The everyday SAK.
« on: April 29, 2019, 05:07:50 PM »
For most my life I've been a SAKist of one sort or another. Big SAK, little SAK, it all depended on what stage of my life I was at and what I was doing. Sure, there were some 'other' knives here and there, but they all were short time distractions from my SAK worship. Since my dad gave me that old boy scout knife when I was a kid and joined the boy scout troop at the local church, I was hooked on a pocket knife with some tools.
The 91mm SAK's were a mainstay for many years, until I discovered the compact beauty of the 84mm SAK's. My first SAK, the huntsman, was my EDC SAK while I was in the U.S. Army Combat Engineers. The saw actually cane in handy now and then for trimming off an end of something, and the scissors would snip fuse very neatly. But it was a bit thick for fatigue pants pocket, so it got carried in an olive drab nylon pouch sheath on the belt. Out of the army the 91mm tinker got the pocket spot. Then I discovered the 'small' tinker! Love stuck like a thunder bolt. It appealed to my minimalist nature to have the same tools in a smaller package.
Out of the army on a medical discharge after serious injury to my right foot in a construction accident, I had to make concessions to my backpacking hobby. Being 50% disabled with a bum wheel under me, I had to resort to ultra light backpacking. Cutting ounces when I could to amount to pounds saved, meant I could still enjoy getting out there. Paper tags clipped off tea bags, toothbrush handle cut down, lightweight alloy spork, and smaller pocket knife. The recruit, then bantam got put in my pocket. Then, in a fit of desperation to keep at it, the Vic secretary got used, with a P-38 in my wallet for tool capability. I got down to a 25 pound pack for a three day trip.
But for everyday to day use, the 84mm's were my SAK of choice, except for my old Wenger SI, that I though of as my go-to SAK if things were going to be a little rough. Little by little, the Wenger got carried less and less as I developed my love and devotion to the 84's. The cadet, the recruit, were my new mainstays, until my better half got me into a 58mm by chance. I've described here how she came home with a SAK clone from a asian country and I bought her a real classic to show her the difference. For the next few months I watches as she tortured the little knife and it never said 'die.' So I bought one for my own "challenge" long before I knew how to work a computer or had heard of forums. For a few months I made it a point to use the classic first to see how it did. It did so well, it became an everyday carry for the next twenty some years. Along with a recruit or cadet for 'back up' if needed.
Then I met my first 74mm. The executive that Nix gifted me. Now for the past 9 months, the 74 has been my daily carry, and I love it. In my daily life as a retired gentleman of leisure in Georgetown, Texas, it goes fishing with me, walking in the cedar woods with my better half, traveling by car put to California a few times a year to spend time with the daughter and granddaughter and family. It opens packages just as good as my larger SAK's of years past, but takes up way less room in the pockets. IN fact it gets carried in the coin pocket of my jeans or Wrangler brand denim shorts. The thin little second blade of it slides through cardboard with ease when breaking down a box for the recycle bin. And the screw driver tip of the orange peeler fits the adjustment screws on Williams peep sights perfectly.
It even did gardening in a pinch. We just got back from another trip from Mission Viejo, California, and the daughter had a Bougainvillea bush overgrowing the patio. I was on the verge of going out to the car for the recruit stashed in the glove box, but I instead used the small blade of the executive. Being careful of the thorns, I'd put some pressure on the limb in question, and cut down and in at a 45 degree angle. The thin blade of the executive sliced right through the Bougainvillea branch and then a second and a third. Soon I had the offending Bougainvillea trimmed back to a nice patio bush size, with only a few bloody thorn holes in my left hand. A guess a little blood shed for a good cause is okay.
When I was younger, I guess I though of all these scenarios that I may need a 'bigger' knife. As I got to middle age, my knives got smaller. Sometimes it was of necessity for backpacking. Each time I downsized, I found it was really no handicap at all. I guess growing up and watching dad with his little Case peanut, was a sort of education. Dad always carried his little peanut, and a Sear's 4-Way keychain screw driver and a P-38 on his keyring. I watched him time and again take care of all sorts of things with that trio and it stuck in my memory. As I got older and did some downsizing, I'd think of dad ands minimalist kit, and be inspired. Now, with a 74mm executive in the pocket, and my Victorinox quattro and a P-38 in the zipper compartment of my wallet, I feel well equipped for a day in the life in modern suburbia.
I've always loved compact little items that can get the job done. Mini Bic lighters, small pen knives, North American Arms mini .22 revolvers, compact cars like the two VW bugs I had in the late 60's and 70's, then the small Toyota Corolla's that came later. I love my small monoculars, and my Fenix E01 flashlight. I guess the little SAK's fit in with my outlook of maximum minimalism.