Selecting a Knife

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When selecting a knife consider these factors:

  • What function must the knife perform
  • Fixed or folding blade knife
  • What type of mechanism is best
  • What size blade do you need
  • What type of steel best fits your needs?

Blade Type: Fixed or Folding

First, determine what functions the knife must perform and decide upon either a fixed blade or folding blade. Fixed blade knives are normally more durable, faster to deploy, and simpler. A fixed blade knife should have a full tang meaning that the steel used for the blade extends all the way through the handle. Folding knives take less space and good ones are also extremely durable. Most websites that I studied recommend a sturdy fixed blade for a bushcraft or survival knife.

Edge Type: Smooth or Serrated

Some knives have a smooth edge and others have a part serrated and smooth edge. The serrated edge is good for cutting fibrous material such as thick cords/rope or sawing through branches. Serrated edges are harder to sharpen and require a tapered rod for sharpening. A serrated edge does NOT work as well when shaving wood. When shaving wood use the blade area closest to the handle. This area of the blade allows for more controlled and concentrated force to be applied to the wood. Most articles that I read recommend a smooth edged blade for a bushcraft or survival knife.