I try to keep a knife in my pocket. They’re handy things. Especially the swiss army variety. Paint cans? FedEx box? Sweatpants drawstring knotted up and you’ve gotta get to the restroom in a timely fashion? Always a good use for a handy pocket knife.
After losing a dozen or so knives for one reason and another, you start to learn what knives you like and which ones didn’t quite work out.
Free knife you get for subscribing to Outside magazine? Toolbox knife. Free keychain knife from the insurance guy- with little fingernail file on it and a wobbly blade? In the junk drawer next to the computer. Fancy foldaway lockblade with multicolor handle that you found in the field where all the soccer and ultimate frizbee games are held? Kitchen random drawer until you can go get the weird tool it takes to tighten the whole thing back up until it’ll close again.
The best ones to keep in your pocket? The aforementioned Swiss Army is a fine choice, but my latest Swiss Army tool, is, alas, lost. Just like the three before it. I’ll replace it, but it’ll be a while until I really get stuck wishing I had one, then I’ll go splurge.
Of course, I’ll find the lost one a week later. Having two, I’ll lose both within a month.
For a long while, I kept a Kershaw Onion in my pocket. I had a nice one. Gray handle that weathered up to something adventurous looking really well, and it had a short blade with serrations at the bottom. The switch to pop out the blade was very handy. You could get it out of your pocket and open it one handed while holding whatever you wanted to cut with the other hand. Because, let’s face it, you always have the thing you want to cut in your hand and positioned perfectly before you know you want to cut it, so the one handed thing… important.
Before the Kershaw (and currently) I kept a Spyderco. But that’s another story.
With the Kershaw, I learned how to keep a knife without losing it. After losing the first one, anyhow.
You break it.
Yes, if you snap the tip off a knife, making it fractionally less useful, the knife then decides it’s worth staying with you.
The trick, then, is to decide what you’re going to do with that broken knife so that you can continue to keep it in your pocket and therefore can save the tidy little sum you know it’ll cost to put a decent knife back in that pocket.
You could do the rescue/multi-tool thing and use the broken end as a screwdriver. It’s not ideal. One edge of the blade is thin as… a blade, and the other is slightly too fat to make a good screwdriver. Wobbly screwdrivers suck. This option sucks.
You could go down to the basement and hook up various power tools and regrind the whole end of the broken knife into a different kind of blade.
You know, a less useful kind.
But! It’s back to being a knife! You pop it open one handed, and those boxes are easy to open again!
And your manly self image isn’t, y’know, impaired by the teeny little blade left in the now-oversized handle. Not at all.
So here it is: The knife I have not lost yet!
You can click on it a time or two to enlarge it. So the po’ ol’ blade doesn’t seem so… little.
See that switch on the back of the knife? That opens it- click! Like a switchblade. The lock is down in the handle, so to close it takes two hands, unless you can work it around in your hand, put your thumbnail in the body, and simultaneously press the back of the blade forward enough, on your leg or against a box or a workbench or something, to pin back the lock but not so much that it closes across your thumb. Then after you’ve moved your fingers out of the way, close the whole thing and tuck it back in your pocket. There’s a clip on the other side for hanging it on the edge of your pocket. A handy thing to do, but it looks silly when you’re wearing a tux or your Sunday-Go-To-Meetings.
I got a Sunday knife for when I wear my suits. It was a Christmas gift. Cute little Buck knife. Two blades. I haven’t had to use it in church, so I haven’t lost that one yet.
Therefore… Kershaw Onion. Good knife. So good I’ve had more than one. On purpose. So good that I have given them as gifts. So good that the last time I went to buy a knife, I had every intention of buying myself a third Onion. (no disrespect to my nice red Onion, but I have occasionally needed a blade with a point on it, and sharpening the fishbelly shaped blade is a pain in the butt.
And the final note. I keep other things in my pocket where the Kershaw is clipped. Those other things occasionally push up against the switch on the back of the knife when I sit, or stand or something. That’s when the knife opens in my pocket. It doesn’t happen often, but often enough to cause some alarm.
It happens, too, if your knife stays clipped to your pocket when the pants go into the laundry. It might go through the wash without opening, and it MIGHT go through the dryer without opening, but not necessarily. And when it’s in the dryer, and open, it’s entirely possible for the tip of the blade to become imbedded in those silicon speed bumps on the dryer drum. When that happens, the tip of that knife gets broken right off. Not only do you have a broken knife, but you have a nasty little bit of metal protruding slightly into the drum of your dryer, ready and waiting to wreck the next load of clothes that need drying.
Then you need a Swiss Army knife with the little pliers in them. Gosh, I should go get one of those. Again. But… the Kershaw’s are so COOL…