- What is the intended purpose? You're not going to kill a wild boar with a butter knife. Quinn can, but you can't. The intended purpose determines appropriate shapes and features.
- What materials is it made of, and how is it crafted? Again, your intended purpose dictates an appropriate material. High quality craftsmanship yields high quality knives.
- Why does size matter? You definitely don't want to get caught with your pants down with an inappropriate blade, so to speak.
- Does it match my outfit? Seriously, some of y'all can really stand to step up your style game. Why sacrifice your look when you can be epic at the same cost?
Will you be exposing your blade to moisture? In that case, you want something that won't rust as easily.
Will you be chopping, or throwing? A steel that's too hard will chip; you want something with a little more flexion for these heavy-duty tasks.
Do you need to skin or scrape something? The best skinning knives are ones that don’t have points, because you’re much less likely to puncture or cut the hide.
Do you need a razor's edge? You either need to be able to sharpen the blade frequently, so you'd go with a softer steel, or you could get something double sided or with multiple cutting edges.
We could go as deep as you like into the many uses of a knife, and we'll give you as much as you can take in upcoming posts, but this is a good starting point for a topical discussion. The intended purpose determines the next consideration:
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D2 is a high grade tool steel alloy. It's very hard which makes it difficult to sharpen, but it does hold a sharp edge for a relatively long period of time. It's also resistant to rusting.
Too hard has its downsides, however. If it's too hard, it's more brittle and prone to chipping. Plus, if you’re using a flint to start a fire, D2 steel is too hard to get a spark.
When you’re using flint and steel to start a fire, what’s actually happening is that the stone is really sharp and hard, and striking the steel is causing the metal to combust. Just like when you’re burning leaves or wood, it’s the carbon that’s actually burning. You need something with high carbon content that is soft enough to get a spark with flint.
High carbon steels like 1080 are softer than D2, but they have more strength. There is more flexibility to the metal, so it can bear more weight. It's more malleable, which makes it more combustible. However, high carbon steels and damascus steels are more prone to rusting than D2.
Damascus comes from Japanese masters who bend and fold, bend and fold, bend and fold layers of steel over and over again in their legendary katanas. It's beautiful and strong, but again it's very prone to rust. You have to constantly keep it dry and oiled.
Smithing, forging, and tempering are vital to the quality of the blade.
You can start with a high quality steel, but if it is improperly crafted the entire knife is compromised.
So if you don’t know what you’re doing, if you’re not a master forger, you’re going to create an inferior blade to say a grounded kiln-tempered blade. Even though it’s not forged, in this case the kiln-temper is gonna be way better because it’s homogenous.
If you have any weaknesses in your blade at all, then the blade itself becomes almost worthless because that one weak point is going to compromise the whole thing. If you have an improper part of your blade within the useable part of your blade and you put it to the test, then your whole blade will be ruined--it’s gonna break. That's certainly not what you want if your life is on the line!
In Texas, it is unlawful to carry these blades in public:(A) knife with a blade over five and one-half inches;
(B) hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown;
(C) dagger, including but not limited to a dirk, stiletto, and poniard;
(D) bowie knife;
(E) sword; or