Why to Carry a Pocket Knife – You Use It More Than You Think

Most people can get through their daily lives without hauling a knife around. Perhaps you don’t have a need for a sharp edge or you always have the right tool sitting around when you need it and don’t want to bother sticking a blade in your pocket. But I’m here to tell you that a knife is an essential part of any everyday carry.

It’s like it’s said that you can’t tell how dim a lamp is until you replace the light bulb—it’s hard to know how a knife will help until you put it to the test. Not to say that a knife is for everyone. I mean, you can always just open those packages with your fingernail, right?

Knives Aren't Just Weapons

Despite what stereotypes might seem to suggest, a metal blade attached to a handle is not just for fighting. Sure, it might garner some unwanted attention when used in the wrong places, but don’t let a misconception keep you from wielding a knife. It may be tougher than human skin, but really, so is a car key.

Legal Stuff (and stuff)

Whether carrying a knife is legal depends on where you are in the world. You’ll need to do your research on laws for specific states and countries because they change wherever you go. 

For example, in Oregon, you can legally conceal carry a pocket knife and open carry any other type of knife. Oregon is actually one of the most lax states in terms of knife laws, which is why you can find many big knife companies there, such as Benchmade.

Why Carrying a Knife is a Good Idea

Now with all that stuff out of the way, let’s get into why exactly having a blade in your pocket is a good idea. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list (because such a list would be near impossible), but it’ll at least give you some ideas on how your life could be missing a useful tool.

General Utility

You probably use a blade for many things throughout the day whether it’s with an X-acto knife, a pair of scissors, or a saw. You might even have all the tools you need sitting around when you need them. 

However, you can probably recall a few times where you open the drawer with the scissors only to find that there aren’t any scissors. I’ve often had to walk from one side of the house to the other just to locate a functioning set of snippers.

That said, having a blade with you at all times is a good way to ensure you won’t want for the misplacement of an essential tool. The thing you’ll need will always be right in your pocket.

Here’s a list of some specific tasks that would benefit from carrying a knife.

-removing staples
-sharpening pencils
-opening packaging
-cutting loose threads
-opening bottles
-scraping glue
-cutting rope
-opening letters
-deflating air-filled packaging

Here are a few things that can be done with the knife when it’s still folded:

-hammering a nail
-stopping a door
-carrying a bag (some Swiss Army Knives have a hook for grabbing thin handles)

Eating

It might sound strange to cut your steak with a pocket knife (and your blade could be too contaminated to do it safely), but don’t throw this idea out quite yet. 

If you’ve been to any considerable number of dinner parties, you might know the frustration of trying to chop your chicken with a flimsy plastic knife. Even restaurants will sometimes serve you a less-than-satisfactory cutting utensil and leave you sawing your food to smithereens. A sharp pocket knife will almost always be better than a typical steak knife.

Also, some things can be better enjoyed when cut with a knife than with your teeth. For example, instead of just biting into an apple, imagine being able to take slices out of it with your knife and eat them straight off the blade. Not to mention things with peels are easier to peel when you don’t just use your fingernails.

Here are some specific examples of things you could use a pocket knife for when you’re feeling hungry.

-cutting fruit
-peeling potatoes
-slicing bread
-spreading butter
-using as a fork (just don’t cut yourself)

Survival

When you’re stranded in the wild, a knife can make something out of nothing. The things you wouldn’t normally be able to access are suddenly at your fingertips when you’re in the possession of a blade. Call it the master of resourcefulness.

Of course, the odds of getting stranded in the middle of the Canadian wilderness aren’t very high, but many survival techniques can come in handy even when you’re camping. That said, here are a some uses for a knife if you happen to be in the woods.

-digging a hole
-starting a fire
-severing branches
-cleaning game
-hacking your way through a thicket

Emergencies

You never know when a knife could save yourself or someone else from a sticky situation. Perhaps you need to cut a seat belt to get someone out of a burning car or a dog leash gets stuck in an elevator door. Or maybe you wake up and find yourself strapped to a chair Indiana Jones style and realize the building you’re in is on fire (it could happen!).

Those are just some extreme examples and there could be any number of scenarios where the immediate deployment of a knife makes all the difference. You never know what could happen and it’s better to be safe than compunctious.

As for self-defense, a knife isn’t really going to help unless you know exactly what you’re doing. If you’ve never fought with a knife before, you’ll probably get your blade slapped from your hand assuming you’re even fast enough to deploy it in the first place. Also, a knife could turn an otherwise harmless mugging into a deadly free-for-all and your safety is more important than your wallet.

Some Knives to Consider

As a bit of inspiration, here are a few knives that are hard to go wrong with. They aren’t necessarily the best choices out there, but they are relatively cheap.

Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD

If you’re hesitant to invest in a dedicated knife, a multi-tool is a good way to go. This specific model is one of the simplest and cheapest Swiss Army knives.

Spyderco Delica 4

This one is a lot steeper in price, but it will last you a very long time. It’s composed of premium materials (VG-10 steel blade with fiberglass handle) and is super lightweight. 

Old Timer 1OT

Here’s one that’s simple, rustic, and inexpensive. It’s made of decent materials that complement the price very well. It’s also very non-threatening.

If you’re not convinced to start carrying a knife yet, I’m not sure what to say. Granted, some people wouldn’t have much to gain much by sticking one in their pockets and there are places you shouldn’t even carry a knife (like airports or federal buildings), but again, it’s better safe than sorry.

Hopefully you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or concerns (or just want to write something), then be sure to leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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