Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Knives in our Lives: Part 2 - John

As far back as I can remember I have always carried a pocketknife. My very first knife was an Uncle Henry three blade that my father gave me when I six or seven years old. I remember every grown man I knew growing up always carried a knife, as you never know when a knife might come in handy. Sure you might need to defend yourself with it, but you are more likely to have to open a package or cut some rope. There is no shortage of good quality knives available on the market today. I have spent considerable time looking for the knives that I use on a regular basis and that will last me a long time. The knives I am going to discuss below are the ones that I have come to rely on.

EDC (Everyday Carry) Knives

Over the last several years I have carried many knives, and today I have two favorites that I use for everyday carry. The first, and probably my favorite, is my Gerber Mini Applegate Combat Folder. Over the last several years there has been a trend towards making “pocketknives” larger. My favorite feature of this knife is the size, just under 7” open. It does have a pocket clip on it, but one could easily carry this knife in their pocket. The Mini also features dual thumb studs and a liner lock that I have yet to be able to defeat. It is very easy to open and close with one hand, a feature that I look for in my EDC knives. I have found that it takes a little bit of work to get a good razor edge on it, but it also holds an edge very well. This little knife has been in and out of my pocket for almost three years now and has never failed me in any circumstance. On the opposite end of the spectrum for EDC knives is my other favorite, the Buck Strider SBMF. This knife is a collaboration between Strider and Buck knives, and the design is based on the Strider SNG, which the average citizen would be hard-pressed to afford. I use this knife for everything. It features dual thumb studs, liner lock, and dual position belt/pocket clip. This knife is easy to open and close single-handed, holds an edge very well, is easy to sharpen and to this point has been impossible to break. The thing I love most about the SBMF is that it is a true multi-function knife. It works just as well in the office as it does in the wilderness. However, the SBMF has now been discontinued, but you can still find them on E-bay and online gear exchanges.

EOD / Work Knives

The tools I use for Explosive Ordnance Disposal(EOD) work have to perform under any circumstance and I take no chances with these tools. These tools have helped me in the most mundane of situations as well as combat operations in Afghanistan. The first of these is the Gerber Multi-Plier Det. It is an EOD specific multi tool that incorporates a punch for priming into plastic explosives, and a blasting cap crimper inside the pliers. Other than these two features it is a run of the mill multi tool. The only time I had one fail was due to user error - I tried to use the C-4 punch to pry open a crate. The second most important tool I carry is my CRKT MAK-1 fixed blade knife. This is by far one of the toughest knives that I own. It is designed to be a rescue tool for firefighters, and the design includes a flat tip for prying, a chisel ground cutting edge, and an oxygen tank key and glass breaker on the hilt. Mine no longer has its glass breaker because I hammered it flat with a sledgehammer. I have used this knife for opening MRE’s, prying open crates, cutting explosives, and digging IED components out of roads. Even after all of the abuse that an overseas deployment brings, the cutting edge has remained sharp enough for more than my needs. The only sign of wear is that the blade finish has worn off in some areas. The final knife I use working is the Strider Military Folder (SMF). There really isn’t much to say about this knife other than what I said about the SBMF in my above EDC knife description. It is a reliable and durable tool that has never failed me.

Real training sucks, EMBRACE the suck.

- John Pinnix