When you're trying to decide on that perfect survival or hunting knife it's easy to get caught up in the details. I am a knife hunter, that means I hunt for the best knives available. Here's my top 5 tips to put you on the right path and find the knife that's right for you.
5. Drop point or Bowie style?
As a knife hunter, I personally love a Bowie style knife, but in reality a drop point blade is actually a better design for survival or hunting applications. It lends itself better for camp chores and for skinning.
4. Black, Stainless Steel, Powder Coated. . . Choose a blade type.
The black material on a blade will eventually wear off if the knife is used alot. However, in survival situations you don't necessarily want to advertise your location by light shining on your stainless steel blade. Powder coated blades look nice and will help keep the blade from rusting. A shiny blade can double as a mirror, so it really depends on your specific application.
3. Pick your handle type.
Are you going to be using your knife in the cold or in wet weather? You may want to go with some type of rubberized handle. If you're more into the beauty of the knife you may want to get one made of bone, horn, or some exotic wood. Stacked leather is always a nice option too.
2. Serrated or straight blade?
Many knives come with a small area of serration either on the top of the spine or usually on the blade close to the handle. This is great for quickly cutting rope, or tinder for a fire, or anything else you may need to use a sawing motion for. But this area is hard to sharpen, especially for a novice. It takes special sharpening stones to keep the edge tuned up. A straight blade knife is easier to keep sharp and some knives even come with an integrated sharpener in the sheath.
And the number one tip. . . SIZE, bigger is not always better.
A knife with a 3-5 inch blade is about all the knife you will ever need in any situation. That will still make the knife around 7-10 inches long.
Marlin Zeller is an avid collector of knives from many different manufacturers. Check out http://www.squidoo.com/knifehunter for more information on fixed blade knives.