American Survival Guide - - GEAR GUIDE -

What makes for a good bushcraft­ing knife? Talk about a di­vi­sive ques­tion!

For me, com­fort and func­tion have to be con­sid­ered when se­lect­ing a knife solely for bushcraft. “The sim­pler, the bet­ter” def­i­nitely ap­plies here. In my opin­ion, sharp car­bon steel and a com­fort­able han­dle are must-haves for a good bush knife.

Blade length varies be­tween 3½ and 4½ inches. The blade should have a point sharp enough to pen­e­trate deep into wood for drilling with min­i­mum ef­fort. Spear points and drop points are both quite pop­u­lar for this type of work. Blade thick­ness is usu­ally in the area of 3/32 to 5/32 inch. The spine of a car­bon-steel blade should have a 90-de­gree an­gle so it can be used as a striker for a firesteel.

Han­dles should be fairly sim­ple and free of any pre­de­ter­mined fin­ger notches to op­ti­mize the free­dom needed for the many dif­fer­ent grips and po­si­tions re­quired in ba­sic bushcraft­ing. A small guard, if any, is suf­fi­cient for a good bush knife. The grinds vary from Scan­di­na­vian, with one large sin­gle bevel, to a con­vex edge. While most Amer­i­can-made bushcraft knives fea­ture a flat grind with a con­vex or V-grind, as long as the edge is sharp and eas­ily main­tained, you will be off to a good start.

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