The knife is an important tool that makes our daily lives easier, but we especially appreciate its importance when we are in nature. A quality huntin¬g knife is versatile enough to do everything the average hunter needs -- from skinning the animal to splitting through its ribcage and bone.
When you're choosing a hunting knife, it's important to consider how you'll use it and the type of game y¬ou plan to hunt. Clearly, the big game hunter will use a different type of knife than someone who hunts rabbits. And, if you think bigger is always better, you'd be wrong. An oversized knife will make cleaning small game harder, not easier, and increase your chances of cutting yourself.
Once you've determined what size knife you want, consider how often you hunt. If you only hunt occasionally and you want a knife that can be used for a variety of purposes, you may want a smaller folding blade knife. If you're a dedicated hunter and plan on using your knife only for hunting, a solidly-built fixed blade knife may make more sense.
Here are some tips that can help you in your search, especially if you are not an avid knife maker.
1.Folding Versus Fixed Blade Hunting Knives
Your first big choice in your hun¬ting knife pursuit is between a folding or a fixed blade. A fixed blade knife has a blade that's permanently affixed in the open position. Because there are no moving parts in the fixed blade knife, they're generally considered strong and reliable. There are downsides, however. Because the knife is always open, you have to carry it in a sheath and wear it. This makes it bulkier than a folding knife with the same size blade.
The blades of a folding knife fold back into the handle. It also has a locking feature that prevents the blade from accidentally closing while you're using it. Because the blade folds back into the handle, the knife is more compact and can be carried more easily. But this design feature is also the folding knife's biggest drawback. Its hollow handle and the pivot point where the blade folds are weak points -- the folding knife isn't as strong as a similarly-sized fixed blade knife.
With folding knives, you have two types of opening. Both hands must be used to open the classic folding knives. Modern tactical folding knives have a quick-opening mechanism that allows the blade to be quickly removed with just one hand. Which of the two you need depends on what you will use the knife for.
The choice between fixed blade and folding blade is largely practical. For the serious hunter who wants a dedicated hunting knife, a fixed blade design is the best choice. For a person who only hunts occasionally, who will use the knife for other purposes and prefers to carry it in a pocket, the flexible blade handle may make a better choice.
2. Choosing Your Hunting Knife Blade
There are several types of blades available, and the choice boils down to personal preference and the type of game you typically hunt. Different tasks place different requirements on the blade.
If you are going to cut thick ropes or nets, a "hawk's beak" or a curved back blade will be helpful. For more specific tasks, such as those of the rescue services, for example, when you have to cut, but also be careful not to accidentally pierce something, there are blades with a blunt tip or a type of "sheep's foot". Practitioners usually focus on the tanto blade because of its penetrating ability, or on the workcliff type, for cutting. There are three common types of hunting blades -- clip point, drop point and skinning blade.
The clip point knife blade is thin with a well-defined point. The blade itself is relatively flat. This knife is versatile enough to be used for general camp chores and specialized hunting jobs, including field dressing and skinning.
The drop point knife is a specialized hunting knife. It's used to dress the animal and skin it, but shouldn't be used to cut rope or twigs, or do other general camping-related chores. The blade of a drop point knife is thick and curved. The point is not defined, which makes it easy to use the entire blade for skinning. Using the entire blade not only speeds up the process, but reduces the risk of damaging the meat. Because it doesn't have a distinct point, you're less likely to tear into the meat while you're skinning the animal. The blade's robust design allows the hunter to use the knife for gutting and other field cleaning duties.
Skinning blades are designed to skin big game animals. The blade quickly and neatly separates the skin from the meat of large game. Although the blade is specifically made for skinning, the knife can also be used for other hunting chores.
3. How will you use the knife?
The work for which the knife is intended determines both the profile and the bevel (sharpening). Beveling is the method used to create the blade. There are at least a dozen types of bevels, but three are the most common - concave, flat and convex.
If we imagine the blade as an inverted triangle, with the concave bevel (A), the sides of the triangle are curved inwards. This allows thick steel to be quickly cut to a very sharp edge. This sharpener is good for cutting. The flat bevel (B) of the sides of the triangle is straight. This bevel is good for general cutting and performs well under load, and the edge is impact resistant. With the convex bevel (B), as the name suggests, the sides of the triangle are curved outwards. This gives great strength to the blade and the cutting edge. This type of sharpening is very suitable for heavy work. Used for cutting tools such as machetes, kukri, baui and camp knives.
Two specific types of sharpening can also be mentioned here. Serrated (serrated) sharpening is very useful when cutting fibrous material such as rope or net. But if you use the knife often, you will have to sharpen it often, and with serrated blades, this is more difficult. In knives for nature, scandium bevel is common. If the other bevels have a large bevel (main) and a second, small, right at the end, which creates the cutting edge, in the case of scandium bevels this second bevel is missing. This makes the blade very sharp and suitable for use in nature, but also difficult to sharpen properly. If you do not have experience with sharpening, it is better to stop at a different bevel.
4. How to Recognize Good Quality
There are three main indicators regarding the choice of steel - corrosion resistance, hardness and strength. The balance between the three that will be right for you again depends on the tasks for which the blade will be used.
Quality hunt¬ing knives typically have either carbon steel or stainless steel blades. Each type of blade has advantages and disadvantages. Carbon steel blades rust, so they require special treatment. Regular use is the best way to prevent rust from forming on the blade, but you can also coat the blade to prevent rust. To coat your carbon steel blade, clean your blade thoroughly, allow it to dry completely, then apply a wax that contains silicon. Waxes made specifically for this job are available. Once it's coated, the carbon steel blade should be resistant to rusting. Carbon steel blades tend to be easier to sharpen and remain sharp for longer than a stainless steel blade.
Stainless steel knife blades are rust resistant. This makes them extremely popular with hunters who hunt in areas with rainy conditions. However, stainless steel knives are more difficult to sharpen and more expensive than carbon steel knives.
Hardness is related to the ability of steel to absorb a load without deforming. The advantage of harder steels is that it gives stability to the cutter, as well as allows it to be given greater sharpness and, accordingly, better cutting ability.
Strength is the ability of steel to absorb impact without being damaged, cut, cracked, etc. It is important when the blade performs tasks such as cutting wood, when there is a strong collision.
5. Hunting Knife Maintenance
Proper care will extend the life of your hunting knife. You'll normally store your fixed blade knife in a sheath, but if you don't plan on using it for a while, you'll need special long-term storage solutions. For long-term storage, wrap your clean and dry knife in plain paper, and store that package in a plastic bag. Add a package of desiccant to the bag to absorb any moisture.
It's also important to keep your knife sharp. A sharp blade cuts easily, which will prevent you from accidentally cutting yourself by trying to force a dull blade. You can have your knife blade professionally sharpened, but it's actually an easy project to complete yourself. Just get a knowledgeable person to show you how to sharpen your hunting knife for the first time, and you'll be able to do it yourself after that. It's important to learn how to do it from an expert because the wrong technique can actually dull your hunting blade.
Day-to-day care is the best way to extend the life of your hunting knife. Clean the blade and handle thoroughly after use, using a product made specifically for the job. A quick wipe down in the field is a good idea after you use your knife, but it doesn't replace a thorough cleaning when you arrive home. Use a product made specifically for your knife's material. There are many multifunction cleaners that can be used on metal, wood and leather. These products make it easier to clean your knife because you don't have to worry about ruining your handle when you clean your blade.
Finding a good knife is a challenge. But when a person knows exactly what he will use it for and how intensively he will have to work with it, he can orient himself much better among the different classes and prices in order to find the best for him, the most acceptable price.