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6gun911 wrote: my off grid adventure will involve hunting for game so maybe we could get some ideas on this.
A good knife or knives is as important when hunting as is a good gun.
While you see a lot of flashy knives in hardware stores and definitely at flea markets and sports stores, most of these are not worth getting.
Urban police forces tend to take a dim view of people carrying long blades over 4″ around. Consequently the majority of stores display and sell only knives that are legal to carry in an urban environment. Or else so obviously meant only for ornamentation. Who the heck is going to walk around carrying a samurai sword set in ordinary life or when hunting? < grin>
When you are dressing down 1000+ pounds of moose a dinky 4″ blade only 1/16″ thick is a toy and will not do the job. You need several knife blades to accomplish all the needed tasks. First you need to cut the throat to bleed the carcass, You need a stout blade for skinning and the best shape is one that is shorter and stubbier than what was good for cutting a threat to bleed it. The hair on moose, elk or winter deer rapidly dull even sharp knives so the metal of a good knife must be able to take an edge and stay sharp as long as possible.
The so called stainless steel used in many modern knives is not so good for a working knife. It looks pretty and stays shiny but goes dull even when lying in a drawer. The best steels for taking and keeing an edge, are high carbon and will stain or even rust if not cared for. But so will a good gun.
If you plan on hunting and dressing your own kills,read up on what makes a good working knife. Be prepared to spend at least $100 and upwards for a half decent working tool that wiil last a long time.
Small thin and delicate blades have their place when dressing small game and fowl but at some point you need a substantial blade that is 1/4″ thick and about 8″ long plus handle. A Handle should be textured so it does not become slippery when wet with blood and gore. The joint between handle and blade should have a decent finger guard so your hand does not slip onto the blade portion when you are busy curring the carcass apart. Virtually none of the modern junk knives I see have this feature any more.
I became an amateur knifemaker as well as a collector because I was not impressed with what was currently on the market that I could afford. Jim Loveless makes a beautiful dropped point hunter but I can’t afford his products. And if I could I would be afraid of dropping such a work of art in the field.
There are dozens of good custom knife makers around (one even posted on this forum) but you will not see their products selling for $100 or less in competition with the cheap chinese crap flooding the market. To get decent quality knives be it a folder or sheath knife I make a point of combing the flea markets and garage sales. I am looking for older quality names of true artisans and craftsmen who really knew how to make a good knife. I would rather restore and refurbish an 50 year old knife than buy the junk currently being flogged.