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The Hunting Knife Explained

Aug 22, 2007
Knives are considered essential gear for any hunter. Many knives have many different jobs; some are great for the heavy cutting necessary when cleaning a kill, while other times all that is needed is a small compact knife for every day mundane jobs.

A common misconception is that a bigger knife is a better all-around knife, but that is often not the case. They can be much clumsier to handle, and they tend to require more time to care for. Many hunters prefer to carry a smaller, all-purpose knife that is more practical.

There are many options to consider when choosing a knife; the first is deciding whether to go with stainless steel or carbon. Both have their benefits, but stainless steel remains the most popular choice. Carbon knives are great for people who prefer a knife that is easy to keep sharp. However, carbon knives are more susceptible to rust, and being out in the field, it's very likely for your knife to come into contact with some moisture.

It is for this reason that most hunters prefer a stainless steel blade, and getting some practice with a knife sharpener will help to keep your knife in like-new condition. Many sporting goods stores will also sharpen your knife for a nominal fee.

Another decision to be made when choosing a knife is a foldable blade or a fixed blade. Fixed blades will be stronger and more reliable when dealing with bigger projects; however fixed blades can also be more difficult to carry. They lack the compact storage of a foldable blade. A fixed blade will require a sheath to carry it in which will either need to be hooked to the belt, or carried in a pack.

Foldable blades can also be sturdy, but they are not the best choice for a primary hunting knife.

Foldable knives however, sometimes have other handy tools built in which can come in very handy for other projects. Many hunters have both types of knives, carrying a smaller, compact, foldable knife with them at all times, and using their fixed blade for bigger projects in the field.

Other things to consider when looking at knives are the shape of the blade, the grip and the butt, thumb spurs, and lock liners. When picking out a knife, the number one thing to consider is how it feels in your hand. A knife that is too big will be awkward to use and will only cause mishaps in the field. Maintenance is also something to be considered when looking at knives. Some knives will come with a care pack consisting of oil, or sharpening tools.

These items will be essential to gun care, be sure to buy them if they don't come with your purchase. It is essential to clean your knife after each use so it will remain a trusted tool for years to come.
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