Dec 23, 1998
Ok, what do you guys consider the ideal overall knife size. Lets include overall length, blade length, width and thickness.

My personal favorite size range is a knife in the 11 inch length with a 6.5 inch blade and 3/16 inch thickness. This gives speed and strength. What do you guys think. Are there some larger knives that handle better due to shape and design.

I've found over the years that those fixed blade knives with a blade length running from a hair under 4 inches to a bit over 6" do most of my work. Blade thickness usually correlates to cutting ease but I've a few that seem to defy that so I'll just say thin versus prybar is best. Now OAL or overall length is only a concern to me on those I carry concealed. I'm much more concerned with ample handle lengths and the ergonomics reflected in their designs.


Keep yer powder dry and cutters hair poppin' sharp!

[This message has been edited by bald1 (edited 21 January 1999).]
Good question!!
I think blade length is associated with intended and usual use. For me, who wears a suit and tie everyday, I need something between a 2" and 4" blade. So, what do I do with the blade on a usual basis? Open mail, trim fingernails, open mustard and catsup institutional servings.....really civilized stuff. If I were cutting open cardboard boxes, rope, wire, wood and heavier stuff., I would want a bigger blade. For self defense (which is last on the "usual" list), I would want the longest, sharpest blade that I could handle. Like my 9" CS Oyabun Tanto. If I were a butcher, I would want the longest, softest metal blade that wouldn't stink stuff up like old carbon.
So, I settle on 2-4" blades.
I usaully carry an Umfaan, Mini-UDT, Spyderco Dragonfly or Pegasis in my pocket.
I also usually carry a Cheyenne auto, AFO, Socom D/A, Genesis, REKAT Pioneer,Sebenza,or
auto Spike for bad guys. I'd be in MUCH better shape if I had my PPK or THP on me when the bad stuff happens, however.
It just boils down to a matter of preference. And, we all love our knives.
Enjoyed the opportunity to answer. Thanks.
For me, it's 3.5" long, as that's the longest i can carry (concealed). So for me it's a mini-socom, and a itty bitty EZ-out (my baby, it's survived everything i've put it through, locks up solid, has no play, and does EVERYTHING for me).

For a camp knife, i like machate's (or however you spell it

Well, this is starting to get good. I guess since we are including folders also, my favorite size is the largest I can comfortably carry in a pocket of my slacks. This is usually a blade no longer than 4 inches, with titanium liners or aluminum handles. My choice for folders is 3 in. to 4 in. blade size. Most of todays popular folders are in that range.

As for fixed blades, I like the SOG and Alley KAT style knives and size. Of course the longer blades have more reach, but not as much concealability.

So lets just say, if you had to have just one fixed blade and one folding blade, what would it be??? Lets assume we alrady have a Katana or short sword, so super length of over 15 inch blade is not an issue. I'm talking knives..
Different lengths for different missions. For a camp knife or a fighting bowie, 10" by .25", double ground in the case of a fighter.

For heavy utility and hunting, I agree with Cobalt's specs, about 6" by 3/16" full width flat ground.

General utility, about 4" by .12"

I like a handle size of about 4.5 to 5" depending on the blade use, but a longer or shorter handle might be called for to get proper balance. It all depends on the shape of the handle and the weight of the blade.

Ralf; right on. The knife you have with you all the time is the most important one.

I have found that design is more important than sheer size. I find a large Sebenza too large and clunky to carry, but I have an A T Barr folder that is actually about 1/2 longer than the Sebenza which I carry with ease. The blade on the A T Barr is slightly over 4".

Another knife I carry a lot is a Stellite (r) folder from Kit Carson; the blade is a little over 4" as well, but the knife is a lot lighter than the A T Barr, as the scales are c-Fiber and the liner lock is an inlaid strip of Ti.

Both of these knives are a lot larger than the ones I used to carry, but, Ralf has it right; it is what you can carry comfortably that counts. Walt
While I agree with all the opinions that whatever you have, or can have, is good, and that you should use different size blades for different uses, I can't find a very good way to carry knives whose blades exceed about 4.5 inches. Fixed or folder, if they get much longer than that, I can't wear them comfortably in my pocket or on my belt.

So, for "everyday" knives, I usually choose one with a blade length longer than 3", but no longer than about 4.5". Becasue they are difficult to carry comfortably. Of course, there may be a Swiss Army "Classic" somewhere in my bag, and I might pack a 12" machete on a camping trip, but for "everyday" the blades seem to end up around 4".


P.S. Some nice pictures of a blade a little over 4 inches over in the Custom Knife Forum!
For tactical fixed blades, I think longer is generally better. A knife with a blade length from 5" to 7" works for me. For tactical folders, 3.5" to 4" is good. It's all a matter of personal preference. An associate of mine who's bigger and stronger than me likes even longer blades.

But for utility purposes, it's wide open. One should pick the right knife for the right task. There are things I can do with my meat cleaver that I can't do with any other knife because it's big and heavy. There are also things I can do with my Spyderco Dragonfly that I can't do with any other knife because it's small and compact.


Knife lover, Philosopher, Humanitarian, and All-around nice guy
(all right, so I'm just a knife lover)
Always have my KFF with a 4" blade. Much longer in a folder makes the handle a bit unwieldy. I like a fixed blade of at least 8".

Assuming we're talking fixed blade hunter, leaving out pazazz, customer appeal and all that and just going for what works best:

A 4" to 4 1/2" guardless 1/8" thick will work well on everything from squirrels to elk.

If your're talking self defense something in the range of .38 to .45 works best, if you get my meaning.

Ben R. Ogletree, Jr.