I've been thinking lately about this subject. Sure, to most people a knife is just a knife, nothing more. To me, knives are a way of life (a big part of my life anyway), and the different styles and kinds of knives are endless. If I were a rich man, I'm sure I'd have more knives that I could even count. I like many different kinds, but I have an overriding style preference that comes out in my own knife choices. Take a look at some of my most-used knives.
Boker Plus Jim Wagner Reality-Based Blade, folding with serrated edge and tanto point
Boker Plus Jim Wagner Reality-Based Blade Urban Survival
CRKT K.I.S.S. in the Dark, straight edge
Gerber EVO Jr.
See a pattern? They're functional! (And black, if at all possible.) I love each of them and have specific uses for each one.
The massive Jim Wagner one is practically an extension of my own body, it's almost always with me and she is my trusty sidekick. I decided to spend the $100 on this one for one reason only--I wanted a knife I could trust my life, and the lives of my loved ones with (without breaking my budget--my first choice, Kelly McCann's $400 Blackhawk design, was far out of my pricerange--and another contender at the time, Boker's Applegate-Fairbairn knives, were nixed because they were fixed blades--preferable to me but legally more difficult to carry). This was my choice, and I've never spent a better $100, let me tell you! A heavy, sturdy workhorse is all I can call this baby (and I could go on and on...but I won't, for your sakes! ;-D). Stylistically, it's a beautiful masterpiece that suits my tastes very, very well. I went with the folding knife (and not the fixed blade) largely due to legal issues, the serrations because I love them and prefer them practically, and the tanto point, well, because I love tanto points!
The smaller Jim Wagner, although in my opinion too short (too short to be a pen and particularly too short for my hands--two-handed opening is therefore necessary because of this, a tactical negative), is still a useful back-up for situations when a heavy, bulky knife is hard to carry (in such situations, for me this knife is filling the gap voided by the lack of the above knife and therefore is in use as a self-defense weapon). Extra props that it can be much more convincing as a pen than my other Wagner knife (they come with either glass breaker or pen cap tips, removable and interchangeable).
The CRKT money clip knife was something I knew I just had to have the first time I laid eyes on it. It's an amazing little work of art, my only quibble being that the clip is so tight that it's hard to get things under it (I suppose that's better than dropping your cash!). I opted for no serrations, even though I usually prefer them, due to the fact that the kind of use and carry this knife would be dealing with, I thought a non-snagging smooth edge would be a bit more efficient.
When I went about deciding what knife would fill the void I'd been having trouble with--namely, the void of a tool that was relatively inexpensive yet still high-quality (nice enough for me to want to carry it but not so pricey as for me not to use it for every dirty task I find it useful in), I went to Gerber. Perhaps not the most prized knives in all the world, but my experience with them has been nothing but pleasing. I chose the EVO Jr. for a few reasons. It was a folder, not a fixed blade like the Midi-scale (and therefore easier to carry), it wasn't a tanto point (I decided a tanto point wouldn't be ideal for tool usage in this particular case even considering my undying love of them), and it wasn't nearly as big as the original EVO. Perfect to slip in my already-packed left pocket as a tool-only knife (my right pocket being occupied by my self-defense knife).
And last but not least, the Spyderco Firebyrd! Marvelous in concept and efficient enough in execution, the plus-side of going after a member of the Byrd line from Spyderco is that you don't have to pay the expensive prices that normal Spyderco blades run for. True, the quality is a little less, but I have no big issues with this knife. My only quibble is that the blade does not lock--not too good if you're going to be risky with your fingers, but fine if you're careful with what and how you're cutting; I understand the difficulty of attempting to work in a locking mechanism in what is already a bulky design. But come on, who doesn't want to carry fire and cold steel in one package?
My next knife purchase will likely be this hard-looking little charmer girl. I'm planning on getting the survival kit attachments, and can anyone guess what color I'll snag?
So you see, you can tell a lot about people through their choices in knives! How "Spencerian" were the paragraphs above? Intensely so!
Come on, now, I have to ask you all to humor me for just a little while. I'm dying to know, really I am! What kind of knife would you choose? If you have one, what is it? Do you like it? Would you replace it with one that better suits your needs? If you don't have one, what would you go for first?
For the purposes of this study, let's forget about prices and all that and just tell me what you would use and what you like. I promise, it'll be fun! So do me this little favor, and make this blogger happy by making this post a success!
If you need the help, here's just a few knifemakers off the top of my head. Browse, and comment with a link to your favorites (as many or as few as you like)! (Please note, while I assume all of them provide good quality blades, I can only speak for a few models from even fewer companies, so this is not an endorsement.)
Victorinox Swiss Army
Let the games begin!