A dive knife is a general tool and safety device. In the latter case, you use it in the unlikely, but possible, situation that you’re
entangled and need to free yourself. A dive knife is a key safety tool to help you if you get caught in fishing line, nets, seaweed, etc. – It is not to fend off attacks from underwater creatures, it is not a weapon. There is a large range of dive knives available so how do you choose the best one for you?
Choosing Dive Knives
How to you choose from among all the options out there? If you consider the type of diving you are doing along with a few basic features
of dive knives, you can narrow your choice considerably and make the choice easier.
Shape of your Dive Knife
One factor to consider is the shape of the scuba knife. The tip of the blade can either be blunt or pointed. For most recreational divers, blunt tip dive knives are the best choice. This way the knife can’t be stabbed through anything unintentionally – such as your BCD or a wetsuit. A pointed blade is most often used for spearfishing but for scuba divers it is more for pose value than practicality.
The next choice is between a straight edge and serrated edge. Again, it depends on what type of diving you are doing, but for the recreational dive, a serrated edge is the best choice. A serrated edge can cut through tough objects and tends to stay sharper longer.
You can also find many dive knives that have both a straight and serrated edge. This is also a good choice that would work in many situations.
Size of your Knife
For the recreational dive, you do not need a monster dive knife. While it may make someone feel like a superhero, it will probably do more harm than good. Remember, you are only carrying a scuba knife in case you get tangled in a net or other object. For most of your dives (hopefully, all of your dives) your dive knife will be staying in your case.
Dive knives with about a 10cm or so blade should be fine. Think of what you may be using the knife for and get the size that would do the job for you. If you opt for a smaller blade, just make sure you can grip the knife securely.
Stainless Steel or Titanium Dive Knife
Stainless steel knives typically come in 300 series-400 series alloys. The lower the number, the more rust resistant the knife will be.
However, the trade-off is that the lower the number, the harder it is to keep a hard edge. All stainless steel knives will corrode to some degree, sometimes very quickly, due to their carbon content (which gives them strength). Therefore they will require regular maintenance.
After each dive you will need to rinse the scuba knife in fresh water. It is also recommended that you put silicone or oil on the blade after each use. It is better to have a harder knife which will keep its cutting edge but spend the time maintaining the knife after each dive.
Titanium dive knives are the high end choice since they are significantly more expensive than their stainless steel counterparts. One advantage of a titanium dive knife is that they pretty much require no maintenance. They do not contain carbon so they do not rust. Titanium dive knives also hold an edge well. They may be a bit harder to sharpen, but you shouldn’t be using a scuba diving knife often so there shouldn’t be much of a need to sharpen the blade.
If you want a good quality, long lasting dive knife, you can’t go wrong with this titanium dive knife. It gets the highest rating from many divers and is voted best for comfort, durability and functionality. What more do you need in a dive knife?
Attaching your Dive Knife
You also need to consider where you will want to attach your dive knife. One common placement used to be on the leg. Probably the most common placement was on the lower leg, opposite the dominant hand. This placement has been criticized as being too easy to catch and/or get entangled in things underwater.
A placement gaining in popularity is on the BC. This way the knife is always attached and you won’t leave it on the dive boat. A dive knife on the BC may also be easier to reach depending on the situation. If you mount a dive knife on your BC, make sure it has a blunt tip so you don’t puncture the BC. You would also most likely want a smaller to medium size scuba knife if you mount it on your BC.
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