sharps, a post with a point.

I had to make an iphone alert to remind me once a week to enter my hours worked for the temp job, so now i have an alert to remind me to write a blog post a few times  a week.  lets see how long it takes for me to start hitting the snooze button on it.  Sorry if some of this is duplicate data, I am trying to wrap my head around some topics. 

2015-01-18 12.30.14One of the yearly alerts I added to my calendar was one that reminded me to clean all my pocket knives, of which shockingly, I have more than I thought.  I can’t remember WHEN I didn’t carry a pocket knife… and I have had to watch the world rotate from one where everyone carried a pocket knife, to one where carrying a pocket knife into certain buildings will cause you no end of trouble.  A totally stupid thing to have to witness I can tell  you.  A pocket knife is a bloody tool. yes you can kill someone with a fat red Swiss army knife, but it takes a LOT of  work and for the most part they have to just lie there and let you do it.  Don’t ask how i know these things, you just don’t want to go there.

I know I had an antique rusty two bladed electricians knife before I had my Swiss Army knife…what I don’t know is what happened to it.  I may have lost it when I was in high school and replaced it with the Swiss Army Knife Camper Model… and I don’t remember where I got either, I suspect I stole the first one from my brother and I may gotten the second as a christmas gift, my memory doesn’t go that far back anymore.   But the Swiss Army knife stayed in my backpack for……well….it’s actually still in my backpack now, thirty Five years and about 9 backpacks later.  As SAK go, the Camper is just about perfect for an EDC, doesn’t scream I’m a slut for useless tools, yet it has about everything you could need just going to school, work or home – without having to fight off zombies, or skin bambi’s mom.

About 27 years ago I found the Stanley 10-049 Pocket knife which has been my GO TO knife ever since… I have used this as a bench knife for book repair, all sorts of hand crafts, and household chores, opening boxes, and even clams.  Biggest feature is that it is CHEAP, and at less than $10 I usually have one in every drawer in the house.  The other things I like about are: that it is FLAT, and can go in a front or back pocker without making it awkward; the blade is also both replaceable and will taken an edge.  I also like that the tip is blunted so you can cut flat against a surface, unlike most pointed weapons.  I treat myself to a new one for the bottom of my purse every few years and rotate the old ones to the work bench.  And NO I can’t take my purse in government buildings, that should be obvious.

When I got my first BIG job I splurged on a Leatherman Micra for my keychain, where it has hung for over 20 years…to be honest I rarely need it except for the scissors which have saved my sanity more than a few times.  I’d rather have it than not have it.

Last December I decided that I wanted a new pocket knife, one with a bail for a lanyard.  That was the one thing the Stanley didn’t have.  I also wanted a knife with a few other blades that i could carry in my pants,  that wasn’t the SAK. Face it, whichever sex you are, you cannot sit comfortably with a SAK in your back pocket, and in your front pocket, it just looks weird.  I didn’t think i would find one i liked since most knives these days are designed to look fierce and not be functional.  But I hadn’t considered that the US ARMY had already done the design work for me.   The Camillus 1760, fit all my requirements so perfectly that once I saw it, I had to have one.  In production from the 40s to the 90s, the truly vintage ones were either truly expensive or fixer uppers, I just kept my eye out for one that I could afford and not feel guilty about buying. I found one on ebay from 1989 and about $30.  turns out it was hardly used, so hardly used that I am have to work on one of the tool blades with some rubbing compound to get it to open more smoothly.  No matter. it fit my coat pocket and hand perfectly.

When I was trolling through second hand shops for birthday slash christmas gifts for myself, I stumbled on this Leatherman in a pawn shop. It normally sells for about $80 on sale and I never could rationalize buying what for me amounts to a glorified pair of pliers. However at less than half price, it was also seriously dirty and wouldn’t open well for the counter clerk, I got it for $25. I couldn’t NOT buy it. I cleaned it and lubed it and bought it a nice new sheath and more screwdriver bits so it came up to about $40 totally.  But I haven’t regretted it.  I LIKE knowing it is in the bottom of my bag along with a tape measure, a flashlight and a roll of gorilla tape.   So I feel rather smug having gotten such a really great discount on a very well designed tool.

So those are my knives.. usually the SAK is home in my backpack and the 1760 is in my coat pocket, so unlike a lot of knife collectors, i don’t think i will need to add to that family anytime soon. In fact if I lost any of them I would just replace them with exactly the same models. If a tool isn’t where you need it when you need it, then its just a waste of money.

HINT: to clean a dirty knife, put it in the sink and pour boiling water over it….or just very hot water…. when it is dried thoroughly, saturate it with WD-40 and clean all the joints and crevices, use a paint brush if you have to.  Work all the blades and respray  you may see it all the dirty come out. leave it open on a paper towel to drip dry.  Then lubricate the joins with oil.  WD-40 is a solvent not an oil.  3 in 1 oil or mystery oil work well, I used a bike lube that has a Teflon additive, mostly cause it was at hand. 

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