Friday, October 21, 2016

How Many Knives Should You Have?

Image result for knife collection

Image result for ulu knife

  One of the most vital survival tools you can own is a knife. Really you should probably have more than one because knives when made are usually geared toward doing one or two functions well. Could you use one knife to perform a lot of different functions? Sure you can, but some tasks will be more difficult to perform well or take you much longer. One of my favorite knives is the ULU.

  The Ulu is traditionally used by the Inuit and is typically used in preparing food such as cleaning animals, cutting hair, cutting food as well as cutting blocks of Ice and snow. They range ins sizes from about 2 inch to up to 12 inch with a 4 - 6 inch blade being the most common and versatile. The design of the Ulu helps keep the pressure centered over the handle. Early versions featured a slate blade due to the lack of smelting technology. Early Ulu's date back to about 2500 BCE and would be passed down from generation to generation. Versions of this knife are found in Greenland, Italy, Alaska and Canada. If you don't have one, you might consider putting one of these in your collection. They are a very handy blade to have.

  Blade Shapes and uses

  There are 8 main blade shapes and they have their specific or intended purpose. 

  • Clip Point
  • Drop Point
  • Tanto
  • Sheepsfoot
  • Dagger
  • Spearpoint
  • Trailing Point
  • Gut Hook
  For processing game, the Gut Hook and Trailing point are best. The small sharpened semi-circle can be inserted into the belly of the animal and pulled like a zipper to open up the animal without cutting into the meat. The Trailing point is good for skinning.Image result for gut knifeImage result for trailing point knife

Image result for clip point knife  The Clip Point blade is good for piercing  but the tip is weaker than the Drop Point which is better for skinning due to a more controllable design that protects against accidentally nicking internal organs. Both Blade designs have a good belly for slicing.Image result for clip point knife design

  The Tanto has a sharp point that is stronger for piercing harder materials than the Clip or Drop points. The down side is there is no belly for slicing.Image result for tanto knife design

  The Dagger and Spearpoint are more for stabbing or throwing. Extremely sharp points and their purpose is obvious.

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  The Sheepsfoot is primarily used by chefs for slicing and cutting. The blade really doesn't have a point but can be held by the back of the blade for more control.   
Image result for sheepsfoot knife design

  Best steel for a knife?

  There are many different types of steel recipes for knives. They have there advantages and disadvantages. Depending on whether you want a knife that's easier to sharpen, or hold an edge longer. Should the knife design have a little flex or be hard. It all depends on what you are using it for and is a discussion for another day.


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