The Survivor Outdoor HK-1036S is an inexpensive option for someone looking to buy their first survival knife. It is a knife designed and manufactured with price in mind so don’t expect it to compare or compete with knives costing three times as much. A knife like this is good for someone who wants a knife they can toss into their pack and forget about it, maybe even a first survival knife for a younger person who may not take the time to care for the knife as well as they will once they have a better appreciation of knives.
The knife has a five and three-quarter inch black blade made of stainless steel on a knife that is ten and one-half inches in overall length. This is not a full tang blade as it does not go more than half of the handle length meaning that the overall length of the metal (blade plus tang) is less than eight inches. The lack of a full tang may cause some issues when using the knife to split small logs as some of the force exerted on the rubber handle will be lost without a direct transfer to the blade. For heavy use like splitting wood, a knife with a full tang or one designed for batoning would be a better choice.
The Survivor Outdoor HK-1036S has some interesting cut-outs in the blade itself that seem designed more for appearance’s sake rather than usefulness. The top of the blade does have enough flat surface for striking flint to spark a campfire but the notched portion sticking up on the top of the blade is puzzling with no real usefulness.
The handle is made from rubber and is more flexible than is practical for a knife intended as a survival knife. Lacking a firm grip surface the rubber used does not impart a feeling of confidence when holding the knife. The end cap on the knife butt is there for manufacturing and assembly convenience and serves no real purpose for the camper or survivalist.
The sheath is made of nylon and has one punched hole near the tip for lashing the sheath to your leg and it has a belt loop for attachment at the top of the sheath. Since the sheath has a sewn edge, with no reinforcement or rivets to keep the knife edge from cutting through, over time you may find the sheath cut and damaged from normal use.
For those who are looking for a knife that appears to be a survival knife, with styling that fits the image, the Survivor Outdoor HK-1036S may just fit the bill. But for people who want a knife that they can rely on day in and day out, the Survivor Outdoor HK-1036S will certainly disappoint with its overall construction that misses the mark when it comes to durability and true functionality. This is a knife for those who don’t want to spend much on a first knife, or maybe a backup knife, and don’t expect much out of it for that reason. There are other knives under $20 (USD) that may not look as aggressive, but they will stand up to daily use and have the history to prove it.