Folding knives are great and an essential part of your outdoor and backpacking gear. They are small and not dangerous when folded and stowed in your jacket, pants or backpack but they become very useful when you need to cut some rope, open a can of beans or in many other situations.
But due to the large number of available options these days, choosing one can be daunting especially if you are a knife gear beginner. In order to score a worthy purchase you have to be well informed with the basics thus here is a short and sweet guide about folding knives.
|Buck Knives 183 Alpha Crosslock Dual 2 Blade Folding Knife||Made in the USA|
Buck Forever Warranty,
3" Modified Spear Point
3" Cross-Cut saw Blades Closed length 4-5/8"
Weight 4 oz
|SOG Specialty Knives & Tools AE04-CP Aegis Folding Knife||Partially serrated edge|
Tanto shaped blade
3.5-inch AUS-8 steel blade
Overall length: 8.25-inches
Closed length: 4.75-inches
Weight: 3.1 oz
|Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife with Speed Safe||Trac-Tec inserts-Blade length: 3.4 in.|
Closed length: 4.5 in.
Overall length: 7.9 in.
Weight: 3.9 oz.
DLC coating-Handle: 6061-T6 anodized aluminum
Speed Safe assisted opening
|Buck Knives 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath||Made in the USA|
Forever Lifetime Warranty
3-3/4" Clip Blade made with 420HC Steel
Closed Length 4-7/8"
|Victorinox Swiss Army Camper II Folding Camping Knives||Made in Switzerland|
Popular 13 Function Swiss Army knife
And other handy tools
Toothpick and Tweezers
|Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp Pocket Knife||Made is Switzerland|
3.5-inch Swiss Army Knife with a set of 32 tools
Includes blades, can and bottle openers
Screwdrivers, bottle opener
Wire cutter, wood saw, magnifying glass
Fish scaler, hook disgorger, and more
|BlizeTec Survival Knife: Best 5-in-1 Tactical Pocket Folding Knife||Stainless steel survival knife|
Drop-point blade with serrated saw
Bright LED flashlight
Magnesium alloy fire starter
Window breaker, seatbelt cutter
Blade length: 3.5 in.
Closed length: 5.0 in.
Overall length: 8.5 in.
|Gerber Swagger Folding Knife [31-000594]||Partially serrated drop point blade|
G-10/Stainless Steel Handle provides a functional grip
Frame lock for function and safety
Blade Length: 3.25-Inch
Closed length: 4.3-Inch
Open length: 7.55-Inch
Weight: 4.4 oz.
|Boker Camp Knife Stag||4034 stainless steel blades|
2.5 inch blade
1.75 inch blade
Closed length: 3.5 in
Weight: 3.5 oz.
Limited lifetime warranty
|Columbia River Knife and Tool's M16-14SFG Special Forces Folding Knife||3.875-inch Tanto Blade|
Veff Serrated Blade
Handle Material: G10 with 2Cr13 Liner
Safety System: Auto LAWKS
Overall Length: 9.25 inch
Closed Length: 5.375 inch
Blade Length: 3.99 inch
Weight: 5.9 oz.
Folding Knife Parts
Also known as pocket knives, folding knives are practical, safer versions of the standard knife and should be among your standard hiking gear. Users can carry this knife in their pockets or backpacks since it has a smaller size and can be folded up for storage, hence saving ample space.
A knife is composed of a number of parts and the most familiar among those parts are its blade and handle. The handle is employed as a means for users to hold and operate the device and it might also include a tang, which is the segment of the blade that reaches the handle. Handles also have a bolster which is either made from brass or other kinds of metal and is employed to steady the knife at the handle’s front.
A folding knife links the blade to the handle by means of a pivot, which lets the blade fold up into the handle. The blade meanwhile has a number of crucial parts like the point, which is the knife’s end and is used to penetrate while the edge is the cutting/chopping surface of the device.
Many camping folding knives have extra features, like a serrated blade, a can opener or screwdrivers. These additions come in handy when you’re in the backcountry and you can’t carry separate gear.
Materials for Blade and Handle
The blade of a knife can be produced from a selection of materials. These materials feature their own benefits and setbacks. The most standard include titanium, steel and some manufacturers even use ceramics.
Carbon steel has a lot of advantages; it is ultra-sharp, is capable of holding its edge excellently and is easy to hone. However it can succumb to staining and corrosion. Stainless steel is not as sharp but is significantly rust-resistant. Blades made from high carbon steel material do not stain or get discolored and sustain its sharp edge.
Among all materials, steel blade is the most affordable.
Titanium is resistant to wear and tear and is a lot more flexible compared to steel. However it is not as sharp and hard as steel. Titanium alloy carbides allow the material to undergo heat treatment until it achieves enough solidity, and at the moment the titanium model is the most steep-priced among all blades.
Blades made from this material are composed of a fusion of several metals. In this case, a material like stainless steel can be added to another layer of metal to provide rust-resistance. And because it employs a number of metals, it can cost more than steel blades.
Blades made from this material are often rigid and lightweight. Users are advised to provide proper care to it so it will retain its sharp edge. But they can be fragile and might break or get damaged once the item is dropped on a stiff surface.
Ceramic blades cannot be repaired or honed thus if they acquire damage, they should be replaced or get rid of. They are not as costly as titanium blades but are priced higher than steel ones.
Handles for the folding knife are typically textured to provide better grip and handling and are also ergonomically designed.
Majority of wood handles are designed well and they give great grip and handling but can be prone to water damage.
While plastic handles are the quite cheap, they can be slippery so they are not advisable for use in locations with frequent bad weather conditions or areas near water.
Rubber handles provide great grip like wooden ones and has exceptional water-resistant properties but they lack sturdiness.
The most durable among the lot, but they can prove to be slippery like plastic and its cold feel might turn some people off.
Features of a Folding Knife
These are the features that are normally found on pocket knives.
The locking blade brings together a fixed-blade knife’s steadiness with the practicality of a folding type. The blade of this device can be folded down for storage and added protection and it locks into place once users open it to maintain the position of the blade while being used.
A number of pocket knives are drawn up to unlatch quickly by means of one hand. This feature has a folding mechanism and an indentation or stud to make pushing the knife open easier by way of the thumb.
Once users unlock a blade, an assisted-opening system kicks in and opens the knife completely. This kind of pocket knife include a safety lock that is capable of disengaging the system once the device is closed to hinder the blade from accidentally unlocking.
Many folding knives are just basic knives with one blade. But you can find several folding knives (camping folding knives) that are equipped with extra features. Many of them have an extra blade and most times this is a serrated blade. Other features you can expect are for instance screwdrivers, corkscrew, and bottle and can opener and other handy tools.
There are plenty of available blade types and here is a list of the most typical kinds that you will see for use out of doors.
The drop point features a dense point which is ideal for a selection of heavier chores and standard knife work. This shape has the spine of the blade dropping towards its tip to make a figure that minimizes accidental penetration.
It has a crescent-like drop on the blade’s top that produces a sharp, slim point. They are recommended mostly for piercing and provides users more control for intricate work but it does not offer the same strength as drop point blades.
The tanto point has an angular tip with a sturdy point that is ideal for wrenching and puncturing hard-wearing material.
Needle point/spear point
Both blade shapes have proportioned points and are double-edged. Recommended for piercing and tossing.
Both blade shapes have spines that tapers abruptly to the blade’s point and their edges are often straight beginning from handle to point as opposed to the more normal curved. They are recommended for food preparation.
Now you’ve read the full buying guide you should be able to make a good choice on which folding knife is the best for you to buy! Choose the one that you feel most comfortable with and don’t forget the possible extra features you might need while hiking in the backcountry! Once you’ve bought a good folding knife, make sure you treat it well. Store it away dry and sharpen the blade regularly so you’ll never have a blunt blade. Anyway, enjoy your next hike!