Using a Pocket Knife

“Using a Pocket Knife.” I wrote that title a few months ago on a list of things to write at some point. I’ve added a lot and crossed a lot off of that list since then, and I still don’t remember what I was going to write about. Obliviously, the world doesn’t need an online written tutorial on how to use a knife (that would be sad) but I can come up with something.

So I’ll be the first to say (well, maybe not the ‘first”, some people speak real fast) that knives aren’t as relevant in the lives of regular people as they once were. And I really don’t have too much of a need to carry one around. I still do, though, and while I don’t use it every day all of the time, when I do use it I am glad I have it.

I know that most of the tasks I use a knife for could be replaced with the scissors, utility knife, and letter opener I already have. But it is very handy to just have a dedicated thing I can use for all of my opening and tearing down needs. I see quite a few unboxing videos on the internet (because that’s a great content source and it should be exploited more) and most of the people in those use a kitchen knife or something to open a box, which it has never occurred to me ever to do. I did grow up with a dedicated folding knife in a drawer for small tasks and scissors right nearby to cut tape.

But while in general my cutting tasks could be done slightly less conveniently with things everyone already has around, sometimes there are scenarios that pop up where using a knife is the best way at that time. How am I going to cut this string? How can I get this bead out of that crevice? How am I going to cut this hose? How am I going to strip this wire? etc. And it’s super convenient and sometimes the only possible way to do things where I am.

I get that this isn’t as applicable to everyone, and some people use their knives more (like for food preparation, which is another thing I would never have considered: using a pocket or “carry” knife for food) or less (like not at all) often than me. But I think that at some point everyone has a use for a pocket knife or something similar. And it’s probably worth everyone having a Victorinox Secretary, Pocket Pal, or Classic, or something like that around. Knives are useful, for some people more than others, but still useful, and worth having around even in this day and age.


Why Carry a Pocket Knife?

Sometimes people ask me if it’s really necessary to carry a pocket knife like I do. This is rare, though, as most of the people I know either carry, are going to carry, or know why to carry a “pocket” knife (one carries a Marine fighting knife). They all have various reasons. The one that comes to everyone’s mind for some reason is self defense. Why, I don’t know, as you’re carrying something every day for something that’ll hopefully never happen. Not that I would say carrying something for self defense is a bad idea (pepper spray, gun, etc), it’s just that with something as useful as a knife to say “It’s for self defense” seems cheap to me, like, I have no other way to justify carrying a “weapon”. A knife isn’t a weapon, it’s a tool, and a great tool, if a slightly scary one (that’s what my mom thinks).

Yeah, that's kinda scary

Yeah, that’s kinda scary

I carry a knife for the same reason I carry a multi-tool (which has another knife): because it’s super useful for opening boxes, letters, cutting tape to fix things, removing splinters (yes, you can still get those in the modern age), cutting things to fix things, untying things (as long as you don’t want the twine), and scaring people who don’t understand why you want a 3.5inch piece of sharp metal in your pocket and think that no one is responsible enough to carry anything that may at any point be possibly used to harm someone.

I’ve been carrying a knife now for years, ever since I left school, because for some reason they won’t let you have pen knives in school. And it’s been super handy. Now I haven’t needed it every day. Sometime I don’t even use it in a week. But just like the fact that you’ll sometimes need a bottle opener to open a bottle, sometimes you’ll need to open a package, and I’ll have my knife to do it. (And I’ll have it to stab the guy assaulting me).