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Serious wound!

Oct 27, 1998
A buddy of mine made a bad mistake!...real bad, probably something none of us would ever do! Some time ago I gave him a KISS folder which he used as a keychain. He called me the other day from the ER...he felt dumb, real dumb and I felt guilty. Apparently he was trying to pierce an extra notch in a leather belt and was using his KISS. Well for starters; he was holding the knife with a firm grasp blade facing him in his right hand while pulling a belt strait up with his left hand tanto point stuck in the belt. I hope you can visualize this...because what happened is truly disturbing! He was not thinking as he told me, exerting force caused the knife to callapse and swing through his hand between the index finger and the thumb. The KISS took a bite! Three inch incision that severed two of the four tendons controlling the thumb. He's getting surgery on this Tues. Truly terrible, but quite avoidable. At first I felt real guilty about ever giving him the knife, but now I realize he made every possibe mistake. His grip actually facilitated the collapsing of the lock of the knife...bad idea! He said the knife fillet'ed him like a fish!

I'm truly sorry to hear about your friend Salmon, and I hope that things turn out well on Tuesday. We live and learn, I am sure that almost everyone here has some scars to attest to that.
Thanks PK for the concern. I'm surprised more members haven't responded to such a knife gone bad incident. I was especially hoping to hear from the forum Doc Walt!

Personally, I don't have any scars from my knives
I always get a customary nick or scrape from any new knife I get that I play around with for any length of time, but it's always other people's knives that cause the scar-inducing wounds...probably because they don't keep them sharp enough and I'm used to mine.

It sucks that your friend sustained such a serious injury and I hope he recovers fully, damages to tendons can cause some real problems. I hope he's mature enough to understand that it was his mistake, not your fault for giving the knife to him, although from your post it seems he's being mature and good-natured about it.


The deed is everything, the glory nothing.
Ouch! Reading about that made it hurt from here. I have a scar on my thumb that`s left from a nasty cut down to the bone. In this case it wasn`t a knife but another tool in conjunction with a Chevy
but the lesson`s the same. I hope your friend learned as much from the experience as I did. Best of luck to him with his surgery. Marcus
Hope everything works out for your friend. Got a nice scar on the back of my thumb where a fixed blade rolled out of my grip. Nothing as serious as your friend, but a nice little reminder to be careful!

As far as your conscience goes, it might serve you well to hear what my Great Grand Dad always did when he gave me a knife. (Seems like he was always giving me some neat little blade when I was a kid.)
"Grandpa" would always make me pay for my knife. What ever I had, a nickle, a penny. Just so long as he didn't actually GIVE it to me. I guess he KNEW I was going to cut myself and this was his way of pointing out to me that it was MY responsibility. (I bought it, my knife, my problem!) Of course, I didn't know the reason behind it back then, but I do now. Thanks Grand Dad!
Maybe that's where the idea of: "if someone gives you a knife you give them a penny" comes from. I've always wondered where this saying originated from...anyone else know?

Sorry; I have been surfing through the forums and missed this post; please excuse my somewhat belated response.

However, it reinforces exactly what I have said in the past:

First; do not depend on any lock or safety device to protect your hand. All mechanical locks or safeties can, and eventually will, fail.

Second; there is NO such thing as a minor hand cut (laceration). All hand lacs are potentially catastrophic. They all look alike; seek medical attention promptly.

Third; keep your tetanus shot up to date. Every 10 years even without a cut; every 5 years if you are cut. You get one automatically with a tetanus-prone wound: gun shot wound, lawnmower amputation, burn.

Fourth; if you are away from civilization, and suffer a hand injury, tape it up, or otherwise close it as best you can. Get back to medical care as rapidly as possible. You have a two week period during which a reopening of the wound to repair tendon, nerve, or (possibly) blood vessel damage is going to be probably successful.

An arterial laceration is the least likely to be successful, and a complete amputation of a digit requires attention within 24 hours to have hope of a good outcome. Pack a severed digit in a dry plastic bag, and place in ice.

Remember your two most important pieces of your first aid kit; your cell phone, and your car keys. In other words, call for help, and get to help. As quickly as possible.

Above all, BE CAREFUL. Prevention is the best course. Walt Welch MD, Diplomate, American Board of Emergency Medicine
I am getting a bit wary of the folding KISS series of knives because I have heard alot of incidences where the knife has either folded up and cut someone, or unfolded in the pocket and cut someone. As far as the knife folding during use, it should be obvious that the knife is not ment to be used hard. With the release being part of the handle, and not necessarily being forced in a helpful direction (eg. 'benza whaere gripping force generally re-enforces the lock), it seems akin to the trigger of a handgun being on the backstrap without a safety. Although i do not consider it a flaw in the design, it does seem that the KISS folder needs to be handled a bit more carefully, sorta like a Corvair

As far as it opening in the pocket, I thnk the jury is still out on that one. It may need a stronger detent or something...

What ever the case may be, I hope your friend recovers fully, my last trip to the hospital was a close one, the blade of my serrated knife just nicked the tendon on the back of my left thumb, and it took months for the pain to go away. My neighbor sliced up his hand while doing sheetrock, and it took over a year to get partial use of his hand back. That was over seven years ago and his hand still isn't fully usable. I hope that medicine has advanced a little more since his injuries.

Till then, get your buddy a Cetan, or some other small fixed blade, I don't think he'll want to see a folder for a while.



"Will Dremel for Food!!"
"No, it's a Vaquero Grande in my pocket, but I am happy to see you!"
MegaFolderians Unite!!
Dremel Junkies Unite!
Dyslexics Untie!

I am very sorry to hear of your friend, Salmon. I hope he recovers with only a scar. I know that they can suture tendons as it was done in my knee.

My learning scar was the result of using a pocket version of the ceramic rod sharpener back in about 1982. It did not have guards on it and the blade on a Buck Esquire slid off and layed open my hand just below my thumb. It took twelve stitches, but cut no tendons. I was lucky! I did learn a lesson, which I am sharing here. The lesson is to make certain that a sharpener keeps your body parts out of harm's way or has a guard to protect them. I am now very suspicious of those "v" sharpeners.

A similar experience happened to me. I gave my wife a plain edged delica, and took pride in keeping it sharp for her. One day she was using it in the garden to cut flowers. She was holding the stems in her left hand and cutting toward herself with the knife. The first sign she had that something was wrong was when she felt the warm wet blood on her hand. She had severed muscle and tendon in her little finger.

She was under the surgeon’s knife for several hours while they repaired the intricate mechanism of her finger.

She still expresses amazement that she never felt the cut. There was plenty of pain as it healed though. Her finger still does not straighten properly. She’s the knife safety person around the house now. If she thinks I’m being careless she shows me her finger as a reminder.
I cut a tendon in my right pinky finger with a custom Balisong knife. The ER doctor didn't notice that it was severed when he stitched me up. I had to have a tendon graft taken from my forearm later on. The pinky still doesn't curl up right. I am very careful with knives these days. I also am leery of most folder handles now.

First, I am really sorry to hear about your friend. I work in Physical Therapy and I have seen quite a few people with similar injuries and the rehab is long term.
I myself have suffered a similar injury, although not with a knife. The result: surgery and tons of rehab. On the plus side I have full use of the finger. I believe your friend will be fine.

As for the give a coin when someone gives you a knife concept. To my understanding it is of French origin and as I am sure you are aware, is so the friendship won't be severed. Perhaps due to similar incidences.
Again I wish your friend all the best and tell him from my personal and professional opinion, he should be fine.
Hope this helps.

Norwegian Misfit

"For the word of GOD is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword...." Hebrews 4:12

This is a piece of advice that may or may not work. Usually, whenever I'm using a folder to cut something, I usually try to use the tip of the blade, and grasp the knife by the sides of the blade. I keep my fingers away from the closing line of the knife. I usually rest the handle against my wrist for more support. As you can probably guess, much of what I use my knives for is fine work. (Mostly opening packages).

If any of you agree or disagree, please let me know. I hope that anyone who reads this avoids such catastrophies.

Odd not: Most of my scars are burns, not cuts. Hmmmm...

Ted Stewart
Thanks everyone for all the great input. Surgery went well, so far..so good. My friend whom I'll refer to as RP was told he will need extensive physical therapy but the surgery itself should be %100. He's still carrying the folder by the way, can't keep a good knife enthusiat down! Thanks again for all the concern!

That's good news Salmon, glad to hear it! It's also good to hear that he's still carrying a knife, and now I'm sure he'll be more carful from now on.
I agree with you RedTwin becuase that grip is easier for point control (except I probably hold my knife a little more behind). This is a time where I like having clips. It gives your fingers a place to hold on to.
Watch out for the Stiff Kiss too...
While holding the S.K by the handle in my left hand I firmly yanked it out of the kydex sheath,My right hand was holding the sheath with my index finger in the groove...yup! 7 stiches in that finger. Havent heard of anyone else doing this yet, but find it hard to believe that they havent! It is a good design, just didnt think!

Well, I hope the anti-tobacco and anti-gun people will not read this post and sue CRKT.

I'm truly sorry for your friend, SALMON...

[This message has been edited by Titan (edited 24 February 1999).]
Glad to hear things went well with the surgery and I hope he keeps the great attitude during rehab. Tell him there are a bunch of us pulling for him so he'll have to work that much harder to keep us happy.
He would not want to see my "bad side": which ever that is.
. Let's keep 'm sharp and focus when we use them.
SALMON and RP: Glad to hear it will be ok!
For these are the scars of our tales, we all have them. We all learn from them and some might just be fate! I always refer to ECCLESIASTES 10:10..If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.