HANDMADE BUSHCRAFT KNIVES, A COMPLETE GUIDE
HANDMADE BUSHCRAFT KNIVES, A COMPLETE GUIDE
Everybody gets a bushcraft knife for different reasons. Some people view knives as collectors’ items and admire the technique and craftsmanship that goes into the fabrication of a knife. But what’s a knife without utility? – A tool dating back millennia that’s been man’s constant companion for survival. Handmade bushcraft knives are arguably the most utilitarian of knives. They can handle an array of outdoor tasks, ranging from the delicacy of carving feather sticks to batoning.
PICK YOUR FIGHTER
Chances are, if you’ve decided you want to purchase a handmade bushcraft knife, you already know what you want it for. However, browsing stores can leave you overwhelmed with options and reeling with decisions to make. You don’t just want a knife – you want the perfect knife. An investment that’ll carry over with you for years to come.
The best thing to do before you start window shopping is to isolate the purposes you’re most likely to need your bushcraft knife for. Are you more of a hunter/skinner? Or maybe you don’t like to see your dinner still kicking and are likely to be found at the campsite kitchen. Maybe you’re a bit of a pyro and prefer to go out gathering wood to get that bonfire going. Or maybe you’re a solo adventurer who must do a little bit of everything for yourself. There’s a knife out there for everyone. Knowing specifically what uses you want your handmade knife tailored to can streamline your search for the best knife for you. List out your top priorities and what features go with them to help you eliminate all the fluff.
FEATURES TO CONSIDER
A simple but not always obvious consideration for a first-timer would be dexterity. If you happen to be left-handed, give some consideration to the handle and sheath design that might affect how your long-term experience using the knife would be. Removing a knife from its sheath with repeated use tends to become muscle memory and if it isn’t a natural movement suited to your style of dexterity, it’ll never feel natural to use.
Similarly, another classic mistake is to focus on the blade and ignore the handle. The handle is a pivotal point of consideration for the wielder. Design and construction can affect how long you can use the knife with a comfortable grip and without blistering at the end of a long session of carving. Thumb grips, bolster, and tang level are all matters of preference that can affect your ease with a knife. Different levels of tang construction attempt to balance weight with durability and rigidity. The tang of your knife will affect their portability but also their use, as heavy forces might cause some tangs to split from the knife. This is why we emphasize putting thought into the purposes for which you will be using your knives.
Of course, the blade itself has points of significance as well. The material can impact a knife’s properties to a large degree. Carbon steel is a common material used in blade fabrication. While it’s easily available and affordable, it comes with a high risk of corrosion and rust if not maintained frequently. They are, however, fairly easy to sharpen.
Another alternative is Damascus steel, known for its uniquely forged strength. Damascus steel is renowned for being harder and holding its edge longer compared to other steels. It also has a characteristic wavy pattern that adds a delicate beauty to a lethal blade. The uncommon strength and endurance of Damascus steel led to myths originating as to the source of the steel itself, and one of the legends held that Damascus steel was quenched in dragon blood. Of course, time and testing have revealed that it is not dragon blood, but the origin of the ore itself that lent Damascus steel its unique properties.
Now that we’ve covered the essentials to consider before taking the final leap, have a look through our curated selection of handmade Damascus steel bushcraft knives over at www.grizzlyblades.com. With a variety of handle and blade designs, sizes, and even one-of-a-kind handmade knives, you’re likely to find a knife that fits your bushcraft needs both stylistically, and functionally. We also have a wide selection ranging from pocketknives to axes all crafted with expertise in our signature Damascus steel.