A knife is a VERY useful too to have on hand. Â The author, it should be mentioned, is quite fond of a good knife.Â He has many, makes his own, and almost always has one at hand, if not on his person.Â In theory, with a knife as your only tool, and some knowledge, you can take care of many problems, from the mundane opening boxes, to the dire if you end up stranded without many other resources.Â Not to say a knife will save you if youâ€™re dropped in the Artic circle butt naked with no other supplies.Â What it will do is give you the ability to cut, chop, poke, and otherwise lacerate things you can find around you to produce better tools, shelter and sustenance.Â Yes, you COULD fight off a person / wild animal with one, but thatâ€™s a stupid idea and wonâ€™t be covered in this article.
Carrying a knife, in our modern paranoid and controlled age, is not ALWAYS a good idea.Â Other side of the coin to this is you do not need to be Rambo, and carry a huge bowie knife with you everywhere, everyday.Â Thereâ€™s just no need, and it will get in your way as often as not.Â People will look at you funny, and youâ€™ll get shit from law enforcement if you go the wrong places.Â You will certainly be making a statement, and exercising your rights, but it will be getting in your way royally.Â Be aware.
For most day to day use, the author has yet to find need for much more than a good folding knife.Â These can be small and inconspicuous, but larger ones are out there if you feel the need, or have big hands.Â They run the gamut of price and quality, but Gerber, Ka-Bar, Spyderco, or the pricey but worthwhile Emerson makes have served the author admirably.Â Â They retail anywhere from $40 to $200, and you can spend much more FAST.Â Features abound too, and may interfere with local laws.Â They might be illegal if they assist with how the knife opens, so read up or ask before you buy.Â More to the point (har har), learn how to sharpen knives well.Â A pocketknife especially should be kept sharp for fine work.Â The best way to get this skill is to practice, mess up, and learn.
More serious endeavors, or hard work, you generally donâ€™t want to stress a folding knife with.Â This is a GREAT time to have a small fixed blade knife around.Â Only keep it on if you intend to be out for a serious kind of day.Â On a tool / pistol belt is another good option.Â Usually something under 1 foot / 31 cm is about right, unless you need or prefer more heft or length.Â There are also many smaller fixed blades being sold as â€œneck knivesâ€ or â€œkiridashiâ€, which have become more prominent these days.Â Useful, but they donâ€™t always have the length to be a replacement for a larger fixed blade.Â Â (Imagine trying to carve a roast or split kindling with a scalpel.)Â They are great as pocket knife replacements, especially if you like the security of a knife that has no moving parts to break.Â Another fad of the past few years is small fixed blades with flat / blunt tips.Â These â€œtactical pry barâ€ or â€œentry toolsâ€ have their attraction, but sometimes you WANT a knife to have a point.Â (Canâ€™t remove a splinter with a wanna â€“ be wrecking bar.)Â The author owns one that cost him $12, one tenth the price of most versions, which may be reviewed / showcased later.Â Itâ€™s certainly a good tool, but a more traditional styled blade will be more useful than a combination tool, long run.
Knives much larger than the previously discussed length become more specific tools, and eventually start to become a machete, axe, or sword, whether they want to or not.Â The authorâ€™s favorite cooking knives fall into the category, be he will NEVER take them into the woods for a weekend of camp chores.Â A bigger blade can be good to have for some tasks, but keep in mind how much weight you need to pack JUST for the sake of those tasks, and if it might be easier just to carry and axe / machete outright.Â If the outing requires weapons, we live in a gunfight age, not a swordfight age.Â If you need a weapon, get a gun.Â If you need a general bushcraft / utility tool, get a knife.