I Just Call Them “Men”

Saw this article via Insty, and had to add my thoughts.

Who are the kind of men who still carry pocketknives? They are the type of men who earn an honest living, work hard and stand fearless in a world gone mad.  To put it simply, they are the type of men the world could use a lot more of these days.

To me, this whole idea is such a “duh” situation that I can barely articulate it.

Of course every man — not just the ones in the quote — should carry a pocket knife (and even more than one, maybe) on their belt or in their pocket [sic].  I for one cannot imagine leaving the house without a knife on me — as the writer’s father said, “I’m wearing pants, aren’t I?” — and other than when boarding a flight (don’t get me started) I can’t remember when last I went knife-less out of the house.  (Yeah, I carried a knife even in Britishland, where it’s streng verboten, sorry P.C. Plod.)

Sheesh… next thing we’ll be talking about men not needing cars or trucks*.

*with apologies to the urbanites, who like me when I used to live in downtown Chicago, don’t need one.


  1. How about an EDC Swiss Army knife? Not the great big un, not the liddle teeny tiny one. Yeah the one in between, the one that’s just right. The steel they use in their blades is very good, holds an edge very well and is very durable. Make sure you get a real one, not a look alike cheesy cheap Chinese one.

    1. Nothing wrong with Swiss Army knives. I have about six of them, all the way from the giant Champ down to a miniature single-blade. And I’ve used all of them at one time or another.

      1. yeah, I’ve carried one everywhere I go for the last 40 years, barring it being illegal (flying mostly…).

        Great tool, though mostly using it to peel oranges and clip my fingernails these days 🙂

  2. I spent some time in the little league bleachers with another dad, who was a graduate of the US Naval Academy. He told me they were taught “A gentleman always has a handkerchief and a pocketknife.”

    1. Another one of those “duh” statements. I mean, they have to TEACH that stuff at college level????

  3. My father believed that girls should carry pocket knives. I keep his in my purse and another in the truck. Amazing little life savers.

    1. Amen. Like a gun, you never need a knife, until you do — and then you REALLY need one.
      Unlike a gun, you need a knife almost every day at one time or another.

      1. The British knife-phobia has infected their TV; the new season of Doctor Who’s first episode had the title character saying that people who carry knives are stupid.

        1. How about hammers? Are they stupid? I carry a fairly hefty but smallish hammer in the door pocket of my car. Anyone succeeds in opening my car door in stationary traffic (it auto locks at 11 mph but meh) my hammer meets their nose.

          Have had a version of a multi tool in my handbag for about 20 years and use it often at work. Plus it has the advantage of having nice pointy stabby bits on it to use, but isn’t a knife! Smart that.

  4. I’ve carried one every day since I was 12. Not the same one because several times I have forgotten I had it on me when going into locations that forbid them (though I have a couple that have made it through airport security multiple times) and had them confiscated.

    It amazes me how many guys my own age are shocked when something needs to be cut and I casually pull out my pocket knife, cut what needs cutting and put it away. I’ve been at work and have opened letter and actually seen younger guys stiffen in fear that someone would pull out a knife to open a letter. I took no small amount of pleasure in making the guy’s head hang in shame when I responded with “it is a pocket knife, not a machete…relax”.

    I carry it now as much as a symbol of not being a pussified girly man as I do for its utility.

  5. “A” pocketknife? I prefer four, myself, but I’m a bit of an odd duck.

    I highly encourage everyone to check out the Manly brand knives being imported to the U.S.A. from Bulgaria. I own the Wasp, and it is in the top three best slicing knives I’ve ever owned. The brand is running a Thanksgiving sale at the moment, so I may pick up the Peak I’ve been eyeing ever since they released it in black and red with S90V steel.

    1. You are not all that odd. At this moment, I have 3 knives plus a Leatherman tool with a blade on it. I have carried a jack knife, as we used to call them, since I was probably 9 or10, everywhere I went. To school, fishing in the local river for salmon, pickup baseball games at the school in the summer time.
      I am of course from a much more civilized age. Born in 1960, I lived in a small town in Michigan, where we never had any crime of any significance, save perhaps a pot dealer or two.
      I had a CRKT Drifter, a small folder with a blade of around 3.5 inches I think. I was working as a maintenance man in a trailer park, and they hired a young man, probably 23 or so, as a helper. Once he was fixing something, and he didn’t have a knife. I could not hardly believe it, and so I gave him my CRKT Drifter. Not a terribly expensive knife, maybe 20-25$. But I tried to explain to him that a man should never be without a knife, save in an airport security line, or some place like that.
      My go to knife for now is a Kershaw folder, similar to the Drifter by CRKT. Again, similar price, so if I were to break it, or lose it, I would not cry about it, but just order another one. The quality of both of these knives, for the price, is simply amazing.
      My former boss at the trailer park bought one of those knives with a blade made not to be sharpened, but simply discarded and replaced with another. The blade itself stayed on the frame, and the sharp, cutting edge was able to be pulled off and replaced. He said that while new the blades are surgical tool sharp, they don’t last all that long. I figure it is easier to learn to sharpen your knife. You don’t have to be perfect, but you will eventually get to where you can sharpen a knife of at least moderate quality to a razor edge. A dull knife is dangerous, of course, but a truly sharp knife is the number one thing I would want to have in any bad spot.

      1. I only have three on me. A large folder, a small serrated blade, and a medium-sized Swiss Army, for the tools.
        Am I under-dressed?

  6. The blogger RobertaX opined that a human without a knife is just a chimp with a bad haircut.

    I normally have at least two, and as many as five. Need to replace a couple lost ones, and the biggest one seems to be developing some sort of problem, as the tip keeps breaking.

    1. Eh, it should be retired with honors. Time for a new one, Will.

      And don’t start blubbing, either.

      1. Bought it in ’96, IIRC. Benchmade/Bali-Song, 3″, folder, no model # marked. Maybe $150. Had to modify it for left-handed use.
        Sharpest blade of any type I have ever used. Made scalpels seem dull. Not exaggerating. Everyone who borrowed it got cut. I would warn them they will bleed if they touch the edge. I finally stopped loaning it, and began carrying secondary knives.
        Stayed sharp for many years, but when it finally wore through it’s hardened surface, it would not hold an edge for long. I’m told that is why ATS-34 is no longer used. Needs to be tempered in some manner after sharpening. Hunting for it’s replacement.

        I overlooked a blade on my keyring, so it’s 3 to 6 blades I carry. Hmm, forgot about my big multi-tool. That contains 2 blades, but I don’t seem to carry it much anymore.

  7. My anecdotal knife story; some years ago on the way to work, I was t-boned by a guy that either tried to beat a caution light or ran a red-light. Whatever. Passenger side door on my Jetta was pushed almost to the middle of the cabin. Shaking off a fade to black, I tried to release my seatbelt and open the door. Both were jammed. Straightaway dug into my trouser pocket for my trusty Case 2” penknife. It easily sliced through the seatbelt without a problem. From their it was a simple NASCAR-style climb out the window. And “there I was”, shakily having a puff when emergency services arrived a few minutes later. That’s my traffic accident version of “when seconds count, 911 is minutes away”. Not saying my blade was a lifesaver because there was no fire and other than head bumping the driver-side window, no injury. Since then I also have given up carrying even a gentleman’s blade. Too much hassle going through one type of security or the other.
    Another knife story! Way back when, a shipmate was medevac’d. Wary of pogues in the rear, on the way out he asked me to hold on to his Randall knife – whatever model it was. His issue 1911 was up for grabs so I also took it. Even though he parlayed a 48-hour hospital trip into a week at China Beach, I was bound to return the Randall when he returned. Nice while it lasted. No idea whatever happened to the 1911.

  8. I’ve kinda lost track of all the blades I have. I keep 2-3 on me at all times. my carry folder is made by CRKT but I have no clue as to which model. Do not care about that. it flips out easy and holds and edge which is what I want in a clip knife. The other is a gerber with nail file and clipper built in.

    If I have to do anything they can’t can I have many larger knives I can get to quickly. or at least as quick as I have ever needed them.

    No one should be without some kind of edge. Unless you spend time in the school jails.

  9. The Poms will have a fainting fit when they hear what a knife happy nation is the USA.
    As for Oz – one in the glove-box of each vehicle; one in each farm tractor; a medium Swiss on my home jeans; a small Leatherman on my socialising jeans; a multitool on my farming trousers; and a few spares in the drawer.
    Must remember to put them in suitcase when travelling – but at my regional airport they do not do a body scan, so I flew with knife on me. But at other end we were scanned. A nice security man (yes) told me where to buy stamps and envelope, and post the knife home – then I was let through. (Would not have had such consideration in Sydney)

  10. The first SAK I had was the little key chain model, blade, useless file with a screwdriver point, scissors, toothpick and tweezers.

    I upgraded to the Huntsman model at 16 and lost that one at a wedding when someone needed a beer opened in 2000 or so. It was replaced by a Ranger model that TSA took, the bastards. I have another Huntsman model now and a Benchmade mini Griptillion joins it. A Leatherman Wave rides in my jacket pocket.

    My wife has a mini griptillian and a little SAK in her pocketbook or in her pocket. Yes they’re both pink and I bet shes the only one with a pocket knife in an office full of men. Odd

    I don’t think you’re dressed to leave the house without a pocket knife.


  11. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007WHCT5S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Awesome little blade for 10 bucks, which is sufficiently capable that it put my previously favored Gerber into semi retirement. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I1A1AA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    The Gerber still gets called back to active duty when I’m doing outdoorsy manly shit like hiking & camping, etc.

    I don’t know that I’ve gotten through the day without using one or the other.

  12. I’ve carried a pocket knife since I was 7, (a present from my older brother), I still have it in a drawer of personal mementos. It’s been replaced many, many times. I never, if I can help it, go anywhere without a pocket knife, (we won’t mention planes or the Eurotunnel). Right this instant, I’m in my office and in one pocket is a Swiss Army Knife a Huntsman and in another pocket a little Kershaw folder, (non-locking). I used to carry a big locking Swiss Army Knife, a Leatherman and a Cold Steel stiletto, (the Ti-Lite), until the oppression forced me to downsize. I notice, however that criminals who are inflicting a stabbing epidemic in these parts seem to not be too bothered by any legality!
    I’d also like to add that I always carry a torch, a lighter and a mini 1st aid kit, (obsessive? moi?)

  13. Your article is well-timed. I’ve just taken delivery of some key fob multi-tools: one will go to my nephew.

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