Working as a salesman in the knife department, I constantly have to answer a lot of questions that arise with our customers when choosing a working knife. I would like to share my experience and generalize information on the choice of a good working hunting knife.
It’s no secret that many factors influence the choice of the knife, and if there are a lot of steel, blade shape and information producers, then for some reason they almost always forget about the handles. The shape and type of the handle almost always go as if in a load to a good blade, and this is not entirely correct.
In this article, I would like to break the traditional approach to choosing a best hunting knife and shift the emphasis when selecting it on the knife handle. It is with her that the hunter has the most time when working with a knife. Therefore, the choice of a hunting knife or knife for cutting game, first of all, in my opinion, should begin with a handle.
The convenience of the handle must be evaluated directly by the future user before buying. Otherwise, there is a risk that the person will be dissatisfied with the convenience of grasping, and, consequently, the overall impression of the knife will worsen, even if it is a knife of a well-known firm and with proven quality.
From what has been said it becomes clear that a good and convenient knife can be purchased only in a specialized store, it is desirable that in this store there was a wide choice so that you could try and hold several samples in your hands at once. Compare them to themselves and choose the most convenient for yourself.
The practice has shown that it is impossible to pick up the ideal knife as described in the article or on the website of the online store. That’s why many buyers remain disappointed when they take a knife delivered by a courier or by mail. Once again, I will focus attention: a good working knife can be purchased only by holding it in your hands!
Speaking of handles, one can not help but dwell on their constructive diversity. Many ask the question – what type of installation is the most reliable and practical?
Previously, the most common installation was with a small shank, which in one way or another is attached to the handle, is usually pasted. Such installation is simple, relatively cheap, it takes less time and effort. The plus is that the user’s hand almost does not touch the metal, so the knife with such mounting does not freeze the hand in the frost.
The disadvantages are also obvious: a blade with a small shank is less durable, in the case of heavy loads or the handle is destroyed, or the shank itself simply breaks. Such mounting is suitable for decorative, household or cutting knives.
The second extreme type of handle – the handle is completely metal. This may be the continuation of the blade in the form of a flat handle or a twisted shank, or welded “pipe cut”. Such handles are very durable, they are not afraid of any loads, but they are “cold”, sometimes they simply creep to mittens or even hands, in addition, they are uncomfortable for hunters. Usually, such handles have “combat” knives or survival knives.
The next type is overhead handles, today it is the most versatile type. It is widely used both in hunting and kitchen knives. On the one hand, it is simple – two linings are screwed or riveted to the shank of the blade, on the other hand, when using high-quality materials such installation is very reliable. In addition, if the lining does collapse, a rope, a piece of leather or cloth can be found on the shank and continue working.
Interesting and very promising is “through installation”. It looks like this: a one-piece or dial-up handle is put on the long shank, after which it is pressed with a special nut at the end of the shank. This kind combines the advantages of knives with a short shank and mounting with overlays. The handle of the knife turns out to be “warm” and very strong, in addition, such a handle can be relatively simply repaired.
According to the materials of the handle, the knives can be extremely diverse: here there are dozens of trees, leather, and bone. Recently, various plastics, polymer compounds and even Kevlar fabrics impregnated with special resins have become very popular. As with the shape of the handle, its material is the choice of the hunter himself.
Picking up a suitable for the material and shape of the handle, let’s dwell a little on the quality of steel. Contrary to the prevailing opinion, not all hunters are chasing knives with outstanding blade quality. On the personal relation to steels, hunters-professionals are divided into two types.
The first type of hunter is a person who works with a knife neatly and does not want to spend too much time sharpening or knife editing in the field; usually chooses the steel is not very hard and rather more viscous. This is because the knife can easily be brought to the required sharpness by several movements, without departing from the game being cut.
Editing such a knife does not cause difficulties, you can refresh the sharpening not only with a special bar, but also with a suitable stone or even the bottom of a ceramic cup.
The second type of hunter is a person who appreciates the time of retaining the sharpening and high cutting properties of solid steels. It is more important for him, if possible, not to sharpen the knife at all during the entire hunting process. Such hunters even more carefully cut the game.
After all, the longer the knife works without sharpening, the more valuable is the art of the hunter himself, and the knife itself “lives” and pleases the owner longer. And, of course, it causes general enthusiasm and attention to the hunter and his knife, when the hunter splits more carcasses than other hunters without sharpening their knife.
But we must always take into account, if a knife from a particularly hard steel is blunted in the campaign, then there is a possibility that without a special bar for sharpening it can take a lot of time. And if the owner of the knife does not have sufficient skills in sharpening, then special sharpening equipment may be required. In especially “heavy” cases, you have to give the blade to sharpen professionals.
In any case, the skills and certain skills in sharpening are important. But not only in sharpening …. Among the jaegers, the ability to properly use a knife is very appreciated. For this skill can greatly extend the lifetime of the blade.
There is an old Japanese proverb. The novice cook sharpens his knife once a day. The cook with the experience sharpens the knife once a month. And the cook-pro sharpens his knife every six months. Everything depends on the ability to use and then on the physical cutting properties of different steels and blade form factors.
We were visited by different hunters and made absolutely different reviews about the same knife. One knife divided four large moose, and then easily shaved the hair on the forearm, while the other hunter “cut” normal and one moose normally. What are the differences? In the ability to use!
The main thing is to avoid getting a cutting edge on metal, glass, ceramics, stones, bones. For chopping nails use a chisel. And for cannabis homo sapiens sapiens specially invented a can opener. In an emergency situation, of course, the knife will cut both the bone and the nail and gorgeously open the cans. But it will necessarily suffer.
Before buying your hunting knife, after you have chosen the most convenient handles for your hand, you need to determine what kind of blade you need. And for this, you need to remember what kind of work you are doing on the hunt and take into account personal preferences.
There are many forms of blades, but the classic practical forms, which for centuries proved their effectiveness in cutting products and materials, are still preferable for the hunter. On hunting, the knife must fully fulfill all the tasks assigned to it.
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