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Choosing a Bushcraft Knife

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A bushcraft knife has to do many different tasks and so a general purpose knife is more suitable than a specialized knife. That may be better for some tasks but would not be able to do everything that you want it too.

There are a number of things which you must consider when looking for a bushcraft knife

Handle: The handle must be comfortable in many different holding positions for use over a long period of time. Asymmetrical handles are thought to be the best as it means you can feel which way round your holding the knife and this reduces the risk of cutting yourself. There are a number of different materials available which make suitable handles for bushcraft knives. The most popular of these is wood as it fits in with the ethos of bushcraft more then any other. Other handle materials may be more resilient to water and be better for some

Blade: Most people find a blade between 8-12 cm ideal for bushcraft. This is roughly the same length as the handle which gives you a lot of leverage when using the point yet allows for slicing cuts to be made. Bushcraft knives use a sharp yet strong point which are either inline with the spine (traditional Scandinavian style) or a point which is slightly lower. They are a few ways of doing this and any seem to work well for me (drop point, spear point and clip point). A bushcraft knife should have a fairly strong blade as it will be used hard. Just how strong the knife needs to be will depend on what you need it for. If you have an axe or similar large cutting tool the small knife won?t need to be used with a baton so a thinner lighter blade may be better as it will slice better.

Blade grind: Most blades will have a bevel going from the spine of the knife to near the cutting edge with a secondary bevel at a greater angle forms the cutting edge, though this is very good for slicing but means that the edge itself tend to have a less acute angle then a single bevel from part way up the blades depth. For this reason most people prefer a single bevel edge on their bushcraft knife. A convex edge is another good option. This is where the edge is formed by two interacting arcs

Tang: There are a number of different ways to fix the handle to the blade of the knife. Some are stronger while others are lighter. A full tang is strongest but will add weight to the knife while a stick tang or coffin tang will reduce weight and providing it?s well done be plenty strong enough for most tasks

Steel: Blade steels fall into two main categories, stainless and carbon. Knife enthusiasts will devote a lot of time talking about the benefits of one steel over another. In practice both make superb bushcraft knives. Some use a laminated steel (blade made up of a hard core with softer steel outer layer), while I don?t have a problem using laminated blades I haven?t found any benefit when in the UK.


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0 #1 Robert Band 2014-03-07 14:35
I do not like the convex edge. I tested them and they didn't work for me. I do like the knives made of carbon steel that were in use in the early 1800s. They were used hard and lasted a long time.In the wild you want a knife for use and not for looking at.

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