For Want of a Pocket Knife

I’ve carried a pocket knife, of some sort, for ever. Probably over 20 years. The most recent knife that I’ve carried has been the small, Swiss Army style knife. I decided that I wanted something more traditional, besides, all I ever seemed to use was the blade anyway. So I kept my eyes open, looking for just the right one. I don’t really like tactical knives and wanted something small to fit in my pocket.

buck mini trapperI found it in a Buck Mini Trapper. It has a great look, has a nice heft in my hand. It just feels right. My only complaint, it’s made in China (much like everything these days, but that’s another post). Other than that, it’s a great knife. The first weekend I had it, I wandered around the house looking for excuses to slice open stuff with it. I couldn’t wait until the mail arrived.

My father collects vintage pocket knives. His main criteria; it has to have USA stamped on it somewhere. He favors the old Bucks and Uncle Henry knives. He pulled out his collection to show me some of his finds he’s picked up along the way. He’s got some great old knives.

kabar pocket knifeHe handed me an old Kabar that was my great uncle’s and told me it’s mine. Wow! I have a soft spot for Kabar as I have one of their military knives and have been jonesing for one of their hunting blades. The pocket knife is in great shape and it’s almost delicate in it’s feel. It’s very slim with 2 blades. But it’s rugged, it’s survived at least 40 some years and still holds a great edge.

Dad and I recently went on a scavenging trip down to a couple of small towns in Southern Kansas. We visited an antique shop and a couple of pawn shops. He found a Schrade Old Timer in the antique shop that he liked and the proprietor gave him a good deal on it. I thought about picking up one of the 2 Buck’s there, but changed my mind.

old timer pocket knifeI did, however, score a great deal on a Schrade Old Timer with 3 blades at the first pawn shop, nabbing it for a song (much to my dad’s dismay). I asked if he’d take $5 for it. The owner screwed up his mouth a bit and said $8. Deal! Guess it never hurts to ask huh? The blades are sharp and the knife is in great shape. It just needs a little bit of cleaning up. That was just too good a deal to pass up.

I really don’t know the value of any of these pocket knives, probably can’t really be measured. But I’ve caught my dad’s bug for them. I guess it’s due to my nostalgia for vintage these days and looking back to things lost. These knives were built to last, made in a time when you kept things and fixed them when they broke. Not like the throwaway world we live in now. But there’s just something about these old knives, something about the look and feel of them. It’s almost like you can feel the history in them.

So how many of you carry a pocket knife out there? If you do, what kind?

6 Replies to “For Want of a Pocket Knife”

  1. Hi. I like to carry close the same Old Timer(the one on the last picture). Is one of the few little material elements of his heritage and solid memory. Familiar things aside, same, or very similar, emotions when you handle, or when you stare and fly away in details and cares to the object. Really nice to find another in the same emo/fisic/historical escenario. Respect.

  2. Excuse a question…how much do you think it takes in the market that last Old Timer with three blades, in goog shape, made in U.S.A, using american steel and with leather original sheath???…it’s curiosity, i find very hard to set a value in terms of money. Respect…again.

    1. Hey Carlos, thanks for the comments. Not sure what that particular Old Timer is valued. I’ve seen them for $10 and up. When I’ve looked up prices before, I’ve taken the numbers found on the blade and then looked through eBay to see what people are paying for them.

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