Why You Should Carry a Pocket Knife
Pocketknife, jackknife, penknife call it what you will, and there are some differences between all types, but typically they all fall under the heading of “Jackknife” defined as a knife with a folding blade.
In the past, most people, typically men and boys carried a pocketknife. They may have had it passed down from their grandfather, or father with this rhyme to remember why they needed to carry certain items. Always be prepared to “cut, tie and buy” was the saying.
The knife was used to scrap pipe bowls, clip cigars, clean fish, carve toys, and sharpen fish spears and even used to skin small game. It was an important Everyday Carry (EDC) tool of the day, along with a handkerchief, and a few coins.
Many people routinely carried a bandanna/handkerchief to wipe the sweat away, wipe their nose or to use as a dust mask or even as a bandage or sling and to bind or carry items.
In most states, there is a blade length restriction, usually 3.5 inches, so walking around with a “Crocodile Dundee Knife” strapped to your belt would draw unwanted attention, but you still need a knife on your person. The traditional pocketknife fits the bill, and it can save your life.
Practically speaking, your knife is a tool, and not necessarily a weapon. Of course, it can be a weapon, as can any object, but if you head out everyday considering it, a tool you will get greater benefit from your pocketknife. Walking around thinking you have a weapon in your pocket may mean you are not thinking of ways to make your daily life easier using your knife/tool.
Primarily It Is a Cutting Tool
1.) Packages are always arriving at the office or at home and the packing tape is always stronger than you expected so punching the box until it opens rarely works. In a matter of seconds, the package is opened with a pocketknife however, minus the cut knuckles and bruised ego.
2.) Letter opening, there are of course the so-called letter openers, but they are usually just for looks and the gold plated ones are merely a status symbol but none of them seem to work well. Nothing opens a letter faster than a sharp blade, and no paper cuts. By using your blade, you have not torn the envelope to pieces, thus destroying the return address that you will probably need later.
3.) On a more serious note, you may be restrained in your own office, vehicle or home with rope, plastic ties or even pieces of clothing or electrical cord. Unless restrained by a professional, you are not likely to be searched. If you are it is usually only for firearms or your wallet. Once tied up you can maneuver your hands and work the pocketknife out of your pocket. It will take patience but it can be done. Once the blade is opened, you can cut yourself free.
4.) A sharp blade is indispensable in administering first aid. You can use it to cut clothing into strips for limb splints or bandages and to cut sutures after stitching a wound. In extreme cases, it can be used to remove splinters and shrapnel, but make sure you disinfect the blade in some manner before allowing it to touch any open cuts or wounds. Use rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer or even the flame from a Bic Lighter to sterilize the blade.
5.) Use the point to tighten those small screws that always seem to be loose on the stem of your sunglasses or eyeglasses or for any miniature screw. There are small tool kits just for this purpose, but you cannot lug around a toolbox everyday, so instead of carrying a dozen tools carry one that can perform a dozen tasks, a tool such as a pocketknife.
Use the blade to strip wire if you have to make repairs on appliances or even your vehicle. Keep in mind the knife will not be insulated against electrical shock.
Be careful when using the tip as a screwdriver you may break the tip. For larger screws you can use the backside of the blade and turn the screw as if you where using a coin as a screwdriver blade. Once again, be careful not to put too much effort into turning the screw to prevent snapping the blade. Remember pocketknives may not have a locking mechanism, so the blade can close on your fingers if used in the wrong manner.
Many pocketknives have more than one blade, and some may even have a small nail file that can be used for many things other than filing. Typically, a “penknife” will have several blades for various tasks.