For years now we’ve been delivering our readers an edge with articles on the best hunting, fishing, camping knives, and the latest EDC gear. We've been taking you behind the scenes, and bringing to you all the tactical gear you needed for survival in the wilderness. Well, now we’re bringing you actual cutting edge problems that many knives are facing.
Tekto Gear has partnered with top bladesmiths and survival experts all over the U.S. to test the most popular knives that include folders, fixed blades, OTF automatic knives, chef knives, machetes, and axes. These were knives that have been thoughtfully forged for van campers and outdoor adventurers. They were primed to pull double duty at hunting camps and even hold their own in the kitchen. Here’s a quick rundown of the problems we detected.
Chef Knives & Kitchen Knives - A Hotchpotch
Let’s kick off with the most common knife of all - the kitchen knife. We all use them and know the kitchen simply cannot function with a set. The defining drawback is the multitude of knives that has to be present in a kitchen to allow a person to cook. There’s a plethora of different knives, all primed for a single job. For example, you have a mincing knife that can’t chop, a chopping knife that can’t mince, a decorating knife that’s useless for most, a cleaver that can slice bones but not a tomato … and it goes on. You need a bleaming toolbox of knives to cook a roast dinner.
What we really need is a single knife (or two knives at most) that can do everything from hacking bones to fine slicing tomatoes. In survival situations, we rely on a rugged fixed blade and an OTF automatic knife. As we know from experience, these two as a team can take on a bull and place it for dinner.
OTF Automatic Knives To Avoid
The automatic knife, aka the switchblade, is an engineering wonder, These bad boys are sleek, smooth, easy to carry and conceal, and they fire open in a blink. What can go wrong? We looked at hundreds of automatic knives. Before long we saw the glaring problems.
The main problem was with the mechanisms that allow the knives to spring out and pull back. When we opened the housing enclosure (the handle), we found the majority of these knives had low-quality hardware that is susceptible to quick wear and damage. This means they’ll be fine when bought, but within a short time, these mechanisms will fail. This is dangerous. This can cause the knife to jam or worse, spring open inside pockets.
This problem was totally missing when we looked at top-quality OTF automatic knives. Superior hardware and advanced spring mechanism ensured long life with little care and maintenance.
Torture Test - Fixed Blade Hunting Knives
As an angler and hunter, fixed blades are my go-to cutters. I’ve got two that follow me in every trail. One, a small version of the iconic Samurai sword - the Tekina from Tekto Gear, and the other is a Buck Knives 119 Special. These battle tank cutters are the ultimate and you can’t go wrong. However, when we picked up a few of the cheaper ones from Amazon and did a toughness and edge retention test, the results were shocking.
A quality fixed blade knife is one of the hardest things to forge. It’s science, engineering, craftsmanship, and experience put to the ultimate test. None of these cheaper alternatives were able to hold the edge and even chipped off after we ran them through some savage test. Their biggest problem was low quality.