The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

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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. 

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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

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The 7 Best Automatic Knives Available on the Market in 2020

Do you find it hard to find the right blade for you? When it comes to finding the best automatic knives for your toolkit, you may be greeted with hundreds of options that make choosing the right one difficult.

We are here to make your process easier by telling you what the best automatic knives on the market are. To see what knives made our list keeps reading below. 

1. Buck – 110 Auto Knife

The Buck 110 Auto Knife will engage with a simple push of a button. Buck’s blades date back to 1963 and have since become a leading name in the knife industry. All Buck blades are great for outdoorsmen and those looking for a sturdy knife. 

The 110 has a 420HC blade that is ready pretty quickly and efficiently. This blade features brass bolsters and the classic Macassar Ebony Dymondwood handles that the non-automatic 110 has. 

2. Kershaw Knives Auto – Tex Knife Sharpener

The Tex Knife Sharpener is made of 600-grit diamond-impregnated steel and has a blade length of 3-1/8 inches. To engage this blade all you have to do is push the button and instantly the sharpening steel will respond. 

In an instant, you can have the tools to sharpen any knife which makes this great for hunters that may need to sharpen their blade in the woods. This sharpener is inspired by the quick action of a switchblade so it will be ready right away and then can be easily retracted by pulling the button.

The handle is glass-filled and has a soft-touch for a secure and steady grip. This is a great tool to have on you at all times and will be ready for any of your blades that need some TLC. 

3. Gerber – DMF Modified Clip Point Auto Knife

The Gerber DMF Modified Clip Point Auto Knife is a great knife for those that are ambidextrous because it can fit comfortably in either hand. The DMF stands for Dual Multi-Function and it lives up to its name when it comes to deploying the knife in your weak hand while wearing gloves.

It has a fully automatic S30V blade that has amazing edge retention and corrosion resistance. The handle is a G10 handle and will provide you with lightweight and strength. 

This blade is fully automatic and comes with a large lanyard hole for cord or webbing. The blade length is 3.5 inches and when it’s closed the knife measures at 4.45 inches. 

4. Kershaw Launch 8 – Stiletto Auto Knife – Model 7150

The Stiletto Auto Knife was inspired by the look of classic Italian stilettos. This particular design brings this classic look at the present and modernizes it for a new age.

You will find that this blade has symmetrical lines of a stiletto but in a push-button automatic knife. This blade is only 2.4 ounces meaning it’s very lightweight and easy to carry. 

The modern look to this knife isn’t the only new age thing about it, it’s even made out of some modern material. Carbon fiber and aluminum come together to create this beauty to help make it lightweight and also to appear to collectors. 

When looking at the blade you’ll notice that it is CPM 154 with a stonewashed finish. This steel has a more uniform distribution of carbides which means it will take and hold a superior edge. This blade offers good corrosion and wear resistance meaning it’s a pretty tough knife. 

5. S.A.H. – Safety Auto Hook Knife

The Saftey Auto Hook knife or S.A.H. is a blade that enhances the benefits of Gerber knife technology. This blade has the addition of a DZUS fastener and flat driver. It also includes a safety auto hook.

This particular model is great for any warfighter because they can slash away riggings and harnesses with just the push of a button. Troops can also take benefit in the safety auto hook to help exit downed aircraft and damaged cars. During any emergency situation the safety auto hook will help to save your life and is good to even keep in the family car.

The blade length on his knife is 3.6 inches. When the blade is away, the knife measures in at 5.1 inches. It’s made in the USA and has a G 10 stainless steel handle. 

6. Spring Assist – Legal Auto Knife – Winged Skull Fighter Green

If you like a knife that makes a statement then look no further than the Winged Skull Fighter Green. The handle is a bright green that shows a skull, definitely catching eyes of collectors and non-collectors alike.

This kife has a fast action spring assist that will give you a tactical advantage. It has a sharpened 440 stainless steel blade with a black finish. When opened this model measures at 8 1/4 inches. When closed it is 5 inches. 

7. Remington Escape Black Sheepfoot & Auto Seat Belt

The Remington Premier Rescue Escape knives are created and crafted by master Italian knife makes. Each design is unique and functional.

This blade is made for the most demanding situations and is very dependable. This is a great tool for civilian rescue and professional uses. They have a Teflon coating and a 3-inch push button. The blade length is 3 1/2 inches and comes with a seat belt and web cutter. 

Now You Know About the Best Automatic Knives

We have given you a detailed look at some of the best automatic knives on the market. From ones that look beautiful to ones that can save your life, you’re sure to find the best knife for your toolkit. For more information on knives be sure to check out the rest of our website

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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

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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.

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Our Lineup of the Best Smith and Wesson Knives You Can Get in 2020

When you think of Smith and 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 and Wesson also manufactures quality knives. They’re of the type that appeal to hunters and those interested in self-defense—these aren’t your average kitchen knives. 

Smith and 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. 

If you’re out in the wilderness, where a quality knife can mean the difference between life and death, then these are the blades for you. 

So let’s cut to the chase. Here’s our Smith and Wesson knife review for 2020.  

1. 10” Extreme Ops Tanto Pocket Knife

This is a great tactical folding knife, with the best features and quality for its price point. 

As the name suggests, it includes a 10-inch folding blade and weighs in at a very reasonable 8.8 ounces. The blade is stainless steel and it comes with aluminum handles and a pocket clip. 

Another nice touch is that this blade comes with an ambidextrous thumb knob. This is great for southpaws, or ease of access to the knife in general. 

2. HRT Boot Knife

This is a fine, attractively priced fixed blade. The stainless steel, high-carbon blade is 4.7 inches long, and the knife overall is 9 inches in length. On top of that, it only weighs 7.7 ounces. 

This knife comes with a dual-edged blade, along with a handguard to protect your fingers. A dual-edged knife also has the advantage of allowing you to use either hand for cutting. But it also makes it easier to hurt yourself—so be careful using it. 

The knife comes with a sheath for your boot or your belt, which gives you quick access. 

3. 10.5” Fixed Blade Knife

This is another fixed blade knife. The overall length is 10.5 inches, with the blade about 6 inches long. It also has a handguard, which is a must for these types of knives. 

The knife only weighs 7.4 ounces, making it lightweight and versatile for its size. 

4. M&P Linerlock Knife With M.A.G.I.C. Assist

This is a perfect, lightweight tactical knife. It only weighs about 7.6 ounces and features a 3.6-inch blade for a total knife length of 8.6 inches. 

Another great feature is its M.A.G.I.C. assisted opening. Rather than having to open the knife manually, you just press the button and out pops the blade. This makes it one of the better Smith and Wesson folding knives. 

And yes, there’s a lock so it won’t accidentally spring open when you least want it to. 

5. 8” First Response Drop-Point Serrated Pocket Knife

This is a fantastic blade. 

At only 5.8 ounces, it’s very light in the hand. The knife is 8 inches long overall, with a 3.3-inch blade. Unlike the other knives we’ve featured so far, it has a typical, shiny stainless steel look to it. 

Also, it comes with some added functionality: a strap-cutter and a glass break at the end of the handle. 

6. 7.1” Extreme Ops 

This is a good-looking knife. It features a black oxide stainless steel blade, conferring both sharpness and rust-resistance. 

For a Smith and Wesson knife, it’s also incredibly compact and lightweight. It extends to 7.1 inches when unfolded, and only weighs about 3.5 ounces. It folds up nicely to fit in your pocket, or you can clip it to your belt. 

7. Outback Kukri Machete

Okay, this one is a little different from the blades we’ve examined so far. 

It’s based on the kukri, the distinctive blade of the Nepalese and Indian Gurkhas, and features a 12-inch stainless steel blade designed to stand up to all the rigors of brush-cutting. The curved blade is perfect for chopping through thick vegetation, and the rubber handle is maximized for comfort. 

There’s also a nylon sheath included, so you can stow your machete when not in use. 

8. Six-Piece 8” Throwing Set

Now we’re getting into something a little more specialized. If knife-throwing is your thing, then these throwing knives are just the ticket. 

All six knives are 8 inches long, and they each weigh 4.7 ounces. But there’s more to it than that. 

When it comes to throwing knives, it’s all about the balance. No amount of skill can overcome a poorly balanced knife. All six of these blades are well balanced to ensure accuracy. 

Now all you have to do is learn how to throw them. 

9. 9” Tanto Fixed Blade Boot Knife

Here’s another fixed blade boot knife. It’s a 9-inch knife overall, with a 4.7-inch blade made of 400 series stainless steel. 

It’s fairly lightweight at 7.2 ounces, and it has the perfect shape and fit for inserting into a work boot. 

10. 3.75” Karambit

The karambit-type knife is a versatile little blade that’s always a favorite with the hunting set. Its shape enables precision cutting for skinning and defleshing, which is always a plus. 

But the karambit also doubles as a great multipurpose knife. It’s perfect for self-defense and just about any other use a knife might have. 

This particular karambit is manufactured of top-quality, high-carbon stainless steel, making it ideal for outdoor activities. 

The Best Smith and Wesson Knives of 2020

Look, it’s a well-known fact that you can never have too many knives. And when it comes to high-quality Smith and Wesson knives, the choices are endless. 

Whether you’re looking for tactical knives, hunting knives, throwing knives, or a kukri machete, Smith and Wesson has pretty much got it all. Whichever knife you’re looking for, the Knife Depot has you covered. 

So if you’re in the market for a Smith and Wesson blade, check out our inventory to find what you’re looking for.  

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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. 

If you have any questions about shuriken or which shuriken might be right for you, please contact us at 1-800-248-1987. 

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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 blade won’t cut like it used to, and you’ll need to sharpen it back to its former glory. 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.

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. 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 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. You can test it through three simple methods:

  1. It can’t easily slice through a sheet of paper
  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.

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The Best Karambit Knives You Can Get Yourself or a Loved One in 2020

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. (There are other laws about knives, too; check them out here if you’re unsure). 

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

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

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

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.

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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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The Main Differences Between a Knife and a Dagger You Must Know About

Bladed tools have been used all throughout history, and range from weapons to something you’d find in your average household.

The terms ‘knife’ and ‘dagger’ are often used interchangeably. But, there’s a handful of differences between the two that not everyone is aware of.

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 a knife and a dagger.

The Two By Definition

As previously mentioned, many people tend to think of a knife and a dagger as the same object. But, given the unique characteristics of each, there’s a clear difference between the two:

  • A knife is seen more as a tool (such as for cooking, cutting rope, etc.)
  • A dagger is designed with self-defense or combat in mind and has more tactical uses

Let’s explore the main differences between each and how they affect the object’s overall utility.

The Overall Design

Both knives and daggers have their specific uses, but they aren’t always obvious. In fact, it can be difficult for someone inexperienced to tell what either one is supposed to be used for other than cutting.

Luckily, all it takes is a closer look to find out for yourself.

Knives

Although similar in shape (and sometimes size) to a dagger, knives are manufactured to be far safer to use. These design specifications are what makes something like a butterknife a relatively harmless household utensil.

The first difference you’ll notice is that only one side of the knife is sharp. The other side is often blunt and is safe to touch with your bare hands (and you might even need to do so for better leverage while cutting).

Knives are also thicker than daggers, which can sometimes make it difficult to make smaller cuts.

Daggers

Daggers, on the other hand, are specifically manufactured for combat. Both edges of the blade are sharp, and the metal is relatively thin, which allows the user to thrust accurately toward the intended target.

The grip of a dagger is also designed to be held firmly in either hand with relative ease. In a combat scenario, dropping your weapon is often something that leads to dire consequences.

Lastly, you’ll notice that daggers are lighter than knives, making them easier to conceal and brandish.

In pre-firearm eras, daggers were also used as the weapon of choice for political assassinations, as was evident during the assassination of Julias Caesar.

The Variations

Both types of blades have a handful of variations to suit a wide range of users. This is often where many people begin to confuse the two, as certain types of knives may initially look like daggers and vice versa.

Regardless of the type, though, both often retain their core attributes.

Knives

There are hunting knives, cooking knives, general utility knives, etc. If you can name a task, there’s most likely a knife made for it.

Interestingly, the size and shape of a knife can vary greatly from one to another even if they’re used in the same setting. A bread knife, for example, is long and serrated. A butterknife is much smaller, blunt, and smooth.

Depending on the style, you’ll often find that knives have a sharp edge and a blunt edge. Part of all of the typically-blunt edge, though, could be serrated in some circumstances. Fishing knives and hunting knives are common examples.

Daggers

Like knives, daggers come in a range of shapes and sizes. The weight, shape, length, and appearance are often determined by the intended use and the place of origin.

The Italian ‘Cinquedea,’ for example, was a notoriously large dagger that was clearly manufactured to be a primary weapon (for self-defense or otherwise). In comparison, the Scottish dirk was much thinner and intended to be used for thrusting as opposed to cutting.

The Unique Histories

Historically, both types of blades had distinct uses that sought to accomplish a specific task. Daggers were created specifically for combat, but knives were often used in physical altercations.

They were also introduced at different points in history, and daggers were developed long after knives. Until then, knives fulfilled the role of a dagger when necessary.

Knives

The first knife was crafted out of stone approximately 500,000 years ago. Intriguingly, it was created for the same purpose that we see today— to aid in tasks related to cooking, harvesting materials, etc.

Given the limited resources and technology during these times, though, knives were used as an all-purpose tool to handle the nuances of survival, construction, and even combat.

As different civilizations became more adept at metalworking, iron and steel knives were created (and a more modern image for the tool came along with it).

Daggers

Early daggers were designed for use by soldiers or warriors and were crafted out of bone, ivory, and other Neolithic materials. The design has been consistent throughout history and was almost always double-bladed.

This doesn’t mean that regular knives weren’t used during combat on occasion, though. The infamous Bowie Knife conveyed the utility that a non-combat-oriented blade could have with enough size and weight.

Today, daggers are often decorative collector’s items that aren’t intended to be used in any sort of physical altercation.

A Knife and A Dagger Are Very Similar

These two items may seem like they could be the same thing, but they aren’t identical. Now you know the difference! 

You’re well on your way to learning how to recognize the differences between a knife and a dagger at first glance.

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

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Cut Like a Chef: Effective Methods to Improve Your Knife Skills

Prepping and cooking food at home is the top way to save more money and eat healthier. Yet, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on chef-inspired meals. 

To cook like a culinary master, it’s essential to learn how to use kitchen knives. Certain techniques make it faster, easier, and more efficient to prep food.  

So, ready to learn how to cut, chop, slice, and dice like a chef? Read on to learn more about how to master your knife skills. 

Choose the Right Knife for the Job

It’s key to know the difference between your knife types. A kitchen knife set includes pieces for almost every job in the kitchen. 

A few knife types include bread, steak, paring, and fillet. Boning knives, carving knives, and butcher knives are other styles a chef should own. You should hone your chef knife skills for each of these knife types. 

Yet, there is one knife style that is king when it comes to prep work. A chef’s knife is a multi-functional knife that is used for more than one task in the kitchen. It’s ideal for chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing foods like meat and vegetables.

Chef Knives

This style of knife has a pointed tip with a longer blade design with a slight curve. The blade’s tip allows a chef to create a rocking technique as they cut. This is ideal for the quick chopping of fresh herbs, garlic, and onions.

The design allows you to keep the tip of the knife touching the cutting board as you chop. Chef’s knives are a bit heavier, which makes it easy to cut and score meat.   

Santoku Japanese Chef Knives

A Santoku knife is ideal for creating fine clean cuts at a fast speed. It lets you master knife techniques for cutting seafood, meat, vegetables, and fruits.

The knife has a flatter and wider blade design and is lighter than a chef’s knife. Its tip is down more towards the end of the blade.

Santoku knives help remove food from the cutting board into your cooking pan. Some of these knives also have depressions on the blade called a “Granton edge.” This works to create less friction to stop food from sticking to the knife as you cut.  

Keep Your Blades Sharp

Any knife guide for better care will tell you to always keep your blades in top condition. Sharp blades make it easier and more efficient when chopping food. A dull blade will lead to a much longer food prep process and can also be unsafe.  

Experts recommend sharpening your knife every few months. You have a few different knife sharpener options to consider for this. You can use a manual knife sharpener tool or an electric knife sharpener.  

Chef’s knives may call for more sharpening sessions. They are often made from softer steel than Santoku knives. 

Proper kitchen cutlery storage options are also important when caring for your knives. You can use a knife block to protect the blades when not in use. This also keeps your kitchen environment safer. 

Magnetic knife strips, knife bags, and sheaths are other options. When cleaning your knives, hand-wash them with mild soap and hot water.  

Hold the Knife in a Comfortable Position

Proper knife cutting techniques also include learning how to hold a knife. This is key for having confidence in the kitchen. 

Be sure to use the right grip when handling your knife. The hold should not be too firm and should fit comfortably in your hand. This allows you to perfect your cutting method and be as quick and safe as possible. 

It’s best to use your index finger and thumb to grip the handle of the blade. Hold the handle up higher with your two fingers touching the base of the blade. The rest of your hand then holds onto the actual knife handle.  

Holding the knife at elbow-height will also give you better control. When holding food to be cut, be careful of the way you keep your hand.

Use a claw-like grip to hold food as you cut with the knife in your other hand. This keeps your fingers out of the way of the knife’s blade.  

Use Consistent Cuts 

Certain knife cuts call for different techniques to prepare food. It always helps to cut round food in half, like onions and potatoes. This gives you a flat surface to work with making it easier and safer to cut. 

A slicing technique involves long thin pieces. Position the knife’s tip on the cutting board at an angle. Then move the food toward the blade as you bring the knife down in a repetitive chopping or sawing motion. 

Chopping is less consistent than other cutting methods. The chunks are made a bit larger and more bite-sized.    

Dicing can be done in large, medium, or small pieces. Yet, the key is to keep the food cuts as consistent in size as possible. Aim for cubes about a quarter-inch in size.  

When mincing, you want to cut the food up as fine as possible. It’s most often used for garlic, ginger, and onion. 

Preparing food julienne means making matchstick-sized cuts. These should be about an eighth of an inch thick. 

For brunoise style, you dice foods that have first been cut julienne-style. The result is small cubes about an eighth of an inch in size.   

The chiffonade technique is most often used for greens and herbs. It cuts them into thin ribbons for a salad or garnishes.  

Perfecting Your Knife Skills With the Right Set of Tools

These knife skills will teach you to be a master chef in no time. The right tools, techniques, and knife care are key when learning to prep food like a professional. 

A quality chef’s knife is one of the main tools to have in your kitchen. Browse the full collection of chef’s knives to find one that suits your cooking style. 

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Choosing a Tactical Knife for Survival, Emergency, or Self Defense

If you’re in the market for a knife that will serve you in any situation, it’s not a subject to be taken lightly. The fact of the matter is, a good tactical knife can save your life in a myriad of ways.

Whether you’re looking for a knife for survival, self-defense, or any potential emergency, you need to take your time and find the right one for every day carry. The ideal tactical knife will be able to handle whatever you throw at it. It should have a strong blade that holds its edge and a solid handle.

However, that only just begins to cover the criteria. Keep reading for an in-depth look at how to choose the best tactical knife for your needs.

Concealability

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a tactical knife is how you want to carry it. For example, if you’re looking for a knife to carry around town that’s relatively subtle if not entirely undetectable, your best bet is a pocket knife. This is especially important if you’re carrying the knife for self-defense, as the element of surprise is always a good thing to have on your side.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a knife to serve you well in the bush (hunting, fishing, camping, general survival) then there’s nothing wrong with strapping a big fixed blade to your belt like this Ka-BAR Heavy-Duty Warthog. Some people carry it on their hip, others on their thigh.

Regardless, consider where and how you want to carry your knife, as well as whether or not you want anyone to know about it.

Size

Size is another vital component in choosing the right tactical knife for your needs. As stated above, if you plan to use your knife as a daily concealed carry, you’ll want to lean on the conservative side in terms of size.

A big, girthy knife could start to get uncomfortable. However, too small of a knife could be relatively useless in most scenarios. We recommend a minimum of 3.5 inches for blade size.

On the flip side, you can also end up buying a knife with too much size. While we all love the idea of carrying around a massive blade, keep practicality in mind, as with this Cold Steel Demko. Unless you’re talking about a machete, no one needs a two-foot-long tactical knife.

Folder or Fixed Blade

Now you need to decide if you want a folder or a fixed blade. Both have their pros and cons. Folders are easily concealable and more publically accepted, but fixed blades are stronger and more durable, such as the Schrade Frontier.

In terms of fixed tactical knives, we recommend looking for a full tang blade. That means there’s one solid piece of metal from the tip of the blade to the base of the handle. The handle is then fitted over the top of the tang.

In terms of tactical folders, you have several options:

Depending on where you live, some of these types of openers may be illegal.

Blade and Tip

Next, you need to consider what type of blade you want on your tactical knife. Both folders and fixed blades come with the same basic options.

First, do you want your knife to be a combo blade (partially serrated)? A serrated blade is your best option for cutting through softer materials such as fabrics, ropes, belts, and other flexible materials. However, it does decrease your total cutting edge and can be difficult to sharpen.

You also need to consider what type of tip you want your tactical knife to have. A tanto tip provides an incredible stong point for stabbing through touch objects but loses some of its slicing ability.

A gut hook is designed to help hunters skin wild game without damaging the internals like on this Damascus Steel Hunting Knife. A spear point is ideal for thrusting into soft targets. A drop point (one of the most common) is great for slicing and provide a strong tip.

Quality

One of the absolute essentials in picking out the right tactical knife is choosing one of high quality. A high-quality blade will be tough and hold it’s edge well.

For example, not all blade materials can withstand the same abuse. If you ever have to use your knife to pry something open, will it bend the blade or break the tip?

Pay attention to the grade of steel used in stainless steel knives to ensure you’re getting a strong blade. Typical carbon steel blades, as well as those infused with other metals such as chromium, can prove to be highly durable.

Quality is also important when it comes to picking out the right handle. Regardless of if you’re looking at fixed blades or folders, the handle needs to fit firmly in your hand (people are often surprised how easily a knife gets knocked out of their hands in a fight or other emergency situation).

The handle also needs to be tough and durable, after all a good blade nearly useless without a handle.

Extras

Finally, when looking for a tactical knife, pay attention to any of the perks that come along with it. For example, if you’re choosing a field or survival knife, what type of sheath does it have, will it hold up to snagging on trees and being dragged through the mud?

Additionally, does the survival knife come with any extras? A sharpener on the back of the sheath can give you a sharp edge in the field. A flint and steel combo can help you light fires.

For example, the United Cutlery Bushmaster Survival Knife comes with matches, a small compass, an animal snare, snakebite kit, and even a flashlight. Though, these knives with hollow handles for storage obviously don’t have full tang blades, which may be a negative aspect in your mind.

Looking for a Tactical Knife?

If you’re in the market for a new tactical knife, we personally recommend the Gerber Propel Automatic Knife, the Smith and Wesson Spec Ops Bayonet, or the CRKT Desert Big Dog.

We also have a massive inventory with everything from hunting knives to every type of folder imaginable. For ultimate survivor mode, check out our Zombie Apocalypse Survival Knife collection.

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9 Spyderco Knives to Consider Buying in 2020

You may not know it, but every manufacturer sure does: The knife industry is no joke.

Business is booming, so endless brands are competing for your buck. No matter how many times you’ve shopped, if you’re really a knife fan, you’re not sticking to one brand. Naturally, you try as many as you can.

So before you choose your next knife, you have to decide. But there are so many brands out there—how do you choose?

Don’t even worry about it. This is what you want right now: Spyderco knives.

These are the facts: For over 40 years, Spyderco has been an innovator. Offering the best in both form and function, they’re a knife fan’s dream.

Now that you know your brand, what model will you choose? Whether you’re new or a seasoned expert, it’s vital to get all the opinions you can before you make a purchase.

To help you out, here’s a list of nine of the best Spyderco knives to buy in 2020.

1. Paramilitary 2

The Spyderco Paramilitary 2 is arguably the best Spyderco knife out there. It’s gotten rave reviews from knife lovers everywhere, and here’s why:

Your Everyday Spyderco Flipper

  • The Paramilitary 2 is beyond easy to open and hold
  • Its full flat ground blade makes for effortless cutting
  • It’s become a basic necessity for any knife aficionado; you don’t want to be caught without one

2. Dragonfly 2 Salt

Do you spend a lot of time around water? Will you be bringing your knife on a boat?

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Spyderco Civilian – A Look at the Baddest Knife of Them All

When they say size doesn’t matter, “they” have never held a Spyderco Civilian.

This knife is one of the biggest, meanest pocket knives on the market with an overall length of almost 9.3 inches. It was created more than two decades ago to fill a need for undercover agents who had no way to protect themselves other than to carry a knife. Spyderco wasn’t afraid to the unleash this beast to the public but you should know that this is not an everyday carry. It is for self-defense only.

One look at the reverse “S” SpyderEdge VG-10 steel blade, and you’ll see why.

The pin point tip is intended to penetrate with ease and the intimidating serrated edge is meant to slash the skin down to the bone, causing significant injury. With a strong back lock there is no doubt the blade will stay open in a worst-case scenario situation.

The sandpaper texture on the scales makes the large G-10 handle easy to grip and hold. One-handed opening is a breeze with the trademark Round Hole in the blade. Out of the box it is ready for tip-down carry but can be changed to tip-up carry with a Torx tool.

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SOG Flash II Knife Review

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The knife community has its stable of opinions, but if I always listen to what they have to say, then there’s a good chance I would have already missed out on a number of great knives.

Today’s review is on the SOG Flash II, a slick budget folder that could have easily passed me by had I not started formulating my own carry knife criteria. This knife isn’t just tacti-cool, it’s tacitly practical.

For a long time, I had openly resisted the SOG Flash II, mostly because of how the knife looked on paper. But we have to get away from this style of thinking. Paper opinions or even YouTube reviews can’t compare to how things really apply to your daily life.

sog-flash-ii-2Many in the knife world claim the Flash II to be lame, cheap, or something only a novice would carry, but I’ve been trying to challenge those opinions head on. Despite some of the opinions about this knife, I believe the SOG Flash II is the perfect knife for getting shit done.

My preference for carry knives swings back and forth from bushcraft style blades at one side to tactical knives at the other. Needless to say, the pendulum is currently swinging toward the tactical side of things. I wanted to add a level of contrast to my daily routine by trading in my Ontario RAT 1 for something a little more aggressive and badass.

That’s where the Flash II comes in.

The Flash II packs quite the versatile punch. It has an overall blade length of 3.5 inches, half of which comes equipped with very stout and useful serrations. Its FRN frameless handle makes the Flash II’s weight almost immeasurable. The assisted-opening mechanism makes one-handed or gloved-operation a breeze.

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CRKT Squid Review

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I recently started to take notice of the simple fact that people age, that the older we get the more we begin to lose. For some, the body goes first—maybe we start packing on a few more pounds than what we had in high school. For others, the mind begins to fade—remembering faces and facts isn’t quite as easy as it was when we were kids. Our vitality, health, and creativity slowly start to drift away from our once youthful selves.

But with age also comes a whole new host of feelings that our younger and sometimes dumber selves can’t quite tap into yet. Feelings like tradition, nostalgia, and an understanding of just how important the little things in life can be. The CRKT Squid is a knife that single-handedly channeled those emotions in me and somehow played time machine like a small piece of childhood memorabilia.

Right off the bat the CRKT Squid has a great overall look to it. A look that is simple and understated yet still grabs your attention with both hands. This amazing design comes from the mind of Lucas Burnley, a very popular up-and-coming knife maker with an almost cult-like following for what he has done in the knife community. The Squid has been one of his custom designs for a long time, but with his work in such high demand, getting your hands on one was almost impossible… until now.

The great thing about Burnley partnering up with a production knife company is that we the consumers get to experience knives that we otherwise never would due to budget, materials, or availability. With this partnership, we now get a glimpse into what owning a custom design feels like. Besides the Squid, CRKT and Lucas are making other knives, which can be a win-win situation for both parties if done right.

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Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K Knife Review

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I’m not sure who deserves the credit. Is it the peanut butter or the jelly that makes the sandwich complete? Is it the spaghetti or the meatball to whom the praise belongs? Does a perfect collaboration have only one crucial ingredient or is it the yin and yang that brings two ideas together? In the case of the Kershaw Emerson CQC series, I believe it’s both.

When Kershaw and Emerson Knives announced its collaboration back in 2014, I figured there was no way to successfully pull this marriage off. Building a quality Emerson design on a Kershaw budget seemed like a long shot. Still, I’d be lying if the original idea didn’t have me chomping at the bit.

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Tips for Sharpening Hunting, Tactical, and Pocket Knives

Our friend Mike over at Cutler Road was kind enough to write a post for us detailing the best way to sharpen your knives. You can find more of his tips on his blog.

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The majority of factory-sharpened knives come with a relatively steep bevel angle of approximately 25 degrees. This gives them an acceptably sharp edge, which retains its sharpness with considerable use, and ultimately keeps the consumer happy.

Improvements can be made to the sharpness of most factory-finished knives by decreasing the angle of the bevel edge slightly. Having a shallower angle will give a sharper edge; the downside is the edge will become blunt more quickly.

Machetes and axes have the steepest angle at approximately 35 degrees. A cut throat razor, at the other end of the scale, is approximately 15 degrees. An angle of 20 degrees is a very good compromise between sharpness and edge retention for pocket knives, tactical knives, and hunting knives.

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