Like most sportsmen, I have a few knives. By "a few" I mean that slight shifts in the bottom layers of my collection often cause tremors which are mistaken for seismic activity at our local university's geology department.
The issue is that, much like with fly rods or shotguns, there happens to be an ideal tool for certain types of jobs. In turn, this necessitates the ownership of a specific product to best meet the demands of the task at hand. Mathematicians have worked out the exact number of cutting implements required by the modern sportsman, and represent that figure as follows:
This is often mispronounced by those in close association with an outdoorsman as "a bazillion," as in "I don't see why you need a bazillion knives." It's OK to gently correct the speaker in these cases and let them know that while "a bazillion" does tend to represent a large, exaggerated number, in this case the proper term is "infinity."
In the coming days I'm going to share some of my favorite fixed blades that I've been able to use over the past year.
First up is the Southern Grind Rat. At only 4.9 inches in overall length and 1.5 ounces in weight, the Rat is incredibly useful for stowing unobtrusively in packs or pockets. It comes with a great little Kydex sheath that can be attached wherever you see fit or be worn around the neck. While small, this knife is actually very capable and can be pressed into service for most cutting tasks. You won't be using it for chopping kindling or anything heavy duty, but it's got a really nice flat grind and the 8670M high carbon steel takes an edge well. The finish is Cerakote and holds up nicely under use.
Where I use The Rat most often is as a backup that occupies virtually no space and stays in my day pack all the time. It also works perfectly for when you are traveling light and want a just-in-case knife that won't interfere with anything else you're bringing along.
Southern Grind fixed blades are not mass produced, so availability can be limited but at the time of this writing they are in stock both in tanto and drop point configurations.