Let me start by saying, I am not an expert. I do, however, have a lot to say on the subject and love sharing my knowledge and discussing knives.
It all started when I was very young, around 6 or 7 years old. My father
handed me a red Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. It was my first knife and it was a beauty. It had a large spear point blade, a small pen blade, scissors, a nail file, a flat head screw driver, a magnifying glass, an awl, a bottle and can opener, a cork screw and of course, the classic toothpick and tweezers. As far as I was concerned, it had it all. Just the thought of that knife still makes me smile. That knife was responsible for my first self-inflicted knife wound, countless backyard/buschcraft projects and countless hours of debating and discussing all the possibilities a knife like that could and would bring. After proving myself capable of knife ownership, Dad stepped it up a bit and presented me with something special; a Schrade Old Timer and basic whittling instructions.
That was all it took. I loved everything about knives. I was hooked. I loved the way they looked. I loved their weight in my hand. I loved the element of danger that came with a knife. I loved the simple mechanics and construction of the various designs verses the complicated geometry and chemistry of the various blade designs and steels. I loved the idea that a seemingly simple tool could be as versatile as to be capable of sculpting a beautiful work of art, fashioning a lifesaving shelter, prepping a meal and/or causing devastating physical trauma to an attacker or prey. They are the perfect blend of function and art.
I quickly found myself memorizing knife manufacturer’s product lines and studying various steel compositions and characteristics. I needed to know everything there was to know about knives.
My interest in knives, as a tool, has led me to many hobbies. I love to carve or whittle wood, cook and camp. When I camp, I’m particularly interested in creating what I need with what I have and what’s around me, rather than bringing anything and everything I might need.
Over the years, I have learned to think of knives as more than a functional tool or a work of art. I began to look to them as a source of meditation, concentration and/or escape. The simplicity of a knife, its function, use and maintenance is meditative, to me. A knife is able to perform many different jobs and tasks, eliminating the need for a lot of other gear or tools. Additionally, the simplicity of the construction and design of most knives leaves little to go wrong. As a result, carrying a knife frees my mind from worrying about my gear and allows me to concentrate or relax, depending on the situation. Additionally, the use of a knife consists of deliberately placed push and pull cuts. The action is simple and usually repetitive, but requires a great deal of concentration. Even knife maintenance like sharpening, with its precise, long, repetitive, “Thai Chi like” movements forces me to concentrate on a single, slow, methodical, precise motion.
Years have passed and my interest in knives is stronger than ever. The more I learn about knives, the more I realize how much more there is to learn. It’s a confusing world of marketing, chemistry and know-it-alls (of which I hope not to come across as nor am I claiming to be). It is very easy to be led down a path of corporate name recognition, paying too much for garbage steel that will fail when faced with the task it was intended for. I have a junk draw full of examples.
For these reasons and more, I have decided to pay it forward and do my part for the knife community, using my years of research and experience to help others, as many have done for me.
This site is meant to do just that, educate and inform fellow and aspiring outdoorsman of the intricacies and nuances of one of the oldest and greatest tools man has ever made; the knife.