Posted by Dexter Ewing on May 12th 2020


Text by Dexter Ewing

There was once a time here in the USA that every boy and man carried and used a pocket knife. A pocket knife was once a necessity and very much a part of a man’s wardrobe. Pocket knives were used for everything - from peeling fruit to cutting twine to opening packages, to cleaning out from underneath fingernails. Just some of the many uses for a pocketknife. As society shifted from agrarian to a technology based society, the need for such tools waned and the daily carry pocket knife no longer was a necessary accessory. But if you carefully pay attention, you will see that knives still are very much used in other areas of society. Hunters, hikers, campers, fishermen, law enforcement, EMS, firefighters, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, and construction workers are some of the folks who still rely on knives to do their jobs or enjoy their lifestyle.

So, still not convinced? Let’s take a closer look at why the modern man (that’s you!) still needs a knife. The first is obvious. To open packages and mail. Tell me, how many times have you witnessed coworkers, family, or friends using objects like car keys, the blade from one half of scissors, or even their teeth - to open a package that is firmly sealed with shipping tape? Yeah...the car key maneuver is enough to send me into orbit and come to the rescue with me loaning my knife to them to cease this lawless behavior. And teeth?? I’m sure your dentist approves! Think about what you do in a day. Opening packages, opening mail, opening bags of chips or candy. You need a knife! Having such will make these menial tasks easier. I’m all for being neat and not using your index finger to plow open freshly retrieved mail from the mailbox! NO! Use a knife! Second case...you go to the hardware store or Wal-Mart, Home Depot, or Lowes and buy a product that’s hermetically sealed in those blasted blister packs. We curse them. Blister packs put up a great fight at actually getting to your purchase. You practically need a blade of some sort to win this fight. Some may use scissors but let’s face it. Scissors are very difficult at best to use to cut through the thickness of two layers of firm clear plastic WITH stiff paper board in between. This is where a knife comes in handy. You carefully push the sharp blade under one layer of firm clear plastic and gently liberate your item from its clear plastic imprisonment. Third case. So, after a busy week you decide to unwind by doing something nice for your wife/girlfriend and take her out to a nice restaurant to enjoy a nice meal. In this case let this be a nice steakhouse in town that you always wanted to try. You order the medium rare steak, and enjoy the nice conversation with your date, as you glance up occasionally to spot your waiter/waitress coming with your meals. After the food finally arrives, you dig in and cut the steak with what appears to be an overgrown tactical steak knife that accompanies the silverware supplied by the restaurant. There are serrations on the blade but they are dull at best. As you frustratingly and barbarically commit “meat murder” by ruthlessly sawing/scraping at your meat, you notice the juices that were contained inside your perfectly cooked steak are now bleeding out onto the plate and the meat is somewhat dry once you finally are able to get it to your mouth. My friends...no! This is not how you enjoy a steak! See, if you had your own pocket knife, things would be different. Using your own knife in a scenario like this is smart because you generally will maintain your own knife much better and therefore, cut into the steak with surgical precision You actually cut the meat and not squash-saw it. The juices remain inside the meat and therefore, this leads to enhanced enjoyment of your meal. It’s not that the chef cannot cook a steak properly - it’s because you failed miserably to carry your own pocketknife!

I could go on and on about more instances where carrying a pocketknife daily helps to make the more mundane things in life easier and more convenient. Regardless if it’s a Swiss Army Knife, small belt carry fixed blade, a tactical folder, or fixed blade hunter - carrying knives on a daily basis regardless of what activity we enjoy or line of work we are in - knives are tools first and foremost. They are man’s oldest tools. And remember - a proper man never opens boxes with a house key or finger-plow open mail. You are a modern man and you still need a daily carry knife! Shop the Spartan Blades website to select your new knife. Spartan Blades knives are expertly engineered and meticulously crafted in North Carolina, for those discerning gentlemen who emphasize quality. 

Dexter Ewing has over 25 years of experience as a knife collector and enthusiast. Currently serves as Field Editor for BLADE Magazine, focusing on articles relating to sharpening, factory knife trends, knife technology, and knife evaluations. He has served this role for close to 20 years. He is the owner Winston-Salem Knife Sharpening and is considered one of the nation’s authorities on the subject of sharpening and blade maintenance. He taught the inaugural “How to sharpen a Any Knife” at the International BLADE University in Atlanta Ga. He also specializes in sharpening for the medical research field, with some surgical tools.