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My knife story

Discussion in 'Knives' started by bwperdue, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. bwperdue

    bwperdue Loaded Pockets

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    I remember when I was 16 to about 30, I only had one knife - a Victorinox Climber Swiss Army knife (SAK). I bought it when I lived in Germany as an exchange student. I used the heck out of that thing all the time. It had scissors that were useful for papers and strings and hair, a flat screwdriver that I also used to open many paint cans, and more often than not I would use its can opener instead of looking for a "real" one in the kitchen. The tweezers pulled quite a few splinters, and the little screwdriver in the corkscrew kept my glasses tight for years. That SAK even doubled as a hammer to tap small nails into walls for picture frames more times than I should probably admit.

    About the time I was 30, I felt that I needed something more "heavy duty" than my simple SAK. I purchased a CRKT M-16Z pocket clip flipper folder and carried it around for five years or so every day, while the SAK just sat in my dresser. The CRKT had a thick, chisel-ground blade and would easily hack through heavy cardboard, but didn't have the finesse or the multiple usefulness of the SAK. Still, I carried it and used it in the garage and outside.

    About three years ago, I went on a knife buying bender that I am only now getting over. I wanted to be a "knife guy". I thought I should have a variety of types and styles to cover all possible use cases and to have examples of various types and brands as a collection - assisted openers, traditional slipjoints, one handers, and fixed blades; stainless and carbon and the latest "supersteel" blades; serrated and plain edges; Case, CRKT, Kershaw, Spyderco, Opinel, Mora, Buck, handmade, and others. I imagined being part of a community of other knife guys with interesting stories to tell of using our stuff.

    My reality is a lot less interesting than that. The Opinel that would make a perfect "picnic knife" - I never go on picnics. The fully serrated Spyderco Endura that I thought would make a great emergency bag knife - got tired of carrying all the stuff in the bag all the time, so I ditched the whole deal. The CRKT folding pocket Razel - how useful is a scraper every day? The Kershaw Chives and Leeks - never trusted the plastic safeties to stay put nor the springs to last in the long term. The byrd Robin and Wings - could never get past the "made in China" part. The fixed blade Mora, Ka-Bar, and handmade ones - too big to carry around every day. Serrated blades in general - my cutting needs just don't match up very closely to what serrations do best. Life as a modern-day office worker and townhouse dweller just doesn't offer up many difficult cutting tasks, and I don't like people enough to connect with strangers over the stuff in my pockets.

    Turns out, most of the knives just sat in my dresser or the expensive wooden tool box I just had to have for storage. They were either "too nice" to really use, or I never actually found the right situation for which I bought them, or their features or size were duplicated by something else in the stash. As I now admit to myself, most were just mass-produced items without any actual collector value.

    Funny thing is, I even sold off quite a few a while ago, as I felt guilty about having so much expensive, superfluous stuff while other things needed my attention. Ironically, I ended up buying a lot of them again because I felt I "deserved something nice" during a particularly stressful time in my life. I figured that even if I didn't have time to do anything that I wanted to, I could at least have something I liked in my pocket that would make me feel good. I even tried other styles of SAKs to see of I could find a better combination of tools than my original one that started this whole thing.

    After buying, trading, and selling dozens of knives over the past three years, I'm down to five now that I really like, but my original SAK is not among them. It became a casualty of my indecision and avarice. I don't really attach sentimental value to things, but it was a useful tool for a long time in my life. Now I'm wondering if that SAK was really all I needed to begin with. I don't recall it not doing anything I needed it to do, and I wasn't afraid of using it. After my season of avarice and feeling like I needed certain things to be a certain kind of person, maybe I only need one knife after all.

    -----------
    Prologue:
    After I wrote this, I found a good deal here on the forum for a SAK that I think will fit me. It's not too nice to use, was inexpensive, and has a variety of tools on it that I know I'll use. It's included in the five mentioned above. At this point, those knives are:

    • AG Russell 3.0 Ti Lockback
    • AG Russell Ultimate Ti Penknife
    • Spyderco Delica 4
    • Spyderco Ladybug 3
    • Victorinx Explorer
     
  2. marsos52

    marsos52 Loaded Pockets

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    i think many of us have been through the knife must have stages,,i have so many awesome custom knives as well as production models. i always tried to buy knives i wasnt afraid to use.. i found that most of my knives had a thing to two i found i wasnt totally happy about..i have sold off all but two knives .. and they both give me as much enjoyment of owning them and provide me with great utility as well.. we live and we learn..

    the two keepers are my ZT0350CB and a almar SLB
     
  3. bwperdue

    bwperdue Loaded Pockets

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    I've gone through a similar process with pretty much all of my stuff - guns, clothes, books, music - over the past year. I feel much lighter.
     
  4. DaPro

    DaPro Loaded Pockets

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    You are certainly not alone in this, I could get by with just my blur, but I would be hard pressed to get rid of my current inventory.....Maybe its a purdy factor :shrug:

    You have to play with different models til you find what works....and muster up the will power to stick to it........but that parts just sucks when next years lineup hits the market :brickwall:
     
  5. bwperdue

    bwperdue Loaded Pockets

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    Well, I can't take it with me, and I don't want my kids to feel burdened by having to either sort through or feel obligated to take all my crap. I already had to stop being the family museum; I don't want that for them. They're interested in a lot of the same things I am, but I want them to come to it independently.

    Aside from those couple knives and a few guns, everything else of mine could be yard saled, donated, or tossed out at this point over the course of one weekend. I'm fine with that.
     
  6. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    If an SAK works for you, then more power to you - you can try a lot of different SAKs to try for a lot less than other knives.

    In my opinion, the Victorinox Compact is one of the most practical EDC knives out there. However, I don't carry one because I have too many other nice knives...
     
  7. legoman0721

    legoman0721 Loaded Pockets

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    I can certainly relate to that story, in a way. The first knife I bought for myself was a Gerber Paraframe, and I'm 100% confident that that knife could've handled every cutting task I would would ever need it for. But I'll be honest, I don't buy knives based on a need for their utility, I buy them because I really like them and I appreciate the quality, craftsmanship, and innovation that makes a quality blade. If that's not your thing, that's fine. As long as you have a system that works for you, that's what's important. :thumbsup:
     
  8. StuntZombie

    StuntZombie Loaded Pockets

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    As crazy as it sounds, I wish I could go back to the days of owning just one or two knives. I certainly didn't feel like I was missing anything then, and I found I really got to know my knife when it was the only one I had.
     
  9. jcw122

    jcw122 Loaded Pockets

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    Great post. I get tempted to buy new knives a lot but then realize that my money could go other places, like putting that $50-60 on a new knife towards tsunami victims in Japan.
     
  10. pl4stic

    pl4stic Loaded Pockets

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    Great story, thanks for sharing.
     
  11. greyhound

    greyhound Loaded Pockets

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    Definitely food for thought... I've felt the same way at times about my flashlight collection.

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  12. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    For many of us, we try to find that ultimate, ideal, knife. (Or knives.)

    Sometimes what you have now, or had back then, was best. But we don't always realize it at the time. Just the way it is.
     
  13. sveqs

    sveqs Loaded Pockets

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    thanks for sharing your story, Blaine
    when the knife haze clears from my mind, I also realize I don't need more than one, maybe two knives
    I can get along just carrying that old stockman I bought off of you a few months back :))

    but it's the thrill of the hunt, the looking, searching, deciding that keeps me going
    placing the order almost ruins the joy for me (almost, but not quite)
    this, and my depleted PP funds keep me in check :))
     
  14. bwperdue

    bwperdue Loaded Pockets

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    How is that Western working for you, anyway?
     
  15. sveqs

    sveqs Loaded Pockets

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    like I said, that's often the only knife I carry
    it's not razor sharp but I attribute it to my lack of sharpening skills
    bought a small leather belt case for it, paid as much as for the knife LOL
    very good, simple and non-threatening setup

    also, with its stains and scratches, it served as a very good lesson for my 4 yr old son that "battle scars" don't take away from the value of something we love (he had some toy broken and asked that we buy him a new one)
     
  16. Finnigan

    Finnigan Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the post! I think you speak for many. I found myself desiring lots of knives, but I'm a bit of a skinflint, so I end up tweaking. I have been getting along for quite some time now with a Vic executive in one pocket, and a Zippo cutabout Lite in the other. I would like to eventually change the executive to a Rambler (My executive is an Alox. I know I will find uses for a toothpick and tweasers, and a bottle opener) and was considering replacing the cutabout with an AG Russell Featherlite. I like the looks of that lockback you have though. How is it for one handed operation?

    PS. I'm still trying to figure out how to get out of being "the family Museum." How did you get out of that one?
     
  17. bwperdue

    bwperdue Loaded Pockets

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    Ha! I had a Rambler at one point. It was nice, but still too small for me. Which lockback do you mean? The AG Russell? I actually decided to sell that one. It's a nice knife, but not one handable at all.

    As far as the family museum goes, I just started telling people no and getting rid of stuff I didn't want. If someone said something, I asked them if they wanted the item instead. Otherwise, it found a new home elsewhere.
     
  18. Finnigan

    Finnigan Loaded Pockets

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    I'm having a hard time giving up some of the heirlooms I have stored; but I'm not sure I'll have room or use for them in the future.

    Yes, I meant the A.G. Russell lockback. It actually looks very similar to my Zippo cut-about lite; only mine ahs plastic handles. It is small and light and just disappears in the pocket. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMJR7WFuqjs
    That's not my video, but knife is the same except for color.

    My only concern is the rambler scissors will be too much smaller than the executive. I don't use the blades on the executive much at all, but I use the scissors and have used the tip of the orange peeler as a screwdriver. I think I could get more use out of the rambler.
     
  19. Stutoffee

    Stutoffee Loaded Pockets

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    My SAK Champ is carried (and used!) every day.
    Today alone, Ive cut countless lengths of plastic baling tape to open boxes, cut price tickets to size with the scissors, assembled a high-level grill gas cooker with my flat-head & philips screwdrivers, & pulled a metal splinter out of my hand with the tweezers.

    IMHO, a SAK is the ultimate EDC item.

    Ive also carried the Huntsman, Climber, Explorer & Handyman models, too.
     
  20. r1dg3xrac3r

    r1dg3xrac3r Loaded Pockets

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    My story goes a little sOmething like this. I was at work, minding my own business. Until i noticed my co worker was carrying 2 pocket knives in his pocket. Back then, i didnt know the legality issue of carrying knives in public was ok. He show my one was benchmade auto presidio and a griptilian. I asked him how much they were, he tolded me that those are hundred dollar knives. My first thoughts ppfffttt who pays that kind of price ? And above all else plastic handles ? Until i went home to do a little research on the benchmade brand. I was totally blOwn away by the prices. So i just decided to buy a kershaw blur because of the assist openong feature and its tactical look. Soon enough i began to buy all kinds of kershaw knives. Until One day i went on a date and happens to pass by a knife store. I've always wanted to know what a hundred dollar benchmade knife is like. I watched youtube reviews and settled on a griptilian tanto and serrated because it was the coolest lookig version in all black. Back then, i didnt know what tanto, serrated, drop point all really meant. I was really impressed with my first benchmade knife. Knowing that this is too expensive of a knife to use, i went to REI and bought 2 more benchmades the following week. I was hooked ! After buying 12 more, i look back at my kershaw collection and couldnt decide whether to part with them or not. Selling the knives seems like a mistake, because there are other sites selling for cheap. Havnt bought another knife after my 1st benchmade. Thanks for reading.