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Fear of Folders

Joined
Oct 3, 1998
Messages
3,264
We have all probably run into, and been frustrated by, people who are afraid of knives in general. What puzzles me is people I meet, usually women my age ("middle") or over, who will routinely use a formidable kitchen knife, and who will happily pick up one of my hand-mades, or even a commercial hunting knife and pronounce it a thing of beauty, but who react to a sport-utility folder as if I had invited them to pet a kingsnake.

(Yes, I have met women who are unafraid of folders or kingsnakes, including The Wife who is indifferent to either.)

Why are folding knives, even folding knives that don't go SNAP!, more frightening to some folks than a larger fixed blade? And what can we do to spread enlightenment?


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- JKM
www.chaicutlery.com

 
Maybe a folding butter knife?

I think the mystery is that in the fact that the blade is hidden from view and the unveiling of the blade is a mysterious event which creates fear in the minds of the unenlightened.

False Evidense Appearing Real

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Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Lead - Follow or get out of the way!
www.wowinc.com



 
Just a theory.

I think what's going on here is the surprise factor.
The fact that the knife was in your pocket and wasn't included in the person's initial threat scan.Remember where all animals and in walking around in our lives part of us is looking for threats.
And because of this,fixed blades on your belt can be seen and its threat is immediately obvious and can be included or correlated with their general impression of the overall threat level in their immediate environment.
Opening a folder introduces a new threat into their immediate environment thus causing the affect.
If the folder is already open and on the table,taking it opening and closing it would have no affect. But putting it in your pocket and waiting a few minutes,so it will no longer be part of their threat assessment.
Taking it out and opening would cause a scared or jumpy reaction.

And if you open the knife inside of the persons "personal zone"usually one to three feet depending on the individual, you will almost always get an immediate reaction.
It's just like if you handed a snake to someone their ok but if they look down and the snake is crawling up their leg they jump across the room.

How the knife looks would "I think" have an affect on the reaction also.
ED


[This message has been edited by Edward R Schott (edited 12 December 1998).]
 
Personal space- yes

Initial threat assessment-yes

Also, environmental familiarity, in country areas, no thing, in cities, oh no...

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Marion David Poff fka Eye, one can msg me at mdpoff@hotmail.com

Patiently waiting for the Spyderco SpydeRench, Lum Chinese Chopper Folder, Rolling Lock, Benchmade M2 Axis, M2 Axis AFCK, M2 Pinnacle and the REKAT Escalator and Pat Crawford Design.

"The victorious Warrior wins first and then goes to war, while the defeated Warrior goes to war and then seeks to win" Sun-Tzu














 
What bloomin' threat assessment?! These people already know I'm not their enemy, and they may have even asked me to cut something for them, because they know I carry knives!



------------------
- JKM
www.chaicutlery.com

 
Well, you are a threat because you carry knives, thus you are evil, don't ya know...

I agree though, me, I'm a big lovable chucklin', lovin', kind word for everyone, strangers' kids fall asleep in my arms, but SNAP, oh no.....

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Marion David Poff fka Eye, one can msg me at mdpoff@hotmail.com

Patiently waiting for the Spyderco SpydeRench, Lum Chinese Chopper Folder, Rolling Lock, Benchmade M2 Axis, M2 Axis AFCK, M2 Pinnacle and the REKAT Escalator and Pat Crawford Design.

"The victorious Warrior wins first and then goes to war, while the defeated Warrior goes to war and then seeks to win" Sun-Tzu














 
My wife's attitude has improved since I got her a BM mini-spike. It's small, "cute", and purple, her favorite color. Somehow, now my mini-AFCK doesn't seem quite so sinister to her.
 
WOW and I would have picked the spike to be one of the more sinister looking ones. Guess that purple color did it.

------------------
Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Lead - Follow or get out of the way!
www.wowinc.com



 
Yep, the color was definitely a major factor. I personally think the spike and mini-spike are "nastier" looking than AFCK's. I'd never have given her one in "evil" black...


 
Well, I think one factor may be our obvious facility at opening the knife smoothly and quickly and magicly making it appear in our hand. If you think about how lots of people open knives, you can see how we'd be kind of a surprise; imagine a guy(or woman) pulling a Case 3-blade trapper from his pocket and pulling open one of the blades to help someone open a package. THAT'S what they picture in their minds before the event. We're sort of like a Stealth fighter swooping down when they were expecting the Wright Bros. The only mitigating factor in our favor is when our knife is "cute" or "pretty".
Just my .02.
Brian
 
You think you got it bad?

I just *love* my Cold Steel Vaquero Grande.

Jim "THWUNK!!!" March
 
It's not all knives, just the non-tool kind.

A SAK / Multi-Tool gets a very different response than an AFCK .

One is percieved as a weapon one as a tool.

A lot of times is is simply the presentation and or handling, but I doubt that you James are doing anything wrong in that area.

-Cliff

[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 17 December 1998).]
 
It isn't just folding knives -- I often get a similar reaction when I pull a real knife out of my sleeve.
smile.gif


You can often avoid that reaction by opening a folder with both hands like a Boy Scout knife -- it helps if you're slow and awkward about it. Try to imagine how someone who'd never opened a folder before would do it....

I often open a folder that way in company, but my natural style is ... the knife just appears in my hand. No flourish or sudden flashy movement, no loud click, it's just there, and onlookers don't know where it came from. They usually seem to assume I got it out when they weren't looking for a moment and think nothing of it, but occasionally I get a startled, "How did you DO that???" or, "Where did THAT come from???" That's from the occasional person who knows he or she didn't look away even for a moment and suddenly there it is, like a magic trick.

A trick I've used in more serious situations is to show a knife in my hand momentarily and then it instantly disappears. (I've palmed it, in forward or reverse grip depending on how long it is. If it's much longer than about 8" (20cm) long overall it has to be reverse grip.) The effect is: the person or group I want to see it sees a flash of blade and then it disappears -- but they know it's hidden in my palm. Anyone else present is probably not sure they saw anything, if not completely oblivious.

I wonder if there's an audience for a stage magician who makes knives appear and disappear. Could I be on television? I dunno -- the audience would probably expect me to throw knives, too, and I can't do that trick at all. Oh, well....

-Cougar Allen :{)

 
I think the fear of folders could possibly stem from the fact that it could close up onto their hand and cut them.

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Ciao

MM
 
I agree with everything said, but I especially gravitate towards the perceived difference between tools and weapons.
I think even the uninitiated have an intuition about certain knives which comes from the knife's appearance more than the intention of the person carrying it.
Some folks think weapons cause violence, and if we could get rid of weapons, we could get rid of violence.
From that perspective, the appearance of an object which the observer intuitively perceives as a weapon means the potential for violence has increased.
I have a Buck 110, the blade of which I have reshaped so it has lost its clip and taken on a Persian Fighter, trailing point look.
People cringe when I open it, even with two hands, so I don't use it in public anymore.
Finally, Colonel Cooper has coined a word, "hopliphobia", I think he spells it that way, which means fear of weapons. You probably won't find it in your dictionary, but you will find "hoplite".
I think the fear of equality under the law, which the public carrying of weapons implies, has more to do with the "fear of folders" than actual fear of weapons.
 
As for having a folder close on your hand, it`s a legitamite concern. I was cutting some tough plastis stripping and as the blade of my Endura exited the matl. it folded halfway.I was holding it so tightly I had depressed the lock.No damage to the user but it definately got my attention!
 
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