Author Topic: My EDC Knife  (Read 2370 times)

Wrench

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My EDC Knife
« on: March 23, 2015, 08:00:16 PM »
The other year, I realized that I had completely wore out my EDC knife that I had carried for at least twelve years.

After using something almost daily for that many years, making the decision to get rid of it was like getting rid of your favorite living room chair that you read from for many years, but no longer goes with your wife's d├ęcor.

When traveling thru a small Wisconsin town one day after a job, I noticed a small gun store along side of the frontage road.  I decided to stop in to see if they had anything new that I hadn't seen elsewhere.

Nothing as far as guns really caught my attention.  As I approached a second counter towards the rear of the store, I noticed the three shelf display of pocket knifes.

I instantly remembered my recent loss, and pretty much made the decision that I wasn't leaving this store without a knife.

I never really researched knifes before.  I couldn't even tell you how I came about the past knife that I just parted with.

I asked the clerk to show me a few that caught my eye.  I looked at anything from a basic folding knife to the most elaborate knife on display.  I don't like bulky, I don't like flimsy cheap crap either.  I need my knife to cut various materials while keeping a decent edge for a reasonable amount of time before requiring sharpening.

I found a Smith and Wesson M&P spring assist knife with a locking blade and a belt clip attached to it.  The handle has rubber inserts for additional gripping, it has a good feel to it.  It cost around $40.00.

I purchased this knife, not because of the name Smith and Wesson, not because of price, but because of the feel and the ergonomics to it.

Let me share something with you.  Smith and Wesson makes knifes like they make guns. The second day carrying it, all of the screws fell out of the belt clip.  Upon inspection, the rest of the screws were coming out as well. I applied blue Loctite to all of the loose screws and also to the two that I had to replace. 

I've been carrying this tool for about 15 months now, and ended up using red Loctite on the two screws for the belt clip due to it continuously coming loose. 

I really like the way this knife feels in my hand, and also the spring assist opening.  The blade however, is made of the cheapest carbon crapalloy on the market.  The only way to keep a good edge on this knife is to never use it.  I swear that just walking thru the air dulls this thing.  Why would I expect anything else from Smith and Wesson?

Does anyone have any recommendations for a quality EDC knife that has the desired qualities that I mentioned, but lacks the bad ones?

Regards,
Wrench
« Last Edit: March 23, 2015, 08:19:20 PM by Wrench »
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SapperSteel

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Re: My EDC Knife
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2015, 11:12:21 PM »
Regarding S&W:  Though the first pistol I ever bought (a K-frame revolver in .38 special with a 6-inch barrel), way back in 1973, was a S&W, and I still own and enjoy that pistol, I have never forgiven S&W for their Clinton-era capitulation to the hoplophobic agenda.  It will be a cold day in hell before I cast another consumer dollar in S&W's direction.

Regarding knife preference:  I seem to have settled in on Benchmade -- at least my current and my immediate past EDC pocket knives are/were both Benchmade*.  Together they cover the past decade of my pants pocket occupancy.

-- Great ergonomics.

-- Holds a good edge.

-- But not cheap.

Last comment:  Don't break too hard on the pocket clip screws coming loose.  I've never owned a pocket knife with a clip that this didn't happen with.  You have to periodically re-tighten the clip screws.  I do it about as often as I clean my guns. . .

As always,

Sap

*Wrote briefly about the first Benchmade here:  http://www.myccamerica.com/index.php?topic=111.0
« Last Edit: March 24, 2015, 09:45:04 PM by SapperSteel »

Capt. Frank

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Re: My EDC Knife
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2015, 09:57:26 AM »
I second Benchmade, well worth the price! CM 154 is a good blade steel, S 30 V is better. ZDP 189 is even better, but hard to find and expensive. G 2 is a good tool steel for blades, but subject to rust. Like any thing else, buy a cheap knife, you get a cheap knife. An assisted opening knife, for me, is the way to go.

SapperSteel

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Re: My EDC Knife
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2015, 03:05:05 PM »
Saw this this afternoon on another forum, thought of  Wrench's ongoing search for "the right" knife, and so am sharing it in the hope that the cultural knowledge it contains will help Wrench make the right selection:

Quote
Expat's Guide to the Knife Industry

Maybe some of you are new to knives. Maybe you're planning on going to BLADE but don't know if you'll fit in. Expat's Public Service Series brings you Episode #21, GUIDE TO FITTING IN TO YOUR KNIFE'S CULTURE.

On today's episode, we'll take a look at fitting in while hanging with the brothers from your favorite knife brand. Brands in every industry have their own culture and the knife industry is no exception. So, without further fanfare, let's take a peek at just what makes each brand tick. In no particular order:

Emerson Knives
You want to tread lightly in this crowd. The Emerson people could actually physically monkey-stomp you without spilling the whiskey they're holding in their other hand. Large forearms and hints about black ops when you were forced to cut yourself out of a downed chopper play well here. They'll also be some secret handshakes and liberal usage of the word "brother". If you really want to fit in here, you'll need a lot of black clothes. Emerson fans have the tightest t-shirts, hands down. If you can't rip a phone book in half, you want to stay in the background.


Busse Knives
Steel dominates the conversation here. As in INFI steel. No one knows what INFI steel is so don't let that disturb you, just nod knowingly with a 1,000 yard stare as you contemplate just how awesome INFI steel is. The main hobby of Busse fans is the acquisition of another Busse knife that cost more than the last one. In an odd mating ritual, raffles are conducted where a lovesick fan is bestowed the right to pay more for knife than any other person. If you find yourself in this frenzied mania, get down on all fours with the rest of the grown men and fight, son, FIGHT for your right to be fleeced! This is really the grand sum of the activities of the Busse culture since it has not been determined if anyone has actually ever USED a Busse to cut something.


Cold Steel
Cold Steel is basically what the offspring would be if Marvel Comics escaped from an Asian nut house, and had an affair with a science fiction themed circus. You never know what you're going to get here so when deciding on wardrobe, think GENCON. Just to be on the safe side, pack an eye patch and some parachute pants. Spears and sword canes are de rigueur. These knives actually get used. But mostly to unnecessarily cut things that don't need cutting with the gusto of a 70's kung fu flick.


Becker Knives
You won't see too many people at the Becker Knife booth-they're out in the woods actually using their knives. No one's ever captured a picture of more than 3 of them together at one time. They are like BMW motorcycle riders in that regard. Strangely, they are almost all decent cooks and they have an affinity for cast iron. They call themselves Beckerheads with Ethan being the HBIC. Urban legend has it that one beckerhead actually starved to death waiting for a phone conversation with Ethan to end.


Mora Knives
If you see a Mora knife fan at Blade, he'll be easy to spot. He's the one that looks embarrassed because he's in an actual building with A/C and food and he'll look guilty that he's not actually in the wild for part of the mandatory 359 days of bushcrafting they are required to put in each year. Mora knife fans love to wear their knives around their necks so as not to be confused with those who believe in such wizardry as unicorns and pocket knives.


Strider Knives
Strider is similar to the Emerson crowd but no one here actually has the ability beat you up, they will just act like they can. This group constitutes the highest concentration of 300+lb "snipers" and "force recon" individuals ever spotted in the wild. If you find yourself in this crowd, you must remember to never, EVER use the word "use". For any reason. The appropriate verb, the ONLY appropriate verb is "run". As in, "What kind of kit are you runnin?". Kit is also the preferred term for gear of any sort. You must be willing to instantly scratch the eyes out of a fan of another knife company if they mention that one of Strider's owners is a convicted felon who did time in the federal slammer. Rolexes, challenge coins, tattoos and vulgar pvc patches all help you fit in here.


Tops Knives
This might be the easiest crowd to fit into because regardless of what you do as a profession, Tops makes a model for it. Accountant? Get the TOPS ACCOUNTANT MODEL. Structural Engineer? Don't worry, there's an app, err, model for that. Police officer, biker, indian chief, seaman, construction worker? They've got you covered. Unemployed? No worries. Much like those revolving stands in the t-shirt shops at the beach where you can buy a magnet with your name on it, Tops has knife models for Bob, Mike, John, Steve and even Kristen (spelled 4 different ways!). There's not a lot of snobbery here so no need to feel unwelcome. They'll just be glad for ANYONE to come by.


Randall Made Knives
This is the crowd with the largest percentage of pacemakers. If you want to fit in here and you still have hair, you'll need to dye it white. A Rolex will help, too. You'll have to change your idea of value as well. Learn to say, "Only $4,000 for a mammoth fossilized femur bone? That will leave me plenty of money in my budget to have Gen. Robert E. Lee scrimshawed on the handle!" These guys (they're ALL guys) are pretty nice unless they see some kydex on you somewhere or you ask, "Why are these knives so expensive?", in which case, you'll find yourself digging your own grave in the back of some orange orchard in Orlando. RMK owners are literally willing to fight to the death in arguments over whether Sullivan's or Johnson made a particular sheath.


ESEE Knives
These fans have the thickest skin of any other crowd. Beastiality is a common theme. No topic is off limits so prepare yourself if you're going to be around them. They are the ones most likely to have returned from Tibet or the Amazon having actually used their knife in the field. They have some unnatural obsession with constantly trying to change the color or appearance of the blade using everything from German mustard to unicorn urine. They are often observed lacking all ability for logical thought--they will pay to suffer indignities at their leader's farm to get a knife when they could buy a knife for 1/2 the cost and 1/50th the agony. If you want to be known as a good conversationalist in their midst, say things like, "Izula folder, yeah right!" and "Look at some pictures of my backpacks."


SOG Knives
The Gunny is the only adult at the SOG booth. Everyone else is under 18 and is only there because they heard that's what the SEALs carry. Unless you play COD or MW for several hours a day, don't bother trying to fit in here.


Smith and Sons Knives
They are literally the only normal knife company that exists. If you aren't normal, don't even bother. And just for clarification, if you're reading this on the ESEE forum, you're not normal.


Case Knives
Case customers more closely resemble coin collectors than knife users. They generally stopped using knives years ago. They spend their days cataloging their collection in 3 ring binders full of plastic page protectors and in search of the ultra-rare double stamped error Peanut John Deere 1985 model. You know the one--where the green is off by TWO WHOLE SHADES! You'll need a lot of money to be in this crowd. Not because the knives are expensive but because for every knife you buy, you have to purchase the accompanying memorabilia: 1940's milk truck, John Wayne tin sign, wooden winchester box, etc. This crowd is basically the hoarders of the knife world and if you go down this rabbit hole, your living room will look like a Cracker Barrel within 5 years. You've been warned.


Spyderco, Benchmade, and Buck Knives
These have been in the pockets of their users for a couple of decades. Just quietly cutting things that need to be cut. They've never attacked a cinderblock and they've never worn face paint pretending to be a SEAL. They don't take pictures of their knives stuck in a hammerhead shark or on their dinner plate bragging that their knife cut up sausage! Many times they'll be unaware of the rest of the knife industry and if they were aware, they wouldn't understand what drives the fanatics. To them the knife is a tool and they'd no more get a tattoo of a knife brand than they would get a tattoo of a screwdriver or chainsaw brand. When asked about what kind of steel their blade is made of, they'll look at you strangely and say, "I don't know--stainless?" They are, however, voted "Most likely to know how to sharpen a knife". So, if you want to fit in here, you better be able to keep your blade in working order, which automatically separates you from the majority of those companies listed above.


Swiss Army Knives
These guys are sort of like the Spyderco crowd but do occasionally like to brag about their knives and the fact that their new one has a combination coax cutter/toilet plunger/shoe horn. They have a savior complex and will often whip out their knife at a party before you can finish saying, "The screw in my glasses is loo-". And they're probably the only ones capable of opening a bottle of wine at any given time without shards of glass being embedded in the wall. They are generally humble, non confrontational types that accept pretty much anyone. But understand within the SAK community, there are the Victorinox royalty and then there's the inferior Wenger peasants and this can create some friction at times. If you want to fit in here, it's pretty easy--keep it loose and make sure your Macbook is handy. And wear a t-shirt with MacGyver on it, their patron saint.


T. M. Hunt Custom Knives
http://www.tmhuntcustomknives.com/
These guys are salt of the earth, 'Merica. If you don't fit in with beer guzzling, deer killing, blade grinding Hoosiers, don't even try. The BS tolerance is low here. If you really want to learn to fit in, spend some time outside chopping and skinning and learning how knives should work. And get comfortable with Sun King and Carhartt products. Hard work and country wit will help too.



That pretty much wraps up today's edition. If there's something you want Expat to review, just write your suggestion on a $100 bill and mail it in.

Happy hunting!


PS. ZT KNIVES

Everyone wants to hear comments on ZT. Guys, their egos can't stand it! I didn't pick on those not able to take it. When the ZT owners find out that their $300 folders began life as a Bear Grylls Gerber fixed blade that was broken off, then reground by a $4.95 knock-off Harbor Freight Dremel and then thrown in the middle of some plastic slabs, I don't want to be responsible for the fallout from that. Same reason I don't walk into Kindergartens and explain to them that there's no way Santa could fit down their freakin chimney. Like those that believe we actually landed on the moon or professional wrestling is real, some guys you just gotta let dream.

Yeah, they have a titanium slab on one side, so I'm guessing ZT has probably $15 or so into the knife. For $15, you can get a Victorinox that can actually saw a tree limb and doesn't scream, "I'M NOT WELL ENDOWED!!!"

Leave the ZT guys alone. They are harmless enough.

The other one people keep requesting:

Chris Reeve Knives
I don't know that I've met enough of their owners to develop an insight into their culture. But I will say that the few times I've talked to Chris himself, he seems like a down to earth guy. He didn't tell me this specifically but I got the impression that he thinks most of this knife industry is BS too. I think Chris is a perfectionist and he looks at his knives (this attitude is manifested particularly in the Sebenza) as how can I make this the absolute best way possible. So, you get tight tolerances, impeccably clean lines and grinds, overkill and overengineered stuff that'll never be tested to its fullest and that sort of thing. They are tough and smooth and expensive and asthetically pleasing to many (but not all) and there's really nothing you can fault the knives for. They do what they do and they do it well.

The disconnect however happens between the factory and the end user. Or, in this case, the end OWNER, since I've only seen one Sebenza well used (Mike Perrin's). While I get that we all want to identify with a certain culture sometimes (for example, Harley guys are NOT in it for the RIDING, regardless of what they tell you or tell themselves), sometimes knife owners think that the knife they carry IMPROVES their personality, skill, ability, looks or charisma. Which, anyone from reality land will tell you, just isn't so. Sometimes they buy the knife because that's the entrance fee into that particular club. So, yeah, the Sebenza is the 1911 of the knife world and like 1911 owners, it becomes grafted to their esteem. Digs against their knife become digs against their esteem and well, that's sad.

Personally, I like the Sebenza (I used to own one) and I like Chris' fixed blades. And I like Chris. But for what I do, I'm happy with my 20 year old Swiss Army Knife, my ESEE and a couple of Randalls that mean something special to me. I don't NEED anything else.

And full disclosure, I've owned at least one of each of the knife companies I've mentioned above but I got rid of the vast majority of them.

As always,

Sap

SapperSteel

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Re: My EDC Knife
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2015, 07:22:01 PM »
So, Wrench.

It's been about a month.

What knife did you get?

As always,

Sap

Wrench

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Re: My EDC Knife
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2015, 11:20:18 AM »
So, Wrench.

It's been about a month.

What knife did you get?

As always,

Sap

Well, it was April 16th that you posted your question, and I finally have found the time to not only answer your question, but also the time to figure out Photobucket.

First, I want to thank all of you for your input when I was shopping for a new knife.  I truly valued all of the information that many of you posted.

I really struggled with making a decision, perhaps even more so after reviewing all of the new information.

I finally had the time this past March to call Benchmade.  Their customer service is outstanding.

I explained to them what knife I currently carried, what I used it for, and what my expectations were.  I never stated anything about price.

The service representative steered me towards the "LOCO" with a blade made of S30V.
So, that is what I ordered.

I have been carrying and using it daily, and the edge on it would appear to still be like new.  I am very impressed with it.  It did take some time to adjust to the feel of it, because again, I'm not a guy that adjusts to change very well.

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae118/flattop2/WP_20151028_10_48_19_Pro_zpslrtnslkd.jpg

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae118/flattop2/WP_20151028_10_48_33_Pro_zpsesaxnulb.jpg

As you can see by the pocket clip, it has definitely been in use.  Unlike my other knife, I never had to tighten the screws that hold the clip in place.

Thanks again for all of your help.

Wrench   
One must first listen in order to be heard.

SapperSteel

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Re: My EDC Knife
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2015, 08:53:05 PM »
Wrench, regarding the inscription on the blade, do you use these as promotional items?

Talk about a step above the usual (ball point pens, coffee cups, etc.)!

As always,

Sap

Wrench

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Re: My EDC Knife
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2015, 09:54:29 PM »
Wrench, regarding the inscription on the blade, do you use these as promotional items?

Talk about a step above the usual (ball point pens, coffee cups, etc.)!

As always,

Sap

We have some customers that treat us very well.
We do our best to acknowledge their loyalty.

We make very certain that it's not taken as a token for future business, but rather a thank you for your trust and confidence in us.

I hope that makes sense.

Wrench
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Capt. Frank

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Re: My EDC Knife
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2015, 10:30:20 AM »
Wrench, you will find that the S30V will hold an edge well. Instead of waiting until it is dull to sharpen it, touch it up with your finest stone frequently. I use a 5,000 grit ceramic stone with water to restore the edge, and finish the edge with 10,000 and 16,000 grit ceramic stones. I use about a 20 degree angle, and when finished, my knife will shave my arm clean in one pass.
 A little over a year ago I purchased a Chris Reeve knife (expensive $450.00) but it uses titanium handles and S35VS steel, which is a little better than S30V. The quality of a Reeve knife is exceptional, and it will last several life times. If $450.00 is a bit steep a price to pay, Benchmade is very difficult to beat for quality versus price, and few do as good a job of tempering the steel. I have Kershaw (good knives) and Benchmade knives with S30V steel, the Benchmade will hold a edge longer, due to better tempering.