When anticipating getting by in distressed conditions, it’s always wise to plan for circumstances that will deprive you of access to all the conveniences, even those most basic conveniences that nearly all of us take for granted. This is why selecting the right survival knife can be so important. It is a multi-purpose tool…good for hunting, building, self-defense, and daily tasks…that requires no supply of gasoline, electricity, bullets, or anything else in order to operate it.
Here are two features that make for poor survival knives: a folding feature, and a knife with a large blade. First, the folding feature; folding knives, by their very nature, are less stable and more problematic as true survival knives. These kinds of knives can try to close on you when in engaged in substantial kinds of carving and cutting chores. Also, folding knives can’t withstand much rigor, and can have a tendency to weaken and break at the folding joint. As for large-blade knives (anything longer than six inches), while they might appear to be more useful as a result of the size of the blades, they are frequently found to be less of an aid. Large blade knives are more difficult to properly utilize, particularly when your tasks require smaller, more intricate kinds of manipulation. The ideal length of a survival knife blade is generally between three and five inches.
Stick with fixed blade knives, with blade lengths in the neighborhood of four inches. Also, make sure your knife is characterized by a “full tang.” This is knife-speak for a knife that is constructed of one solid piece, and where the handle is affixed to the blade in two, complete pieces, one on each side of the blade.
A great example of a knife like this is the Tom Brown Tracker; here is a link to a page that shows a variety of photos of the knife: http://www.tombrowntracker.com.
Ultimately, a quality survival knife can be about the most important tool in your survival toolbox. Take some time to research a good one…and by the way, don’t skimp on the basis of price. A lot of “survival knives” are advertised for $30 to $75, but some of the very best, like the Tom Brown Tracker, cost into the hundreds of dollars. Remember…we’re talking about survival here; if you need one knife to guide you through some dark days, be sure it’s the absolute best you can get.
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