I have quite a few multi-tools and pocket knives, about enough to change it up on a daily basis for two weeks if I so desired. However, I found myself without any of my normal EDC tools last week. No multi-tool, no knife, not even a keychain tool. No biggie, right? I could go a few hours without a cutting implement.
And then I needed a knife blade. The task was simple – slice open some plastic packaging and cut through plastic strapping. I was able to complete the task, but it took soooooo long, and it was incredibly frustrating.
At that moment, I wouldn’t have cared which knife I had on me, I just needed something. I was lucky that I didn’t have to backtrack home to pick up a tool or knife, and that my empty pocket was only a mild annoyance.
Too often I care about having the right tool for the job, a multi-tool with the best features, and pocket knife with no compromising features. But when I was stuck having to improvise, I realized once again that it doesn’t matter what type of steel a blade is formed from or the way a handle is designed. Grind profile, blade shape, partially-serrated vs. plain edge, liner lock vs. lockback. None of these factors matter if you leave your tool at home.
Of course I am over simplifying things. Many knife design considerations do make a difference for regular users and in emergency or survival conditions. But if you’re a casual utility user like myself, it is important to have any knife rather than no knife at all. That said, I’m putting a mini tool back on my keychain, just in case. Better to have it as a backup and not need it than to need it and not have it…
I know I’m not the only one who sometimes gets carried away, and that the same thing can happen to enthusiasts of all kinds. Reminders like this help me appreciate the very inexpensive knives and multi-tools I used back before my budget started to grow. A premium tool or knife means nothing (unless you’re primarily a collector) if it’s at home when you need to use it.