Chop Style: Pocket Knives

It’s time to talk about knives. It’s time to talk about knives because we’re in the market for a new one before we go back overseas. We never really thought we’d be the type to carry a knife around everywhere we go, but over the years we’ve come around to the opinion of Gentlemanly Means, and we’re almost never found without one.

The makers and retailers of pocket knives would have you believe that their products can be elevated to the level of talismanic objects; heirlooms passed from generation to generation, the old romantic notion of this was Grandpappy’s GI knife and he used it to cut his way out of a POW camp in Korea and all that. That’s entirely possible with a quality knife… if you don’t lose it first.

Our favorite knife to date... the CRKT Carson M16. Approximate actual size.

We lose knives all the time. As the GMP post points out, it can be tough to find the right intersection of price and quality, because you have to buy thinking you’re going to lose it sooner or later. We can hardly keep a knife longer than a pair of sunglasses, and usually end up having to buy a new one every 12-18 months. By now we’ve formed a pretty strong opinion, and knife shopping doesn’t take nearly as long as it once did.

For us, less is more. We’re not a fan of the Leatherman multitools or the top of the line Swiss Army models. That’s just too much steel. We want one blade- and we want that blade to feel large in the hand and small in the pocket, and be designed in such a way that it matches a suit as well as everyday jeans.

the first knife we really liked was ta Buck Nobleman, which served us quite well until it ended up at the bottom of the bay. It drew a lot of compliments, and our only real complaint about it was the lack of a belt clip, a feature we really like. (Tip, most belt clips are easily removable.)

We replaced that with a Gerber EVO Jr, which was a crappy piece of junk that fell apart in hand in less than a year. Last Gerber knife we’ll ever buy.

Our most recent knife, and quite possibly our next knife, was a Columbia River Tanto. We bought it for less than half of the $50 price tag on the website, and it was worth twice as much to us. It did absolutely everything asked of it, sharpened up nicely, and looked as good as it felt clipped to the pocket when not in use. In fact, throughout our travels we’ve probably met half a dozen others carrying knives from the CRKT EDC series, and every one swears it’s the best knife he’s ever owned.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Chop Style: Pocket Knives

  1. StabbyCerberus

    Oh, don’t even get me started about knives! I can’t even begin to tell you how many I have. If you ever made it past @LittleCerberus to get through my door (which is HIGHLY unlikely) you’d find some in every room of my house. My fave — and the one I always carry in my pocket — is a Kershaw. It’s all stainless steel — no plastic housings or any of that shit. It was given to me by an ATF agent, who told me that it’s the fastest opening blade you can legally buy in the States without a prescription. It has a lock, so it’s safe to carry in your pocket or grab it back from someone before they can figure out how to use it against you. The blade is so super sharp that it’s the one knife I won’t let my kid play with. I can’t hold onto sunglasses for more than a few weeks, but I’ve managed to hold onto my Kershaw for 8 years.

  2. I “carried” a chunky Gerber Gator in high school and somehow managed to flip the thing open one-handed. But it was like shoving a bean burrito in your pocket. It’s a fine fishing/camping knife, but concealment wasn’t on the mind of the designers.

    As I got older and less broke, I started spending a little more on knives. I had a CRKT Carson M16 for about 2 years when I bartended at the Talking Head (Davis St.) I think I used it every day for one odd reason or anyother. Agreed, best quality knife for the price – solid construction, the composite handle feels good in your hand, and it easily flips open with a flick of the wrist (super important, right?). That little round nub at the base of the blade makes for easy opening as well. It’s a well thought out design and it manages looks pretty tough.

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