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Way Of Life Outfitters Blog

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Knife Guide:
The 5 Basic Knife Types and Uses

Type 1 - Manual Folding Knives

With this type of knife, it requires you to physically open the blade, using a thumb stud, a cutout, or some other manual system and the blade closes into the handle with no assisted mechanism.

There are three main types of folding knives: single blade, multi-blade, and multi-tools (aka Swiss Army type knives).

1) Single-Blade Manual Folding  Knives
☝️ Most widely used because of simplicity

📏 Come in a variety of shapes and sizes/lengths

🔒 Often have a locking mechanism

💪 Studier than multi-blades

These are your basic everyday pocket knives. Great for #EDC, but not #Bushcraft.

2) Multi-Blade Manual Folding Knives

🪚 Multiple blades = Multiple functions

🦣 Bulkier than single blades

🗡️Not as strong as a single-blade knife

These types of knives tend to be very traditional and feature a combination of spey (curved knife blade good for livestock and grafting, often seen in trapper knives), sheepsfoot (blade that drops down into a point which is strong and useful), pen (blade was designed for sharpening a quill originally, come in a variety of looks) or drop point blades (style of knife blade that slopes on the spine of the blade from the handle of the knife to the tip of the blade).

3) Swiss Army Style/Multi-Tool Knives

These types of knives contain so much more than just a basic blade, including:

🪚 Saws

🪥 Toothpicks

✂️ Scissors

🔍 Magnifying glasses

And even 🍾 corkscrews

These are the most versatile pocket knives on the market and can range from 3 tools to a whopping 87 tools in one. If you need a knife to be a jack-of-all-trades like you grab a multi-tool.

Type 2 - Spring Assisted Knives

This type of folding knife is an assisted opening knife, the internal spring helps to open ONLY after the blade is slightly pushed open with force.

🏪 Convenient

🪠 Useful

🐇 Quick

They come in every size, shape, length and brand imaginable.

Type 3 - Automatic/Switch Blade Knives
We are entering the territory of knife restrictions with Automatics.
These blades automatically open with the push of a button or pull of a lever.
The two styles are Out The Front (OTF) and side opening.

🏎️ Fast opening

🏕️ Great for survival

🎉 Fun

🔦 Functional

Type 4 - Fixed Blade Knife

These type of knives the blade is attached to handle and cannot pivot or close.
Generally, the better fixed-blade knives will be full tang.


🪨 Solid

🥾 Adaptable

Type 5 - Butterfly/Balisong Knives

These type of knives have two handles that pivot around the blade. Think 🥷
There are restrictions in many jurisdictions for these types of knives.

🎈 Fun

📺 For recreation

⚖️ Legal complications


Whatever type of basic knife you choose to carry,
1) Always check the legality of your knife choice
2) Pick a knife that suits your needs
3) Keep it sharp!

Be Prepared: Build a Better Bug Out Bag 

Bug Out Bag, also called a “go bag” or 72-hour emergency kit. These bags should be easy-to-carry for emergency situations. No two bags are equal. The same goes for the contents. But all bags need to contain key items to aid in your survival.

Join me as we cover those here.

You are unique. So are your bug-out bag needs. All bug-out bags need to contain an item or two from universal categories though. What you need to remember is, YOU are going to have to CARRY your bag and your gear. Be careful in choosing your gear. Try to have as many multi-use lightweight items as possible in your bug-out bag.

Each bag will need to contain items from categories such as:

Category No. 1 – Hydration

How you capture, clean, and carry water.

Category No. 2 – Shelter

What you sleep on, in, and under.

Category No. 3 – Food

Maintain energy levels. Source and Prepare.

Category No. 4 – Fire Starting

With what and how to start a fire.

Category No. 5 – Navigation

Where to go and How to get there.

Category No. 6 – First Aid

Essentials that are a must and Extras for the “what if’s”

Category No. 7 – Tools

Multi-use Tools and Kits

Category No. 8 – Weapons

Hand. Long-Range. And Renewable

Category No. 9 – Clothing

Multi-purpose. Moisture-wicking. Adaptable.

Category No. 10 – Other Important Items

For the “what if’s”

Whatever type of bug-out bag you choose, pick items that serve multiple purposes and keep your total weight in mind. We will cover more this topic more specifically later.

The post Be Prepared: Build a Better Bug Out Bag appeared first on Way Of Life Outfitters.

Beginners Guide:
How an Automatic Knife Works

Automatic Knife AKA Switchblades

Knives that open automatically with the press of a button or the pull of a lever. The speed of an automatic knife makes it ideal in emergency situations and for emergency personnel. Automatic knives are restricted in many areas, check your local laws before purchasing and possessing. 

How does an Automatic Knife work?

Automatic knives have two types of mechanisms, a Single-Action or a Double-Action mechanism. 

And the way they function depend upon the type of action. 


They deploy quickly and easily with one quick action. Closing is a different matter.

Since the release button/lever only performs one action, you cannot close it as simply as you opened it.

To close, you will have to pull back a lever to return the blade inside the handle. 


Double-action automatic knives allow you to quickly deploy and then close the blade simply and efficiently. This type of knife would be crucial if you need to handle the knife single-handedly. 

This knife below, our Mini OTF, is a perfect example of a double-action automatic knife. The button on the front can deploy and retract the blade rapidly. Making this the knife to turn to if you need it in a pinch.

Blade Steel: Science of Blades

When choosing the best knife for your situation you should pay particular attention to the type of steel as well as the edge and even blade shape. Your steel is a critical element of how that blade is going to keep an edge and perform in the situations you need it for. Steel is an alloy (combination of at least one metal and a nonmetal combined) of carbon and iron that is enriched with other elements to improve certain characteristics dependent upon the application desired. 

Carbon Steel vs Stainless Steel 

Carbon Steel
Very little Chromium
More likely to rust
Harder, retains sharpness better
Best for outdoor applications

Stainless Steel
At least 10.5% Chromium
Rust resistant
Softer, harder keeping an edge
Best for kitchen application 

Let's Talk Hardness Here... 

Hardness or (HRC) refers the steels resistance to heat, stress and other forces regularly being applied to knives. The ability for the steel to retain its original shape is measured by the Rockwell C scale. A blade must have the hardness of at least 52 to be able to be considered usable. General knife steel falls in between 58 & 62 HRC range.

Keep in mind... the harder the knife steel, the more challenging it will be to sharpen.

Typical Steel Types 

065 Steel
(Not a stainless steel)
- tough steel, medium edge durability, resistant to wear and easy to sharpen.
Popular for swords and large knives.
54 - 60 HRC

440 Steel
(Stainless Steel)
- resistant to corrosion, high strength, great edge retention.
58 HRC

(Not a stainless steel)
- very durable, long lasting edge retention, great hardness.
55 -62 HRC

Steel Elements and Key Features 

Carbon - Hardness, Edge Retention

Chromium - Corrosion Resistance, Hardness

Molybdenum - Toughness

Nickel - Toughness

Vanadium - Hardenability, Wear Resistance

Cobalt - Hardness

Manganese - Hardenability, Strength, Wear Resistance

Silicon - Hardenability, Strength

Niobium - Toughness, Wear Resistance, Corrosion Resistance

Tungsten - Toughness, Wear Resistance

Sulfur - Machinability

Phosphorus - Hardness, Corrosion Resistance

Nitrogen - Hardness, Corrosion Resistance

A premium steel doesn't necessarily denote a better blade. Just like a lower grade steel does not always mean a low quality blade.

Test your knife for your purpose. Don't worry about all the science!

30 Ways to Become Self-Sufficient

If the constant destruction of food manufacturing facilities, packing facilities, chicken houses and other livestock establishments wasn't enough to convince you to start preparing for the SHTF, then how about the 32.2% increase on eggs alone in the last few month?

What Can I Do To Become More Self-Sufficient?

Glad you asked.