Multitool.org
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
+-

Hello Lurker! Remove this ad and much more by logging in.


Rediscovering small knives. 503

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,943 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Rediscovering small knives.
« on: March 22, 2019, 05:25:35 PM »
For the best part of 10 years, I've been using blades between 60mm and 75mm. The IXL barlow pictured below, with a 91mm Vic and Byrd Tern, was about the perfect size. Anything over 3" was too big, and if I needed something that large, it had to be a fixed blade too. I know some folks like large folders, but they've never had much appeal for me. The other way, anything below an 84/85mm Swiss knife main blade, just wouldn't cut it - pardon the pun.

As I've recently started giving pocket time to the stuff that's been confined to the drawer for years, I've been rediscovering just how much work these small blades can do. Yes, you sometimes need to do things differently, and yes, my life is far less active than it used to be. The second pic, keeping the IXL barlow for perspective, shows some of the knives that are finally winning some carry time again (or even for the first time ever in some cases), and all the little domestic cutting tasks are still getting done. OK, they wouldn't be up for hacking through damaged 10 tonne lifting slings, or heavy mooring lines, like I used to, but the parcels and food packaging are still getting opened, pencils are still being sharpened, and cardboard boxes flattened for recycling.

It shouldn't be any surprise to me though. My first ever knife, was a simple 2 blade penknife (long since lost) which I inherited from my Grandfather. It was about the same size as the Sheffield ring knife in the third pic, which I'm carrying today. The second knife I ever got, was the carbon steel lambsfoot in the same picture, and though that's the size of blade I came to depend on in recent years, for the first couple of decades of adulthood, I thought it was too large to carry, unless I had specific need.

That simple two bladed penknife was enough for daily carry and office life. The plastic banding on copier paper boxes, toner cartridge pouches, clamshell packaging, and package opening, were regular cutting tasks that it handled with ease. I only needed to step up to the lambsfoot if I was camping, building stage scenery, yet in recent years, I developed a dependency for the larger blades.

It's being fun, rediscovering just how useful, and how capable, those smaller blades are again, and challenge the boundaries of my thinking. It's also nice to spend some time with items I haven't carried for a long time, if ever. While I certainly won't be abandoning those larger pocket knives, I won't be overlooking these smaller ones quite so often.



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,688

Nix us

******** * *
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2019, 05:32:02 PM »
 :iagree: 

I find it is the small bladed knife I reach for, more often than not. If I have a 58mm and a 111mm in my pockets, the 58mm gets pressed into service with more regularity. The small blade is quite capable and often more convenient to use.

He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 54,725
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2019, 05:40:51 PM »
Nice collection AW :like: :tu:
I have been carrying more small knives lately
The smaller knives are great for edc  :tu:

fail to prepare prepare to fail
No Life Club Posts: 3,500
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2019, 07:59:07 PM »
:iagree: 

I find it is the small bladed knife I reach for, more often than not. If I have a 58mm and a 111mm in my pockets, the 58mm gets pressed into service with more regularity. The small blade is quite capable and often more convenient to use.

It’s funny you mention the 58mm. I keep seeing pics of the alox MiniChamp and thinking how bad I want one. Until...

That is until I pull out my tiny little Rambler and look at that tiny blade. I’m afraid that little thing would break opening an envelope!!

Haha


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
No Life Club Posts: 1,198
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2019, 08:51:09 PM »
Welcome t the world of small blades, Wanderer!

For most of my life, I've used the smaller pocket knives and rarely needed much else. Like you, if I needed more blade, a sheath knife was put into service. Something like my old standby Buck 102 woodsman or my old Finnish Puuko with a 4 inch blade.

Growing up in the 1950's, the most ubiquitous pocket knife that all men had in tier pocket was a small one or two blade skip joint pocket knife about 3 inches closed, give or take a fraction of an inch. My own dad carried his faithful Case  peanut and did most of his cutting with it, That included fishing trips, camping trips, and going about his life in and around our home town of Washington D.C..

My usual pocketknife fro most my life was a 91mm SAK or my old Buck 301 stockman at 3 7/8th inches  closed. The Buck got downsized in my 40's to the 303 stockman and the SAK's went to the 84mm's like the small tinker and recruit. Then in my 50's it all got downsized again to  58mm SAK and Case peanut.  Now, thanks to Nix and the generosity on this forum, my EDC is a 74mm executive. I find that in most urban/suburban surroundings with no hostiles in sight, there just sin't much use for a lot of blade. Shrink wrap, plastic blister packages, mail, UPS and postal delivery boxes, all can be opened with a small pen blade on my executive or even a 58mm classic. I carried the classic a longtime as my EDC, and with the exception of food service, it never failed me.

Yes, sometimes you have to approach a cutting problem a little different. Like cutting a thick burger in half to share with the better half. Being senior citizens, we don't need a big meal. So my better half likes to share so I have her turn the burger/sandwich over and I cut through the bottom with the small blade. Then I have her turn it over and I take off the top bun and cut through the burger, replace the bun and cut that in line with the cut burger. So it takes three cuts to slice the big burger or sub sandwich in half. I don't have a large knife to makeup pocket space so other things can be carried.

Little pocket knives rule!! :tu:

Don't get too serious, just enough will do.
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 18,484
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2019, 10:10:07 PM »
Seems for every day cutting a SAK blade in general is about the right size.  Now talking about the smaller options, I like the 84mm best.  Then next size down is my PTC and when I had one my Executive.  Those blades can handle most of what I cut.  I got a Dragonfly because its about as much pocket knife as I typically "need".  Smaller blades for everyday is the way to go for me.  Even my fixed blades tend to be on the smaller side.   

Esse Quam Videri
No Life Club Posts: 3,394
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2019, 10:24:57 PM »
It’s funny you mention the 58mm. I keep seeing pics of the alox MiniChamp and thinking how bad I want one. Until...

That is until I pull out my tiny little Rambler and look at that tiny blade. I’m afraid that little thing would break opening an envelope!!

If you exert a lot of force opening an envelope, I suspect you're doing something wrong...  :think:

What's in my pockets right now is a Rambler and a Pocket Pal. When I reach for the Pocket Pal it's still often for the small blade, but in combination with a more comfortable handle than you get with 58 mm.
No Life Club Posts: 3,500
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2019, 10:57:29 PM »
If you exert a lot of force opening an envelope, I suspect you're doing something wrong...  :think:

What's in my pockets right now is a Rambler and a Pocket Pal. When I reach for the Pocket Pal it's still often for the small blade, but in combination with a more comfortable handle than you get with 58 mm.

What’s a Pocket Pal?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
No Life Club Posts: 3,500
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2019, 11:02:28 PM »
I can’t imagine going any smaller than my SI. I’d have nothing to hold on to!!!  Haha




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,315 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2019, 01:43:44 AM »
It’s funny you mention the 58mm. I keep seeing pics of the alox MiniChamp and thinking how bad I want one. Until...

That is until I pull out my tiny little Rambler and look at that tiny blade. I’m afraid that little thing would break opening an envelope!!

Haha


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
You'd be surprised. I use a Classic SD, that is kept by the door side-table, to open and cut up packages and boxes. It isn't ideal for box cutting, but it works. And, in the event you do overdo it with the 58mm class blade, it is likely to bend instead of break. And there are some techniques for straightening sak blades, since the metal has a softer temper.  :)

Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,315 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2019, 01:45:31 AM »
For the best part of 10 years, I've been using blades between 60mm and 75mm. The IXL barlow pictured below, with a 91mm Vic and Byrd Tern, was about the perfect size. Anything over 3" was too big, and if I needed something that large, it had to be a fixed blade too. I know some folks like large folders, but they've never had much appeal for me. The other way, anything below an 84/85mm Swiss knife main blade, just wouldn't cut it - pardon the pun.

As I've recently started giving pocket time to the stuff that's been confined to the drawer for years, I've been rediscovering just how much work these small blades can do. Yes, you sometimes need to do things differently, and yes, my life is far less active than it used to be. The second pic, keeping the IXL barlow for perspective, shows some of the knives that are finally winning some carry time again (or even for the first time ever in some cases), and all the little domestic cutting tasks are still getting done. OK, they wouldn't be up for hacking through damaged 10 tonne lifting slings, or heavy mooring lines, like I used to, but the parcels and food packaging are still getting opened, pencils are still being sharpened, and cardboard boxes flattened for recycling.

It shouldn't be any surprise to me though. My first ever knife, was a simple 2 blade penknife (long since lost) which I inherited from my Grandfather. It was about the same size as the Sheffield ring knife in the third pic, which I'm carrying today. The second knife I ever got, was the carbon steel lambsfoot in the same picture, and though that's the size of blade I came to depend on in recent years, for the first couple of decades of adulthood, I thought it was too large to carry, unless I had specific need.

That simple two bladed penknife was enough for daily carry and office life. The plastic banding on copier paper boxes, toner cartridge pouches, clamshell packaging, and package opening, were regular cutting tasks that it handled with ease. I only needed to step up to the lambsfoot if I was camping, building stage scenery, yet in recent years, I developed a dependency for the larger blades.

It's being fun, rediscovering just how useful, and how capable, those smaller blades are again, and challenge the boundaries of my thinking. It's also nice to spend some time with items I haven't carried for a long time, if ever. While I certainly won't be abandoning those larger pocket knives, I won't be overlooking these smaller ones quite so often.
A great selection to choose from for sure. It'll be interesting to see which ones you do end up utilizing the most.  :popcorn:

Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.
No Life Club Posts: 3,500
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2019, 03:47:35 AM »
I’d like to see another little knife challenge.

I couldn’t get in on the last one because I did not have anything 58mm. Now I have my Rambler. I’d be up for a challenge.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,943 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2019, 04:34:35 AM »
A great selection to choose from for sure. It'll be interesting to see which ones you do end up utilizing the most.  :popcorn:

Thank you. At the moment, it's a simple exploration of which i'd carry at all, and which I wouldn't. The Vic Classic and Wenger PTC shown (and a few other 58mm and 65mm not shown), are already proven to be worth carrying. The Alox Rambler which lives on my neck lanyard, has been carried and used many many times. The Executive which is also missing from the pic, is another safe bet.



The ring knife has proven itself to be worth carrying over the last couple of days. The Rough Rider Mini Toothpick that I carried just before, is quite delicate, and not suitable for all tasks. It's a great letter opener, but for sharpening a pencil, I'd probably feel happier using the blade on the Dime or Micra that I intend to carry it with . However, the toothpick blade would be better for cutting up an apple - so it will probably be fine so long as it's paired with a stouter blade. I'd rather break a cardboard box down with the Micra blade to be honest.

The one that looks like a lockback, but isn't (it has a screwdriver that is a lockback, but the blade is a slippy) has never been carried, I don't think. Neither has the old pearlite scaled sleeveboard, which is NOS from a company that closed 20 years ago, and has spent its life in the cardboard box which looks like it's from the 80's at the latest. Another small Sheffield slippie which isn't shown hasn't been carried either, but there's a really tiny keyring knife somewhere (MIA at present), which has had a lot of use. That was on my keys for many years, and was often the only knife on my person.

The Spyderco Bug has been played with, and used for giggles, but I've never tried to get through a day/week with it. The one attached to the light is a Japanese made AG Russel UPK with titanium handles and VG10 blade. I don't expect any problems from that.

The little pakkawood handled barlow will likely be the next one carried. I have carried that quite a bit in the past, but not for the last 10 years or so. Probably not since I've owned the buffalo horn IXL barlow, actually. It's an excellent little Chinese knife, with great walk and talk. I had to file down the kick on the pen blade to reveal the nail nick on the clip blade, but otherwise it's never given me any hassle. It'll be nice to have a few days with that again.



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
No Life Club Posts: 3,394
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2019, 09:19:46 AM »
What’s a Pocket Pal?

A Victorinox pen knife, https://sakwiki.com/tiki-index.php?page=Pocket+Pal+84mm . It has a few fans here, but I see your point on paw size.  :D
No Life Club Posts: 1,198
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2019, 04:16:42 PM »
It’s funny you mention the 58mm. I keep seeing pics of the alox MiniChamp and thinking how bad I want one. Until...

That is until I pull out my tiny little Rambler and look at that tiny blade. I’m afraid that little thing would break opening an envelope!!

Haha


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Never underestimate what a 58mm can do.

I got into the 58's over 20 years ago. It was my better half, Karen, that did it. Until then, I had thought the little 58's a sort of joke in the SAK world. You know, the kind of novelty little thing that isn't taken seriously. The joke was on me.

Karen worked for a real estate law office, and her boss bought some of those red handled Chinese SAK knock offs with their company logo to give to clients. Karen brought one home and the quality was less than abysmal. In fact it would have been an improvement to reach abysmal. What could I do?

I promptly went out and bought a new Vic classic to give to Karen so she could take it to work and show her boss the very very visible difference in quality. He then sent the knock offs back and re-ordered real Victorinox classics with he company logo. But Karen put one on her keyring and for the next few months I watched her abuse, and torture it. Doing things with it that made me wince and cringe, and expect at any moment to hear a ping, and see parts of it scatter across the floor.

It didn't happen. Once in a while when Karen was in the shower, I'd sneak it of her purse to examine it, and while there was some blade wobble, it was still hanging in there and all together. The scissors needed sharpening and the screw driver/nail file was a little lose. So I started my own 'experiment'.

I bought one, and for the next few months made it a point that when I needed a pocket knife or scissors or small screw driver, I'd first try to do it with the little classic. The small tinker in my pocket went unused for the most part and to my great surprise, the classic did it all with a little careful use. Opening packages, breaking down cardboard boxes for the recycle bin, opening those bomb proof plastic blaster packages, cut jute twine for the tomato plants in the garden. No problems of any kind. The only fail was in food service of cutting a loaf of bread, or slicing a salami that was greater than the little blades length. I became so impressed by the tiny thing that it became an EDC. I made up a leather pouch sheath for the keyring so I could just pull the classic out to use without it being attached to the keys. For the next twenty years it was my everyday companion. My keyring was on a carabiner attached to my left side belt loop of my jeans, so when I got up in the morning I had my keys, Fenix E01, and classic already on my pants. If had my keyring and my wallet I was ready to go.

Only last July the classic was replaced with an executive, so I guess I'm still sticking with the small SAK ideal that has been my go-to gear for most my life. But never under estimate what a 58mm can do. Things I'v fixed with the little screw driver on the nail file includes the clothes drier door latch, the twist grip control of an electric trolling motor out on a lake, the loose battery cable on a Vespa PX150 motor scooter that concede out in the middle nowhere, a loose door knob assembly on a guest house door in Florida, a loose cylinder latch screw on a Smith and Wesson revolver, sight adjustment screw on a Williams foolproof sight on a Marlin rifle, a loose rattling housing on an overhead ceiling fan, a carburetor adjustment on a rented motor scooter in key West Florida, an much more.

Never under estimate a 58mm SAK.

Don't get too serious, just enough will do.
No Life Club Posts: 3,500
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2019, 05:38:45 PM »
Awesome story!  I recall you mentioning the part about how it all began with your wife’s boss.  That was great on your part!!

Like I said earlier, I’d like to see a 58mm challenge for a month.  I think it would be very enlightening!!

:thumbs:




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
No Life Club Posts: 1,937
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2019, 06:19:50 PM »
I've been musing over just pocket carrying my Rambler and keeping a food knife in the bag but although it's admirably minimalist, I still want my current setup of a 58mm on the keychain and a single layer 91/93mm in the pouch. The larger handle is simply nicer to have in hand when cutting stuff. Weirdly I can't think of a larger SAK (or mod of one) which could do the job of both the Rambler and the larger SAK without it getting rather thick. It would take 3 layers methinks and even then the screwdriver wouldn't be inline (therefore no use inside computers).

"It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser." - Robert Louis Stevenson
No Life Club Posts: 1,117
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2019, 07:20:40 PM »
I've been musing over just pocket carrying my Rambler and keeping a food knife in the bag but although it's admirably minimalist, I still want my current setup of a 58mm on the keychain and a single layer 91/93mm in the pouch. The larger handle is simply nicer to have in hand when cutting stuff. Weirdly I can't think of a larger SAK (or mod of one) which could do the job of both the Rambler and the larger SAK without it getting rather thick. It would take 3 layers methinks and even then the screwdriver wouldn't be inline (therefore no use inside computers).

I think you have a few options you might consider, anyway:
  • Compact - This would cover it, if you're willing to either use the mini screwdriver in place of the 0/1 Phillips, use the corner of the combo tool in place of the 0/1 Phillips, or even modify the profile of the combo tool a bit so it would be a better small flat Phillips.
  • Evo 14 - Just need to grind the tip of the nail file flat, and I believe it would be a passable flat Phillips.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 12,352
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2019, 11:09:36 PM »
My wife is living proof of the hardiness of the 58mm, which her Dad got for her and her siblings as Christmas gifts back in '86.  I can't give her a larger knife, as she says her Classic is all she wants and needs.  Like Nix, when push comes to shove, it's a small blade that gets used first 99 times out of 100 the longer time goes with me.  My own keychain contains a Rambler, Opinel No 4, and a P38. 

Barry
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,943 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2019, 01:12:01 AM »
When I was still driving, a Manager was the permanent resident on the car keys. I beat the snot out of that thing. The scales are a little loose now, but the rest of it has held up very well. It was only ever a back up, but it was often my "people friendly" carry too. If I was around anyone who may have been unsettled by my primary carry, the car keys would come out, so I could do the job without initiating a stampede, or a battle of wits with an unarmed person ...



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
Wielder of the Bow of Banishment. Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 31,234 El Presidente del Fan Club Micky D
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2019, 01:23:31 AM »
Interesting topic gents.  I'm often happy with a smaller knife as well though, much as I appreciate them, a 58mm feels a little too small to be my only knife.

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Hero Member Posts: 896
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2019, 05:33:39 AM »
I love 58mm. The Classic is my primary knife most of the time. Handles many of the admittedly meager cutting jobs in the office. Small knives, in general, are my favorite.
Sr. Member Posts: 479 Another day, a whole 'nother set of possibilities
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2019, 05:43:23 AM »
I'm never without a Classic SD on my keys! Great thread :popcorn: BTW I think the best"small" pocket knife has to be the Spyderco Dragonfly, it definitely punches above it's weight class! :cheers:

"Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!"
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 12,352
Re: Rediscovering small knives.
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2019, 01:17:18 PM »
Over the years, in addition to my small SAKs, a small Stockman has found its way into my pocket from time to time.  I love my No 4, and am really excited about trying out the Bug.  Next month I'm in the keychain challenge, which will really put the small knives I carry to the test.

Barry

 

Donations

Operational Funds

Help us keep the Unworkable working!
Donate with PayPal!
August Goal: $300.00
Due Date: Aug 31
Total Receipts: $51.00
PayPal Fees: $3.48
Net Balance: $47.52
Below Goal: $252.48
Site Currency: USD
16% 
August Donations

Community Links


Powered by EzPortal
SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.127 seconds with 34 queries.
© 2018 Defender Web & Tool