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Gear & Accessories Hunting

The Anatomy of a Perfect Hunting Knife

by Doug Howlett   |  November 13th, 2012 2

Besides a gun or bow, a knife is one of the most essential tools of the hunter’s trade. Without it, the game meat would never make it from field to table—and there are a host of other jobs around camp and in the woods that make a knife absolutely essential. But stroll into the sporting goods store to pick out your next blade and you’ll likely be dumbfounded because of an overabundance of choices. There are locking blades or fixed blades, straight or serrated edges and they come in all shapes and sizes.

There’s no right answer as to what the perfect knife is—it really depends on what you plan to use it for—but there are some basic considerations to keep in mind the next time you’re in the market for this vital outdoorsman’s tool.

To start, hunting knives are divided into three basic styles:

Fixed Blade Knives
As the name implies, a fixed blade knife is built as one piece, with the blade always open and exposed, and it is affixed to a sturdy handle. As such it is carried in a sheath to protect you from the blade when it’s not in use. A fixed blade is generally stronger since it’s a single piece with no moving parts to weaken the design. Benefits of the fixed blade, besides its strength, are that they are always open and ready for quick use. Negatives are they are larger and remain extended, which means they can take a little more space in a pack or can get caught up on brush.

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