Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Don't Baby Your Knife

Nobody sensible will ever argue that a good knife isn't a critical tool in both survival situations and daily life. I think every member of the BCP staff has talked about their favorite knives, and we can all articulate why we like the blades we choose. But as I look at pictures of folks online showing off their EDC gear or fancy bug-out rigs, I see a disturbing trend that needs to change.

So many of these folks are so proud of their knives, but when you look at the picture, the tool shown is utterly pristine, like it just barely came out of the box! The scales are bright and unmarred, and the blade itself looks like it has never been used, nor run across a stone since it left the factory.

I understand the value of keeping your tools in good order and properly maintained; I earn my living using tools every day. If you were to look at my drill or impact driver, you would see obvious evidence of the miles I've put on them, but you will also notice that they are as free of dirt and debris as possible, all their moving parts move freely, and all functions of the tool work as intended. My primary EDC knife is sharp, but it readily shows evidence of being used to cut everything you can think of for the years that I've carried it.

After a couple years of daily carry, this SOG remains sharp and trusty,
even while showing the miles.

Remember that your knife is a tool. If it's a quality tool, it is designed and intended to be used and used hard. Don't take this as me saying to abuse your knife (or any other tool), but don't baby it either. And for your own sake, don't treat it like a one-use item that can only come out in times of direst need! You should know your tools backward and forward, and the only way to know them like that is to use them.

That kind of use is obvious when looking at a tool. When I see an immaculate knife that someone claims as an EDC tool, I see a blade and a user who haven't been tried and tested for performance. I'd much rather see a knife that shows the honest wear and tear of years of good use than a beautiful example of a sheath queen.

Love your knife. Carry it everywhere. Use it whenever applicable, until it is an extension of your hand. But don't be so in love with your knife that you're afraid to pull it out for fear that it might get scuffed or scarred.


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