When you're interested in knives it’s a good feeling when you have picked the right tool for the occasion. Of course you can use the same knife for all tasks in life but that can be unpractical, unsafe and uncomfortable. Right knife in the right place doesn't draw unnecessary attention, gives safe blade control and makes the usage a joy.
Below you'll find my advice on what kind of knife to carry in what situation. Of course you need to consider the local regulations of knife carrying. To avoid unnecessary trouble; inform yourself on what knife laws are active in the region you are moving around in. If it’s Ok to carry a knife; What kind of knife models are accepted? Is there a restriction in blade length, locking or opening mechanisms? If you absolutely need a knife; is it possible to apply for an exception?
I also want to recommend you to visit this interesting Wikipedia page showing what blade steels you can choose from.
These are the kind of knives I often use:
Every Day Carry (ECD) is the stuff you carry around in your everyday life. A wrist watch, a cell phone and a keychain are examples of EDC's. And of course a EDC knife is your helpful companion through life. What kind of EDC knife you choose depends on what kind of life you are living. If you spend your days on a farm or out in the forest a medium size fixed blade is a good pick (example). If you don't want to draw attention to the fixed blade you might consider a large folder instead (example).
For urban living a small folding knife is ideal (example). If you wear a suit or any other light clothing its nice if the folder is thin and light in its design (example). If you find a pocket clip annoying you can remove it to make the knife more comfortable in your pocket. Most folders will fit in a purse. Remember that some knives can be provocative in their appearance. When in sensitive groups; kindly choose a more discreet old school knife look (example).
When out hunting I use what I call a game knife and a non-game knife. The game knife I exclusively use taking care of the game. After the shot the game turns into charcuterie and its essential you avoid polluting if you want a high quality meat. Therefore your game knife should be easy to keep clean. I prefer a medium size drop point fixed blade as a game knife (example). As my non-game knife I use my pocket folder Victorinox Hiker. This folder takes care of everything but handling the game, inkluding adjusting my rifle.
Here I choose a midsize knife with a thin stainless steel blade (example). A good grip handle is a nice help when wet and a lanyard can secure the knife from falling into the water if dropped. Also I often bring a multi tool (example) for aditional tools.
During hikes it’s always nice to try and keep the gear weight down. I use a not too heavy mid size fixed blade for the main tasks (example). It’s important to use comfortable carry systems during long hikes. I often carry the knife inside my coat pocket to avoid the sheath bumping into my hip during long hikes. Sometimes I replace the fixed blade with a large folder (example).
When out on the water you really don't want to drop your knife in the water therefore I attach my easy accessible robust folder (example) by a lanyard leading to a carbine hooked into my life vest. Sitting in the kayak the light weight of the knife isn't as important as when you're out hiking. A multi tool (example) is stowed away inside the kayak.
Perhaps you’ve noticed I rarely use a large fixed blade. Instead, when out in the woods. I use a folding saw or an axe for fire and shelter.
Good luck finding Your favorite knives, and remember to bring a suitable whetstone to keep your edge.