The Knife is by far the most important tool in preparing or even surviving in any situation. With a knife you can create every opportunity that you need in order to walk out of the worst situation imaginable. I never go anywhere without a knife. It is that important to have. However in today’s market there are so many knives and most of them are worthless and shouldn’t be considered. Knowing how to choose a good quality knife is not as simple as just reading the package or reading reviews on knives. To be honest how many people ever really test the quality of their knife in extreme situations?
A good knife is not one that is surgical sharp or looks like Rambo’s combat knife, however there are qualities of a good knife that goes beyond the common knowledge of what a knife should or should not be. The first premise of what a good quality knife is the tang of the knife. The tang of a knife is how far does the blade extend into the handle of the knife. Typically knives are categorized into two categories, full-tang, and half-tang. In my experience most knives are half-tang knives. For survival I only recommend full-tang knives. The reason for this is because a full tang knife has more strength and support than a half-tang knife. Typically when a knife is half-tang it is considerably weaker than a full-tang knife. A full-tang knife is typically thicker and stronger than half-tang knives. As a result it allows the knife to be used more ruggedly than say a Swiss army knife. When I am deciding on purchasing a knife I typically choose a full-tang knife.
I am not saying that half-tang knives are bad. In fact I recommend them quite frequently. Typically half-tang knives are used as pocket knives. They are easy to transport, and are typically smaller than full-tang knives.
The second quality needed in a good knife is the length of the blade. I typically prefer a 7-inch blade. It is not too long but ensures plenty of working space on the blade. You are going to want a long blade because in any situation it can be difficult to sharpen a knife constantly. A longer blade allows for you to use one part of the blade while keeping part of the blade still sharp for when you need it. If you can’t sharpen a blade you need to conserve part of your blade for skinning, first aide, protection, or any other situation where a sharp blade is needed.
The third point of buying a good knife is the type of blade that you choose. The best type of blade is the design from Jim Bowie. The Bowie knife is a powerful design because it has a curved long blade with a flat back. This allows for the blade to have strength and be utilized in a varied number of instances. As which was the design and need of Jim Bowie.
Finally I wish to point out that there are several types of knives that are perfect for survival. Having a full-tang knife with a large blade, and within the Bowie design allows for the best possible results. I will post more on how to utilize the knife in more specific ways, and what knives and knife companies I highly recommend.