Some folks feel more secure using a knife with a guard. Guards are almost a necessity when cleaning and butchering large game, especially when working in the body cavity. In Sweden knives with guards are sometimes used for a child's first knife. When the child shows some skill with the knife the guard may be removed or reduced. The high carbon steel blade is about 3 7/8 long. The handle is wood, painted red, and sized for average or slightly smaller hands. The knife weighs just a bit over 2 ounces, or ~2 3/4 ounces in the plastic sheath.