The non knife nut knife.

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by jackknife, May 14, 2020.

  1. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Most of us on this forum are knife nuts. Pure and simple we go ga-ga over the shiny sharp things, and on this particular sub forum, shiny sharp things with some tools on them. For most of my life I was a knife nut. I speak in the former sense as I've come to realize that I am no longer a knife nut.

    For many years I've felt the fading of the passion for the sharp shiny things, even with tools on them. Maybe its a natural progression of age, or some psychological thing I'm not smart enough to fathom. But my love of knives just for the sake of collecting and accumulating and fondling faded out. I no longer felt the urge to carry multiples of knives to deal with any situation that came along, no matter if real or fantasy. I've always been a practical minded person, and thats one reason my default was always a SAK. Starting out life with a Boy Scout knife, had a deep and long lasting impression on me to have a few tools on hand. Its surprising how many situations can actually be solved with a screw driver. And its actually equally surprising how many things can be cut with just an inch or two of blade.

    I had to get old before the total sense of it came to me. I remember once watching my dad deal with some cutting job with his little Case peanut, and asking him if it wouldn't just be easier to carry a bigger knife. I'll always remember his philosophical answer. "Well son, my pocket knife is a mostly thing. It will cut what I mostly have to cut, and thats good enough, because its impossible to prepare for everything life can throw at you. So you carry what does the job for the 98% of what you have to do, and improvise the other couple percent."

    As I went through middle age, I found myself carrying less and less stuff, realizing that it was slightly silly to try to carry everything to deal with fantastic scenarios. The one time it really was a life or death situation, getting lady out of a burning upside down old Datsun B210 that she had rolled with stupidly reckless driving, an inch and a half of pocket knife blade did very well in cutting the seat belt she was hanging upside down in. A larger knife would not have been any better, and maybe a dangerous hindrance the way she was thrashing around in a panic. That sheep foot blade of a Buck stockman was all that was needed. It cut right through the nylon webbing of the seatbelt.

    And as a result of these lives experiences, I came to realize what dad had known long before me, that less sometimes is more. That knowledge means you really can carry less because you've 'been there, done that' and you now know what isn't needed.

    All of this has recently made me realize that I have become a non knife person. The kind of person who doesn't really obsess over knives like I once did as a knife nut, but like millions of SAK buyers, do realize that a sharp little knife with a few basic tools is a good thing to have on hand. Over the years I downsized from 93mm SAK's to 91mm, then 84mm's, and then in an epiphany brought on by watching my wife torture a little classic, did the classic experiment of my own. I used a classic as my EDC pocket knife and the Zombie apocalypse didn't happen, nor did the sun rise in the west, or the earth shake and destroy life as we know it. Once in a while the classic was not enough, and always this was food duty. No, the classic couldn't handle a loaf of Italian bread, or slice an apple in half to share with the better half, or slice the better half's burger in half like she has a quirk of liking. But, since Karen carried an Opinel number 8 in her purse, it is a moot problem.

    They say more Victorinox classics are made and sold each year than any other three knife manufactures combined. The humble classic was once the cover of one of the knife magazines as the most confiscated knife in the world. As of the late 1990's, Victorinox was making 9 million of them a year. I'm sure with the push Victoriox did in the early 2000's employing more high speed computer controlled machining and ramping up production, its even more now. Who buys all these little SAK's? The non knife nut people who know a small sharp knife is a good thing to have on you. The kind go people that walk right by the display case of shiny new knives in the store because they just are not interested, but will stop at a SAK display because 'everybody' knows what a SAK is.

    It came as a little bit of a shock, that I am now in that class. The non knife person SAK carrier. I now walk right by the knife display at the sports store where I used to slow down if not stop and look at the shiny new knives. I now give a glance as I pass, realizing that there is nothing there that I am at all interested in, because I have a small SAK in my pocket that does all I need of a pocket knife. The Buck's, the Kershaw's, the Case's, the whatever's, just don't have any draw for me anymore. I'm a SAK carrier and it has to be a smaller one at that. To me now, an 84mm is a bigger SAK, like my recruit, cadet. My executive is my regular carry if the sun rises in the east knife.

    I think now I understand my friend Howard more, and my dad. They had 'been there, done that' and they figured out what wasn't needed.
  2. Roy Batty

    Roy Batty Y'all can sling load DEEZ NUTS Platinum Member

    May 25, 2016
    I’d argue you’re still a “knife person” if you carry a knife at all, SAK included.

    But in any case, I think you’ll be back... they always come back for the shiny and the sharp things. Like the sirens of Greek mythology calling to nearby sailors, knives will call to you... beckoning you to spend all your money.

    You have a gold membership on a knife forum. That’s already one step down the rabbit hole, never to return.
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  3. jazzz


    Feb 1, 2009
    “... figured out what wasn’t needed” - best thing I’ve read in a long time.
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  4. Enkrig


    Dec 17, 2015
    First of all, I too still think that you're a knife person, otherwise you wouldn't write those awesome posts here (and crave for a Cadet X).

    Also, I don't think that it is just age... I'm not that old (double digit years until retirement) and I too have experienced a change in knife habits. I used to have more knives and experiments with flippers and other cool-looking knives but I just don't find them that interesting anymore. The most tactical of my knives is an Ontario RAT II, which hardly registers as anything of significance by many "knife nuts". Nowadays, I think that I barely even look at the fancy, tacticool-looking knives when at the store. I stick to practical, classical, everyday knives that no reasonable person will give a second look such as SAKs, Opinels, MAMs, etc. (Small SAKs like the classic and executive are still not my cup of tea although they make good keyring knives.)

    In other words, I look at knives more and more as just tools, and what I really appreciate is the craftsmanship that went into designing and making them rather than the knives per se.
  5. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    I don't know. I still like to be prepared to whack up a wedding cake on short notice. image.jpeg
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  6. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    You still carry a knife and have knowledge of what's good and what's not, you are fully aware of what's practical and what's hype.
    You don't get sold on whatever looks tacticool and flashy because you know what's what.
    You are still a knife person, you are just no longer a knife nut because you don't have the new knife itch.

    I still do regardless of what I know is most practical and regardless of my love of the more practical knives, but I'm happy knowing I'll settle down to where I need to be eventually.

    I don't know exactly where I'll end up in my knife journey, but I do know that while I have respect for the humble classic I'd have to have just a bit more.

    I think this trio could serve me just fine, if the scissors were better I could go with a leatherman squirt and do away with the classic but the Vic scissors have set the bar pretty high.
    I really like these little basic Sebertool models like this m3 because they pair well with small Vic's giving you pliers without adding much redundancy.
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
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  7. CSG


    Dec 15, 2007
    jackknife, I know what you mean although I was never interested in some of the stuff you mentioned. I'm 69 and have been carrying a pocket knife for about 61 of those years. I carried the little Classic from sometime in the late 60's until just a couple years ago when I learned about the Ambassador. I've also carried a larger lockback knife since the late 70's (I carried a Buck 110 when I was in LE but only on duty). I can't remember when I first saw the Buck 501 but I carried one from the late 70's until some recent years ago when I learned about the Mini-Griptilian. Today, I am in love with the revised Bugout as an EDC along with my Ambassador. I have a number of fixed blades, SAKs, and Bucks stashed in packs in all our vehicles along with a Leatherman in the glove box. Later today, I'm receiving a pair of the Executives (two is one and one is none). I almost never use the larger folder clipped in my other pocket but I like having it. A knife like the Ambassador is like your dad's 98% philosophy and what I use 98% of the time. Still, old habits are hard to break so I still carry a larger single blade folder all of the time even though it's so rarely used.

    I must have 50 knives but many are duplicates of knives I like and just sit in the safe. Pretty dopey for a guy who really only needs the scissors, toothpick, tweezers, and nail file of the little SAKs... ;)
  8. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    I love the little SAK's, but that Buck is a very cool little knife!!!:thumbsup:

    And you're right, the Leatherman squirt scissors is not up to Victorinox standards. Few are.
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  9. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    I could never get used to the idea of the single blade knife. I tried to like the Buck 110 when it first came out, but it just seemed silly to carry a knife that weighed what a small boat anchor did, with just the one blade and no tools or second blade. A one trick pony that was useless for anything but cutting. I guess being a scout knife kid and then a SAK guy in adult life I got too used to versatility with multi use. All the years I carried a classic, it at least had the little screw driver tip that worked on small Phillips screws real good.

    And scissors. I gotta have scissors.
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
  10. Hairy Clipper

    Hairy Clipper Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    I appear to be late to the party.

    For years a lawyer friend of mine that went on safari in 1980, has hunted in Canada & Alaska, thinned prairie dog populations in South Dakota, chased Chinese Chickens in North Dakota and hunted whitetail deer 20 miles inland of the north shore of the big lake they call Gitchigoomie. This lawyer friend, hunting buddy was 6'10" and made 6'4" me look like the runt of the litter. Until I met him I had never seen a Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman and it seems like every time a new Suisse Toolbox or Leatherman design came out that he thought would be useful miraculously one would be delivered to his office and I would get a call to show up after I closed the barber shop to see what the Pony Express had brought. We spent many a crisp fall day hunting together and just enjoy being outside with an English Springer Spaniel named Clyde doing the majority of the real work. I used to kid him a little bit about these multipurpose tools he always carried when we went hunting or shooting, occasionally I would witness one of them being mustered into action and was always marveled by them. My lawyer friend has been gone for nearly 10 years. Last summer I was searching one of my large toolbox/roll cabinets in the garage and running out of draws to look into for the right tool for the job at hand. The very last one I looked into as I pulled the drawer wide open I notice something red and I move some items around and I find a 91 mm six layer SAK that has a little rust on the dividers between section, nothing serious, just a speck of brown here and there. I have never bought a SAK and realizing that the lawyer was the only person I knew that had one, I think I figured it out. I spent part of the day target shooting with him the day before he died and we both knew the day was coming for quite some time. I am now of the belief that sometime in the few months before his departure, when I wasn't looking, he slipped that Suisse toolbox in the top right drawer as a something to remember him by. The main blade says officier and the fish scaler notch had helped me push a wire into a wire harness that had come out of place and rattled under the dash of my truck and had been annoying me for quite some time. I now find myself typing this as I await the postman and a Victorinox Swiss Champ ... I seem to think the pliers/wire crimper might be useful somewhere down the road and a magnifier will help out aging eyes decipher the tiny lettering on the labels on items at the store that cataracts have seemed to make into some sort of code. I probably won't need two of these Suisse Toolkits and I have a nephew that travels on motorcycle all over the place as I once did and seeing as how he is heading for his mid 40s I have been thinking it might be a good time to introduce him to a old friend of an old friend.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  11. TrapperMike


    Nov 23, 2016
    I have found lately that the recruit is really all I need. I find my self reaching for it all the time to cut or tighten this or pick at that in my every day life. Still love and carry my peanut because of sentimental reasons but the recruit is getting more use as of late.
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  12. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    The little 305 lancer sure is.
    I've been on the hunt for a 305 clipper in good user condition but I just cannot bring myself to pay more than $30 or so for one because I fear the scissors may fall short in comparison to Vic scissors.

    I also have found the little coping blade on the lancer to be useful lately, and I'm not sure I'd be willing to give it up regardless of how good the scissors replacing it may or may not be.
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  13. DocT


    Mar 25, 2012
    Truthfully, the Cadet is all I need, but I carry the Pioneer X because there is no Cadet X. I have expensive knives, big knives, small knives. Some I like a lot and some I wonder why I bought them. Some are for special purposes (like my Dragonfly Salt for swimming, and Manix 2 Back Lock for heavy duty). However, what I need everyday is a knife that cuts, scissors, screw drivers and a punch. I am always finding a screen door hinge to tighten, a guitar or mandolin case to tighten, apples that need cutting, packages that need opening, and things like that. I do not need a knife to go running through the jungle with. I am no Rambo. I need a knife to use as a tool, but I like one that looks good doing it.
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  14. 315

    315 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2017
    That’s the beauty of a Swiss Army Knife, the tools have intended uses but can be so much more useful for things they weren’t intended for.
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  15. Hairy Clipper

    Hairy Clipper Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    Good Morning Jim!

    As much as my high school years (late 1960s) Industrial Arts teacher, Mr. Bohn, would likely curse me using a SAK because I might damage a screw slot or perhaps booger up the nut or bolt that needs to be removed or tightened and the damaged part can be replaced later when civilization's hardware store is nearby, there is little doubt in my mind that adversity is indeed the mother of invention especially away from home in the woods or that place far away from your more familiar habitat that requires creative thinking to solve the problem at hand and without the venerable Suisse Toolbox problem solving would become exponentially more difficult.

    I do not spend my days walking around trying to find something to use my SAK on ... somehow, they just seem to find me.
  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Pretty much where I am with Knife-knut thing. I try to be practical with my purchases but there are times I just do things on total impulse. I don't have the budget limit you seem to have with knives, but I'll be damned if I'll spend $500+ on a CRK folder just because everyone thinks they are the berries. My knives cut just fine.

    Jackknife is still a knife person and will always be a knife person!

    Not a scissors person on a knife. Just not something I ever really think about using except at home with regular scissors. I also never really grasped the "Buck 110" thing. Sure they are a classic knife these days, but if I am going to carry a folder that large and heavy, I want two blades. That is why I always carried the Schrade 250T. I depended on this knife for years for work use, hiking, and hunting. Now I don't really feel I need to lug something like that around. I actually purchased a like new one (USA) a few years back at a show just for old times sake... Like you and in fact partially because of you, I have downsized my regular carry knives, hiking knives, and have learned I'm just fine with them. I still consider myself a knife knut, but I have restricted the new acquisitions a fair amount. Could never go with the Vic Classic but have downsized by regular Vic carry from a 111 mm one to the Small Tinker. It's just about right for me.

    I liked your quote attributed to your father about 98% and carrying enough knife. I honestly can't remember many direct quotes from my Dad. But he had a tremendous influence on my life and it's development. He was never a knife knut. But he always carried a pocket knife.

    Really nice story and memory.
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
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  17. SteeleJ1976


    Jan 24, 2020
    I find the scissors on my SuperTinker indispensable, they are just so handy. To the OP I just got back into knives and only have my SuperTinker, I don't think I could just do a classic but I would love an 84mm SAK with scissors, they just don't make any currently. I think you are still a knife guy because most people don't even carry a SAK classic and you still realize the value/utility of a knife even if it is something as small as a classic. Who knows maybe one day again something sharp and shiny will speak to you again, until then keep using the classic.
  18. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    I don't carry a SAK classic, it was phased out the 18th of July 2018 for a SAK executive. When I carried a classic, I alway had to augment it with a larger knife for a blade that could cut a sandwich inhale or deal with food items. The executive is just enough longer that is is a better pocket knife for a sole EDC. If I rule out food, the classic was enough for me to go through my day in life in suburbia. Like my old man told me, "It doesn't have to be big, just sharp."

    Look how much work gets done with a Stanley or other brand utility knife with a one inch blade. Knife nuts like to justify how much blade they need, but the harsh truth is in modern urban/suburban life, not much more than an inch of blade is needed to open packages or cut twine, or other mundane use. If you take off the cult worship obsession of the knife, you really don't need more than a box cutter 98% of the time.

    The fact that the Victorinox classic is the worlds most popular pocket knife with world wide sales that dwarf the 'other' knife companies says something.
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
  19. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    That's precisely why they have different models. People like different things. I'm not a scissors person but I do have a scissors on my Leatherman Ps4 Squirt just in case and I have one of those on each set of car keys. So, I pretty much always have it with me. There is also one on the SOG PowerPint that I keep in my pickup all the time.
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  20. StuntDouble


    Apr 26, 2004
    I just recently picked up an Executive after having read through the "Chuck Yeager Challenge" on another forum, and I think it's ruined me for the Classic sized knives. Sure, it cost twice as much, but the added size and utility definitely make it worth it. It's not going to replace the knife I carry at work, but I could see it easily handling most of the knife related tasks I have at home.

    Also, I know plenty of folks who own interesting knives that aren't knife nuts. I've gifted bunches of knives over the years, and rarely have they ever resulted in the person becoming interested in sharp pointy objects. If they make another knife purchase, it's only to replace the one they've lost or broken, not out of any sort of interest in the hobby.
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