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When it comes to hunting or survival techniques, having a reliable knife handy is something that you simply can’t go without. However, choosing which foldable knife is the best for your intended use can be a little challenging. It’s important for you to consider the various factors which play a role in helping you make your final purchase decision before selecting which pocket knife will suit your needs perfectly.
There are a lot of different pocket knives out on the market for you to choose from all of which come in various different designs and styles making them tailored to fit the specific needs of individual hunters or outdoor survivalists. It’s important for you to choose your desired foldable knife type by looking at all of the various factors which will provide the most benefit to you while out in the wild.
A great way to tell the quality of your preferred pocket knife is by looking at the brand by which it is made before finalizing your purchase. Everything from the curvature of the blade to the handle design and overall sharpness plays a critical role in helping you determine which pocket knife will provide the most benefit for your intended use.
Taking all of these various factors into consideration before making your final purchase decision is extremely important in ensuring that you select the perfect blade which will allow you to carry out all of the essential things that you need to do in any situation that you may find yourself in.
While there are many different foldable knife brands currently available on the market, some produce higher-quality pieces of craftsmanship than others. Spyderco and Benchmade are two of those premium outdoor knife brands that are respected and revered throughout the industry. Both of these companies produce a wide range of different knife varieties and selections which gives you an endless amount of options to choose from.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, hunter, or explorer who needs access to a premium blade, you may be struggling to make your final decision about which one is right for you. For those that agree with the previous statement, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’re going to go over all of the most important elements that you need to consider when making your decision about which blade is the perfect fit for your particular needs.
We’ll cover everything from features, design, functionality, quality, and a lot more to help you ensure that you’re making the right decision about which pocket knife is right for your specific needs.
To begin, let’s take a look at some of the main differences between both of these pocket knife brands so that you will have a clear visual of the main design elements that you can expect to differ from one brand variety to the next.
The main differences betweenare:
Both Spyderco and Benchmade produce a varying range of high-quality utility knives that you can choose from. Both companies take a different approach to knife making and the overall craftsmanship that goes into their various products. While it may be easy to say that there is no real difference between either of these brands because they produce the same kinds of products with different names on them, there is a significant difference between each brand and the type of knives that they offer. In the following section, we’re going to take a look at some of the core differences between both of these brands and the rules that they follow in terms of the overall design and functional use of their knife selections.
Make sure you read this entire section in full to ensure that you’re aware of all the critical elements that you need to pay attention to when deciding on whether or not these brands have the type of knife that you’re looking for and need.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the main differences between both of these knife brands, it’s time to look at the most important elements that you’ll want to consider before making your final decision about which brand offers the exact type of knife that you’re looking for.
Regardless of what brand you decide to go with, one thing will remain the same and that’s the core elements of a knife itself. While companies do try to add enhancements and other features to further boost the overall performance of their blades, you can’t escape the basic principles of what a knife should be and how it should perform. That is to make precise, clean, and accurate cuts through whatever material is put in its path.
To ensure that your selected knife option does just that, it’s important for you to know what key factors to look for when choosing between all of the various knife varieties currently on the market. In the following section, we’re going to go over some of the most important features and elements that you will want to pay attention to when selecting which pocket knife is right for you. By comparing your desired knife with all of the factors we’re about to mention, you’ll be able to ensure that you make the right purchase decision on a knife that will provide you with the functionality and capabilities you need most.
In the same way that a steering wheel is important for proper use of a vehicle, having a solid handle on your pocket knife is just as undeniable. While you may not be carrying your knife around in your hands all of the time, the moments in which you decide to use the knife will likely involve the use of force. Whether it be cutting a piece of rope, trying to scratch off a tree branch to expose the underlying wood, or cutting through a piece of meat, you will be required to apply pressure through the handle of your knife in order for it to successfully pass through materials.
That is why it’s so important for you to choose a knife that has a well-built and ergonomically designed handle. Things to look for in a nice quality knife handle include some sort of cushioning, a curvature in the overall shape of the handle so that it smoothly fits in your hand, a solid construction, and how slippery it is are all important factors to consider when trying to judge the value of a knife handle. You also want to make sure that the handle is securely bonded to the body of the knife itself so that you won’t have to worry about it coming off or becoming loose over extended periods of time when exposed to use.
An outdoor or sports utility knife is made for portability and easy access, that’s why it’s important for you to consider how you will carry your selected knife of choice. The best way to do this is by analyzing the construction of the knife, many utility knife manufacturers will include clips and other accessories that you can then use to secure the knife to your body during use. These clips can either be located on the front or back of your knife and come in all different sizes and configurations.
The amount of tension between the clip and the blade itself is also really important because it will allow you to accurately gauge whether or not the clip will break once attached to your carrying setup. When looking at the carrying mechanism of your desired blade, it’s also important for you to consider how well the blade will be hidden on your person when carrying it. Some knife clips will conceal the blade rather low inside of your pocket while others leave it rather exposed, always look at this variable if concealment is a big factor for you.
While most utility and outdoor knives come with permanently positioned carrying clips, some actually allow you to change the clips yourself. In addition to changing the carrying clip, some knives also come with extra features and capabilities built into the very design of the knife itself. These various features can range from things like corkscrews, specialty tool attachments, and a lot more. If you know that you’re going to be using your knife for various different purposes and functionalities, you should look for these bonus features in the knives you’re browsing before making your final purchase decision.
The main purpose of buying an outdoor knife is to have easy access to it when you need to use it and for a clean action in terms of how the knife works all around. To ensure that the knife you select will perform in high-stress situations seamlessly or any other time you need it, it will be important for you to consider the action by which your desired knife works. The mode of action refers to the method you must use in order to enact the proper use of the blade on the knife itself. There are approximately four main types of mode of actions that all knives come with integrated into their design.
These different mechanics will determine the means in which you must use in order to successfully deploy your knife in those situations that you need to use it most. Those modes of action include but are not limited to: thumb-assisted, spring-assisted, non-spring assisted, and manual.
Thumb-Assisted knives will typically come with an integrated thumb hole by which you insert your thumb in order to properly release the blade from its shell. Thumb-assisted knives are perfect for those individuals that are going on hunting expeditions or other types of adventures that don’t require the rapid deployment of your bade for your intended purpose or use.
Spring-Assisted knives, on the other hand, come with an integrated spring which allows the knife to be released to full length without having to engage the mechanism the entire way through. These types of knives provide the fastest access to your blade in emergencies and they also are very convenient for those who may need to rid obstacles in their way while out in nature.
Non-Spring Assisted knives, on the other hand, engage by using a mechanism which allows them to completely fold inside of the housing shell. While these knives can be more difficult to operate when compared to spring-assisted knives, they tend to make up for difficult operation in terms of the overall blade length and sharpness. These knives can work great for those who need a reliable and long-lasting blade but don’t feel the need to have immediate quick access to it.
Manual knives oftentimes do not feature any foldable or flexible characteristics at all. However, they make up for these disadvantages by giving you more access to longer length blades which are great for the serious outdoor survivalist or those who explore natural landscapes on a regular basis. These knives require that you fully extend the knife in order to use the blade which makes them really effective for taking on serious threats.
Every good knife is only going to be as good as its integrated locking system because it plays an important role in how stable and durable the blade itself it. There are a few different locking mechanisms that knives come with which are compression locks and axis locks. Depending on your intended use for the blade or knife that you select, a particular locking mechanism may be better suited for you than other designs.
Now that we’ve covered some of the most essential factors and variables that you need to consider when choosing which utility knife is right for you, it’s time to take a look at the history behind both Spyderco and Benchmade to see why you should go with these brands when selecting the right outdoor sporting knife for your specific needs.
Both of these brands produce high-quality pocket knife options for the outdoor enthusiast in all of us. However, both companies have very different histories in terms of how they were first formed and what areas of design they put a primary focus into. In the following section, we’re going to detail some of the histories behind both of these premium sporting knife brands so that you can understand a little more about their core values.
Benchmade was created in 1979 by founder Les De Asis and it was originally named Bali-Song due to the fact that they produced balisong and butterfly style knives for use in a variety of different instances. The first line of blades made by the company was an instant hit for many people which is what led companies leaders at the time to start sinking their feet into the kitchen cutlery industry. in 1988, the company would undergo another name change to the Pacific Cutlery Corporation and it would be many years later when the company decided to go back to their trademark Benchmade name. in1979, the initial Bali-Song knife created by Jody Samson was awarded the Blade Magazine Knife of the Year Award which further cemented the company’s legacy overall. Shortly after, Benchmade would experience a huge boom in their overall production and infrastructure which caused a need for a larger office space.
Because of this, in 1990, the company moves its primary office location to Oregon City, OR where they would stake claim to a 144,000 square foot building to carry out all of their required ventures. Benchmade knives are all about providing you with a different experience than other knife options currently on the market. If you’re looking for a high-quality knife selection that is different from most other options currently out on the market, this company has all of the choices you could hope and ask for in terms of blade designs and functional uses.
Spyderco was created in 1976 by Sal Glesser who created the brand with the name Spyder to reflect the line of sports cars out there. The founder chose this name because he wanted to reflect the idea that his line of performance knives was just as high-quality as the spyder sports cars out on the road. While it may have seemed like a crazy idea at the time, Glesser was proven right after all the years of explosive knife sales and intuitive engineering which has advanced the company and brand to new heights that never would be expected before. One of the most interesting things to note about this brand is that in fact, knives were not the first commercial product they produced.
The very first product to be created by Spyderco was a portable hand that used a combination of ball joints, and alligator clips which allowed people to grasp onto certain items with more ease than would usually be expected. It was primarily used by craftsmen who worked with small parts of jewelers who were making custom pieces. Spyderco produced it’s first knife variant in 1981, the main advantage and design feat of this knife were that it has a round hold in the blade so that you could easily open it with one hand. This was not a design trait integrated into a lot of knives at the time which is what made it that much more special.
Now, Spyderco is an international company who does business all over the world and they offer a very robust product line.
Now that we’ve gone over some brief history about both of these companies, let’s look at their various options when it comes to the knives they offer.
Both of these companies are known for making really high-quality knives that come in all sorts of styles and configurations. Because there are so many different options to choose from, it can be hard trying to make the final decision about which knife from either of these companies will provide you with the most benefit. To make the decision a little easier, we’re going to list some of our top recommended knife options that you can go with from either of these brands.
Keep in mind, every knife recommendation from each company will vary in terms of style, design, and capability, so you should always consider your personal preference and needs before making a final purchase decision.
The Spyderco Gayle Bradley Advocate Frame Lock Knife Titanium has an overall length of 8.04 inches and a total blade length of 3.49 inches which makes it a nice medium-sized blade. The knife itself is made out of a special material known as CPM-M4 which is a very durable and long-lasting composite material that is great for use in a wide range of different conditions and climates. The blade on the knife is machined in a clip point style which makes it easy to access and use in an instant in addition to the blade having a satin finish for a nice overall look. This knife features a flat blade grind and has a plain edge type so it’s a great option for general use.
The Spyderco Karahawk Folding Knife w/ Emerson Opener has an overall length of 6.50 inches and an encompassing blade length that spans an impressive 2.35 inches. This knife is made using a very high-quality and damage-resistant material known as VG-10 which ensure that you’ll be able to use your knife for a long time without worrying about it breaking or becoming damaged severely. The blade has an aesthetically pleasing satin finish which makes it look clean while in use in addition to featuring a plain edge type which ensures that you get clean and accurate performance out of it consistently. The handle length on this knife is 4.50 inches and the style of the blade is fashioned in hawkbill so it’s a very rugged and rigid overall design direction. This blade has a cutting edge of approximately 2.00 inches in addition to having a total blade thickness of about 0.10 inches.
The Spyderco ParaMilitary2 Black G-10 PlainEdge features a satin finish for a clean overall look. The blade on the knife is made out of a very high-quality stainless-steel blade which ensures that you get nice and smooth cuts no matter what material your cutting through. The blade itself is corrosion-resistant and is very easy to sharpen so that you can consistently use it on a regular basis without worrying about having to completely replace the entire blade. The knife has a total thickness of about 0.122 inches and has a complete blade length of about 3.39 inches which is quite long giving you enough blade to work through even the toughest of material. The knife also comes with an integrated 4-way clip which makes it really easy to transport and carry the knife with you on your journey.
The Benchmade Infidel Knife OTF Double Action Automatic has an overall length of about 8.95 inches in addition to having a total blade length of about 3.95 inches. The knife is also outfitted with a 0.12-inch-thick blade which makes it perfect for cutting through rather tough objects. This knife is also equipped with a flat blade grind and a satin finish which makes it easy on the eyes in terms of design. The edge type on this knife is flat and it is made out of premium 58-61 RC material which is very durable and damage-resistant. The blade-style on this knife is fashioned in a SpearPoint which makes it the perfect accessory knife for hunters or other outdoor enthusiasts.
The Benchmade 810BK Contego AXIS Lock Knife has an overall length of about 9.28 inches in addition to having a total blade length of about 3.98 inches. The knife itself is made out of a special CPM-M5 material which makes it very durable and resistant to damage over prolonged periods of time. The blade itself has a flat blade grind design and it comes in a black finish which is the perfect stealth option for anyone looking to stay discrete while out on their adventures. The knife also comes with a plain edge type which makes it perfect for taking on just about any cutting challenge you can imagine. The knife comes in a reverse tanto blade style which makes it a very robust option.
The Benchmade – Griptilian 551 Knife is made out of high-quality 154CM stainless steel material which ensures that you are purchasing a reliable blade which will make exact cuts into all of the materials you’re working with. The knife comes equipped with an axis lock mechanism which makes it easy to flip the blade into the position you need to work in while keeping it secure in that position as well. The blade itself is very versatile and allows you to use it in a variety of different circumstances and situations. The best part about it is that this blade comes protected by a lifetime manufacturer guarantee warranty so you’re never responsible for dealing with any accidents or repairs that may be needed throughout the duration of your ownership.
Further Reading: Benchmade Gryptilian Review
Now that you know everything you need to know about how to go about choosing the right blade for your specific needs, it’s time to answer some of the most commonly asked questions that people have when it related to choosing the right outdoor survival blade and how they operate in general.
If you have any questions that you would like answered about knives in general, make sure that you pay attention to this following section in full.
A: The best knife for your particular needs will all depend on the use and purpose of the knife. Each knife comes with a different overall design and specific features which will be beneficial to certain people in specific situations.
A: over time and with consistent use, your knife will become dull. You can easily sharpen it by using a knife sharpening blade or device which are readily available online.
A: to avoid any accidents while using your blade, you should always make sure that it remains in a safe and secure location until you’re sure that you’re ready to use it.
We’ve covered all of the important factors that you need to consider when deciding on whether or not Spyderco or Benchmade is the right knife brand for you. in our own personal opinion, Spyderco offers the more robust line of knife selections and higher quality options that can be used in a wide array of different settings. If you’re looking for the perfect all-around knife, Spyderco definitely has a selection for you.
Use this guide as a tool to help you ensure that you make the right selection when it comes to which sporting knife brand is right for you. We’ve gone over all of the most essential elements and factors that you’ll need to consider before making your final decision. Always take your time and consider your needs on a personal basis so that you can make the right choice about which blade will be perfect for your intended use.
Ben Holt is a real-life adventurer having traveled across the United States living in an RV, living his best life as a certified personal trainer. On his many travels, Ben has tried, tested, and discovered his favorite outdoors gear and lives to help others discover the go-to gear that keeps him going. He is also a seasoned writer and asks all the right questions so you can all make a smarter buying decision!