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Whats a knife?

Lots of posts with knife talk lately,it got me thinking about how people view their knives and what we expect from them,how much is hype or the latest and greatest etc, so when does a knife stop being a "tool" and start being something else. For the sake of argument I could make the sweeping statement that a buck 110 is as good a knife as you need. (Now I do not feel this way at all but its a place to start).

I picked the B110 for the following criteria -

3 Inch plus blade
lockback (locking blade)
Strong enough for self defense
Can be sharpened to a decent edge. (cut hanging paper)

Do we need Damascus blades with American flag patterns forged in and narwhal tusk ivory scales and gold chased engraving?
Do we need aus steel that is cryogenic treated?

So thats the question- at what point does form follow function ?
Whats the price point? What steel? what scales?
So what do you think ? WHY?
It's the same as shaving stuff! You can get a shave with a Bic disposable and a can of goo. You can go better with a plain DE, a cheapo shaving soap and a boar brush. We like the quality razors, quality brushes and soaps. Where do we stop?

I carry a small pocket knife for everyday use, a Spyderco Meercat. Small and fairly unthreatening. I work in an office so a large backwoods survival knife is not really needed! (As I'm in Britain, I could go to jail for five years for carrying that little Spidie as it's a locking blade and they are illegal to carry without good reason and I don't think opening mail and cutting apples would be seen as good reason!)

As a hobby, I make Scandinavian fixed blade Puukos using bought in quality Finnish and Norwegian blades as I don't have a forge, fixing them with good looking hardwood handles from woods such as cocobolo, snakewood, lacewood, thuya burl.

They would work as well with a plain cheap handle like cherry but they do look good! Definitely couldn't carry one of them in the street!

Interesting question. For me, a knife is about as much a tool as a car is transportation. But, of course, everybody feels differently about cars, so that doesn't say much....

I think a knife is a pretty essential tool to have around, for me. I have carried one every day for years, and really do not like being without. Comes in handy pretty much daily for something. (I must say though, I don't get the carrying one for self defense thing, unless you live in a really bad area, or are law enforcement, but that's just me).

But I don't view it as just a tool. Just like my watch, I want the knife I wear every day to have some aesthetic appeal too. A nice feel in the hand helps (not really essential to function as a tool, given I, like most people, don't use it constantly).

What I carry does depend on what I'm doing. Tend to go for a bigger blade and plastic scales (G10 or whatever), if I am working outdoors, and thus likely to use the knife more for rougher tasks. Smaller, and bone, wood, or more decorative metal scales for everyday carry to work.

I also ALWAYS carry a locking knife (I prefer liner to lockback, as it is easier to use one handed). Noting Gareth's post, I think that rule against locking knives is truly asinine. Just from a safety perspective, I really don't like a knife that doesn't lock - easy to hurt yourself when using the thing not quite properly. I really hate rules like that....

I had a lockback knife with about a 5" blade confiscated by some security guards in Spain - I am probably very lucky it wasn't the police..... :eek:
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