I am going to reveal a deeply held, totally confidential secret—I am a nerd. I know, I know, it is totally shocking. You would NEVER suspect someone that has a scoring system for knives to be a nerd. Well, I am a nerd and as part of the Nerd Tribe I played Magic: The Gathering (after a long wizard poker hiatus I now dabble in Hearthstone). Wizard Poker is a great game, but it is massively nerdy. One of the folks that writes about Magic, Mark Rosewater, introduced a three-category personality taxonomy for Magic. According to Rosewater all Magic players fell into one of three groups: Timmy, Johnny, and Spike. I am not going to bother to explain what those are because, well, all it would do is underscore just how nerdy Magic is and just how nerdy I am.
The strange thing is I think knife owners fall into one of three groups, too. Here they are:
You are a Slice if you primarily carry small, thin folders. You use your knife for quick everyday tasks—opening boxes, light food prep, and quickly dispatching toy clamshells for impatient children. You place a priority on how convenient a knife is and how easy it carries. You look at thick folders the same way Homo Sapien looked at the tools of Neanderthal. Your favorite steels are thin, thinner, and thinnest because, after all, blade geometry is more important than steel composition (or so you tell all of your knife friends). You have never thought of using your knife as a defense tool and you would be insulted if, during an arrest, a police officer suggested that you would do so. You have no problem with slipjoints and other nonlocking folders because, well, your not a moron and would never push a knife to its design limits. You use a paring knife from your kitchen knife block as your sole hard use fixed blade. Speaking of hard use, you never baby your knives. Every single one of your Spyderco Chaparrals has done hard time plowing through boxes for the recycling bin after every major gift giving event from birthdays to the true test of a blade—garbage day after Christmas.
You are a Chop if you primarily use fixed blades. Your entire knife collection consists of various sizes of fixed blade knives, from your EDC, which is a fixed blade in a kydex sheath with a total length of about three inches, to a full on sword. You like axes and hatchets, too, but really you think big choppers, while way more work, are way more fun. You had a custom morale patch made for your bug out bag and it says “GET TO THE CHOPPA” on it. Your favorite steels are 3V, INFI, and L7. You often wonder what would happen if you bought an old snow plow and sharpened it with an angle grinder. You look at your folder-carrying friends in the same way that parents watch their children when they are in a leg cast. You also tell your folder friends that their knives are “pre-broken.” For these reasons you have very few knife buddies. You have regularly thought about a lay out in your backyard for a BladeSport cutting competition set up and you have a bucket of old golf balls in your basement “just in case.” Your knives are mostly convex ground though you have a few flat and scandi ground knives and a single hollow ground blade but use it solely as a comparison so you can write on internet forum boards about the superiority of a convex grind after “years of experience” with a hollow ground blade. If you did venture in the world of pre-broken blades, it would be either a Medford or a Pohl Force with the lock AND the handle pin because, Jesus H. Christ, you love your fingers a lot.
You are a Stab if you primarily use knives as weapons. You have no preference for folders or fixed blades or even the sharpened edge of a soup can lid because, of course, with your training “anything can be a weapon.” You subscribe to Black Belt Magazine, Knife Fighter Illustrated, and Stabbin’ Hoodlums Quarterly and enjoy all of the pictures inside of grumpy middle aged white men with male pattern baldness demonstrating proper knife fighting techniques. Steel doesn’t matter. Heat treat and blade geometry don’t matter. Its all about training. And speaking of training you have a rubber version of all of the knives in your collection so you can train with each of them. Your grail knife is a Bob Loveless Sub Hilt Fighter because it is both beautiful AND still tactically correct. You read every interview with Michael Janisch. You are a Lifetime member of the NRA’s knife fighting subgroup Freedom’s Edge (which I just made up but sounds incredibly authentic). Sebenzas be damned, the Fairnbairn Sykes is the true definition of a modern classic. Your preferred deployment method is, of course, an Emerson Wave and you have practiced waving open knives in all of your pants from gym shorts and pajama bottoms to your suit pants. You truly believe that if and when the time comes you will definitely not be like all of the other people that got in a knife fight and you will come out of the confrontation with nothing more than scratch the size of a paper cut.
Which are you? I am probably 3/4 Slice and 1/4 Chop. The idea that a knife is a weapon is as foreign to me as the idea that my car (a Subaru Outback) could enter an F1 race.