Features To Look For In A Knife
Whether you just need a knife to help you open boxes that come in the mail, or your need a knife that you can use on your next trek into the wilderness and are looking to buy piranha knives, you want a knife that you can depend on. Unfortunately, not all knives are built to the same standard, and for those who are not familiar with the components that go into a knife, it can be hard to recognize a quality knife. In particular, you should pay attention to what the blade is made from, what kind of tang it has, and how it is assembled.
Crafting a quality steel is a complicated process. While adding carbon to steel can make it harder so that it holds a blade longer, carbon can also make steel brittle and prone to breaking. Thus, you want to look for a knife that has a nice balance between hardness and toughness. You also do not want to be fooled by decorative finishes. A blade finish that sets the blade off in rainbow colors may make the blade fun to look at, but it does nothing to improve the knife's performance. The performance of the blade should trump looks.
The term tang refers to the part of the knife that extends into the handle of the knife. Folding knives do not have a tang, but because the blade closes into the handle, it is protected, the knife is smaller, and you don't have to worry about your knife cutting objects in your bag while not in use. If you want a knife that is easy to carry, you should look for a folding knife. On the other hand, if you want a knife that will stand up to a lot of rough use, then you want a knife with a full tang—in other words, the steel should continue into the handle of the knife, so you don't have to worry about it breaking at the juncture between handle and blade.
The last thing you should consider is how the knife is put together. For example, if you have a handle that is merely glued to the blade, then putting any sort of pressure onto the handle could cause the two pieces to separate. Thus, you should look for a knife that uses rivets and/or screws to hold its various components together.
There is a lot more that goes into making a quality knife, but the three features described above should at the very least help you to choose a knife that you can depend on for year after year of opening boxes or for your next minimalist trek into the wild.