Guide to Buying the Right Knife

Buying the right knife
Information courtesy of Buck Knives

1. How will you use it?

  • Everyday: Are you opening boxes or cutting twine?
  • Outdoor (Backpacking/Climbing/Hiking/Camping): Does your activity involve using rope?
  • Hunting/Fishing: Are you field dressing game or cleaning/filleting fish?
  • Tactical/Survival: Do you need a heavy-duty knife that won't fail?
  • Limited Edition/Custom: Are you a collector?

2. What features are important to you?

  • Fixed-blade: Always ready for use and dependable.
  • Folding knife: Compact, safer to carry; improved dependability with locking blade.
  • One-handed opening: Has a thumb stud, blade hole or other feature to facilitate one-hand use. Some models are one-hand opening and one-hand closing as well.
  • Gutting/skinning blade: For field dressing game.
  • Thick Blade: For heavy-duty tasks.
  • Light weight: Use of composite or other materials to minimize weight.
  • Saw edge: For cutting wood or bone.
  • Sharpness: Stays sharp and is easy to sharpen.

3. What is it made of and why?

Blade Materials
A good blade combines good edge retention, ease of re-sharpening and rust resistance.
  • S30V is the best blade steel available. It is a high vanadium stainless steel with even higher edge retention.
  • 154CM and BG-42 are two custom steels with much higher carbon content, giving them higher hardness ratings and dramatically higher edge retention.
  • 420HC is a stainless steel that provides excellent rust resistance, is easy to re-sharpen and has good edge retention.
Handle Materials
A good handle should feel solid and well constructed when you hold it. We suggest you consider a handle style and material that meets your needs and suits your preference.
  • An ergonomic design provides comfort.
  • A rubber or textured handle provides a sure grip in wet conditions.
  • A wooden handle adds beauty to the knife.
  • Plastic/composite handles are durable under extreme conditions.
See Our Indexes:
Buy the Right Knife
Knife Locking Mechanisms and Blade Grinds
Knife Handle Materials
Knife Blade Materials
Knife Care Tips
Sharpening Instructions Page

© 1995-2014 by Howard Korn and KnifeCenter Inc. All rights reserved.

5201 Lad Land Dr, Fredericksburg, VA 22407 - 800.338.6799 (Phone Orders Welcome)