When it comes to outdoor activities like camping, a reliable knife is essential. But when you start talking to plenty of outdoor enthusiasts, you’ll most likely hear different types of blades that you’ve never heard of, which they claim to be the best.
When you boil it all down, you’ll realize that most people like the blade they use because of a specific purpose. So helping someone to choose the best outdoor knife would be hard unless they tell you what they intend to do with it.
But it doesn’t mean there are no criteria you should follow. So to help you, below are the things you should look for in an outdoor knife.
Blade Material is essential in choosing your outdoor knife. It determines whether you’ll have a trusty blade on your hip for the next 15 years or a piece of shiny metal that will break the first time you use it.
Typically, you would only choose between two types of blade material – carbon steel and stainless steel.
Stainless steel is the cheapest one, more widespread, and, as you may have guessed, rust-resistant. But, it’s less durable. And losses edge faster.
On the other hand, carbon steel is easy to hone to any sharpness you desire. But, keep in mind that you’ll need to take care of these knives, or they’ll rust easily. There can be different blades that say they are “carbon steel.” But all you need to remember is that if it’s not under $20 and looks rough, chances are it’s carbon steel.
Overall, blade material depends on what you intend to use with your knife. If you’re doing saltwater activities, stainless steel would be ideal. If you’re doing bushcraft and camping, opt for carbon since it’s much more durable and easier to sharpen.
The blade shape dictates what you can do with your knife. And most will have a specific purpose. Some are like the kitchen knife, which is great for fine cutting, while others are better for chopping, rough cutting, digging, and defense.
So, what’s the best shape for you? Well, that depends on how you’ll use your knife. A drop point or clip point bowie would do well for general outdoor activities. If you want something for chopping and bushcraft, opt for a kukri or machete.
But, it would be best to do more research. And, if possible, some hands-on experience to find the right outdoor knife for you.
When it comes to outdoor knives, always choose full tang ones, which means you need a knife that has its steel, from the blade to the spine, to extend to the handle. Full-tang knives can be expensive but are much more durable. Partially tangs are prone to breaking once you use them for heavy-duty tasks like chopping.
A handle can change depending on the knife’s purpose. But for every situation, you’ll need a handle that is comfortable and easy to grip. Micarta is popular right now, but rubber, wood, and other traditional options can still do the job.
You will not carry your knife in your hand during your trip all the time. You’ll need a sheath with you so it can ride with your belt, meaning you’re going to want something comfortable.
So when choosing a sheath, opt for something that fits your body.
If you are going camping, hunting, or other similar outdoor activities, you will need a trusty outdoor knife like these https://bladeops.com/benchmade-knives/benchmade-fixed-blades/ with you. But if you want something else, remember the tips above to ensure what you’ll be carrying with you is a quality blade.