Of course, a knife may be needed at home - for cooking dinner and in nature - for the same purposes or for economic tasks. Depending on where it will be used the requirements for a good knife will vary. However, this time we will talk about the choice of those models that can be useful in nature.
It is the features of using knives dictate their basic qualities. For example, knives for hunters must necessarily be strong. A special kind of such knives is designed to remove the animal's skins and is equipped with a sharp hook at the end of the blade. Most of these models are made with a fixed blade. For tourism, both fixed versions and folding knives are suitable, which are inferior to the previous ones in strength, but they significantly exceed them in compactness. In addition, when traveling, it can be convenient to use multi-functional knives that have not only an ordinary blade but also an opener, a screwdriver, a corkscrew or another similar tool. Also there are small knife-charmers that will not become a full-fledged replacement for the usual but still be able to help in many situations. Therefore, before buying, determine under what conditions you plan to use your future knife to find the most suitable specimen.
Globally, the knives are divided into two categories: fixed and folding. A rigidly fixed blade is able to withstand a much stronger load. Therefore, such models are chosen for hunting, extreme survival. They can be convenient in tourism because they will allow you to do more work with wood or other hard materials. Field knives with a fixed blade are necessarily carried in a sheath that provides a high level of safety. However, all these features can be considered both advantages and disadvantages.
If the priority of the knife owner is compact, then, of course, it is better to pay attention to folding models. They will take an order of magnitude less space. In addition, such knives are usually made of light. They effectively cope with culinary tasks, are useful and practically in all economic issues that can be relevant for tourists. However, it is important to remember that using such a knife as a lever is highly undesirable.
What are the secrets of the shape of the blade and its sharpening?
The shape of the blade is not only a decorative question but also a purely practical one. For example, the most popular option is a drop-point, which assumes the presence of an acute tip and a well-balanced axis geometry. Such a knife is convenient and easy to work in most situations, and with its help you can make accurate and accurate shots.
At the same time, some tasks require the use of a knife of a special form. For example, for cleaning and evisceration of fish, concave-shaped blades are suitable. Bowie blades can also be used for such purposes.
Also it is worth paying attention to the shape of the blade's descents. If they are concave, the knife will be very sharp, but this geometry slightly reduces its strength. The most durable knives are sharpened at an angle of 20 ° to 40 °. However, the larger the angle, the more difficult it will be to make precise cuts with such a knife.
As for sharpening, the most universal option is the smooth edge of the blade. It is well suited for most materials with different hardness. Among other things, it is easier to take care of such a knife in tourist conditions, periodically undermining it. The second option is a serratory (with denticles) sharpening. It was invented for easier cutting of fibrous materials, such as ropes and fabrics. This may be relevant for climbers or rescuers. But using such a knife for ordinary needs may not be convenient. The compromise variant is a combined sharpening with sites of both kinds. It allows you to take advantage of the two blades, but remember that each of the sites will be very small in size.
Question about the materials
For a blade, of course, steel is used. However, it can be both stainless and high-carbon. The first option for hiking models will be preferable, since tourist knives are often used in contact with water, and drying them each time can be troublesome. Carbon steel remains sharp for longer and is considered to be more durable. However, for this reason, to sharpen such a knife yourself will also be more difficult.
There are many more options for the handle of the knife. You can often find models with a plastic handle. For tourism, this is really a good option because the plastic is very light and does not absorb water, and also tolerates large temperature fluctuations. The only thing that is better to pay attention to modern composite options, such as fiberglass or carbon fiber. Preserving all the above advantages, they are also inferior to metals in terms of strength. And this property is important for any marching knife.
Traditional options are wood or natural horn. The first option is still widespread, as it remains very affordable and gives the knife a special aesthetic appeal. But models with a bone handle rather belong to the category of souvenirs, if only because they are much more expensive and taking such a valuable blade on the nature does not make sense because of the risk of its accidental loss.
Another option is a metal handle. However, pure metal without any inserts for tourist models is not often used, because such a handle greatly increases the weight of the blade.
Type of lock
The type of locking mechanism is a topical issue when choosing a collapsible knife. And since this type of knife is very common in tourist practice, it is not superfluous to say a few words about locks. After all, any quality modern knife is mandatory equipped with a blocker that makes its use more safe.
The simplest in design are linear locks. These include Liner-lock, Frame-lock. Such locks are very durable, minimally dependent on ingress of dust or small foreign particles. In the Back-lock version, the role of the locking plate is partially entrusted to the handle elements. And Axis-lock pinlock is patented by Benchmade, but is widely used in other modern knives. It is no less reliable and durable, although it is sensitive to cleanliness. On the basis of a pin, the mechanisms of Plunge-lock and Arc-lock are also made. Button-lock is activated by pressing the button, and therefore is one of the most convenient for users. Moreover, unlocking the blade will be equally convenient with either hand. Another interesting option is Balisong. It is made in butterfly knives, in which the handles consist of two axially rotating elements and resemble handles of multi-tools.
Of course, the features of the various knives are not limited to this, however, knowing the basic qualities will help you to navigate more easily in the general variety of models and choose the best option for yourself.