Monday, September 26, 2016

Common Machete Styles and Their Uses

I would love for there to be an end-all style of machete. Unfortunately, there are just too many specified tasks for there to be a single standout style. That being said, here are some of the most commonly used and most practical of machetes.
The Latin machete is probably the first thing that comes to mind, when someone mentions the tools of the jungle trade. Latin machetes are well balanced and have a straight spine from tip to tang. Effective at cutting through brush, it lacks a bit of luster when it comes to its chopping power. However, this straight edge lends itself well to chores around the campsite. The time-tested design has shown that if you're willing to put in the effort, then the rugged Latin machete will perform.
The Falcata style machete is my personal favorite and for good reason. Much like a kukri (which is really a knife), the tapered blade allows the weight to work for you when chopping but also allows you to carve with the blade since it is thinner and more maneuverable near the handle. Having a nice spear point also makes it suitable for defense, such as a slashing and thrusting weapon. 
With a Two-Handed Machete nothing can stand in the way of your chopping might! Evident in the name, using two hands is key here and it works wonders. Chop down trees if you have the endurance for it, then split the wood to build a shelter. Unfortunately, this machete is far too cumbersome to perform small delicate tasks like carving or skinning. Best to bring a side knife!

What Makes a Good Hunting Knife?

Knives come in a multitude of sizes, shapes and strengths so that they can reliably perform a given task. Therefore, any given knife use has a knife designed for it. One of the most common inquiries we get is "what is the best knife for hunting?" While there is always an element of personal preference, here are some of our thoughts on a great hunting knife.

It all starts with the blade style. Skinning knives tend to have an accentuated curve about a half inch from the tip or at the "belly" of the knife. Slight curvature is necessary to do smooth, short, sweeping cuts when separating the hide from the meat.

Next up is length. Bigger is not always better in this instance. When the majority of the knife work is going to be on the inside, a smaller blade will maneuver better and easier. For this reason, keep your hunter around the four-inch mark to maintain easy control of the blade edge.

You want a knife with backbone! What is too often overlooked is the back or "spine" of the knife. A proper hunting knife will have some form of jimping or filed notches to grant multiple, secure positions with which to hold the knife. Not only does this add versatility to your approach, it looks great too!

When skinning, things can get awfully slippery, awfully fast. For this reason, a small guard to keep the fingers from sliding past the handle is an absolute boon. A roughly textured handle can also help in maintaining a sure grip, because for ACC every little bit helps.

Finally, and really most importantly in any knife purchase, is the knife steel. You want something that has amazing edge retention. Few things are as inconvenient as having to switch knives halfway through a job because of a dull edge. Worse still is having only one knife and having to stop and resharpen! There are many sturdy stainless steels that meet this requirement, or if you don't mind showing some TLC to your knife a high carbon blade is always a good bet.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Top 3 styles of knife sharpeners

There are many different types and brands of knife sharpeners available to the blade enthusiast, from honing with metal and stone to leather and abrasive belts. But ultimately, there are methods that see more use than others. Below are listed the three most common types of sharpening systems.

Metal: Metal or Titanium Carbide sharpeners are probably the fastest way to put an edge on nearly anything. But they are also some of the crudest forms of sharpening. A carbide sharpener works by having an angle preset with two blades in a fixed housing. The sharpener blades are usually made of much stronger substance than your typical knife blank, and when a dull edge is drawn across them, they shear the metal into a functional edge. This process isn't for your high-end collection knives; the shearing of metal means there is less blade for you to use and will eventually whittle your knife into something that resembles a toothpick. Still, when you need a quick rough edge, there is no faster or more convenient way.

Sharpening Stones: This is considered to be the "traditional" method of sharpening by most knife aficionados. It involves drawing a blade across a lubricated or "wet" stone at a precise angle to hone a blade edge. While this method does take some time to allow muscle memory to capture that precise angle, it can make a sharp edge like no other. There are also different grit stones for the different stages of sharpening: Coarse- for the initial grinding and starting an edge; Medium- where the blade starts to actually become sharp and for some, this is as far as they go; and lastly, Fine- an almost smooth stone that puts the finishing touches on your edge and makes it sharp enough to shave with.

Belts: Belt sharpeners are the more commercial way of getting an edge on a knife but there have been several manufacturers that have made miniaturized versions for people at home. By spinning an abrasive belt at high speeds, these sharpeners can grind multiple blades in a single sitting. Much like stones, varying grit levels are available for both initial edging and fine honing.

Friday, September 16, 2016

National Pow/MIA Recognition Day

Today is National Pow/MIA Recognition Day in the United States. Where we take time to commemorate those who have been held as prisoners of war, and those who are still missing in action. If you know someone who has been a PoW, there is probably very little comfort you can give them by bringing up the experience. Just be thankful for their service, fly the standard PoW/MIA flag, and maybe make a donation to a cause for veterans. Did you know that the first observed Pow/MIA Day was in 1979? Although it wasn't until after 1985 that it started being regularly remembered on the 3rdFriday of September. Today is also one of the only six occasions that it is proper to fly the PoW/MIA flag, usually slightly under the Red, White and Blue.

Monday, September 12, 2016

More than just blades

Since Atlanta Cutlery is most prominent for its sale of knives and other similar blade products, we could forgive you for not knowing we have costuming options as well! If you are looking for anything in the Civil War, WWI or WWII era, this is the place to start! With shirts, jackets, pants, plus head and foot wear we can get you dressed fully and period accurately! If that isn't enough, you can always pop over to our sister site, Museum Replicas for even more Halloween options!