1. The Blade
The first choice with blade is fixed blade vs folding blade; for getting the most use out of your knife you’ll probably want to go with the fixed blade. It gives you the full tang and much more stability and usefulness in ways other than strictly cutting.
Once you decide on a full blade you’ve got choices on serrated vs fine edge, blade shape, and even saw teeth on the back edge. Again, each of these will have advantages and disadvantages that must be considered before making your final decision. Let’s have a look at a few of them.
Serrated blades work very well for cutting through anything thick, vines, rope, and small trees, but they are difficult to sharpen and can break off when using the knife for chopping or splitting thicker woods.
Fine edge blades, these work well for most cutting tasks and can be used along with extra force to chop, cut, or split even fairly thick trees and can be easily re-sharpened on the fly. On the negative side it can be quite difficult to “saw” through ropes and fibrous materials.
Saw teeth: these teeth, if offset, can help you quickly saw through small branches or metals that may be difficult to chop or cut. On the other hand, having the saw teeth on the back can make it much more difficult to “hammer” the blade into wood for splitting.
Once you decide what’s most important to you, then it’s time to either search through all the pre-manufactured knives out there, looking for the one that suits you best, or you can do like me and craft your own.