buying a field/hunting /tactical knife

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G'day to all since I first became a member on E-bay I've been shocked by the large number of no name knives claiming to be top quality. So I'd thought I'd write a guide based on my experience over the years, I've been making knives for 17 years now I'ts a hobby for me and often I've steered people to a knife that suits the task that it is required for eg: a person I know bought a Rambo style "survival knife " for hiking and camping he used it for chopping wood and no surprise it broke he bought the knife to me asking if I could fix it I advised him to thow it in the bin and buy a decent knife, he ended up getting a Becker companion knife.The Blade:  Firstly look at the steel I prefer aus 8 used by sog {my preferance in blades} but the tops steels in my view aus 6, aus 8, ats 34 , bg 42 ,D2  and some 440 stainless & anything by sandvik. Base your decision on the steel by a couple of important points firstly how hard is it to sharpen you can find this out by the Rockwell hardness eg: 54-56 is relatively easy 56-58 not to hard with the right gear 58-60 will take some skill and time 60-62 near impossible and very time consuming but holds a excelent edge for a long time it is strongly recomended top keep this blades sharp at all times if you let them go to far it's near impossible with out power tools, and thats the worst thing for a knife. Secondly blade maintainence do you want a knife that requires little or a lot? carbon steel  such as 1095 tool steel used by Ka Bar and other makers is excelent but with out oiling it will rust and pit quickly if not cleaned after use and not treated before storage. My Sogs  after I use them they get a quick wash with soapy water then a rub over with a oily cloth and they stay perfect. Lastly the size: 4-6 inch blades is all anyone needs unless it's a sticker then up to 7inch  . The steels I have listed as my preferance I recomend them because they are low maintainence and hold a good edge, also check for a blade coating this helps against rust but will not prevent it. The guard: this is mainly personal preferance but once again look at what the knife is for eg: a good skinning knife should have very little on no top part a combat/tactical knife will have a top and bottom overhang to prevent slippage regardless of the hold  forward or reverse.  The Handle: the style of handle is mainly personal preferance most of the top brands have good handles these days but always try the a knife in your hand before buying it's almost like trying on a new pair of shoes try the out for fit. I know this is hard on E-bay but go the you local knife outlet and have a hold of something close this will help a lot with your choice. Pommels: This is only important if you think you need something that can be used as a field hammer a good steel one will do the job but other than that it's for looks. In my view it's better to buy a good quality used knife that a poor quality new one, it doesn't take much to clean up a knife.  And the final part the sheath this is purely personal preferance again but look for quality materials and suitable for it's intended use and don't forget if you don't like the original sheath or it's not suitable you can always get one that is, or get one made. Here are a few brands I recomend Sog,Gerber, Kershaw,Cold Steel,Puma,Benchmade, Spyderco,Ka Bar,Ontario,Camillus/Becker&Tops  Hope this can help Thanks TDLJ7482


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