How small can you go ? ( a fun experiment)

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Hickory n steel, May 2, 2020.

  1. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I understand the benefits, the need just doesn't present itself often enough.
    Generally the only thing I need a secondary blade to be is sharp and smaller than the main, beyond that it doesn't end up mattering what shape it is.
    That's just how my knife needs go, but I will often find extra use for a sheeps foot when I've got it and pens or speys won't see any use.
    chuck4570 and Storm 8593 like this.
  2. Modoc ED

    Modoc ED Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Since my recent operations I'm torn about what to carry. I can't do anything outside. Couldn't even lift a 24-bottle case of water the other day - the wife had to carry it in the house. Anyway, I used to carry at lest one large knife and another smaller knife. Today, I slicked up a Stockman Sowbelly and plan to carry that daily. It's 3 7/8" long, has rounded bolsters, with a nice curved frame and, for all practical purposes, completely sunken joints. Of course I'll be carrying a second knife along with it and based on my current abilities I could probably do with a Peanut or similar sized knife - maybe a small Lambfoot. Anyway, here's the Sowbelly I'll be carrying.


    and here's a Peanut I have that I could carry along too
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
    Chief, redsparrow, Dschal and 12 others like this.
  3. Jolipapa

    Jolipapa Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 4, 2015
    I received this 34OT, small but very useable in fact.

    Smaller is the Winchester Half Congress. The wharncliff does wonders.

    To be true, this one never leaves my purse. A show-stealer at the restaurant!
    There are smaller but their use is limited.
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
  4. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    Might try it, small knives are a challenge: are they tenable or too toy-like? Much depends on your dexterity of grip, possibly hand size. Certainly a 3 3/8 is fine for me depending on pattern, CASE Penknife, Swayback Gent or Queen No.26 Stockman. GEC smalls are less satisfying, the 14 and 18 are very good looking but they've got the toy like aspect. Currently waiting for an unusual sized Laguiole, 8cm from G.David, let's see if that works;):D
    Old Hunter, chuck4570 and CHNeal like this.
  5. Jolipapa

    Jolipapa Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 4, 2015
    I forgot this one, which proved nice but not so practical (2. 3/4)
    BBB_regent - copie.jpg

    But this one certainly is!
  6. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Thank you Hickory, for the small knife challenge. The little ones have been near to my heart for a very ling time, and it's all I carry nowadays. Up until my dad passed away, my usual pocket knife size was a Buck 301 stockman/Wenger SI/Opinel number 8. All that changed once I got used to carrying dad's old peanut. Then my wife Karen influenced my to do a SAK classic challenge. A classic is as small as you can go in a pocket knife, but my wife really surprised me with what the did with one. It made short work of all plastic packaging, twine, box opening screw driving, in addition to the odd jobs the few tools were capable of doing.

    Good luck to all who give the little cutters a try. I think most of you will be very pleasantly surprised at how well a 2 inch blade will do in everyday carry. For most of modern suburban life, not much knife is really needed. Besides, one of the big advantages of a little knife is, being so small and light, you can carry more of them for the daily variety. A couple different knives in one pocket won't weigh down the pants like the bigger ones. :D
  7. Lansky1


    Apr 12, 2016
    The 087 at 3-1/4" closed is is about as small as I go ...

    Last edited: May 3, 2020
  8. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I know this is crazy, but while I've tried to carry just the classic and felt like I had no knife I would not feel the same about a small pen pattern of the same blade size.
    Old Hunter, chuck4570 and Will Power like this.
  9. CHNeal

    CHNeal Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 24, 2019
    I was gifted a yeller cv peanut here on the porch several years ago and it has proven itself to be a very dependable pocket knife that puts an end to cardboard as well as a razor knife. The ONLY reason it doesn’t live in my pocket is that for over 45 years I’ve carried a Med stockman and just don’t feel right without one. But honestly I look forward to the day that little peanut becomes enough.
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
  10. Prester John

    Prester John Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2018
    Interesting thread. I'm not going to take the challenge, though, for the simple fact that all I carried for decades (except when camping or hunting) were small knives, like these:
    I carried the stockman for years. I never really had a rotation--I just carried one knife for years, then another one for years. The Case lockback pictured is a replacement for an almost identical Gerber I lost. Probably the one I carried the most was the Victorinox Classic. The blade is tiny, but sharp, and I like the steel. I liked the convenience of having scissors, tweezers, and a toothpick, but I NEVER used the file/screwdriver. (I don't file my nails, and I always have plenty of screwdrivers around.) But I eventually got tired of the tiny blades, and now carry a 12cm (4.72 in.) Laguiole, a No. 8 Opinel, or a Case trapper most of the time. A few months ago I carried a peanut for a week, and defintely felt "underknifed." I still like the small knives, but they will be carried usually in addition to something larger.
    Dschal, Old Hunter, CelloDan and 7 others like this.
  11. Jim Bob

    Jim Bob

    Apr 16, 2019
    The Yellowbelly is one of my favorite carrys. You get nice heavy duty blades in a medium package. Tony Bose did a heck of a job designing those. Gotta love some yeller Delrin!
    Modoc ED and chuck4570 like this.
  12. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    It all really comes down to what you're used to. Personal perception is a powerful thing.

    For 25 years before I became a knife nut, my EDC knife as a Buck 301 stockman. At 3 7/8th inch size and three blades, it was a decent size knife. My other knife was my Wenger SI, the Wenger equivalent of a pioneer. At 3 1/2 inches and a Boy Scout layout, it also was a decent size knife. These were my go-to pocket knives for a few decades.

    It wasn't until after dad passed away and I was getting ready to go to work, for some reason my eyes lingered on his old very worn Peanut that was in the tray on top of my dresser. I felt an urge to drop it in my pocket for the day. It was in my coin pocket as I left the house.

    In the course of the day, I had to open some boxes of parts to be modified on the mill, and I took out the peanut and it sliced soooo well through the taped up cardboard. I was a little amazed at how clean it cut. Had always felt a bit of disdain for th tiny thing, but actually using it was a little eye opening. After a bit of carrying dad's little knife I went out and got a peanut of my own. It was the start of my downsizing. An enlightenment.

    At first the little 'nut was teamed up with my Buck 301 for backup for the stuff that I was sure the little knife wouldn't handle. But...that scenario didn't appear hardly at all. Rope, cardboard, packages, fishing line, small branches for hot dog sticks and whittling, all got cut with no problem. The only thing I found the little pocket knife not quite up to was food items like a loaf of bread on a camping trip, thick sandwiches to be cut in half, and the like. But in the kitchen I have kitchen knives and on campouts and woods I have a Buck Sheath knife on my hip. So, no problemo.

    Little by little, the peanut gained my trust, and one day, after some trepidation and deep thoughts, I deliberately left my trusty old Buck stockman home and walked out the door with just my yella 'nut. Life went on, the sun still set in the west that night, and I learned what my dad knew all the time.

    I don't remember how long I did the "experiment" with the peanut, but one day I dropped the old Buck 301 back in my pocket and was amazed at how it felt like a brick in my pocket and ungainly in my hand. I had adapted. Had go used to the little legume. Like getting used to a scalpel and then went back to a meat cleaver. I realized that my "big" knife days were over. I remember thinking "Okay dad, you win."

    Now I'm used to small precise cutters and like the thin little blades that glide through stuff. So beware you guys, once you go small and get used to it, you never go back.
    Old Hunter, shopdoc, rishma and 6 others like this.
  13. CHNeal

    CHNeal Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 24, 2019
    I have that same yeller 087 pen on my dresser. A gift from my daughter years ago. It my “ down stairs knife” that cuts all that needs cut down stairs from dog food bags to new cloths labels and it is still as wicked sharp as it was when new!
  14. Corso


    Aug 16, 2007
    my default is a 3" closed folder and generally only go 1/4" either way
  15. Hivoltage

    Hivoltage Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2018
    Case Eisenhower is a little gem. If someone knows the approx age of this one let me know. I’m dabbling in vintage Case.

    JustinR, Dschal, Old Hunter and 13 others like this.
  16. rishma


    Jun 22, 2008
    It looks to be from the 70s.
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  17. Hivoltage

    Hivoltage Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2018
    That would be about right with this family piece. I’m going to check out some of the Case history resources on here just thought I’d ask while sharing. Thanks
    chuck4570 likes this.
  18. chuck4570

    chuck4570 Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    99% of the time I rotate smalls in my watch pocket and I usually carry 1 or 2 more knives along with it. I would say that the smalls see 75% of the use. My smalls consist of Peanuts, Small Folding Hunter, Pen and a GEC 06.
    Chief, redsparrow, JSutter and 5 others like this.
  19. pa knifeguy

    pa knifeguy Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    I'm in! Been carrying a Victorinox tinker and will downsize to a rambler.
    I have no doubt it'll do what I need
  20. shopdoc


    Mar 24, 2020

    I guess I took the plunge close to a month ago. Been carrying this Executive (aka Chuck Yeager Sierra Knife) for close to a month...Ive lost track. Ive paired it with a SAK Floral or Electrician a couple times on the weekend, but didn’t need to. It’s handled everything without fail. In a pinch, I could handle all duties except cutting a sandwich with a Classic, but I prefer the extra handle length and bit bigger blade that the Executive offers. I should say that I only had a Classic while in Germany and it handled cutting bread, cheese, and sausage just fine.

    I’ve grown to prefer a pocket knife that is not noticed until needed.
    JustinR, Dschal, Old Hunter and 5 others like this.

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