use of two straps that wrap around the back.

And this pouch and sheath strap system, also give this sheath the ability to attach to a MOLLE vest or pack.

This little pouch also has a loop on it’s back, to enable belt carry… which is a cool option.

Okay…

Being naturally curious, I wondered how much survival gear I could fit in this sheath pouch, to round out this knife, and make it an even more helpful survival system.

So, I knew I wanted a knife sharpener, fire steel and a small LED light and maybe a multi-tool. Anything beyond that to me was a bonus.

So here is what I came up with:

- SOG fire starter / sharpener.
- Bear Grylls Compact multi-tool, which is actually a redesign of the popular Gerber Clutch multi-tool.
- Bear Grylls Micro Torch.
- Bear Grylls Priorities of Survival – Pocket Guide.

And in a small zip lock bag I fit:
- A small sewing kit.
- A small pack of fishing hooks, line and sinkers.
- A small roll of wire and waxed string for snares and traps.
- A small wad of tinder.
- Two waterproof matches and striker paper – just in case.

I bundled them up tight and fit them neatly in the sheath pouch.

Schrade-Extreme-Survival-Kit

Okay, now I think we might just have a new Ultimate Survival knife kit.

For links to all of the gear that I stuffed into this pouch, see the video description on YouTube.

Owner Comments
Owners tend to really love this knife, and go on and on about the Schrade Extreme Survival knife being a sharp, heavy duty, work horse of a knife, and usually average well over 4 out of 5 stars.

Some comment on the blade edge not being perfect and some minor imperfections here and there, where the handle grip meets the blade steel.

But nearly everyone seems to love the 1/4” thick, 1095 steel for its toughness and blade holding ability. Many comment on the knife’s ability to chop and baton well.

And everyone loves the ridiculous low price of this knife. Many even say that they bought two of these knives for the price they would have paid for just one knife before they found the Extreme Survival.

Our Rating
We rate the Schrade Extreme Survival knife at a very rare 5 out of 5 stars for it’s design, fit-and-finish, heavy-duty build, tough, edge holding blade, comfortable handle, versatile sheath, it’s usefulness in the field, and we were pushed over the edge by it’s crazy low ONLINE street price, of under $45.

We almost took off half a star because the blade is not stainless steel. But the blade, strength, edge holding ability, tough, protective coating, design, fit and finish, and everything else for the price, is so amazing, we were compelled to give this knife 5 out of 5 stars.

So Who is this Knife for?
The Schrade Extreme Survival knife is an excellent tool for camping, hunting, backpacking, bushcraft, extreme adventures, safaris, bug-out-bags and emergency kits.

If you want a knife for diving or outdoor activities like canoe camping where there is a good change that your knife is going to be wet for extended periods of time… look elsewhere.

Although the 1095 high carbon steel that used in the knife can be maintained in wet situations, you may want the luxury of a knife that is made of a quality stainless steel.

See my reviews of the SOG Force, SOG Seal Pup or SOG Seal Team Elite.

Or, if you really like this knife design, and the price point, check out the Schrade Extreme Survival SCHF3, since it’s very similar in design to the SCHF9 and IS made out stainless steel.

If you want a survival knife with the added cutting power of serrations, you might want to check out the Schrade Extreme Survival SCHF3 or the SCHF2 which both come in fine and partially serrated versions.

If you want a more tactical or combat survival knife, check out the my reviews of the Gerber LMF II, the SOG Seal Team Elite, the Cold Steel SRK, the Schrade SCHF2, the Gerber Prodigy or the Gerber LHR.

BUT, if you want a reliable, versatile, and heavy duty survival knife, that will stand up to hard use when you need it most, and $39 bucks sounds good to you… the Schrade Extreme Survival blade – SCHF9 – may be your Ultimate Survival Knife!

So we’ve just taken a look at the Schrade Extreme Survival knife.

For your convenience I’ve included links to the Schrade Extreme Survival knife and all of the other knives and gear that I’ve mentioned, throughout this review.

So… don’t forget to subscribe to our our Monthly Survival e-MAG – Click Here to Get It…

I hope to see you one the other side…

And remember… Be Prepared… Because You Never Know…

~ David

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35 Responses to “Schrade Extreme Survival Knife Review – What!? Only $45?”

  • Brad

    I really like the idea of putting the survival gear in the pouch of the sheath and I was wondering if I could get the sheath separate from the knife any where.

    • Hey Brad,

      Yeah, I’m not sure if you can get this pouch separate or not. I would guess not. But there are any number of small pouches out there that would serve you well. I did a search on Amazon for you… check out this link… http://tinyurl.com/Belt-Pouch

      Have a great day!

      ~David

  • Michael Lindquist

    David,

    Very informative, thorough and, I must say, well done. I have just begun my quest into survival gear and tips. I will be making your site a frequent stop!

    Michael

  • Sean

    David,

    Thanks for putting such great reviews on your website! I was wondering if the Schrade SCHF3 was also a quarter inch thick, I was considering purchasing it but was hoping to see your review first. Hope to see it soon!

    Thanks,
    Sean

    • Hi Sean! The SCHF3 is a hair thinner than the SCHF9 at around .235 inches wide.

  • Ethan

    David,

    I use your website as a constant resource for survival info. Could you possibly do a review on the schrade schf2 or schf3? I was looking at the schrade line and wondering which I should get.

    Thanks,
    Ethan

    • Hi Ethan,
      Sure… We have the SCHF2 & SCHF3 on the list for review… We will also be reviewing a bunch on New Schrade gear in early 2013… I personally like the SCHF3 as a 4.5 out of 5 star knife and the SCHF2 I am not as thrilled about… The barrel handle is an old school idea that is okay… But they packed hex bits in the barrel instead of survival tools… what were they thinking, and the knife overall is a bit clunky and heavy… And hard to handle in my opinion. I’d choose the SOG Seal Team Elite long before I’d choose the SCHF2 for tactical purposes.

      Hope this helps.

      -David

      • John

        Great review. I too would love to see a review on the SCHF3. I own this knife and love the size, weight and all around utility of the knife. I also have a great survival kit, multi tool, sharpener and flashlight in the pouch.

  • Jacob

    What should I pick a SOG seal team elite or schradesurvival knife featured on this video

    • Hi Jacob, It depends what you want to do with it. The two knives that you mentioned are very different in form and function. The Schrade is a better knife for all around camping, bushcraft and wilderness survival. The Seal Team Elite is a tactical, combat and fighting knife first and a capable survival tool after this. It’s not the best choice for bushcraft or extended survival use. Hope this helps. ~David

  • [...] different blade styles and handles. EXCELLENT knife for the money, it really is an amazing value. http://ultimatesurvivaltips.com/schrade-extreme-survival-knife-review/ Reply With [...]

  • JD Mandrell

    Just a note, if you “pop” the rivet at the bottom of the sheath that holds the plastic blade insert in, you can remove the insert, turn it around and re-insert it and press the rivet back (or put in a new one) and make the sheath left handed. I did it to mine, took a few minutes.

  • Jim

    I like this Video. I’ve been look for a good knife for me. this one seemed to meet all the requirements I was looking for, but knowing me, I was worried about rust. I turned my attention to Schrade Extreme Survival SCHF3N. Do you rate this as good as the Schrade Extreme Survival SCHF9?

  • David

    Hey David,

    I stumbled on your site and enjoy the reviews. I was looking at buying the Schrade SCHF9 but it seems to be unavailable from Amazon. Do you know of any other sites I might look at?

    • Thanks for the question… I’m checking with the Higher Ups at Schrade…

  • Harshvardhan

    Hi,
    My name’s Harshvardhan. I’m from India. I stumbled upon this site through your videos on youtube. I’ll be trekking next month in the Himalayas. I’ve everything ready in my backpack except for a good knife. Thus I want to ask you whether the schrade will be good or ka-bar usmc knife. Note that I can get ka-bar at a cheaper price here. I’d really love to get some help from you. If you can spare some time please answer me asap ’cause I’m running out of time very fast here. Also I’ve seen all your uploads on youtube, just want to say nice job.
    Thank you.

    • Carin

      HI there! Carin for David: Your command of written English is better than many Americans’ (I’m a teacher). David says as long as the Ka-Bar is authentic (is not fake) and a genuine KBar – make sure it is made in Olean NY- it is a great knife! David says go for the Ka-Bar or the Ka-Bar Becker BK-2 is also a great choice. We are both jealous you’re going trekking through the Himalayas! Send us a photo of a good sunrise!

  • Harshvardhan

    One more thing, you should really review ka-bar usmc knife, if it can be a good survival knife that is.

    • Carin

      David used one in the USMC – there’s a reason they are standard issue in the Marines. It is a very capable survival knife. No reviews on the schedule…yet….

  • Harshvardhan

    Hi Carin,
    Honestly, I’m stunned that I can write english but cannot speak it very well. LoL

    Thank you for the reply. Yes the knife is authentic. I wanted to get 1095 steel instead of stainless steel. Thus, the choice came down to either schrade or ka bar (thanks to all the knife reviews by David). Side accesories are not an issue I can make a sheath myself by modifying here there.

    Will post pics of my trekking expedition.
    Thank you once again.

  • Deb

    I just bought this Great Schrade schf9 Knife as a gift & was given wonderful customer service at FletcherAndersons.com The knife has a Lifetime Warranty too. But most of all He loved his gift!

  • tom

    Hi David

    I recently found the Schrade extreme survival Sch2sm and was wanting if you could give me some advice on gear I could put in the handle for s mini survival kit. And could you as well as that do a review on this knife but the sm not normal seized knife. And have you considered buying Leatherman and reviewing them because I know that you have a Leatherman wave.
    Tom :-D

    • Carin

      David: Hey, Tom…Here are a few quick thoughts on a survival kit for the handle of the SCHF2sm- I would start with fishing line, hooks, swivels and sinkers; firesteel rod; 3 or 4 cotton balls with vaseline applied to one side in a small bag;iodine tablets in a small plastic bag/container;non-lubricated latex condom for a water carrier;Bear Grylls priorities of survival guide; and if it fits, the Bear Grylls microtorch. That’d be getting pretty tight! Also you could weave some paracord onto the lanyard hole on the butt end. And thanks for the suggestion about the Leatherman – you are right – I need to schedule in some reviews! Great tools!

  • Luke

    David- would you recommend the schf9 or the schf10 for a bug out bag, hiking, camping, and other outdoor uses like chopping? I wouldn’t really be getting wet so the type of metal on the schf9 would not be a problem. Your thoughts would help.

    • Carin

      David: Man, this is a really tough call between two great survival and bug-out-bag knives! That being said, if you prefer a bit larger and heavier knife, and you’d like a rubberized grip, go with the SCHF-9. If you like the sleekness and something more lightweight in stainless steel and you don’t mind Micarta handles, which aren’t as grippy when wet, go with the SCHF-10. Both are very popular and you really can’t go wrong with either.

  • Martin

    Hi David,
    First off I’d like to say Thank You for making such I useful website, although I live in the U.K. I hope to be able to get a lot of help & outdoor survival tips from your awesome site.
    I am considering getting the SCHF9 as a gift from my Wife, but I also own a Cold Steel Leatherneck Tanto & have seen a few videos on YouTube on what they can do & how much punishment they can take, this leads me to ask you two questions;
    1 – Should I get the SCHF9 or will the CS Leatherneck Tanto be sufficient for heavy outdoor use like the SCHF9?

    2 – Will you be reviewing the CS Leatherneck SF &/or Tanto at all?

    Thank You for your time in this matter,
    All the best, Martin.

    • Carin

      David: You can never have enough knives! :-) However, the CS Tanto is a great blade and should get you pretty far. Probably won’t be as good at chopping as the SCHF-9, but all-in-all, it should serve you well until you get the itch for something new!

  • collin betzolf

    hey, so i got the schf9 knife about a month ago and love it!! i am an avid hiker and am also involved in search and rescue and am low on money. this knife is perfect for all things from chopping wood to self defense. with this thing securely on my side i feel save and very cool. thank you so much for reviewing this knife, i will definitly give it a 5 out of 5.
    p.s. about the comments about how big the handle is, i have small hands and all you do is find a diff way to hold it. not hard

  • Ron B

    I would like to see a review comparing the Schrade SCHF3, the SCHF9, and the SCHF10.

  • Jöran J

    Hi i can recomend a really good knife for you and that is a knife i have bought for myself and that is a fallkniven model A1 survival knife.And that knife is made for the swedish military i hope you wanna make a review on that knife too.I can promise you that you will not be disappointed if you decide to put that knif to test.

    • Carin

      David: Thanks, I normally don’t do too many reviews on knives much over $100. But I plan to occasionally review some higher-end gear and knives in the future. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • joe

    okay the biggest fear of survival is fire. (for most people) its an essential. no matter what. these knives really didn’t impress me all that much no disrespect to anybody on this page. im looking for a blade that’s just as good but you can strike on a surface and make sparks, with out completely damaging your knife. im going out to yellow stone national park by myself on a 4 day survival test. (ssshhhhh) to test my mental and physical statute. I am only taking a survival knife with me and nothing but my special outfit ive put together. what would you or anybody who honestly has real info for me recommend, for defense and survival with the perk of being able to strike your blade on a surface (rock) to make sparks. I know how to make sparks I just want a reliable piece of steel that 90 percent of the time it showers sparks. I live outside on my farm and know how and what it take to survive. I just want apiece of metal that can survive me can you help or research for me I don’t really know how to use a computer so I don’t know how to look. im leaving in a week. joe

  • joe

    joran j the fallkniven model A1 survival knife was bought for me and that knife was the knife for me but I went through 2 in a year.. I do not care the price my budget is 900 now on a knife so feel free to find any type bc it will be put to the ultimate test ive even broken a carbon steel knife that was custom made for me by so called experts. I have a custom alloy 1090 commando knife and that’s been the ultimate knife so far I want to put something else to the test bc that knife I honestly don’t think can be beat by any knife out there in this world.

  • The more I discover the more difficult it becomes. There are so many Schrade SCHF’s to choose from. I like that the 3N is stainless steel,. it’s hard to imagine a scenario where occasional intense moisture/rain won’t be a factor in rusting the 9 over time, that’s my biggest concern. The other concern is any other similarity or differences that would make a real difference, between the two.
    The only thing I don’t know is in what kind of situation I might be when the shtf. I’m older than I’d like to be, mobility is an issue and I don’t get out much, so outdoors survival would be more of necessity than choice, as in if I were to be driven from my home due to whatever. Other than that I feel like I would be in a more defensive and scavenger mode in order to stay in my home in the face of disaster, natural or government.
    My question after all that is simply this. You’ve got around $50.00 and you can buy only one knife. What do you choose?
    Thanks
    P.S. Will you reply by email or do I need to keep checking back on this page. Also, I’d appreciate an answer soon because I’ve already had to delay the purchase while saving the money to buy it and I’m not wanting to wait any longer for the price to go up.
    Thanks again.

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