Knives are a subject I have wanted to write about for some time. The reason I have hesitated is that the type of knives you select is a very personal thing. I am a collector when it comes to knives; I have all types and sizes and never have less than two on me, often more.
A few simple guidelines will help you determine what type of knife is right for you.
- Fixed blade or folder, a fixed blade is normally bigger and stronger. A folder is lighter and easier to carry concealed in many situations. In some states, a fixed blade may be illegal to carry concealed.
- What do you plan to use the knife for? This will help you to determine the size that is required. It has been my experience that many people choose a larger knife than they need. You can clean and skin an elk with a 4-inch folding blade. A large knife is better if you are clearing brush, cutting firewood or defending yourself.
- Stay away from the cheap Rambo knives with the hollow handle. Be sure your sheath knife has a solid one-piece tang.
- Check the grip it should not be slippery when wet or bloody.
- A straight blade knife works better for chopping wood and is easier to sharpen. A good smooth stone can even be used to sharpen a straight blade, whereas a serrated edge almost always takes a special sharpener.
- A strong blade has good edge retention is resistant to rust and sharpens well.
- If you choose a folding knife, be sure you can use it one handed.
- Buy a good US brand if possible. There are some good foreign knifes, but beware of the cheap Chinese and Pakistani ones.
- You don’t need to spend a million dollars to get a good knife, but don’t get to cheap. Good serviceable knifes can be found for under $75.00.
Now that I have given you my guidelines, I am going to say that I have never found one knife that is perfect for everything. In my bug out bag, I have a old issue Ka-bar. In my pocket I always have at least two knifes. Whatever knife you choose take it out and use it. Be sure it will do what you want. It is like any other piece of gear it needs to be well tested.