Knife-like tools have been used for over two-and-a-half million years ago, since the Oldowan’s. During the Stone Age, hunting knives were made of rock, bone, flint and obsidian. As technology as evolved so has the construction of the knife, with blades made out of materials like bronze, copper, iron, steel, ceramics, and now titanium. Throughout history, many cultures have had their unique versions of the knife, especially when using them in spiritual and religious practices.
Characteristics of a Hunting Knife
A knife is a cutting tool with a cutting edge or blade, with or without a handle. The characteristics of a modern hunting knife are:
· A blade
· A handle
· A point – sharp tip located at the end of the knife
· An edge – the sharp, cutting surface of the knife extending from heel to tip.
· A grind – the cross looking section of the blade
· A spine – the thickest section of the blade
· A fuller – the groove added to make the blade lighter in weight
· A ricasso – the flat section of the blade located where the blade and the guard meet
· A guard – referred to as the slip guard, the barrier between the blade and handle that prevents the hand from slipping and cutting on the blade
· A hilt – or butt, the end of the handle
· A lanyard (optional) – the strap, normally attached to the handle, that attaches to the wrist to secure the knife
Types of Hunting Knives
There are two different types of knives, fixed and folding blade knives. Most modern-day knives follow either the fixed or folding blade construction style, with various blade patterns and styles that are popular at the time. Although both types are characterized by their shared sharp surface with the purpose of cutting.
– Fixed Blade: A blade that does not fold or slide, is normally stronger due to the extension of the blade into the handle, and lacks moving parts
– Folding Blade: A blade that connects to the handle through a pivot, allowing the blade to fold into the handle. Folding Blade knives are great for everyday carry due to their compact design.
How Hunting Knives are Used Today
As humankind’s first tool, knives were used for everything, from protection and to hunting for food. Hunting knives are still used with the same intent as they were used millions of years ago. However, today they are used primarily for sport and hunting. As technology continues to evolve so too will the construction of the knife.