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If I could start from the beginning again... 2598

No Life Club Posts: 1,540
If I could start from the beginning again...
« on: June 18, 2020, 09:05:53 PM »
"Advice is a form of nostalgia ..."  - Baz Luhrmann

We often like to suggest a first or second Swiss Army Knife to new members on the forum.  Most of us give SAKs as gifts to friends and family  Many times we preface the gift with a little explanation as to why we chose that particular one for them

When I gifted a Huntsman to my friend, who was on his fourth or fifth SAK I could tell that he was genuinely pleased, and his family told me later on how happy he was to receive the gift.  It turns out, I did correctly pick up on a clue in a conversation with him that he wasn't quite thrilled with the SAKs he had, and would have liked something different (no, we weren't talking about SAKs at all).  I realized that he liked his SwissChamp but didn't want to carry something so bulky.  He liked the MiniChamp but found it too small for most jobs.  He liked the Spartan but it just wasn't enough, knowing what the SwissChamp was capable of.... and so on.  So I knew I needed to meet him in the middle, with a Huntsman of Fieldmaster. 

We do similar things for each other here, but based on knowing each other quite a bit less - and for new members, knowing them not at all.  Our advice often comes out of a place of, "What would I get if I was in your situation"

So just for fun, I thought about bringing that up as a question to all.  With the life you've lived - different jobs, long detours into carrying something else, different favorites at different times, and even the ignorance of youth all factored in... what would you tell yourself that you should get in the beginning of it all?



For myself, I'd get a 111mm Adventurer, believe it or not.   :o

Yes, I'd advise teenager me to get an Adventurer.  What young me needed to enjoy was a big locking blade - I was going to do a lot of camping, and a lot of unnecessary "whittling" as a kid.  I would want a locking blade because I wasn't going to convince myself that it was safe to do otherwise.... and I would have needed to work my way through that phase.   Also I would pack an adequate set of screwdrivers into the tool, and pry with something other than the blade.  I wouldn't give me a saw at that point - it's something that I would need to work up to, after doing it "wrong" for years.  After that. I'd get what I actually got, and approximately in the same order (though I would pull the trigger on the OHT sooner. 

See, for me - what I needed to work my way through was an affinity for locking folders, with an earlier appreciation for using the right tool for the right task. 

What would you get you?







No Life Club Posts: 1,239
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2020, 10:16:33 PM »
For sure I'd clue myself in about alox.  If available it would be the knife I EDC now, a Pioneer X.

- Steve
Hero Member Posts: 640 Queen's Venturer
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2020, 11:24:41 PM »
I'd warn myself that I'd be moving from town to town quite a bit from 2000-2013, and to be more careful not to lose my first EcoLine Recuit. I probably wouldn't be using it much anymore anyway, but that knife and I spent a lot of time together, and it deserved better than being lost forever.

That said, when asked for recommendations for a first Swiss Army Knife, I generally recommend the Huntsman (but I'm a bit biased.)
No Life Club Posts: 1,540
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2020, 11:39:26 PM »
I'd warn myself that I'd be moving from town to town quite a bit from 2000-2013, and to be more careful not to lose my first EcoLine Recuit. I probably wouldn't be using it much anymore anyway, but that knife and I spent a lot of time together, and it deserved better than being lost forever.

That said, when asked for recommendations for a first Swiss Army Knife, I generally recommend the Huntsman (but I'm a bit biased.)

If there was something that I would have warned myself about, it's that a SAK is much easier to clean than a Leatherman. 
Hero Member Posts: 522
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2020, 01:53:05 AM »
A tinker . Works for food,  whittling , fiddling with things , taking stuff apart and putting back together , easily and cheaply replaceable.

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are "
No Life Club Posts: 1,353
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2020, 02:39:06 AM »
I started with a tinker 41 years ago.  If I had it to do again, I’d go Pioneer & Farmer. 
No Life Club Posts: 4,148
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2020, 03:03:30 AM »
If I could start from the beginning again, nothing would change in terms of SAKs.   Right after my fifth-grade graduation, my Granddad took me to a local cutlery store, and allowed me to choose a knife. Being as, at the time, we got a lot of SMKW catalogs, I loved the SAKs, and was disappointed by the failure of a cheap China-made knockoff when a bushing popped off a pin when whittling. I chose the Fieldmaster; as it was in the budget my Granddad gave me (which, as I recall, was under $50). It is needing some work now, but served me well until relatively recently. It's had a rescale, and the scissors are messed up. I recently changed out to a SilverTech Huntsman and a 1960s 84mm Craftsman. At that same time (mid 2006)  I also discovered an Old Cross Pioneer in an old desk my great-Granddad used when he lived here before his passing in 1993. I love how two-layer 93mms carry, back then, and then now.  The Fieldmaster needs to be sent off to Victorinox, as I abused it a lot as a teen.  The OC Pioneer is mostly a formal carry for very special occasions; having been replaced by a new silver Pioneer for EDC, and a banged up, slightly newer OC Pioneer for EDC and work.     Interestingly enough, something has changed. My grandmother let me buy a Classic SD at Lowe's when I was 12. Hated it, gave it to my great-uncle as I viewed it as way too small to be a "REAL" knife. Now I have close to a dozen 58mm knives, in Alox, horn, and Cellidor, more than half of them Classics or similar. My favorite is a purple Classic SD with a purple and orange paracord lanyard put on by a former owner.

 The traditional patterns I use are the same--Stockmen and electrician's knives. He gave me a late '70s Schrade USA 34OT I carried until last month, when it was retired. The Colonial Electrician was retired 2-3 years ago when I started accruing several examples of the pattern from various makers. Trappers, folding hunters, and penknives have gotten a lot of my attention as of late. Camillus Cutlery Co. (not the rebranded cheap POS sold by Acme) was still in business in mid-2006, so I wished I'd picked up a few here locally. We had a hardware store, and even the very cutlery store the SAK came from them that sold them.

Pliers-based tools is an interesting subject. I didn't have a decent one until I joined this forum. I had an Irish-made Imperial out of the tractor toolbox for many years. It worked OK, better than the cheap stuff, but it wasn't great.   I wonder what I'd do if I'd gotten a good one early on?

I'd long lusted after the Buck 110 as a teen. Finally inherited my first from my great-uncle in 2015; and now I have 3; with a fourth pending. I'd have loved to have gotten one much earlier. My folks used to always buy me small lockback knives for safety; and I still like buying and carrying these to this date. I have a little Camillus 870 on the way as I speak.

Tactical knives were something I absolutely hated, due to Frost Cutlery. Family and friends would give them to me, and the locks would fail, resultling in some nasty cuts. Now, I have Benchmades, Spydercos, Kershaws, CRKT, and Bucks as well as various moderately priced Japan-made knives from the '80s in my arsenal. If someone had given me one of them earlier,  even something entry-level like a CRKT, I'm sure things would be much different.

Fixed blades. I had an American-made Imperial "boy's knife" my great-Granddad used fishing and hunting, with a custom handle he made to replace the cheap plastic one. My folks didn't allow me to carry them until I turned 18 (which was when I started buying Moras like crazy; something I still do); and my grandmother "confiscated" it not long after I found it in a kitchen drawer when I was 12. Found it in a desk last year, put an edge on it this week, and it's back to use! It's just the right size, and the fish scaler on the spine makes great jimping to get a good grip.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 04:26:48 AM by cody6268 »
Sr. Member Posts: 415
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2020, 04:19:02 AM »
I started with a Huntsman. If I had it to do over again, I’d start with...

A Huntsman.

The saw hooked me. At the time I was a young Infantry Officer, and that marvelous little saw was the best thing since sliced bread in the field. A bit later I learned how incredibly useful those scissors were, and they are now my most-used SAK tool.

I love the Pioneer, and I still think the Compact is the best-overall tool available for day-to-day carry, but the Huntsman is the knife that put me on my path of discovery, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Sr. Member Posts: 257
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2020, 04:29:41 AM »
If this is about the first SAK I bought myself, it was a Spartan, knowing what I know now I'd probably had advised to save a bit more and go up in layers a little and grab an Explorer or go thinner and more durable with a cadet (seeing as up until 2017 I carried a Swisscard in my wallet anyway and even after then it lived in my bag, so losing the scale tools wouldn't have mattered that much).

If I could give general advice? Don't bend the tip on the classic dad passed onto you from work and don't lose the tweezers. I have no idea how I managed either of those things.

If knives in general, I don't really regret how I started: a triple pack of Spyderco Bug, Honeybee and Grasshopper followed by saving up for a large box of knives from the US. To this day design holds my heart first and foremost, I don't use knives hard enough to care about steel beyond 8Cr13MOV and I can maintain them regardless. I find as much joy in my $17 Chill as I do in my not quite so $17 Hoback Kwaiback.
No Life Club Posts: 1,540
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2020, 04:36:20 AM »
If I could start from the beginning again, nothing would change in terms of SAKs.   Right after my fifth-grade graduation, my Granddad took me to a local cutlery store, and allowed me to choose a knife. Being as, at the time, we got a lot of SMKW catalogs, I loved the SAKs, and was disappointed by the failure of a cheap China-made knockoff when a bushing popped off a pin when whittling. I chose the Fieldmaster; as it was in the budget my Granddad gave me (which, as I recall, was under $50). It is needing some work now, but served me well until relatively recently. It's had a rescale, and the scissors are messed up. I recently changed out to a SilverTech Huntsman and a 1960s 84mm Craftsman. I also discovered an Old Cross Pioneer in an old desk my great-Granddad used when he lived here before his passing in 1993. I love how two-layer 93mms carry, back then, and then now.  The Fieldmaster needs to be sent off to Victorinox, as I abused it a lot as a teen.  The OC Pioneer is mostly a formal carry for very special occasions; having been replaced by a new silver Pioneer for EDC, and a banged up, slightly newer OC Pioneer for EDC and work.     Interestingly enough, something has changed. My grandmother let me buy a Classic SD at Lowe's when I was 12. Hated it, gave it to my great-uncle as I viewed it as way too small to be a "REAL" knife. Now I have close to a dozen 58mm knives, in Alox, horn, and Cellidor, more than half of them Classics or similar. My favorite is a purple Classic SD with a purple and orange paracord lanyard put on by a former owner.

 The traditional patterns I use are the same--Stockmen and electrician's knives. He gave me a late '70s Schrade USA 34OT I carried until last month, when it was retired. The Colonial Electrician was retired 2-3 years ago when I started accruing several examples of the pattern from various makers. Trappers, folding hunters, and penknives have gotten a lot of my attention as of late. Camillus Cutlery Co. (not the rebranded cheap POS sold by Acme) was still in business in mid-2006, so I wished I'd picked up a few here locally. We had a hardware store, and even the very cutlery store the SAK came from them that sold them.

Pliers-based tools is an interesting subject. I didn't have a decent one until I joined this forum. I had an Irish-made Imperial out of the tractor toolbox for many years. It worked OK, better than the cheap stuff, but it wasn't great.   I wonder what I'd do if I'd gotten a good one early on?

I'd long lusted after the Buck 110 as a teen. Finally inherited my first from my great-uncle in 2015; and now I have 3; with a fourth pending. I'd have loved to have gotten one much earlier. My folks used to always buy me small lockback knives for safety; and I still like buying and carrying these to this date. I have a little Camillus 870 on the way as I speak.

Tactical knives were something I absolutely hated, due to Frost Cutlery. Family and friends would give them to me, and the locks would fail, resultling in some nasty cuts. Now, I have Benchmades, Spydercos, Kershaws, CRKT, and Bucks as well as various moderately priced Japan-made knives from the '80s in my arsenal. If someone had given me one of them earlier,  even something entry-level like a CRKT, I'm sure things would be much different.

Fixed blades. I had an American-made Imperial "boy's knife" my great-Granddad used fishing and hunting, with a custom handle he made to replace the cheap plastic one. My folks didn't allow me to carry them until I turned 18 (which was when I started buying Moras like crazy; something I still do); and my grandmother "confiscated" it not long after I found it in a kitchen drawer when I was 12. Found it in a desk last year, put an edge on it this week, and it's back to use! It's just the right size, and the fish scaler on the spine makes great jimping to get a good grip.

You mention the Buck 110 ... I hadn't mentioned my non-SAK choices and what I would want present me to tell past me.  My knife of choice for my teenage years was a smaller Buck 110 knockoff - maybe a 55, maybe a 112... It lasted me for many years, though eventually, the lock became loose, and it was near impossible to sharpen (I'm told because of a high amount of chromium?).  That led to a series of poorly selected cheap and cheerful knives, all of which had liner locks that failed.  I ended up getting a Buck 110 - using that was a night-and-day difference.  Ultimately though, I found a Camillus/Remington hybrid just before the Camillus company was going bankrupt. I'm glad I found that because it turned out to be one of my favorites. 

But that too, would have been different had I started out with an Adventurer - I'd have saved a lot of time and money on one C&C after another. 

Global Moderator No Life Club Posts: 3,198
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2020, 06:15:29 AM »
Well I would not change anything

The first SAK I know I definitely had was a Huntsman - And I carried it for 30 odd years
Before that I had a boy scouts fixed blade in a belt sheath - and boy scouts type of pocket knives.

It's weird - nearly everyone in this thread is saying the Huntsman.
Anyway it served me so well - I used all the tools a lot - Loved the scissors - Toothpick essential - And the saw was great for hiking, scouts etc etc

These days I have downsized to the Compact for EDC weekdays - (city / desk jockey :) ) - And may take a bigger SAK for short bushwalks, maybe still the Huntsman for longer day trips  - And often some pliers in the pocket at the weekend -eg Juice S2!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 18,260 Oxygen and magnesium toghether?! OMg!
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2020, 11:54:42 AM »



 :facepalm:

________________________________
It is just a matter of time before they add the word “Syndrome” after my last name.

I don't have OCD, I have OCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.

Eff the ineffable, scrut the inscrutable.

IYCRTYSWTMTFOT

Hero Member Posts: 874
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2020, 01:21:59 PM »
Alox. 93mm. End of.

 :megaslap:

They don't like it up 'em!
No Life Club Posts: 3,110
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2020, 04:34:58 PM »
I'd start with 25 Damascus Pioneers from 2010...
Full Member Posts: 102

Pop us

*** *
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2020, 05:34:40 PM »
I'd tell high school me about something called alox, because an electrician would've made a much better work knife than the boat anchor Buck 110 I carried. I'd also convince myself that cellidor wasn't cheap looking sooner than I figured it out on my own.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 18,260 Oxygen and magnesium toghether?! OMg!
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2020, 05:47:43 PM »

________________________________
It is just a matter of time before they add the word “Syndrome” after my last name.

I don't have OCD, I have OCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.

Eff the ineffable, scrut the inscrutable.

IYCRTYSWTMTFOT

Hero Member Posts: 688
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2020, 05:49:13 PM »
I probably wouldnt have bought so many classic SDs on here (no regrets whatsoever). I have more LMs than SAK but my Tinker, Super Tinker and SwissChamp are all good selections for me.

My only regret is not buying them sooner.
No Life Club Posts: 1,540
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2020, 12:43:22 AM »
I'd tell high school me about something called alox, because an electrician would've made a much better work knife than the boat anchor Buck 110 I carried. I'd also convince myself that cellidor wasn't cheap looking sooner than I figured it out on my own.

 :tu:  I would tell me about Alox about 2 or 3 years sooner than I actually discovered it.  It would have been better than pocket carrying a Leatherman Wave ... :facepalm:

Hero Member Posts: 543
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2020, 12:44:38 AM »
My first original (not genuine 😉) SAK was a Swisschamp. I only had it for a short time before I lost it but I’d already had a cheap scout/camping knife since I was about 12. Many years later, after losing said camping knife, I bought a Handyman and Rambler together that I thought were all I’d ever need. Shortly after that purchase, however, I got a Sportsman for super cheap and felt right at home again, so I’d probably start over with that. A Camper would likely be my next buy, with a Rambler hot on its heels.

Rambler
Hero Member Posts: 929
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2020, 04:52:47 AM »
I'd tell my young self to stick with the Tinker I received for my 13th birthday, don't chase and spend a couple thousand on knives you'll be mostly rid of before you're 40,  and pick up a Micra to supplement it when it comes out in a few years. Forget the CS tanto and the crappy Crkt in your late teens. And buy this this thing called Bitcoin as soon as it comes out. As much as you can afford.
No Life Club Posts: 1,310
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2020, 06:20:50 AM »
I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I kept and used my Wenger handyman for 28 years before it finally broke too much to use anymore. (Snapped tip of blade and popped one rivet when prying with the screwdriver/bottle opener)

That knife’s demise brought me to this site, actually. And now I know how to repair it, and also have most of the parts.

That said, lately I’ve been carrying an L.L. Bean branded Wenger Swiss Sportsman lately. For urban carry I rarely need the saw, and a 2D in-line Phillips driver is more useful to me than a backspring driver. Plus the corkscrew gets regular use for opening wine.

I tried carrying a victorinox troubleshooter for a while. I really like the toolset, but it’s too big to fit in a coin pocket. The 3-layer 85mm Wenger is just a more comfortable carry for me. And it works well with a SOG Sync I belt buckle for a light carry day.

If I could tell me younger self anything, it would have been to buy the Wenger 120mm knives while they were cheap. I love that format now, but they are exxxxpensive.

If also tell my younger self to get a Gerber. I dismissed multitools as useful things until my 40s, because of how much an original leatherman hurt to use when really bearing down on the pliers. I thought they were all worthless and junk, and didn’t buy my first multitool until I was 40. And it was a Gerber MP600 Pro Scout. I’ve been hooked on tools and knives since.

Charles.
Full Member Posts: 221 Just a dude with an appreciation for titanium.
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2020, 06:48:47 AM »
The Classic SD is a given. I was 10 when my father gave me my first one and I've had either a Classic or a Rambler in my pocket pretty much everyday since then.

I carried a Super Tinker when I was in the Air Force then went to a Compact when I got out. Looking back I wish I had just gone with the Compact the entire time.

If the Pioneer X had been out back then I think I would have been the most happy with that although the S18 is also pretty great for an all-around knife.

-Wes.

Edit: Maybe a 84mm Golfer with a long nail file, they must have been cheaper and slightly easier to find back in the late 90s/early 00s so I wouldn't have to shelf queen the only one I have.

Work EDC: Vic 8GB Jetsetter/Bladeless Pioneer X Mod/Olight I1R EOS/Atwood R25

Weekend EDC: LM Free T4 or Vic Delemont S18 or Vic Pioneer X/Vic Rambler/Olight I1R EOS/ Atwood R37Pry

Neatest items in collection: Full Wenger Titanium Series, Vic Voyaguer, 84mm Golfer with Long Nailfile, Several Atwoods.

These days I focus on 84mm with Scissors, odd Wenger Knives, and bladeless versions of SAKs so I can carry them at work. Oh, and oddball Pharmacy/Medical Ad Classics.
No Life Club Posts: 1,470
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2020, 06:58:33 AM »
I already told myself:


But I didn’t listen.

 :facepalm:

First SAK was an ‘84 Champion. I didn’t make enough to justify a Swiss Champ when they were out only a couple years later. Perhaps my advice would be...”it’s only money”

The other advice might have been to carry and use the SD(?) that a GF gave me but remained MIB all these years...
Sr. Member Posts: 290
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2020, 12:42:08 PM »
I’d tell myself about pocket suspension clips. I lost 3 or 4 Pioneers over the years before I discovered those.

Hans
No Life Club Posts: 1,353
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2020, 03:06:51 PM »
And in thinking about this a little more, I'd go back and tell myself about the Yeoman.  Even tho I carried a Scientist as a young man for a good decade or so, I didn't know about the Yeoman.  I wish I had.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,165
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2020, 05:23:12 PM »
For me it'd be exactly what I started with, a Huntsman.  It covered every need I had for over three decades.  Everything from tuning up my various air cooled Volkswagens to hunting requirements.  I even used the saw to break into my office when I locked my keys inside one night.  The rest have just been flirtatious relationships :facepalm:

Barry
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,917 mmmmm SAKrelicious
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2020, 06:00:21 PM »
Nice thread topic.

I would get my younger self a red Farmer and Rambler and Spirit that would cover all my bases.

Mind you, that would mean missing out on a lot of fun on the way to those decisions.

 :cheers:


'Use the force Harry' - Gandalf
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,165
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2020, 06:04:26 PM »
Exactly Mags! :cheers:

Barry
No Life Club Posts: 2,284
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2020, 09:12:57 PM »
Spartan. End of story.

"It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser." - Robert Louis Stevenson
No Life Club Posts: 1,540
Re: If I could start from the beginning again...
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2020, 10:33:53 PM »
I'd tell my young self to stick with the Tinker I received for my 13th birthday, don't chase and spend a couple thousand on knives you'll be mostly rid of before you're 40,  and pick up a Micra to supplement it when it comes out in a few years. Forget the CS tanto and the crappy Crkt in your late teens. And buy this this thing called Bitcoin as soon as it comes out. As much as you can afford.

I belabored that decision for far too long, and I finally got it - and carried it for a few years.  Great for tearing through rope, cardboard, and packaging.  Rubbish for camping, food prep, and most of all for processing wood.  Starting off with the Adventurer would have nipped that in the bud, I think. 

 

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