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Print Posted By Content Amplified on 10/09/2017 in The Great Outdoors

Choosing an Outdoor Knife - Things To Know

Choosing an Outdoor Knife - Things To Know

An outdoor survival knife is probably the most important tool for campers and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s usually the first thing you buy for your outdoor gear.

It’s handy for self-defense too, but there is a lot more to it than defending. It’s a tool that would prove helpful in every situation you face in the rough outdoors. For example, you can cut branches and build a shelter using a knife. Similarly, you can use it to make tools from wood that could help with digging and hunting.

Some other possible scenarios where an outdoor knife could prove handy are cutting fruits, opening cans, cutting firewood, and cutting bandage.

But is every outdoor knife equal and able to help you with all these outdoor activities? Unfortunately, some of them would crack from the handle when you use them aggressively while the other half would have a blunt blade after the first few uses. Choosing your outdoor knife is something not to be taken lightly, no two knives are the same and each has a job that it’s built for, so choose wisely.

Here are a few things that could help you choose an outdoor knife that would prove handy whenever you need it.

Fixed blade VS folding blade outdoor knife

Outdoor knives are either fixed blade or they come with a hinge separating the blade from the handle. Although both have their advantages, fixed blade knife is a clear favorite among outdoor enthusiasts.

The reasons for choosing a fixed blade over a folding blade knife are easy to digest.

A folding knife has two parts – the head and the blade. In many outdoor situations, the central hinge holding the two parts together will break. Think of digging with your knife or hammering with its handle. You are definitely going to break it.

The chances of ending up with a broken fixed blade knife are slim.

Unfortunately, you need to take extra care when carrying a fixed blade knife. You need a sheath and you have to be careful when you put it in your pocket as it might poke when you bend.

Who wins? It could be different for everyone. The right outdoor knife for you is the one that meets your requirements. If you are not expecting to build a shelter while camping, a folding knife will do a great job.

Size matters

When it comes to picking the right outdoor knife, you have to think about its size. If you pick a knife that’s heavy and big, you might find it difficult to carry it at all the times.

On the other hand, a small knife may not help you with shelter-related tasks and during other unexpected situations.

If you are not sure about what size suits you, go for the 10-inch long outdoor knife with a fixed blade. It’s what most outdoor enthusiasts carry.

Full Tang VS Partial Tang

"Tang" means the blade extension of your knife. Knives with partial tang blade are weak because only a small part of the blade extends into the handle.

You can’t expect partial tang knifes to do the hard work. They will break when you exert force aggressively such as when digging or cutting large tree branches with your knife.

A full tang knife will give you superior durability and control. It allows you to exert greater force without the fear of severing the link between the handle and the blade.

You should take a full tang knife with you unless you are low on budget or have other replacement tools for situations where you’d need a strong and reliable outdoor knife.

Others things to consider when choosing an outdoor knife

Here are some additional tips that could help you make the right decision when choosing a knife for your outdoor adventures.

Straight edge and serrated edge knife

Many outdoor enthusiasts recommend taking a straight edge knife with you when camping. You can easily use a straight edge knife for digging and carvings. Serrated knives are better for slicing – especially harder surfaces and will often work even when dull.

Choose a sharp knife

A knife with a sharp blade and a sharp point is perfect for outdoors. You can use it to hunt animals, dig the ground, or prepare shelter. Drop Point, or Spearpoint, well that’s another article.

Carbon steel and stainless steel knives 

A carbon steel knife is usually stronger and sharper compared to a stainless steel knife and makes a great tool for chopping wood. However, a stainless steel blade is rust resistant, which makes it a great choice when camping in a humid climate.

Wasn’t that easy? I’m sure you will find a useful outdoor knife with the help of these tips. For most campers, the best choice would be a fixed-knife carbon steel knife that’s 10 inches long.

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