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Penknife or pocketknife?

gb Offline Tasky

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Penknife or pocketknife?
on: June 16, 2022, 03:27:48 PM
Apologies if this has been asked before, but:

Quote
In traditional Sheffield parlance, a penknife has a hinge at both ends and includes a small spear point blade intended for sharpening quill pens. Any friction folding knife that doesn't conform to both of those requirements is a pocket knife.
From Workshop Heaven, but I've seen this said all over the place.

So is a SAK thusly a penknife or pocketknife?


us Offline petey.grizz

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #1 on: June 16, 2022, 03:32:54 PM
A pen knife, at least in my understanding is a two bladed simple affair intended for light duty office work like opening envelopes and sharpening quills, pencils, and erasing text. A SAK is a multi-function knife and to me isn’t a pen knife. The models like Excelsior or secretary are a pen knife.
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us Offline Farmer X

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #2 on: June 16, 2022, 03:41:16 PM
Petey summed up my thoughts pretty well. I would add that every pen knife is a pocket knife, but not every pocket knife is a pen knife. At the risk of being overly pedantic, I consider a pen knife to be one that has two blades, hinged at opposite ends, with the secondary being a pen blade.
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Offline Helvetica Bold

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #3 on: June 16, 2022, 04:58:47 PM
I refer to my SAKs generically as penknives. I sharpen my quills with a Swiss Champ…or I would at least!    :think:


us Online Aloha

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #4 on: June 16, 2022, 05:09:49 PM
I'm ignorant so I call any knife a pocket knife  :facepalm:
Esse Quam Videri


pt Offline pfrsantos

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #5 on: June 16, 2022, 05:32:18 PM
I'm ignorant so I call any knife a pocket knife  :facepalm:

+1

Depending on your pockets, even a machete can be a pocket knife.

 :cheers: :salute:
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us Offline Rich S

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #6 on: June 16, 2022, 05:50:00 PM
For me any SAK over 4 layers is carried in a belt pouch. I guess that could be called an external pocket?
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us Offline hsherzfeld

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #7 on: June 16, 2022, 07:59:21 PM
I was under a general impression that pen knife is a term used more commonly by the British to refer to a pocket knife. I agree that the Secretary and Pocket Pal best fit the technical definition.
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Offline Helvetica Bold

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #8 on: June 16, 2022, 08:29:50 PM
I was under a general impression that pen knife is a term used more commonly by the British to refer to a pocket knife. I agree that the Secretary and Pocket Pal best fit the technical definition.

 Being from the British Isles I would agree with that.  :tu:


nz Offline Sawl Goodman

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #9 on: June 17, 2022, 01:01:21 AM
I'd go with Petey's definition & examples. A pocketknife is more utilitarian.

Some people have referred to my Swisschamp as a penknife. It makes me chuckle.
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us Offline SteveC

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #10 on: June 17, 2022, 01:35:43 AM
A SAK can be a penknife , like the Secretary  or Popular for example








ch Offline Sneider

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #11 on: June 17, 2022, 06:37:30 AM
A penknife is usually a pocketknife, but most pocketknives are not penknives. 

IMO pen knives are really narrow and elongated. The only true pen knives from Victorinox are the slim 84mm models SteveC shows above. (Excelsior, Secretary, Popular etc.)
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gb Offline Tasky

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #12 on: June 17, 2022, 01:08:14 PM
Sounds fair enough.
I wondered if a standard SAK would count, as it is hinged at both ends and includes (but is not limited to) a smaller blade intended (originally) for sharpening quill pens. I think it is for this reason so many people insist on calling it a penknife, even though I personally use the term pocket-knife because that's how Victorinox describes it.


us Offline Explorer

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #13 on: June 17, 2022, 04:54:33 PM
A wise man once said...

A pen in the knife is worth two in the pocket

Hope that clears things up  ???
:D
« Last Edit: June 17, 2022, 05:01:35 PM by Explorer »


us Online Aloha

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #14 on: June 17, 2022, 05:00:17 PM
Perfectly

 :think:
Esse Quam Videri


pt Offline pfrsantos

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #15 on: June 17, 2022, 05:00:38 PM
I was under a general impression that pen knife is a term used more commonly by the British to refer to a pocket knife. I agree that the Secretary and Pocket Pal best fit the technical definition.

General Impression!

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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.

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us Offline Fireman

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #16 on: June 17, 2022, 05:13:33 PM
You learn something every day.  Turns out I own some pen knives, but haven't a clue how to go about sharpening a quill.


pt Offline pfrsantos

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #17 on: June 17, 2022, 05:27:54 PM
You learn something every day.  Turns out I own some pen knives, but haven't a clue how to go about sharpening a quill.

There you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UGYlEVq1AQ

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« Last Edit: June 17, 2022, 05:33:35 PM by pfrsantos »
________________________________
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



us Offline PitCarver

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #18 on: June 17, 2022, 05:41:09 PM
True, all pen knives are still pocket knives , but not all pocket knives are pen knives.

I have the same issue with the concept that all bourbons are whiskey, but all whisky's are aren't bourbons.

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us Offline cody6268

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #19 on: June 17, 2022, 05:44:32 PM
Seems in UK English, it has become the defacto name for a pocketknife.

Here in the US, it's a specific style of knife.


gb Offline Fuzzbucket

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #20 on: June 17, 2022, 05:55:08 PM
Seems in UK English, it has become the defacto name for a pocketknife.

Here in the US, it's a specific style of knife.

I'm not aware of it being any different here in Britain. The term used especially when I was growing up was pocket knife.

My understanding is that a penknife is just a type of small pocket knife with a pen blade either end, one slightly larger than the other. A penknife is a penknife, a fruit knife is a fruit knife - both however, are pocket knives.


gb Offline Rizio Il Ghiro

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #21 on: June 17, 2022, 06:13:47 PM
To quote from Chambers English Dictionary (the primary reference source for cryptic crosswords here in the UK) :

Penknife

1. Orig a knife for making or mending pens
2. A small pocket knife with folding blade or blades

So I’ve always understood it as that. Not that it particularly matters!  :cheers:


gb Offline Tasky

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #22 on: June 17, 2022, 06:56:46 PM
A wise man once said...
A pen in the knife is worth two in the pocket
Hope that clears things up  ???
:D
Presumably that was Carl Elsener Sr. in 1985 when they first put out Plus Scale models?


wales Offline GearedForwards

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #23 on: June 17, 2022, 08:49:43 PM
Another UK MTO'r chiming in, penknife has always been a certain kind of pocket knife, and pocket knife has always been the overall term.

As for why penknife is so widely used here, I'm going to hazard a guess at the actual pen knife form factor being more popular than others, with a good dose of every x is y ignorance thrown in. Same reason our dyson is a hoover.
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us Offline Fireman

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #24 on: June 18, 2022, 12:49:56 AM
There you go:

 :cheers: :salute:

And now I've learned two things today.  :D :salute:


us Offline Explorer

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #25 on: June 18, 2022, 02:18:03 AM
Presumably that was Carl Elsener Sr. in 1985 when they first put out Plus Scale models?
Exactly!!
At least Tasky is paying attention  :salute:



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gb Offline Fuzzbucket

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #26 on: June 18, 2022, 11:27:59 AM
Another UK MTO'r chiming in, penknife has always been a certain kind of pocket knife, and pocket knife has always been the overall term.

As for why penknife is so widely used here, I'm going to hazard a guess at the actual pen knife form factor being more popular than others, with a good dose of every x is y ignorance thrown in. Same reason our dyson is a hoover.

I'm just going to do a quick bit of dysoning... ing....


ca Offline Jothra

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ca Offline Jazz

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Re: Penknife or pocketknife?
Reply #28 on: June 19, 2022, 01:23:20 PM
Pen knife has blades at opposite ends, and a jackknife has blades at the same end. Just call it what you want. A pocketknife is a knife you can carry in your pocket.


 

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