Rambo Knife

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The Rambo Knife is a survival knife designed by Jimmy Lile, an Arkansas knife smith and was used for the infamous Rambo movie “First Blood”.

Rambo knives

KnifeOverall SizeBlade sizeHandle sizeBlade materialHandle MaterialPrice
Rambo First Blood knife
Rambo first blood knife
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13.75 inches9 inches4.8 inchesStainless steelWire cord wrap

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High

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Rambo First Blood Part 2 knife
Rambo Part 2 knife
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15 1/2 Inches10 inches5.5 inchesStainless steelWire cord wrap

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High

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Rambo 3 knife
Rambo iii knife
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18 inches13 inches5 inches440 Stainless Steel BladeWood

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High

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Rambo 4 knife
Hibben machete
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16-1/2 inches11-1/4 Inches5-1/4 inchesStainless Steel Soft goatskin leather handle wrap

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High

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Alternatives to the official Rambo movie knives

Price guide.  $ = less than $20.  $$ = $20 – $50.  $$$ = $50+

 

When people search for Rambo knives they’re searching for one of three things:

  1. Information on the actual knives used in the movies and where to buy them
  2. A survival knife that looks like a “Rambo knife”
  3. A big bad bowie knife

We’ll be going over all three of the above options on this website.

Knives from the Rambo movies

Firstly I’ll go over the purpose of the knives and also their design and then I’ll go over all the Rambo knives that were used in the Rambo franchise.

Rambo with 3 knife

Rambo 3 knife in pic

Rambo knife design and purpose

Before there was Bear Grylls, there was John Rambo.  He was the role model of adventure seekers and wild men, and he still is.  The knife that was used by Rambo in “First Blood” became an overnight sensation.  The Rambo knife design was based on the Vietnam-era survival knives carried by pilots. The idea is that when your plane crashes, you have a knife and you also have a survival kit to use.  The survival kit is stored in the handle of the knife.  The survival kit includes the basics you’d need to survive such as fishing lures, thread, needles, matches, and a tiny surgical knife.

 

marbles-jet-pilot-survival-fighting-knife-viet-nam-era-usa-made-in-gladstone

Example of an aviator knife from the Vietnam War era

 

The survival kit came in handy for Rambo, for instance, in the “First Blood” movie, Rambo uses the fishing wire and the hook to sew up a gash in his shoulder.  Although Rambo’s knife was bigger than standard aviator knife, it still has the same function – to help you survive.  If you have watched the first two movies, you would have seen that Rambo’s knife changes in color, and in Rambo First Blood Part 2 the knife is about an inch bigger.  There are some other minor differences but they still have the same basic design.  Even though the first two Rambo knives were the same in basic design, the last two movie knives were completely different.

 

 

The knife that Rambo carries in the third movie was a survival knife with a laminated wood handle and a few serrations on the top but it did not have a hollow handle with a survival kit.  In the fourth movie, Rambo carries a handmade machete.  Below is a side by side comparison of the knives.  After that I’ll discuss each knife.

 

RAMBO-KNIVES-MASTERPIECE-COLLECTION-Knifes-Replica-Sylvester-Stallone-Signature-Edition3

 

 

(1980) Rambo First Blood knife

Rambo First Blood knife

Rambo First Blood knife

The original Rambo knife, which was used in “First Blood” in several key scenes and its unique design got the attention of knife enthusiast.  It’s fair to say that the Rambo Knife inspired the birth of survival knives.  The original Rambo knife used in the movies was 13.8 inches long with 9-inch blade, had 14 saw teeth and had a grey blast finish. It was made from D2 steel.  The hollow handle was also made from D2 steel.  The sheath in the movie was made by Jim Buffaloe. However, it was modified several times in the movie to give it more abused and worn out look.

After “First Blood” and its sequels, Jimmy Lile redesigned the knife with only 12 saw teeth.  The 12 saw teeth represent the number of years Rambo has spent in the army (4 years), and the number of men he has in his team (8).  The First Blood knife was reproduced to 100 serial numbered copies.  Numbers 1-6 were stamped “Movie Knife” and were sent to Stallone for use in movie and there were rumors that these knives were destroyed while filming.  Numbers 1-13 have 14 saw teeth on the spine and numbers 14-100 features 12 saw teeth.  Numbers 7-14 were kept by Lile for his personal collection and Numbers 15-100 were sold to knife enthusiast/collectors across the world for $1,000 each along with a top grain cowhide sheath.  Nowadays, these knives cost several thousands of dollars when offered for sale.  Also, Jimmy Lile shop produced over 800 unnumbered Rambo knives.

Replicas

Official merchandise and replicas are much cheaper than the originals produced by Lile.  The replicas made these days are 14 inches long and made of stainless steel.  They have 14 split saw teeth on the spine which makes the survival knife usable for cutting small branches, metal, barbed wire, and meat.  Even the guard has extra features, it has flat and Philips screwdrivers in the cross guard, and holes for lashing.

The handle is hollow to store a survival kit.  The survival kit is placed inside the hollow handle, wrapped in a watertight plastic case.  At the end of the handle (the pommel) there is a screw on cap.  A compass can be found inside the cap and the outside of the cap is a glass breaker.  The handle is wrapped with a green nylon cord.   The survival kit includes matches, fishing hooks, and fishing wires.

Click on the following link for an in depth review of the Rambo First Blood Knife.

If you’re looking at purchasing an official collectible Rambo First Blood Part I knife with Sly’s signature click here.

This knife can also be purchased from knifecenter.com but first check out the latest knife center coupon so that you don’t have to pay full price.

 

(1985) Rambo First Blood Part II knife

Rambo ii knife

Rambo ii knife

Rambo II “Mission” Knives were similar to the First Blood knives, but with minor differences.  The Rambo 2 knife is about an inch larger – it’s a little over fifteen inches long and has a ten-inch blade.  In the movie, the knife used has a black blade with polished edges, contrasting in colors to be highlighted in the film.  However, Rambo First Blood part II knives are available in different finishes include all gray, gray with bright edges, and black with bright edges.

There are two options when buying the Rambo First Blood Part II knife, one version has a signature and the other version does not have a signature.  It just comes down to a personal preference.  You can also try to buy it from bladehq.com.  Check the following page to see if you can use a bladehq coupon.

Click on the following link for my in depth review of the Rambo 2 knife.

 

(1988) Rambo III Knife

 

Rambo iii knife

Rambo iii knife

 

The first two knives made for the Rambo franchise were made by Jimmy Lile.  The knife used by Rambo in Rambo III, was originally designed by master knife maker Gil Hibben.  The Rambo 3 knife was not the only blade used in the movie, Gil also made a dagger that was seen in the movie once.  The dagger measured 10 1/2 –inch and made of 440C stainless steel with non-glare, black finish.  Another weapon that Rambo made use of was his bow.  After the Rambo III movie, the knife was produced to 350 serial numbered copies.  These Rambo knives were made of stainless steel.  Also, 101 copies of Damascus steel Rambo III knives are produced.

United Cutlery, the official producer or Rambo replica knives have sold over 250, 000 copies of the Rambo III knife. This has opened a new field for collectible movie memorabilia as well as set the stage of the knife and sword replicas to be made in the next two decades.

Click on the following link for my in depth review of the Rambo 3 knife.

You can buy an officially licensed version of the Rambo 3 knife can be found here.

You can buy a replica of the Rambo 3 knife can be found here.  The replica version is about $50 cheaper.

You can also try to buy the knife from bladeops.com.  Check this page for a bladeops coupon.

 

 

(2008) Rambo IV knife

Rambo iv

Rambo iv

In Rambo 4, Rambo lost his Rambo III knife and had to quickly forge a new knife from the materials available at his disposal.  The knife used in the movie was a small machete made of D2 carbon steel with a more rugged and abused look.  Again, the Rambo 4 knife was an instant hit and Gil made hundreds of copies of it and sold it worldwide.  The handmade replicas are sold with a leather sheath, a special padded carrying case, and Certificate of Authenticity.

Click on the following link for an in depth review of the Rambo 4 knife/machete.

If you want to buy an officially licensed version without a signatureclick here.

If you want to buy an officially licensed version with a signatureclick here.

If you’re looking for a cheaper (it’s about $50 cheaper), replica version try this.

 

Which is the best Rambo knife?

There is no “best” Rambo knife.  It all comes down to your preference.  Some buy the First Blood knife because it’s the original.  Some buy the Rambo 2 knife because they like the look of it more than the Rambo First Blood knife, and it’s a little bigger.  Some buy the Rambo 3 because it’s the biggest of the knives and has a hidden tang handle instead of a hollow handle.  Some buy the Rambo 4 machete because it simply looks awesome and need more of a chopper when they go into the jungle or woods.  Some buy all the knives because they just love them.  It all comes down to personal preference.

Survival knives that have the Rambo knife design

Rambo knives look awesome.  No knife enthusiast denies that but many people don’t actually want a knife associated with the movies.  They’re just after a knife that has the Rambo knife design.  So below I’ll go over the best options for you.

Best value models

Night Stalkers Marine Force Recon Hunting Outdoor Survivors Bowie Sawback Knife

If you are looking for a great quality “Rambo” style knife at a great price that looks awesome, look no further.  Check out my review of the Night Stalkers Bowie knife or purchase it here.

Night stalkers bowie knife

USA Defenders Military Survival Knife Bundle with Fire Starter & Compass

This knife is a high quality knife and is currently on a significant discount at Amazon so now would be the time to purchase the knife.  It’s got great balance even though it’s a sturdy.

USA defenders military survival knife

At the end of the day, you get what you pay for.  Check out my review here.

Maxam Survival Knife

This is a pretty good option considering what it costs.  Check out my full review of the Maxam survival knife.

Maxam survival knife

United Cutlery UC2863 Marine Force Recon Sawback Bowie

This is a “souped up” bowie knife that looks more like a zombie killer than a bowie.  Check out my United Cutlery Marine Force Recon Sawback Bowie review.  It’s a beast and is a good price.

United Cutlery Marine Force Recon Sawback

Best Budget models

We all don’t have massive budgets so sometimes it’s best to go for a more budget style option.  It could also be the case you’re not going to use the knife much or you’re a novice and just want to get a knife that you can bash and crash before you buy a better quality knife down the track.  When you are on a budget though you’ve got to expect that the product will have some limitations and simply won’t be as good as a high priced option.  Having said that, the knives below are your best options.

Whetstone Cutlery The Vermillion Survival Knife and Kit with Sheath Knife, Black

This knife for the price (it’s on a big discount at the moment from Amazon) is actually a really good option.  The knife is over a foot long, is sharp and sturdy.  For the price you can’t go wrong.

Whetstone cutlery survival knife

Coleman CM2018 Survival Knife 12 Inch Overall

This is an awesome, great value knife.  You can’t go wrong with it.  It’s sturdy, sharp, looks awesome and is great value.

Coleman survival knife

Amazon Jungle Survival Knife with Sheath

This is the other budget option I would recommend.  It’s probably not quite as good as the The Vermillion Survival Knife but it’s not a bad option.  Click here for the latest price.

Amazon Jungle Survival knife

As an alternative to the above knives, check out my review of the best budget bowie knife available.

Rambo knife alternatives, a big bad bowie knife

You might not be a Rambo aficionado but you might love his knife.  The Rambo knives can be fairly expensive because they are official merchandise.  If you’re looking for a more budget conscious knife that is simply awesome – check out my page on the best budget bowie knife, the Timber Rattler Western Outlaw.

 

Western Outlaw Knife

 

On the flip side you might want the best of the best bowie knife because you want the best possible knife for your bug out bag or you just use your knife so much you simple want the best quality.  Check out our page on the best bowie knife – The Cold Steel Natchez Bowie.

 

 

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