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How to Choose A Fixed Blade Knife

Written by Blade HQ Staff Writer Logan Rainey on 01/05/2021

Header - How to Choose A Fixed Blade Knife

Fixed blade knIves come in all shapes and sizes. Though they are more cumbersome to carry than many of their folding friends, fixed blades offer a great deal of utility, style and versatility. From camping to personal defense and pretty much anything in-between, there is bound to be a fixed blade knife for you. In this guide we break down some things to consider when choosing a fixed blade knife and how to go about making the best choice for your budget, interests and needs. Let’s get to it!

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Purpose/Use

Purpose/Use - How to Choose an OTF Knife

The first thing to determine when choosing any knife is what you intend to do with it. Fixed blade knives tend to have more practical uses than pocket knives given their construction and strength. If you plan on spending tons of time in the woods building forts and playing, a solid outdoors or bushcrafting knife will make things go smoother and help you have a great time.

If your line of work includes cutting seatbelts and the potential for a hand-to-hand situation, knives like a push daggers and karambits may be your best choices. However you slice it, it’s important to identify what you need a fixed blade knife for and look for one that works best for what you plan to use it for.


Materials and Construction

Materials - How to Choose a Fixed Blade Knife

After determining what you plan to use your knife for, the next important thing to consider is what the knife is made from. You should ask yourself questions like, “What blade steel does it have?”, “What is its handle made from?”, “Is the material of the sheath durable enough to stand up to what I plan to use the knife for?” These important parts of the knife will help to determine the durability of the knife and how it will perform during use.

Materials 2 - How to Choose a Fixed Blade Knife

Blade Shape and Edge

Blade Shape and Edge - How to Choose a Fixed Blade Knife

For any knife, the shape of the blade and the style of edge determine how well it will perform and withstand use. Choosing a fixed blade knife with a drop point blade and a partially serrated edge is great for camping and outdoors as it is versatile and offers the most utility for a variety of tasks, while a knife with a tanto blade and a plain edge is better suited for tactical use and may not work as well out in the wilderness. A plain edge will almost always slice better than a serrated edge, but a serrated edge tends to stay sharp longer. Keep in mind that you should choose the blade shape and edge based on what you plan to do with the knife.


Size and Weight

Size and Weight - How to Choose a Fixed Blade Knife

A knife’s size and weight can greatly influence how well it performs and what it can be used for. A small, lightweight knife, though easy to carry isn’t a great choice for taking on a full-blown bushcraft fort, but may be better suited for carving a camp spoon or working on other detailed tasks. A large knife will be great for building a campfire and hacking through material, but won’t always slice cleanly through rope, cardboard or other materials. Performance aside, it’s pretty obvious that big knives are more cumbersome to carry than small knives.


Price

Price - How to Choose a Fixed Blade Knife

The last thing to consider when choosing a fixed blade knife is how much you want to pay for one. Depending on how you plan to use your knife, how hard you are on your knives, and what your budget is, the kind of knife you can buy can vary greatly. For most people looking for a solid fixed blade knife for camping and outdoor use, you may not want to spend a ton of money but will want to pay enough that it will last over time. If you are looking for something for lighter tasks and everyday carry, it may be better to spend more money. We are happy to say there are some amazing fixed blade knives in every price range. Check out some of our favorites here.


Final Thoughts

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Choosing a Fixed Blade Knife may seem like a daunting task if you’re new to knives, but considering these things will help the process go much smoother. Whether you’re ready to add a new camping knife to your backpacking gear or need a knife for a little added security for your eventful job, there’s bound to be a fixed blade knife for you. Check out our full selection of fixed blade knives by clicking below.

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OTHER KNIFE GUIDES

Still in that information gathering phase? We've got a bunch more lists of all the Best Knives! Happy hunting and may you find that one special knife of your dreams!

*Customer reviews may be condensed for clarity and edited for grammatical errors. You know we have to make our high school English teacher proud. Check product listings for current pricing.