For most of my life I've carried a pocket knife in those spots legally permitted (and, more than once, those not...). It's a tool. Opening boxes and packages, cutting food, slicing a line, trimming a hangnail, or in extremis self-defense, knives are one of the things which separate us from animals. Those who know me aren't surprised or shy to ask for help if something needs cutting, or to be used to seeing the sign of where I typically carry a folding blade.
While not my own cultural background, I've always enjoyed that Nordic proverb "A knifeless man is a lifeless man." Because, it's true - I've not yet had a situation where I went "Gee, I wish I didn't have a knife with me;" BUT - I've encountered countless times where someone else was grateful I carried one.
And, while I've had a gamut of knives from youth til now, for the past (wait, carry the 2, no, that *can't* be right,) *mumble mumble* years it's been some flavor of "tactical" knife, typically from a certain few makers I respect and who have served the community well. Point-of-fact, my drawer of pointy things has drawn a raised eyebrow from She-Who-Tolerates-My-Antics more than once. . .
Yet, let's be realistic. My days of "kicking doors and taking names" are past. I'm far more likely to deal with something from Amazon these days than battle an amazon. Sure, while a knife always has a last-ditch option - I'm at a point in life it's more likely to be a utility tool than anything else.
All this sort of percolated through my head the other day as I was looking at things, and has led to a thought experiment.
For the month of January, my primary knife carry is going to be a simple Swiss Army knife from my collection (Victorinox Ranger, for those who care). Because I'm more often doing utility things than anything else, I want to see if it makes any appreciable difference in my day. Yes, for hikes or other events I may add something else, but in general I want to force myself towards the utility rather than a single-focus blade.
Of course, being me, it's not stock - but no "modifications" are crazy. I have some different grip scales on it, and a pocket clip, but that's it. The knife isn't "tactical" or "cool" or any other high speed thing. It's just a pocket knife with some decent tool accessories.
May post updates or not, but I'm curious as to how it works out.
I am not former military or police. Just worked in a steel melt facility for the investment casting industry and aerospace supply industry for over 35 years, plus worked since age 11, from typical jobs like mowing lawns, to hauling hay to pumping gas for the last 2 years of high school. But I started carrying a pocketknife at about age 9 and have done so pretty much ever since.
I can't begin to count the number of knives I own, but the other day, I tried to get them together, and had to get a bigger box to hold them. I finally gave up, after I filled THAT box, and was still not done finding the odd knife here and there. The problem is that my wife knows about my love of decent knives at low cost. So she keeps buying me knives for gifts. She unfortunately doesn't know that in Michigan, you can only carry large fixed bladed knives for use as hunting knives. So I probably have 5 or 6 of them, that just stay sitting in a box that I don't carry.
I do have my favorites, and usually change up the one I carry as my primary knife on a clip on my right-hand pocket every 6 months or so, between 3 different ones. I also have a small pocketknife that I keep in my right-hand pocket that I can keep razor sharp, for the odd use that I need a super sharp blade, but not a long one.
I never did like the serrated edges. I usually keep my knives sharp enough that they cut things like rope as well as the serrated ones.
I know that I could just spend a few hundred dollars and get one really nice, custom-made blade, but where is the fun in that? And in working in a melt shop, doing the type of things that I did, knives often took a beating. I often saw other guys sharpening their knives on the grinders we had. I never did that, as the wheels on the stand grinders were all super coarse and left the knives much too worn after just a few weeks of such treatment. But they did work well for cutting cardboard and such.
Michigan does have some weird knife laws. There is no limit on the length of blade, just that you cannot carry a blade with the intent to harm someone. I am not sure how the powers that be can figure intent, unless you actually use the knife to cause harm, but that is how it reads. I have a couple of Mora knives that have about a 3" blade, that might be useful for a lot of the things that I do with my knives, but the pocketknives with a clip and a stud on the back makes my primary knife not only easy to open, but it stays out of the way and doesn't stab me in the ribs when I sit down.
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