Choosing knives online is an exercise in imagination. You can't feel the balance or test the edge. The thing looks great, but can you really be sure that it will fit your needs? Of course, this problem could be solved by just going into the store, but who knows what the selection will be, and it may not fit into your day. So, what can you do to compare the feel of knives online?
I'm looking for a good all around fixed blade survival knife. I want something that I can carry with me on a regular basis, but it still has enough blade to some bush crafting. To begin my search, I found a review that I liked online. You can watch it here. From there I compiled a list of potential candidates.
The presenter did an excellent job presenting each knife with its pros and cons. He described the qualities of each and how they felt in the hand. This was great information. Each of the knives was from a respected manufacture, so I was not too worried about quality. My main concern was gaining some personal intuition about the knives to help in my decision.
So, did the natural thing and compiled a spreadsheet with a few data points from each knife. I compared them for length, weight, thickness, country of origin, and price. The results were very interesting.
The average length was around 3 to 4 inches. That seemed pretty good, but I was still looking for a way to judge how the knives might feel and handle. So, I took things a step further.
The length to weight ratio tells how heavy a knife is for its length. This can give an indication of strength and durability. So for a working knife this could be important. In this category 3 knives stand out. The Spiderco Street Beat, The Mora Companion, and the Benchmade Steep Country.
This ratio gives and idea of slicing, or chopping capacity. A thinner knife for the weight may feel better while cutting. The weight helps the blade work, and the thinness means less material has to move out of the way to make a cut. In this case lower is better. The Benchmade, Mora, and Spiderco knives are still at the top of the heap.
The Final plot is for cost. The Mora Companion is the clear winner here. So from all this data I'd pick the Mora as the best all around knife in this bunch. Though the Benchmade is a little bigger and made in America. The Spiderco Street Beet is a little more compact than the others.
Overall these are all great knives, but a quick look at the data may confirm your choice or even make it for you. I hope this helps.