So I’m going to kick this thread off with a brief review of something I bought today. I’m not going to lay out all my objet de report because I don’t have a camera handy that will take a picture of my phone (phone cannot take good pictures of itself.)
I bought a new folding knife, it’s a Kershaw Freefall, and since the specs are at the link I’ll just talk about what I noticed so far about how it holds. First, A picture (the red on the ruler is just ink- don’t worry.):
The knife is well made, which I expect from Kershaw, even if it is made in China. There is no blade-play when I try to jiggle it, and the one-handed spring opening (not technically a switchblade, even if they are legal where I live) is smooth, fast, and easy. Closing can be done one-handed, but is easier two-handed. The liner-lock is a little stiff, but there is a stop that will keep you from cutting your finger on a one-handed close. The handle is full-size, and I have no trouble holding it with my reasonably large hands. I’m normally against the logofication of everything, but I find the Ks imprinted all over the grip to be fairly subtle, and it does actually help you to hang onto the knife.
The jimping on the back is nice and there are ridges on the bottom that help you pull the knife out of your pocket. The clip is reversible for lefties and righties and beyond that the knife is 100% symmetrical except for the logo on the blade itself, which favors us righties. It is a “tanto” style knife, but I like it for EDC because it’s not painted black, and doesn’t look too “tacticool,” since I work retail and don’t need people raising their eyebrows when I’m cutting open boxes at work. My one disappointment is that the through-hole for the lanyard is nylon rather than metal, but I never use lanyards for pocketknives anyway, so I’m not overly worried about it.
Actually the tanto point makes it seem almost box-cutteresque in a weird way. It has a stonewash finish which also makes it seem less threatening in my opinion. The point is flat ground, but the rest of the edge has a hollow-grind, which means you can make it almost arbitrarily sharp (the 8Cr13MoV steel is good for this, but I hear that it’s not good at retaining razor-sharp edges). The knife does come pretty sharp, however. I have no complaints about that. It will slice typing paper and newspaper without any problem, and Kershaw knives apparently come with free lifetime sharpening- so definitely no complaints there. I suspect it can be used to whittle wood quite nicely.
My model 3840 Kershaw Freefall cost me $25 from a local retailer. You can very likely find it cheaper.
Since BoingBoing is a pretty diverse crowd, and since I’m not going to be the last to have a knife for everyday carry, I thought I’d clarify things for people who don’t understand why so many people carry knives. As I’ve already implied, I have zero interest in impressing people with the idea that I’m a secret badass. I have a Hufflepuff physique and a gentle soul, and I embrace both completely. I like knives as tools, and at just about every job I’ve ever worked, cutting open boxes is a regular part of my day, and I prefer the heft, versatility, and quality of knives over box cutters. i mean, you can’t really use a box cutter to go camping, for instance.
As for the potential for violence or self-defense? All I’ll say is that if you think that someone is carrying a knife for self-defense, you’re very mistaken. If you, yourself are carrying one for personal defense, you are possibly (there are exceptions here) even more mistaken. Knife fights between equals usually end with both sides bloody. If someone with a knife asks for my wallet, they’re getting my wallet no matter how fast I am with a knife. Knives don’t do incapacitation well, if you’re going to use it to defend yourself, you have to kill the other person in what is perhaps the most violent way imaginable, and that’s something you may not be psychologically equipped to do (I’m not.) If you want personal defense, buy a gun, but the nasty surprise is that it won’t always help you in against an assailant armed with a knife in a lot of cases. Honestly, I take a very skeptical view of any self-defense measure that does not involve a lot of training, and I find I’m not that paranoid. The statistics for violent crime are in my favor. End mini-rant.