GUNS Magazine June 2013 Digital Edition - Page 78

One Hand Only tiPs On “every day carry” knives frOM a knife knut. I John Connor mentioned a knife sharpener in last month’s column and it sparked a lot of questions—not about sharpeners, but about knives, mostly “every day carry” (eDC) pocket folders. As a certifiable Knife Knut, I’ll seize any opportunity to talk about them. So, at the risk of giving you more than you wanted to know, here goes! One hundred percent single-handed operation: You should be able to pull it out, open the blade to fullydeployed locked position, use it, unlock the blade, restore it to folded status and return it to your pocket using one hand only. The majority of your cutting chores may not require 1-handed operation, but it’s better to have that capability on tap than to need it and not have it. Long ago in a dicey situation I had only an Opinel folder, which required two hands to open, and locking the blade required twisting its collar. That nearly cost me injury or death, and it was the last time I carried it. Additionally, the knife should be stable and secure in your hand throughout that process. This is both The top two questions were what EDC knife I carry, and basically, what features and qualities I look for in such a knife. I can’t be very helpful on the former, because the knife I’ve carried virtually everyday for a decade hasn’t been made in several years. It’s a no-frills titanium frame-lock folder with an open-construction “flushable” frame, G10 grip inserts and a 3.75-inch blade of common 440C steel with some kind of durable black finish. It’s high quality, but not an exotic custom job. It’s perfect for me, maybe not for you— and there are others out there like it. I try, test, evaluate and write about lots of knives, and although none have replaced my EDC folder, I’ve picked up some points, which might help you in your search. Here’s what I look for: Here (left to right), are a frame-lock and a liner-lock with solid engagement; the liner-lock at right, ehhh… not so much. a function of the action/lock design and the dimensions and geometry of the knife. It’s something you can only determine with practical experimentation. If at any point in the process you don’t have a firm purchase on the knife and you may drop it, it’s not the knife for you. For me, most of the knives failing this test are too small from top to bottom (not length), and spring-loaded “assisted opening” designs. If they’re too small sideways in the hand, I can only grip them with the tips of three fingers as my thumb opens the blade, making it too easily dislodged. Generally, the body of a folder has to be at least 4.5 inches long and about 1 inch in height to be stable in my hand, with thickness— width side-to-side—being far less critical. If the design is both too slim and assisted-opening, the knife can tend to jump right out of my grasp. At least a dozen times people showing off their new folders to me have dropped ’em while trying to deploy or re-fold the blade one-handed. Try, try, TRY before you buy! aCtioNS: aCt, LoCkS: LoCk! Most lock-blade folders open using a thumbstud or “thumbhole,” a flipper, or both. With the first two, it’s all about the placement of the stud or hole, and your thumb! Test its appropriateness for you by repeatedly deploying the blade and asking yourself how surely and certainly it works for you, especially urgently or under stress. If it’s not sure and certain “dry,” it’s gonna be even less so when wet, muddy or bloody. I would also advise you against blades, which can too easily be flipped open centrifugally by flicking your wrist. Looks cool, but also tends to open itself in your pocket, with gaudy results. Flipper opening designs employ a projection on the blade, which protrudes upward when the knife is closed, and often functions as a fingerguard when it’s open. Just push down—and usually, slightly back— with your index finger while firmly holding the knife with thumb, middle and ring fingers, and voilà!—it opens. For most folks, this allows a firm grasp, and one that works well with assistedopening actions. In particular, lots of people with nerve damage or arthritis really like the flipper-assisted opening combination of features. 78 W W W. G U N S M AG A Z I N E . C O M • J U N E 2 0 1 3

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