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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the issues I have with hobbyist forums in general is elitism. And it happens in more subtle ways than ranting.

For example, this is a 1911 forum, and lots of guys shoot and carry full-size Colt Government model pistols. I did as a younger man, and it didn't work for me. I worked in an office, and when guys would take off their suit jackets and loosen their ties (we did that then until fire was invented), I was stuck covering up. Muggy summers in Wisconsin change a man.

When Wisconsin got their CCW provision, I knew that one of the guns I would buy expressly for defense was a 1911. I purchased a SIG P238 and couldn't be happier. Lots of folks question why a guy on a Harley carries a "lady's purse gun."

I'm finding the same thing with edges tools. I bought both a ZT0550 (S35VN) and a ZT0561 (Elmax). Both are almost useless to me. Let me explain.

Oh, they're polished and perfect, sharp as my Aunt Clara's tongue. They're both clunky and uncomfortable to carry. They sit in a drawer.

The problem for me is being poked in the top of the thigh. For some reason the curvature of the handle and placement of the pocket clip make some four-inch knives "disappear," and others feel like carrying a rough section of channel-iron.

When I first opened that Squail I saw the overall length and deep placement pocket clip and figured pain-city. But the knife is so light and easy to properly position for me, sometimes I have to pat myself to see if it's still there.

Same idea with the Tough Tony and that new SCHF14. Both presented their share of polishing issues, but to me, both were worth it. I'm never without them, and they I'm finding they both hold an edge.

Now, a similar thing happened when I bought that Sportster "48," a stripped down, simple bike. I rode the wheels off of it. My sis (she rides a Road Glide) looked me right in the eye and asked why the full custom sits while the little bike goes through tire replacements like a kid eating French fries.

I told her the same thing I tell people about expensive knives that just don't work. Sometimes the cheap stuff "works for me." Most times, it performs even better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sometimes, it's the user - not the tool. Another way of saying it...
If the guy was a togishi or a master carpenter, I'd give you the style points on that debate. I'm not your natural athlete, it takes me hours of pain at the gym. And given any kind of a job that requires skill, or art, or just "body English," I need tools of titanium and Stephen Hawking as a wing-man to get even a simple project done.

(I will never be accused of being a fanatical terrorist. Sources tell me that that the NSA has secret surveillance footage of me installing an automatic garage door opener, and even Al Quaida said I was dangerous to be around, even among their suicide bombers!)

I put promotional bandages in with the knives I sell. I have cases of them here for myself, so why not the clients?
 

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I like nice things. More importantly I like things that work well, particularly things that work well much beyond their cost. I guess I like underdogs, workhorses, and taking kicks at sacred cows.

I have to chuckle and sometimes just shake my head in a ***oxtrot manner though. The elitist who claim you can't even think about defending yourself without a $1500 1911 with $500 in upgrades, at least three weekend combat courses from the big name operators where in addition to the mucho dinero you spent on the classes, you will have expended 1000-2500 rounds of .45 ACP ammo of which even the cheapest isn't. I wonder what all those old farts did all those decades when they carried a basic, often surplus GI 1911, or a stock S&W or Colt revolver, fixed sights and all, at a time when they didn't have premium ammo? However did they survive actually using their guns in defense from 2 legged and 4 legged critters who threatened them. Yet they did. These fellows carried basic stock handguns, rifles, and shotguns, plain old ammo, and didn't attend the tattycoolest schools, or even had any formal firearms training for the most part. Yet many of them carried guns and knives as a part of their live and lifestyle.

Same with knives. You ever see what real outdoorsman, ranchers, real woodsmen, farmers, small time commercial fishermen, trappers, and all sorts who actually carried and used a knife every day and used it often throughout that day for real work. Traditional slipjoints, Case, Queen, Schrade, Cattaraugus, Imperial, King Cutter, and all those basic, carbon steel, non-locking, two hand opening and easy to carry pocket knives were the workhorses. If they felt the need for a fixed blade for the "moderately heavy" stuff, it was as often as not what we call a Bird and Trout knife, the Case Finn, or similar models by Western, or others. Even skinning deer and other medium game it was still the pocket knife that did most of it accompanied by an axe for splitting ribs and pelvis. In a lot of cases they just cut around the joints until it was only the bone joint still holding things together then twist or break it.

Basic butcher knives, or the Green River slightly shorter versions of the kitchen knives saw use as primary fixed blades along with other trim knives that the savy modern Tube "bushcrafting" and "survival" gurus would laugh at and say, "No way you can get by with such a wimpy blade." Even the heavy duty skinners and woods runner knives, while having some wide and sweeping, or a little weight forward blades would be considered minimal by many today.

Never mind that these men of yesteryear actually used these blades in real woodscraft settings on a frequent basis. They carried minimal, but basic kit and actually roughed it. Gen. Chuck Yeager wrote about how he and a friend would go into, I believe it was the Sierra Mountains, for weeks on end with very minimal gear and food and live well. Yeagers knife for such treks? A SAK. Not the Swiss Champ type, but one of the trimmer versions like a Farmer or Cadet or some such model.

Yet to listen in on most any forum, including here, you just can't function, let alone survive, with anything lest that the biggest, baddest, priciest name gear and the right certificates hanging on your wall.

As I get older I too care less what people think about my choices or the limitations I have evaluated and willingly accepted in exchange for what I get out of anything. I find that a simple Case knife that disappears into my pocket and is both small enough to carry without thinking about yet big enough to cut pretty much anything I need to cut with it, stays sharp for a reasonable amount of cutting (with good old 1095 as the standard) and come back up with a minimum of time and fuss is just fine with me and preferred to the thick, macho knives I carried in the past. Tell me I'm carrying a knife like grandpa used to carry and I'll take that as a real compliment because grandpa could and did do a heck of a lot with his old knife and it was a companion to him. Not part of his pocket jewelry rotation.

I get confused when people say EDC Rotation? To me that's an oxymoron. EDC stands for EveryDay Carry. To me that means the gear that you carry and have carried every single day. The gear that you have experience and confidence with. The same gear carried everyday because it's a part of your personal all the time system. Not some placeholder where you keep changing up things for fun. In my mind it is that "I always have and know this gear and I find it is most important for me to have it with me always, each individual piece, always with me as an extension of me so when the time comes to use it, I know my gear intimately through continued use." constant and steady bits of gear.

And yes, back then a man was expected to know his gear and how to use it in a wide variety of applications. Those that didn't were thought of as "Nimrods" or just as idiots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will admit to a rotation--but it's seasonal, based on clothing.

To be fair, I'm retired so most of the stuff I wear is just your average funky biker crap. Jackets are different and so are the pockets. Short sleeves for summer, longer, heavier jackets in the dead of a Wisconsin winter.

My holsters change, and along with that the knives I carry. This is one of the reasons I'm developing a fondness for the SCHF14. It's very flat, and I can slip it into a pocket or just snap it on a belt.

(I go with shorter smaller knives when on the bike, the chunkier versions will dig into your thigh making you fidget into the front of a Kenworth at 80 MPH...)

BTW, the sheath of this Schrade seems to have the same MOLLE pattern for fasteners as those found on an ESEE. I had a spare boot clip for an ESEE Number 3 and it screwed perfectly to the SCHF14 sheath.

 

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Y'all remember, I never said nothing about augmenting EDC. :D

Sort of "Make new friends, but keep the old...." I may not remove my pocket knife I always carry, but that doesn't mean I won't toss another in somewhere else. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, there is one upside at my house. Even when I get sick of my own EDCs, knives aren't scarce around here!

A knife doesn't perform like I'd hoped--bingo--it's a "demo" on sale!
 

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My edc is a cheap S&W assisted opener tanto, I'm almost ashamed to admit it around here.

It's not a superior work of art type of knife, it not made from the finest steel, nor would I trust it with my life in a steel cage death match, but it works for day to day use just fine.

I feel the utility of the knife is good for the price. And I can carry and use it without worrying about damage/breakage/loss, because if I do, I can just buy another one.

Now, if the zombies are coming and I can only take one knife, or I'm heading up to the woods where I know I need something tough, I take my Becker Ka-bar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My edc is a cheap S&W assisted opener tanto, I'm almost ashamed to admit it around here.
This would be a great knife on which to learn how to polish. The edges are straight.

Hopefully you have some form of stone. Flatten it, even on a sidewalk. Ink the blade and carefully get the bevels even and uniform. That's the hard part. Don't be afraid to use up a magic marker. Use more strokes on the areas to be nibbled away. Work slowly.

Then the final polish is your choice. If you have a piece of glass and some 3M polishing papers (I've smeared paste on blue painters tape I've stuck to glass), all you'll need then is some Mothers Mag Wheel paste or some whitening toothpaste. Any piece of leather--including an old belt--will work for the final strop.

BTW, you'd be amazed at how many LEOs ask me to polish their knives, and hand me the same one you own!
 

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My edc is a cheap S&W assisted opener tanto, I'm almost ashamed to admit it around here.

It's not a superior work of art type of knife, it not made from the finest steel, nor would I trust it with my life in a steel cage death match, but it works for day to day use just fine.

I feel the utility of the knife is good for the price. And I can carry and use it without worrying about damage/breakage/loss, because if I do, I can just buy another one.

Now, if the zombies are coming and I can only take one knife, or I'm heading up to the woods where I know I need something tough, I take my Becker Ka-bar.
It's amazing how many people still fall back on the Kabar. Even while collecting some nice knives during my Marine Corps service, I kept a Kabar in my Mae West.
 

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It's amazing how many people still fall back on the Kabar. Even while collecting some nice knives during my Marine Corps service, I kept a Kabar in my Mae West.
I have a number of Kabars, including one carried by Uncle when he was a Marine on Iwo Jima. My fondness for them come from my Father and a number of Uncles who were Marines.
How do you professionals rate them?
Respects, Pedro.
 

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I have a number of Kabars, including one carried by Uncle when he was a Marine on Iwo Jima. My fondness for them come from my Father and a number of Uncles who were Marines.
How do you professionals rate them?
Respects, Pedro.
Pedro,

I would say how did the professionals like your dad and uncle rate them? I would take the experiences of a Marine who fought on Iwo Jima with the Kabar as a pretty good review. Who better to evaluate a "Combat Knife" than someone in a real combat zone like Iwo Jima. Notice I didn't say fighting knife. Combat knives have to do everything from open crates to cut branches and if needed people.
 

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Tourist, I do have a kit with three different stones and I've gotten a pretty wicked edge on the S&W

And yes, the Ka-bar is still great. I still use my Grandpas from WW2. I also really like the Becker versions, very good knives for the money and the blades are so thick it looks impossible to break.
 

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Pedro,

I would say how did the professionals like your dad and uncle rate them? I would take the experiences of a Marine who fought on Iwo Jima with the Kabar as a pretty good review. Who better to evaluate a "Combat Knife" than someone in a real combat zone like Iwo Jima. Notice I didn't say fighting knife. Combat knives have to do everything from open crates to cut branches and if needed people.
My Father and Uncles are dead and I wish I had asked them more.
My Uncle that was on Iwo Jima never spoke of it to me, he just gave me the Kabar along with some compasses.
Dad was in Korea and was fond of the Kabar, but didn't go into specifics although he taught me some rudiments of knife fighting.
Dad's eyes would light up when he talked about a Randall he ordered and carried. He told me he stuck it in the ground next to his sleeping bag and forgot it when they moved out.
Amos, your instructions to me are bringing back these memories.
Thanks, Pedro.
EDIT; Sorry for jumping in and derailing the thread.
 

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My Father and Uncles are dead and I wish I had asked them more.
My Uncle that was on Iwo Jima never spoke of it to me, he just gave me the Kabar along with some compasses.
Dad was in Korea and was fond of the Kabar, but didn't go into specifics although he taught me some rudiments of knife fighting.
Dad's eyes would light up when he talked about a Randall he ordered and carried. He told me he stuck it in the ground next to his sleeping bag and forgot it when they moved out.
Amos, your instructions to me are bringing back these memories.
Thanks, Pedro.
EDIT; Sorry for jumping in and derailing the thread.
No worries. One thing I'm appreciating here in the blade section is that we can sort of meander in the threads and not get shut down. It makes for some good sharing and learning from each other.

Yeah, my grandfather carried a steel plate in his head from the European side of WWII and I'm told spent a year in the hospital. He would never talk about things to family either. My uncle on that side was a Marine in Korea. He joined the FBI afterwards and would tell stories about some of his experiences as an agent, but I never heard him talk about Korea.

A fellow I worked with in security became and American citizen, but prior to that he was in Yugoslavia when it came apart. He finished his service as a Captain in the Croatian army. He didn't like to talk about what went on there to anyone, but he would talk about some of it to me, mostly about conditions, how the Serbs made their first big move in their push for genocide, and the little things that really became important when it everything was collapsed into a pile of day to day survival and it would surprise a lot of gear heads.

Being an Army guy I never felt right having a Ka-Bar marked U.S.M.C.. Seemed sacrilegious to both branches. BUt, I did pick up a Short Ka-Bar for a great price from a work friend that just says Ka-Bar U.S.A. on the sheath and blade. It's a nice knife and I'd feel comfortable using it as a field knife.
 

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I've watched some of the best hunters I've ever had the privilege to hunt with kill deer like nobody's buisness with a 50 year old mossberg 500 the bought in highschool and gut them with an old hickory boning knife from the kitchen drawer. Most of these men are people I look up to and have more buisness being out there than I do any day of the week.
 
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