How To Choose The "Right Knife" For YOUR Lifestyle
By MAA James A Keating
Golly gee, the eternal struggle between fixed blade and folder continues unabated. Which is best? Which is the most practical?
I guess there are no easy answers in this dilemma. The real truth exists in knowing who you are and what your life actually requires.
Cut out all notions of fantasy and ego based thoughts when you set out to discover that "perfect knife". Avoid trends in the cutlery-tactical-martial industries. These trends are nothing more than flash and glitter to part you from your money and if finding the right knife is truly the goal then be aware of these short-lived trends.
My advice to you is this: stick with a tried and true design. A proven and trusted style of blade design combined with quality craftsmanship is a sure winner over any of these silly, exotic "trendy" knives.
SIZE: Comfort counts! Size is not that important in knife functionality. Smaller units are easier to carry, hide or explain away. Big units draw attention and create fear in others who see them. Environment figures in too. A large knife seen in a ranch type setting is not out of place. But, in a bank, retail store etc this may be viewed as "over-the-top" or even dangerous by some.
Yes, perception is part of the big knife x small knife tug-o-war. If you are seen with your knife, then have the perception of others (those who see you) in mind. Make this element work for you, not against you - it's all in how you prepare for this eventuality in advance. A small unit (Spyderco Cricket) can pass muster damn near anywhere. But, that Benchmade AFCK you so treasure may not be as easy to play off.
Comfort counts too. Small units are not difficult to have upon your person all day long. Heavier - larger units can wear on you and also your clothing. Wear spots - holes and such can occur because the large knife simply has the bulk and weight to act as a corrosive agent to clothes, car seat and furniture. This is not conjecture; I have seen this.
In the fixed versus folder world there is also the choice of carry options: Meaning do you use a clip to carry the knife or a sheath of some type? Each has their upsides and downsides. Just understand there is no "best" – it is all about YOUR needs. What your lifestyle demands from you must also guide our blade choices. The mechanic might go for the sheath knife (fixed or folder) due to the work and environment he's in. A bank clerk may go with a small clip knife due to where he is working and the clothing restrictions he must adhere to.
Every one of us has a different agenda of the knife stuff. Meaning some collect knives and admire them. Other people will have knives strictly in the capacity of weapons. Some may carry a knife solely for utility reasons. Their work or life dictates they have a knife, but just for "chores". So each person has their own reasons for carry.
I ask you honestly, does your knife fit your life? Like clothing, a knife should "fit" its owner’s lifestyle and personality. Know thyself and know thy knife, wisdom dwells therein.
TWO KNIVES: Should you carry more than one knife? Many people do. I am one of them. For various and sundry reasons I always carry two (2) knives when possible.
Some people might say this is too much hardware. It depends on what you perceive you need. A fixed blade can be "backed up" by a smaller folder. Sure the fixed blade knife offers some security from lock failure etc. but a folding knife is usually more than enough knife in many instances. I am not here to recommend this knife over another. This article is about you making that decision in a wise, mature, reality based manner.
Too much of our cutlery and tactical gear is influenced but marketing, trends and outright lies. Stay with a conventional design, a good company or maker and go forward. You will be far better off than if you go with a fad or trend - they will soon leave, you will then be prime targets for the next fad they invent to induce you to purchase another knife (that ya don't need).
To have a production knife is ok for some folks. Others due to ego or necessity need a custom knife. Neither offers any real differences to the end result obtained. Sure, a few points of interest will be noticed between finish or fit, but generally speaking the entire production knife versus the custom knife controversy is moot. It's an aspect that the industry wants to force upon you. This keeps you off your mark, undecided. Controversy sells items and magazines! It is pure manipulation of your wallet friend.
I love custom and production knives, but I also know my own head and refuse such manipulative crap and it's influences upon me.
Well, to conclude this article let us gravitate to the distilled essence of the whole thing: The mission or purpose is to get a knife that really works for your needs. One that fits your daily existence. A knife that reflects some of your personality and values (in the good sense). Keep the unit discreetly out of the way and out of sight no matter where you are. It is best this way. Your knife is your friend and can help you through a thousand tough spots. But, get into the wrong side of knife carry and usage and it can be a vehicle to disaster or death.
You hold the keys to the future. Choose wisely!
See ya next go,
MAA James A. Keating