knives? who carries one?

Hello, i am a designer at SAIC and i am researching knives and who does and does not carry them. If you do not mind could you post your experiences with pocket knives and why you do or do not carry them?

Here is a poll i am using to collect some numbers

All of this data is to help me design something that could be seen in the pockets of more people as i think a knife is an incredibly valuable accessory that comes in handy on so many occasions, and its a shame more people do not carry them.

Thank you so much for your help and i will post whatever progress i make on this.


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gizmologist2 years ago

I've carried a pocketknife for decades, and it has bailed me out from being stranded at least twice... Once I used it for an expedient repair on a radiator hose to get me to the nearest auto parts store, where I used my car tool kit for a permanent repair... Used it once to repair a broken battery cable that got me home.

LillyR12 years ago

I keep a knife with me everywhere I go ( except for school ) I feel defenceless without one! ? Guns... NOT my thing

snotty5 years ago
I never carry one on me in an urban setting. A phillips screwdriver is consistently much more helpful in the urban jungle. In the woods I use a quality multitool.

My busker friend had a big scary knife and the cops came around. They talked to him and it was fine but it may have cost him some money as a busker by getting fewer coins.

I'd suggest keeping your knife out of sight.
Thrasym5 years ago
I follow Gibbs rules, carry Kershaw's Zero Tolerance 0350 currently (black, plain edge). It's big (wide blade/handle) and heavy and a pain to sharpen ('S' shaped blade) so I'll probably get a new one sooner or later.

I think the reason more people don't carry "such an amazingly useful tool" is because they aren't allowed to or don't want to give others the wrong impression. I'm sure we've all gotten the weird looks when we've pulled out our knives to open a package or something. Plus there are all kinds of places that have zero tolerance for weapons, job sites, offices, government buildings, etc. Most job sites that require you to complete a task, like opening boxes, cutting wires and tie downs, etc, will supply you with the tools to do so in an efficient manner, making your pocket knife useless.

As for gaining female market share. I think the problem is that the things knives are useful for, aren't what the ladies are doing. Statistically speaking. Most women I've known carry a knife in their cars glove box but only a couple have carried one on their person and they were always the ones that were into the activities that weren't "stereotypically" feminine. I think if they (females) have a lifestyle where a knife is useful, they'll carry one. There probably isn't some magic "make it pink and shiny and slap a kitty logo on it" formula that will pull all the girls into the store.
Speaking as a woman, I disagree that "women aren't doing things that require knives" is all that accurate. The problem is that women's clothes all too often have no or vestigal and useless pockets. Particularly if you have to dress up a lot, as a female, your clothes often won't let you carry a knife on your person.
As I type, the trousers I am wearing have 11 useful pockets, yet I still keep my Leatherman in a pouch on my belt...
I've carried a pocket knife for more then 58 years, and can't see any reason to be without my pocket tool. Its used several times a day often, and is simply a part of me. I have built several of my own design while in the navy as a machinist, and appreciate the usefulness and easy access. A pocket knife is capable of many uses, and the better steels can give you a blade that will give a long practical life. My favorite right now is my Cold Steel AK-47 knife, and a smaller two bladed Barlow style for everything from cleaning finger nails to cutting and even acting as a wood scraper. The larger AK is for quick one handed cutting where I don't have two hands to open a conventional knife, or where the bigger blade is need for heavy cutting. Keep us informed on your ideas for a knife, I'd like to see what you come up with. Designing a knife is fun and really gives you the chance to apply your ideas in a very personal tool. I had several hex holes milled into the slab sides of my custom knives for use as small handy wrenches, and a serious idea would be to mill the sides of the standard screw drivers parallel like a quality gunsmith screw driver so they don't cam out of the screw holes and mar stuff like the cheaply made stuff does with their tapered faces. (I did that with the swiss army knife in my tool box and its a treat to use it) Might be fun to ask the readers here what they would want in a knife and see what features might interest them.
caitlinsdad5 years ago
I think you need to fine tune your question depending on what you want to get out of it. What do you consider a pocket knife, a utility tool or a weapon? How big and do kids get them? Yeah, a multitool or pocketknife is handy on many occasions but I do not want to worry that everyone is carrying a concealed weapon around. Greetings from NYC.
dsharps (author)  caitlinsdad5 years ago
well based off what ive gathered so far, im really wondering why more women do not carry pocket knives and why its a male dominated market. Less about the use of them as weapons and more about the fact that they are a super useful tool. I would like to design a knife that would take people away from the idea of a knife as a weapon and bring the knife into the must have tool that can help with everything. I figure that a small knife would be more ideal as its less threatening. also i want to try and find a way to shift the market for knives away from the "tacticool" feel and more into the designed object, useful tool, and the very best would be a fashion accessory.

I feel as if the average person does not want to mug, stab, or cause some sort of harm to another person and i feel like there are many frustrated people who right now are looking for some sort of way to open a package, cut some wire, or possible do some food prep on the go, but these people are without a tool to do any of this stuff.

So i am a little lost as to how to put that simply and get some good info out of it.

Thanks for your input though!
My Dad bought me my first knife when I was around 8 or 9, a Leatherman PST. Today I own a Leatherman Surge but it is just too heavy to carry around, even in a purse or diaper bag. The biggest problem for women I think (or at least just for me) is that women don't always have pockets. It is easier for a man to carry a pocket knife because they always have a pants pocket or belt to hold a sheath on. Kind of difficult to carry a pocket knife when wearing a sundress. I've been thinking of maybe a small neck knife would be a better way to carry a blade for women. The Mantis Cyclops is something I'm looking in to. So please design a knife or small pocket tool that is easy to carry even if you don't have a pocket or belt sheath. I'm more interested in carrying the tool on my person where it is readily accessible than digging through my bag for it when the time comes to use it.
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