How Knives Are Changing

There was a time when one could learn the names of 6 or 10 knives, and be set for life. Over the next 40+ years, you would not expect much to change in the knife world.

If you have looked around lately, you realize those days are long gone.

All those ‘Rambo’ Wanna-Be Knives 

Drop Point Skinning Blade

Drop Point Skinning Blade



Remember when we drooled over the “cool” factor of Rambo-styled knives? Now, emergency medical technicians, the military and police routinely use those knives because they offer job-specific tools, such as seat-belt cutters, safety blade tips and wire cutters.

It seems that “if you can dream it, you can make it” in the world of knives. Individual craftsmen keep pushing the envelope of invention and technology continues to provide more techniques and materials.

Hunting Knives

The era of specialization has hit hunting knives, as well as most other types of knives. MDH’s* favorite pocket knife looks like an arcane memento from the past.

Although made of stainless steel, his knife wouldn’t know what a knife lock was! It was made in the day when honing one’s knife was a ritual that a man passed on to his son.

Now we have hunting knives specific to each task: gut-hook knives for field dressing and small, sharp knives for caping deer  – as well as other close work.

Specific AND Generalized Knives

Actually, you can have knives both ways: very specific tools or generalized instruments. Some knives labeled hunting and camping knives can do everything from food preparation to skinning and butchering wild game.

Most of the hunters I know have  about a dozen knives – but tend to use 2 or 3 faves.  Once folks find a tool that feels good and works well, they tend to find more uses for that tool.

Safety Has Become More Important

Twenty years ago,  blades had slip joints or basic locking mechanisms. Now, most knives come with high-tech locks, plus other safety features to avoid lock failure.

Who would have ever thought we would have knives with replaceable blades? Or locking sheaths? Or knives that keep their edge for years?

The Future of Knives

The future looks very rosy. Sportsmen and women are willing to pay for innovation. The prices charged for knives as collectibles seem to increase every week.

With knives, people have learned that “you get what you pay for.”  As more people try crafting their own knives, they have come to appreciate the craftsmanship of both the very old and the very new.

Knives and You

If you have thought about collecting knives, prices will probably never be lower. Jump in soon!

Because of the ever increasing improvements in today’s knives, you may be shocked by the huge variety of knives available to hunters and anglers.

My problem is that I’m afraid to buy today for fear that tomorrow they will improve it so much, I’ll have to have that one too. Maybe that is the definition of a “knife collector.”  Hmmmm.


This blog is a companion to my website:

Published in: on February 5, 2009 at 8:45 am  Comments (1)  
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