Which knife should I buy?

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There are many lists dealing with what to look for in a knife, and how to use a knife. And you should read them. But I have a rule of thumb to help simplify things.


Knives are simple

Knives are pretty straightforward things – you can cut and stab with them. That’s about it.

Whether you choose to cut some string for a kid’s balloon, or an attackers arm, makes no difference to the knife.

So why do some people battle to choose a knife?


The problem with choosing a knife

Knife porn is the biggest obstacle to choosing a new knife. We’ve all been there, staring at our screens, scrolling through endless pictures of knives. We say we’re “trying to choose one”, but really, we’re looking at knife porn.

I may be projecting here, but I suspect a lot of us have had similar experiences.


So how do I simplify the search?

Once you’ve decided what you want out of your knife (to be honest, besides kerambits and those TDI things, most knives are going to work exactly the same), you’ve got to find one that meets all your needs. And considering that almost all knives function the same as Every. Other. Knife. (50 results per page, pages 1 – 99), there are a lot to choose from.

The rule of thumb I’d like to introduce you to is based on price.

Besides the obvious be-an-adult tip of “only buy what you can afford” (trust me, that one’s hard enough as it is), I want you to consider only buying a knife you can afford to get two of.


The most important reason

Oh so many reasons. The most important of which is emotional attachment. You can’t be attached to your knife. Sure you’ll grow fond of it over time, but you can’t be hesitant to use/abuse/damage the knife.

A man who has spent a year’s worth of savings to buy a knife is going to keep the knife on a pedestal. He’s going to oil it once a week and sit there looking at it, scared to handle it too much.

This cannot be you.

You will need to draw your knife a couple times a day. It might get fumbled and dropped. You might choose to strip some wires with it. Or cut up some meat before it goes on the fire.


“Other” reasons

Thinking slightly laterally, there may be a time when you might find that your life is better served by throwing away your knife. Or dropping it in a trash can as you walk past.


The most useful reason

And finally, the most useful reason to be able to afford two of the same knife is so that … you can buy two of them.

Having a second carry knife lets you use one, while keeping the other for EDC. Stabbing trees, cutting food, grinding off the edge to use with a partner. All good habits made possible by having a second EDC knife.

One to keep sharp and EDC. The other one to train with.



Honestly, just about anything.

If you don’t mind losing the ability to slash, then even a screwdriver can do the job of damaging an attacker. Don’t laugh off the idea, plenty a BG has been arrested carrying a screwdriver. Plenty of people have been stabbed with them too. Same thing with Stanley knives (box cutters).

Personally I don’t favour kerambits, but that’s because I don’t want to lose the ability to stab. Or should I say I don’t want to relearn how to stab simply because of a weirdly shaped blade.

If you haven’t done so at the beginning, read this.

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