In my recent My First Time post, I showed pictures of a little three-finger skinner knife I won. My chiropractor also has an interest in knives, especially the expensive Art Knives. I let him read my Knives Illustrated magazines after I am finished with them.
He also regularly reads my posts, so I knew that he had seen the photos of the knife, but the next time we went to see him, I took along the knife and sheath for him to handle. When I went to put it back in the night-table drawer it came out of, I took a close look, and realized how many odd knives I had tucked away over the years.
This is a hunter/skinner made by Queen Cutlery of Titusville PA. Knowing of my interest in knives, my Father picked this out at random at a flea market in Florida one winter.
Walking through a small park one day, I came upon this cheap Pakistani dagger just lying on the ground with no-one anywhere near. Ensuring that there was no blood on it, indicating that it wasn’t involved in a crime, I picked it up and brought it home.
This is the little kitchen/paring knife that the wife purchased at the Fall Knife Show in Detroit about two years ago. It came with the sheath, which hides in the drawer, but it resides in the knife block. Its blade is made of 5100 tool steel – the alloy that many ball bearings are made from. This one started as a 1 inch diameter ball. The extra-thick handle which helps the wife’s weak grip is Rosewood, and the belly of the blade makes cutting easier.
This knife is Japanese-made for the North American tourist trade. The brass handle is molded to show Indians hunting wolves from a canoe with a bow and arrow on one side, and a white explorer shooting moose on the other. Heavy as original sin, I wouldn’t want to carry it in a pocket, and it won’t take or hold an edge any better than the piece of Paki crap above.
This was sold as an ‘Airport Knife’ after 9/11. Made from rigid thermoplastic, it will not set off metal detectors. It has a flat ‘grind’ on one side only. One edge is plain, while the other has serrations. The circle at the haft has thumb-ridges to prevent slipping and increase control. While not razor-sharp, it will inflict a lot of damage.
This is a bartender’s knife, with a bottle opener, a lid pryer, a corkscrew, and a small blade for opening boxes and cutting seals and corks.
This is a small two-blade, advertising, pen knife. While this type of knife holds no interest for me, I have seen people’s collections with hundreds of brands on these things.
This is a trick knife. You can’t open it unless you know the secret. The blade has no thumb nick. Where the blade joins the handle, there is a small indent and a ball bearing. The blade closes as far as you see in the photo, then you invert it and squeeze it closed. The ball bearing rolls into the slot and locks the blade closed. Even if you can grasp it tightly enough, it will not release. Turn it up the other way and squeeze again, and it pops open.
This is a small box-cutter type knife. I should have photographed it next to a ruler, to show size. It’s about as big as your little finger. It has a plastic snap at the end of its lanyard, indicating it may have come on a carry-bag or piece of luggage, but after 9/11 it can’t fly on airplanes, even though it’s dangerous only to creatures smaller than a bumblebee. I think someone disconnected it and dropped it. I found it on a floor.
This is the smallest knife I own – even though it’s the wife’s. She got it at a Detroit knife show about five years ago, the first time we took the grandson with us. I was smart enough to photograph this one beside a ruler, and the Queen hunter, to show size, about an inch long, closed, with a chain and ring for wallet or key chain. This one is factory made. Some makers build miniatures, both straight knives and folders like this. They can be made from scrap pieces, but the amount of labor is at least as much as with a full-sized knife. They can cost as much as their big brothers, so there’s a small market for small knives.
This is a railway spike knife, and a spike like the one it was made from. They are sold as paperweights/letter openers, because the percentage of carbon in the steel is so low that, like the crap above, they won’t take or hold an edge. These weren’t hidden in the drawer. I keep them out on display. I have several other knives on display but….perhaps another day.