Please note: This article covers a setting where you are remotely and you have restrictions on the weight and space you have available. If there are no restrictions you can take of course not needed things like a fixed blade knife.

There is hardly any other topic which is so popular in the outdoor bubble then fixed blade knifes. The reasons are pretty simple: A knife is one of the oldest tools and a weapon. People find it useful for a lot of things and like them the bigger the better. Basically people transition nowadays from standard fixed blade knifes to more machete style knifes (kukri) because they think they are even more useful. But that’s not true.

Some of my knives where I made the handles myself and two of the leather sheets

A fixed blade knife is mainly useless in wilderness living. In the last ten years I hardly carried one even I have a lot of nice self made ones. The reason is simple: For what do you need it instead of a good folding knife? And when most people think about that they will find out: Mainly for nothing.

I just come up with one task: Cutting meat (or other food) nicely for kitchen (not for field dressing). For everything else there are better tools. If I want to chop something I use an axe. If I want to carve or cut something I use a folding knife. Folding knives are much more versatile and handy. They are much lighter and smaller and can do much more tasks due to their tools. If a folding knife is too small for a task, then again, you use the hatchet or axe.

With a 90mm folding knife I field dress a complete adult male moose without any problem. There is no need for a fixed blade knife to do that. A knife is a tool for cutting, meaning you cut things and not chop them, like people do with their fixed blade ones nowadays. Now some people will say that they do not have an heavy axe with them and that’s why they use a fixed blade knife. But again, instead of carrying the useless knife it is better to carry a small saw. Good hatchets start at around 600gr. A bigger fixed blade knife which you can use more rough usually also weights at least 250gr. For that weight I can also carry a nice folding saw which is much more useful then the knife.

When I talk about folding knives I always mean multitool alike ones.

You often see on youtube what cool stuff people do with their big knives. But in reality to do these things with a knife is just very complicated and is also mostly abuse of the knife. Especially batoning is one of these techniques which can break your knife easily and are very unhandy to do – it requires a lot of energy and goes very slowly. Batoning also just makes sense if you have sawed bigger logs, so you need to have a saw also. But instead of the fixed blade knife and the saw better take a hatchet or axe.

And even if you want to split wood with your knife you can use a folding knife. But instead of batoning you cut or saw a notch in and use a wood wedge you drill with a stick. That works better then any batoning.

I will cover in an upcoming article why axes are better for cutting wood then saws in the wilderness and why I do not relay on saws.