Most experienced divers carry a dive knife because they make a handy companion, especially at times of emergencies. While this don’t necessarily mean stabbing a hungry shark or an underwater monster, this diving accessory provides peace of mind to the carrier, whether they are an amateur or a skilled professional.
In general, dive knifes are used to cut ropes, clearing obstacles, and other cutting tasks underwater. On land, they also hold plenty of different uses including tightening screws, opening sea shells, and picking on small objects. Spear fishers utilize dive knives to prepare their prey before taking them home.
Types of Blades
There are loads of blade types in the market for diving enthusiasts. Whether made of alloy, titanium, or stainless steel, each of them is designed to serve specific purposes.
- Straight edge blades – Knives having this blade make an ideal cutting tool for cutting fishing lines. A more efficient straight-edge knife is one that is slightly curved.
- Serrated blades – As the name states, serrated blades are sharper and toothed just like saws and bread knives. Oftentimes, knives that possess this blade are used to cut tough items such as fish bones, ropes, and other hard to cut objects. They remain sharper for longer period compared to straight edge blades.
Type of Tips
There are two types of knife tips to date.
- Blunt tip – Knives having this possess a dull or rounded end. Usually, they are better off used by recreational divers for the reason that they are safer to use as an alternative to screw drivers or for prying.
- Pointed tip – Divers who like to fish should opt for knives with pointed tip. This is because they perform better at butting fishes.
If you are a recreational diver that navigates at open water, there is no need to look for a huge dive knife. It may look and feel good to use, but chances are they might cause more harm than good. The primary purpose of carrying a knife is cutting an object in case you get tangled in certain objects such as a fishing net, which doesn’t really happen frequently. Most of the time, your dive knife will stay in its case.
An ideal dive knife should have a length of 4 inches or so. Depending on your intended use, you should select a length that can efficiently accommodate your cutting tasks. If you’d like a knife that’s lightweight and small in size, make sure its handle can be gripped well by your hands.
Dive knives of today are normally made out of titanium or stainless steel.
Of the two choices, titanium is considered superior. While cost is quite higher, the quality is well worth it because it does not rust and hold edges well. The only drawback is that they are a bit harder to sharpen. However, this shouldn’t be a problem since you’ll only use it rarely.
Stainless steel, on the other hand, is usually crafted from 300 to 400 series alloy. Series of lower numbers are typically more rust resistant. However, they tend to fail in maintaining a hard edge.
All types of stainless steel knives are not exempted from corrosion. Some corrode easily, while others do at a later time. The culprit here is their carbon content, an element that makes stainless steel knives strong. Because of this, you will need to take care of your knife carefully. Right after every dive, it is important that you rinse it with fresh water. Putting oil or silicone on the blade after use is also recommended.
Most knives nowadays feature certain attachments for more convenience. One of the latest trends on attachments today is the leg placement. This is commonly placed at the lower leg, at the side that’s opposite to the dominant hand. The only problem you’ll possibly face on this attachment is being entangled with underwater stuff.
One attachment that’s becoming extremely popular is the BCD placement. One reason for this is being always attached that you don’t have to leave the knife at the boat. Another is convenience that you don’t have to reach hardly in case you need to use it.
If you do wish to mount the knife to your BCD, the best knife to bring along is one with a blunt tip. This will prevent any accidental punctures on your gear. It is also recommended that you opt for small or medium sized knives so it fits just right on your BC.
The best dive knife is out there – you just have to choose based on your needs and purpose to find one that would really provide good use on your diving escapade. But regardless of the type you choose, it is important that you do sheathing and unsheathing to make sure you’re safe as soon as you use it underwater. You don’t want to cut your skin or have a punctured gear every time you take your knife out.