First time my pocketknife caused trouble

My "thing" is preparedness. I was in the Scouts WAY back when, and since then I have always carried a SAK. I thought the Scouts' motto of "Be prepared" was an excellent one to take with me through life.

I once bought a belt sheath for my SAK because I got tired of carrying in my jeans pocket. This was back in the mid-1970s.

Our family then went to an amusement park and I got pulled aside by an official who said I couldn't "brandish" such a dangerous weapon. My Explorer a dangerous weapon. Sure. I looked at her like she had three heads.

Knowing I wouldn't win, I yanked it off my belt, stuffed the whole dang thing into my pocket, and walked away without further interruption.

I went into a "do you know what just happened" with my parents, who, being parents, agreed with the establishment. My argument, "This is only a SAK," got me nowhere. They didn't get it. No support there. I looked at them like they had three heads.

Later that night I decided to have another go at my parents. Just call me a glutton for punishment. My dad said he didn't think I should need my SAK at an amusement park and shouldn't have taken it. His logic was, it's a Scouting knife. I should carry it only when Scouting. I looked at him like he had three heads. My "preparedness" argument did nothing for me. He didn't get it.

Afterwards, I "went underground" with my bladed items, since I obviously wasn't going to get any support from The Powers That Be.

I don't advertise my gear, I don't talk about it, and I never take it out unnecessarily. Gotta watch out for the sheeple.

The great thing about this forum is we are knife people. We get it.

Aug 17, 2000
I guess I'm lucky, my father and grandfather both carry knives everywhere (small ones though) so i wouldn't have this problem from my family. I've not been without a pocketknife of some sort since elemetary school.

My knives have only been a problem twice. Once was with a SAK when going into the ATF office buiding in DC (I'm a network engineer working on a contract with them). I had to leave it with the guard, no problem. The second time was getting onto a plane. I got on the plane at Dulles with the blade (3.5" tanto serrated folder) and went through several checks on the way back (kept changing flights). On the last check, it was noticed. Since it was in it's box and a "gift", it was let through. I found a less threatening knife soon after...

My dad never carried a pocket knife, to my knowledge. My brother sort of gets it because he has a Leatherman PST. Except he doesn't carry it outside the house. My granddad and my great uncle both carried pocket knives.

Yeah, whenever something gets noticed, that's when the trouble starts. That's the killer.

And I really don't understand the prejudice against serrated blades. "It looks scary" is hardly the sort of logic that should be used by an adult. It's pitiful.
Cardimon, you have my sympathy. I also don't understand people who don't carry knives. I can't believe your brother does'nt carry his leatherman outside the house (that's when I would need it the most. I have a complete tool kit in the house). I am lucky because all my brother and sisters and my folks all have some kind of blade they carry (I bought my Mom a Leatherman Micra for her birthday and she loves it).
Don't give up on all folks.
It's good to see another boyscout here.

It does take a long time to get your parrents broke in around knives, but eventually they won't mind anymore. My mom carries a Spyderco pro-grip, my sister carries a purple handeled one handed opener (That used to be in the edge catalog, and I can't find anymore) or a pink handled frost cuttlery. And my dad lost his NIB CRKT commander (Half serrated) but carries a gerber multipliar.
One very nice thing is that my wife, while not the pocketknife nut I am, doesn't mind at all when I buy another one.

She is, however, somewhat of a flashlight nut. I ended up giving her two of my Photon II microlights and my PrincetonTec Blast. Had to buy more for myself. But that's a subject for another of these great forums. Grin.

[This message has been edited by cardimon (edited 01-17-2001).]
My grandfather was the one that got me interested in knives. He gave me a Roy Rogers pocket knife when I was eight. He was a great lover of knives, and collected bayonets.
Even with this upbringing I do not flash my knives around. To many people get nervous, so why bother. My knife is there if I need it and that is good enough for me.
There has been a folder in my pocket every day for over 45 years. However, things have changed. Never was that point brought home as hard as when I read the post from the fellow who had his serrated Spydeco "Dragonfly" confiscated at O'Hare. When I fly, I almost always take a "plain edge" (very important, that plain edge) Dragonfly. I always make sure it's my Zytel model, too. I wouldn't take any chances on having some minimum wage rent-a-cop decide that my carbon fiber scale Dragonfly would have to be taken. If they take the Zytel model it won't be hard to replace, but just try and find the CF Dragonfly!

Here's a good tip on how to get your parents to be glad you're into knives. Learn to sharpen really well, and they'll let you have just about any edged object you desire. Especially if either of them like to hunt or cook. I've been pretty lucky with my parents on this issue, fortunately. They don't understand it but they don't ban it either. I'm also very popular whenever packages need to be opened. The only time they look at me as if I had three heads is when I don't have a knife. Of course, I suppose they don't really qualify as your typical sheeple either; Dad's in the army and was a marine before that, plus he's been a hunter for about 30 years. He knows the value of a decent knife. And my Mom's Dad was a marine and still is a hunter, so she was what you might call sort of a tomboy growing up. She isn't into knives per say, but she considers khukuri's "neat" rather than deadly. Sheeple don't associate with us, not voluntarily at least.

I haven't alway's been so lucky with people outside of my family, but I haven't anything nearly like some of the stories I've read here. I've just gotten a few funny looks at work when I use my M 16 to trim a thread or my nails or something like that. Once I was 'offered' a boxcutter when I was using it to open some boxes, but I talked my way out of it without too much trouble.
Been there. Most times, however logical I think I sound, some people will always see knives as weapons of thugs and muggers and by extension, anyone carrying a knife is branded with the same label. No thanks to all the newspapers screaming articles like "Granny stabbed 50 times by knife-wielding psycho" in 40pt type. There's just no arguing with poeple who think a SAK is a weapon...

These days, I take special care of who might be around when I whip out my knives, which to be doubly safe is usually the most harmless-looking small folder in my collection (not black-coated, not serrated edge). I love my Shark but don't feel comforatble carrying it as the sheath carries the words 'Crawford Knives' on it and would have attracted too much attention. When i go to places with security checks, I leave all my other knives at home and carry a SAK.

To those new enthusiasts whom I have given knives in the past, I always tell them to use their blades discretely, responsibly and pray the dumbass, dip**** politicians don't ban them forever. Sadly, in some countries, this has already happened.


"Praise not the day until evening has come;a sword until it is tried; ice until it has been crossed; beer until it has been drunk" - Viking proverb
When I was in high school, teachers used to come to me when they needed to cut something. I even had them bring knives to school for me to sharpen. Now having a knife or any cutting tool on school property will get you expelled. Things sure have changed.
And not for the better.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Paul Work:
Now having a knife or any cutting tool on school property will get you expelled. Things sure have changed. And not for the better.

Agreed. Welcome to the post-Columbine era. It sucks.


[This message has been edited by cardimon (edited 01-18-2001).]
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Will.223:
When I fly, I almost always take a "plain edge" (very important, that plain edge) Dragonfly. I always make sure it's my Zytel model, too. If they take the Zytel model it won't be hard to replace, but just try and find the CF Dragonfly!

Will, I'm pleading ignorance here. What's the difference between a Zytel handle and a carbon-fiber handle?

You kind folks needn't answer. I posted this question where I should have in the first place, the Spyderco forum.


[This message has been edited by cardimon (edited 01-18-2001).]
I have only recently started to collect "good" knives, but I have also carried some sort of knife on me since I was a small boy in Germany. (I fact, my parents bought me my first pocketknife at an age I can't even remember, my first fixed blade when I was a Boy Scout, my first firearm, my first drink, and my first copy of Playboy!<G> They believed in teaching responsibility and then letting their kids earn it.)

When it comes to our "legal rights" as owners and carriers of knives and firearms, it has been my experience that those rights are most often determined - and interpreted -, unfortunately, by the person standing right in front of us. I don't recall ever having a problem flying with firearms - because all the paperwork is done properly and civil servants understand paperwork. However, when my wife inadvertently carried a tiny pair of embroidery scissors through airport security at the boarding gate, it required an impromptu meeting by three airport officials - none of whom really knew what to do other than NOT allow this dangerous "weapon" on board in my wife's purse. They finally agreed to place the embroidery scissors in a sealed and locked diplomatic courier pouch and escorted it to the pilot who kept it on th flight deck until we landed. Then my wife was allowed to reclaim her scissors after we landed. FWIW, my advice (if I am allowed to give it, as a raw newbie in this forum - but a long-term firearms owner): don't show off your carry knife in public; don't make remarks about knives in public that might be taken the wrong way; join every organization dedicated to the rights of knife owners that you can possibly join.

The day I stumbled into this forum was almost like coming "home" - I'm proud to be considered a Member.
I agree with cockroachfarm's don'ts.

I took a friend to the Empire State Building thinking we'd "just take the lift up". Well how was I to know that we had to queue to buy tickets, queue to go through a metal detector, then queue to take two different lifts? When we got to the metal detectors I took out my knife to put in the tray with my change and it was pounced on like I'd tried to conceal it or just confessed I was terrorist or something. And the guards gave me this really odd look when they put it in a bag for safekeeping. I got the feeling that if I'd been some guy in jeans and a leather jacket, I would probably have been held up a while for questioning! (So there are sometimes advantages to being small, female and nerdy looking and being accompanied by someone else who is also small and nerdy looking. Nerdiness squared equals harmlessness.)

Point is, you don't even have to display your knife or express your interest to be judged adversely. Until you are in situation where having it saves a life or something, most people here aren't going to be neutral. It's not sensible - drunken people beat other people up but alcohol isn't banned, drivers are reckless and kill people but driving isn't disapproved of - but that's the way it is here (and maybe elsewhere also).

Yep, I've gone through all of this BS for years as a responsible firearms owner. Believe me, from what I read in the last issue of BLADE, knives ARE (not MIGHT, or WILL be)on the radar screens of every officious, self-righteous, uninformed civil servant out there.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by cockroachfarm:
join every organization dedicated to the rights of knife owners that you can possibly join.</font>

May I ask what organization that might be?


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by cockroachfarm:
it required an impromptu meeting by three airport officials - none of whom really knew what to do other than NOT allow this dangerous "weapon" on board in my wife's purse. They finally agreed to place the embroidery scissors in a sealed and locked diplomatic courier pouch and escorted it to the pilot who kept it on th flight deck until we landed.</font>

Welcome to a world of near-total idiocy. These officious little gatekeepers have only two questions running through their brains: "What is our legal liability in this situation?" - Answer: Probably a great deal - and "Could we be sued over allowing this?" Answer: In all likelihood, heck yes.

The sad answer is, you can be sued into the ground for anything you say or do anywhere at anytime.

That's all they care about. If a few individual rights get trampled, tough. As long as they protect themselves and their organization in this CYA, zealously litigious environment, we are well and truly screwed.

[This message has been edited by cardimon (edited 01-18-2001).]
Cardimon, a political organization that supports the rights of knife owners is the American Knife and Tool Institute (AKTI). Many BFC members are members of AKTI and proudly display their registration numbers in their signature lines. The AKTI website is

Cockroachfarm, I am very glad the you are proud to call yourself a member of Bladeforums. I am too. Enjoy the forums and ignore the idiots. Having a professional comedy writer around here could be fun.

Paracelsus, idiot
I have carried at least one pocketknife, ever since I can remember - I think I was about 7 when I started carrying. - When I joined Cub Scouts. We could carry pocketknives in the schools I went to. No problem. My father carried a pocketknife, my grandfathers carried a pocketknife. In fact I still have one of my grandfathers' pocketknife - an old advertizing knife from a lumber yard. The blades have been sharpened down to almost nothing.

I have a philosophy: Your survival knife is the knife that you happen to have on you when a survival situation arised.

I agree, be prepared.

However, I exercise common sense and am reasonable about the knife I carry. And I make absolutely certain that the knife I choose to carry is legal in the jurisdiction I happen to be in.

Too often, gun and knife enthusiasts are their own worst enemies. Rather than carry what is legal and reasonable, many choose to ask: What can I get away with? The average person does not need to carry a large knife on a daily basis. I work in an office, so I do not carry my utility style pocketknife in a belt pouch on my belt - it goes in my brief case. There is no rule about no being allowed to carry such a knife in my office, but I ask myself, would I normally need to carry one there. Answer: no. Instead I carry a small stockman in my pocket. When hunting, I carry a hunting knife. etc.

Usually people judge others by how reasonable the perceive them to be.

I have never had a problem with any knife I have carried as a result of following my own rules. I've had some people look at my knives kind of crosseyed - you could see their little brains churning about "weapons" but they don't say anything.

It is a shame that today, even small pocketknives are considered weapons by some people. But that is the world we live in. The best way in my mind that we can combat that, is not to wear the biggest badest knife we can get away with, but by being reasonable and prudent.

Just my opinion.