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ECOP USA: The Complete Knife Survival Giude

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Whether you use a knife while fishing, hunting, or part of your every day duty - it is crucial to be educated on the different types of knives, proper cleaning techniques, and how to choose one that properly meets your needs.

Check out the complete knife survival guide and where to purchase the right knife for you: http://ecopusa.com/content/KnifeGuide-Whitepapers.pdf

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ECOP USA: The Complete Knife Survival Giude

  1. 1. WWW.ECOPUSA.COM
  2. 2. WWW.ECOPUSA.COM KNIFE TYPES AUTOMATIC KNIVES: Police, military and EMT’s typically use automatic knives because they open quickly with a firing button or lever pull. IMPORTANT: Be sure to check your local laws before buying an automatic knife, as some legislation restricts them. And switchblades are illegal in all 50 states except for law enforcement and military personnel. MANUAL KNIVES: Also known as pocketknives, these are more common than automatic knives because they are legal in most areas. Another variation is the spring-assisted knife, which, as the name implies, has a spring inside the handle that helps deploy the blade more quickly. Spring-assisted knives usually have a thumb stud or flipper. FIXED-BLADE KNIVES: This type of knife does not fold or contract, but its versatility makes it a favorite of campers, hunters, sportsmen and more. BUTTON POWERED LEVER & SPRING POWERED REINFORCED WITH SCREWS
  3. 3. OUT THE FRONT KNIVES: This variant is similar to an automatic knife, but the blade always comes out of the front rather than the side. And as with automatic knives, check your local laws before purchasing an OTF knife. BLADE SHOOTS VIA FRONT SERRATED KNIVES: These knives are not primarily designed for the wilderness, as they are better suited for slicing rather than carving and chopping. Serrated knives are particularly useful for cutting through nylon and other synthetic lines, rope, webbed belts, harnesses, clothing and even flesh (though hopefully you won’t have to put it to such use). Paramedics and law enforcement officials can make great use of serrated knives, and average citizens can use them as a defensive blade. Secondarily, they can be used for marine survival, such as line cutting and fish slicing. It’s also much more difficult to sharpen a serrated blade in the field. You can do a decent job of sharpening a regular blade on a common stone, but this will not work with a serrated blade. WWW.ECOPUSA.COM SHARP JAGS CREATE EASE OF CUT
  4. 4. Types of Blade Edges STRAIGHT EDGE: This is one of the most common types of blade edges and was once the go-to style for many knives, but partially serrated edges have since taken over a good share of the market. This is the sharpest type of blade edge and can do some major damage if the wielder knows how to make the most of it. Straight edge blades are useful and versatile, but they won’t work for everything. Straight edge blades are extremely precise, and wielders can control them well because of the extremely sharp edge. Furthermore, these blades are easy to sharpen, which is undoubtedly helpful when out in the field. But this ability comes with a disadvantage in that straight edge blades do not hold their edge for very long, as is the case with most knives that sharpen easily. It also requires more frequent sharpening. And it’s rather slow and ineffective when cutting through thick or tough materials. This type of blade is best used for skinning animals, chopping wood or other tasks that require “push” cuts. You can also use these to shave if you want to avoid that mountain man look. COARSE-GROUND STRAIGHT EDGE: Also known as a micro-serrated edge, this is a variation on the straight edge blade. You can craft one of these by sharpening a straight edge knife with a coarse stone to create micro serrations on the edge. These types of blades maintain the advantages of the straight edge blade, but with the added bonus of slicing through ropes or other such soft materials. But the trade-off is the sharpening process can damage the blade if you do it incorrectly, and the micro serrations reduce the blade’s ability to perform push cuts. Therefore, this knife is best suited for cutting ropes and little else. SERRATED EDGE: This type of knife was actually created to complement the straight edge knife rather than compete with it. Numerous types of serrated edge knives exist, but each of them is most useful at accomplishing tasks for which a straight edge knife falls short. WWW.ECOPUSA.COM
  5. 5. For starters, serrated edge knives hold their edges for much longer and require less sharpening. They also apply less pressure to the object during cutting and does not distort the object as much. For example, think about slicing through a loaf of bread with a serrated knife and a straight edge knife. The latter causes the bread to squish down, while the former maintains the shape. Serrated knives also offer better control when cutting through thicker, harder materials. They also do more damage in combat thanks to the serrations, which tear wounds apart more than a straight edge blade. On the other hand, these knives are harder to control in some cases because of the less sharp edge. And though they require less sharpening, they are also quite difficult to sharpen. Finally, the serrated edge can easily get tangled with cloth, fur, skin or similar objects. Serrated knives are best used for slicing through bread and ropes, as well as thick wood objects and cardboard. Serrated knives are also useful for cutting through objects with hard shells and soft insides, such as crabs and lobsters. PARTIALLY SERRATED EDGE: This knife has stolen some of the thunder from the straight edge knife, particularly for outdoor knives and survival knives, as it tries to combine the best qualities of both the straight edge and serrated blades. Ordinarily, the top 50 to 60 percent of the blade is straight edge and comes to a sharp point, while the bottom 40 to 50 percent is serrated to help with heavy slicing. The partially serrated knife is convenient, as it keeps the best qualities of straight and serrated blades. It is also extremely versatile, as the sharp edge can perform push cuts and the serrated portion can do heavy slicing. But this design needs to be longer than three inches for it to be effective, as any shorter length would lose the great characteristics of the two types of edges. And the orientation of the straight and serrated edges might not always work, as some tasks require serrate edges on top with a straight edge on the bottom. This knife is best for people who do not have a preference or bias in their knife use, or for those who simply want to just carry one knife with all of the advantages rolled up into one blade. WWW.ECOPUSA.COM
  6. 6. How to Choose Your Blade Edge You should consider the following three questions in order to properly select the best blade for you. 1) FOR WHAT TYPE OF CUTTING WILL YOU MOST USE THIS KNIFE? If you plan to do a lot of push cuts, hole punches and precision cuts, then you need a sharp, straight edge; however, a serrated edge would serve you better if you intend to cut a lot of leather, cardboard or other thick, tough materials. WWW.ECOPUSA.COM 2) IS SPEED IMPORTANT? Serrate knives will slice through objects like seat belts and ropes much more quickly, which makes them the go-to choice for response teams or survival situations. But for tasks such as skinning an animal or shaving wood properly, a straight edge blade is the weapon of choice. 3) HOW OFTEN WILL YOU USE THE KNIFE? If you do not plan to use the knife all that often, then a partially serrated edge would be the best choice. Any edge would do, but this type of knife offers the best of each kind in one tool.
  7. 7. Folding Knives: What You Need to Know HAND FEEL: When choosing a knife, it should feel like a natural extension of your own hand. Weight, grip and handle design all play a role in the decision. If a knife feels awkward in your hand when holding it, then that knife is not going to serve you well when it comes to slicing through rope or chopping wood. “Hold it in your hand with your eyes open and then close your eyes,” says Bill Raczkowski, category manager for Gerber. “If you have to use this knife in an emergency, you may have to do so without looking at it. Make sure it feels like part of your own body.” Raczkowski also suggests those who wear gloves while on duty should test the knife while wearing their gloves. THE TIP: The tip is often the first aspect of a knife you will notice when you open the blade, and there are two types of blade points: tanto and drop point. Tanto blades are designed based off a Japanese fighting knife that was traditionally made form a broken sword. The blade keeps its thickness until the tip, where it angles to an incredibly sharp point. This makes the blade ideal for puncturing and chopping. You can even use a fixed blade tonto for prying. It’s important to note that you should never use a folding knife for prying because the liner could slip or break, which would cause major problems. Drop point blades are traditional rounded blades, much like kitchen knives. The blades thin out toward the tip, a design suited for precision cuts. These are also useful for slicing and skinning animals. CARBON CONTENT: Two main factors determine the quality of blade steel: chemical composition and hardness. Numerous elements compose the steel that makes up a blade, but carbon is key. Higher carbon content means the blade will hold its edge for longer, but it will also corrode more easily. Low carbon blades are better for marine use. Many knife manufacturers will list the chemical compositions of the blades on their websites, so be sure to consult those or call customer service before buying. Hardness is derived from heat treatment and carbon content and is expressed with the Rockwell Hardness Code. Special machines test this figure, so there’s WWW.ECOPUSA.COM
  8. 8. unfortunately no easy way to do it yourself. Blades tend to have a Rockwell Hardness range of 55 to 60, which indicates they are soft enough to sharpen but hard enough to handle some wear and tear. If blade steel is too hard, then it becomes brittle and difficult to sharpen. PRICE: Folding knives can cost $5 or $500, and both prices would provide you with a fully functional blade. But the most expensive knife would also be made of better steel and would hold its edge longer, and it would also have better grips, liners, design and engineering. So ultimately, you must decide how much quality you want to sacrifice for a cheaper price. POSITIONING: A knife is useless to you if you cannot take it out at a moment’s notice in case of an emergency. Therefore, be sure to keep your knife in a place where you can reach it without fumbling for it, and be sure to practice for both safety and efficiency. How to Clean and Sharpen Your Knife Once you’ve selected your knife, it is crucial to maintain the blade through proper cleaning and sharpening. So let’s look at some of the ways you can extend the life of your blade. CLEAN THE BLADE: Prepare a surface that you don’t mind getting a bit oily or stained. Squeeze a few drops of 3-in-1 oil onto the blade and use a towel to wipe down the blade. We do not want dirt or small debris to get into the whetstone when we use it later, so this step is key. If you are using a folding knife, be sure to use some oil on the pivot hinge, as well. WWW.ECOPUSA.COM
  9. 9. SHARPEN THE BLADE: Once the coarse side of the stone has been prepared, you can start to sharpen the blade. Hold the knife by the handle in your dominant hand and lay it on the stone so that the blade is flat. Lift the back edge of the blade slightly so that it rests at a 15 to 20 degree angle, and be sure to keep the angle consistent as you sharpen. Put your other hand on the face of the blade and keep your fingers away from the blade edge. With a strong, smooth motion, push the knife away from you with both hands. Move the blade edge along the whetstone with firm pressure as if you are trying to shave a razor-thin layer off the stone. You should move the knife as if you are slicing through a piece of meat. Move down the length of the blade from the tip to the hilt. Do this five times, flip the knife by switching the positions of your hands and repeat. Repeat this cycle two to three times. Flip the whetstone, rub oil on the fine side and then repeat the five-stroke cycle on this side. As you sharpen the blade, you can check your work between cycles. Hold the knife on its edge so that you are looking directly at the sharp side. If done correctly, then the edge will look like a thin black line. If sharpened too much on one side, then the blade will reflect light. You can also lightly glide your thumb laterally along the edge to test your work. If you feel the blade raking across the grooves of your thumbprint, then you’re in good shape and should continue with the process. WWW.ECOPUSA.COM KEEP AWAY FROM BLADE EDGE AND KEEP THE ANGLE CONSISTENT CLEAN UP: As your sharpen the blade, you will likely see some discolored fluid with floating particulates on the open face, but this is completely normal. Simply wipe the blade clean with a cloth and proceed. When you are finished sharpening the blade, pat the whetstone dry with paper towels and put it away.
  10. 10. STORE THE KNIFE: Place the knife into its sheath and keep it in a dry, isolated place. A lack of humidity means the blade will stay clean until the next time you use it. For long-term storage, wrap the blade in paper and place it in a plastic bag to keep water from seeping into the knife. BROUGHT TO YOU BY GET IN TOUCH 1-844-ECOPUSA WWW.ECOPUSA.COM

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