Carry Knives

Via Insty, there’s this interesting article about the proper knife to carry on one’s person, and how to carry it, etc., with all the caveats about legality and such.

However, the writer’s basic premise is that nobody should leave home without carrying some sort of blade, and it’s a sentiment that I wholeheartedly support. Honestly, I’ve been more likely to forget my 1911 than my carry knife, especially when I’m in a dead hurry. Hell, I’ve forgotten my wallet but still had a knife on me. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to use my blade just in the past year, whether it’s cutting fruit (often) or a stick of dried meat (very often), or cheese (almost every other day, on the way back from the supermarket when the urge to taste the cheese can be overwhelming). And, of course, there’s always that stubborn piece of knotted string, or an over-wrapped package that needs a little coaxing.

As to which blade, of course, we are going to have all sorts of interesting discussions, you betcha. I have two favorites, both presents from The Mrs. from her various business trips: a beautiful Al Mar “Secret Service” from Tokyo, and my favorite folder of all, a Julius Herbertz from Ahrweil, Germany. Here they are, top to bottom as mentioned:

Here’s the thing: I’m aware that the Cold Steel this and the Gerber that are probably “better” knives than these two in terms of fighting or survival or whatever. I don’t care. If there’s going to be a fight, I carry a 1911 for that purpose; and in a survival situation, one razor-sharp blade is going to be pretty much as good as another.

I prefer to carry beautiful knives; and in my opinion (and remember, beauty is the ultimate subjective opinion), the Al Mar with its simple yet elegant pointed blade, and the Herbertz with its swooping edge are more beautiful than any Cold Steel / Gerber knives ever made. Here’s another pic of the Herbertz which shows off its walnut grip a little better:

In any company, that’s a knife which frequently draws ooohs and aaaahs from people who appreciate fine cutlery. (I apologize for the picture quality, by the way; I’m still getting used to the smartphone camera instead of my old Canon, which was already packed for the move.)

And I refuse to apologize for the rather battered state of my carry knives. They may be beautiful, but they have to work for me — which is the ultimate criterion for any tool, right?


  1. Many moons ago, I spent more money than I care to admit to on buying a pocket knife I had been lusting after for ages.

    A Chris Reeve Sebenza.

    It has been in my pocket for years, is battered and worn but is razor sharp and still operates like a surgeon’s scalpel.

    Old saying; “Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten”.

  2. Indeed, more than once I’ve had that dream where I’m walking around in public and realize I’m naked, and my first thought upon so-realizing is “Damn, I don’t have my pocket knife!” OK, kidding, but still….

    My EDC knife is a Kershaw Skyline, it’s light in the pocket, and sharp. It has an additional criteria that most of your readers don’t have: It’s cheap and easily replaceable. I work in NYC, and one of the many insane laws here is that a knife that locks open is legally equivalent to a switchblade, yes even a cheapo Swiss Army knife if the main blade locks. Oh, for a while the DA was going great guns about “knife crime” prosecuting people for carrying knives that shouldn’t get a second glance, actually sending people to prison with felony records for Swiss Army knives. I’ve had too many knives close on my fingers to like a knife that doesn’t lock,so if I’m in a position where I may need to ditch my knife, it’s cheap to replace.

    Someday, I swear, I’m going to move to America.

    My personal “pretty” knife is the Buck 110, a year or so ago they went on sale for $25ish each and I bought three. A little big for EDC pocket carry, and too pretty to toss, but surgically sharp and oh-my beautiful. IMHO the pocket knife that all others are judged by.

  3. Check out the Böker Urban Trapper. I have an office job, and my Benchmade 710 was “too aggressive”, but no one even bats an eye at the Böker. I got the one with cocobolo handles, but there are others available. Only down side is that it’s made in China. 🙁

  4. The Urban Trapper is about twice the price of my Skyline on Amazon, so really doesn’t fit the “toss-able” criteria.

  5. Very nice indeed. The Julius is lovely, and I always like the natural materials. My carry knives are always the same, an Uncle Henry 897, of which I have several in case one is lost. They’re very ordinary knives. My White Hunter and my Puma leverlock are much more treasured, and will I hope one day be buried with me.

  6. After the Lacey Act, the Gibson Guitar raids, and this–
    natural materials seem to be getting riskier every day.
    Some states are even making fossilized mastodon ivory illegal.
    No doubt that will stop poaching in the present day.
    As soon as they (Fed-rats)get into the domestic auction market for rare guns it will be a disaster.
    The nanny state, full of idiocy and arrogance, marches on.

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