Similar to Serrated vs flat-edge knives, I'm wondering what the strengths and weaknesses are of folding knives versus fixed blade knives?
What are fixed blades good for? What are folding knives not so good for?
The only advantage I see to a folding knife is its size when collapsed. I always carry a folding knife in my pocket, but when hiking I have a fixed blade strapped to my pack. I prefer to use my fixed blade for batoning, both for safety reasons, and the fact that it has a wider blade which can give you more penetration.
Here is my EDC folder:
And my fixed blade which has a paracord wrap and is strapped to my pack.
Here is an example of the paracord wrap I have on my fixed blade. this will give you a feel for the type of grip you have.
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I entirely agree with Timothy Strimple. Here are the pro-s and con's that I have noticed.
As a conclusion I can say what I have chosen for myself. I carry a folder in the city and take an extra fixed blade when in the woods. Both are easy to arm swiftly with one hand and the folder is concealed (caring knives where I live, Bulgaria, is legal, but still it's better not to freak people out).
One point missing from the current answers:
Fixed blade is absolutely essential in any situation where seconds count in emergency life-or-death situations. For example, anything taking place in or under water where you might need to free yourself (or another) from an entrapment.
In these situations, you also want one with a secure but quick-release sheath.