posted by Matt W on February 15th, 2012

I used a knife for the first time and got my first scar within minutes of each other. I borrowed one of my dad’s knifes to whittle on my soapbox derby for scouts and proceeded to fillet my index finger. “When using a knife son, you always want to make sure you have the rest of your body behind the knife blade.” Wise words indeed dad, that might have been more helpful 15 seconds ago. Truth be told, it was pretty cool to cut myself at scouts, and I can’t even see the scar these days without my reading glasses.

About a year later, my grandfather took me down into his workshop and opened a huge drawer and said “You can pick any one you want.” My grandfather was an elementary school principal in the Seattle school district for 40 years. Over the course of those years, he had confiscated numerous things but mainly knifes from kids stupid enough to take them out of their pockets in front of an adult. I was looking at a drawer representing 40 years of a principal’s work.  There were hundreds. I picked a beautiful, pearl handled 2 bladed knife. One long blade that came to a nice point the other shorter blade had a blunt nose. It was very cool. For a full 5 seconds, I felt sorry for the kid that had this beauty taken from him. To this day, if there were one thing from my childhood that I would like to have back it would probably be that knife.

Later on as an adult, my dad and I were hanging out with his uncle and he said that every time he and his dad, my great-grandfather, got together over the years they traded knifes. He had a knife in his pocket that he carried to remember his dad after he passed away. What a cool family tradition. So my dad and I decided to do that as well. My dad had some really cool knifes and as I usually carried a Swiss army knife on my keychain I thought this could be quite beneficial to me over time. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The next time we saw each other, my father had a beautiful old knife of his father’s in his pocket. I, on the other hand, had forgotten to put a knife in my pocket because it was Thanksgiving, and I had to deal with three little kids who in true holiday spirit were driving their mother crazy. With nothing to trade, I lost out on the beautiful old Buck in my dad’s pocket. Every time after that, I had a nice new work knife in my pocket and he had a dinky Swiss army knife in his pocket. And while I still have a nice Swiss army money clip knife, I definitely got the short end of the knife stick. After 9/11, we no longer carried our knifes everywhere we went, and certainly not on plane trips, so the tradition died out.

I currently carry a Leatherman knife, most of the time, with just a good sharp 3” blade and a Standard and Phillips head screwdriver. It’s a good solid knife that sharpens really well.  Despite donating three of that model to the TSA, I still like to have a knife in my pocket, just in case.

File Under Jack of all Trades