Shouldn’t they have pliers to count in this thread? Otherwise they’re just pocket knives...
Good question - I would say not necessarily. Certainly, the pliers can not be the sine qua non of the classification. Otherwise, a Vic Deluxe Tinker would qualify.
I think that it needs to be a multitool of some sort, and the knife blade needs to be substantial, and the center of attention... what the tool is based around
That requires that both of these attributes are defined further.
What qualifies as a multitool can include a SAK or even an old electrician's knife with a screwdriver and a main blade. Then, of course, there are the plier-centric tools.
Next, we'd need to define what qualifies the tool as being based around the knife blade, rather than the blade being an equal participant in the tool (like a 91mm SAK)
- when there's a plier on the tool, it would mean that the handle of the tool is unmistakably the knife handle, and certainly not a butterfly opening plier handle
- The knife blade must take up the full length of the tool, and be substantial enough to be considered a folder if standing alone. (one wouldn't describe it as a slipjoint or somesuch)
- A locking mechanism might be a relative qualification... though there are some folders that are nonlocking
So, therefore, there are some criteria that would need to be met to qualify something as a knife-based MT. Maybe a certain number of established criteria are needed, as there is some variation
- it is a multi-tool - it contains more than one tool
- the handle of the tool is the knife handle,
- the blade, if taken alone, would be considered a folder rather than a slipjoint, or pen knife
- locking blade
- full-length blade
Let's take some examples and see how they play out.
As stated previously, the pliers themselves can't be the main differentiation - otherwise, the Deluxe Tinker would qualify.
- The Gerber Centerdrive has a blade that meets several of the criteria, however, the handle being designed for the pliers disqualifies it.
- The Victorinox One Hand Trekker, would qualify as the handle is molded for the knife, and indeed is backward for the screwdriver. Also, the blade locks and can be purchased as a folder in the form of the Sentinel. The same goes for the Rangergrip series.
- Any medium-sized SAK is disqualified as there are several full-length tools of equal stature, even though some Evogrip models have locking blades.
- the Leatherman P4 would qualify on all counts, and be considered a multitool on the face of it, rather than a pocketknife.
Those are my thoughts, and of course, I am interested to hear everyone else's ideas.
You see.... once there are objective criteria, things become less a matter of opinion.
For example. When we know that a fruit is defined by the flowering part of the plant, we must then agree that a Bell Pepper (or Capsicum) is a fruit, although we usually eat it like a vegetable.