Before you start shopping, it’s good to remind yourself what a knife is for – cutting things. It’s not a tool to be used to put in or take out screws, pry a lid open, hammer something down, and etcetera. It’s also not used for cutting glass, wires, steel and the likes. Although a knife is an excellent tool, it’s not an all-in-one tool. If that is what you are looking for, then what you need is a multi-tool and not a knife.
With that cleared up, here are the different types of knives to give you an idea of your choices:
A fixed blade knife is the most common type of knife. It’s what comes to mind when you think of a knife – a single blade that is fixed to a handle. The length of the knife blade varies greatly. This type breaks into several subtypes. For example, for slicing, and ripping, what’s generally used is a tactical knife. Another type of fixed blade knife is the hunting knife. In general, you have the hunting knives for general use and a Skinning Knife. The length of hunting knives also varies from very small to that of a mini sword.
For basic camping use, the ideal knife is a fixed blade type about 5” long. If you will be using to chop off some dense undergrowth, then choose a fixed knife with a large blade, the larger the better. Other important considerations are the sharpness of the knife and how well it can hold an edge, how often you will be using it and if you will be using it mainly for outdoors or indoors.
A folding knife can have one or more blades. One type of folding knife is a pocket knife, the blades of which fold into the knife’s handle and is small enough to be kept inside a pocket. Another type of folding knife is a slip-joint type, which is a light duty knife makes use of pressure to keep the blade open.
This is a medium to heavy-duty knife that is similar to a slip joint knife except, for strength and safety purposes, it has a device that locks the blade in position when you open the knife. The lock is disengaged by pushing a release mechanism on the knife’s back strap. Locking knives typically have a single blade.
Many clichés in shopping are true when shopping for knives, especially about getting what you pay for. So, always go for quality instead of the price. This doesn’t mean you have to make an outrageously expensive purchase. There are reasonably-priced knives in the market. More than the price, though, the important thing is to do your research first to find out which knife is the right one for your use.