Friday, June 23, 2017

The thing about knives

A knife is a simple and useful tool. People get all worked up about different types, makes and models. There's a certain mystique surrounding blades that goes way back to man's early history. As much as I appreciate a well made knife, I'm not a fanatic.

Frankly, knives have come a long long way. Improvements in metallurgy has made it possible for even cheap knives to excel compared to ancient blades. You can get a better knife by spending a lot of money, but usually a much cheaper one will do 99% of what an expensive one will do. For example, I've a Chinese copy of a sailor's knife. It's folding knife with a stout blade and a marlin spike on the back. It's an interpretation of much more expensive British knives that go way back. My knock off cost about eight bucks. Thanks to its stainless steel construction it has held up for years and I expect to lose it before wearing it out.

A knife with a 3.5 inch blade will handle just about everything you'll ever need to do. To be honest, most of the time the blade I use is on my multi-tool. It's far from being a perfect blade, but it's the one most likely to be in my pocket. That makes it better than the perfect blade back home in a box.

There are some specialty knives are are definitely worth getting if you are going to do a lot of that one thing. Fillet knives come to mind. You can clean a fish with just about any knife, but a good fillet knife does the job a lot better.

Then there is that special subset of blade wielders: knife fighters. They have very specific ideas about what a proper fighting knife should look like. Many of those guys are knife fanatics. I've studied knife fighting and even trained in a dojo. If it comes to self defense, I'm going to carry a gun.



  1. I've never yet come across any normal situation in life that hasn't been handled by well by either a penknife or An Old Hickory knife from the local hardware store for under $10.

  2. I am a knife collector and agree that for practical uses, most any knife with a sharp edge will do just fine. Opinel lock ring folder are extremely lightweight and fit the pocket very easily. For everyday carry, one of the lighter two-three layer Swiss Army knives get things done in the office and field.

    For camp kitchen use, a folding fillet knife like the Rapala is just about perfect for me. We do keep a Chicago Cutlery or Old Hickory paring knife in the kitchen box too.

    Thanks for the post.

  3. Plus a knife never needs reloading.

    1. Which is why when guns were single shot sabers were still in use.