The Cutting Edge

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Fixed Blade Vs. Folding Blade: Which Do You Prefer?

A few weeks ago, we posted on the debate between straight-edged knives and serrated knives, so we decided to explore another common choice knife enthusiasts have to make: fixed blade or folding blade?

Unlike serrated or straight-edge knives, fixed blades and folding blades almost always mutually exclusive because it doesn’t make sense to have both on the same knife.

Although it’s usually a matter of preference, there are functional differences between the two that are important to consider. If you’re thinking about buying a new knife and can’t decide between the two, here are some of the pros and cons about the two types.

Fixed-Blade Knives

Before there was technology to allow the blades to slip easily into the handle, there was the fixed blade. The great thing about fixed blades is that they are extremely durable because they’re usually just a solid piece of steel. In a recent interview Bear Grylls of Man Vs. Wild fame gave with Blade Magazine, he said he preferred fixed blades in the field, but would also ideally have a small folding knife for easy tasks. The conclusion of the fixed-blade knife is that it’s great to use for rugged field work, but probably not convenient to carry around for quick use.

Folding-Blade Knives

While folding blades aren’t as strong as fixed blades, their main trait is convenience and safety. The area of folding-blade knives are cut in half when closed, so they’re smaller and easier to transport than fixed blades. Another great thing about folding blades is that they come in a variety of configurations, which you can learn more about here. These knives are great for everyday use in environments where you’d need to carry it in your pocket instead of a large sheath.

18 Comments

  1. I prefer a fixed blade for safety, but in our society, it’s easier to carry folders. Plus, I can carry multiple blades for different uses. Love my Leatherman, 3 different ones, and my Old Timer Stockman give me a great variety at hand. Never less than 2 usually 3 knives on me. Blades are the ultimate tool.

  2. When in the field, I generally carry one of each, and usually have a specialty blade in my pack, especially if hunting or fishing.

  3. Gotta have both fixed blades are strong but a folding knife is a lot easier to carry

  4. Fixed if I need a only one tool its a fixed blade

  5. I
    I prefer a folder
    for general carry I have a Gerber Skeleton that I find is very lite and formable for about any job I also use the larger Gators for hunting they are great for dressing out about any size game.

  6. fixed blade. i used to carry a 8-inch survival knife everywhere and it never slowed me down.
    but a folding knife has it’s moments. after all, discretion is the better part of valor.

  7. Both. Why choose just one when they’re all good?

  8. It all depends on the use, right? I’d rather not try to carry around a 7″ fixed blade throughout a regular day but if I’m going camping or hiking, that’s going to be my first choice

  9. State laws matter: fixed in the outback, folder daily. The ones I choose have serrated and straight blade .

  10. I prefer a fixed or folder to have serrations on the area near the hilt called half serrated.
    This gives me the ability to cut rope, or what ever even when the edge has somehow worn dull and there is not way to sharpen it.
    The serrated edge is best when having to cut something such as a horses lead or anything in an emergency.
    Most cities have a ban on fixed blade knives.
    Yet an A. G. Russel woods walker is perfect for those areas.

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