Part 1 of 2 

One of the more common errors made by someone young or otherwise inexperienced in selecting a knife is to buy something big (heavy) with a thick, long blade. A common example is any knife similar to the famous Bowie knife or one of those large “survival” knives with the hollow handle, chock full of things you’ll supposedly need in a survival situation. Sadly the items that come with the knife are extremely low-quality and will certainly let you down when you need them most. Survival kits are really important, but one that is any good won’t come in a knife handle. These large-bladed knives seem to be good only for chopping, which is handy, but they are really inadequate for any other camp or meat care task. This type of knife is usually fairly low-priced and extremely low-quality, although some better quality units are available but still limited in the tasks they can perform. A low-priced, big-bladed knife is really hard on the stitching in a sheath, which will also be of low quality, matching the knife.

A blade of four inches (maximum) can do anything you can learn to do. Longer, unless it is one of your “other” knives ie: filleting or boning will not make the moment better. Many a moose has been field dressed with a small pocket knife, although I doubt anyone would want to do it a second time.

Many knives on the market are fashioned after “military” or “fighting” knives. These are usually cheap replicas of the real knife and have no use in the outdoors. They are attractive because of the suggested original purpose, but beware of the marketing and buy something that will be useful.

Today I happened to see and examine some really inexpensive multi-tools priced at $10 to $15. They looked really attractive and had just about everything you could imagine as an edge or a tool. They are very low-quality and the use of them for other than the lightest duty will cause them to break and very likely injure the user. You aren’t saving money buying one of these “super-cheap” tools. As said before, do some research, ask questions, and spend your dollars on items that are safe to use and will serve you well.

A knife or multi-tool for Christmas is a great and useful gift, but if the giver has no knowledge of the topic, perhaps a few researched suggestions from you would be appropriate.

(read Part 1)