EC Knife Use: Selection, Safety, & Skills

The Art Of Carving: Knife Safety, Selection, & Usage

Let's begin The Art of Carving skills journey! Mentors are very excited that you and your group are ready for this new set of skills. Using knives and other edged tools allows us to create so many useful things. Our knives are a critical part of our fire making equipment; they allow us to make tinder and can carve the pieces of a fire by friction kit. Learning the skills to safely use and care for a knife is the first part of this journey and to do so you need an appropriate knife!

Choosing a knife can be a difficult job as there are nearly endless choices. We have a couple of recommendations to aid you in making a good decision. A great choice is a small fixed blade (non-folding) knife made by Mora. They are inexpensive ($20 or less) robust, easy to sharpen, and safer than a folding knife. These Mora knives follow the traditional pattern of Scandinavian knives and excel in working with wood. Many of the mentors own and use these knives.

Since an internet search will yield a multitude of different Mora knives, here are some specific models we recommend:

Mora Companion $10-$20 on (basic knife)

Mora Companion HD $15-$25 on (Thicker blade, possibly more robust)

Many fixed blade knives available at sporting goods stores are either molded after military knives or skinning knives. Neither of these is ideal as we learn to carve in wood. Avoid knives with serrated sections on the blade. These serrated knives are difficult to sharpen and are poor wood working tools. 

If you would prefer a folding knife, then a locking blade is essential. Opinel makes an inexpensive locking blade knife with a quality blade ($12-$15) and it is an excellent pocket knife. Other folding knives can work well also, as long as they have a locking mechanism for the blade. Hopefully this helps you select a useful tool that will last you a long time. If you haven't seen the Explorers Club knife safety video, then please have a look at it. We are looking forward to showing you how to use these amazing tools safely and effectively!

On your groups first day of carving, the mentors will bring with them extra Mora knives to share. Additionally, mentors will be doing a safety check to make sure that the knives operate well and are suited for the kind of wood carving that we will be doing on our outings. 

Drew Butler & Matt Fogarty: Knife Safety and Usage Part 1

Drew Butler & Matt Fogarty: Knife Safety and Usage part 2