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What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?

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us Offline Rux

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What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
on: September 13, 2014, 04:13:59 PM
I've seen this term thrown around a lot in reading various boards. The definition of it seems kind of broad.

What exactly constitutes a knife as a "gentleman's folder" in your opinion? Is it the size, function or the looks?

What would be some examples in your opinion of a "gentleman's folder"?


us Offline detron

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #1 on: September 13, 2014, 04:38:45 PM
I've seen this term thrown around a lot in reading various boards. The definition of it seems kind of broad.

What exactly constitutes a knife as a "gentleman's folder" in your opinion? Is it the size, function or the looks?

What would be some examples in your opinion of a "gentleman's folder"?

to me an Executive is a gentleman's folder

http://www.sakwiki.com/tiki-index.php?page=Executive+74mm
If I can help, let me know 


us Offline Rux

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #2 on: September 13, 2014, 04:46:09 PM
And that's what I mean. In a thread on another board when "Gentleman's Folder" was tossed around, not a single SAK was mentioned. Not to say that a SAK doesn't fit into the category, but just making an observation on the various opinions.

I view the Benchmade 710 as a Gentleman's Folder. Classy looking knife and a lot of blade for the size of the package it comes in. I would also throw some Buck knives into the category.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2014, 04:50:50 PM by WildJ3 »


cy Offline dks

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #3 on: September 13, 2014, 04:49:50 PM
The idea is a small pocketable folding knife, usually non locking, that is pleasant to look at, non threatening, discreet, single blade mainly, with nice scales.

It could be a nice case or GEC or Sheffield knife with thin stag or polished wood scales or a black small thin Alox Sak or a small chris reeves or crkt etc.

It is used if needed for small tasks like cutting apples, thread, openning mail etc.
It should also make you feel happy having it in your pocket and give you pleasure using it or letting someone use it for a small cutting task. It can also be carried by ladies so the name is not specific.
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wales Offline Smashie

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #4 on: September 13, 2014, 04:54:15 PM

The idea is a small pocketable folding knife, usually non locking, that is pleasant to look at, non threatening, discreet, single blade mainly, with nice scales.

It could be a nice case or GEC or Sheffield knife with thin stag or polished wood scales or a black small thin Alox Sak or a small chris reeves or crkt etc.

It is used if needed for small tasks like cutting apples, thread, openning mail etc.
It should also make you feel happy having it in your pocket and give you pleasure using it or letting someone use it for a small cutting task. It can also be carried by ladies so the name is not specific.

I am in complete agreement with this and for me the Fantoni Dweller is an excellent example

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us Offline Rux

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #5 on: September 13, 2014, 05:05:24 PM

The idea is a small pocketable folding knife, usually non locking, that is pleasant to look at, non threatening, discreet, single blade mainly, with nice scales.

It could be a nice case or GEC or Sheffield knife with thin stag or polished wood scales or a black small thin Alox Sak or a small chris reeves or crkt etc.

It is used if needed for small tasks like cutting apples, thread, openning mail etc.
It should also make you feel happy having it in your pocket and give you pleasure using it or letting someone use it for a small cutting task. It can also be carried by ladies so the name is not specific.

I am in complete agreement with this and for me the Fantoni Dweller is an excellent example

(Image removed from quote.)

Good looking knife right there. :tu:


us Offline Aloha

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #6 on: September 13, 2014, 05:11:40 PM
I've always felt "gentlemen folder" was a bit broad as well.  I like to think about what knife I would carry when dressed up.  Size wise I'd say 3" give or take a bit, slim, elegant materials, no pocket clip,   I do believe Alox SAKs do qualify especially the Cadet. 

I brought a Texas Toothpick style knife recently when I went to a wedding.  Funny enough tho the history of the TT would suggest this was no gentleness knife.   
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no Offline Steinar

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #7 on: September 13, 2014, 05:48:38 PM
To me, a gentleman's folder should be small enough to be easy to carry in the pocket, it should have good F&F and will often (but not always) have some solutions in there mainly to look or feel nice, e.g. wood instead of micarta.

A good example, to me at least, is the Fällkniven TK3 (any version) vs the TK4. They are functionally identical, but I would term the TK3 a gentleman's folder, and the TK4 a nice EDC folder.

I would term things like the Vic Secretary or a custom Executive gentleman's folders, but wouldn't think of a standard SAK that way. In other words, I think looking for an exact definition of gentleman's folders won't work, since it isn't an exact term. I think turning it on the head is just as good, "It is a knife a gentleman (however you choose to define that term) would be happy to EDC." Yes, that just moves the problem over to defining a gentleman, but "everybody" has some vague idea of what a gentleman should be. And, vague, that's a very fitting word for the defintion of "gentleman's folder". :)


ca Offline Syph007

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #8 on: September 13, 2014, 06:07:33 PM
To me it means something small and pocketable with nice design.  Something more for 'dress' or formal.  Fancy folding pocket knife I guess in short.


« Last Edit: September 13, 2014, 06:27:52 PM by Syph007 »
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us Offline gustophersmob

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #9 on: September 13, 2014, 06:28:09 PM
I've always felt "gentlemen folder" was a bit broad as well.  I like to think about what knife I would carry when dressed up.  Size wise I'd say 3" give or take a bit, slim, elegant materials, no pocket clip,   I do believe Alox SAKs do qualify especially the Cadet. 

I brought a Texas Toothpick style knife recently when I went to a wedding.  Funny enough tho the history of the TT would suggest this was no gentleness knife.

You've piqued my interest.  What is the history of the TT pattern?  I often wonder about the history of a lot of the popular "traditional" patterns.
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us Offline powernoodle

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #10 on: September 13, 2014, 08:45:19 PM
What exactly constitutes a . . . "gentleman's folder"  . . . ?

It is early Spring, and you are at a social gathering on the veranda of a Victorian mansion situated on 700 acres just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. A cool spring breeze is bringing the smell of ribs from the grill. An intoxicating aroma of charcoal and sizzling meat.

The estate's owner, a very attractive young widow who recently inherited a shipping fortune of almost $800M, is clearly captivated by your charm and good humor. She approaches, accompanied by her twin sister who has returned just this morning from boarding school in Switzerland. After a shy giggle and a bit of conversation, the young widow flings her long, brown hair away from her face and asks if you might slice a lime for her Gin and Tonic. As she does so, you sense the slightest whiff of her scent, which is quickly replaced by that of the grill. You find yourself suddenly hungry, though for what you know not.

You:

a) remove your Spyderco Camo Military with black blade from your pocket, and it snaps open with a satisfying clunk. The young widow recoils in fear and drops her Gin and Tonic. Her security personnel wrestle you to the ground and remove you from the estate; or,

b) you casually remove a small, finely crafted folder hand-made of exquisite and costly materials. You expertly slice the lime with its razor edge, and place a slice in the widow's drink. As you do so, your hand casually touches hers, causing her to blush. But the blush is accompanied by an unblinking stare into your own eyes, and you see her pupils dilate ever so slightly. After an embarrassed pause, she asks if you might accompany her and her sister on a private walking tour of the riding stables. You accept, and begin your stroll as the sun begins to set behind the adjacent hills.

If you chose answer b), you were carrying a gentleman's folder.


us Offline MadPlumbarian

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #11 on: September 13, 2014, 08:55:21 PM
This is my gentlemans folder,, the wife got it for me a long while ago.. JR
"The-Mad-Plumbarian" The Punisher Of Pipes!!! JR
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gb Offline greenbear

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #12 on: September 13, 2014, 08:57:21 PM
I am thinking back to Edwardian times (pre WW1 for non-Brits) when a "gentleman" might use a small, elegant pocket knife to open his post, cut the end of his cigar and cut his fruit before replacing it into his waistcoat pocket.... :tool:


us Offline Rux

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #13 on: September 13, 2014, 08:58:49 PM
What exactly constitutes a . . . "gentleman's folder"  . . . ?

It is early Spring, and you are at a social gathering on the veranda of a Victorian mansion situated on 700 acres just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. A cool spring breeze is bringing the smell of ribs from the grill. An intoxicating aroma of charcoal and sizzling meat.

The estate's owner, a very attractive young widow who recently inherited a shipping fortune of almost $800M, is clearly captivated by your charm and good humor. She approaches, accompanied by her twin sister who has returned just this morning from boarding school in Switzerland. After a shy giggle and a bit of conversation, the young widow flings her long, brown hair away from her face and asks if you might slice a lime for her Gin and Tonic. As she does so, you sense the slightest whiff of her scent, which is quickly replaced by that of the grill. You find yourself suddenly hungry, though for what you know not.

You:

a) remove your Spyderco Camo Military with black blade from your pocket, and it snaps open with a satisfying clunk. The young widow recoils in fear and drops her Gin and Tonic. Her security personnel wrestle you to the ground and remove you from the estate; or,

b) you casually remove a small, finely crafted folder hand-made of exquisite and costly materials. You expertly slice the lime with its razor edge, and place a slice in the widow's drink. As you do so, your hand casually touches hers, causing her to blush. But the blush is accompanied by an unblinking stare into your own eyes, and you see her pupils dilate ever so slightly. After an embarrassed pause, she asks if you might accompany her and her sister on a private walking tour of the riding stables. You accept, and begin your stroll as the sun begins to set behind the adjacent hills.

If you chose answer b), you were carrying a gentleman's folder.

Best... response... ever.

Do you by chance live in Charleston, SC? I lived there many moons ago. ;)


ca Offline Syph007

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #14 on: September 13, 2014, 09:03:52 PM

b) you casually remove a small, finely crafted folder hand-made of exquisite and costly materials. You expertly slice the lime with its razor edge, and place a slice in the widow's drink. As you do so, your hand casually touches hers, causing her to blush. But the blush is accompanied by an unblinking stare into your own eyes, and you see her pupils dilate ever so slightly. After an embarrassed pause, she asks if you might accompany her and her sister on a private walking tour of the riding stables. You accept, and begin your stroll as the sun begins to set behind the adjacent hills.


That right there is a perfect ad for a fancy high end gentleman's folder.  I'll have to rent it from you when I start making my own fancy folders. 
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cy Offline dks

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Re: What exactly is a &quot;Gentleman's Folder&quot;?
Reply #15 on: September 13, 2014, 09:11:03 PM
Continuing from my original post, I went to a wedding reception this evening and carried a Buck mini toothpick as my gentleman's folder. Small and discreet but capable and nice to use and look at
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scotland Offline Gareth

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #16 on: September 13, 2014, 09:38:18 PM
What exactly constitutes a . . . "gentleman's folder"  . . . ?

It is early Spring, and you are at a social gathering on the veranda of a Victorian mansion situated on 700 acres just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. A cool spring breeze is bringing the smell of ribs from the grill. An intoxicating aroma of charcoal and sizzling meat.

The estate's owner, a very attractive young widow who recently inherited a shipping fortune of almost $800M, is clearly captivated by your charm and good humor. She approaches, accompanied by her twin sister who has returned just this morning from boarding school in Switzerland. After a shy giggle and a bit of conversation, the young widow flings her long, brown hair away from her face and asks if you might slice a lime for her Gin and Tonic. As she does so, you sense the slightest whiff of her scent, which is quickly replaced by that of the grill. You find yourself suddenly hungry, though for what you know not.

You:

a) remove your Spyderco Camo Military with black blade from your pocket, and it snaps open with a satisfying clunk. The young widow recoils in fear and drops her Gin and Tonic. Her security personnel wrestle you to the ground and remove you from the estate; or,

b) you casually remove a small, finely crafted folder hand-made of exquisite and costly materials. You expertly slice the lime with its razor edge, and place a slice in the widow's drink. As you do so, your hand casually touches hers, causing her to blush. But the blush is accompanied by an unblinking stare into your own eyes, and you see her pupils dilate ever so slightly. After an embarrassed pause, she asks if you might accompany her and her sister on a private walking tour of the riding stables. You accept, and begin your stroll as the sun begins to set behind the adjacent hills.

If you chose answer b), you were carrying a gentleman's folder.

 :rofl: 

Perfect. :hatsoff:

As others have said; I do think a Gentleman's folder should be of a small, traditional pattern, one or two blades perhaps, and have attractive scale material. 

A Peanut would qualify IMO, but a Stockman wouldn't.  Don't ask me to quantify that though, it's just a feeling. :D
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no Offline Steinar

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #17 on: September 13, 2014, 09:42:49 PM
(The equally entertaining introduction deleted to save some screen estate.)

b) you casually remove a small, finely crafted folder hand-made of exquisite and costly materials. You expertly slice the lime with its razor edge, and place a slice in the widow's drink. As you do so, your hand casually touches hers, causing her to blush. But the blush is accompanied by an unblinking stare into your own eyes, and you see her pupils dilate ever so slightly. After an embarrassed pause, she asks if you might accompany her and her sister on a private walking tour of the riding stables. You accept, and begin your stroll as the sun begins to set behind the adjacent hills.

If you chose answer b), you were carrying a gentleman's folder.

 :rofl: Genius! :D


scotland Offline Gareth

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #18 on: September 13, 2014, 09:47:03 PM
Anyone else suspect Powernoodle reads, or perhaps even writes, for Mills and Boon:whistle:
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wales Offline Smashie

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #19 on: September 13, 2014, 09:50:06 PM
Anyone else suspect Powernoodle reads, or perhaps even writes, for Mills and Boon:whistle:
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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us Offline powernoodle

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us Offline gustophersmob

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #21 on: September 14, 2014, 12:44:44 AM
Well done, powernoodle, well done!
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hr Offline enki_ck

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #22 on: September 14, 2014, 02:40:15 AM
What Powernoodle so eloquently explained is my definition too. :D

And great read as always, Mr. Noodle. :hatsoff:

First two knives/patterns I associate with the term gentleman's folder would be the classic Doctor's knife pattern by a number of manufacturers, and one of my dream knives, Chris Reeve Mnandi (with African blackwood inlays).

Or if you really want to go high end, something out or William Henry's lineup. :dd:


nl Offline bmot

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #23 on: September 14, 2014, 04:19:29 AM
Instead of repeating what everyone already said :P I'll just add my favourite knife that I view as being a gentleman's knife:














I think any small Laguiole would probably do for a gentleman's knife, I really, really love mine, for sure  :drool:
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us Offline Aloha

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #24 on: September 14, 2014, 05:18:20 AM
I've always felt "gentlemen folder" was a bit broad as well.  I like to think about what knife I would carry when dressed up.  Size wise I'd say 3" give or take a bit, slim, elegant materials, no pocket clip,   I do believe Alox SAKs do qualify especially the Cadet. 

I brought a Texas Toothpick style knife recently when I went to a wedding.  Funny enough tho the history of the TT would suggest this was no gentleness knife.

You've piqued my interest.  What is the history of the TT pattern?  I often wonder about the history of a lot of the popular "traditional" patterns.

I dont know the history but it certainly has some great stories attached to it.  I've read that is was a fighting knife much like the Spanish Navaja but I've also heard that those are just stories.  It certainly has the looks of one as well as the French Laguiole. 

I love the looks of all three and wouldn't be surprised if they are all in fact related. 
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us Offline nate j

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #25 on: September 14, 2014, 06:52:25 AM
I've seen this term thrown around a lot in reading various boards. The definition of it seems kind of broad.

What exactly constitutes a knife as a "gentleman's folder" in your opinion? Is it the size, function or the looks?

What would be some examples in your opinion of a "gentleman's folder"?

I consider a gentleman's folder to be one that is at home in the suit (or even tuxedo) pocket of an immaculately dressed fellow, and also (with regard to looks) appears natural when he uses it because the knife exudes the same level of quality and refinement as the rest of the owner's attire and accessories.

With regard to size, since suit pockets aren't usually designed for particularly heavy, large, or bulky items, this generally means a smaller knife, usually 3" or less closed.

With regard to function, the knife is generally designed/destined for the light duty sorts of tasks that might be expected to be encountered while wearing the above-referenced attire, such as opening mail, personal grooming, trimming a stray thread, etc.

Some examples of knives that I consider gentleman's folders are the Case small stockman or peanut in MOP; Victorinox cigar cutter, or any of the silver classics; and (though it is a bit on the large side, IMO) the A.G. Russell Spire.


cy Offline dks

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Re: What exactly is a &quot;Gentleman's Folder&quot;?
Reply #26 on: September 14, 2014, 08:28:44 AM
The toothpick originated from European knives like the laquiole, some central European traditionals and other traditional styles. Most knives in the US were imported from Europe during the first decades of the US existence and the discovery of the continent.
Being thin and pointy the large toothpick or possibly laquiole at the time, was found to be good for discreet carry and stabbing/ cutting. I remember that with the insertion of a matchstick (or maybe a wooden toothpick) inside the blade was kept high enabling quick one hand opening. Maybe this was achieved otherwise too. The name toothpick comes from the shape (or the use of wooden toothpicks in the knife   ).
« Last Edit: September 14, 2014, 08:34:05 AM by dks »
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cy Offline dks

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Re: What exactly is a &quot;Gentleman's Folder&quot;?
Reply #27 on: September 14, 2014, 08:33:19 AM
Have to split the message because of tapatalk

These stabbings and whether you can stab with a slip joint may have been exaggerated. I posted a picture of the various related knives some time ago but with tapatalk it is hard to find. BF has more history.
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gb Offline Zed

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #28 on: September 14, 2014, 09:00:14 AM
What exactly constitutes a . . . "gentleman's folder"  . . . ?

It is early Spring, and you are at a social gathering on the veranda of a Victorian mansion situated on 700 acres just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. A cool spring breeze is bringing the smell of ribs from the grill. An intoxicating aroma of charcoal and sizzling meat.

The estate's owner, a very attractive young widow who recently inherited a shipping fortune of almost $800M, is clearly captivated by your charm and good humor. She approaches, accompanied by her twin sister who has returned just this morning from boarding school in Switzerland. After a shy giggle and a bit of conversation, the young widow flings her long, brown hair away from her face and asks if you might slice a lime for her Gin and Tonic. As she does so, you sense the slightest whiff of her scent, which is quickly replaced by that of the grill. You find yourself suddenly hungry, though for what you know not.

You:

a) remove your Spyderco Camo Military with black blade from your pocket, and it snaps open with a satisfying clunk. The young widow recoils in fear and drops her Gin and Tonic. Her security personnel wrestle you to the ground and remove you from the estate; or,

b) you casually remove a small, finely crafted folder hand-made of exquisite and costly materials. You expertly slice the lime with its razor edge, and place a slice in the widow's drink. As you do so, your hand casually touches hers, causing her to blush. But the blush is accompanied by an unblinking stare into your own eyes, and you see her pupils dilate ever so slightly. After an embarrassed pause, she asks if you might accompany her and her sister on a private walking tour of the riding stables. You accept, and begin your stroll as the sun begins to set behind the adjacent hills.

If you chose answer b), you were carrying a gentleman's folder.


Why was i reading this in a old southern accent  :D well said mr noodles   :tu:


us Offline Kampfer

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Re: What exactly is a "Gentleman's Folder"?
Reply #29 on: September 14, 2014, 10:27:16 AM
Maybe a Emerson with "Wave" opener?
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