The two bladed SAK

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Mar 8, 2020
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I am a firm believer in the greatness of the 58mm SAK range. For the most part in day-to-day life in suburbia, I can get by with no problems with just the little blade on a Classic or Rally. Sometimes though, a little more blade is just more practical. Think food service or cutting down very large cardboard boxes. This sort of cutting accounts for say 3% of my cutting. This is where the 84mm two-bladed SAK's shine. The small pen blade can act much like the Classic's pen blade would for 97% of cutting tasks. The large spear blade is always ready for service should cutting in the other 3% range need to be done. For this reason I really love the 84mm SAK line with two blades, the Recruit, Tourist etc. To me these are basically old fashioned pen knives with some added tools. I find them more useful than the SAK's with only a single spear blade like the Bantam, Cadet, Waiter etc. When using a SAK outside of the 58mm line, I will always choose one with two blades. This for example would exclude something like a Sportsman as well. Or even the much loved alox Cadet. Anyone in the same camp? I really find the small blade enough for most situations and it makes a great team with the larger spear blade to avoid having to carry another dedicated knife.
 
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Jul 31, 2015
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I wouldn't begin to consider a single blade SAK or indeed any single blade knife as a carry. The small blade on my Spartan see's 70% of the use and the big one is needed for when I need a bigger blade, basically food. I've never quite got the 'requirement' for a 3"+ EDC blade in an urban environment.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2004
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16,311
I am a firm believer in the greatness of the 58mm SAK range. For the most part in day-to-day life in suburbia, I can get by with no problems with just the little blade on a Classic or Rally. Sometimes though, a little more blade is just more practical. Think food service or cutting down very large cardboard boxes. This sort of cutting accounts for say 3% of my cutting. This is where the 84mm two-bladed SAK's shine. The small pen blade can act much like the Classic's pen blade would for 97% of cutting tasks. The large spear blade is always ready for service should cutting in the other 3% range need to be done. For this reason I really love the 84mm SAK line with two blades, the Recruit, Tourist etc. To me these are basically old fashioned pen knives with some added tools. I find them more useful than the SAK's with only a single spear blade like the Bantam, Cadet, Waiter etc. When using a SAK outside of the 58mm line, I will always choose one with two blades. This for example would exclude something like a Sportsman as well. Or even the much loved alox Cadet. Anyone in the same camp? I really find the small blade enough for most situations and it makes a great team with the larger spear blade to avoid having to carry another dedicated knife.

Fass, I've looked at all sides of that issue, and I came to the conclusion that for me, and my life style, for the 2 or 4 percent of the time the 58mm isn't enough, then a small but just large enough dedicated pocket'pen knife is carried. Something with absolute minimal bulk, but just enough blade to slice a sandwich in half. But it has to be small enough to fit in the wallet or the bottom leg/cargo pocket of my cargo shorts.

For this, I settled many decades ago for the Christy Knife. My dad gave me one when I was kid, and I didn't really appreciate it until I grew up. Its so small, and the blade locks out in three different lengths, and drops in a pocket and is forgotten until needed. Its a much more capable knife than you would give credit for, just like the 58mm line. The blade is also replaceable and the owner can overhaul the knife by taking just two flat screws. Done with the SD tip of the nail file.

Carrying a dedicated knife gives me a backup, and something to use for anything grungy that I don't want to muck up my small SAK on. With either the old Sear's keychain 4-way screw driver or Victorinox quattro in my wallet with my old army P-38, I don't need the whole opening layer of the larger SAK. Yes, I know that's SAKrilege, but there it is. As much as I love my 58mm SAK, I also love my old Christy knife. Its a bit of cutlery history to boot, and I like the history of the company. Its been a family business for a number of generations. I've talked to Hal Christy, and he's a great guy trying to keep an old line American family business going. My classic and Christy knife do 100% of what I need in an urban/suburban environment.
 

Fire King

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Sep 1, 2020
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157
I’m not sure if you are asking opinions on the big versus small SAK’s? Perhaps this will go against the grain a little, but I have had many SAK’s and rarely used the secondary tools, don’t recall ever using the scissors. In my mind the Swiss Army 1 is a great knife and if I need more I have my Leatherman. What I I like about the SA1 is that it doesn’t freak civilians out and is functional, sleek and looks great/carries well. BUT, I have a single blade bias for sure. Different strokes for different folks.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
80
Fass, I've looked at all sides of that issue, and I came to the conclusion that for me, and my life style, for the 2 or 4 percent of the time the 58mm isn't enough, then a small but just large enough dedicated pocket'pen knife is carried. Something with absolute minimal bulk, but just enough blade to slice a sandwich in half. But it has to be small enough to fit in the wallet or the bottom leg/cargo pocket of my cargo shorts.

For this, I settled many decades ago for the Christy Knife. My dad gave me one when I was kid, and I didn't really appreciate it until I grew up. Its so small, and the blade locks out in three different lengths, and drops in a pocket and is forgotten until needed. Its a much more capable knife than you would give credit for, just like the 58mm line. The blade is also replaceable and the owner can overhaul the knife by taking just two flat screws. Done with the SD tip of the nail file.

Carrying a dedicated knife gives me a backup, and something to use for anything grungy that I don't want to muck up my small SAK on. With either the old Sear's keychain 4-way screw driver or Victorinox quattro in my wallet with my old army P-38, I don't need the whole opening layer of the larger SAK. Yes, I know that's SAKrilege, but there it is. As much as I love my 58mm SAK, I also love my old Christy knife. Its a bit of cutlery history to boot, and I like the history of the company. Its been a family business for a number of generations. I've talked to Hal Christy, and he's a great guy trying to keep an old line American family business going. My classic and Christy knife do 100% of what I need in an urban/suburban environment.
I have never handled a Christy knife but I know what they look like. I can certainly see the appeal in just a 58mm SAK and some other small knife to accompany it for those other "2 to 4 percent" needs. For me as European, that knife could very weel be a no. 5 or 6 Opinel.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
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139
I wouldn't begin to consider a single blade SAK or indeed any single blade knife as a carry. The small blade on my Spartan see's 70% of the use and the big one is needed for when I need a bigger blade, basically food. I've never quite got the 'requirement' for a 3"+ EDC blade in an urban environment.
I completely agree. I use the small blade on my Climber probably 90% of the time. If I need a blade bigger the large blade on a SAK I am going to get a fixed blade more then likely. To the OP I agree I will only carry my Cadet when I have my Rambler with me (which is most of the time) because I want a smaller backup blade.
 
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Oct 2, 2004
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I have never handled a Christy knife but I know what they look like. I can certainly see the appeal in just a 58mm SAK and some other small knife to accompany it for those other "2 to 4 percent" needs. For me as European, that knife could very weel be a no. 5 or 6 Opinel.

Another very great alternative is, staying with Victorinox and going with an excelsior. That thing is flat enough to fit in a wallet for those little emergencies that are the 3%.
 
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Another very great alternative is, staying with Victorinox and going with an excelsior. That thing is flat enough to fit in a wallet for those little emergencies that are the 3%.
Great suggestion and I have considered the Excelsior in the past. What has always stopped from buying it, is the lack of tools. I can get a Recruit for less which is basically the same setup but with added tools and hardly a penalty in extra weight. I am currently swinging back and forth between a 58mm plus an extra dedicated smallish folder or just a 84mm that has the pen blade which is pretty similar to the one a 58mm. The spear blade could than act as the "2 to 4 percent" blade. Decisions, decisions...
 

evenkeel

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Jun 19, 2021
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I am currently swinging back and forth between a 58mm plus an extra dedicated smallish folder or just a 84mm that has the pen blade which is pretty similar to the one a 58mm. The spear blade could than act as the "2 to 4 percent" blade. Decisions, decisions...
Can’t really go wrong either way IMO. The Tourist is a great single-knife EDC option. If you already have a Classic or other 58mm and want a larger secondary blade, the Swiss Army 1 (94mm) or alox Bantam (84mm) would do that in a very slim package. Plenty of non-SAK options for a single-blade folder as well.
 
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Dec 17, 2015
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221
As others have said, the "best" SAK(s) are very much dependent on one's environment, context, and main usage. For me, I use the blade daily (98% for food prep) and the scissors for personal grooming (beard). Hence, 84+mm SAKs are a must and I have no use for the small blade. That said, if you use your blades for a lot of other stuff, I can totally understand someone not wanting to muck up the larger blade for non-food-related tasks.

All that said, I carry a rambler on the keychain and the scissors can be opened to easily be used as a box opener (use only the fixed scissor blade) in case you don't want to use your main blade. Just a thought...
 

Wild Willie

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Mar 19, 2018
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I suppose I come to the table with different needs than the average suburbanite, but I live and run a tree service in a rural county in Western New York... I really wish I could get by day to day with just my rambler (bottom in the picture), but unfortunately it's a little anemic to dress ropes or turn screws on my equipment. I've just within the last couple of months switched to carrying the pioneer and rambler along with a pair of 5 inch knipex cobra pliers exclusively on my person. The pioneer takes care of most of my knife needs, the scissors and nail file on the rambler take care of broken fingernails and whatnot, along with an extra sharp small blade if the need arises. My go to belt knife is an EDChef from David Mary David Mary , which fills in when my folders aren't up to the task, along with taking care of 90% of what I need in the kitchen. The top blade is an Imacasa (bought in a grab box from FortyTwoBlades FortyTwoBlades ) corn machete that gets used whenever I get called to help removing trees in hedgerows, to remove suckers from chunk wood, and to help dig/cut roots when we're grinding stumps. It's quite a lot faster and easier to file a nick out of the machete than it is to sharpen a saw chain if there's fencing buried in the undergrowth.

Please forgive my long winded reply, but there are instances where just a tiny blade doesn't quite cut it (pun fully intended). I'd also like to add that the machete lives in the truck, until it's needed. 1627095438279722282998.jpg
 
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Jan 23, 2017
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I think the 58mm SAKs have enough blade for everyday life, but I just prefer more to grip on when using a knife. Especially true when there is some resistance.
So a peanut is the smallest size knife I generally carry. The largest size I carry in every day life is something with <3" blade - that's like 99% of my carry.
It's a shame, since I have a beautifully made Tuna Valley Tadpole and Victorinox has some nice options.
 
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Mar 8, 2020
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I suppose I come to the table with different needs than the average suburbanite, but I live and run a tree service in a rural county in Western New York... I really wish I could get by day to day with just my rambler (bottom in the picture), but unfortunately it's a little anemic to dress ropes or turn screws on my equipment. I've just within the last couple of months switched to carrying the pioneer and rambler along with a pair of 5 inch knipex cobra pliers exclusively on my person. The pioneer takes care of most of my knife needs, the scissors and nail file on the rambler take care of broken fingernails and whatnot, along with an extra sharp small blade if the need arises. My go to belt knife is an EDChef from David Mary David Mary , which fills in when my folders aren't up to the task, along with taking care of 90% of what I need in the kitchen. The top blade is an Imacasa (bought in a grab box from FortyTwoBlades FortyTwoBlades ) corn machete that gets used whenever I get called to help removing trees in hedgerows, to remove suckers from chunk wood, and to help dig/cut roots when we're grinding stumps. It's quite a lot faster and easier to file a nick out of the machete than it is to sharpen a saw chain if there's fencing buried in the undergrowth.

Please forgive my long winded reply, but there are instances where just a tiny blade doesn't quite cut it (pun fully intended). I'd also like to add that the machete lives in the truck, until it's needed. View attachment 1605881
You are right, for every situation there is and appropriate knife and blade. Your daily job obviously requires something more than a 4cm blade. For me personally, I live a typical life in a suburb in the western part of the Netherlands. Office job. You get it. I don't deal with trees and such on a daily basis. For me, it's a lot of mundane small cutting. Opening a blister package here and a letter there. That is about it.
 
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Oct 2, 2004
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You are right, for every situation there is and appropriate knife and blade. Your daily job obviously requires something more than a 4cm blade. For me personally, I live a typical life in a suburb in the western part of the Netherlands. Office job. You get it. I don't deal with trees and such on a daily basis. For me, it's a lot of mundane small cutting. Opening a blister package here and a letter there. That is about it.

Yeah, in the end it all depends on who you are, what you do, and where you do it. If I lived in ranch country, or on a farm, or working in a dockyard, my choice of pocket knife would be different. But I don't. I grew up in the wilds of Washington D.C. and except for the time I was in the army, lived most of my life in and around that city. Some time in Baltimore, and New York city when I was dating my high school sweetheart who was from Brooklyn and liked to go "home" on weekends. For me, the weekend backpacking trip, or canoe trip, I would carry a Buck Sheath knife, but Monday thru Friday my carry was a small coin pocket size knife. Or even a keychain size knife.

Even after retiring, and we moved to Georgetown Texas, I actually have little use for a knife bigger than a SAK classic. Opening a plastic blister package, my mail, or cutting a piece of twine for the garden, is most my knife use. I'm a city guy. Always was, and always will be. I like the country, and like camping and hiking, but for me the boonies are a nice place to visit, and then go home. Even now living in Georgetown Texas and being a retired gentleman of leisure who goes fishing about every other day, I still don't have much use for much knife. Fishing line and fish bellies don't require much knife. Theres a Victoriox serrated edge paring knife in my tackle box for fish cleaning, so I don't have to much up my little pocket knife.

Different tools for different life styles.
 
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Mar 8, 2020
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Yeah, in the end it all depends on who you are, what you do, and where you do it. If I lived in ranch country, or on a farm, or working in a dockyard, my choice of pocket knife would be different. But I don't. I grew up in the wilds of Washington D.C. and except for the time I was in the army, lived most of my life in and around that city. Some time in Baltimore, and New York city when I was dating my high school sweetheart who was from Brooklyn and liked to go "home" on weekends. For me, the weekend backpacking trip, or canoe trip, I would carry a Buck Sheath knife, but Monday thru Friday my carry was a small coin pocket size knife. Or even a keychain size knife.

Even after retiring, and we moved to Georgetown Texas, I actually have little use for a knife bigger than a SAK classic. Opening a plastic blister package, my mail, or cutting a piece of twine for the garden, is most my knife use. I'm a city guy. Always was, and always will be. I like the country, and like camping and hiking, but for me the boonies are a nice place to visit, and then go home. Even now living in Georgetown Texas and being a retired gentleman of leisure who goes fishing about every other day, I still don't have much use for much knife. Fishing line and fish bellies don't require much knife. Theres a Victoriox serrated edge paring knife in my tackle box for fish cleaning, so I don't have to much up my little pocket knife.

Different tools for different life styles.
In the end, I always return to the 58mm SAK. There is nothing like working with that small extremely sharp little pen blade. And it's soooooo eeeaasssyyyy to carry in the pocket with a little twine cord attached to the key ring to get it out when needed. I never managed to lose one doing so.
 
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Oct 2, 2004
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16,311
In the end, I always return to the 58mm SAK. There is nothing like working with that small extremely sharp little pen blade. And it's soooooo eeeaasssyyyy to carry in the pocket with a little twine cord attached to the key ring to get it out when needed. I never managed to lose one doing so.

To me, that's the entire draw of the whole maximum minimalism thing. The question of how small can you go and still get the job done? If you go small enough that is really is sooooooo much easier to carry, then that item will always be there for you, no matter where you are, what you're doing, and how you're dressed. Even in light weight shorts and minimal t-shirt and sandals on tropical vacation, theres a small cutting tool/screw driver/scissors/tweezers on hand to deal with those small emergencies.

Same for small flashlights, as it gets dark every night, no matter where you are. A small but effective night light in a strange motel room, or inside a dark tent, or building when a thunderstorm knocks out the power and the stairwell is vary dark. You don't need a zillion lumens to sear the eyeballs out of someone at 300 yards. You just need to see enough to not trip over the chair and break something.

And you're right, Fans, theres a distinctive pleasure in using a small sharp blade and getting done righting front of someone who just told you "That little thing ain't gonna do it, here use my (insert whatever here)". Kind of like a reverse 'one-upmanship' thing. Good for a laugh.

I think about 98% of the whole EDC thing is about the status/snob appeal of the toys. The high end pen, the high end knife, the endless Paracord nonsense. Its amazing how far a cheap Bic pen, Vic classic, single AAA light, and some jute twine that is a few bucks for like a hundred yards of the stuff will get ya.
 
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