Knife Types Guide

Typically knives are divided between fixed blade and folding knives.  Within these two categories a number of other sub categories exist, each offering different capabilities. Check below to get a more detailed explanation of the different knife types.


Knife Types

Fixed-blade Knives: A solid piece of steel anchored to the handle. When you have to count on a blade for a tough job, like field dressing a deer or tough camping tasks, a fixed blade is the answer.
The blade is one piece of metal that runs the length of the knife. When the blade reaches the beginning of the handle, it can either taper into a rat-tail that is surrounded by the handle or not taper and continue as a tang that is covered on either side by handle "slabs."

Folding Knives: While not as durable as fixed blades, folding knives offer convenience and can be carried easily in your pocket.  Folding blade knives come in a variety of configurations, some of which lock into place. Locking folders give you some of the capability of a fixed blade knife while still allowing you to carry the knife in your pocket.

Butterfly Knives: A Philippine folding pocket knife with two handles counter-rotating around the tang such that, when closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. Also known as balisong or Batangas knives

Multi-Tools: Multi-tools are versatile instruments, that include an assortment of different tools within a single unit. Typically a multi-tool will include multiple blades as well as other tools.  There is no set number or kind of tool that must be included with a multi-tool, it tends to vary based on the unit. They typically fold and offer the wielder a portable pocket sized tool-bag.


Hunting Knives: Knives falling into this category would also include filet, skinning, and boning knives.  Typically these knives are used to prepare freshly killed game. When choosing a hunting knife you should always keep in mind what game you’re hunting, you aren’t going to field dress a deer with the same knife you clean a rabbit.

Tactical Knives: Tactical knives are not strictly fighting knives (though they are designed to be proficient in this regard).  They should be capable of performing most S.E.R.E. (Search-Escape-Rescue-Evasion) tasks.  Tactical knives need to be able to cut through tough materials like rope.  You want a tactical knife to be as strong as possible so full tang construction is preferable.

Kukri- The Traditional fighting and utility knife of the Nepalese Gurkha tribesman. It’s a knife that has a large blade with a deep forward curve.

Machete- a long wide bladed knife that is used to chop through brush. This tool (larger than most knives, smaller than a sword) depends more on weight than a razor edge for its cutting power.

Every-Day-Carry (EDC) Knives:  These are smaller knives (often pocket knives) that you would carry on you at work or when you go out.  Generally, they’re used to perform everyday tasks at work or home.  These knives need to be light enough to be carried for long periods of time.

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