Utility Knives and Tools

Knives have been around since the Stone Age; today, there are kitchen knives for cooking and then there are knives used for outdoor adventures. Utility knives and tools are great for outdoor enthusiasts and are especially useful for camping, fishing, and hunting. There are a variety of different utility knives with a multitude of functions. The most recognized knives used by outdoor enthusiasts are the folding knife and pocket knife. Recently the multi-tool has become a popular device for outdoorsmen, allowing them to carry one tool while leaving heavy bulky tools at home.  Multi-purpose knives on the other hand combine the sleek design of a folding knife with the features of many multi-tools and pocket knives. !

How to Pick the Right Knife

Picking the right knife is a matter of preference as well as use. When choosing a knife consider how it will be used, is it being used for hunting and fishing, or for outdoor use? There are dramatic differences between knives used for cutting fishing line and rope and those used for filleting fish. You want a knife that will keep its strength and ability to be re-sharpened.  Hunting knives are typically used to dress game while fishing knives are used to clean and fillet a fish. Camping knives should be strong enough to cut through fishing line, rope, and trees but should still be light enough to be easily carried for long periods of time.

Criteria for Choosing a Knife

* '''Blade''' ** Length ** Shape ** Fixed Blade vs. Flexible Blade *** A Fixed blade is always ready to be used *** A Flexible blade may need two hands to open the lock on the knife. **** Slipjoint knives use a spring to remain open and with a small amount of pressure will close.Slipjoint knives **** Locking Knives came about during the 1900's as an added security feature to knives. Lockback knives require the user to release a lever on the handle of the knife in order for it to close. ** The blade should be made of steel. *** * '''Handle Composition''' -- Knife handles can be made from numerous different materials. Composite materials add durability to the knife and are easy to grip in extreme situations while wood handles give knives a classic look. You can also get a handle covered in leather or a plain metal handle. * '''Weight '''-- The lighter the knife, the easier it is to carry for longer periods of time.

Multi-Tools and Knives

The multi-tool was created in the 1980's by Leatherman as a pocket survival tool.  The goal was to incorporate a full pair of pliers into the functionality of a pocket knife; the result was a collapsible form of pliers with numerous tools and knife blades built into the sides.  Multi-tools should be versatile and easy to use. Today there are numerous manufacturers of these tools all of whom design them with a variety of different features. Depending on the sizes of the knife, you may not get all the featues you want; the number of tools is a tradeoff with compact size and low weight.

Common Features

* Bottle opener * Can opener * Corkscrew * Gut hook * Multiple blades * Pliers -- Standard and Needlenose * Ruler * Saw * Screwdrivers * Scissors * Tweezer * Wire cutters * Wire strippers

Top Manufacturers

* Coleman * Gerber * Kershaw * Leatherman * SOG * Swiss Army Knives ** Victorinox -- The Original Swiss Army Knife ** Wenger -- The Genuine Swiss Army Knife

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