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What is a bowie knife and why you might need one

Written by Fiona

April 26 2020

If you are someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, then you will probably know all about the importance of having a good knife. It is a good all around tool that has many different uses.

A survival knife is something people take for granted and many so-called survivalists swear by Bowie knives as their knife of choice. 

But, what exactly is a Bowie knife and how can it be used? It has a place in American history and folklore, but not many people actually know what it is and what to do with one.

This article will reveals the background to the Bowie knife and give you some uses so you can decide if you should use one yourself.

What is a Bowie knife?

When the knife was first made, it was basically a variation of a butcher’s knife and was designed for close combat battle. It was made popular by Jim Bowie, who was a pioneer in the early days of the US.

When people think of the Bowie knife, they often imagine a pioneer in a raccoon hat fighting off a bear with it. There have been some modifications since those early days, but the basics of modern fixed blade bowie knives are still essentially the same.

When to use a Bowie knife

If you are hunting and harvesting animals then the Bowie should be your knife of choice. Since it was originally a butcher’s knife, it is perfectly suited to dressing your kill. It can cut through the flesh easily and disjointing is very quick. Then, it is also essential for skinning.

In addition to that, the weight and strength of the blade makes it a good tool to cut through foliage and branches if you are out in the forest.

What to look for in a Bowie knife

The traditional material for a Bowie knife is carbon steel. It is durable and strong and holds an edge for a long time. It’s also easy to sharpen yourself when you have a whetstone so you can maintain it without too many problems. 

The blade size is quite large and is what makes the knife identifiable. This may take some getting used to because many people new to survivalism opt for shorter, foldable blades.

It’s the size of the blade that makes it so useful. It will take getting used to especially if you love the precision a small blade gives you, but once you get the hang of it, the length becomes an advantage.

Look for a strong tang that can handle the weight of the blade. A weak tang will be prone to having the blade break off at the hilt.

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