It might be the 21st Century, but you still need a knife.

Life is funny. As much as we have advanced technologically, we always find ourselves needing very basic instruments when all other forms of tools fail or are lacking. Her Highness Nancy R. posts about a small outing with cookout that was saved by the simple presence of a knife.

So I offered her my pocket knife.  Then I just offered to take over the grilling if she’d like. I also pulled two deep tin dishes out of my car to hold the cooked hot dogs.  Just so you know, I do not usually grill…..I got some interesting reactions. Some shrank away – one kid in particular said “is that a POCKET KNIFE?!!11??” while skimming past the hot grill. And another stood at the prescribed safe distance and said “Hey! Is that a Gerber?” (It was.) “My first knife was a Gerber! Got any SOGs? Those are my favorite!” (I do.)

Sixty hotdogs later, my very hot knife was returned to my pocket. Thank goodness for the plastic on the handle

I’ll bet you hard cash that the gathering was probably well represented with the latest smart phone technology in the pockets, bags and purses of the attendees, yet it is hard to turn hot dogs over the grill with the any version of the iPhone, at least without any significant damage to it.

The knife is the tool that actually made us Sapiens. The original stones that cracked in to very sharp instruments divided food, scrapped fat out of fur, cut the first coats, sharpened and shaped wood and did a myriad of other things including defending the belongings of your cave-mates. It is the tool that is probably encoded in our DNA alongside the club.

So carry a knife. Carry more than one knife, I do. And yes, it is not easy in this day and age of company policies about weapons and adults behaving like sacred 5 year olds at the sight of a mouse, but there are ways around it. Here are some ideas.

First in the list, a classic: The Swiss Army Knife. Grandaddy of old the modern multitools and even considered tame by all but the most fanatical of the “Forbid-Everything” crowds. It will forever be associated with camping and the Boy Scouts so it has an image of low-level threat. The one I have now has over 25 years of service with your truly and it shows the wear but it is still very serviceable. The specific model is Tinker


From electrical repairs to emergency car fixes, this sucker has done it all. And it beats most multitools when it comes to Philip head screws removal or tightening as you get a T-shaped screwdriver. The small blade is sharp almost to the scalpel level for those times you need a delicate and precise cut.

Next on the list and the one that I use as utility blade: Boker Plus Wharcom.


With a blade length of 1 7/8″ and overall length of 4 1/2″, this looks more like a knife for Barbie that a truly macho knife…. but looks are indeed deceiving. It is solidly built, sharpen great and resist plenty of abuse. Mine has been almost constantly in my pants pockets for seven years now and done a great share of cutting. I have used it if front of many in management positions and heads of HR departments and nobody issued a single peep about having a “weapon at work.”

I have several other knives (fixed and folding blades) for more serious “social work” but I know I am entering a very personal area so I’ll go with whatever you want to have. I am planning on upgrading my actual folder that has a combined straight/serrated  blade with a new one that is just straight. I really do not see the advantage of a serrated blade for defense and I was taught by my old man to sharpen knives decently well so keeping a fighting edge is not an issue. But whatever tacticool knife i might choose, first blades going in my pockets are going to be the two displayed above as they will probably be used sometime during the day, every day for 365 days while the Super Duper Ninja Tanto Tri-Dimensional Serrated Rocket-Assisted Folding SWAT knife will gather lots of lint.



10 Replies to “It might be the 21st Century, but you still need a knife.”

  1. As the man says, knives are one of the most important tools that man has. They’re actually way more important than guns. Yet your rights to them must be defended as well. Join Knife Rights! I carry a gun because I might need it but I carry knives because I will use them!

  2. I’ve got a tinker just like that (though I lost the toothpick several years ago). I recently bought my mother a little keychain-sized pocket knife (for her keychain, of course) and she’s been even carrying it into school with her. It’s amazing how useful even a tiny thing like that can be.

  3. I carry a Schrade stockman and a cheepo thumb assist everyday. If I’m going fishing I carry other knives. Yard work? still other knives. I also still have my grandfathers Barlow. Now that is an awesome knife. You might think I like knives or something and you’d be right.

  4. My “carry knife” is a Crkt STIFF-KISS model. After the last 3 folding knives I carried eventually began to fall apart because the bolts would come loose, I decided I wanted a fixed-blade knife.

    It doesn’t have open assist, it doesn’t have fancy blade locks, and in fact the closes thing it has to a blade guard is a small notch below the blade that your finger fits into, but it gets used almost every day, and since I got a sharpener and started sharpening it regularly, it is REMARKABLY sharp.

  5. I have my EDC knife, a nice CRKT My Tighe (and I have a spare, from when I lost mine for a few weeks — I found it the day the replacement came in teh mail LOL).

    I have my “suit” knives, that don’t show a bulge.

    I have a knife set out for the shorts I change into when I get home during 3/4 of the year.

    I have a Gerber Multitool I’ve had for, I dunno, twenty years, that used to be my field knife in the Army. It lives in my car glove box, with a full size assisted opener. (There’s also a small knife with seatbelt cutter and window smasher in the visor, in case I manage to turn my car into a U-Boat.)

    Knives and fire — don’t leave the cave without them. I’m without my phone more often than I am without a kinfe and a disposable lighter.

  6. I went ahead and got one of those Boker’s off Amazon and I have to tell you that’s a great little pocket knife. I got the all black one, and love it. Thanks for sharing!

  7. My grandfather, my father and to this day I still carry a knife. Nice site by the way! At the bottom of the blog I’ll post is a great link to help your readers now the laws in their respective states. Keep up the great work!

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