We have spent a lot of time outdoors and at home testing and researching tactical knives to find the best qualities you need to keep an eye out for when choosing a tactical knife.
On the outset, if you do want a great performing tactical knife that delivers a top-of-the-line performance is the Schrade SCHF9, which offers a tough and reliable fixed blade, a light make and secure design at a reasonable price. Our second choice is the ESEE 4P fixed blade, which is much smaller and just as reliable. But if you are looking to shop around for a tactical knife, this article will show you what you need to look for.
Historically, knives usually had one specific purpose and that was to cause damage to a target, whether that be a prey animal or an opponent. Nowadays, the use of a knife is far different as it comes with a multitude of practical uses every day, some professions more than others.
The design and construction are primarily influenced by their utility and historical influence. But the basic design of a knife remains the same. It has a non-grip handle with some sort of hand guard than a blade that will either be single or double-edged depending on the age and geographical origin.
Given that these kinds of knives are useful for getting any kind of jobs done whether it be survival outdoors, as an EDC knife, or for just around the home, it is necessary that you will not only find a tactical knife that can work with basic needs but a knife that can meet whatever preferences you have. The process of finding the best one might be a crucial task for some, but having the following guides in choosing will help you to get the best one.
So let’s take a look at what you should keep in mind when looking for a great tactical knife.
Is it a fixed blade knife or folding knife?
Some tactical knives have a folding blade, making them easy to transport and small for pocket use. The other type is a fixed blade knife which would be kept in a sheath. Both types of knives are great and have their own pros and cons, but are each as good as the other.
Whether you choose between a folding knife or a fixed blade knife, it is necessary that the one that you will choose can fit in with your uses.
There are some strong tactical pocket knives out there but when you are in a hunting scenario, you tend to get the performance you need from a knife better if it was a fixed blade because they require less maintenance and their full body construction just cannot be matched against a folding blade. All regular and special forces have their own version of folding knives or fixed blade full tang tactical knives because you know that the performance will be there when you need it.
Tactical knives seem to be evolving into a single design. A tactical knife today has a wide variety of uses, such as self-defense, opening cans, breaking car glass, cutting flexible material and rations as well as capable of being used to dig small holes in the ground. While earlier military knives have a spear point and mostly double-edged, today’s tactical knives have a single edge and are partly serrated. The spine seldom is completely smooth and usually has a clip point edge.
Tactical knives usually have a high-carbon steel construction because it holds an edge and points better. This is very important since you will not have a lot of time to properly sharpen your blades in a combat situation if you are in a profession that requires that, and having a reliable point is a requirement for your knife.
Size of the tactical knife
Take note that choosing a large knife is not recommendable, contrary to what you see in different action movies. Most of the time, small blades can meet the expectations of users and even override those that other knives can provide. Military tactical knives are seldom more than 10 inches long with a blade consisting of at least half of the total length.
You don’t need a monster knife to get the job done, that is what most will tell you and that is quite true.
Keep in mind that when choosing a tactical knife, the handle is also important just like the blade. Take time to pick a knife that is designed with finger grooves and a textured pattern. It is also better that your knife will have a grip that can help you in holding the handle firmly. Though there are many kinds of materials that you can choose from, it is best that you choose one you are familiar with, or that has been peer reviewed.
The grip most tactical knives have is a non-slip design but how they achieve such purpose is where the difference remains. Some knives have finger grooves while others use various “grippy” materials. Either way, most of these knives will have a form of handguard to prevent the hand from slipping and for any liquid to drip to the handle.
Weight of the tactical knife
Aside from the size, you should also take care in choosing the weight of a tactical knife. The weights range from the type of material used with the blade. When you choose a heavier blade, you can expect it to last for a long time even in rough uses. On the other hand, choosing lighter blades are more recommended to be used for normal daily tasks.
No matter what weight you choose for what seems to be the ideal knife for you, it is still best that you pick the one suitable for your uses.
The perfect weight of a tactical knife must be balanced in a certain way that you can easily carry it wherever you go and can assist your easily with any tasks. A knife with a weight of 10 to 15 ounces is considered as an ideal one to be used and carried around. There are people who think that choosing heavy knives are way better than the light ones. But such knives could easily tire any user especially when stuck in the wilderness.
Observe the tang
For those of you who are wondering what the tang of a knife is, it is essentially the body, or ‘tongue’ of the blade that connects to the handle. There are a number of terms you will see when looking for a knife, such as full tang, half tang or even a rat-tail tang. Essentially, a full tang is much like a sword, it is one single body with no separation between the blade and the handle. A half tang will be mended into the handle, either with glue or heat. It is two separate parts.
It is recommended that you pick those with a tang that is extending to the handle or what is called as a full tang. Picking a knife with an extended or full tang can provide more sturdiness and more durability to the knife. Most military tactical knives have a fixed blade full tang construction to maximize strength.
Full tang construction is the one thing that most tactical knives have in common. Most tactical knives even have an extended tang design that allows their users to have a strong pummel at the bottom of the handle that can be used for a number of purposes. Take note that knives with shorter tangs are prone to breaking easily after an exhaustive work.
If you are planning to buy a knife that can work on your repair tasks anywhere you may go, then a multipurpose model is the suitable one for your choice. It is best that you consider checking the features of a particular tactical knife and what it can do for you.
Lastly, the sheath
A bad sheath will always make an unreliable knife. For a good tactical knife, it is necessary that you will pick a sheath that is rugged and covers the knife completely. Choose knives with sheaths that can cover it well to keep it secured every time you use it.
With these guidelines in mind, you can be sure that you will not make a wrong decision by picking only the best tactical knives that you will be adding to your collection.