Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Just the Basics – My Knives


The quest for defensive weapons has been ongoing since the very earliest tool makers developed fire-hardened sticks. Through wood, stone, flint, iron, bronze to today’s composite steel, the quest for the perfect knife has not slowed in the least! And for a knife geek, the wide array of forms, blade composites and grips probably looks a bit like heaven! Honestly, I do not fit into this category – I am, by no means, a knife geek. Yet, I do carry three basic knives that have proved their worth many times over. Two are part of my E.D.C. – the other rides in a depression to the left side of my Jeep’s drivers seat. I believe they are important to have, important to carry and each performs a specific task in my life.

The first is much more than just a knife – it’s my daily tool kit. A considerable part of my life is spent working on computer gear. My tool kit has changed substantially over the years – from the brief case and computer disks of the 80s to today – a Leatherman Juice CS4 and a memory stick. The Juice CS4 has virtually all the tools I need to either repair a computer on-site or determine that I need to remove the box and either repair it back at the office or recommend replacement of it.

But, to our topic at hand, it has a sturdy blade with a broad spine and a well-shaped blade that holds an edge through the worst abuse. It’s made of stainless steel with a blade length of 2.6 inches. Care is simple with periodic cleaning of the tool and sharpening of the blade, it has found a home in my pocket pouch for the past 5+ years.

The pouch is from a much larger Gerber multi-tool that now lives in the center counsel of my Jeep. You also notice a small Bic lighter and a striker fire tool in this photo. All of these items fine snugly in the pouch. I have a personal rule of always having three ways of starting a fire on your person each and every day. The Bic lighter and striker fire tool are two of these options (the third is a small Frenzel lens that lives in my wallet.

I find this tool an irreplaceable item that goes into my front right pocket each and every day.


My second E.D.C. knife is the Kershaw Skyline Model 1760. It rides clipped to my right rear pocket each and every day. The blade is made of Sandvik 14C28N steel with a bead-blasted finish. The blade length is 3 1/8 inches in length with an overall knife length of 7 3/8 inches when the blade is fully opened. The handle is made of G10 with an overall knife weight of 2.3 oz. Its blade can hold a brilliantly sharp edge needing sharpening infrequently throughout a year’s use. A simple, sharp flick of the wrist quickly opens the blade for immediate use.

The Skyline fulfills the role of a secondary defensive tool. However, the ease of access finds me using if for everything from cutting an apple to opening letters and shipping boxes. It’s ability to be a useful addition to my E.D.C. and to hold a fine edge has been proven over the last two years in my pocket.


Finally, everyone needs an “old war horse” in their knife collection. Mine is a surplus Air Force survival knife with a leather sheath. This is an incredibly tough knife with a broad, serrated spine, thick steel tang wrapped in leather and a large pummel that easily acts as a hammer. Honestly, when you see a knife like this, think mini-hatchet or machete. And, that’s how I use it while hiking and camping. It is a simple tool to cut small diameter dead branches or small saplings. While it rides next to my driver’s seat in my Jeep, it always finds its way into my pack or gear bag when I head off on a trail.


So there you go – nothing fancy, just good, solid tools that I use every day. Whether to take a computer apart, to act as a defensive weapon or as a tool to cut small branches for your camp fire; you need a good knife in your pocket. Find one that fits your needs, learn how to use it properly and how to care for it. It is probably one of the most useful items you can take off your dresser and slip into your pocket . . .

Just before you holster your weapon . . .


  1. Mine are similar, except I don't trust those @#%^ survival knives... Broke one going through SERE/JEST... And yeah, carry EVERY day! I did upgrade to a Leatherman MUT though... :-)

    1. Sounds like Murphy had you in his sights. :) I'd not heard about the MUT - ya just had to say somethin', didn't ya . . . .