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Knife Testing Methodologies

Woods Monkey is a site related to outdoors gear and topics.  So, the gear that we review is typically done in the context of how that gear would be used in the outdoors.  Take, for instance, knives.  I recently had a conversation with someone who questioned different tests done on knives in magazines and on different websites.  His premise was that real outdoors people do not baton wood to make fire out on in the field.  He said that real outdoors people use axes for which they were intended.  I offered up the thought that backpackers, hikers, plane pilots, kayakers, and so forth don’t typically carry axes beause of issues relating to weight and portability.  Therefore, they have to depend on their knives…their choppers, for tasks related to making shelters and sometimes for making a fire.  At least, I have seen this happen at many outdoors gatherings and various camp-outs, and have done it myself.

We need your help on the next page!!

But, it did get me to thinking about a couple of things, so I wanted to pose the question to our audience.  What do you feel are the most important tasks that you would rely upon your knife for out in the wilderness?  Have you ever used a knife for chopping?  Have you ever split wood with a knife to make kindling that will catch fire easier?  I ask these questions not only to find out what others do, but also to help guide us in the future.  We would like to know what types of activities you would like to see done in knife reviews that would more truly reflect what you would do in the field.  Your help would ensure that we’re providing the content that you want and that covers the most important aspects of various uses for knives out in the wild.

If you would, take a moment to take our two polls in the right hand column of the page.  One poll is to simply ask whether or not you have ever batoned a knife to split wood for kindling to make a fire.  The second poll is to ask what you think the most important role of a large knife (say 7-9 inch blade) would be out in the wild.  I ask about the larger blade knives only, because we’re typically not chopping or batoning with a 3-4 inch blade.  If you don’t find the task that you think is the most important, feel free to post your comments below this article to let us know what you use your knives for out in the bush.

Once we see these results, we’ll try to incorporate the top results our forthcoming reviews so we can provide the content you’d like to see.


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