Finding the right knife will vary dramatically depending on your needs, usage experience, and of course your environment. Some people could use a single knife to satisfy all of their needs; a smartly chosen knife can perform every outdoor task imaginable and perform to your standards. However, if your needs are much more demanding and varied, and you’ll be spending significant time in a rural environment, a “one blade fits all” mentality may not be suitable. One of the most significant considerations when purchasing a knife is your environment. In a city, with limited space, and generally fewer demands from your knife, it can often be suitable to select a knife that serves many roles, filling any need that may arise.
But if living and hunting in places like Alaska, one would most certainly need a top of the line hunting knife. It’s a place where the average person would have some knowledge and/or experience as to what qualities are most important in a high-quality, do-all hunting knife. First, it has to be sharp and easily resharpened in the field. Second, it has to be tough enough to handle some serious abuse. A blade must be strong enough to work through a moose hip socket, but nimble enough to skin a black bear without leaving the hide with more holes than a welder’s overalls.
A top rated hunting knife may not be suitable for an urban environment, as the demands of the two environments are significantly different. But if you are going to spend significant time in the outdoors, it is essential to find a knife that will serve the needs that you require. If you ask any true outdoorsman, they will tell you that a good knife is the most useful tool on your belt.
As far as price is concerned, hunting knives can range from as low as $8 to $100 and above, with some even running as high as $300. There are many things to look for in a knife besides efficiency and effectiveness, and the most important is how safe it is to handle and use. Another aspect to look for is the build quality — how sturdy is it and how much sleekness does it offer. A lot of knives come with gut hooks that are supposed to assist better when it comes to skinning and basic hunting. The gut hook can be handy for cutting the animal properly without ruining the meat.
One more important thing to keep in mind here has to do with the types of hunting knives. Broadly, there are two types of hunting knives. The first is the fixed-blade hunting knife and the second is the folding-blade knife. The fixed-blade knife is the knife with the blade fixed and usually comes with a sheath to cover the blade. The folding-blade knives come with a blade that can be folded into the handle. A folding-blade knife consists of moving parts while a fixed-blade knife has no moving parts. This is all very important and can impact usage based on experience and can have a direct bearing on the durability of the knife in many cases.
These are all things to consider if you’re not familiar with knives and looking to purchase one, but the most important thing to remember is safety comes first. Regardless of your environment, be sure to be educated and diligent about knife safety. From your top rated tactical knife, to a common Swiss army knife, respect the blade and it will prove to be your most useful tool.