Friday, March 25, 2011

The 3 Most Useful Knives You Will Ever Own

There’s a tendency among the “knife community” (weird that is to say) to focus on the latest super steel, craziest tactical feature, or coolest-looking blade profile and proclaim that the new hotness- everything else is now useless. We tend to lose sight of the fact that, for most of us, we don’t need the latest or greatest, don’t want a massive collection, and we aren’t willing to spend $100+ for a knife that we may rarely use. With that in mind, this post is about the three knives that I guarantee you will use over and over again, and some great (affordable) examples of them.

1.      A good multitool: This first knife isn’t really a knife at all, per se. Rather, it’s a toolbox in a small metal handle. The knife is a big part of what makes this so useful, but it’s the assortment of other tools that really give this utility. There is a reason survival experts, craftsmen, and regular joes all tend to carry these things- you will find them handy every day. 
Bear Grylls could survive on Mars with this

What to look for:

A decent assortment of tools, but not every tool under the sun.
At one point, I bought a SwissChamp, the Swiss Army Knife that includes almost every tool they offer. More tools=better knife, right? Well, the truth of the matter is I used that knife maybe twice- the thing was so heavy and ridiculous looking that I would just leave it on my dresser in the morning and grab my Leatherman Squirt instead. 

A good blade: The knife on your multitool is going to see the most use. Make sure to choose one with at least a 440C steel blade.

Ergonomics: Any tool with sharp edges or too much heft will just be uncomfortable (see the SwissChamp). Get one that fits your hand.  

Great multitools: Leatherman Wave, Victorinox SwissTool Spirit

One quick note: I have to give a huge thumbs down to the Gerber line of multitools. Plenty of people swear by them, but I have literally had the pliers heads snap off from too much torque. I think Gerber has a decent warranty, but that is still a hassle that no one wants to deal with.

```` Next: The backbone of your kitchen 

12 comments:

  1. Great write up but I'm curious to know if you have any suggestions for sharpening old knives. I have a set of straight blade kitchen knives that are getting dull. I bought a sharpener that you slide the blade through and it seems to work OK but not great. Are there other options?

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  2. thanks for the advice. i normally only carry a folding gerber with me and don't worry about the extra set of tools but if i get a multi tool i'll look into these

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  3. I got one leatherman myself :)

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  4. If Bear Grylls would survive on Mars, just think what MacGyver would do.

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  5. That tool is definitely better than your average swiss army knife.

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  6. There's two kinds of multitool people - Gerber and Leatherman. Like you, I don't like Gerbers. The pliers in particular are such an annoyance.

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  7. No! Bear grylls wouldn't like it! There would be no more reason to drink his own piss!

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  8. Bear could survive anywhere, with nothing but his wits and a full bladder.

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  9. thanks for the tips!

    i'm looking through the rest of your posts, looks interesting. :D

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  10. My dad once cut his finger down to the bone from one of those foldable multitool-knives. Since that I've had a terrible fear of foldable knives :|

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