Every camper, hunter, and outdoor adventurer understands the importance of a good outdoor knife. It can help you cut down timber, prep food, and save your life in a pinch. You want to avoid picking out a bad one because you could end up with a broken knife before you know it. So, what features make an optimal outdoor or survival knife? Here are the features to look for in an outdoor knife.
Find a Comfortable Ergonomic Handle
A good handle should fit comfortably in your hand. None of the ridges or shapes should poke your palm or fingers, nor should it slip out easily. Look for materials like wood, rubber, and Micarta. Micarta is excellent because it provides an optimal grip and won’t slip when wet.
Handles made from natural elements, like bone and wood, will provide a visually pleasing aesthetic but are prone to breakage and cracking. It’s something to think about as you’re looking at outdoor knives.
A Thick Blade
The thicker the blade, the more stress it can handle without bending or breaking. This feature means it can tackle a variety of tasks with ease. The advantage doesn’t come without a disadvantage. Of course, a thicker blade means a heavier knife, which affects usage and carrying.
Fixed Blades Are Better for Outdoor Knives
Folding knives are perfect for everyday carry (EDC), but a fixed blade will be valuable for many outdoor tasks, especially in survival situations. The joint of a folding knife makes it weaker than the fixed blade. It will help you chop, pry, pound, thrust, and rigorously cut through almost anything. It’s a knife you’ll want to have when you’re out hunting, cutting wood, or doing other outdoor tasks.
Look for Knives With a Full Tang
A full tang knife means the knife maker constructed the blade and handle using a continuous piece of metal. A full tang knife will perform better and be more durable than partial tang options. These styles include:
- Rat-tail tang
- Half tang
- Push tang
Knifemakers add grips and scales to create a comfortable grip for the user.
Size Does Matter
When it comes to an outdoor knife, size does matter, but it’s important to note that bigger isn’t always better—a large blade sacrifices effective usage for detailed tasks, like carving precision and dressing small game.
On the other hand, small blades won’t perform well with rugged outdoor tasks like chopping. Look for knives nine to 11 inches long. This measurement includes the handle. So, you could have a six-inch blade with a four-inch handle, equaling 10 inches altogether.
Now that you understand what features to look for in an outdoor knife, it’s time to purchase one. Start by looking at survival knife sales because you’ll find excellent options at discounted prices. If you can’t find what you want, move on to the regularly priced knives to continue your search.