Future of pocket knives looks kinda bleak

Saw this the other day at Walmart. Hmph.

Context: This pocket knife, priced at $3.87, is sold by Walmart. It incorporates many features found on higher end knives such as cut G10, flip style opening and a frame lock. The fear by many in the knife world that this is another blow to the high end knife industry because it raises the barrier of entry for new hobbyists a little higher. Why by a $100 Spyderco when this knife from Walmart looks and essentially functions the same?

Old blog update

I’m back into the knife hobby so in addition to sporadic and poorly written posts relating to bicycles there will be posts of pocket knives in my grubby hands. Old blog is below if you’re curious what knives I used to own but sold to stay alive and free in 2010.

http://knivesinhand.blogspot.com/

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Why was I in this hobby?

I think it was a reaction to setting out on my own. I had always carried a small boy scout pocket knife during high school but heading to college several states away from most of my family under judicial duress was quite a shock. I had a hard time coping with this and “being prepared” was my way of giving myself support in a way that I felt was previously accomplished by being near my family. It’s pretty obvious that I got into flashlights at the same time. My knife collecting really started in 2004 with a few closeout Meyerco Paradoxes from a now-defunct military surplus catalog. The Paradox was and still is a very cool knife and it served me well for a few months before I upgraded to a Benchmade Mini-Griptilian, 10400 (called the Pika after it came out) and a Pacific Salt. You can still read the review over here: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/311786-BM555-10400-and-Pacific-Salt-Reviewed

Getting into higher end and better made knives appealed to me and I started seriously collecting and using pocket knives in late 2004. This coincided with my employment at a very open restaurant where my knife use was encouraged and often a source of pride by the other employees. Over the next 6 years I collected dozens of knives with a focus on Spyderco and eventually multitools as well. I attended the BLADE show in 2008 and was reviewing multitools and knives pretty regularly on Bladeforums, Multitool.org, Spyderco Forums, EDC Forums and even Candlepowerforums. I really enjoyed the design and engineering aspect. I have a binder of multitool and knife patents I printed off at my college library that is very interesting to page through.

I also really enjoyed learning about a knife as I used it. Sharpening and maintenance are very complex subjects and can be very fun. I spent almost half a decade using H1 steel and learning what it liked and how to maximize my use of it. By the time I graduated college my collection was very large and represented a significant financial outlay. The job market at the time was terrible and I was paralyzed by choice and perceptive poverty so I decided to stay put in my little college town and do what I enjoyed and knew how to do – work in restaurants.

I don’t recall the thought process that lead me to selling almost every knife I owned but I think it was a combination of recognizing the overwhelming materialism present in collecting as well as needing the money to continued living on my own. Looking back I think the multitools & flashlights were what I really wanted to get rid of and the knives just got caught in the vortex. I look back at my collection and am just blown away by what I had at the time. Anyway, I guess I’m not sure why I left the hobby? Part of it was also trying to shed a very introverted and isolated personality. It’s hard to make friends and be really happy when all you do in your free time is look at knife pictures online and sharpen the knives you already own. So I suppose the book “How to win friends & influence people” is the reason I sold everything.

It’s ok now though, I spend all my free time riding my bike and my downtime at work doing the knife stuff.

I’ll close with my favorite knife review.

Spyderco FRN Stretch Review