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The tacticalization of the pocket knife

Discussion in 'EDC - What is in your pocket?' started by Jim, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. Jim

    Jim Old Curmudgeon Founding Member

    When I think pocket knife I think about a small tool to cut things, an apple open a package, some string, maybe dig a splinter out of my hand.

    It seems to me the fashion has swung to a folding tactical knife and many of the knives in the EDC thread are of this more robust style. I cannot see them as more useful?
  2. James

    James smarter then your average duck Founding Member Gold Contributor

    I end up cutting up big boxes at work, I like the bigger handles for that. But usually my mini Griptilian comes with me these days. a knife is only legal here as a tool, not as self defence or anything else. most of it is just cool factor I think, the small folders like the old bucks and the like just dont do it for me, they arnt as fun to flip around as the spyderco and griptilian lol
  3. Kevin

    Kevin Special K Founding Member

    I carry a fairly large Kershaw (The Tremor). It was actually a shipping error. I had ordered a much smaller one but I'll be honest - I really really enjoy it. Yeah it's big. Yeah it gets in the way. But I can use it for so much more than I could my previously carried pocket knife. And because it was about 15 bucks, I don't mind treating it rough. I use it for everything from stripping wires to cutting boxes to an impromptu screwdriver. I find myself using this big ugly knife more than I EVER used my regular old pocket knife. Maybe it's just more useful? Who knows.
  4. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

    Jim that's exactly what I think of when hearing "pocket knife". My dad has a small red Case he's carried forever. I even remember his jeans being faded around the outline of the knife in his pocket.

    The problem I have with those style knives is I can't open them. The nasty habit of biting my nails leaves me helpless when trying to open a knife without some type of assist. No darn finger nails! I also dislike the feel of a knife in my pocket, to me it feels bulky.

    But a knife with a pocket clip solves all problems. I still use my Skyline for everything you describe. Cutting apples, strings, opening packages, etc. Yesterday I cut a bag of chips in half to have easy access to the chips left at the bottom of the bag. Part of the reason I choose the Kershaw Skyline was because it's still a basic knife, just with a clip.
  5. MotoMike

    MotoMike Founding Member

    It depends on what you do every day. When I suit up, I have a little Victorinox executive that I use. I live in a rural area and my job takes me outside where the executive would be found wanting.
  6. WildBoar

    WildBoar Founding Member Contributor

    Great solution to a First World Problem :thumb
  7. John Fout

    John Fout Founding Member

    I like pocket clips. When I'm wearing nice pants I'll carry a smaller folder Just so I am not without.

    If I rigged a pocket clip on an Uncle Hernry or something, i may use it more ;)
  8. MotoMike

    MotoMike Founding Member

    I too like the pocket clip and the one hand opening that my edc has.
  9. Birnando

    Birnando Founding Member

    I've never really understood the term tactical to be honest.
    Supposedly it is the bee's knees and everyone has to have knives that fit to that moniker.
    Is it the pocket clip? the one handed opening? The flipping? The bulky and ugly looks? The fact that it may stand in as a pry bar when needed?
    I don't know.
    But I do know that a lot of them look ugly, and that a lot of weekend warriors and Rambo-wannabees find them irresistible.

    Don't get me wrong, I have several of them myself;)
    In honesty though, a knife like for instance the XM-18 by Rick Hinderer is, in my book, a complete disaster of a knife.
    It cuts as well as a butter knife, it looks like it was designed by Mr. Bean and it costs an arm and a leg considering the lack of cutability.

    After all, a knife is not a weapon first and foremost, it is a tool.
    To me, anyway.
  10. butch

    butch Professional Craftsman Founding Member

    even my G10 handled folders that i have picked up are at least round thinly. im a big spyderco fan and have a few but hardly carry them anymore. for years i carried CX05 walker it wa dame near perfect for EDC when i dress up
    but more likly its this
  11. Andrew

    Andrew Have Pen Will Travel Founding Member

    Same here. I have a couple small Case knives, a Spyderco Kiwi (backlock Seki City VG-10 version), an Uncle Henry, a single blade Victorinox, and a few other traditional folders. My gripe with all of those is that they end up in the bottom of my pocket turned perpendicular to my leg. I have, primarily, a desk job, so clipless pocket knives carry funny, unless I turn them to sit in my pocket in the direction of my leg, which I have to do often.

    I usually carry Spydercos with a clip because it keeps the knife on my hip, where I never notice it. My favorite is a little wharncliffe urban slipjoint with orange G-10 scales. It looks modern, but I wouldn't call it tactical. I have no desire to get into the tacti-cool lifestyle, personally.
  12. MotoMike

    MotoMike Founding Member

    I am with you on several of these points. by tactical, I take that they mean in close fighting type use. Almost none will see that kind of use. It took me a long time to find a knife to use on the job that was not too bulky and had pleasing lines (to my eye at least). I liked it (Benchmade AFCK) enough that I gave them as gifts to a couple of young coppers when they completed the academy. Having tried to buy one recently, I see that the knife is no longer made and I really don't find anything that does it for me. Man there are some hugely ugly and bulky tactical knives out there. I wanted something that could be abused in the ways you describe and hold up. It has. But the looks, quality and utility drew me to it. I actually wish it was not the "Advanced Folding Combat Knife" and just the 804s.
  13. butch

    butch Professional Craftsman Founding Member

    whilel in the Corps i carried an early spyderco millie and a gerber multi-plier if i needed more heft then that i had an Etool and the hummer had an ax and pickax under it. being a Marine im sure there as not much i could not break or open up with that level of kit.
    i have made a few field knives but never any field folders since for the $ and the risk of loss mill. service is better served with a production knife. most of the guys with these heavy folders jsut dont know how to use a knife.
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Founding Member

    IMO, knives are knives. I will admit some of them look scarier than others, but I think the word "tactical" is thrown around in the knife world, like the words "assault rifle" are thrown around in the gun community. Put two knives together that have the same basic blade shape, one has a black handle and one has a responder orange, or mother of pearl handle, and people will have a problem with the black one. Same goes for a hunting rifle and an AR in 308.

    As far as size, I think it's a matter of want and need. Some people just like carrying a bigger blade. The concept of using a blade in self defense is sometimes the only option for people. Although I think OC, or a Taser is a better choice if you're not going to carry a firearm. I like carrying a larger blade because I've never been in a situation where I said "I wish I had a smaller blade". I do however use knifes with pocket clips and find I could carry a huge knife, if I wanted to, and it just disappears in my pocket. I find the cell phones of today to be obnoxiously big, and hard to carry, compared to a larger blade :). I do have some smaller blades that I carry and they serve the same purpose. they're just more uncomfortable if i have to break down a box or some other large task.
  15. XooMG

    XooMG Founding Member

    My daily knife is a Spyderco Dragonfly 2 in zdp-189. I normally do not like Spyderco's style but the df2 is pretty sweet because it's small, thin, and the lines flow together quite well. The wire clip is shite and I bent mine badly while pulling my wallet from the same pocket; the action caused the knife to fall out. Luckily the thing is small enough that I don't mind carrying it loose in the front pocket.
  16. butch

    butch Professional Craftsman Founding Member

    my Dfly was an old FRN clip and was great my FRN clipped endura (first spyder) lasted along time till i snaged it on my car seat and broke it off. my bigest turn off on tac tee cool folders is there mass not there size/blade length. ive seen far too many with 3/16 inch thick blades and saber grinds and 1/8 inch or more thick Ti handle scales that are hardly contoured.
  17. Jim

    Jim Old Curmudgeon Founding Member

    I think this is a perfect example of the impression I have of many of the "pocket knives" today.
  18. Andrew

    Andrew Have Pen Will Travel Founding Member

    I have a Pacific Salt, which is the biggest folder I carry. It has unlined FRN scales, which makes it lightweight. It would be a lot heavier with lined G-10 scales and wouldn't be nearly as nice to carry, so I can agree with not liking big, thick, heavy "pocket" knives. For most days at work or around town, a regular gent's folding knife works for me.

    I'm carrying a Victorinox Day Packer today, for instance. While it's not anything expensive or fancy, it's a great little knife, imo.
  19. Andrew

    Andrew Have Pen Will Travel Founding Member

    This Case Peanut is about as large a folding knife as I care to have in my pocket without a clip. It's 2.75" long closed. A small knife like this can generally handle all my office-related cutting tasks. I need to sell off my larger, traditional pocket knives. This Peanut, a Case Baby Butterbean, a tiny single-blade Old Timer, and a Schrade Uncle Henry (all older US made models) were gifts from family members and carry nicely in the pocket. Knives like my Schrade Walden Stockman are too bulky to carry in jeans or slacks comfortably, for me anyway.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  20. James

    James smarter then your average duck Founding Member Gold Contributor

    For work, my Mini griptilian comes most often, its the smallest of my knives but works great for a pocket knife, my bigger lads work better round the house, but then I dont have them in pocket all day, not that the weight on them is bad, but they do take up some real estate for room

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