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Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by spyderg, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. spyderg


    Sep 28, 2014
    I don’t know if I’m alone here but I find having multiple similar blades on a knife redundant. I do like having blade options though.

    I just ordered a Victorinox Spartan and am trying to figure out how to modify one of the blades, (posted in the Multitools/multipurpose thread). I just don’t see why I need two very similar blades, why isn’t the small blade a sheepsfoot? I had the same problem when I picked up my GEC #13 whittler, (I really wanted a split back whittler though) so I turned one of the pen blades into a tiny clip point. It’s perfect for getting glue out from under my nails now, lol!

    I keep seeing knives with a spear and a pen and to me it just doesn’t make much sense. I doubt many folks are actually in need of a pen blade for its intended purpose these days. I hear folks saying they keep one razor sharp and use the other but I keep all my blades sharp. I’m not out on wilderness excursions where I might run into dulling one and needing a spare, if I dull a blade, I just sharpen it up when I get home.

    I tend to avoid knives with redundancy unless I think I can modify them more to my liking. This time I picked up the SAK due to some nice scales but I’ve past up a few knives that could have been great with a different blade combination.

    So, I’m interested to hear if I’m not alone. Or if there’s something I’m missing? Are companies just doing it for sake of tradition?
  2. HotGuts


    Apr 1, 2016
    I keep the main blade food-safe and use the secondary as a utility blade, if I have to cut anything that will gunk up the blade or is poisonous. Those little foil seals on engine fluid bottles, for example.
    meako, Vaporstang, neal70 and 3 others like this.
  3. spyderg


    Sep 28, 2014
    I used to do that too, but ever since the kids came along I’m too worried about the possibility of contamination. Now if I use any blade for such a task I end up thoroughly washing the whole thing before using it for anything food related.
    Plus if my main is a spear for example, I find a coping secondary better for utility tasks than a pen. Do you find having two similar blades advantageous in any way?
    HotGuts and neal70 like this.
  4. McFeeli


    Feb 13, 2017
    We use knives for a hundred and one different uses, having a different blade profile expands what a single bladed traditional can do. And I say this a single blade fan, I plainly prefer mine that way, but I don’t having different sizes of the same profile hurts it at all.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  5. solphilos

    solphilos Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 17, 2009
    I don't necessarily find having the same blade shapes redundant, so long as they are not the same size, but I do agree that a blade with some belly and a pointy tip pairs nicely with a straight edge.
    Honesty size variety is more important to me than blade shape, as I can get by with any blade so long as it is sharp.
    brownshoe, meako, Will Power and 3 others like this.
  6. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    For knives with multiple blades the same shape, I use the larger blade for general purpose cutting and reserve the smaller blade for jobs which require a keen edge. I find this especially useful with softer blade steels such as are found on Case and Victorinox.
    mrknife, neal70 and JohnDF like this.
  7. kamagong


    Jan 13, 2001
    No redundancy here. The vast majority of the time I carry a single blade knife.
    mrknife, meako, HotGuts and 3 others like this.
  8. JB in LV

    JB in LV Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2016
    This has come up in a few threads recently. I won't argue against the sentiment / sometimes fact, that blades on traditional slip joints may be redundant. I like 4 blade congress knives, so I'm a little familiar with that redundancy.

    A few good reasons have been alluded to already. Dedicating a blade to food prep - I use the same blade every time I pull meat off the smoker. Also cut a lot of fruit. Use a smaller, razor sharp blade for precise tasks. Also, as these are traditional patterns of the past, it is beneficial to consider the knife itself, along with circumstances that it may have been used and abused many years ago. Perhaps it was the owners only pocket knife, and a cheap one at that. When one blade wears from sharpening or breaks, it might be nice to have another redundant one tucked away in the frame to go about your business.
    HotGuts, neal70 and JohnDF like this.
  9. spyderg


    Sep 28, 2014
    That’s a good point, it’s cheaper to get a multi blade knife and move to the next blade if it breaks than buying two or three knives.
    I think that’s more of an older way of thinking though. Still relevant?
    neal70 likes this.
  10. Frailer

    Frailer Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 25, 2009

    I like buying more knives.

    You, sir, are a buzzkill. ;)
    neal70 and akaMatt like this.
  11. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    My definite preference is for multi-blades with a curved edge and a straight edge, one pointy and one stout. If my curved blade is a clip, I like it as the main blade and a 2/3 length sheepfoot for the secondary. If I have a Wharncliffe or sheepfoot main, then I like the secondary to be a 2/3 length pen.


  12. Peregrin

    Peregrin Traditional Forum Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    This is pretty much my thoughts on the subject, although I usually carry single blade knives, I find that on 2 blade knives I prefer one blade with some belly and typically a shorter straight blade for the secondary. I like the control a shorter blade allows for in many cutting situations.
    This combination is about perfect in my estimation.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  13. Ernie1980

    Ernie1980 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    I have yet to come up on a situation where more than one blade was not enough for my cutting needs, but yet I prefer multiple blades anyways. I like your thought process about the money savings possibilities from years past, I had never thought of that but it makes sense with all of the missing blade Congress patterns I see around!
    neal70 and JohnDF like this.
  14. NMpops


    Aug 9, 2010
    First, i like redundancy, "one is none and 2 is 1". But I don't really see the Spear and Pen blades of the average SAK as redundant. Do to size they each have their own advantages. For example the spear makes a good slicer/paring knife and general use blade. But the pen is so much more useful, at least to me. Because of it's small size its much better at cleaning your nails, fine carving tasks, opening boxes, sharpening pencils or any other fine work. Thinks my Buck 112 just doesn't do very well.
    HotGuts and Prester John like this.
  15. spyderg


    Sep 28, 2014
    I realize a smaller blade is very handy, I just feel a coping or sheepsfoot is better suited for such tasks. Or the other way round, my gec15 has sheepsfoot main with a pen secondary. Makes for a nice combo as a utility oriented knife.
    If I’ve got multiple blades I prefer them to be of different shape. Makes for a more versatile tool. If I’ve got two similar blades, one goes unused and seems like waste somehow.
  16. JohnDF

    JohnDF Gold Member Gold Member

    May 14, 2018
    I do very much enjoy the classic look of a Jack knife with a large spear and a small pen. It is a very neat and tidy looking package. However, I don't find them very satisfying to carry and therefore don't have any examples of one in my knife drawers.

    In actual use and carry, I prefer a Jack knife with different blades. A clip point blade paired with a straight edge blade is a very useful combination. But even a sheepsfoot with a pen is great in my book. I like the belly and straight edge combination best.


    Of course my favorite carry is a Lambsfoot blade. I find it to be the absolute most useful blade for the chores I encounter. But even when I carry my single blade Lambsfoot knives, I often pair them with a second knife that has some belly to it.

  17. spyderg


    Sep 28, 2014
    Exactly, I find two different blade shapes super useful. When GEC put out the most 56 with a spear and pen I was very disappointed. I very much wanted a nice dogleg but everyone I came across was equipped with the same. Luckily the nick was just far enough back to turn the pen into a coping blade. (I turned the spear into a clip point as well). Even on my DogPaw conductor I’m tempted to make the pen into a coping, keep trying to convince myself the blades are different enough.
    At the end of the day when I take my knife out of my pocket, if it’s a multi blade, the blades are different. Ones that aren’t don’t get carried much at all unless I end up modifying them. I usually don’t even buy them in the first place.
    neal70 likes this.
  18. gaj999

    gaj999 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 25, 2004
    Buy the Electrician instead. Pretty much the best bang for the buck you'll find anywhere.
    peanutsxx, Henry Beige and HotGuts like this.
  19. neal70

    neal70 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 3, 2015
    @spyderg -perhaps a SAK Electrician would work better? I believe I’ve even seen some with scissors, though they may be Swissbianco made.
    Thanks, Neal
    Joe58 and gaj999 like this.
  20. gaj999

    gaj999 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 25, 2004
    I tend to prefer two-bladed knives, ideally a main with belly and a shorter secondary with a straight edge. I like the pen configuration, with one spring.

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