Rotating Carry Knives

An interesting thing (to me) came out of the thread on who uses their Sebenza. I had never contemplated the concept of owning several tactical folders and rotating their carry on some time interval. It seems several people own two, three, or four folders and carry them at different times. I own a couple of folders but thought to carry only one, when ready to give it to one of my sons, I would replace it as my only carry knife.

I would like to ask why some of you rotate your knives. Is it because you find different knives work better under different circumstances (school, dress up, etc.), you just like each knife and "need" to own more than one, you haven't found the "one best" tactical folder yet and are still searching, or what? I am considering that you know something I don't and would be like to understand your philosophy. Thanks.

Bruce Woodbury
Knives for me are like jewelry. I carry on any given day what suits my mood that day.

Task or situation dictates some of my decisions regarding this.

As far as finding the perfect knife, I hope I never do! That would put an end to a wonderful pursuit.

"Every Dog Has His Day"


Gary W. Graley

“Imagination is more important than knowledge"
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Mar 2, 1999
It's bad enough that I normally have up to 8 knives on me at any given time, so the unlucky knives that have to stay home and stare at the sides of the drawer deserve to be taken out into the sunshine and given the opportunity to do some cuttin'

But you can't take them all with you, so you need to rotate or as I call those, <font color=#ff0000>`Making a cameo appearance'</font>

I have had suppliers come to where I work and try guess how many knives I have on my person, usually 7 sometimes 8.

I'd wear them all on my belt if I could!

The SAK's always travel with me as well as the Harpy, they make up the daily carry, the belt is where the cameo knives come into play, today it's the Boye/Loveless Persona, an extremely sharp bladed piece, most days it's the Sebenza/large or small, or the Wood/Irie folder.


When a fellow says, "it ain't the money but the principle of the thing,"
it's the money.
F. McKinney Hubbard

[This message has been edited by Gary W. Graley (edited 20 May 1999).]
Bruce, I only rotate 3 knives on a daily basis - original Spyderco Delica and Endura, and a Gerber Covert(the newest addition).

The Endura is worn the most, it is my primary one-handed folder.

The Delica is for times a smaller blade is more approriate. For example, a work place where the 'sheeple' would freak at the size of the Endura, travelling thru airports, when wearing workout or running attire, etc.

The Covert is my newest knife and I find I tend to wear it on the weekends more than the other 2. The heavier construction of this knife seems better suited to some of the heavy outside work I put a blade thru, on the weekend.

This doesn't exclude me quite often carrying more than one of them. Usually the Delica with one of the 2 other larger blades.

This is in addition to a SAK that I always have in my pocket and a Buck Mini-tool on my keychain.

I have given up on finding the "one knife that does everthing" concept. My needs (and probably most people's) are too varied.

"Walk softly and carry a big folder... and a small folder... and a SAK... and a multi-tool..."
Here's what I main carry knives are a Victorinox SAK (the Spartan, I think...), a Spydie Endura, Spydie Calypso (big one) and a Benchmade Mini-Spike. My rotation works like this:
If I am feeling "classic" or I want something inconspicuos and fairly tame, I carry the SAK. When I wear certain pants and shorts that have a drawstring rather than a belt, they tend to slip down a bit, and I need to minimize the weight in the pockets, so I carry my Mini-Spike. I also carry it when I am dressed up because it is fairly low-profile.
My Endura and my Calyspo are my main carry knives. I always carry them on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays, as these are the days I wrench bikes in a bike shop. This is where I do most of my carboard cutting, etc.
The only knives I find myself rotating anymore are fixed blades and various large-sized folders dependent upon dress. I carry a small folder which is a mainstay; it is the one that I'd know would be there in a pinch, and it's also the one that I have a backup replacement for should it grow wings. This is an interesting question in that I am intrigued by the responses. Some believe that a mainstay knife should be the one you train with if you practice self-defense with a blade, and thus shouldn't be rotated but rather complimented with the carry of other knives from time to time. Others would say that this doesn't matter. All and all, I'd say it's a matter of personal preference and what makes you the most comfortable.

I usually wear "plainclothes" so I have a large Seb clipped to my pocket, a small SAK classic in the pocket. If I am in uniform, my Military is clipped to the pocket of my uniform trousers. I always have a small "kit bag" with extra magazine and ammo, Gerber tool, Energy bars, cuffs, 6Z light, and my Mad Dog Operator.
Rotating knives is the fun of having a "using collection." I'm still working on expanding the lineup, but my front pocket has my customized AFCK most days, the Civilian if I'm going out into town or anyplace I'm not totally comfortable, and now the classy Calypso if I'm dressing up a bit. Some days for a change I carry the titanium Police, and as soon as it returns I will have the Military as an option if I feel that actual cutting duty might be necessary. For the most part, my "front pocket knife" is just a "toy" and a knife-guy status symbol, though I do keep it sharp and stay handy with it because it's also my defensive knife. Any day-to-day cutting gets done by my Leatherman Wave. Its two blades are so handy that I sadly admit by back pocket beater knife, the Pro-Grip, usually stays at home lately.

I don't know what the Terzuola will be "for" (though reasons are just basically excuses), and planning WAY ahead I have no idea what niche the Shabaria can fill, but my goal is to have a big blade-hole folder for each day of the week
After that... maybe a month full of folders? A G-10 Police, an M-2 AFCK, a large micarta Goddard... I'd better go buy that lottery ticket


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
I refuse to collect anything that has no practical use. I have skinned hogs and deer with Damascus art knives. As I have stated before I have a basket by the door that is full of both custom and factory knives. The one knife I always carry is a SAK climber. It is an old habit. I also have given the SAK out of my pocket as a gift on many occassions. So I keep several on hand to replace the gift. It sometimes depends on my mood, dress,job, or destination(Do not carry a Spyderco Police to the airport)as to what I put in my pocket. I have recently been carrying a Spyderco Baby Terzuola,Wayne Goddard,Casteel LinerLock,Crawford Canivor,Klotzi Warncliff, and the SAK. This week. This weekend I will probably change all of them except the Crawford and SAK. I am looking forward to getting the Carson/CRKT M-16 in all sizes(I already have a MD Carson M-16 on order.) and the Outdoor edge Magma to carry.

Variety is the spice of life.

Blue Skies,


"Cet animal est tres mechant;quand on l'attaque il se defend."("This animal is very mischievous: when it is attacked it defends itself")
I rotate knives every day, just as a car collector takes different cars out to keep them road ready.It will likely be an emerson or a benchmade,perhaps a g-10 civilian or police. I factor in the color of my pants,wearing black clipped knives with darker pants to minimize detection.When wearing khaki or denim,I`ll use a Bright clipped knife.
I decide what I will carry that day. I've been carrying a Delica '98 daily, and I usually carry a SAK Classic in the pocket. If I want a bigger knife I'll carry my Endura, Cold Steel Voyager Tanto or Clip point, or the CRKT Mirage (for utility work only).
Some knives I own are rarely brought out at all. Others I'll use as my main carry for a week or two, then not use them again for a while as the mood strikes me.
When traveling by air, the most knife I've dared carry so far is the SAK Victorinox Tinker. I retired my Spartan, which I carried for a decade, because I prefer the Phillips Screwdriver option on the Tinker to the corkscrew. I've had no trouble getting it through up to now. I've thought about air travel with the plainedge Spyderco Dragonfly, but don't dare yet take it.
I have 4 or 5 knives I rotate on a daily basis depending upon my needs, dress, and where I plan to be. If I am wearing light colored pants or jeans I'll wear a stainless clip and if dark colored pants a black clip to try to be more inconspicuous. Also, I usually won't carry anything longer than a 3" blade, unless I'm out doing something that I would need it for, (like fishing or being in the woods) so I could justify it to an officer. Here in Ohio our knife carry laws are very confusing and often left to local ordinances or even the officer in question.
I used to rotate knives more, but rarely ever do I carry anything but my small 'benza on a daily basis. On weekends I frequently move to a larger folder, my red endura, but for daily carry, the 'benza it is.

When the Sebenza is "in the shop" or otherwise out of commision, my Calypso, Jr. takes its place.



Clay Fleischer

Picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue...

Erroneous post removed

[This message has been edited by FullerH (edited 24 May 1999).]
I switch off frequently. I don't expect to use a knife for self-defense, but I spend some time working with each of my tactical style knives each week to keep the muscle memory relatively current for each one.

My daily carry is anchored by my SwissBuck SAK, always in my backpack/briefcase, and my Spydie CF Dragonfly as a moneyclip. Then I generally add my black-coated EDI Genesis in my right back pocket, although I occasionally switch the Genesis off for a Black-T BM 830 Ascent if for some reason I think I might lose a knife out of my pocket.

If I'm wearing jeans, a serrated Spydie Native goes in the watch pocket, unless I'm in the mood for my CRKT Small Mirage.

If I'm working around the yard and garden, I usually have my CRKT Stiff Kiss around my neck for close quarter encounters with hostile foliage. In the kitchen, I frequently deploy a Spydie Moran Lightweight...

This list could go on and on, but I don't want to bore anyone any more than I already have. Long story short, I don't buy it if I ain't gonna use it!


A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes bleed the hand that uses it.
-Rabindranath Tagore

[This message has been edited by whitebear (edited 24 May 1999).]
One knife I don`t rotate is a mini Mel Pardue.I removed the carbon fiber from The handle {easily replaced}and it lays flat on my keychain.It`s about the size of a modern car key and serves as my utility knife for mundane tasks such as letter and box opening.It keeps whatever bigger knife I`m toting from the abuse of cutting paper and cardboard,which are highly abrasive materials with high chemical content.