While it might be easy to say “I need a survival knife,” or “I’m going to buy a survival knife,” choosing the best knife can certainly be an endeavor as there are so many things to consider in getting your very own. Just as the name of the item implies, you need a knife that will help you survive. There is more to a knife than just the regular convention of slicing, cutting, or stabbing, or getting a “sharp, pointy object.”
The task of getting your own knife does not have to be daunting. Here is everything that you need to know in choosing the best knife.
When choosing the best knife, go for a knife which has a handle that is actually a handle. There are a multitude of knife handles out in the market today, and more and more manufacturers think that giving the knife’s handle a secondary purpose is doing the consumers a favor, when in fact it does not. Remember that when choosing a knife, its handle should just be a simple handle. Some knives have certain gimmicks such as having a compass or having a “secret” compartment – all of these are useless and detracts from the handle itself.
The handle of the knife which serves another purpose sacrifices some of the handle’s integrity and durability. Just think about it: what do you think is better, a hollow handle or a solid one? Keep in mind that a hollow handle may break on you rendering the knife kind of useless and that any item stored in the knife’s handle will get lost when the knife does.
The tang is probably one of the last things on people’s minds when getting a knife. For those who do not know what it is, the tang is the portion of the knife which extends all the way down to the handle. While this does not sound that important, for a survival knife it is.
To get the best knife there is, look for one that has a full tang or one that extends the entire span of the handle. Bear in mind that the knife’s blade is one with the tang so a tang that is shorter in the handle or is narrower than the blade simply means there isn’t much power to it. A weak tang means the knife could easily break off, making the knife useless. So when you are off to get the best knife, look for one that has a tang that is as big as the handle.
There is more to the humble sheath than just your knife’s storage. The sheath of your knife will determine how fast you can draw it, which may be critical in some situations. Some other things to consider in a knife’s sheath is how you can bring it with you, such as the friendly belt loop or the handy lanyard hole.
The knife’s blade is probably the only part that most people consider when getting one. Laymen would think that just as long as the knife’s blade is sharp, it’s already good, but there’s more to it than that.
The first thing that you should consider in a knife’s blade is the metal it is made out of. The blade is usually made out of one specific kind of metal, and that is either carbon steel or stainless steel. There are pros and cons to both kinds of metal. When it comes to carbon steel, its edge usually does not dull that fast, however it is susceptible to the elements, meaning it can rust. On the other hand, stainless steel knives do not rust, but the downside is that stainless steels’ edge dulls at a much faster rate.
The second thing to consider in a knife’s blade is its length. Survival knives’ blades can span the length of anywhere from 6 inches to 12 inches. While short blades are good and easy to carry, doing things such as chopping wood will be a challenge. But when you get a knife that has a blade that is as long as a standard ruler then you are sacrificing its portability and it won’t be that easy to wield in different situations.
The third thing that you should be on the lookout for when it comes to the knife’s blade is its thickness. This is where most of the knife experts argue as the thickness of the knife varies. As a good rule of thumb, look for a knife that is sturdy enough to do tough jobs such as chop of wood, and as much as possible, avoid survival knives which have a lot of flex to them.
The last thing to consider in a knife’s blade is its design. Survival knives look so much cooler when their edge is serrated, however you will need a specialized sharpener to keep its edge good and sharp. A straight bladed knife requires no more than a simple stone to sharpen it, at the same time straight blades are known to go through wood a lot easier than serrated blades.
A knife is only as good as the person is so remember to know more about handling a knife and its many different uses. By remembering these different aspects of the knife, you are sure to get the best knife there is. Just remember that you should be careful and comfortable wielding a knife in order for it to be a survivalist’s best friend. You will never know when your survival knife could mean the difference between life and death.