Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife vs. a Utility Knife?

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Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife to Open Boxes?

By Bryan Black

Pocket Utility Knives 00

Utility Knife, Box Cutter, Razor Blade Knife, whatever you call them, today I’m going to discuss why I’ve started carrying one around with me daily and why I stopped using my EDC knife to open boxes.

A few years back, I was in a class with Jeff Gonzales and something he said really hit home for me. He mentioned that the knife he carries is for defensive purposes only, he doesn’t use it to open mail, cut a piece of rope, or open a box. It stays sharp and unused so that he always knows he has a sharp knife at the ready.

This was pretty eye opening, as I’d been using my daily carry knife to open boxes for quite awhile. I knew I was using the blade and that was ok with me. It would have to be sharpened from time to time, but I didn’t care much about how I was dulling it with daily tasks. I admit when I got busy, a long time would go by in between sharpening sessions and I became complacent with how sharp my knife stayed.

While this might not seem like a big deal to you, it wasn’t for me either until Jeff opened my eyes. I had a serious conversation with myself and honestly answered the question “If I have to use my knife for it’s intended purpose, will it be sharp enough to do the job? Until I started carrying a pocket sized box cutter, I couldn’t answer that question with anything other than a no. Granted, a knife can be a stabbing implement and even a dull pencil can work for that purpose. However, I don’t carry a knife to only be as good as a pencil.

Pocket Utility Knives

In searching for a backup for my EDC Knife, I’ve been trying out a couple of different types of pocket utility knives over the past few months and I wanted to share my thoughts here with how they’ve been working for me. Again, the purpose here is to use a utility knife to open boxes and for other utility related tasks; not my knife.

A few features I’ve grown fond of with these pocket utility knives are ease of use, small form factor and easy blade replacement. I think first and foremost size and weight come into play. My requirements are that it has to easily slip into a pocket, it can’t weigh too much and it has to use a common utility razor blade available at any hardware store.

What really sold me on carrying one of these was traveling. You can simply remove the blade, carry this on a plane and then pick up a new blade when you get to your destination. Easy! Here’s a few different pocket utility knives I’ve been evaluating. I’m not sold on any one in particular and each has its positives and negatives.

Gerber EAB Pocket Knife

Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife to Open Boxes?

Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife to Open Boxes?

The Gerber/Fiskars EAB (Exchange A Blade) Pocket Knife is my most recent acquisition. The sleek stainless steel industrial manufacturing and liner-lock folder design really sold me. That and the fact it’s only about $10 on Amazon. However, its downside is how slick it is. Meaning that when clipped into a pocket with the integrated clip, it’s so slick it can be tough to get a good purchase on. This is a testament to the clip though, it’s a good one and better than some pocket knives I own. It can also double as a money clip, but I haven’t used it like that.

Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife to Open Boxes?

Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife to Open Boxes?

Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife to Open Boxes?

Once you do get it out of your pocket, it also takes some practice to be able to open it one-handed. The setscrew that holds the blade in acts as a thumb stud to open it up and does a better job as a setscrew than a thumb stud. The weight is also over double of the other two pocket utility knives featured in this article. It weighs 2.4 oz. with the blade installed and is made in China.

Screwpop Utility Knife

Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife to Open Boxes?

I also have a Screwpop Utility Knife and it takes the prize for the noisiest of the three. The blade in the closed position rattles quite a bit due to more space than necessary. I may be wrong, but from what I can find, utility knife blades are a universal length and I feel that this design could have avoided the rattling by altering the design by 1/16th of an inch. It certainly wouldn’t take much. I hate to start out my thoughts on this with a negative, but there it is. I do like that’s it’s also around $10 though.

Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife to Open Boxes?

Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife to Open Boxes?

The Screwpop Utility Knife is made from stainless steel and adjusted by a lever mechanism that’s lifted and set into the groves at the top of a utility knife blade. With some practice this can be done one-handed and is easier to manipulate in this way than the Gerber EAB is. The front of the device also features a bottle opener that works pretty well for that purpose.

Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife to Open Boxes?

A large brass eyelet at the back of the knife can be used to attach the knife to a keychain if desired and the entire unit with a blade weighs just 0.8 oz. While it’s not available on the Screwpop website, I believe this is made overseas.

Rexford Knives RUT

Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife to Open Boxes?

Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife to Open Boxes?

To round out my acquired pocket utility knives, I also picked up a Rexford Knives RUT. This is by far my favorite of the three, but significantly more expensive due to being made from titanium by a reputable custom knife maker. They run about $135 at Blade HQ, but I’ve found it to be the most versatile pocket utility knife. It weight 1 oz. and is super simple to operate one-handed, but allow me to explain. You press a tab on the spine of the RUT to the side, which releases the mechanism that locks in the utility knife blade.

Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife to Open Boxes?

Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife to Open Boxes?

This action is the same to move the blade out to use it and to replace it, meaning that if you let gravity carry the blade too far it will fall out when you’re pressing this tab. I’ve found it easy to hold the RUT directly above what I’m wanting to cut and then pressing the tab. If the blade is close enough to the cutting surface you can use it to get the blade to the right length to allow the liner-lock tab to catch the utility knife blade in the right spot to lock it open. When you’re finished, just point it towards the sky, press the tab and the blade falls back into the closed position.

Why Are You Using a Defensive Knife to Open Boxes?

There’s also a bottle opener and a flat head screwdriver that doubles as a pry bar (probably not officially though) I’ve found it very useful for a lot of things, including a flat head screwdriver. There is a slight rattle of the utility knife blade inside the titanium RUT housing, but nothing compared to the Screwpop. I don’t hear it at all rattling around in my pocket like I do the other.

Wrap Up

In typical fashion, the more expensive device outperformed the less expensive ones, but that’s not to say its just because of price. There were also more features and better craftsmanship on the Rexford RUT. I’m not 100% sold on any of these yet; my search continues.

Are you carrying a pocket utility knife? If so, what do you carry?

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Discussion

  • RagingRoosevelt

    From the product description at amazon, it looks like the screwpop is supposed to have a backup blade in it as well?  That might explain why it rattles around so much.

    • norseman

      RagingRoosevelt has it right. The Screwpop was designed to carry a backup blade, thus eliminating the rattle mentioned in the article. Plus you have a backup blade: only knife in the group with its own backup blade.

  • Rich_Kolb

    Before I started wearing nicer clothes to work I carried an older version of one of these:
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-Medium-Dual-Knife-008-120-HKY/202057248?N=5yc1vZc21pZrdZ1z0syhj
    It was nice because it had both blades, the razor for everyday tasks, and a larger blade if I needed it. It seems that the one I own isn’t available anymore, I have a blade on each end. If I could keep it in my dress pants and not have it show I’d still carry it.

  • Kris_Shafer

    I recently got a “Lightning” Chinese OTF knife and I strop it on my straight razor strop nearly every day. The Steel is good quality, and by making a habit of stropping it always stays nearly razor sharp.

  • Ivanka7

    I’ve carried the Gerber EAB for years for that exact reason. It’s amazing how dull blade will become (even a good one) after opening just a few packages. It’s a small piece of insurance that my Benchmade is able to open arteries if I ever needed it too. I don’t care if it can open a box.

  • Joe Doe

    open boxes, cut steak, etc

  • Bruce Evermont Williams

    Pretty cool, I just use nicer steels for my edc knives that have good edge retention. I don’t mind sharpening as needed. One less thing in the pocket.

  • Mateo Tater Espinosa

    Ya I buy all around steels none of that China copy’s or car spring blades. A good s30v will clean up decently quick on a stone and hold it too. I save my pretty ones or the dressy days. Other than that my edc should be a workhorse and defensive tool.

  • CookieandTom Rader

    You can also swap out the crappy screw on the Gerber style one for a raised screw which makes it easier to open one handed and change out the blades.

  • Miltonseven

    I have been carrying this one for the past 8 years or so and I really like it.  It is easy enough for me to open and close with one hand

    http://www.amazon.com/Sheffield-12113-One-Hand-Opening-Lock-Back/dp/B0001WBSK8

  • PuddinHead

    I have been carrying a Gerber Artifact for several years now and find it handles many daily tasks with ease.  It uses replaceable exacto knife blades rather than utility knife blades, but is easy to use one-handed and also comes with flat and phillips head screwdrivers, a pry bar, and a bottle opener.  Best of all, it’s cheaper than any of the above knives going on amazon for just over $7 right now.

    http://www.amazon.com/Gerber-22-41770-Artifact-Pocket-Keychain/dp/B001349MD8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429641188&sr=8-1&keywords=gerber+artifact

  • Sonya Zang

    I carry one in my purse. Comes in handy a lot, you’d be surprised.

  • DRTY BURTY

    I roll withe the Gerber EAB Lite. I like to use the Fiskars Titanium blades in it.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B002RILCLY/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1429641538&sr=8-1&keywords=gerber+eab+lite

  • Alexander Vu

    Rut is a great companion piece U0001f44dU0001f3fc

  • mackguy

    This is an interesting concept, and I guess it depends on your POV.  I’ve always considered my “EDC” pocket knife as a utility/tool first and weapon 2nd.  I find countless times that a knife comes in handy, and I think some of these times a razor would be OK, others the more sturdy knife is far more useful.

    It seems like if you wanted a dedicated protection knife it would be better to get a fixed blade combat type knife.

  • Benjamin Buchegger

    Where can i get one of this ITS Emersons? U0001f60d

  • David

    I usually don’t need anything to open up a box but if I do I just grab a key

  • vettepilot427

    Brian,
    Thanks for suggesting alternatives to using your defensive knife for everyday purposes.
    However, I have to disagree, unless you use your knife heavily for day-to-day tasks that are hard on the edge (like opening boxes all day) or could damage the edge.
    A high quality knife is a responsibility, no different than a firearm or any other fine tool.  There’s an understanding of regular maintenance that goes along with ownership.  Maintaining the edge is one part of that maintenance, regardless of what you call on the knife to do.  A badge of manhood is to have a high quality knife at all times, very sharp and ready to use for ANY task.

    By using your knife regularly, you build motor skills that allow you to deploy and manipulate the blade in different conditions as well as build muscle memory as to the orientation of the blade.  These skills are perishable just like with firearms and must be practiced often, especially with a folder.

    Furthermore, by using the blade regularly, you build a habit of maintenance and sharpening as well as build proficiency in those areas that will apply to any cutting tool.  Most “dull” knives (not abused or severely dulled) can be restored with just a few passes on a chef’s steel, without the need for any abrasive sharpening.  I maintain the fine edge on my EDC knife using a cardboard strop or even the back of a notepad or legal pad.  Most of the time I find that only the first 1/8″ of the tip becomes dull while the rest of the knife remains sharp.

    The exception to this rule is as mentioned above and that is heavy regular use or activities that could damage the edge.  In this case it’s a matter of the right tool for the job.  If you cut carpet, carry a carpet knife in addition to your regular EDC knife.  If you need to scrape the bolt on your AR, use a tool designed for this purpose.
    A premium knife uses modern advanced blade steel that both takes an incredible edge  and holds that edge VERY well.  They are also relatively easy to sharpen using modern diamond sharpeners when needed.  Take advantage of those advancements in steel as well as realize the full use of your investment.

    I would suggest that instead of carrying a secondary utility knife unless absolutely required, that you instead build a habit of  maintaining your EDC/defensive knife.

    • CarlMc

      vettepilot427 
      Your comment about muscle memory is spot on, and why my folder in my pocket is my go to for just about everything, regardless of whether its a tool or a weapon.

      When I deploy the knife as a tool, it’s out and the blade is where it needs to be without me even thinking about it.  It just happens.  This happens so many times a day that I only use my Swiss army knife for the scissors and the knife on my MUT has the factory edge on it.

      You can think of it as training…

  • AlanSlaughter

    I use these serrated blades in my utility knife. For opening boxes and such, they seem to keep an edge better than the plain edge. http://www.amazon.com/Rapid-Tools-RT00015-Serrated-Utility/dp/B000SR10SQ/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1429643760&sr=8-4&keywords=serrated+utility+knife+blades

    • AlanSlaughter

      You can also find them in smaller packs at Lowes, but at about twice the price per blade, if you just want to sample some.

  • John Mattimoe

    Chris Bolivar

  • Steve Hupe

    I have one that automatically retracts the blade. It’s awesome. I work retail right now so it’s on me when I go to work.

  • Kurt Schneider

    At a knife seminar, the instructor is opening cardboard boxes full of training knives and helmets. He asks for a knife, and a dozen blades come out. He smiles and asks if anyone brought a pistol, too. A cop grabs his bag, and asks why before digging in it. The instructor replies, “I need to hammer a nail.” In the silence that followed, he pointed out that a weapon is a weapon, and a tool is a tool.

  • Randall Banks

    Exactly why I carry two knives, one for cutting light stuff like tape and one for, well you know…….

  • T . Conko

    Hell ive stirred my coffee..a time or two.

  • Dylan Ammerman

    People always thought I was weird I didn’t use my defensive blade for cutting boxes.

  • Robert Farm

    I feel confident that my EDC knife that I sometimes use to cut boxed will definitely cut through human flesh.

  • Jay Renegado

    I use my Spyderco to cut open soft stuff and it still remains sharp just like when I first bought it.

  • Matthew Joseph Mulford

    What the hell else are you going to do with your 200 dollar knife then? You dont want to open boxes with it godforbid but youll def carry it in case you gotta cut a bitch. Yea blood and bone over paper totally makes sense

  • Jay Renegado

    Not always practical to carry another knife. I also carry a pistol, spare mag, a tactical light, and my knife.

  • JonSmallwood

    Don’t bring a knife to a knife fight, bright a gun. Good point though about using something like this for opening every day items.

  • Stylles Rusling

    Lol this is dumb as shit….if you dont think you can cut human flesh with even a barely sharpened knife then you shouldnt carry one….how fucking over complicated does everybody have to make everything….use your edc knife for anything you want and sharpen it every 2 weeks, its not that hard god damn

  • Thomas Buonomo

    It’s a tool I use everyday…and I use it when ever I need it…does it get dull yes? And I sharpen it. And this is a SOG PENTAGON II. Practice practice practice….muscle memory..

  • Michael Cardenas

    I look at it this way. If I’m going to own a knife it better hold up no matter what I use it for. I don’t own knives to show off so it really doesn’t matter if it’s pretty. Besides, I only cut the cellophane tape not the box.

  • Mitch Sweeney

    Consumerism at its finest!

  • Garth Fenton

    If your knife can’t stab someone still even when it’s so dull from opening boxes that it will barely cut tape you’re doing it wrong. AxisLock benchmade> all bladed things.

  • Ruben Leal

    i carry two knives, one for edc cutting chores and a defensive blade ill let you decide which is which.

  • Ruben Leal

    did you mean he asked for a weapon? a knife is a tool.

  • Kurt Schneider

    But is it the proper tool for the job? 😉

  • Andrew

    Right…..this is pretty ridiculous. I will stick to using my (one) EDC knife on the boxes. Who the heck needs to be this anal retentive about their stupid EDC knife.

  • MarineFO

    I use my gun to open mail and boxes.

  • Patrick Roehrman

    I always carry 2 if not 3 or 4 knives 😀

  • Aaron Price

    If I have a pocket. It has a knife in it.

  • David Hutchinson

    Do you even boxcut bro?

  • Russell Shortman

    For my job I have a folding utility knife but carry my bench made for EDC

  • Christopher Tio

    This. If opening some boxes or envelopes makes my knife lose its edge then its the wrong knife or wrong profile. I only need to touch up mine on a strop every month or so.

  • Chris Kalebra

    I just about always carry an NT Red Dot AD-2P for utility purposes, and just save the Benchmade for everything else.
    The NT Red Dot is takes mini snap-off blades, and costs about $8 on amazon. It can be easily operated with one hand, and it’ has a nice, utilitarian design. It’s stainless steel, and it’s slim enough to carry just about anywhere—No dumb plastic or rubber overmolding or anything. Also, the blades that come with it are made of carbon steel and are hard enough to literally scratch/cut glass.

  • James Funderburk

    went through a similar search myself, my favorite ended up being the Leatherman Crater c33L – quick to deploy, sturdy clip, good liner lock, and at about $20 on Amazon no big deal to lose

  • Zack Smith

    My EDC

  • Q

    A friend of mine regularly carries a P-38 can opener for opening most everything.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-38_can_opener

  • Ritchie C-ham

    The back of the blade works just fine to cut tape

  • Tom Kwon

    Universal EDC

  • Tamara Wardoggy Munson

    My EDC varies depending on my day…but no matter the knife that I carry it needs to be helpful on whatever task it is called upon to do. I don’t mind sharpening my blades when the time comes, I actually find it relaxing and peaceful.

  • Nick Nazar

    Nice knife

  • Zack Smith

    Thanks! It’s got an amazing aggressive grip on it

  • Austin Stover

    Check there website

  • Clayton Mott

    Hell, I’ve carried my Gerber since Christmas and use it for EVERYTHING, still managed to cut myself just fine with it by being dumb yesterday.

  • CookieandTom Rader

    For that matter, you can put a world of hurt on someone with the box cutter. I’d argue that it’s not the specific blade you use, but how you use it…

  • Joshua Payne

    I don’t know if anyone said this yet, but in the amazon link for the screwpop utility the picture shows it carrying two blades, have you tried sticking a spare blade in it to get rid of the rattle?

  • Wouter Catherin

    I use my RUT more then any other knife i have !

  • River Cozo

    “Defensive knife”

  • Ray Kang

    I love my TAD RUT. It’s a great EDC tool.

  • John Budinger

    Just sounds like an excuse to carry another knife.

  • John Budinger

    Youll be suprised how dull people let their knives get

  • Greg Green

    Boxes are so strong ! carrying one knife to do all jobs with your favorite design is pretty cool, a good knife is a versatile tool. It’s like a jewels. A karanmbit is a defensive knife, not good to do a sandwich. If I look the picture I can see Emerson a100 the less defensive knife from this knifmaker, it’s a little EDC, to do the classic job.

  • Al Lawrence

    A knife is a knife it is used for cutting anything ans everything and if your blade dont hold up to it you need to get a new one

  • Dominic Ancona

    Because i want to ensure its as dull and painful as it can be.

  • Dominic Ancona

    Hell might just throw it away for a tactical spoon.

  • Lars Mårten Rikard Nilsson

    There’s no such thing as a defensive knife… Unless you’re really good at fencing. It is an offensive weapon.

  • Adam L Dueer

    I have catried the gerber for years.

  • Duane Dibley

    Not as dull as this story Thomas Buonomo 😉

  • Daniel Cano

    Very cool, I’m wanna share that one bro.

  • Justin Coyle

    My go to utility blade has been a Gerber folding razor blade for years and it doubles as a money clip

  • Joshua Kivler

    Because it has a sharp edge. Knives arent really one trick ponys ..it’s a tool with countless uses

  • Joshua Kivler

    Thought I was the only one..

  • Guy Reynolds

    I have two porcelain sharpening rods around the house. Two or three passes and I can shave with my knives again. Know your blades and you know what they need when they need it.

  • John Follis

    Nice article B!

  • nDjinn

    I like that RUT. I am guilty as well, a bad habit from working as a retail manager and opening shipments. I do have a good tip if you want to keep just one sharp on you; I flip my knife over and use the tip and non edged side.

  • LONGSHOT10X

    LEATHERMAN AND DAGGER  DA….

  • LONGSHOT10X

    LEATHERMAN AND DAGGER DA… WITH ALL DO RESPECT

  • Wes Allen

    Brian, I feel compelled to defend you on this article.  I was surprised at how many negative and disrespectful comments it brought about.  I have been separating defense knife and utility knife for better than 15 years now.  it’s not difficult.  But it is a discipline much like the choice to make accommodations to carry a pistol.  But to defend this concept directly, the difference between a purpose made combat knife and a good utility knife are like unto a phillips heads screw driver and a ball point pen.  Yes, you can cut a person with a dull knife but most people don’t walk around naked.  A razor sharp blade with the optimal length and profile however, will go right through denim and or layers of various clothing material with ease as well as divide flesh deeply to vital underlying structures.  You cannot accomplish this with just any average utility blade of less than a perfect edge.  Just my two respectful cents on an intelligent article.

  • ShineAgain

    I just ordered the TAD version of the RUT.  I’ll be carrying it in my right front pocket with my overpriced car remote and know the metal is going to bang up the remote. Do any of you have a suggestion for a pocket sheath for the RUT V2? Thanks!  I like the idea of not using my Spartan Phrike or Enyo for cutting stupid crap and opening boxes!

  • Matt F

    I also carry 2 knives. A Gerber Ghost Strike fixed bald on my weak side for defense, and a Gerber Downrange Auto for general utility use in my strong side back pocket.

  • Michael John Lowe

    Yup

  • Russell Rigby

    Rock on Justin miss ya,say hello to Pops.

  • Brian Geiswite

    boxes contain natural abrasives that damage knife blades. I have ruined a good many edc blades this way

  • Brian Geiswite

    the point is not to put extra wear on your good knife. cardboard is horrible on knives.

  • Stylles Rusling

    Brian Geiswite if you carry a “good knife” it shouldnt be worn down enough from cutting cardboard that it wont even cut human flesh….if you carry a knife that gets that worn down from cutting cardboard then either your knife fuckin sucks or you should look up the defenition of good….try again buddy

  • Thomas Buonomo

    Kurt history proves the teacher wrong….

  • Kurt Schneider

    Ask your first responder buddies how many people they’ve seen who are alive only because the other guy didn’t have a sharper knife.

  • CookieandTom Rader

    Cookie had a friend that was stabbed to death with a butter knife. Something like 70 times.

  • Kurt Schneider

    Ouch. Horrible way to go. Still, I’m not going to carry one. 😉

  • CookieandTom Rader
  • green_vaccine

    Bryan, it appears that the Screwpop unit will hold two blades side-by-side. That would be the reason that you’re experiencing the rattling that you spoke about.

  • JS

    I like ITS. I love the articles and insightful thought that goes in to a lot of the things I see here. But this one is a bit ridiculous, in my opinion. Lets take a trip down memory lane. Back in the day, young boys (and most men, for that matter) carried one knife. It was in the their pocket daily, and always at the ready. It may have been a jacknife, or a Boy Scout style camp knife. Whatever the case, they cut everything with it. They whittled, opened cans, boxes, skinned and fleshed small animals, and then (hopefully) cleaned it, put a drop of motor oil on the pivots and backsprings and put it away- back in their pocket. No matter how high speed some of things are on this site (and no matter how many of them I have adopted for my own life), this one is too out there. I carry one knife in my pocket. I use it for everything. If it gets dull, I sharpen it. If it gets dirty, I clean it. Not only does it reinfoce the fact that I can do more with less, it teaches me that I need to take care of my equipment. Come on man, I feel like you guys were hurting for an article, and came up with this one.

  • Jack Spirko

    Agreed, been recommending the EAB for about 6 years now.

    • nekulturny

      +eleventy. F’in magic. Works fine once you get it dialed in. I like that it takes a heavy contractor-grade blade, for when you need it to not break. They have an updated model but I don’t see the point, this is about as good as it gets. EAB is my EDC.

  • Jared

    Far be it from me to differ with Jeff G., but to me using your EDC knife for utility tasks translates to a lot more reps drawing and deploying the knife and a lot more time with your hand getting used to the feel of it, many more opportunities to turn and move the knife in motions (some realistic some unrealistic) than you’d ever have given the average-joe’s limits on training time.

  • Oh Be One

    My lightsaber covers most of my daily tasks.   It’s my EDC as well as being an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.

  • Holomon

    Two knives, two wallets….where do you find all the pocket space?!?

    Seriously though, there is no way opening a couple of boxes between sharpenings is going to blunt a decent knife. Seems to me the answer is more about buying a good knife that holds an edge rather than carrying an assortment of cutlery.

    • puma

      @Holomon Just read one of his reviews with some swoopy pants in the 10+ pocket range.

  • Grunt

    To be honest, folding knives aren’t great for self defense. They’re mostly designed to be used as a tool, not a weapon. By the time you get it out of your pocket and opened the other guy can already be in your face beating the snot out of you. Knives with a fixed blade are much more useful for self defense. That’s why combat knives have fixed blades. I get that you probably don’t want to carry around a big clunky knife, but if I bring a weapon that will elevate an altercation to a lethal level I’d want it to be designed for that purpose.

  • C3rvantes

    I have a box cutter in my rolling tool bag.. I use it when I’m stooped over a box I want to open and my tool bag is right there.. BUT I normally use my ColdSteel Voyager XL.. I sharpen it every 20 days.. some weird habit I got into.. but it’s always sharp enough to break down boxes and I will not run it across my flesh cuz that thing is daggum sharp.

  • True West

    Re the Screwpop: a stupidly half-assed design, epecially since the utility blade also rattles when extended for use, since the locking bar fills only 1/2 the width of the stop-notch. (One has to wonder if anyone actually tested it before putting it into mass production.) Easy solution for the rattling, extended and retracted, is to apply a strip of tape to the inside of the Screwpop housing, or conversely to the backside of the blade itself. I find there’s ample room actually for two blades (i.e., +1 spare) and a strip of clear packing tape. All that said, I much prefer using the awl/reamer on my Pioneer SAK (but any 91mm Alox model will do) to open boxes, since packing tape invariably gunks up any knife or utility blade.

  • True West

    Re the Screwpop: a stupidly half-assed design, esp. since the utility blade also rattles when extended for use, since the locking bar fills only 1/2 the width of the stop-notch. (One has to wonder if anyone actually tested it before putting it into mass production.) Easy solution for the rattling, extended and retracted, is to apply a strip of tape to the inside of the Screwpop housing, or conversely to the backside of the blade itself. I find there’s ample room actually for two blades (i.e., +1 spare) and a strip of clear packing tape. All that said, I much prefer using the awl/reamer on my Pioneer SAK (but any 91mm Alox model will do) to open boxes, since packing tape invariably gunks up any knife or utility blade…

  • Tierlieb

    I never got this argument of not using a self-defense knife. I think the opposite is true: Your your knife all the time. This means that when you need it desperately, you will have thousands of repetitions of drawing and opening it under all circumstances.. You will know exactly the right spot to put it for convenient access it. 

    Imagine someone carrying the perfect 1911, some extremely expensive officer sized model, optimized for reliability, ease of draw, lightweight, in the $3000+ range… but not using it and practicing with a Glock, because if that one breaks, you can simply buy a new one.

    In addition to that, I wonder what people worry about sharpness: A gun is always loaded, a knife is always sharp. People mistake this rule of thumb for a safety rule, but it is also a mandatory requirement. Learn sharpening your knife. Make it a habit.

  • bart

    For the same reason you don’t carry a “tactical” pen, but just a regular metal pen, I most often don’t carry a “tactical” or “defensive” knife.  I happen to use an old-fashioned slip-joint pocket knife.  It has two blades.  I use one for utility purposes, and I keep the other sharp.  I’m realistic about the defensive capability of a knife like this.  First, it’s legally a “deadly weapon,” and second, it’s not likely to win a gun fight.  I’m sure the defensive utility of a knife could be debated endlessly, but my point is made by simply examining a few knives.  Look at a classic Buck 110 and compare it to a Zero Tolerance 350.  Look at a Victorinox Trekker vs a Benchmade Griptilian.  The “scary black” knife is marginally more suited to combat, but probably not enough to make a difference in outcome.  If you’re looking for a duty knife, go for it, and get the pen from the pistol company too.  But if you’re better served by a discreet EDC item, and you don’t need to look like a tool when you pull out your Cold Steel Vaquero to open a box, the Swiss Army knife has a blade for every purpose.  My old school slip-joint is another step down from the Buck and Swiss Army models I compared to tactical knives, but I decided it serves my purposes best.  Other bigger knives I would consider for EDC that are also more “benign” in the impression they give, but have every bit of all-purpose utility are the Opinel series of folders, and the Morakniv fixed blades.

  • Bryan – give our Slice Pocket Safety Box Cutter (we call it a Mini Cutter) a try for a small, convenient and safe tool for opening cartons / box opener / box cutter / etc 

    http://www.sliceproducts.com/product/mini-cutter

    Happy to send you a sample – have a great week.

    TJ Scimone
    Slice, Inc.
    http://www.sliceproducts.com
    San Jose, California

  • RGideon

    I carry a variety of knives.  Currently I’m carrying a Husky box cutter.  I have them in a couple of different colors, red and blue.  I like these box cutters because they are inexpensive and they are light.  I keep a sharp knife almost all the time.  I have sharpening stones at home, in my office, and a steel in my vehicle, but sometimes it’s nice to have something that’s easiliy sharpened and a box cutter fits the bill.  Just yesterday I purchased more blades for it.
    I use a knife for a large variety of tasks and the only real struggle I have with a box cutter is cutting fruit.  Otherwise, it pretty much fits my EDC needs.  Typically, most knife encounters are slashing and splaying of muscle.  The box cutter isn’t a deep cut like a knife with a sway belly, but I believe it will create a sufficient wound.  Knives which are long enough for stabbing and reaching vitals will need to be longer than the typical “corporate approved” pocket knife 3″ blade maximum anyway.  A box cutter helps to ease coworkers, and corporate security’s, concerns about safety in the workplace.
    Lastly, the point of the colors I chose are a matter of opinion, but I feel the colors don’t present the threat that a box cutter can be to the “public”.  I’m a nice guy, why advertise any differently?  I’d use any tool that is handy to defend myself, a chair, a stapler, a ball point pen, a rock, etc.  But, I’m not going to present them a weapons, the same with my EDC knives. 
    Roy

  • Dex Carther

    The Screwpop Ron’s Utility Knife 3.0 is out now, check out their web site.  It is perfection, I carry it daily. You have the first generation in this article.  The third generation (3.0) uses a rare earth magnet to keep the blade quiet and quick blade re-tractor and it also acts as a lever stop. It holds the knife on the refrigerator great too for bottle opener use too!

  • thomas oliver

    Um this is crazy. I have a edc pocket knife that cost me like 10 bucks. And a karambit in my car that cost 20. The only expensive knives i have are my skinning knife $50, hunting bowie (my KA-Bar are the Army issued that i used more in iraq to beat things with the diamond pointed hilt than to cut) , and my Gerber Applegate that the Army also issued me. Wich i count as fortunate to have been in the 82nd abn because many of my brother and sisters in other units were not issued any knives.
    I see why though. I really used my KA-Bar mostly to pound steaks in the ground or hit things. And my Applegate was only used a few times to cut tge seat belts of kiawa pilotes after they crashed, and to cut things like 5-50 cord.
    I ran across this looking for a pocket box cutter for work because i dulled my pocket knife in one day.
    I work in a warehouse and they don’t provide boxcutters. So i wanted something effective and that i can change the blades.
    And if you spend $100 on a box cutter you are a moron. Lowes sales foldable ones for $9-$20 bucks with a lifetime warranty.

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