How is that for a clickbaity article headline and totally random picture? In all honesty, these are intended as humorous observations that have come to me over the years. But like with all humor, they are funny because they are true.
Lanyards are dumb.
There is a guy out there that really likes bling. He has a Spyderco Delica, but he swapped out the FRN handles for shred carbon fiber. He has a replacement clip made of moku-ti. The blade has be given a heavy stonewash. The knife is about as blinged out as he can get it. But then he sees a hunk of mok-ti online with a hole down the center, and viola, he can now add more bling. A braided leather cord later and he has a Delica that he spent $1,000 on that no one in their right mind would want. Wanting to take its cutting performance “to the next level” he gets the knife sharpened so that it has a mirror edge on the cutting bevel. It’s his grail knife completely and totally blinged out. Its the blade he has always wanted, just as he as always wanted it to be. Then next week he posts a picture of it on IG with the following caption: “Decked out Delica F/S NO TRADES! $750. Will not sell lanyard separately.”
And for all this Spyderco had to ruin the lay out of the Brouwer. Who really even uses lanyard’s these days, other than as another place to store bling?
No one really needs steel better than D2.
Let me tell you something—S90V is the ultimate steel. That or 10V. 4V is really good too. Basically whatever steel they are releasing a limited edition Para3 in next week is the best steel ever. The more Vs the better. And the only metric that matters for steel is edge retention. That’s it. I don’t care if it rusts into a pile of dust before I resharpen it, that one cut I made initially was SO GOOD. And if it is not a powder steel, the whole thing is pointless.
But it is not just that new steels are hype machines, it also happens to be that D2 is a good steel. It holds and edge. It is pretty tough. And it is modestly corrosion resistant. It also is a steel where heat treats can make a difference. Dozier’s D2 is very good. Krein’s D2 is likewise excellent. And the PM version, PSF27, is also quite good. I would avoid CPM D2 as there are serious consistency problems. But if you want a budget knife and it has D2 steel, assume you are good to go unless there is evidence to the contrary.
Sharpening ultra high hardness steels stink.
“Oh, its fine, I can sharpen it, I have diamond stones.” This is is often the retort when you tell someone that while its impressive their blade HRcs at 70, it is probably not all that user friendly. And this statement while true, misses the point. Whatever medium you have will take more time the harder the steel. So yes, it is possible to sharpen ultrahard steels, but really, why should you? Focusing exclusively on hardness is really bad in a general use cutting tool. If you were, say, the guy that changes the cutter heads at the hardwood floor factory, then yeah, amp up the hardness, but for the rest of us this seems kinda silly. A general utility tool should focus on all-around performance instead. But, yes, we know, you have diamond stones so go have at it. When you come out of the basement sweaty and with a serious case of carpal tunnel syndrome and your significant other asks what you have been doing you have two answers—sharpening your knife or…
Designing pocket clips is really hard.
About 15% of pocket clips are what I would call good clips. I like the clip on the Valet and I like both the spoon and wire clip from Spyderco, but some companies have nine zillion different clips all of which stink. Lionsteel, I am looking at you. The problem is that a pocket clip is, in one major sense, fundamentally incompatible with a knife. It will always result in hotspots and so to get as few hotspots as possible, well, that takes a lot of work. And most people don’t care enough to do that work. Of the new clips I have seen I really like the Civivi clip. Its simple, avoids unnecessary hotspots, and works well. All of you companies out there that are still lost in the pocket clip design wilderness, take note.
Lock strength doesn’t matter.
Our grandfathers and great grandfathers defeated the Nazis and the Japanese Empire and they all carried knives without a lock. Lock strength never, every matters. It just doesn’t. If you need a strong lock what you are actually saying is that you need a fixed blade. If you don’t need a strong lock, then any lock will do. Hell, even no lock is okay in this circumstance. There is just no time in which a lock matters, provided you are using common sense and you have a fixed blade. And if you don’t have a fixed blade, consider this an excuse to go buy one. They are great fun to use.
Knives are the trucks of everyday carry.
Lots of people that say “I don’t need a truck” borrow or rent one. And then they go back to their untruck-filled lives and say “I don’t need a truck, because I can borrow or rent one.” But that is the wrong way to look at it. Once you have a truck you can do things you would never consider doing without one. Your universe of possibilities opens up. The same is true with a knife, right down to the notion that you can borrow one. Knives expand your ability to negotiate the world and get things done. Having a knife not only makes everyday tasks simpler, it changes the scope of things that fall into that category. If you have thumbs, you could use a knife.
Flashlight emitters are dangerous.
Look, the exact same batteries that have led to scores of lawsuits against Vape companies live and breath (fire) in our flashlights. If you overclock them, they won’t behave. Its just chemistry. And so while I love lights that deprive me of vision for hours at a time, I also like having my thigh muscles intact and so a lot of these mega overclocked lights just aren’t for me. Lumens, like lock strength, is a fool’s pursuit anyway so does it really matter if your light hits 3200 lumens while mine hits 1200 lumen? No. And remember lumens are logarithmic.
Packs and bags are STILL too complicated.
In an era where there is the Topo Designs Daypack (read the review, its funny), we still have bags that are just too complicated. Pouches and pockets and all sorts of crazy stuff don’t really help you and, in fact, they do more to hurt you, eating small parts and pieces that you might need. If you think you need a pack more complicated than the Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon II you are either: a) a thru hiker on the Appalachian Trail; or b) wrong.
Rotring makes some excellent, general utility pens. They aren’t Bic cheap, but they aren’t Sailor expensive either. They are easy to use, beautifully designed, and highly functional. The same is true of Spyderco knives and 47s torches. For me, if you want a good EDC kit start with these three brands. You won’t go wrong and you won’t spend a ton (unless you buy the stinker that is the Spyderco Drunken).
We are two years from cellphones eating our wallets and keys.
I say two years, but it could be tomorrow. I think two years is a good guess in the sense that I have little fear that I am wrong guessing that far out, but it is coming and I for one welcome our benevolent cellphone overlords. What a glorious day it will be when my carry consists of a pen, a light, a knife, and a phone and NOTHING else.
With that laid out commence arguments in the comments section. Best argument wins a spot on the podcast to argue live. Nick will referee.