The Knife is an amazing tool-an ancient tool for which there has been no substitute. Throughout history, knives have been essential for survival, as well as for providing food and shelter. From its earliest form, the knife developed out of necessity, and its evolution may be traced through the paths of technology.
During the Stone Age, knives were made of flint, which could easily be scaled to shape, and then could be re-scaled to produce a new edge. Later, flint knives were ground to the desired shape. Much later in history, man began to make knives from copper, bronze, and finally, from the products of iron as we know them today.
Humans hold a special bond with tools-in particular, those used for hunting. Over the ages, guns, knives, bows and spears have been adorned with ornate patterns. These marks of craftsmanship added a touch of beauty and reflected pride in the skills the craftsmen had learned. Even in modern days, when purchasing a knife for hunting or fishing, the product of choice must be not only of lasting performance and quality, but also have an attractive design and finish that gives the owner a sense of pride. Long-time sportsmen usually keep their tools in clean working order and often display their tools for others to admire.
Most of the world's countries have a knife related to their culture and history. This is one reason why knife collecting has become an increasingly popular hobby. Long, slim bolo knives were uniquely suited to the sugar cane and jungle work of the Philippines. Machetes from South America are a heavier jungle knife suited for clearing dense rain forest vegetation. Curved, wicked-looking Ghurka knives are used by the renowned Ghurka fighters of India. Of course, America's own Bowie Knife has made its place in history. The Bowie was handcrafted, and those looking for the finest in knives today still must look to the hands of the skilled craftsman.
Today, the knife continues to be an important tool, though more for sport and work than survival, as in the past. As knife technology and production methods have advanced, knife uses have expanded and knife forms have become more specialized. Today, you can get a knife in a wide assortment of configurations and materials. And, much the same as yesteryear, when specialized craftsmen made custom knives as prized possessions.
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