Looking for a knife that opens with one hand, won’t fold back on your fingers under a heavy load, and requires almost no maintenance? The easiest and best solution is the oldest — not the automatic or the lockback folder, but the old-fashioned fixed blade. Wear it in a belt sheath and it’s there when you need it.
OK, maybe you’ll get some strange looks in town and it might not be entirely appropriate attire in all situations, but on the farm or in the woods this knife style makes perfect sense. Fixed blades don’t fail and they come in all sizes, made for all conceivable purposes. Full tang versions are either ground or forged from one piece of steel stock — you can see the steel core of the knife on top and bottom of the handle and all the way to the butt. Some good modern fixed blades extend the tang a little beyond that for use as a glass smasher.
Rat tail tang fixed blades aren’t weaker, just made differently, with a slender inner core of steel running through the handle grip and usually capped with an end bolster of brass or steel. Many of the best combat knives use this construction. In either tang style you’ll find much of a maker’s best work in the fixed blade knife, with less mechanical challenge and more art.
Our choice for the best fixed blade knife is the Fox River from Bark River Knives. Bark River’s attention to detail has always earned them a ton of praise
Proven to be one of the best knives ever made, the Ka-Bar Combat Bowie was field tested in every war since 1942 — this is the Vietnam Commemorative version.
The Boker Tacticos Corso is a fine tactical knife even civilians can carry.