While my normal camp blade is in the 4.5 to 6 inch range, that's
because of the simple fact tat more than 85% of what you do when
hiking or camping is food related.
When dealing with that, a longish, thin blade is really a serious
advantage. I'm not the only one who realizes this. Steve Dick, one of
the bigger names in the knife world, has a chef's utility knife he had
custom made that he carried in a field belt sheath- because he knows,
the decently long, thin spined blade is going to do the job better.
It's also one of the reasons I'm so happy with the .094-.096 (3/32)
thick 15N20 steel. dozens of people have been out beating on that
steel- splitting firewood and notching logs- for a couple years and
the knives just don't fail. It's a great steel, a perfect thickness,
and still provides a good food processing edge and blade geometry.
Still, what about when not camping? I say my normal camp knife is a
long blade, but I've also always got my EDC anyhow- and that's, in
various versions, what I'm talking about here:
a fat handle, and a short blade.
This is the knife for people who need to use a knife. The handle
doesn't need to be long, necessarily, I've got one of my favorites
The handle length is only 3 3/8 inches. But it's fat. it gives you
something to hold onto.
The blade length is 2.5 inches, and it has been around the block
a few times. It just plain works. Comfortable, cuts anything I
need it to in normal duty. And it's safe.
It's not safe because the blade is to short to stab a person or
anything silly like that. I've sliced myself open with it, you
betcha. It's safe because the leverage you have on the blade is
perfect. And that's the secret. You don't need 3 inches of edge and
point stick out out past what you are cutting- and carefully opening a
box with fabric or something else inside with a 6 inch blade is asking
for damaged goods.
I can get both thumbs on the spine when I need to, and can hang onto
the knife solidly for a pulling lever cut, too.
I go through EDCs- I like to get used to them and then sell them to
regular customers. Here's my latest-
The blade is a bit longer on this one. at 3 3/8 inches it is getting
into decent paring knife territory for the kitchen. I wanted a leuku
profile blade, and it just had to have a little extra length to get
that. The tip is very useful sometimes.
The handle on this one incorporates the handle-integral semi-guard
that I'm fond of in military themed and larger knives. Very, very
secure grip. Still, the handle is only 3 7/8 inches long, and it fits
in the hand just fine.
It's also a fat handle- 3/4 inch thick all the way through. Fat
handles help a lot.