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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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Old 11-22-2016   #41
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I'm from East Kentucky where they issue pocket knives to each baby boy when freshly born. We grew up whittling and trading knives. The only times I've never had one in my pocket was when on an airplane.
About 12 years ago a dear friend made me a gift of a Benchmade #330S Gentleman's Knife. I carried it every day until last spring when I was in Ireland and needed to fish a hair out of the inside of my wife's camera. After I got it out I laid the knife down to put the camera back together and forgot it. I was really down about this as my friend had passed not long after he gave me the knife. It was, of curse, long discontinued and nearly impossible to find. After several months of searching I was able to buy one and now it's back in my pocket.
Think of the lucky bugger who found the one you lost, though!

Cheers,

R.
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Old 11-22-2016   #42
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Love knives, have had hundreds of them I guess, and lost all but a few.

A knife would be poor self defense, a stout stick would be tons better.

I have made a few of my own knives, shop bench knives, kitchen slicing knives. I even have a WWII trench knife I use for splitting spruce brace stock.
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Old 11-22-2016   #43
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I got a whittling knife as a child, learned to use it properly by making a few small cuts to my anatomy. I have given my grandchildren knives and taught them to use axes from when they were 5 or so, maybe younger.

In these parts you cannot carry a knife while out on a street, unless for some honourable purpose, such as being on your way out into the forest (and your attire would be sufficient witness to that).

It is interesting thet in the earliest written Icelandic (and in the unwritten Norwegian law at Gulating before year 921) it is specifically stated that although "Thralls" -enslaved workers- cannot hold property, they are entitled to their own knife.

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Old 11-22-2016   #44
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. . . In these parts you cannot carry a knife while out on a street, unless for some honourable purpose, such as being on your way out into the forest (and your attire would be sufficient witness to that). . . .
Not even a Leatherman or a Swiss Army knife?

So far today: repairing a cupboard; making a hole in some dungarees to insert an eyelet. Often: picnics. Sometimes: sharpening pencils. And lots more...

Cheers,

R.
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Old 11-22-2016   #45
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.. . I even have a WWII trench knife I use for splitting spruce brace stock.
If you want proper, big knives a WW2 Martindale machete is hard to beat. I have one that looks like this except that I also have the leather sheath. I bought it for 10/- over 50 years ago and it still beats everything else for splitting kindling.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 11-22-2016   #46
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I carry one of two Case knives, a Sod Buster or a Barehead Slimline Trapper, both with a CV blade. I cut my lime with it during cocktail hour, not much else the days. I carry it mostly by habit from when I spent a lot of time working in the woods and a knife came in handier then. I've always liked the yellow Delrin handled Case Knives. Carried a Trapper or a Medium Stockman for years, but prefer the lower profile of the Barehead these days.
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Old 11-22-2016   #47
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I always carry the following in my briefcase:

Swiss Army knife (in case I'm ever attacked by said Swiss Army)

X-Acto art knife with spare blades (great for cutting lightproofing materials for cameras, trimming materials, etc.)

and a Boker nonfolding tactical knife with 2" blade - dang sharp

with these and a small screwdriver set, I can fix/cut/slice almost anything.

I also carry two small flashlights, first aid gear including a combat tourniquet and bandages with blood-clotting agents in them (I work in a college - if there's ever a gunshot wound to treat by a shooting incident, I am ready), pens, pencils, mechanical pencil tin, notebooks, reading material, Olympus XA camera and Ilford HP5 film, a ruler, lunch, a water bottle, cell phone charger, signal mirror, signal whistle, Kleenex and a copper bracelet I wear from time to time.

My wife is a nurse and an Intermediate emergency medical technician, hence the gunshot wound kit - her idea, not mine, but I have to keep her happy, so I carry it. Be Prepared, as the Boy Scouts say - or as Allison says in The Breakfast Club "You never know when you gotta jam"

I live out in the boonies, so I always carry food, water and a sleeping bag in the car
 

Old 11-22-2016   #48
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Cameras, light meters, and pocket knives: these are my kryptonite.
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Old 11-22-2016   #49
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Here is a rare but not valuable pocket knife. This was developed during the VN war for use in the jungle. My neighbor gave it to me as he worked for Tropic Test, I don't know if they ever issued it to soldiers:

Tmax 100 HC-110h by John Carter, on Flickr
 

Old 11-22-2016   #50
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Here is a rare but not valuable pocket knife. This was developed during the VN war for use in the jungle. My neighbor gave it to me as he worked for Tropic Test, I don't know if they ever issued it to soldiers:

Tmax 100 HC-110h by John Carter, on Flickr
Oh yes. They issued those in survival kits, and survival vests while I was in the Army. I still have one I bought at the PX.
 

Old 11-22-2016   #51
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I always carry a pocket knife, except while traveling by air. I have a fairly large collection, but these days I mostly carry a Swiss Army knife, and a leatherman.

Something that I though of, for you Brits. The original version of the leatherman didn't have any locking blades. So, if you could find one, that is another choice. Come to think of it, neither does the SOG or Gerber versions.

I forgot to answer the original question... I've been carrying a pocket knife since grade school, when I was around 9 or 10. I got my first fixed blade knife when I was about 11 or 12. My Grandmother gave me my uncle's old boy scout knife, which was a Swedish Mora scout knife, with the full finger guard. I still have that one, along with most of the knives I've collected and used.
 

Old 11-22-2016   #52
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Someone here must have one of these

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Victorinox-S...gAAOSwXeJYDmRi

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Old 11-22-2016   #53
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I always carry a pocket knife, except while traveling by air. I have a fairly large collection, but these days I mostly carry a Swiss Army knife, and a leatherman.

Something that I though of, for you Brits. The original version of the leatherman didn't have any locking blades. So, if you could find one, that is another choice. Come to think of it, neither does the SOG or Gerber versions.
Also Spyderco makes several models without locking mechanism. I think they call that Slip Joint and they are designed with the UK market in mind.
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Old 11-22-2016   #54
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Sure do carry a pocket knife. A 70mm Old Timer. When I was working, I was something called a “Silviculturist,’ which is a specialty field in Forestry. If you’re going to work in the forest, you have to carry a pocket knife, they’re just such marvelous tools. Adjust the carburetor on your snowmobile? No problem. Blaze a tree so you know where you’ve walked? Easier yet. Adjust the magnetic declination on your compass? Sure. The list of uses goes on and on.

Now that I’m retired I still carry one in my pocket. Old habits die hard.

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Old 11-22-2016   #55
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I usually have a multi-purpose pen-knife when I'm out. Not for defence as it'd take me too long to get it out, unfold and then do the 'wavy-about-threaten' thing, the baddy/baddieis would've ripped my head off well before then. If they hadn't, I'd probably make the blade collapse on the fingers of my knife had and chop some off.
 

Old 11-22-2016   #56
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I have a bunch, but never really gave them too much thought. I have a little Vicky attached to my daily fob, so I always have one with me when on four wheels.
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Old 11-22-2016   #57
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My trench knife, I split spruce for guitar braces.


My work knife, always on the bench.
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Old 11-22-2016   #58
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I carry a Japanese Spyderco knife with a 4 inch blade and an Emerson clip for fast deploy. This is for self defense. I also carry a small Swiss Army knife that has built in pen and a flashlight, all of which comes in handy. Grrrrrr.
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Old 11-22-2016   #59
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Old Schrade lockback working around the place, I also just bought a knife from a knifemaker in Nova Scotia while touring on my motorcycle.

Defense with a knife? Hmm. I do have better options..
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Old 11-22-2016   #60
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I have bought a number of pocket knives, over the years, and I have found that I am best served by the smaller models capable of more cutting finesse. I also prefer knife blades made of carbon steel. A single blade is usually adequate, but I also have knives with two and three blades.

I got my first pocket knife when I was seven. My father said I had to wait until I was eight, but my mother allowed a family friend to give me a knife ahead of time.

I must admit that it has never occurred to me to photograph my knives, though I do see some potential in the idea.

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Old 11-22-2016   #61
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First pocket knife at ten years old (Washingtonians don't come of age nearly as young as Kentuckians.) and carried one off and on ever since. Right now it is an MC-2 unless I go out of state then it is a Leatherman. I have indeed stabbed a person with a knife. In 1957 or thereabouts my buddy and I were having a sword fight ala the Three Musketeers or some such. Luckily it was just a pin prick. Times change. The sword fight happened during recess. When the teacher found out about it he simply looked at the two of us with his hands out. When we deposited our knives therein he told us we could get them back at the end of the year and that was the end of it.
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Old 11-22-2016   #62
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I took up iaido a couple of years ago, iaido being the "art of drawing the sword" in other words, a form of Japanese martial art which concentrates on drawing and cutting in smooth and flowing motion to defend against attack.

I also decided it would be nice to make my own swords - albeit from purchased parts which are now readily available on the internet. This includes sword blades which vary from being cheap and nasty to being quite well made (you do get what you pay for). While not up to the standard of the wonderful antique Nihonto (original Japanese blades made in the traditional manner) they are not too bad given their purpose and price. An interesting aside is that sword blades now available include what we would call damascus (layered) steel which has some similarity in appearance at least to the steel originally used by the Japanese (called tamahagene steel) . Also this modern steel is now often traditionally tempered to produce a beautiful wavy temper line or "hamon" back from the blade's edge. The hamon shows where the softer and more springy steel in the back part of the blade becomes the much harder more crystalline steel of the blade's edge.

Building a sword in this manner requires considerable research to get it right and some familiarity with both metal working and woodworking techniques. It also requires learning how to use modern equivalents of traditional Japanese lacquer and how to perform the handle wrapping properly.

Here is the partially complete sword in its recently lacquered saya (i.e. scabbard) with its tsuka (handle) wrapped in samagawa (ray skin) awaiting its final wrapping of ito (silk braid)



Here I am performing the wrapping of the tsuka in silk braid over samagawa. This technique is quite tricky to master as when finished the result must not only look beautiful but also be highly functional which means the braid must be tight and not slip when the sword is used. There are very specific techniques to achieve this.In this sample I am using perhaps the simplest of the various styles of wrap commonly performed in the traditional manner.

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Old 11-22-2016   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
Here is a rare but not valuable pocket knife. This was developed during the VN war for use in the jungle. My neighbor gave it to me as he worked for Tropic Test, I don't know if they ever issued it to soldiers:

Tmax 100 HC-110h by John Carter, on Flickr
I have one of those that rest in a canvas belt case with paracord on one end. Cool little knife. My first knife I carried as a kid was an old Barlow. Then graduated up to a Case Sodbuster. Sharp as a razor. Now my EDC is a 2 3/4" Camillus Titanium. Not an expensive knife but stays sharp. I have some nice Arkansas stones to keep all my knifes sharp. Also have a Kabar USMC knife I use when hiking.
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Old 11-22-2016   #64
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I took up iaido a couple of years ago, iaido being the "art of drawing the sword" in other words, a form of Japanese martial art which concentrates on drawing and cutting in smooth and flowing motion to defend against attack.

I also decided it would be nice to make my own swords - albeit from purchased parts which are now readily available on the internet. This includes sword blades which vary from being cheap and nasty to being quite well made (you do get what you pay for). While not up to the standard of the wonderful antique Nihonto (original Japanese blades made in the traditional manner) they are not too bad given their purpose and price. An interesting aside is that sword blades now available include what we would call damascus (layered) steel which has some similarity in appearance at least to the steel originally used by the Japanese (called tamahagene steel) . Also this modern steel is now often traditionally tempered to produce a beautiful wavy temper line or "hamon" back from the blade's edge. The hamon shows where the softer and more springy steel in the back part of the blade becomes the much harder more crystalline steel of the blade's edge.

Building a sword in this manner requires considerable research to get it right and some familiarity with both metal working and woodworking techniques. It also requires learning how to use modern equivalents of traditional Japanese lacquer and how to perform the handle wrapping properly.

Here is the partially complete sword in its recently lacquered saya (i.e. scabbard) with its tsuka (handle) wrapped in samagawa (ray skin) awaiting its final wrapping of ito (silk braid)



Here I am performing the wrapping of the tsuka in silk braid over samagawa. This technique is quite tricky to master as when finished the result must not only look beautiful but also be highly functional which means the braid must be tight and not slip when the sword is used. There are very specific techniques to achieve this.In this sample I am using perhaps the simplest of the various styles of wrap commonly performed in the traditional manner.

Save
aSave
Save
Save

Save
Save
Beautiful work! I just have to tell this story after reading what you wrote. Around 1992, I lived in PA, and became a member (only members could make purchases) of the "Cut and Thrust Gallery" in Kutztown, PA. They closed years ago. One day that I showed up they had made a recent purchase of a junky looking Japanese sword, in olive military furnishings. They were selling it for I think $125. I didn't have an interest in Japanese swords at the time.

What the owners told me, and showed me, was that it was cheap because someone had a name acid etched into the blade, "Dragon Slayer." So, everyone figured it was one of those junky blades made for the war, or after. But, on further inspection, after purchasing it, and removing all the furnishings, the blade was an original from the Tokugawa era. The blade was in near perfect conditions, except for the etching, and a few light nicks. I kick myself in the butt for not buying it, and of course the gallery is closed and nobody knows where the owners went.
 

Old 11-22-2016   #65
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I always wanted a Damascus steel pocket knife..or a nice Japanese knife with a great Hamon line..
Never got around to it..
Just the Micro on my keychain that goes everywhere..great lil gizmo..
 

Old 11-22-2016   #66
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I think I was the last generation of kids carrying "Higo" folding craft knives to elementary school back in Japan, before "what if they cut themselves or stab others" mindset took over and banned from schools. I remember I had to sharpen my pencils with Higo knife myself when I was 6 or 7.
I carry a higo daily. They're the best!
 

Old 11-22-2016   #67
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Beautiful work! I just have to tell this story after reading what you wrote. Around 1992, I lived in PA, and became a member (only members could make purchases) of the "Cut and Thrust Gallery" in Kutztown, PA. They closed years ago. One day that I showed up they had made a recent purchase of a junky looking Japanese sword, in olive military furnishings. They were selling it for I think $125. I didn't have an interest in Japanese swords at the time.

What the owners told me, and showed me, was that it was cheap because someone had a name acid etched into the blade, "Dragon Slayer." So, everyone figured it was one of those junky blades made for the war, or after. But, on further inspection, after purchasing it, and removing all the furnishings, the blade was an original from the Tokugawa era. The blade was in near perfect conditions, except for the etching, and a few light nicks. I kick myself in the butt for not buying it, and of course the gallery is closed and nobody knows where the owners went.


Yep, I would kick myself too.

But you should read the story of the "Honjo Masamune" Katana blade. Now there is something to kick yourself about.

http://www.ancient-origins.net/artif...d-power-005807

The Honjo Masamune sword is regarded as one of the most beautiful and historically significant Japanese blades ever made. It was owned by the ruling Tokugawa family for hundreds of years and after WW2 at the command of the US occupying forces was, together with other swords, turned in to the authorities for destruction on order of General MacArthur. From whence it disappeared although records of the time state that it was signed for by a US 8th Army Sergeant named “Coldy Bimore”. No one of that name existed so it is likely a transliteration error from the Japanese records into English. The Japanese records have since disappeared too and to make matter more confusing a fire in the US Personnel records office in the 1970s wiped out 80% of historical records of US Army personnel. One report says the transliteration is also given as "Gunso (rank) Koridie Beimo“.

Shortly after the blade was turned in, the requirement to turn in historical and art swords in private collections was reversed (and afterwards the destruction order was clarified to only apply to cheap military swords, with private collections of art swords being exempt) and had the family delayed even a few weeks it might still be in their hands.

The rumor is that it was never destroyed but was taken home by some lucky but unknowledgeable US soldier (presumably "Gunso Koridie Beimo“) and may still sit forgotten and neglected in some mid-west barn or attic.

I even read one report that a Technical Sergeant by the name of D.B.Moore did serve in the occupying army in Japan at that time and that this man's nick name was "Col", hence providing a name sounding like "Col DB Moore". He is now dead but the report says his family was unwilling to talk when contacted. hmmmmmmmmmm.

http://ericwrites.com/?p=500

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Old 11-22-2016   #68
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Zero Tolerance ZT0566 Hinderer with Elmax blade.
 

Old 11-22-2016   #69
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Nontron and Laguiole knives.
Typical peasant's tools of the old days. Still made nowadays.
The one with a corkscrew is called "jambe de femme" woman's leg...





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Old 11-23-2016   #70
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Knives as working tools? Great.

Knives as historical artefacts and cultural items? Lovely.

Knife culture in general? Yuk.

Maybe it's a generational and/or cultural thing, but I find the idea of carrying a knife very unattractive. I can see how it's practical if you're going camping in the woods or whatever, but carrying a blade as a matter of course when walking the streets is completely retarded. In that context they're nothing more than silly macho status symbols, like those god-awful gold medallions blokes wore in the 80's.

I can't see how it's something to be encouraged, particularly amongst younger people. I'm sick and tired of seeing dead kids on the news.
 

Old 11-23-2016   #71
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not in my pocket, but ready for use:
opinel avec tire-bouchon at home
opinel carbonne no. 8 at the office (drawer)

carrying a knife all the time feels weird since i am older than 14.
carrying a camera all the time is what i prefer ever since.
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Old 11-23-2016   #72
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More peaceful in these parts. I doubt if anyone beyond perhaps a small criminal minority would think of a knife as a means of defence - but the ban on knives carried in public (except for hikers, hunters, foresters etc) was introduced to avoid misuse. As to whether the ban applies to pocket knives- I doubt it, but do not know.

Traditional knife steel here in Norway, maybe everywere else too, was laminated; a core of high-carbon enables a sharp edge, a "wrap" of softer steel around this core remove the danger of breakage. The transition between the two types of steel (when looking at the side of the blade) can be seen all the way along the edge (halfways out on the sharpening-slope between the body of the blade a millimeter or two up from the cutting edge). I have not thought about photographs of this, but assume that a polarising filter might be useful to adjust reflections from blade versus edge.

Some famous blacksmiths reputedly made their own steel using iron-rust deposits from swamps plus charcoal, but one smith I once bought a knifeblade from preferred to start the process using old Ford truck springs.

The makers initial or stamp can usually be found near the handle.

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Old 11-23-2016   #73
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.. . carrying a blade as a matter of course when walking the streets is completely retarded. . . . .
Carrying a Leatherman and/or a Swiss Army Knife is "completely retarded"?

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Trimming a sticking plaster? Cutting a piece of string? Tightening a loose screw? Opening a bottle of wine at a picnic? Cutting a slice of sausage at the same picnic? Sharpening a pencil? Slicing open a parcel? Trimming one's fingernails, or indeed moustache? Picking a lock (I can't find the key to my mailbox)? Sawing through a small piece of wood? Holding something in a pair of pliers? Opening a can? Picking a piece of the aforementioned sausage out of one's teeth? (Along with the tweezers and pen, one of the small removable tools on my Swiss Army Champ is a toothpick.) Opening a crown-cork bottle? Changing a fuse?

Sure, to carry a separate tool for each of these purposes would be entirely feasible. It would also be (to use your rather unsavoury phrase) "completely retarded". Or do you live only in an electronic world of mobile phones, tablets and laptops, where actual physical reality never intrudes? And how do I have my Swiss Army knife or Leatherman to hand if I don't carry them on the street? Perhaps you are better at teleportation than I.

Cheers,

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Old 11-23-2016   #74
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I don't really carry it everyday, but when I travel, I always have with me my multipurpose Leatherman CS4 (to uncork a wine bottle or be able to perform a small repair...)
 

Old 11-23-2016   #75
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Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Carrying a Leatherman and/or a Swiss Army Knife is "completely retarded"?
I suppose he alluded to the knife culture segment buying all these "tactical stealth throat cutters" advertised by knife sellers...

Where I would have to agree. Knives are excellent for cutting bread, sausages, cheese or paper. But they never have been a particularly good tool for self defence, being best used from behind on a unsuspecting victim (which is not really what defence is about).
 

Old 11-23-2016   #76
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Originally Posted by aad View Post
Defense with a knife? Hmm. I do have better options..
Yes I, also, have better options, too.
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Old 11-23-2016   #77
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Just picked this up.



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Old 11-23-2016   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Carrying a Leatherman and/or a Swiss Army Knife is "completely retarded"?

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Trimming a sticking plaster? Cutting a piece of string? Tightening a loose screw? Opening a bottle of wine at a picnic? Cutting a slice of sausage at the same picnic? Sharpening a pencil? Slicing open a parcel? Trimming one's fingernails, or indeed moustache? Picking a lock (I can't find the key to my mailbox)? Sawing through a small piece of wood? Holding something in a pair of pliers? Opening a can? Picking a piece of the aforementioned sausage out of one's teeth? (Along with the tweezers and pen, one of the small removable tools on my Swiss Army Champ is a toothpick.) Opening a crown-cork bottle? Changing a fuse?

Sure, to carry a separate tool for each of these purposes would be entirely feasible. It would also be (to use your rather unsavoury phrase) "completely retarded". Or do you live only in an electronic world of mobile phones, tablets and laptops, where actual physical reality never intrudes? And how do I have my Swiss Army knife or Leatherman to hand if I don't carry them on the street? Perhaps you are better at teleportation than I.

Cheers,

R.
Roger, I'm a big fan of your's and respect you as a photographer and writer, but I really think you have it dead wrong with this one. Frankly, it disturbs me to see knives being promoted on this forum as something to admire, collect or routinely carry. It's fine to cite all the amazing things that you can do with a multi-tool device (and I agree they are useful and I probably have one in a drawer somewhere), but I strongly believe it's a slippery slope with knives. Carrying a Swiss Army knife normalises the idea that it's okay to walk out the door with a lockable fold-out blade. Then it becomes okay to carry a serrated hunting knife etc. When children see adults carrying knives they think it's okay to do the same:

"It's cool because Uncle Roger carries one and says it's really useful...so I'll put my pen knife in my school bag this morning. Uncle Roger says it will come in handy if I need to cut a piece of string or sharpen a pencil...and it will scare that big bully who pushes me around every day."

I'll forego ever being able to sharpen a pencil or trim my fingernails on a street corner (who does that?) if it stops things like this happening:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-38073539

(reported just an hour ago)

No, I don't live in a world of electronic devices where physical reality doesn't intrude. I was brought up in a rough part of Lancashire in the 70's and spent my youth listening to vinyl (which I still do), playing in the fields and riding the streets on my bike. At the weekend I headed in to Manchester to buy records and was occasionally harassed, chased and thumped by lads from Rusholme, Moss Side or some other Manc hell-hole. I had plenty of experience of the 'real world' then thanks. I know exactly what it feels like to be chased through the streets by very scary lads who earlier tried to mug me of my records and pocket money, and flashed a blade as a show of force. I know what it feels like to wonder whether I'm going to feel it in my back any second. I know what it feels like to dive into a shop and hope to god there is a security guard on the door who doesn't let the two psychos in, then stand inside for hours frightened to death to leave in the dark.

Do you know how that feels Roger? I truly hope you don't, but lots of kids walking the streets in the UK know EXACTLY what that's like. So please don't promote knives on here.
 

Old 11-23-2016   #79
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Originally Posted by FujiLove View Post
So please don't promote knives on here.
I'm really puzzled that this Roger's thread is considered as "knives promotion". Sharing stories (and pictures - on photography site) is closer to a "survey" category rather than "promotion"...
 

Old 11-23-2016   #80
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Political correctness rears its head again. If you don't agree with something, then it is obviously wrong and cannot be talked about. Hear we are promoting violence with knives. My god, next we will be promoting guns of all things! (not).
 
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