What is more important for a hunter – a knife or a gun? Most likely, many will answer that the gun.
In fact, no hunter will be able to give an exact answer what is more important to him – a knife or a gun, since without these two attributes hunting as such is not possible. For a real hunter, a knife is not just an object, it is a friend and assistant, starting from kitchen and household work in the camp, ending with the finishing and cutting of the extracted animal.
So what should a custom hunting knife be like? We propose to sort out this issue together. And first, let’s look at the main mistakes when choosing a hunting knife.
Mistake № 1 – Knife size
Some hunters make the mistake of buying an excessively large knife, and at the same time assigning various tasks to it, such as opening cans, slicing food, skinning a hunted animal and chopping raw bones during cutting. And they want to do all this exclusively with one knife, a real hunter’s knife, whose steel is supposedly impossible to blunt. And if we add to this fantasies on the topic “knife as a weapon of last chance”, then as a result we will get a fancy-shaped cleaver, with a blade length of 20 centimeters and a thick butt.
But, unfortunately, the reality is more prosaic. At the first use of such a knife, it immediately becomes clear that because of its huge size, it is not convenient for them to carve, it is heavy and not agile, and if the shape of the blade is chosen incorrectly, then it is also inconvenient for them to chop. So it turns out to be a heavy useless thing, burdening the belt of a tired hunter in vain.
Mistake № 2 – Blade shape
It is not clear what this is connected with, but, as a rule, a large percentage of knives belonging to the category of hunting edged weapons (sold only by permission) has a very strange bizarre, absolutely non-functional geometry of the blade, but at the same time a catchy appearance. Perhaps some manufacturers are trying to attract the attention of their customers to the category of hunting weapons in this way, giving it a fancy shape, but at the same time completely forget about the most important criterion – functionality.
So it turns out that a person, trusting the manufacturer who created this knife model specifically for hunters, and being interested in the catchy look of the knife, actually gets a beautiful toy with zero potential for real hunting tasks.
Mistake № 3 – Scabbard
Few people pay attention to this not the most important detail when buying a knife, and even call the sheath a case. If there is nothing wrong with the wrong terminology, then with an unsuccessful sheath, you can get a lot of negative emotions from using a custom knife.
For example, if the attachment point of the suspension (the loop that is threaded into the belt) is not chosen correctly with respect to the center of mass, then because of this, the knife handle will constantly deviate to the side, and the knife itself will tend to the horizontal position. Or it is possible that there is no leather spacer at the seam of the sheath, which protects the threads from damage, and if the sheath is fastened with metal grommets, then one of them may stick out inside the mouth of the sheath, thereby constantly making the knife blunt.
The scabbard is an important and integral part of the knife. Therefore, when buying a knife, their choice should also be taken as seriously as possible.
Mistake № 4 – Steel
And this criterion is full of misconceptions. And, perhaps, the most common of them is that the steel on knives sold by hunting permit is somewhat superior to knife steels that are on free sale. Of course, this is absolutely not the case. Manufacturers simply do not make sense to deprive the main segment of buyers with good knives. Moreover, now the choice of steels is simply huge, and there is no shortage of them at all.
The second misconception is that a hunting knife made of good steel is capable of chopping bones, opening cans, and being subjected to other types of loads.
And this is not the case again. There is no steel that can chop and cut equally efficiently.
In simple terms, if steel is capable of cutting for a long time and aggressively, then it should not be given serious shock loads, since you can get huge chips on the blade. And if the steel has good mechanical properties, then you do not need to wait for the same long cut from it. Of course, there are steels with averaged characteristics that allow cutting for quite a long time, and at the same time it is tolerable to chop, but the balance is always shifted to one side.
Mistake № 5 – Handle material
The myth is firmly rooted that wooden or birch bark handles are better suited for a hunting knife, since they do not chill the hand in the cold, unlike modern synthetic materials. The thermal conductivity of the wood is approximately on the same level as the mica and the rubber. The choice of handle material is a matter of personal preference.