In a recent blog post Tom Negrino wrote:
A knife is an incredibly useful tool to have with you all the time. I use mine constantly. Opening envelopes and packages. Cutting food (sometimes in restaurants, where sharp knives are as common as the Holy Grail). An emergency screwdriver and tool to pry things open (but do try not to break off the knife’s point, he says from practical experience!).
[Via Always in My Pocket « Backup Brain: Always in My Pocket « Backup Brain.]
I was pleased to read that, and that his wife Dori also routinely carries a couple of small knives:
Turns out Dori has always carried a knife (see? soulmates). She beats me, in that she regularly carries two in her purse: a small Swiss Army knife for general utility and [a] pretty Spyderco Cricket, in stainless steel, both of which are on her separate Keychain of Useful Stuff that’s easily left behind if we’re traveling and likely to encounter TSA.
I too am fond of knives, and at various times have always had one close by in a pocket or bag.
Back in the 70’s when I first travelled overseas, and travel was oh so easy compared with now, I bought a Swiss Army Knife when I arrived in Zurich. That knife went all round Europe with me, and was handy for all kinds of things, including cheap meals of bread and cheese. I’ve had it ever since. It has long and short blades, a corkscrew, a couple of blades that can function as screwdrivers, open cans and bottles, and, I discovered yesterday, having forgotten all about it, a thin stabby kind of blade on the back. The knife looks like it’s similar to the current Spartan model, but without toothpick or tweezers.
Unfortunately in recent decades that knife went in a drawer and I forgot about it until last year. Meanwhile though, many years ago, I picked up a couple of SwissCard knives.
These are clever little things, about the size of a credit card, that fit in a wallet. They come in a couple of different models, but include a tiny blade some 40 mm (1.5 inches) long, scissors, tweezers, a tiny ballpoint pen and maybe a nail file and toothpick.
I found the scissors worked well for trimming my nails, so decided to take one of these with me when we travelled to Spain last year.
First, of course, I checked that it wouldn’t be confiscated in security screenings.
Although my careful research strongly suggested my SwissCard would be fine on all flights the screeners at Shanghai Airport, on the way to Frankfurt in Germany, took it off me because of the minuscule knife. I wasn’t going to argue the point, so just accepted the loss and boarded the Lufthansa flight.
Once our flight was underway we were served an extremely delicious lunch, in my case black pepper beef with steamed rice and bok choy. And to eat it with? — a full size, very sharp, metal, knife and fork!
More recent purchases have been a tasty little Gerber Dime that I noticed one day. This clever little multi-tool folds up to fit in a pocket, but opens up in various ways to let you use the blades, pliers, scissors, and the extremely well concealed tweezers.
Now I seem to be on a Gerber track, as I added to my collection a couple of years ago with a slim folding knife that has a straight blade with a serrated section near the grip.
I must admit that I’m not a diligent knife owner. Thanks to Tom’s post though, all my knives now have clean and sharp blades.
I’m the only person I know who routinely carries a pocketknife. If you know me and we meet, perhaps we need a secret handshake or something?