buying a knife? What you should consider
Things to consider when buying a knife,
First thing to consider is the knife applications, what will you be using this knife for? will you be using this for work? where do you work? if you open boxes and that’s the extent of what you need the knife for This will be the a crucial factor in the design and size of the knife.
find something that will suit that particular application nicely, IE: a box cutter. Not the sexiest knife out there i know but when considering the application you also need to simultaneously consider the setting you’ll be in when your using the knife it would be great if we could all carry and use the knives we wanted without getting strange or concerned looks from our coworkers but that’s not the case so try to chose something not too threatening. because using a karambit to open boxes could be off putting to passers by.
What if you work a construction job? then you’ll probably want something more along the lines of an extra sturdy EDC knife ( AKA every day carry) average size, my rule of thumb is if it doesn’t fit into the average pant pocket with ease then it’s not an EDC ready knife, most are fold able but you can opt for a fixed blade in this situation if you do opt for a fixed blade knife just make sure that its on the small side of the fixed blade scale and get a sheath with it don’t go crazy with it nothing like this. Try for more this speed OK last example, let’s say you work in forestry industry, in that case you have allot of freedom when choosing a knife it will most likely be fixed blade because of their increased rigidity and durability, i’m sure no one will have a problem with what knife your carrying when you’re deep in the bush, but with that comes a whole new set of constraints like weight. you need to think can you carry it easily for long periods of time without it slowing you down? If not then it is too heavy or large. That leads nicely to the next constraint does it come with a sheath? in the previous examples a sheath isn’t very important because one of the constraints for those two examples is, the knife has to be fairly small remember if it doesn’t fit into the average pant pocket easily then its not an EDC ready knife. but for a large fixed blade a sheath is mandatory for carrying it easily and safely. This is a key factor you should keep in mind when buying a knife.
The next thing too consider is the materiel that the blade will be made of there are far too many blade steels out there for me to list here, and even if i were to list them some are so similar that they’re difficult to distinguish widely accepted standards simply don’t exists for many of the quality’s these types of steel have but here are some of the quality’s that you want your blade steel to poses
Hardness is the ability to resist deforming when subject to stress and applied forces. Hardness in knife steels is measured using the Rockwell C scale aka HRC. This is important when buying a knife because it will determine the duration and the lifetime of the knife you are choosing.
Toughness is the ability to resist damage like cracks or chips when being used in heavy duty applications. This also defines the steel’s ability to flex without breaking. Chipping is the worst thing to happen to your knife it’s never easy to fix. Note that the harder the steel the less tough it will likely be. Also, the measurement of toughness is less standardized as hardness.
Corrosion resistance is the ability to resist corrosion such as rust caused by external elements like humidity, moisture and salt. Note that a high resistance to corrosion does involve a sacrifice in the overall edge performance. This is another key factor you should keep in mind when buying a knife as the longer it lasts the more valuable it is to you
Edge Retention is how long the blade will stay sharp when exposed to prolonged use. unfortunately the measurement of edge retention lacks any defined standards
the “best knife steel” does not exist every type of blade steel has it’s strengthens and it’s weaknesses. The best example of this is balancing hardness with toughness. Some blades can be made hard but will chip or crack if they fall onto a hard surface. on the other hand a blade can be extremely tough and able to bend but wont hold it’s edge for very long. the term ‘stainless steel‘ is misleading all types of steel will show some kind of discoloration if left exposed to the elements for long enough. By knowing how you plan to use the knife you will be able to determine with a bit of research the best steel for your situation.
here are the many categories summed up, when buying a knife into three general categories.
Tool Steel – primarily hard steel alloys used in cutting tools.
Carbon Steel – generally made for rough use where toughness and durability is important. Common in survival knives and machetes. They take a sharp edge and are relatively easy to re-sharpen. The trade-off is being more prone to corrosion given the low chromium content.
Stainless Steel – carbon steel with added chromium to resist corrosion and other elements which increase performance levels but usually at the expense of inferior toughness. to qualify as stainless steel there must be at least 13% chromium.
next thing to consider is the price point. This varies wildly from knife to knife depending on the blade quality, size,and the materials used avoid flashy stuff the best way to determine if a knife is worth it’s price point is to do some research even if it’s only for 5 minutes it’ll get results. Reviews on knives are plenty so look around find a few don’t just go off of the first negative review you find because everyone has an opinion and not all of those opinions are going to be positive regardless of the actual quality of the product so take your information from more than one source.
and with that you’re ready to start buying a knife that’s right for you happy hunting.