WHAT’S IN YOUR POCKET?
EDC KNIVES ARE MORE THAN JUST FOR SHOW
Check out the world of stunning custom EDC cutlery with these examples that can make their place in your pocket or on your mantle. BY DAVID JAYE
When I was in public school many years ago, Mrs. Golden, who had started her teaching career in a one-room school several decades earlier, asked all the boys who had a pocketknife in their pocket to stand up. Half a dozen of us complied and she directed her next comments to the boys still seated, instructing them that a boy without a knife cannot cut string, whittle a piece of wood or peel an apple and is really of no use to anyone.
You can see the indelible signs of changing times when a knife at school today results in removal from class with a direct pass to the principal’s office, expulsion from school and perhaps an interview with a police officer. Not in Mrs. Golden’s class. She directed those boys to get a knife and carry it daily.
My knife was a Western two-blade trapper and it stayed with me at all times. In one of my favorite books, “On Your Own in the Wilderness,” co-authored with Bradford Angier, Colonel Townsend Whelan stated he carried a large, two-blade knife in his back pocket since he was a tadpole. Handmade folders were not too common back then, I believe Ron Lake had just invented the inter-frame, and tactical folders were only a slip joint folder with a clip-on tab that you had to send away for and mount on the spine of the blade. It takes all kinds to make the world go around, which includes many varied tastes in all sorts of subject matter, as well as what kind of knife they EDC.
How the Pros EDC
I was recently speaking with Brian Mayer, a veteran USMC sniper and
SWAT Counter-sniper with the Westminster Police Department in Orange County, California, thinking he might have a unique perspective on EDC knives. He told me that he daily carries a 4-inch-blade tactical folder, on and off duty, and although he uses it daily to cut seatbelts, Teflon handcuffs and other normal tasks, he has not had to use it for self-defense. Although, he added with a smile, he had taken a lot of knives away from perpetrators in his career.
Most people do not find themselves in harm’s way like Officer Mayer and although they carry a knife daily, they have not thought of using it as a defensive weapon. EDC for them is cutting string, peeling an apple or cleaning their nails or—like my friend Bruce Gibson, who has hunted the USA, Canada, Africa (twice) and Asia—to open a bottle of wine to share with his wife. He prefers a folding Puma Universal and has carried it daily and on safari all over the world. It is a knife, but with its Sambar Stag scales, is also a piece of man-jewelry.
Beauty and Function
As with any knife you select, you should take time to consider your EDC’S uses and where it fits into your life. Some things to take into consideration when choosing your EDC are occupation, geography and the type of daily tasks you perform. Where a police officer might need to perform everything from cutting seatbelts to self-defense, a backpacker may need to be able to do everything from cut rope to whittling. When deciding on your EDC consider the tasks you perform the most and select a knife that is going to fulfill those needs the best. An old adage states: “A survival knife is the one you have on you at the time a situation arises.” This is the core of the EDC philosophy and along this line of thought, another adage states that “one should forget their knife is there until they need it.” If a knife is too heavy or too large and must be constantly rearranged for comfort, it will be left at home, in the truck or in that pack that went over the waterfall with the canoe. A light folder best answers this requirement, as well as being more politically correct in polite company.
Dress knives are becoming very popular for beauty, along with function. A CPM steel or modern pattern welded blade, housed in a titanium frame, sporting Damascus bolsters with amber stag, mastodon ivory or the more stable ivory Micarta or carbon fiber, have become EDC jewelry for the discerning knife aficionado.
All of the beautiful knives in this article are light years ahead in materials, form and function, by makers from
“WHEN DECIDING ON YOUR EDC, CONSIDER THE TASKS YOU PERFORM THE MOST AND SELECT A KNIFE THAT IS GOING TO FULFILL THOSE NEEDS THE BEST.”
all fields and careers. Infused with a legion of innovative ideas, this gallery is composed of: knife art by Don Hanson III with his Slim Clack Tactical Folder, Bob Ohlemann presents his elegant EDC folder called Freelancer XL Recurve, Chuck Gedraitis’s Yakuza Flipper, RJ Martin’s Damascus Q-36 Dress Tactical Flipper Folder, Darriel Caston’s unique OTF (Out the Front) Wharncliffe-bladed CBS Skunkworks Collaboration and Paul Lusk’s pocket -size Gentleman’s Liner Lock.
A Well-received Lesson
Mrs. Golden should have been everyone’s teacher. With her mild approach and a teaching style, forged from perhaps half a century of honing, for the most part, in rural schoolhouses where common sense and practicality ruled the day, she lit a spark in the fertile mind of at least one student and I have carried a knife every day since. I would be proud to carry any of these beautiful and practical EDC folding knives and I know when the chips are down, they would do their makers proud as well. I am positive that Mrs. Golden would approve, don’t you agree? KI
+ SPECS PAUL LUSK Model: Gentleman’s Liner Lock Overall Length: 6.75 inches Blade Length: 2.75 inches Blade Material: Damasteel Bolster: Damasteel Handle Material: Mammoth ivory Website: Paulluskknives.com
+ SPECS BOB OHLEMANN Model: Freelancer XL Recurve Overall Length: 8 inches Blade Length: 3.5 inches Blade Material: CPM154 Bolster: Zirconium Handle Material: Vintage Westinghouse ivory Micarta Website: Rangermadeknives.com
+ SPECS DARRIEL CASTON Production/manufacturing: Paulo Balazano and Zodiac Engineering Model: CBS Skunkworks Collaboration Overall Length: 6.75 inches Blade Length: 3.5 inches Blade Material: Chad Nichols Damascus Bolster: None Handle Material: Titanium Website: Drocketdesign.com
+ SPECS CHUCK GEDRAITIS (Top Left) Model: Yakuza Flipper Overall Length: 8.25 inches Blade Length: 3.625 inches Blade Material: CPM154 Bolster: Woodgrain pattern copper/niobium superconductor Handle Material: Bronze LSCF Website: www.gedraitisknives.com
+ SPECS DON HANSON III (Bottom Left) Model: Slim Clack Overall Length: 8.625 inches Blade Length: 4 inches Blade Material: DH3 Damascus Bolster: DH3 Damascus Handle Material: Oldass Micarta Frame: Titanium Website: Sunfishforge.com