When you are in the wilderness and the great outdoors, being knifeless is never a good thing. A good knife is everything to a survivalist and the outdoorsman. It is the ultimate tool when it comes to dealing with a great many of situations in the wild, and often enough it is the difference between life and death. Whether dealing with camp preparation, food and hunting, or almost anything else that can be done in the wild, a good, reliable knife is your number one priority.
But how to choose the best knife to suit your needs? What to consider and what key outlines to follow when finding your perfect knife? That’s where we step in – with hope to bring you the best tips and advices that will introduce you to the great differences in knife styles. All with one goal in mind, to help you choose your perfect knife.
There is a lot to be considered when knives are in question. From the style to the quality, from purpose to size, a lot is in the play. With the following basic introduction we will attempt to bring you closer to the differences in knives today, and the main strengths and weaknesses of each type.
A good fixed blade is your go to item when you need big work done. It is really the meaning of the word knife, and as such is the best choice for wilderness survival. Following are the essential aspects of fixed blades and these are the things to look for when buying.
- Size –
Fixed blades come in a wide variety of sizes. And it is logical to assume that the bigger the blade, the better its usefulness. But it’s not always necessarily so. A huge knife can sometimes be bulky and clumsy, while a smaller sized blade will do the work as easy. That’s why the size of the knife is the first thing to consider when on the lookout. Access your possibilities and the surroundings you plant on visiting, and purchase accordingly. A personal opinion is to choose a smaller, well designed blade that will satisfy many needs, rather than a bulky huge knife that you will have to lug around. If you really need a big, lengthy blade where you’re headed, a popular option today is a machete or the parang. Consider those instead.
- Design –
Another important aspect to pay attention to is the design of the knife. There are a lot of designs and styles on offer today, many of which offer different uses and variations of effectiveness. Different styles also present differing variations of reliability. For example a Bowie style knife is perfect for all the hunting needs, but can be less effective when used for common camping tasks. On the market today are also designs with drop point blades, tantos, semi-serrated blades, as well as many tactical and combat inspired designs. Make sure you familiarize with these different styles and consider your needs when buying.
- Reliability –
Always consider paying more for a knife from a trusted and reliable brand. A lot of experienced and established manufacturers today offer knives with unquestionable quality and durability. Find the ones to suit your budget best, while still retaining a guarantee of a reliable, efficient survival knife. Never buy cheap knock off copies from fishy sites. Find a reliable retailer and ask for professional assistance when buying. Consider the brands like Ka-Bar, Kershaw, Gerber or Bokker, just to name a few.
The other choice you have is a good folding knife, usually seen as a pocket knife. These can be useful when you need to save space, and finish common small tasks when camping or surviving. Although lacking the strength and size that is offered in a fixed blade knife, there are also great strong points to owning a folding knife as well. A good, specifically designed pocket knife can be the quintessential item you’d want to carry with you on a camping or hiking trip.
- Compactness –
The main aspect of note with a folding knife is the size and the same effectiveness of a good knife packed in a minimum of space. This can be a perfect thing when you wish to keep as lightweight and as mobile as possible while in the outdoors, especially when hiking. Luckily, with a great choice in variety and efficiency of these folding knives, it should not be a problem to choose the one that fits perfectly with your needs. Whether you are in need of a longer blade, or a shorter, stout knife; a hunting knife or a camping one – the choices are many and varied, and the brands are numerous and renowned, so it should not be a problem finding the knife perfect for you.
What to look for in a knife?
The main features that are crucial in the quality and the efficiency of a knife, and the main things to focus your attention to, are mostly the crucial construction and design attributes. When discovering new designs and getting familiar with new knives always check out the following details.
- Pay attention to the design of the blade. The blade of the knife is crucial and needs to be designed to provide efficient service in most situations. Avoid blades with a strong upward curvature as this minimizes the effectiveness. Also avoid blades whose tip is too drawn out and pointed, as this might diminish the strength of the blade and quickly ruin the tip. Instead opt for a good drop point blade with good width and a good middle ground between length and width. This type of blade provides greater force delivered to the target and stability in use.
- The grip. This is a priority for all knife makers. A good grip must ensure no slipping and a firm hold in any circumstance. Wooden handles are good, but sadly neglected in the industry today. Most of knives today offer a rubberized, plastic, or hard nylon grips that are also reliable. Look for textured materials and grooves and finger notches. These will guarantee a perfect grip that offers better maneuverability when working, as well as the ability to work in any weather and underwater, without the fear of slipping.
- Joints are the detail to which knife makers pay most attention to. The connection between the handle and the blade needs to be firm. Avoid fixed blade knives without a tang that connects to the handle. In the case of folding knives make sure that the joint is not loose and that the blade does not move from side to side. You need to make sure that this part of the knife is as good as possible as it is the part that takes a lot of pressure in use.
The significance of a perfect choice in purchasing a knife cannot be stressed out enough. In crucial situations, this choice will be the boundary between a confident good outcome and a potentially disastrous situation. Always keep these things in mind, and never hesitate to pay more than your budget allows – when these matters are at hand, quality comes first, and quality costs. If necessary, and if your budget has limitations, then save up for some time, ensuring you will buy a high quality knife, rather than a cheap substitute. Find your perfect style, the one that suits you the best and it will do wonders for you, helping with all the tedious, tricky daily tasks in the wild. With this in mind, it is our sincere hope that with these useful basic tips you will find it easier to finally make a proper step toward your knife purchase, getting you with success through all those wild places!