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By:    On: 2010-10-12

  

          Let us take a moment to discuss some terms that is used when buying a knife. I also want to mention some good features to look for when shopping for a knife. There are too many knives to count, and it is easy to be “over saturated” with all the different styles. To avoid this, first look at the features, and then decide what you are looking for based on your intended purpose. You would do the same when buying a vehicle; features first, then pick out what fits you. The same goes for buying knives; first, it is your intended use, then the features that fit into this. The truth is there are a number of things to consider when buying a knife, so it is the goal with this blog to educate and give solid direction to make things easier for you.  Before I go any further, I welcome comments from you with everything that I am about to share; especially for the parts that you agree or disagree with.

 

v    The first thing to consider is how the knife “Feels” in your hand. For all you tradesman, myself included, you know what I mean. For those that do not, it is about how comfortably it fits in your hand. *Important note: I would suggest not getting a knife were cloth rope is used with the handle, and using it for preparing food. Parts of the animal and/or fruit will dry to the fibers of the handle, thus giving off a scent. This scent may attract other animals making you prey, or it may make it more difficult for tracking pray because of the scent giving you away.

 

v    Is the blade full “Tang”, which means is the blade all the way through the handle? Not all blades are made to do this; a lot will stop short to be partially in the handle, or used some fastening manner to secure the blade. I will say that a full “tang” is the way to go because the strength of the blade and durability is the best.  It all comes down to your intended use, and of course the budget. Do not feel the need to spend a lot of money on a knife like $100 or more. I have bought good knives that were inexpensive.

 

When it comes to blade, there are three things to consider Steel, Thickness, and Length.

 

Steel:

v  Stainless steel, which works well in wet environments because it is more rust resistant; it will not keep an edge as well, so more time is spent on the blade “upkeep”. These can be more expensive, but are preferable for wet use for like scuba diving.

 

v  Carbon Steel will keep an edge longer; ease of sharpening, but requires a little more attention in keeping the blade dry. The Blades that have treatment with powder and coatings are also rust resistant. Strong blades like 440 Steel is hard to sharpen, but for the same reason will keep an edge longer.

                                                                                           

v  Let us consider the “Thickness” of the blade.  In truth, this is really quite simple:  delicate work means a thin blade; aggressive work means a thick blade. So if you are expecting in preparing to cook small game such as fish and rabbits then a thin blade is in order for this tender work. A thicker blade is in order for the “work horse” chores such as erecting a shelter, or placing at the end of a spear for big game, and all else in between. * Important note: Look for a blade that maintains as much of its thickness as possible towards the tip of the point, the thinner the more likely to break thus, presenting a potential safety hazard.

 

v  The same goes for the “Length” of the blade; it is all about your intended use, short blades for delicate work and long blades for more aggressive purposes. You need to have the mindset that long thick blades may not work for you, or short thin blades. You may need to consider a combination of the features to get something that comfortably fits with your intended purpose.                                                                   

                                              small but reliable                                     

v    There is also the “Style” of blade to look at straight edge, serrated, curved. It is of popular opinion that combination is best, with a concern of sharpening the serrated requiring a special tool. Well rest assured that this is not a big concern; the serrated will stay sharp considerably longer, with what few times come up to maintaining this edge, there is a very inexpensive diamond blade shaping tool that is the same size as a pin that is great for combination blades. It is light, compact, and very effective towards its purpose without being bulky.

 

    Black Ops 3 S&W 

 

v    Finally yet importantly, let us consider the “Sheath” for how it is constructed and ease of use with removing and placing of the knife. Again, this all comes back to your intended purpose. Is your preference a hard sheath made from plastic, leather, or cloth like material? Is there a compartment for additional items like small fishing kit, fire striker, and water-purifying tablets? This point is especially important because I was considering buying the “Puppy” from SOG for $60. It has a great handle, beautiful blade, and very light. The drawback in my opinion is the sheath not fitted to the knife very well.  Placing the knife in the sheath was a task in and of itself. Going back to my Electrician days, when I would buy a tool belt it needed to be built in a way that I could work with my tools without having to look at the bag, to do it by touch. Therefore, the sheath must be an easy fit for you and the knife.  

 Sog Puppy

  

v    Do not be afraid of having several knives. It does not matter if you brought the house with you RV Style lol, or if you are alone in the wilderness. Losing a knife is never a good thing, having a replacement is! There is also the added bonus of using different features from the other knives.

 

v    A forgotten point in many blogs is the consideration for the hardware used in the securing of the knife.  In other words, the screws used to maintain the integrity of your tool, since that is what a knife is. Therefore, have a knife with hardware that is easy to maintain by matching it with a “multi-tool” with the necessary tool(s) for servicing. If you do not have this ability with your “multi-tool”, it is not a big concern; just make sure to have what you need to keep your knife in good condition. If you are using more than one knife, it would also be wiser to consider having knives with all the same hardware. Now you may across a knife that you really like with different hardware; this is not a big deal, just make sure that you have the tools to keep it “serviceable”. This is a very important point to all RoadCeos; it does not matter if you are in an RV or backpacking alone, there is nothing worse than having a “limp” knife. Do not forget to have oil for lubrication to help reduce corrosion and friction for “fixed” blades, and pocketknives.

 

v    Last suggestions (if time permits) for the knife or knives of your choosing, use them in the kitchen to get a better feel of your tool. If you are not doing the cooking, then offer to help cut the meat and all other uses that come up from being in the kitchen. To step away from PC (Politically Correctness), it is still typically the woman who does the cooking so by the effort of being in the kitchen with her may make this camping trip a lot more memorableJ.

 

So when looking for knife, remember that it all depends on your intention of use(s) for everything else is second to this. It may also be beneficial to consider another knife for all the things you do not intend for; plan Bs are always a good thing. The purpose of this post was to make things simpler when shopping for the knife that “fits” you, here are two suggestions to give you basis to work from.

 I personally own and like the Smith & Wesson pocketknife designed by Morgan A. Taylor with the “Titanium Blade” CK44CS.

 S&W pocket knife

 

When it comes to fix blades, I also personally like the “Smith & Wesson CKSUR4G Homeland Security Top-Serrated Tanto Knife, Green”. It is a heavy knife, which I personally like as my “work horse” knife.

 

 S&W fixed blade survival knife

 

For me it is these knives of choice that is sharp, reliable, and just overall balanced.

 

So here we are, at a point of being educated in a way that most blogs are not doing; giving you the principles, you making decisions based off your intended use, and two solid knives to work your way from here.

 

Thank You! Always Be Safe.

 

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