Why You Need a Knife

If you’ve ever owned one or have a friend who ones one, you’d know how useful it can be. Of course I’m not talking about a huge fixed blade hunk of metal. I’m talking about the portable and versatile versions, aka pocketknives or penknife. Coincidentally, I believe everyone should have a multitool as well. Here are the reasons I think everyone should carry a knife on their persons, or, for the ladies who wear clothes without pockets, in their purses.

  1. A reliable knife is a backup self-defense tool. I admit, I’ve never had to pull out a knife to defend myself, but I don’t ever put that out of my mind – it’s there if I need it. Backup? Why backup? In most cases, you don’t need a knife. Your fists and various other appendages will suffice. However, sometimes a knife isn’t the most appropriate weapon: you probably shouldn’t bring a knife to a gunfight.
  2. Knives cut things and you never know when you need to cut. I work with a lot of line and rope. Who wants to carry a toolbox all over the place? A knife that clips to your pocket will get the job done. In keeping with preparedness, I keep my knife close in case I need it. When your hands are full and you’re working on a project, you don’t want to run around looking for shears. It helps when you can reach into your pocket, unclip your knife, open it up with one hand, and get the job done, all with one smooth motion. Efficiency at its finest.
  3. They cut and they’re sharp, but that’s not all they’re good for. Think of your knife as a multipurpose tool for all trades. Honestly, sometimes I scrape crud out of my fingernails after working (of course I disinfect it before I use it for something else). When I bring an apple for lunch and I’m outside, a knife comes in useful for slicing perfect little bite-sized morsels. Its really satisfying. Short a hammer? Use the grip end of a closed knife for that. Just make sure its light hammering, not some heavy duty work. Need a wedge? Use a knife.

My knives throughout the years. Oldest on top, newest on bottom.

So if you don’t have one yet, take it from me, get one. I change knives every so often, but you don’t have to. I’m just too lazy to fix the grip screws when they get loose. It happens pretty frequently with medium price range knives.

A few things to know: clean, lubricate, and sharpen to maintain the life of your knife every so often. When you’re shopping for a knife, know what features you want and go test them out in person. A knife is a very personal thing, so find one that suits you. There are thousands and thousands of models out there. Don’t get too hung up on the details. Knives are kind of like pens in the sense that they get misplaced or stolen pretty frequently. Or they break.

Last notes: watch out for sharp blades, assisted opening knives that accidentally open in your pocket, and loose screws, etc. Lastly, know when NOT to take knives with you. Some examples are at festivals with security checkpoints and government buildings.

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