An overview of different knives

Knives were invented by prehistoric man who intended them for survival, modern men and women use them every day, and all homes have them as well as almost every industry you can think of. You may even have a small knife on your automobile key chain right now or at least one in easy reach.

From the original knives made of animal bone and flint, mankind has progressed to the modern knives we all take for granted. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the various types of knives, what they are designed for, and how they make our daily lives better.

Different knives for differing tasks

Dating back to 500 BC, there are hundreds of folding knife designs whose usefulness is only limited by the owner’s imagination. From whittling a piece of wood to use in a survival situation these knives are easy to carry in your pocket, come with one or a number of blades neatly folded within a durable outer casing. Leather sheaths for carrying these versatile knives on your pants belt are popular with this knife style for the ease of locating and using the knife.

Among the more popular folding knives are the multi-task or multi tool designs. These have several knife blades along with over one dozen other useful tools all neatly folded within the case. Often referred to as a Swiss Army knife, this design is very popular with outdoor campers, hikers, hunters, fishermen, and anyone who occasionally needs a knife capable of do a wide variety of tasks.

Originally designed and produced for the Swiss Army, the usefulness of this knife design soon became obvious to people worldwide and it is now one of the most popular folding knives on the market. Also becoming increasingly popular now are the Leatherman, SOG or Gerber multi tool knives that boast incredible high quality and innovation.

Leatherman multitool knives

Unfortunately, the Swiss Army Knife and the Leatherman style knives have come into disrepute through indiscriminate cloning of the knives in Asia, namely China. These copies lack the quality and longevity of the originals but are purchased by bargain hunters who lack the skills or knowledge to identify the original knives from the poorer quality copies.

So when you here of someone complaining that their “Swiss knife” (or other multi-tool knife) does not keep an edge or has poorly finished tools, then you can be assured that they have unwittingly purchased a copy. Bottom line, there is no cheap alternative, if you want quality that lasts, pay the few extra dollars and but from a reputably manufacturer.

For your information, I have a SOG multi tool knife that is over 20 years old, it has been used and abused, lost, found, dropped, thrown and been wet in the sea etc: but guess what, it still operates very well even though one can see the wear and tear. Point made. (Ian McIntosh)

Kitchen knives

The kitchen is where most people use knives every day. The typical knives found in most home kitchens are designed for specific uses. A good quality chef’s knife will handle many slicing needs. This knife is available in sizes ranging from quite a large blade for heavy slicing of meats, fruits, and vegetables to the smaller versions best suited for finer slicing needs.

The paring knife is designed for peeling and taking out the cores of vegetables and fruits and small more delicate work in the kitchen preparation arena. Normally with a blade only about four inches long this knife needs to be kept sharp so as to reduce accidental that may result in cutting a finger.

The carving knife, boning knife, and meat cleaver will handle most other kitchen cooking tasks. Butter knives and steak knives should also grace any well equipped kitchen cutlery set. Serrated knives is perfect for slicing breads, rolls, and certain fruits and vegetables due to the sharp sawing action of the knife.

For those who enjoy catching and eating fish a fillet knife is a must. This specialized knife comes in various lengths, but they all are made with very thin blades and sharp tips. The quality fillet knife will be made of very high quality steel, come with a sheath and sharpening stone. Keeping these knives sharp is the secret to removing bones and skin from fish for a pure meat fillet. This knife is also great for deboning large pieces of meat due to the long, flexible blade.

Hunting knives

Buck hunting knife

The hunting knife has been used for thousands of years. Today’s modern selection of hunting knives is literally huge, and designs are made for every possible situation a hunter may require. Big game or small game hunters can find exactly what knife they require for their requirements.

Hunting knives come with and without sheaths, strong fixed blades from an inch long to well over a twelve inches, long easy grip handles, serrated top edges for sawing through hide and bone, folding designs so the blade is safely encased in the strong outer case, and many more varieties.

As a big game hunter myself, I have several different hunting knives and each is for a specific use. Made of very high quality steel a good hunting knife will hold a very sharp edge with only occasional honing required to maintain this razor sharpness. Built to withstand rugged use and exposure to the elements, the hunting knife also has many uses around the home for the handyman who occasionally needs a good strong knife to accomplish those home improvement jobs we all occasionally need a knife for.

The survival knife

The survival knife has a long history. As the name implies, these very specialized knives are meant to help a person survive everything from being lost in the forest to defending from animal and human assaults. Many of the modern versions of the survival knife are modeled after military knives with extremely strong materials used in their construction. Pictured below is a Gerber knife.

Gerber Tactical knife

They can be equipped with a built in compass for those who become disoriented and lost while out hiking or camping. Fishing line and hooks, tweezers, small tubes of antiseptic crème, maps, flint as well as water proof matches for starting signal fires, small mirrors for signaling search planes, and several other important survival items can be neatly held within the handle of some of these very important knives.

Constructed with very high quality carbon steel as well as ceramic blades, these are knives that can save your life. From constructing shelter to providing protection from the elements, harvesting food in plant and animal form, and the piece of mind that you have a great form of protection. For those who ever become lost will find a quality survival knife may well be the difference between life and death due in the main to the wide range of capabilities this knife provides.

I never go into the forests without my favorite survival knife, and while I have never needed it to actually survive in the wild it is very comforting to know I have the survival knife and all of its capabilities with me should the need ever arise for its use. (John Rankin)

Military knives

Military knives have a long and storied history, and in many ways share much in common with the modern survival knife. No soldier goes into battle without a combat knife. They can be used for self-defense, digging holes for shelter, as an eating utensil and many other functions. Collectors of military memorabilia highly prize these combat knives for the history behind them and how they have helped shape world history.

In the course of building this website, we shall try to cover in more detail the more common types of knives found today and to review a number of the more common type of knife, so please leave constructive comment and we shall endeavor to assist you.

John Rankin & Ian McIntosh

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