Knives of Alaska: Xtreme Defense Survival Review

Knives are one of the most important tools to aid in survival. They can provide the most basic of survival needs; in the hands of a skilled individual. They can provide fire by fashioning a bow and drill. They can also provide food and shelter with some basic wilderness knowledge. That's why its important to select a quality survival knife that you can depend on.

This knife combines many elements to create a extremely durable and versatile blade. The model I tested was D2 steel, but you can also purchase an S30V model for a few extra dollars.

As you may or may not know D2 steel is an American made air hardened steel. It is a very tough steel with great edge retaining ability and is corrosion resistant. Speaking of American made, all KOA's knives are made here in the U.S.A.

With all knives I test and use, KOA's knives have been the sharpest out of the box I've seen. This one was no different. Upon initial observation the Xtreme Defense Survival is a very good looking knife. The canvas micarta handles are desert tan and the blade has a bead blasted finish to reduce glare (important for tactical situations)

 The Xtreme Defense Survival has a 6" full tang blade and an overall length of 11.5". This is usually the blade length I recommend when purchasing a multi-use fixed blade knife. The knife is well balanced with an ergonomically sound handle design. This made it easy during chopping and fine cutting task during my testing. I was also able to baton through oak fairly easily, possibly due to the blades edge bevel. If you've ever batoned through oak you understand the difficulty. The blade thickness is not to thick and not to small, measuring in the sweet spot. I would have liked a wider blade, but just my preference.

This knife is called Defense Survival, designed to fill the roles of survival knife and combat weapon. The blade design makes for a solid tactical weapon. The design of the knife is best served in the forward hand fighting position, the extended tang rear butt section also serves as a striking surface.

Now on to my favorite part of the knife. The micarta handles have machined storage pockets. This allows survival items to be stored in the handle. The handles are removed by the included Allen wrench that securely attaches to the back of the kydex sheath.
Allen wrench attachment
Many other survival knifes that have storage sections in the handle have weak spots; due to the blade being welded on. This is not a problem with the KOA Defense Survival because of the full tang design.

I was able to place 7 waterproofed (clear nail polish) strike-anywhere-matches, a button compass, 2 Tinder Quik tabs, 3 Mustad fish hooks, 1 San Juan worm fly, 3 split shot, and 20 ft of 30lbs test Fireline braided fishing line. There was also room to add more.
The accompanying Kydex sheath is of a very different design than your standard models. Not only does it have a friction fit securing system; there is also a flap that totally covers the knife handle. This not only secures but protects your knife. Being a former Military Parachutist, I would say this sheath meets all jump sheath requirements.
The sheath can be worn on your belt or attached to MOLLE or PALS systems. As you can see in the picture above; 550 cord can be wrapped around the sheath affixed inside the slots. Adding to its survival use. An upgraded nylon drop-leg sheath option is available for about $20 more. Although the accompanying sheath is not bad, I do not like kydex because its noisy and I dont find it comfortable to wear. So I would suggest getting the sheath upgrade.

No detail was spared by Knives of Alaska design staff. This knife fulfills all your survival needs, with the added bonus of a mini survival kit being stored in the handle. Knives of Alaska has quickly became one of my favorite knife manufacturers.  I hope to bring you guys more future reviews from KOA's lineup.

Take a look at the Xtreme Defense Survival @


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  2. Nice review, knife looks very nice! Thanks!