Occupational Knife Use?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by knifetester, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. knifetester


    Mar 7, 2005
    I am wondering how many people use their knives on a daily basis at work, and for what?

    How does the type of work you do influence the knife you select, blade materials, locking system, the edge profiles, etc?

    How does your work culture effect which blade you select? Would a larger folder or fixed blade be more optimal, yet you have to use a small folder becuase of concerns of being percieved as carrying a weapon?

    Thank you in advance for your input,
  2. OilMan

    OilMan Gold Member Gold Member

    May 6, 2004
    I'm a computer geek and I use mine all the time to strip wire so I can crimp ends and such. I also use one everyday to enlarge the hole in my cappuccino cup for better air flow. :D The other day my company was giving a car away and I was in short supply because I was the only one who could cut the cord for the balloons. No one asked me why I carry multiple knives that day. :)

    As for shapes, I prefer something real pointy so I can cut wire shielding. My latest go to knives are a BM Gravitator Wharncliff and a Custom Dwyer SMF with a real pointy, thin Tanto tip. The SMF is a little on the large size for small work but hasn't let me down yet.

    The blade material and lock is secondary to the blade profile for me because I don't mind sharpening knives and I usually don't put enough pressure on a knife for the lock to matter much. Although for ease of use I like framelocks and Axis locks.


    ps. Culture and whatnot doesn't matter in my situation because my boss collects cars so he understands about collecting in general and has never said anything about what I carry. As long as I get my work done and done right he doesn't care if I have a machete in my pocket. :)
  3. bigdog


    May 18, 2005
    I train mechanics to work on our machines. I'm constantly in a shop, occasionally, needing a tool like a screwdriver, scraper, peircing tool and sometimes even a knife. The twesers work well when I get slivers of steel in my fingers.
    At the Hotel, the can-opener is handy. And then there is the toothpick.
    My SAK Tinker is used heavily.

    I cary my SnG, just because I like it. I pulled it out in a shop, to cut something (mostly to show-off), and lost control of the class. All they wanted to talk about was the Strider. At least I had their attention.
  4. daverave999


    Jan 16, 2003
    I do get the odd comment but they have settled to few and far between over the last year. I usually have a Native or a Delica which does me fine.

    When I started work there all they would use were scalpels or box cutters (Stanley knives). A lot of people have since learnt that these are woefully inadequate for the majority of tasks they were used for. I have noticed a lot more SAKs popping up on peoples keyrings. They were usually the people who see my knife and how useful it is, and say 'I could do with a penknife'.

    I have never had anything but positive comments from my superiors about how practical I am in thinking to bring a knife to work. Mission accomplished :D
  5. backwoodsman


    Oct 23, 2004
    I have a cattle ranch and use my knives all the time, I have my marine radier bowie 10'' blade 1095 steel that gets used for alot of things around the ranch chopping, cutting, digging you name it also a leatherman wave that gets used for fine cutting jobs and just a all around tool set on my belt, but sometimes they get on a persons nerves not doing something as well as the real tool would but that is the price you pay in a multi tool.This set has worked well for me around our ranch and in the woods.
  6. wetdog1911


    Sep 29, 2002
    I use a large FB every day at work cutting open rolls of printing paper. Usually a Swamp Rat Camp Tramp or Battle Rat, sometimes a Ka Bar. I've found that a 7" or larger blade works best. Smaller blades just put too much strain on the wrist. I use the Ka Bar the least because over the years I've had 2 break on me at the tang.

    The knife stays in my work bag, comes out when I need to open a roll and then goes back. Nobody says anything, but then again I don't flash it around. Besides there are literally thousands of the single edge razors around that we use for delicate cutting. Use them once or twice then get a fresh one.

    My carry knives usually don't get seen at all. If I need one for whatever reason, the Sebbie will be used and not the FB I also carry. Pulled that once and it freaked the boss out even though it is smaller than the Seb. He's a knife nut also so the reaction suprised me. He really did like the Sebbie though.

  7. Planterz

    Planterz Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2004
    I work at a pizza place and I'm always using my knife. Usually it's my serrated Spyderco Atlantic Salt. I use it to open boxes (and cut them up to fit in the trash better), open plastic bags of food, cut receipt paper, and the like. The H1 steel on the Salt is great for this, because I don't have to worry about sausage grease or acidic pepperoncini juice screwing up the blade. At work, my "secondary" folder gets used far more often than my plain edge "main" blade.

    I also use the bits on my V'nox Cybertool and the scissors on my Leatherman Squirt all the time for various things around the store. I'm the Go-To-Guy when something needs cutting or fixing.

    As for the culture 'round here, Arizona is one of the most knife-friendly states in the country. Sure, I get the occasional odd look when I whip out an auto or balisong, but everybody I work with is used to me. Even made some converts out of people. Still, I don't purposely try to freak people out, and I'll use my SAK if I feel it's necessary, rather than flipping out my balisong or snapping open a switchblade.

    I also carry around a Spyderco SPOT hanging off my backpack when cycling, and nobody bats an eye, even during the daytime (although I do have an extra sheath in my backpack if I feel I need to hide it). But in AZ, guns aren't an uncommon sight to see on people's sides, so knives aren't much of a big deal.
  8. jemelby


    Feb 20, 2005
    I travel to exotic lands and defend democracy. As such, I like a stout blade that can go a few days of hard use without needing maintenance. I use my knife for cutting all manner of material from wood to cardboard, and peircing light metal, and softer things.

    The culture is very amicable to knives. A man's knife is as much a part of him as his assault rifle.

    When in full battle rattle, I carry a modified Al Mar SERE Operator up front. A small modified Strider spear point in the small of the back. A modified Lone Wolf Val-Matic just outside the boot. And Kershaw Leek in my front pocket.

    I guess you'de say my work culture demands at least one good knife, and expects two or three.
  9. s0rce


    Nov 16, 2004
    I work in a hospital research lab and I always have my Calypso Jr. but I have to say it rarely gets used. When im disecting I always have a scalpel so I end up using that if I have to open up little packages of things to disect (rat bones) and I would rather not get this sort of stuff on my knife.
  10. stevekt


    Dec 10, 2003
    I work in a newspaper facility and carry a Superknife for cutting cardboard, shrink wrap, and plastic bundle strap while out on the production floor. I also carry a small folder such as my Scallion or Twitch 2 to use in the office for envelopes and packing tape.
  11. Sword and Shield

    Sword and Shield

    Apr 3, 2004
    I work construction and security, which uses my knives up pretty constantly. If I'm just working, nothing weird, the AGR Scout does the job. Before that, it was a Case CV Trapper, now retired with honor.

    If we're putting in a floor-mount guard or a gate, where I'll need to do lots of scraping of carpet bits off drill bits, the Buck 450 or Opinel 8 comes out. Cheap, softer steel so it's easy to rebuild, and doesn't draw any attention. That one job can put a year's worth of wear on a blade.
  12. RandomMan


    Jul 29, 2003
    I work as an HVAC installer. I carry a Smith and Wesson SWAT for several reasons. The thick blade can withstand the abuse(frequently the blade is used for prying and working with sheetmetal and wood), I cut a variety of things everyday, fiberglass insulation, cardboard, plastic sheeting, plastic ties, insulation around wiring. It's pretty much a requirement that I have a knife that is decently sharp, can withstand some pretty harsh abuse, and is cheap enough to replace if lost.

    If I go to work without a knife, I've pretty much cut my task efficency by a third due to not having an immediately accessible tool for the variety of tasks I do during the day.



    Jan 21, 2002
    I don't use mine on a daily basis at work, but I do use it pretty often. I receive a lot of boxes so I'm always opening up some form of packaging and then I use it to break down the cardboard boxes to be thrown away. Sometimes it's cutting up the styrofoam inserts to fit in the bag better (or sometimes just for fun). I always have to cut those damn plastic straps on paper boxes and I also make ethernet cable so I'm stripping the casings off and my Squirt S4 works well for trimming the cables. There's a bunch more miscellaneous stuff I use it for that I can't think of right now.
  14. Dave Rishar

    Dave Rishar

    Oct 25, 2004
    Cardboard, plastic, fabric - it seems like I'm always cutting something. If there's nothing else at hand, a knife (or anything else nearby) will be pressed into service as a hammer, crowbar, or whatnot. As such, until recently I stayed away from anything with a very acute tip as these are far too easy to snap off.

    Blade steel and locking mechanisms mean nothing to me. I simply need a certain performance level and I don't care how it's achieved - that's a problem for knife makers to worry about, not me. If it works, great. If it doesn't, I'll get something that does.

    Until recently I was using a tanto style Voyager. It worked fine. After a considerable amount of abuse the lock began loosening up. It sits in the toolbox now. I started carrying a Manix but honestly, I don't use it much; while I have no problem beating on (and possibly breaking) a $40 Voyager, the Manix is another issue. I usually have an Opinel #8 with me as well - it's what gets used the most. I probably should've spent the Manix Fund on more Opinels instead. Who worries about destroying an $8 knife? Not me.

    For clearing roads and paths, taking care of downed trees and stuff like that, I use a 15" Ganga Ram villager khukuri from HI - it's small enough not to get in the way, handles anything that I throw at it, and holds an edge nearly forever.
  15. kylekim


    May 23, 2005
    Computer geek here. Only open up boxes, envelopes and the like with my knives. At work, I carry a BM 921 and the secondary blade does the dirty work like opening up boxes/cutting tape. I'll use the main blade if I want to cut up boxes for throw away and also use it to peel fruit.

    Don't know enough about blade material to care that much but all of my knives is made with 154CM or S30V. And I'm currently only using Axis locks because the geek in me likes that lock. Hah. Still need to learn more about edge profiling but I guess I make due with whatever the knife has and whatever edge the Sharpmaker makes.
  16. basjoo


    Dec 1, 2004
    I work in the horticulture field and edc a voyager tanto. I carry alot of stuff on my belt (two-way, pruners, keys, leatherman etc.) so although a fixed blade might be handier the folder occupies less space. Public perception is a factor (work in a botanical garden) so that influences the decision also. I use the voyager and leatherman constantly and the voyager is used as a weeder/pruner/cutter so it takes a great deal of abuse. I'm finding the hollow grind blade doesn't hold up that well to digging (not that it was meant to!) so I'm looking for a tanto with more of a flat grind.
  17. bigcountry73


    Feb 18, 2003
    I have a landscaping business. I use my Buck 110 everyday for a variety of chores (cutting rope, mulch bags, etc). If something needs to be fixed I turn to my Leatherman Wave. Both of these get me through my work week just fine.
  18. Matches


    Jul 14, 2000
    Interesting thread. I am a facilities director/handyman in an apartment complex for seniors. Because our building is four floors, I learned early on that a multi-tool could save me alot of trips up and down stairs. I chose a Craftsman-Pro for its adjustable pliers which are handy for plumbing repairs. I use the knife on the multi-tool for opening boxes,scraping gaskets,cutting string and rope etc;etc.
    The residents have never had a problem with the multi-tool and most see it as a necessity. I have carried pocket knives and larger folders, but have found they are not quite as welcomed as the multi-tool when displayed. Recently, I have been carrying a Case Sod-buster as a "middle of the road" choice for a back-up blade. ;)
  19. savagesicslayer


    May 24, 2005
    I work in a refrigerated warehouse shipping fish all over the place and I use my knife ten or twenty times a night.I cut everything from heavy duty cardboard to plastic wrapping.Almost everyone at my work carries some type of blade.
  20. Daniel Moore

    Daniel Moore

    Jul 28, 2003
    I'm a surgeon and occasionally I'll use my Delica to make small incisions when my scalpel isn't handy.


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