Knife Round-Up: The Many Facets of Knives

At one time, I sold Gerber & Leatherman tools and did a series of informational articles about knives.  I was going to erase the group, however, they are read so often, I just left them up for my readers.

These articles are not about Gerber specifically, although I often use Gerber knives to illustrate the post.

Guess Who Collects Knives?

For about 5 weeks, I was carrying around a large (picture) book* of  knives – ancient and modern.  I had no idea how popular knives are!

I nearly dropped my teeth, however, when women would walk up to me and talk about their knife collections!

Maybe it’s just a Texas thing.

* The name of the book is in one or more of the articles.  I borrowed it from the Houston Public Library.


This blog is a companion to my website:

Why Can’t Guys Just Have One Knife for Everything?


We'll Be Talking About Knife Functions

Looking @ Knife Form & Function


Trust me, this is ONE question you never want to pose to a sportsman!  My ears are still ringing from MDH’s* sermon on the importance of a knife collection. (eye roll)  He considers them to be “necessary tools a guy needs and uses.” (double eye roll)

I’ve come to the conclusion that knives are a guy’s answer to women’s shoes. Just as we can’t have just one pair of shoes, most hunters and anglers need a variety of knives!

Let’s Get Started

If you are new to the sport of hunting or fishing, you might have some questions about the best knife for your needs.  Why are there so many styles and types of knives?  That’s easy.  There are so many jobs for knives to do.

According to You-Know-Who 😉 , before buying one of these sharp weapons, know what you want to do with a knife.  A rabbit-skinning knife is a very different choice than one you would use to fillet fish.  In other words: Form follows function.

There are some important points to consider before buying any knife. The blade seems, to me, to be the most important subject after knowing the use of the knife.  When you are staring at an almost limitless variety, it is good to know the advantages and problems with each blade material. Today, I’m going to discuss non-metal weapon materials; next time, it will be the larger group of metal and metal alloy knives.

Knife Blade OptionsNon-Metals (** error; should be Non-Ferrous)

Using ceramic for knives has been a recent innovation.  Although there is no metal in the knife, it is harder than steel, corrosion and stain-free, plus it holds its edge for a long time. However, don’t rush out to buy one. There are several problems.  First, ceramic is brittle and fragile; ‘you drop it, you break it.’ If the blade is exposed when you drop it or you use the point to lever something, generally this knife is history.

You will find ceramic knives in kitchen ware; but the US government has discouraged the use of ceramic in hunting or tactical knives. Because there’s no metal, they do not register on a metal detector.  New alloys have some metal — to satisfy the security industry.

Other Problems:  When their edge wears, they cannot be honed as other knives.  Wikipedia states they must be “sharpened with industrial grade diamond sharpeners.” This is geek-speak for “it costs a lot.”

Titanium is fascinating AND expensive. Because it is stronger than steel, light in weight and corrosion resistant, the US Navy SEALS have adopted weapons of this material for their special operations.  This is a difficult material to work with and it is difficult to take an edge. The new alloys  have reduced these problems. However, you will only find them at the high end of the pricing range.

Stellite is the brand name of an alloy of carbon (strength), chromium (resistant to corrosion) and tungsten (stability). It is almost completely rust-free. However, you will rarely find stellite  – it is only seen in some diver’s knives and custom work.

Talonite is another alloy that is still rare. It will take a good edge, is rust-resistant and the blade is very slick. It is also very expensive.

Plastic is not something that goes together with ‘lethal’ in my mind. Generally, they are mixed with nylon and glass fibers and are mainly found in two areas:  box cutters and ‘self defense’ daggers.

By watching the sales of these daggers, I see the looks of these ’emergency weapons’ seem to be highly marketable!   However, if it’s all the same to you, I’d rather not have a plastic dagger guarding my life!  Thanks anyway.


Notice: I don’t sell Gerber any more but left this up as an information source.


This blog is a companion to my website: