Do you consider a knife to be primarily a weapon or a tool? I'm not talking about a specific make or model, but speaking broadly what, to you, is the primary function of a knife. To me the answer is obviously a tool. I use my knife for a myriad of tasks, and not one, to date, has involved using it as a weapon. Now, my edc's are all capable of being used in self defense, but fortunately the need hasn't arisen. I guess my point to this is that when I buy a new knife I put every day functionality above Rambo-ism (Unless I am buying a knife specifically FOR the purpose of self defense, which I sometimes do in the grip of some macho apocolypse fantasy -- and, in my saner moments, I realize that even in the midst of a zombie infesetation during a grid meltdown caused by an emp pulse while in the grip of a super flu epidemic, a knife will still be primarily used as a tool. Have to open those MRE's with something.) The qualities I look for? First is material -- has to be quality steel with a good heat treatment. I find it incredible that a lot of people buy knifes without knowing what type of steel the blade is made of (and I mean the specific steel, not generic "stainless" or "carbon", which terms are so broad as to be meaningless. Next is size and shape -- is it suitable for it's intended purpose? Am I buying it for brushcraft use, skinning, chopping, what? Then ergonomics -- it has to feel good in my hand. So . . . when you go to buy a knife, what standards do you use to choose the one?