How to Select a Field Knife (With Video)

To pick a good field knife for you, you should have a pretty good understanding of knives. Meaning just because it looks cool does not mean it is going to work. The wow factor when it comes to knives is meaningless if it does not do the job you need it to do or if it breaks while you are doing it.

Money is also a big issue when I was a kid we had no money. But that does not mean that I did not have a serviceable field knife there are plenty of good quality field knives available at a very reasonable price. There are also very high quality custom made knives that are more than reasonable. Just because it has a big price tag does not make it a good knife.

Not that I have issue with persons who collect knives, however there is a big difference between people who collect knives and who use them. If you are going to use your knife you have to choose a knife will give you the least problems and will hold up during whatever tasks you need it to do. . This is especially important if you use your knife to make a living or in remote areas where it is not easily replaced. You also do not need to be stopping constantly to maintain it.

I want a knife that is solid, requires little maintenance and retains a sharp edge for a longer period of time. However if I need to sharpen it I do not want to have to send it back to the factory. I want to be able to do it myself in the field and do it quickly.

Today you can get knives made out of just about anything, but that does not make them better.  Knives that are made of one pure metal are usually of finer quality than knives made of metal alloys and metal blends. But keep in mind you are buying a knife to put it to work and that you intend to use so make sure you pick the right one for the job.

Do not be intimidated that you do not have a doctorate in metallurgy. Just read up on the knife you want and ask questions at places like where people are knowledgeable. As an example if you want a particular field knife, ask does anyone have one of these? Is it easy to sharpen and maintain? Does it hurt your hand during hard use?

The handle is very important consideration when choosing a knife. Does it fit your hand and provide a strong grip? Does it hurt your hand when really putting it to work? There are very good knives with really crummy handles. The handle makes using your knife safer and helps you get the job done more quickly and efficiently. The type of handle is also a consideration. Pick one that meets your needs not one that pleases your eye. If you can get both it is a bonus, but for a field knife it is serviceability.

Thenewdoorfraphic.jpgCopyright © 2010 by Steven L. Doran All rights reserved under international and Pan-American copyright conventions. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means without written permission from the author Steven L. Doran.



One Comment on "How to Select a Field Knife (With Video)"

  1. Steve in Merritt Island on Sat, 14th Aug 2010 8:08 PM 


    Great video. You are so right about wanting to have the right knife at hand for the day’s needs. I usually have my Leatherman on my belt, and a Beretta Loveless nearby. Recently I received a gift of a Ulu and the corresponding cupped board for extreme chopping and mincing. What do you think of these? Seems to speed things up in the house kitchen, and I imagine it would in the camp kitchen too.

    Steve in Merritt Island

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