10 Knife Types: Outdoor Blades

From the humble pocketknife to serious “survival” blades, this tutorial breaks down 10 common (and some not so common) types of outdoor blades. Daggers, throwing knives, and the classic Bowie knife are just a few included in the mix.

#1 — Assist-Opening
Requires manual initiation of blade before spring or other mechanism takes over to flip open the blade.

Instant pocket knife.jpg

#2 — Bowie
Large sheath knife popularized by 19th-century American pioneer Jim Bowie.

Bowie knife.jpg

#3 — Clip Folder
A folding knife with a clip mounted to the handle that enables user to attach to a pocket or belt for easy access.

Pocket clip.jpg

#4 — Dagger
Double-edged knife with central spine, full-length, sharpened edges.


#5 — Machete
Long, heavy blade used to cut a path through thick vegetation.


#6 — Multitool
Self-contained folding tool including blade(s), pliers, drivers, files, etc.

#7 — Pocketknife
Also known as jackknife. May include several folding blades and other implements.


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#8 — Survival
Fixed blade (commonly). Made for “survival” scenarios in wilderness, including cutting wood for fire and fashioning shelter. Some have hollow handles with small survival items stocked inside.

Survival knife.jpg

#9 — Swiss Army
Originally commissioned design by Swiss Army (in late 1800s). Multiple implements fold into handle for storage.

swiss army.jpg

#10 — Throwing
Weighted for spinning on a throw; solid construction, blunt-end handle butt.

throwing knife.jpg

—Patrick Murphy is assistant editor at GearJunkie.