I’ve been an outdoorsman my entire life, and I have seen a glut of semi-usable, semi-practical “survival” gadgets and gimmicks, each promising something different; very few of them actually deliver. These items usually fall into three categories: (1) they are a good idea but poorly executed; (2) the designers obviously didn’t field-test their product for flaws; or (3) the materials are sub-standard and won’t stand up to heavy use. While I’m not in the military or a professional rescue worker, there are definitely times when a knife or tool has made a difference in my personal safety.
I had originally ordered the BlizeTec Rescue Survival Knife just to try it out. There were four things I noticed right off when opening the package:
- The overall design is sleek and tough looking, offering a nice presentation right out of the box.
- The blade is good and sharp, and, unlike some other knives direct from the factory, there was no stropping necessary to fine tune it.
- The LED flashlight seems to be bright, and is advertised to have a 12 hour battery life. LED bulbs are so much more energy-efficient than the older incandescent bulbs. You can never have enough backup lights when outdoors at night, and I like the fact that this light is detachable from the knife.
- These extra tools don’t seem to get in the way of gripping the knife securely, an important characteristic when your hands are wet or cold.
Before placing an order, I was skeptical about the true functionality of a knife with these other features attached. Would it fall apart under heavy use? Would the fire starter and flashlight get lost, and would they continue to work after practical use and testing? Are the materials tough enough to last through several years of hiking and camping?
I decided to take the knife on a weekend camping trip in the mountains (with my normal knife and gear as backup). I couldn’t have asked for a better shake-down, since it stormed and poured rain all weekend! The rain had swelled my lines, and in taking down camp after the first night, I had difficulty undoing several knots in the paracord shrouds of my tarp. Seeing as I had more cord, I decided to put the seat belt cutting tool to the test. It sliced through the lines like butter! In the wet and cold, the magnesium fire starter came through as hoped, producing a nice shower of hot sparks to start my tinder. Over the course of the weekend I put the knife through its paces, from food preparation to shaving bits of dry kindling; it’s still as sharp as the day I got it.
As a backpacker, I know the importance of saving weight by having tools that can perform multiple tasks. As someone who believes in being prepared for emergencies, I am sold on the idea of keeping an extra one of these in the car or truck.
The bottom line? This knife-tool combo is definitely worth the money. For its reasonable price, it’s worth more than some of the so-called “survival” knives and multi-tools that cost twice, or even three times, as much.