In the past, every self-respecting street boy had a folding knife. With its help, it was possible to make a slingshot, sharpen a pencil, and cut branches on a campaign. Today, folding knives are no longer the attributes of boys, but of men who are fond of fishing, hunting, or traveling.
This tool combines the properties of both a kitchen tool and a weapon. Its main advantages are compactness and functionality. Let’s figure out what varieties are and how to choose the best blade.
TYPES OF FOLDING KNIVES
Depending on the purpose and design features, the following groups are distinguished:
- Construction. These are accessories to help in construction and repair work. Usually inexpensive with short service life, with a replaceable segmented blade. The fabric breaks off as it wears. The case can be inexpensive – made of plastic or metal. The cutting element is extended and retracted into the body with the help of a pressure wheel.
- Fishing. Characteristic features – anti-slip handle and a corrosion-resistant blade that does not rust when in contact with water. The blade shape is usually straight and narrow for easy cutting of fish.
- Hunting. Handle with a comfortable grip made of durable materials, with grooves for fingers and an anti-slip coating. The blade is medium in size, wide, and thick with a pointed tip. With this tool, it is convenient to both strike the carcass and chop small branches.
- Tourist. The most versatile model. With the help of a tourist folding knife, you can cook lunch on a hike, sharpen tent pegs, and chop dry branches for a fire. These are easy-to-use and reliable tools.
read more: Tactical Knives: Types and Uses
HOW A FOLDING KNIFE WORKS
The main design feature is the opening and closing mechanism. With it, the blade can be hidden in a special slot in the body. This ensures the compactness of the knife and protection against cuts because the blade in field conditions is convenient to carry in your pocket so that it is always at hand. A weak or poor-quality latch threatens to accidentally open the knife, which can lead to serious injury.
According to this criterion, the following types of folding knives are distinguished:
- With a manual mechanism. This is the oldest but at the same time the most reliable and safe method of closing/opening. With one hand, the tool is held, with the other, holding the center of the butt of the blade, they are pulled out of the body. Such a mechanism rarely breaks down and is the least susceptible to adverse factors (blockage, rust, etc.).
- Automatic. In this case, the blade is ejected automatically when the button is pressed. On the one hand, it is convenient, since it is convenient to open a folding knife with one hand and close it in the same way. On the other hand, the automatic mechanism has disadvantages. This design can break if debris or dirt gets in. For some models, the blade is not fixed in the body, it can be thrown out at the wrong time if the button is accidentally pressed, which is unsafe. Depending on the model, the blade can move forward or describe a semicircle when opened (an arc of 180 degrees).
- Semiautomatic. This is a kind of hybrid of other varieties. The blade usually opens automatically (at the push of a button), and the folding knife can only be closed by hand.
There are also several options for folding knife locks. We continue the review with a description of the most popular types:
- The liner lock is a spring-loaded opening mechanism. You need to pull the blade to the side with your fingers. In high-quality knives, the spring goes deep into the shank, which protects against accidental opening of the knife.
- Back Lock is a mechanism with a lever that allows you to fold the blade by pressing. With the help of a special hook, it is securely fixed in the case.
- Axis lock – pin lock in the form of a spindle. Differs in reliable protection against casual openings. Before starting work, you need to move the pin with both hands.
- Button lock – a button pin, when pressed, the blade is thrown out. Needs careful maintenance, otherwise, it may fail due to clogging.
- Ram Safe lock – a bolt lock that holds the blade shank. On the other hand, it is fixed with a rigid spring. It is required to open with two hands, but such a lock is the most durable.
- The friction folder is a classic retainer found on old straight razors and the Japanese Higonokami folding knife. The shank fits snugly to the handle and unfolds manually. The shank can also have a lever for easy finger opening.
HOW TO CHOOSE A FOLDING KNIFE
In addition to the design of the lock, when looking for a convenient tool, you should pay attention to such parameters as the weight and size of the blade. It should correspond to the tasks that will have to be performed most often. So, a mushroom or tourist knife is usually light and compact, a hunting knife is heavier and more massive.
The quality of the blade steel is also important. There are the following types:
- Stainless. The advantage is corrosion resistance. However, such steel may be too soft, dull quickly, and require constant straightening. Infield conditions, this is not always convenient.
- High carbon alloy must contain. Hardened hard steel with a high carbon content (at least 2%) keeps sharpening for a long time. The alloy must contain corrosion resistance additives.
- Damascus (multilayer). Combines multiple layers of stainless and high carbon steel. The result is a blade that has the advantages of stainless steel but is hard and long-lasting.
- Powder. Slav with a crystalline structure is obtained from powdered steel. The blade is durable and reliable.
Which steel is best for folding knives depends on the tasks you plan to do. Knives made of Damascus and powdered steel are considered the most durable, but they are also more expensive than other products.
For many consumers, the design of the product is important when choosing. Models with handles made of composite materials, as well as with decorative inserts and decorations, give the instrument brutality and a stylish appearance. A high-quality and stylish folding knife can be an excellent gift option, an indicator of the respectability of a modern man.