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10 Best Smith & Wesson Knives

Best Smith & Wesson Knives

This post was first published in 2020 and updated in 2022.

When you think of Smith & Wesson, high-quality knives might not be the first thing that comes to mind.

No, you probably think of great firearms… and Dirty Harry. But the truth is, Smith & Wesson also manufactures quality knives. They’re the type that appeals to law enforcement personnel and those interested in self-defense. These aren’t your average kitchen knives.

Smith & Wesson knives are versatile and rugged. They’re designed for the field, with sturdy blades that hold their cutting edges, and good grips for ease of use.

Over the years, Smith & Wesson has expanded its lineup of knives to include more than just search and rescue and first response knives. Still, those remain the bread and butter of the lineup.

So let’s cut to the chase. See which are the best Smith & Wesson knives.

Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops

We’re starting with one of the top-selling S&W knives at Knife Depot: the Smith & Wesson SWFR2S Extreme Ops.

This is a tactical folding knife that rivals any other rescue knife in this price range.

As a heavy-duty rescue knife, the SWFR2S feels great in the hands, thanks to its rubberized handle. Its partially serrated tanto blade is 3.3 inches long.

If you keep one knife in your car for emergency situations, this one should be it. It’s also available with engraving! It’s no wonder it was a Knife of the Week a few years ago.

Smith & Wesson 1st Response

The 1st Response is the companion knife of the first knife on this list. While it has a lot of the same features and blade length, it looks very different.

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6 Best Budget Spring Assisted Knives

From collectors to avid outdoorsmen (and women), day laborers or simply those who like having a versatile tool ready at hand, spring assisted blades have skyrocketed in popularity.

Also known as assisted-opening knives, these blades are revered for their fast and reliable deployment while reducing the risk of human error and injury.

Many of us have been there, with even the most well-practiced knife-wielder experiencing a misfire from time to time with manual flipper knives. The same cannot be said for spring assisted openers. Short of catastrophic mechanical failure (a rarity), these blades deploy with unparalleled reliability.

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Common Mistakes That Knife Collectors Make When Buying New Knives

Knife collecting is one of the most rewarding and addicting hobbies today. It can also be expensive! The record for a collectible knife goes to the Gem of the Orient at $2.1 million.

Most collectors don’t dream of spending that much, but knives can still run in the thousands of dollars. Knife collectors know what it’s like to see what looks like the perfect knife and buy it on the spot. Sadly, this often leads to buyer’s remorse as the knife doesn’t live up to its promise.

Are you looking to add some new or custom knives to your collection? Beware of these five common mistakes that have been the downfall of new and veteran collectors alike.

Knife Collectors’ Top 5 Mistakes

Whether you’ve just started your collection or have been working on it for years, there are a few pitfalls that any avid collector can fall into. But following this guide on collecting mistakes can steer you towards a collection that fits your purpose and your budget.

1. Buying in Haste, Repenting in Leisure

It happens to every knife collector at some point: love at first sight. You see a knife that you just know, in your gut, you can’t live without.

This is the time to take a very deep breath and talk yourself down off the ledge. Buying a knife in the heat of the moment is a perfect way to throw your money away.

Take a moment to think about the purpose of your collection and whether the knife fits. Are you collecting for investment? Without doing your due diligence it’s impossible to know that this knife will increase in value anytime soon.

Or maybe you know that you’re looking to add an Old Timer to your collection, but a newer style switchblade catches your eye. You may end up with a sub-standard knife and still need to fill that hole in your collection.

In most cases, the knife isn’t going anywhere just yet. Take your time to think twice about the knife. This will help you avoid a costly mistake.

Which brings us to the next downfall:

2. Neglecting Your Research

With all of the myriad information on the internet today, there is no excuse for buying a knife without knowing all about it first. This is a key rule in any kind of collecting. Knife collecting can be fun and rewarding, but buying a knife is an investment and must be done responsibly.

There are so many factors to consider when buying a knife. Ask yourself the important questions below before buying. Much of this information is easily accessible online.

First, look into the knife maker. Where have they worked before? Are their knives well-regarded?

Some knife makers have a large following due to their charismatic or storied past. However, that doesn’t mean that the knife is top quality. It still might not be the right knife for you.

Search online for the right pricing. Is the knife overpriced? If you’re shopping online, research whether there is a store or show where you can hold the knife before buying.

Finally, is this knife a good investment? Some knives may be trending but will fail to increase in value in the long run. It’s hard to say exactly what will happen, but doing your research ahead of time can help.

3. Ignoring the Face

You see a knife you love, but does it have a recognizable face? The face of a knife refers to the mark or branding on the blade. Every reputable knife maker has a distinctive mark that you will be able to recognize immediately.

If you don’t see a face, or it is not easily identifiable, the knife may be a knock-off. This kind of knife will not resell as well as an original. Save up your money for the real thing.

Any maker or collector worth his salt will tell you that the face is an integral part of the knife. It tells the story of the maker’s brand, while also signaling its worth to the buying public.  Know the face before you buy it!

4. Blowing Your Budget

Have you set a budget for your next knife purchase? Not doing so is one of the big mistakes collectors make. The other is not sticking to a set budget.

The budget will be different depending on the collector. Knives can range from tens of dollars to thousands of dollars. Every collector will not be able to spend that amount on a purchase.

Shopping without a set budget in place can lead you to a purchase you’ll regret. The high-ticket item might not fit in your collection, or it could prevent you from buying more knives in the timeframe you’d hoped.

Going above your budget is tempting, but I refer you back to mistake #1. Collecting is a long-term proposition, you’re in this for the end game of a beautiful and valuable collection. It’s not just about one knife!

Take a breath, save your money, and come back when you’ve got the budget for it. The challenge of setting a budget will make every purchase that much more meaningful.

5. Missing the Shows

If you’re not attending knife shows or conventions, you’re missing out. Shows are not just about buying your next knife.

At shows, you can connect with makers, sellers, and other collectors. Other knife enthusiasts are a great source of information and leads for where to buy your next knife.

Find the next trade show near you to start out, and who knows where you’ll go next? Remember to add show costs to your collecting budget!

Always Check With the Experts

While these mistakes can set back any collector, there is one rule you should always follow. Check with the experts for guidance on your next purchase.

We know knives and knife collectors. At Knife-Depot.com you can shop our store and also find handy buying guides for any kind of knife collector.

The Different Types of Kitchen Knives Currently Available for Purchase

Are you a kitchen wizard? Someone who wields a kitchen knife as if it were part of your hand?

Perhaps you’re more of an amateur—someone who aspires to culinary greatness, but still has a few things to learn.

Either way, you must be familiar with the different types of kitchen knives!

We think you’ll appreciate the array of kitchen knives and accessories we discuss in this article, so keep reading to learn more.

How Did Kitchen Knives Come to Be?

Like many things today, our modern kitchen knives have their origins in prehistoric times and have been refined ever since. Just as knives are now, prehistoric and ancient knives were at least as connected to fighting and warfare as they were to food preparation.

We find it surprising that some kitchen knives from earlier eras and cultures are making a comeback in the workshops of modern-day craftspeople. Knives made of wood and ceramic materials are some examples.

We’re here to discuss more traditional kitchen knives, though, so let’s move on.

Types of Kitchen Knives

Some categories of kitchen knives—for example, the paring knife of the chef’s knife—are present in nearly every well-furnished kitchen. However, there might be a few that are new to you as well.

Chefs’ Knives

Chefs’ knives are the kitchen workhorse. If you’re a serious cook, your chef knife (or knives) will be in the dish rack drying more than it’s in the knife block. This is a large, heavy knife that’s very versatile. It can cut meat, vegetables, and a lot more.

Bread Knives

Speaking of workhorse knives, bread knives are one of a few knives that you could find in anyone’s kitchen, whether cooks or non-cooks. Who doesn’t eat bread, after all? Everyone knows that truly delicious bread needs a sharp knife to cut it.

Paring Knives

Another workhorse knife (of a different sort, though) is the paring knife. This handy knife is used for small tasks like chopping herbs, slicing carrots or pepperoni, or even opening envelopes (be sure to wash the knife afterward, though).

Santoku Knives

These knives, which originated in Japan, are somewhat new to North America. They’ve certainly caught on, though! Santoku knives come in different styles and sizes and have uses that parallel those of Western knives.

However, the Santoku isn’t as tapered as most Western knives, and its blade has vertical indentations that help it move smoothly through some denser foods. Perhaps, too, we like it because of its distinctive look!

Steak Knives

Steak knives come in sets (usually of four or eight) and are popular gifts. Of course, these are excellent for cutting steak and other thick cuts of meat. We suspect a lot of people (like ourselves) use these for cutting apples and other everyday needs.

Boning Knives

This odd-looking and somewhat uncommon knife has a narrow blade that’s curved at the base. You use it to remove bones as well as butterflying cuts of meat. Boning knives are available in several different styles and sizes.

Fillet Knives

Fillet knives look a bit like boning knives but have even narrower blades. These blades are also flexible, making it much easier to work with fish than it would be otherwise. Like boning knives, these are unlikely to be found in every kitchen.

Cleavers and Butcher Knives

If knives are scary in general, a meat cleaver will scare the *#%$ out of you! This is one big, heavy monster of a knife that’s used by butchers or anyone with a lot of large pieces of meat (or an entire carcass) to cut.

The butcher knife is more benign and ordinary-looking and probably is more likely to appear in the everyday person’s kitchen.

Kitchen Shears

Kitchen shears are actually two knives working in sync. While you aren’t likely to cut your finger by touching one of the blades, the simple-machine mechanism of the shears allows them to cut through some of the toughest and most fibrous materials you use in the kitchen—from vegetable stocks to heavy twine,

Carving Knives and Forks

Carving knives and forks are the famous pairing that makes its appearance every year at the Thanksgiving table, or perhaps for a pork or beef roast for a different holiday.

The knife-fork combination is meant to anchor the uncut meat as well as place the slices on a platter.

All-Purpose or Utility Knives

You can never have enough all-purpose or utility knives in your kitchen—or utility room, workshop, garage, or anywhere you need a good knife with a solid handle. These come in lots of different shapes, sizes, and even colors.

Cheese Knives

Cheese knives are all over the map in terms of shape and design. This, no doubt, is because cheeses come in so many different shapes and textures, from soft brie to hard Parmesan.

We think the unusual designs also make them conversation pieces for dinner guests. There are other explanations out there, too, though.

Specialty or Exotic Knives

This last kitchen knife category is kind of a catch-all for any knives that don’t quite fit the other categories. An online search fora phrase such as “unusual-looking kitchen knives” should turn up some intriguing specimens for your enjoyment.

Not Exactly Kitchen Knives

We can’t end this article without mentioning both the array of knife sharpeners, holders, rolls, and racks. These are in addition to the many kitchen tools that aren’t knives per se but do have sharp blades.

Here, we’re referring to items like mincers, vegetable peelers, blenders, food processors, coffee or spice grinders, choppers, and an array of other utensils and appliances that owe their essential functions to the invention of the knife.

Functional Yet Objects of Beauty Nonetheless

Whether you’re a professional chef, a home chef or someone who dabbles in the kitchen, it isn’t hard to be fascinated by the many types of kitchen knives that are out there.

Don’t ever take your kitchen knives for granted. For one thing, they’re an investment—maybe collected one-by-one over decades or received as a gift all (or most) at the same time.

Your knives need regular cleaning and sharpening. If you do this conscientiously, they will last and serve you long enough for you to hand down to your grandchildren or grandnieces and nephews someday.

Still, you shouldn’t forget about our extensive collection of knives—kitchen knives and others. There’s always something you’ll want to add to your collection, and we probably have it available.

If you’d like to find out more about iconic knives you need to own, check out our blog post

The Complete History of the Katana: The Traditional Samurai Sword

Have you ever wondered about the history of the Katana? Have you wanted to know where it came from and who wielded it first?

If so, you’re in the right place! 

We have compiled a complete history of the infamous Katana blade so you can know everything about this legendary sword.

To find out the complete history of the Katana, keep reading below and learn what you came here to learn. 

What is the Katana Sword and Who Used it?

The Katana is a Japenese sword that is characterized by its curved, single-edged blade. It has a circular or squared guard and a long grip so it can be held by two hands.

This sword is usually known as a samurai sword since it was the blade samurais preferred to wield. With this said, it is easily the world’s most popular and most recognized sword. 

The word Katana refers to the family of swords to which it belongs. This sword family is known to have a blade length of more than 2 shaku or Japenese feet which is about 60 cm. 

The Kamakura Period – When the Katana is First Mentioned

The first mentioning of the Katana was during Japan’s Kamakura Period which was between 1185 to 1333. During this time the word was used to describe a long sword that had similar characteristics to the Tachi but without the nuances. 

The Katana differed from the Tachi because it had a longer and more curved blade. The biggest positive to the Katana, when compared to the Tachi, was that it had more strength and power than its sister.

When the Mongols Invade – the Need For a New Blade

Most historians believe that Japanese swordsmiths created the Katana due to providing a better need for weapons to use against the invaders. During the span of 1274 to 1281 the armies led by Kublai Khan wanted to conquer Japan, the samurais noticed that their Tachi blades would chip when they came in contact with the Mongol armor.

Due to this, the Japanese swordsmiths worked to engineer a blade that was sturdier than the Tachi. This led to the creation of the Katana.

The Birth of a Blade to Protect a Country

Through the Muromachi period (which spaned 1337 to 1573) the swordsmiths worked to perfect the Katana. They did so by using a different heat treatment to help create a flexible spine and a strong edge. 

This heat would also help to create higher carbon iron. After many trials, the end result would be a blade-like no other, and one that would rise above all others.

In the year 1400, the Japanese swordsmiths began adding a name to the blade, the name of “Katana.” It’s believed that this name was given in response to the change within Samuari culture. 

Until this moment in time samurai warriors had worn their blades with the cutting edge facing down towards the ground. The Katana was the first sword worn with the blade facing up. 

The Birth of the Modern Katana After Samauris Were Abolished 

During the Meiji period from 1868 to 1912, the samurai class was dissolved. This means that no one held the samurai title anymore and the benefits and privileges granted to them were taken away, this even included the benefit of carrying swords in the public eye.

At this point in time, the only people allowed to carry swords in public were former samurai lords, the military, and the police. This limitation made life hard for the swordsmiths and they had to resort to creating items such as farming equipment to make a living.

This slump wasn’t long-lived. During the Meiji period war between Japan and Russia invoked the production of swords again. Then during World War II, all officers were required to wear a sword, which meant business was booming yet again for the swordsmiths.

Since swords had to be crafted fast to meed the military demand, some corners were cut. The Katanas produced were not made out of Japanese steel, power hammers were used, quenching in oil instead of water.

This meant that the swords weren’t handmade and the quality was lower than that of the Katanas made in previous time periods. These cheaper and faster methods brought the birth of the modern Katana, which most Katanas made today are made with these steps unless otherwise stated. 

The Katana Blade Today

Fast forward to today and the Katana is still popular. Even though the production of the sword has slowed down, especially after World War II. After the war Japan agreed to stop the production of weapons, this included swords which led to fewer Katanas.

There is a Katana revival happening in today’s world. Now there are companies around the world, and even in Japan, that is producing the sword to keep up with the current demand. 

Now You Know the History of the Katana Sword

If you’re a Katana enthusiast or if you’re someone who is interested in the vast history of the blade you now have completed the crash course. We informed you of the Katana history through the different periods of Japan up to today.

You know that samurais were the first to wield the legendary Katana and why the Katana blade had to be created to help better defend themselves against the Mongols. 

You’re even aware of the history of the Katana after samurais’ lost their privileges and benefits. The slump in Katana production wasn’t long-lived and went back up during World War II. For more information on blades be sure to check out the rest of our website here

How to Master the Art of Butterfly Knife Tricks in a Few Easy Steps

Knives have been used as weapons and tools for thousands of years and are some of the oldest that human society has ever seen. Not all knives were created equal, though.

Originally known as the ‘Balisong,’ the butterfly knife is a Filipino tool that was originally designed for both self-defense and basic utility. Today, though, they’re a popular choice among collectors due to the number of tricks you can perform.

While these may seem impossible at first, they’re entirely doable with enough practice. 

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about butterfly knife tricks.

Before You Begin…

It’s likely that you’re going to fail tricks numerous times while learning them. Unfortunately, failing with a butterfly knife doesn’t always mean dropping the blade or performing the trick slowly/incorrectly.

It’s relatively easy (and common) for beginners to fold the blade onto their hand or finger. Depending on the sharpness of the blade, this could either be a minor knick or a trip to the emergency room.

So, consider taping the edges of your knife in order to dull the surface while you’re practicing. Alternatively, there are butterfly knives designed with safety in mind that you can use to practice with.

Once you’ve decided which safety precaution is right for you, you’re ready to move onto learning a few basic tricks.

Flip Opening

This is likely the first trick you’ll attempt to learn (as you should since it allows you to open the knife!) Although the end result of a flip opening is holding the knife stationary in your hand, the actual process is often mesmerizing for onlookers.

To begin, hold the closed knife in your dominant hand. Your grip should be loose, and your focus should be on the handle that the back of the blade points to.

Swing the knife open until the other handle touches the back of your hand. It should look like an arcing motion. Then, rotate the handle so that the blade is pointing the same direction as your thumb.

Complete the same motion again (which is similar to casting a fishing line in reverse). Afterward, ‘cast’ the knife forward and it should be fully open. Then, place your thumb around both handles to secure your grip.

This will likely seem confusing at first. But, you can practice each segment of the move in slow motion until you master the basics.

Flip Closing

As the name implies, this is the same concept as flipping the knife open (but in reverse).

Once you’ve mastered the open flip technique, you’ll have an understanding of how to perform this one. It’s important, though, to remember to keep your palms open wide enough to hold both handles when you flip it closed.

Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of injuring your fingers when you begin to perform the trick with a sharp-bladed butterfly knife.

Aerial

This will likely come as a big jump from a conventional flip open. The good news is, though, is that mastering a flip open/close will familiarize you with the mechanics of your knife. This will allow you to manipulate it at a more proficient level.

To begin, hold the opposite handle as you would for a flip open. This is the same handle that would let the blade cut you if it closed on you.

Point the knife straight outward so that the knife could open on its own if you let go due to gravity. This is where the move gets complicated.

Perform an upward motion with your wrist as you drop the second handle (the one that is currently holding the knife closed) and let go of the knife. the leverage and momentum of the swinging handle will cause the knife to rotate in midair.

After a full rotation, you can catch the knife in its open position.

Not only is this move far flashier than a flip open, but it’s also much quicker to perform. 

Pinwheel

This knife move is notorious for being portrayed in media. If you’ve ever seen a film where an antagonist brandishes a butterfly knife before combat, you’ve more than likely seen a pinwheel performed.

The backhand variant of the pinwheel, in particular, is rather intimidating, so it makes sense as to why they would write this action into a movie.

For the sake of simplicity, though, we’ll focus on the forehand pinwheel.

Hold the knife as you would if you were beginning to perform an aerial. Let the knife open on its own, but don’t let go.

With an upward flick of the wrist, use the momentum to swing the open handle over to the back of the handle you’re holding. As you do this, point your thumb and index finger outward so that the handles can touch freely.

Now, perform the same motion again. The thing to watch out for here, though, is that the sharp side of the blade will be flipping toward your hand. So, it’s imperative that you ensure your fingers aren’t in the way.

Over time, you’ll be able to perform this movement quickly and repeatedly (which is what makes it appear so intimidating).  

Learning Butterfly Knife Tricks Can Seem Intimidating

It may seem hard to get started and learn what you need to know for these tricks, but it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about butterfly knife tricks in mind, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the basics and moving on toward advanced techniques.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

The Complete History of the Shuriken: The Ninja Throwing Stars

When it comes to warriors, there are few that are as fearsome as the samurai. While most of the world still used primitive weapons and methods, the samurai were some of the most sophisticated and well-equipped warriors in the world.

They were completely dedicated to the art of war, spending their entire lives trying to master it. While most people remember samurais for their razor-sharp swords, there is another fearsome weapon in their arsenal that was just as deadly: the shuriken.

The shuriken, also known as the ninja throwing star, was one of the most effective weapons on the battlefield. However, its uses in combat might surprise you.

In this article, we’ll go over the history of the shuriken and how it was used by the samurai.

The History of the Shuriken

The Japanese word “Shuriken” is made of three Japanese characters; “shu” (hand), “ri” (release), and “ken” (blade). All together, shuriken roughly translates to “sword hidden in the hand”. This description accurately describes the basics of a shuriken: a blade that can be easily concealed but is not necessarily thrown.

A Bo-shuriken is a throwable weapon that is made of steel spikes, usually four-sided. This was one of the first designs of shuriken and was often made from common items like nails or carpentry equipment. The first documented use of these Bo-shuriken was at the Ganritsu Ryu school, which was active in the 17th century.

The Bo-shuriken had many different forms that mimicked other weapons. These include the kugi-gata, or nail for, and the hoko-gata, or spear form. These were typically thrown overhand, but could also be thrown sideways or rearward as well.

The most well-known shuriken is the hira-shuriken. These are flat, metal disks with four sharp points. While movies and shows show ninjas using the hira-shuriken, they were actually used by samurai.

Throwing weapons have been documented earlier in Japanese history before the arrival of the shuriken. However, throwing a sword wasn’t practical due to their high value. So the invention of the shuriken meant samurais could hang onto their swords and have another tool in battle.

Shuriken were thrown using two methods. The “direct hit” method in which the shuriken didn’t spin at all, and the “turn hit” method, which required it to spin.

The Shuriken: Uses in Combat

In movies and shows, shuriken are shown as being very dangerous and lethal. But the truth is that they were rarely used to kill enemy soldiers.

Because most shuriken don’t have long points, they aren’t capable of penetrating deep enough to cause mortal wounds. In direct combat, shuriken were used as a distraction, nuisance, or to weaken a target. Since they could only hit exposed skin or sensitive areas, shuriken were aimed at the feet, arms, face, eyes, and groin.

These throwing weapons gave samurais a distinct advantage in battle. They could quickly throw shuriken and temporarily incapacitate or weaken an enemy long enough to deliver a deadly blow.

Shuriken were usually thrown from a distance of about 30 feet or so. This allowed the samurai to engage a target at a distance while being able to close the distance to the target.

Shuriken were also used to distract or disorient enemies. If an enemy soldier was pursuing a samurai, the samurai would throw a shuriken at the attacker’s face. The shuriken would strike the enemy and disappear into the distance.

This would leave the attacker disoriented and confused as to who hit them. This would give the samurai enough time to escape or cause the attacker to retreat. Shuriken could also be used to cause the enemy to dodge or open themselves up to attack for a moment.

Shuriken were made of cheap or disposable material like scrap metal or broken tools. This is because they were meant to get thrown away and lost in the heat of battle.

The Shuriken: Other Uses

Most depictions of shuriken depict them getting thrown at enemies to kill them, but they also had other uses in battle.

Some samurai would cover their shuriken in potent poison. This way if it injured an enemy, it would eventually kill them.

They would poison shuriken with natural poisons that were available such as aconite. Samurai would also bury their shuriken in feces to cover it in dangerous bacteria. If it penetrated deeply enough into the enemy’s skin, it could cause an incurable tetanus infection and kill them.

One of the most common methods involved wrapping a pitch-soaked cloth around the shuriken and lighting it on fire. It was then thrown onto anything flammable, such as huts, wagons, or enemy tents. This could disorient the enemy and cause chaos amongst the ranks in large battles.

Another method involved wrapping the shuriken in poison-soaked cloth and throwing it toward the enemy. This would emit acrid, poisonous smoke, which disoriented and weakened the enemy. With multiple samurai using this method, it was very effective at weakening large numbers of troops.

Another popular method didn’t involve throwing at all. Many samurai would bury their shuriken in the field before battle. This way, enemy soldiers would step on them and become more susceptible to a deadly blow.

Other methods included using shuriken as a booby trap. Samurai would cover them in poison that could absorb through the skin and leave them to get found by the enemy. When the enemy picked them up, they would get poisoned.

Learn the Art of the Samurai

Now that you know more about the history of shuriken, you can start learning the art of the samurai for yourself. Make sure to research the proper throwing techniques and safety procedures when throwing shuriken.

The Complete Guide on How to Sharpen a Knife and Not Damage the Blade

Collecting knives is a hobby that millions of people participate in. When your knives see frequent use, though, they’ll begin to dull over time. This is true even for the average kitchen knife.

Eventually, the cutting edge of the blade won’t work like it used to, and you’ll need to sharpen it back to its former glory with a steel or stone knife sharpener. Interestingly enough, not every knife collector knows how to sharpen a knife.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about knife sharpening.

Why Do I Need to Sharpen My Knives?

If you use your knives on a regular basis, it only makes sense to keep them as sharp as possible whether they are straight edges like a chef’s knife or serrated knives. As you may expect, this will allow you to make sure they cut cleanly as they’re intended to.

A sharper knife will allow you to cut more precisely, which gives it far more utility over one that’s dulled over time. Interestingly enough, though, a shaper knife is actually safer than a blunt knife.

A dull knife can still cut, but it requires much more force to do so. A single slip or misstep could easily lead to injury with the amount of force behind the side of blade.

How Can I Tell If A Knife Needs to Be Sharpened?

Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to tell if your blade has become too dull and you need to sharpen your knife. You can test it through three simple methods:

  1. It can’t easily slice through a sheet of paper (the paper test)
  2. It can cleanly cut through a tomato and smashes it instead
  3. It can’t cut through the outer skin of an onion

If it fails any of these tests, it’s likely time for you to look into sharpening your knife’s blade.

How Can I Sharpen My Knife?

Although the process can seem intimidating to complete on your own, it’s a relatively simple process that doesn’t take too much preparation.

In general, there are three ways you can go about this process:

  1. Using a whetstone
  2. Using an electric sharpener
  3. Using a manual sharpener

Let’s explore each one in-depth in order to get a better understanding.

Sharpening With a Whetstone

Before you use a whetstone, you’ll need to figure out the ideal sharpening angle for your blade. You can check your manufacturer’s website for more details, as this may vary from knife to knife.

In general, though, you’ll likely need to sharpen at a 20-degree angle.

To begin, completely submerge the stone in water for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. This should be enough time for any air bubbles to disappear.

Then, place the stone on a flat surface with its coarse side facing the ceiling. Afterward, place the blade on the stone at the correct sharpening angle. Make sure, though, that the blade is facing away from you.

With one hand on the knife’s handle and your other hand on the flat surface of the knife, apply a small amount of pressure and slowly drag the knife across the stone. Be sure to maintain the angle of the blade.

Eventually, a small bit of metal will begin to form over the edge of the entire blade. At this point, repeat the sharpening process on the other side of the knife.

Afterward, flip the whetstone over and fully sharpen both sides again to complete the process.

Sharpening With a Manual Sharpener

Manual sharpeners have two slots you’ll need to focus on: coarse and fine.

Beginning with the coarse slot, slowly pull the entire knife through while exerting an even amount of pressure. Four to six pulls should be enough, but older/damaged blades may require more.

Afterward, pull two or three times through the fine slow in order to finish the process. To test if your blade is sharp enough, use one of the three aforementioned methods (the sheet of paper is often the most convenient).

Sharpening With an Electric Sharpener

This process is highly similar to manual sharpening, but the result is often better for those who are inexperienced.

As with a manual sharpener, you’ll want to pull the blade through the coarse slot four to six times. But, you’ll want to alternate sides with each pull.

Afterward, repeat the same process with the fine grit slot on the electric sharpener.

If the blade isn’t quite as sharp as you’d like, repeat the above steps for half as many pulls in order to finish up.

How Can I Sharpen a Serrated Knife?

It may seem complicated at first to sharpen a knife with so many edges, but the process is almost the same.

It’s not recommended to use a whetstone. But, a manual or electric sharpener are both viable options. Make sure, though, that you only use the ‘fine’ slot on either one to ensure the blade isn’t damaged.

How Often Should I Do It?

In general, you’ll likely only need to sharpen your knives every 6 to 12 months. With heavy use, though, you may find that your blades dull quicker than this.

To keep your knife as sharp as possible between full sharpenings, use the fine slot on a manual or electric sharpener after every use or two.

Understanding How to Sharpen a Knife Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about how to sharpen a knife in mind, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your blades in the best condition possible.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

The Best Karambit Knives You Can Get in 2021

There’s nothing cooler than a karambit knife. That sleek, raptor claw shape, the way you can flick them and spin them in your hand—that’s what makes karambits one of the most appealing knife styles on the market today.

Originally of Indonesian design, this intimidating-looking knife doesn’t have to be just for martial arts or self-defense. In fact, they are well known for being reliable multi-purpose tools that still retain the awesome aesthetic of a fighting weapon.

The problem is, there are so many out there that it’s hard to pick the very best one. Keep reading for our recommendations on the very best karambit knives out there right now—whether you’re looking to buy one for yourself or for a loved one.

What to Consider First

There are a few things to think about before going out and buying one of these knives.

First, it’s important to know that they come in both folder and fixed blade varieties. The folding knife folds into the handle like most other pocket knives, while the fixed blade is sturdier, with no moving parts, and requires a sheath or cover to carry it around in.

When choosing between the two, think about size. Folders are often smaller blades—though not always—and can always fold down into a more manageable carrying and concealing size. Size will also affect how the grip fits in the hand, something to consider especially if you’re buying for someone else.

While we’re talking about size, it’s also wise to consider the knife laws of wherever you’re planning on taking your karambit. One of the most common kinds of law regarding knives in many states is to place a limit on the length of the blade.

Laws limiting these knives are no doubt reactions to how cool karambits look, especially when you realize that there are even double edged karambits out there—though none of those made their way onto this list.

Best Karambits of the Folding Variety

1). Fox 479 Folding Karambit

Fox 479 Folding Karambit Knife
As far as folding karambits go, Fox knives are widely considered to be the gold standard.

Not as cheap as some of the others on this list, the Fox 479 is still well worth the price. This versatile tool comes with Emerson’s Wave opening flipper device that makes unfolding the blade quick and seamless.

This is likely the best kerambit out there for your money and is ideal for self-defense or as a durable general purpose utility cutter.

2). Cold Steel 22KF Tiger Claw

Cold Steel 22KF Tiger Claw Karambit

Made to resemble a real tiger claw, this beautiful karambit is simple and elegant in its design. That’s what you get when an engineer crafts a knife.

The thumb plate allows for easy, ambidextrous opening, and the minimalist look will appeal to anyone who wants the versatility of a karambit while downplaying the showiness that has come to characterize many of these knives.

3). Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops Urban Camo Karambit

Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops Urban Camo Karambit
If you happen to like a little flash to your knives, this cool karambit comes decked out in camo.

Any karambit made by Smith & Wesson is a reliable and cheap option, but few others are rated as highly as this one. For the price, it’s hard to find anything that will withstand more abuse than this little beauty.

Best Fixed Blade Karambits

1). Cold Steel Steel Tiger Karambit

This knife is legendary among karambits. Like the smaller Tiger Claw of the folding variety from the same brand, this beast’s shape takes inspiration from the claws of real tigers.

The finger ring will ensure that your grip never slips, and its size and durability might just make this the last karambit you’ll ever need—though not the last one you’ll want.

Perfect for hunting, fishing, or as a well-rounded tool, the Steel Tiger will shine in martial arts or self-defense and boasts a very reasonable price tag.

2). SOG Knives Fixed Blade Gambit

With a slightly shorter blade than the other fixed blade karambits, this simple knife is also the most affordable.

The SOG Gambit is truly reliable and does it all, from self-defense to general outdoor tasks. Its low cost makes it the perfect starter knife for anyone looking to get into fixed blade karambits.

3). Schrade SCH112 Shasta Mc’Nasty Full Tang Fixed Blade Karambit

This is an impressive looking weapon. And it does look like a weapon. The blade is huge and the curve on it is wicked.

While it’s still a useful tool in any context, this bad boy is likely to appeal more to those interested in the martial arts applications of karambits, or the self-defense ones (not that you’ll have to actually defend yourself after they see this monster of a knife).

Honorable Mention: White Deer Champion Karambit Knife Magnum

Karambits are already visually appealing knives. But if there’s one way to make an already beautiful piece of equipment even sexier it’s to make it with Damascus Steel.

With all the versatility and reliability of most other karambits, this one ups the wow factor—and at a decent price, too. Marvel at its curves and the distinct pattern of the metal every time you take this beauty out.

What’s Next?

Now that you know the options for some of the best karambits out there on the market there are a few things you can do.

Before you buy, always consider whether a fixed or folding blade is best for you. Think about the legality of owning and carrying karambits in your area, and what size will work best for what you intend to use your knife for.

If you’re still unsure how to approach finding the best karambit for you, you can always contact us for more information.

And if you’re buying for friends or family, consider personalizing the cool karambit you’re giving them with our engraving services to make it a little more special.

Why You Should Definitely Give Throwing an Axe a Shot

Are you in the market for a new hobby? Do you have any interest in getting more in touch with your ancestors? How about just finding a different way to relieve some stress after a long work week?

If you said “yes” to even one of the questions above, then you should give ax-throwing a try!

It’s an incredible way to get a good workout while also trying something new. Not to mention… you get to throw an axe!

If you still need more justification, here are several reasons why you should give ax-throwing a shot. These reasons will have you running to an ax-throwing range right away!

1. Stress Relief

Have you ever reached a point of frustration where you were so piping-hot that you felt like punching a pillow? While that’s certainly a great technique, it lacks a certain satisfaction.

Meanwhile, getting the chance to throw an ax at a piece of wood will give you the satisfaction that you’re hoping for.

Just simply envision yourself aiming the ax at the thing that’s currently frustrating you the most.

Not to mention, it’s a great way to turn that negative energy into a positive one. By having a bit of pent-up aggression beforehand, you can relieve your stress while also getting an amazing workout in the process.

Few other alternatives are a better way to release that anger in a way that is as mind-pleasing as ax-throwing. Not to mention, it’s badass!

2. Bond-Building Activity

Ax-throwing is as fun with other people as it is to do by yourself. Many people will find it interesting and will want to test it out with you, whether it’s your first time or not.

One ax-throwing session can lead to major bonding and hours filled with laughs, smiles, and cheering each other on.

There’s a competition to see who can aim closest to the bullseye, but it’s not so competitive where you might create more animosity than chemistry-building.

People love seeking out new ways to go out for a good time, and it can be a great location for all sorts of events. You might want to organize it for a date night, company event, networking event, family get-together, or even a birthday party.

No matter what group outing or occasion that you choose to organize it for, it’s sure to be an experience people will talk about for years to come.

3. It’s an Incredible Hobby

Have you been feeling a void in your life lately? Perhaps you’re tired of the same old routine on the weekends or after work each night.

Imagine the excitement that you could add to your workday knowing that you get to go home that night and throw an axe around!

After your first try, you’ll probably be hooked. This could lead to becoming heavily invested in the different types of throwing axes that you purchase for yourself.

In fact, you might find yourself building a nice collection of different cuts, brands, sizes, colors, shapes, and styles.

Better yet, your newfound hobby will be a conversation starter for any event the rest of your life. People will find it fascinating to learn more about how you go about it and what your regimen is.

If you’re the type of person that likes to find out of the box hobbies to do, then throwing an ax is one that will you’ll definitely want to add to your list.

4. Both Men and Women Find It Attractive

Ladies love a man’s man. Men love a kickass woman. No matter which gender you’re trying to attract, they both find it sexy when you throw an ax.

It can be a great way for you ladies out there to prove to your man and his buddies that you can be just another one of the guys.

It’s also a great way for the men reading this to show their lady how strong and savvy they are with their wilderness side.

If you have someone in your life that you’re really trying to impress, throwing an ax with them can open their eyes to how awesome and individualistic that you are!

5. It’s an Amazing Cardio Workout

Sick and tired of walking or running on the treadmill at an incline? Looking for another way to strengthen your abs other than doing ab crunches for sixteen hours straight?

Throwing an ax is one of the best workouts that you can do for your entire body. It especially uses your abs to provide support to the other muscles you’ll be using to haul an ax around.

If you’re tired of going through the same workout routine and want a different method for cardio, then axe throwing is a tremendous option.

6. It Lives Up to the Hype

Not many activities that have this much hype around them actually pan out the way that you imagine them to.

However, ax-throwing is exactly that. Chucking an axe is as fun as it sounds and you can drink while you do it.

Whether you’re going for a social event or by yourself to try out your new set of axes, you’ll have a blast doing it every single time.

Give Throwing an Axe a Try… You’ll Love It!

Now that you’ve seen the many benefits and reasons why you should try throwing an axe, it’s time to test it out.

Are you interested in bringing your own axe to your initial axe-throwing debut? If so, check out some of the best-sellers that you can get your hands on today.

For more inquiries, feel free to reach out via our contact us page and we’ll be happy to assist you further.

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