If you are looking for a survival knife, you have probably come across some of them labeled as fixed-blade and folding knives. Survival knives usually fall between these two. This may make it harder to pick the best knife for survival if you are unsure of what each term means. This comprehensive guide will help you better understand these two types.
As the name suggests, a folding knife is a knife that can fold either partially or completely into the handle. Folding knives are some of the most popular everyday carry knives because they are light and easy to hide and carry.
A folding knife may come with one blade or several. When it is a single blade, the knife tends to be larger. A folding knife with one blade usually has a locking mechanism to help keep it in place.
Some knives also come with many blades, each with a different function. A folding knife with many blades, though useful, will not last as long as one with a single blade.
Folding knives such as the swiss army knife have other tools like a can opener, nail cutter, tweezers, corkscrew, or scissors. Such a knife can be ideal when camping or hiking, but even then, its uses may be limited because they are not as strong. However, they are bulkier and, like multi-blades, do not last long
● Lock back folding knife. This mechanism allows the blade to lock and unlock. The spring movement is hidden in the blade. You can use either one hand or both to lock the blade. The tang holds the blade in place when it is open
● Liner lock folding knife. A knife with a liner lock can be opened and closed with one hand. Some can be used by either the right or left hand. Such a knife is, therefore, ideal for activities that require one hand.
Slip joint. Knives with this mechanism are held together using a slip joint. They have a back spring that keeps it open.
Types of knives
● Stockman knife. This knife comes with a spey, clip point, and sheepsfoot.
● Camper knife. This refers to knives such as the swiss army knife mentioned above. Such knives also have a lock mechanism.
● Pen knife. The pen knife was designed to give a quill a point. It comes with a blade and a pen blade.
● Canoe knife. This knife is called a canoe knife because it has two blades coming out of each side of the handle, making it look like a blade.
● Switchblade. A switchblade is a knife that opens automatically when a switch or button is pressed.
● Peasant knife. This is one of the first folding knives. It does not have a lock mechanism in place, and the blade and the tang are held together, making it easy for the blade to fall out of place.
● Peanut knife. As the name suggests, this knife is quite small. It has two blades, usually with a clip and joint blade.
● Trapper knife. The trapper knife is favored by hunters. It has two blades that can be used to skin an animal.
● Congress knife. The congress knife looks similar to the canoe knife but has four blades coming out of each side.
● Barlow joint knife. This English knife was designed by a man called Barlow. It has a clip-point blade and a pen knife.
A fixed blade is a knife that has only one blade that does not fold. Because they do not fold and are stronger, they are ideal for a variety of difficult outdoor activities. Fixed blades with a full tang are usually the strongest because the tang extends to the handle. They are the go-to knives for hunting and survivalists.
Fixed blades are not as easy to carry around. They tend to be larger and require a sheath to carry them safely. This makes them unnecessary for everyday tasks. Nevertheless, fixed blades are easier to use.
Classification of Fixed Knives
● Bowie knife. This knife is larger than most knives and has a blade that is commonly 9 inches, though some are as small as 6 inches.
● Tactical knife. Also known as a combat knife, the tactical knife is used for fighting. Though designed for combat, most tactical knives can be used for other activities.
● Boot knife. The boot knife is an everyday carry knife. It is carried in the lower part of the leg and strapped using a sheath with a strap or cord. Most range between 3 and 5 inches. You may need authorization to carry a boot knife around.
● Neck knife. A neck knife is also a small knife (smaller than a boot knife) usually carried around the neck.
● Hunting knife. A hunting knife is specifically designed for hunting and preparing games.
● Bushcraft knife. Also known as survival knives, they are designed for various wilderness activities.
● Diving knife. This is a knife carried by divers when in water to protect themselves from predators or free themselves when tangled.
For everyday use, a folding knife will perform most tasks. For camping and other outdoor activities, a fixed blade is stronger, making it ideal for such tasks. They are also easier to clean and last longer. Before moving with a knife, make sure you know what knives you can carry where.