Best Survival Knife
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A good knife is like good friends, always there when you need them
The best survival knife is one that will accomplish the tasks you need it to and fits your hand comfortably. Everyone tends to believe that a big, heavy knife is the ultimate survival tool. Those knives may work for some people, but not for everyone.
A good survival knife should have a fixed blade. A fixed blade is one that has been forged from a solid piece of steel. These knives should be no longer than twice the length of the handle. This ratio keeps them small enough to carry and yet large enough to be functional.
A practical survival knife should have a solid handle or a handle that is wrapped in parachute cord. The best survival knife has an excellent grip. Handles that are wrapped provide a good grip if the knife becomes wet or slippery. Knives with hollow handles will break if dropped and should be avoided.
If you plan to wear your knife on a pack strap, you should consider the length of the knife. The best survival knife shouldn't be too long or it will be uncomfortable to wear. Wearing your knife on your belt is another way to keep it close at hand. If the knife you choose is long, you may have to tie it to your leg to keep it from banging against your leg or becoming caught in brush.
All knives should have a sheath. Leather sheaths are sturdy and wear well. Leather knife sheaths will require periodic oiling especially if they get wet. Leather will shrink as it dries if it is not oiled, and will also crack if it is not oiled a few times a year. Nylon sheaths are very lightweight and do not require any maintenance, however nylon is not as durable as leather. Occasionally large heavy knives will in time poke through the bottom of a nylon sheath.
Composite sheaths are quickly replacing nylon ones. Composite sheaths are lightweight and molded to fit the blade. Many employ a friction release which requires the knife be rocked slightly to remove it. While these types of sheaths will not permit the blade end to poke through the bottom, they can fracture in extreme cold or if they are hit with a heavy object.
All multi-pocket tools, like the one available through Nitro Pak, come with a small knife blade. This small blade will perform many useful tasks, but like all folding pocket knives, is limited in its use. Neither of these will cut brush or firewood. The best survival knife should be able to slice vegetables, cut rope, whack small limbs and chop larger sticks for firewood. Good knives should be made from high quality steel and sharpened at a 45 degree angle.
Once you have decided which knife you will use, you need a way to keep it sharp. Sharpening stones are excellent and easily carried. Many sharpening stones come with a small bottle of oil. The instructions tell you to place a drop or two of oil on the stone, however, you should never use oil on any sharpening stone. Once you have sharpened your knife you can use the oil on the blade. This will protect the edge from moisture.
The best survival knife is one that will suit your hand and accomplish all the tasks for which you need it. A good knife is like good friends, always there when you need them, and ready, willing and able to help no matter what.
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