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All Things Manly: A Guide to Pocket Knives

Gentlemen! It’s time for another edition of “All Things Manly”. Many of you have been keeping up with this weekly post, but it has now moved to Netsidebar.com. Today’s topic will be about a tool that all men should be required by law to carry on their persons at all times. One that you don’t even realize you need until, well, you need it. So kick off your boots and relax your socks. Let’s take a look at pocket knives.

“Anybody got a pocket knife?” No woman in the history of womandom has ever uttered this statement. However, any male over the age of eight has said it at least once. And depending on the region you live in and the job you work, this question can be asked with varying frequency. A trusty pocket knife is like an old friend, always there when you need it. Unlike men, all knives are not created equal. In order to find the right knife for you, you’ll need to consider what task you’ll be using it for. In this article, I’ll assist you with identify some trusted brands and what to look for when choosing a quality blade.

Buck 110Let’s start with my favorite. The Buck 110 made by Buck Knife. It’s an old school knife created in 1964 and hasn’t changed one bit. It was created for skinning deer, but its uses go beyond the field. It’s great for everyday use around a farm and even if you just need one around the house. The locking blade is second to none and there is no play whatsoever once it’s locked in. I appreciate the size of the knife (about 5 inches folded) at about 8.25 inches opened. The blade is easy to sharpen and it can handle any job you throw at it. Also, Buck has a lifetime warranty on all their knives and this year marks the 50th anniversary for the 110. This knife can be purchased for about $70. Another knife is the Mini Griptilian manufactured by Benchmade. This is a smaller lightweight knife that is intended for everyday use. It has a stainless steel blade and is given 5 stars by all the Amazon purchasers. One of the highlights of this knife is that it can be opened using one hand by pushing the thumb studs outward. This knife will retail for under $100. Another great knife is the Kershaw Leek by Ken Onion. The knife is compact, lightweight, and comes in a variety of colors. The blade is extremely sharp as well. However, the tip of the blade is not as sturdy as the other two knives mentioned above and therefore this knife should probably only be used for light work around the house. But, it’s retailed at under $50 which could make up for the issue. Finally, there is the Sebenza created by Chris Reeve. With a titanium frame lock and an S35VN stainless steel blade that never dulls, it’s surely a top notch knife. But it’s priced accordingly. For $450 it’s all yours. So we’ve just talked about four knives that could work for you. But keep in mind there are plenty of knife manufacturers out there that people are partial to and will tell you something completely different than what I’ve discussed. When it comes down to it, I would recommend doing some of your own research and simply just ask around to see what others are carrying.

The most important part of the knife is the blade. The quality of your knife will depend on it. How much flexibility do you want? How resistant is it to corrosion? What is it made of? How easy is it to sharpen? These are all important questions to ask before purchasing your knife.The next part of the knife taken into consideration would be the handle. Being water resistant is a must. If the handle gathers moisture and swells, then you’re left with a pocket knife that doesn’t open. You essentially have an expensive paperweight. Titanium handles are great, as well as handles made from G-10. This is a fiberglass based laminate that only has minimal absorption. The design of the knife needs to be taken into consideration as well. A good knife designer will create a knife that feels like an extension of your hand. Remember, pick a knife that is suitable for your needs. You don’t need to borrow Rambo’s survival knife if all you need to do is open a package of cookies from your mom. The next consideration is the price tag. If you look around, you’ll see that many knives are overpriced for what they offer. But, at the same time you can still find dependable knives at an affordable price. We all want high performance from our blades and we don’t want to break the bank getting it.

Hopefully this article gave you some answers. But more importantly, it should get you asking questions regarding the right knife for you. There are a multitude of different knives and brands to choose from. Single blade, multi-blade, multi-tool, canoe, camper, jack-knives, barlow, swiss army, lock blade, tactical, traditional, blade size etc…Do your research and find a good blade. A good pocket knife will literally last a lifetime. You can even pass it down to your grandson. Take your time and purchase the right knife for you.

Paul Craft
Paul was born, raised in the historic town of Fincastle, Va (just outside of Roanoke). He lives on a registered “Century Farm” that has been in his family since 1906 in a house that was built in the 1790s. His farm has over 300 hundred head of cattle, 6 donkeys, 17 chickens and various other animals along with his dogs, Mike, Buster, and Loki. Paul is married and has three step-children. Paul graduated from Emory and Henry College in 2004 with a degree in Geography and an emphasis in environmental studies. Paul works as a Mental Health Counselor and is currently working towards his Masters Degree in Counseling through Liberty University and will soon be a Christian Counselor.

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