From Heinnie Haynes: 5 Mistakes to avoid when buying a new knife


I am not the biggest fan of the listicle, but this one is pretty good.

Heinnie Haynes is a British retailer of all sorts of high end kit from the likes of Fallkniven, Boker, CRKT, and Spyderco. Much of what they stock can get you in a great deal of trouble from Her Majesty’s constabulary if you do not have an extremely good reason for possessing it. But it is nice to know that there are still a few enthusiasts left across the pond.

They are prolific on social media, and have shared many things that we have posted. I thought I would return the favor and share this really solid piece from their Blog.

I am not the biggest fan of the listicle, they are typically arbitrary and subjective. Another site ran a month-long listicle:  “The 25 most popular knife brands” which probably takes the prize for the most glaringly awful example I have ever seen.

Anytime some one tries to come up with a “Top X ____________ (steel, flippers, fixed blades, etc)” they are typically blowing smoke out of their ass. Personally, I would rather take the idea and write it as a Question of the Day in an attempt to engage my readers in discussion on their choices, rather than make a declaration from on high.

That being said, I do think the format works for these “5 common mistakes to avoid when buying a knife”, as it is informative rather than declarative.


The British version of a Gadsden flag while swanky, lacks the same “Fuck Off” message as the original.

They start with #5: Size isn’t everything.

“It’s all well and good having a large blade, but if you don’t know how to use it then you may as well not have it. We find all too often people choosing blades that are far too long for the tasks they intend the knife for. Take for instance an EDC knife. You may only need to cut some string, maybe open a couple of letters and at a push potentially opening or cutting cardboard boxes. If that’s pretty much what your knife is likely to be used for, then you’ll only need a blade of a few inches at most.

The same principle applies to a fixed blade. All too often we see people buying knives which are far too big. A good bushcraft knife doesn’t have to be a huge 25cm (ten inch) blade. It can be 15cm (six inches) and far superior. That’s not always the case, but the point stands that you need the right size blade. If you don’t know what blade size you need/want. Think about the likely tasks you’ll encounter, and then ask us or someone you know about which knife would be right for you.”

As a consumer, I am always comforted when a salesperson listens to my needs rather than tries to steer me to the biggest, shiniest, or most expensive tool on the rack. I found this theme running throughout their choices. Practical over flashy is a POV I almost always agree with.

I don’t want to swipe their whole list here, but I encourage you to check it out and report back to us in the comments. Is there something you would have added or removed? Have you made any of these mistakes yourself?


  1. Pat Carver says:

    Also, check out the link in the article to the excellent piece about various grades of knife steel.

  2. Enuz says:

    I like what they say about not going too big. I see a lot of guys walking around with big, heavy 4-5.5 inch folders that, aside from being pocket-carry in some jurisdictions, are really just excessive for what they’re used for.

    My daily carry is a 3 inch opinel. It serves me well.

  3. Sam L. says:

    I’ve added to my link library.

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From Heinnie Haynes: 5 Mistakes to avoid when buying a new knife

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