It is true, some people recoil at the sight of a knife outside the dining table. I get that there is some deep cultural distrust about the blade that goes back centuries when people had to see animals and fellow humans deeply cut by sharp objects and the sight of this cuts are rather disturbing, but as always, the darn thing does not cut by itself and it does not matter if you read about a the legend of cursed Samurai sword.

(Warning: Rehashing old story up ahead)

When I worked in a hotel, I was usually tasked to be the First Aid provider for guests and associates so I got to deal with a lot of small cuts and wounds that only required a cleaning, maybe some antibiotic ointment and a band aid. The problem was the ointment that came in an individual serving bag just like ketchups’s and it was impossible  to open wearing gloves. I started to use my EDC folder to defeat the bags, but I noticed some of the guests recoiling at the sight of the regular blade. Even my boss made some grumbling comments, but he understood some sort of knife was necessary for the job and I had the training.

What I did was to look for a smaller knife that was not a gimmick and it may be a bit more palatable to the guests. After a bit of search and a dose of blind trust, I spent $30 on a Boker Subcom Wharcom.

It is a strong little blade, a workhorse. This is actually my second Subcom since the first one is now retired after a full decade of use and abuse. This particular model with the Wharncliff  blade is almost impossible to find and if you do and have a heart, I am willing to hear a decent offer for your discovery.

I had almost no negative reactions from guests after that. A few actually found the blade cute and a an even some wanted to buy it outright from me. Nein! The only other strong negative reaction I had was a new creature in HR who asked me to help her open a just delivered box of office supplies. I pulled by Boker and she actually gasped in partial horror, “You are not supposed to have that at work!” I looked at her and I said she was right and left her office, box unopened.

The knife is the second tool human’s created. A sharp blade should be as usual as breathing and yet is treated like tuberculosis… or the Black Plague if you are in the formerly Great Britain.  I bet you find yourself at least once a day trying to open some sort of package or bag or simply separating two items by sheer strength or you are forced to look for some sort of tool to do so. Have some sort of utilitarian knife, because you are wasting time and effort for no good reason otherwise.


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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

29 thoughts on “The silly phobia against blades.”
  1. I’ve carried a lot of different knives over the years in by old job as an overnight stalker & now a maintenance guy. At least here in Kentucky only a tiny few would ever say anything about it. I’ve kinda gone past folders at the moment & I’ve been carrying a Mora 511 basic, a 3.5inch fixed blade knife, in a sheath. Not had a single complaint. Interestingly, we do have a policy against knives over 4 inches.

  2. One reason I carry my Swiss Army Knife. Broadly useful (scissors and screwdriver get used as much as the blade) and It tends not to freak out “the end users” (bless their hearts).

    (It also helps that the passage of time has turned me into a stereotypical “old fat white guy” grandpa with a Santa Claus beard, instead of a young punk with attitude.)

    1. scrappycrow: I own a handful of Boker knives, purchased through Boker U.S.A. Boker makes different levels of knives. Some, in Germany, under the Boker brand. Some, in Argentina, under the Boker Arbolito brand. Others, in China, under the Boker Plus brand.

  3. You don’t need to carry a knife. You can just as easily use a set of keys to open boxes, and keys are harmless… well other than using them to operate a vehicle and mowing through a market crowd or something.

    1. Yeah, you go ahead and saw through fiberglass reinforced strapping tape with those nice, old, soft, dull brass keys. And saw. And saw. And saw. And then find your key doesn’t work well in your lock because you abused a tool (the key) by trying to make it do something it was not designed to do.

      I’ll use my pocketknife and get on with my day, thankyouverymuch.

      1. Well, Boris, I am sorry but you must have missed class the day they talked about sarcastic humor. See, the OP was pointing out the fallacy of a knife being a scary evil thing that we don’t need, versus a simple, non scary car key, which could be used to drive a car or truck through a crowd of pedestrians, as some of our religion of peace practitioners are occasionally known to do. See?

  4. Progressives have caused us to regress past the point of Homo Habilis.

    The great thing about living in a Red-zone, which usually means a higher percent of blue collar and agricultural people, is that they still recognize knives as tools.

    Everyone I know in Alabama carries a knife. Same in South Dakota and Nebraska.

    People got the vapors in downtown Chicago, but as soon as I got to the edge of the Chicagoland bubble, round about Plainfield which has a Tractor Supply Co. I was back in everyone carries a knife country.

  5. I have carried at least one knife with me since I was around 10 years old. At first they were the little two bladed folder that my grandfather gave me. Later I upgraded to a swiss army knife.

    It wasn’t until I upgraded to a dedicated, single blade folder that it became a “don’t think, open” tool. Package to be opened, there it was.

    What I found interesting is that when I started carrying a multi-tool I started “fixing” little things. That staple in the door frame at work, pulled. The loose screw over there, tightened.

    When you have a tool that just works you find yourself fixing things. And I see this in other things as well.

    On the other hand, my co-workers always startle when a “huge” 3.5 in blade pops open in my hand.

      1. Like my Yojimbo which stays clipped to the right side pocket, while a humble Opinel rests in the left pocket for everyday cutting and slicing tasks,

  6. There’s a related issue of not knowing how to use a blade properly, which is the root cause of the UK’s “avocado hand” epidemic.
    I have carried some sort of knife either in my pocket or in a laptop bag since middle school, even in the NYC suburbs.
    I live far enough out in the sticks that knives are normal and only a really big fixed blade would attract attention, and possibly derision.

  7. A few years ago I bought a CRKT neck knife at of all places Lowes. 20 bucks. I couldnt find my scissors in my tool box i carry for work. My wife almost peed herself listening to me tryin to open the package with no sharp anything handy! I use it daily for work and play. No horrors ever

    1. Curby: Check-out your local knife laws. Neck knives are illegal in some jurisdictions, particularly if concealed in a suspended sheath. Dumb, but true.

  8. Here’s a story. I remember a few years ago one of my neighbors from India had friends over from the UK. The Indian family, their son was comfortable around this stuff because basically being me he did get partial exposure. His dad would have me to work for him and watch his son. Loved to play on the old and 64. His dad knew about all the guns I had but he wasn’t a progressive so he did not have a pants shitting horror moment. So I’m over at their house and the UK family’s son is playing on the Wii U with the Indian neighbor kid and one of the controllers batteries drained in the controller. Not catastrophic but it’s preventing contact. I pull out my cold steel voyager large because that’s what I was caring at the time and I simply scratch out the corrosion. The Indian neighbor kid didn’t care as it wasn’t the first time I’ve done things like this around him. He already knew about the 12 gauge I kept next to my bed because at that point he already had the talk from me and I have already showed him; still put it away when he came over. But I saw the eyes just widen in sheer horror on the UK kids face. I’ll never forget it. I was almost tempted to tell him “you should see all the guns I have to“. But I decided against it.

    They moved away a few years ago. I still send them Christmas gifts. But being me everything is practical. And silver.

  9. Carried since I was given my first Barlow when I was five. Cut my fingers with it a few times, but that is how we learn. But an older man, a retired sailor, who lived next door, once admired it, and said, “Man ain’t rightly dressed without his knife” and I always remembered that, Before I retired, I gifted a number of people with affordable Opinels, a few Moras and such, and everyone knew if they needed something sharpened they could bring it to me. Nobody ever cringed – this is Alabama- except one Yankee transplant supervisor we had for a few months.,He didn’t fit in so he left pretty soon.

  10. Since I don’t have a permanent working location, I have to carry everything for work in a single bag. One compartment contains a 3″ Opinel. I don’t try to hide it, and have used it to open packages at times. Never got any comment.

  11. I carry a Swiss army “officer”. It’s lighter and more handy than my lock blades. My son has carried a knife since I gave him my gerber as a coming of age thing. Brass and walnut handle, blade like a razor. He carries a kershaw now, and has had more than one millennial friend gasp when he pulls it out to cut something.

    I still geek out about that. Gasping like you pulled out your pecker over deploying a tool and using it as intended.

  12. I’d say on any given day roughly 50% of the population even in not redneck CT has a pocket knife clipped to their pocket.

    I’ve long since swapped to a Swiss army oho trekker to make the it’s only a humble Swiss army knife argument if necessary. I also like the locking screwdriver.

    Let’s just ignore the 3 and some off inch blade and the fact that I ground thethimb loop into a hook to open off my pocket if I want…

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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