Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Knives Galore

On to the second part of my mini series and as the title suggests it's specifically about knives. Knives as a tool and a weapon have been a pivotal part of the human evolution. Being able to kill game and process it as well as basic cutting needs are a few of the important roles of knives in our life. Most of us these days don't use knives to kill game or even on a daily basis. I hope to at least make my readers want to carry a knife on a daily basis because of how useful a knife can be in life's random situations. I'll add as a side note that I don't believe knives to be an effective tool for self-defense purposes. This is because it is very hard to use a knife effectively when being attacked and usually you're going to get cut up pretty bad as well. Among knife experts there's a saying I've heard about the end result of a fight with 2 skilled knife fighters- "One is dead and the other is dying on the way to the hospital." Besides a firearms is much more suitable.

In any event I'm biased towards three brands of knives from my research and handling. These knives are Benchmade, Zero Tolerance, and ESEE knives. So the knives I'm going to talk about are going to be made by these companies. They are in my mind some of the best knives for the money, they're somewhat pricey but very much worth it.

Folding Knives: When it comes to a daily carry knife that isn't going to see much abuse like repeated prying, screwing, hammering I think you can't go wrong with any of the folding knives made by Benchmade and some by Zero Tolerance. Don't get me wrong these knives can take a beating but I feel the knife I bring up next will be your best bet when needing a knife that takes beatings day in and day out. The knife I would recommend for the money for a decent carry tool is going to be the Benchmade Griptilian, Mini Griptilian, or the Zero Tolerance ZT350. All these knives are a good size for your pocket or purse with the ZT350 being the biggest of the three. When it comes to thinking about a partially serrated or non serrated knife I believe this really depends on application. For someone who needs a daily carrier you're most likely not going to be cutting rope a lot. If that's the case I personally would go with a non serrated blade. If you do need the serration then obviously get a serrated blade.

For someone who needs a knife for day in day out beatings I recommend the Zero Tolerance ZT301, the bigger brother of the ZT350. Now this knife can and will take a lot of abuse but comes with a bigger price tag and a heftier size. The knives above are considered liner locked which means when opened the knife is locked in place by a lining metal on the inside of the handle. The ZT301 is frame locked which means it's locked by the frame of the handle when opened. The part that keeps it locked is machined titanium and the other side is a G10 material. This provides for an exceptionally strong locking mechanism where you don't ever have to worry about the knife closing during hard use.

Fixed Blades Now what about survival situations or even camping and backpacking trips? When it comes to times like these where you don't have to worry about the weight in your pocket you can afford to carry something bigger and stronger than a folding knife. This is when I recommend a fixed full tang knife over a folder but you should still carry a folding knife with you.

There are three different types of knives I believe you should have each with its own application. These don't take up that much room so they should be considered.

First up is the ESEE 5. This is a monster of a fixed blade knife and can do just about anything you need it to. If it came down to it it could be used as an axe to chop wood for a fire. You CANNOT destroy this knife and if you do ESEE has a lifetime warranty. This knife would typically be in your pack possibly on your leg while out in the wilderness since a smaller knife would be more practical for other uses. But when you need a big piece of metal to perform this one will.

The "essential" knife you should have on you when out and about in the wilderness is the ESEE 3. This is the knife you're typically want to pull out for your regular needs around camp and the like. It will be much easier to use because of its smaller size but it can also take a beating.

The next knife I would say is optional but has a very good use for caping game when on a hunt and it's the ESEE Candiru. It's a small blade and can be utilized for intricate cuts that need something that is maneuverable.

With any of the knives made by ESEE you're going to want to take extra care of them because they're made of carbon steel. They've chosen this steel for it's strength and exceptional ability to keep an edge, carbon steel is often used in professional kitchen cutlery. The downside is that carbon steel can rust very easily if not taken care of so you're going to want to make sure this sucker is well oiled when not in use.

As with all knives you want to take care of them and not be dumb with them. Having said that you can probably try really hard to break these knives and will probably fail to do it. After a lot of use you're going to want to keep putting an edge on the blade to keep it continuously sharp. I'm obsessed with knives because there's so many different kinds available with all kinds of different handle materials and steel materials. I feel without spending hours and hours doing research these knives will do you just fine and will be able to keep up to any task you give them.

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