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#263042 - 08/30/13 03:25 PM Role of a single-blade folder?
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
I am curious about the role that a single-bladed locking folder plays (something like a Griptilian or a simple Ka-Bar Dozier Folding Hunter, for example). Personally, I'm having a hard time seeing where such a tool would be preferable over the alternatives (either a fixed blade on the one end, or a multi-function tool on the other).

In an urban setting, I find myself preferring either a multi-tool or, more recently, a simple SAK. With my multi-tool (Leatherman Skeletool) I can have a strong locking blade in addition to the pliers & screwdrivers that seem to get used as much, if not more than, the blade. With the SAK (Victorinox Alox Cadet) I have a super-slim tool with a good non-locking blade and again the screwdrivers that come in useful on a seemingly regular basis. It seems that in this setting, the single bladed folder while providing a larger blade would not be as useful of an all-around tool.

Now, out in the woods, I definitely see the benefit of the larger knife, but realistically I see this as being the domain of the fixed blade knife. Heading into the woods, I am most likely to carry my fixed blade (Fallkniven F1) with either a SAK (Wenger S13) or the Skeletool in my pack as back-up. And, if for some reason I decide not to carry a fixed blade (either its in the pack or not carried at all, which is rare) then the Wenger would likely be the tool I'd carry (the wood saw being the big draw, but it does have a locking blade). And if I did decide that carrying a fixed blade was no longer working for me, I think I'd give the nod to something like a Wenger Ranger 78 or Victorinox OHT. Again, I'm not seeing the benefit the single bladed folder would provide over the other options out there.

Now, I do appreciate different tools having different strengths & places, but I'm just not seeing where a single-blade folding knife would be preferable to either a fixed blade or something of the multi-tool / SAK (including the large, locking SAKs) variety.

What are your thoughts on the topic?
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#263043 - 08/30/13 03:57 PM Re: Role of a single-blade folder? [Re: Denis]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6583
Loc: southern Cal
Ever since 1985, when I first wrapped my fingers around a Leatherman PST, I have carried one variety or another of multitool; before that,I was an ardent SAK fan. I currently carry a Wave (and a PS4 on my keyring). The pliers on the L-tool sold me. Don't need pliers in theee backcountry, you say. You have never had to deal with cactus spines or jammed locking carabiners. The L-tool handles both of those problems as well; also makes a dandy pot lifter.

I own several fixed blade knives and a bunch of single blade folders (Buck 110, anyone?) and they are occasionally useful, but I could go with the Wave or similar and never miss anything else. Actually, the PS4 handles about 90% of the situations I encounter.....
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#263046 - 08/30/13 04:14 PM Re: Role of a single-blade folder? [Re: Denis]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2326
...Pocket carry at work or in a small kit (where little else fits). Current preference; the Gerber compact scout.

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#263047 - 08/30/13 04:22 PM Re: Role of a single-blade folder? [Re: Denis]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Well.... it cuts.

Therefore it has a role. I usually carry a Kershaw blur, or a SOG II flash, or some other single blade knife. Occasionally a knife with 2 blades (a la SAK).

In daily life, I've never needed pliers. I've never needed tweezers. I've rarely needed an eyeglass screwdriver (which the tip of a knife can do). I've never needed a full size screwdriver (which is in my toolbox at home, or in my car). Or a saw. Or a file. Or a bit driver. What the heck are you doing where you use a multi tool so often?

So why carry the extra weight and bulk?


Edited by MDinana (08/30/13 04:23 PM)

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#263049 - 08/30/13 04:40 PM Re: Role of a single-blade folder? [Re: TeacherRO]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: TeacherRO
...Pocket carry at work or in a small kit (where little else fits). Current preference; the Gerber compact scout.

This is one reason I've started to favour the Victorinox Alox Cadet for EDC; its a much lower profile & easier to carry alternative for pocket carry at work.

Looking at the specs of the 2, the Compact Scout & the Alox Cadet are pretty close in closed size, blade size, and weight but the Compact Scout has a locking blade while the Cadet has a non-locking blade, cap lifter/screwdriver/wire stripper, can opener/small screwdriver, and nail file/nail cleaner.
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#263050 - 08/30/13 04:42 PM Re: Role of a single-blade folder? [Re: MDinana]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6583
Loc: southern Cal
Jammed locking carabiners - a very common occurrence after they have been significantly loaded. I was to the point of carrying pliers in my SAR pack just for that purpose when the L-tool came into my life.

Cactus spines? Well, you can just pound them in and bite them off inside, but I am extremely fastidious and I prefer to pull them out.....
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#263051 - 08/30/13 04:58 PM Re: Role of a single-blade folder? [Re: Denis]
RNewcomb Offline
Member

Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 170
Loc: Iowa
I EDC a Leatherman Wingman and a SOG Flash II Tanto.

To be honest, the Leatherman gets a LOT more use.... The pliers and screw driver tools are very useful.

However, if I am getting into a cutting job, like cutting up boxes to get them to fit into the recycling or cutting rope, I'll break out the SOG, but if I had to choose between the two, the SOG would go in a heartbeat as much as I love it.

I also have a couple CRKT Sting fixed knifes stashed around if I need something sharp that's also pretty much indestructible, but to be honest, I hardly ever use them.

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#263052 - 08/30/13 05:05 PM Re: Role of a single-blade folder? [Re: MDinana]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: MDinana
Well.... it cuts. Therefore it has a role.

Good point smile. A knife is absolutely a useful tool on its own.

Originally Posted By: MDinana
In daily life, I've never needed pliers. I've never needed tweezers. I've rarely needed an eyeglass screwdriver (which the tip of a knife can do). I've never needed a full size screwdriver (which is in my toolbox at home, or in my car). Or a saw. Or a file. Or a bit driver. What the heck are you doing where you use a multi tool so often?

The advantage I see in a multi-tool or SAK for an EDC tool is that while I have full size, dedicated tools, I don't need to go get them to get a quick job done; its more a matter of convenience than necessity (in an urban environment). So, around town, I'll often use my EDC tool to do quick repair jobs, opening battery compartments, etc. rather than going to get a dedicated tool from my toolbox or vehicle.

Originally Posted By: MDinana
So why carry the extra weight and bulk?

An additional point is that it doesn't always add that much more weight or bulk. For example, my Skeletool is pretty close in overall dimensions & weight to your Kershaw Blur; the Skeletool is 4" closed, and 5.0 oz while the Blur is 4.5" closed and 4.2 oz. The trade off is that for a similarly sized tool, the single-blade folder gives you a bigger blade than the multi-tool (e.g., the Skeletool's 2.6" blade vs. the Blur's 3.375" blade) while the multi-tool provides more tools.

I guess this is my main hang-up, I am finding that the additional tools provide more utility and over-all value for a pocket knife than I believe can be derived from having a longer knife blade alone.
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#263053 - 08/30/13 05:09 PM Re: Role of a single-blade folder? [Re: Denis]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2946
Loc: USA
I have an original Leatherman PST, and have bought a number of their other tools since then. Love 'em. I'm constantly using them in the datacenter, on the range, on bike rides, at the campsite and occasionally on hikes. I don't consider an emergency kit (BOB, whatever you want to call it) complete without one.

A good locking folder has its place for me, though. That place is in heavy cutting tasks, precision cutting tasks or (very rarely) where you need a knife right now, and don't have time for the slower opening of a multitool's blade. Even the Wave and the Surge are slower in my hands than a locking folder.

So I carry both, pretty much constantly. It works for me. If they made a Leatherman with a one-hand-opening blade with S30V steel and as solid a lockup as my miniRittergrip, I might change my mind.

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#263054 - 08/30/13 05:16 PM Re: Role of a single-blade folder? [Re: Denis]
JerryFountain Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 418
Loc: St. Petersburg, Florida
Although I admit that the MultiTool has reduced the number of places where a single blade folderis king, but it still has its place.

The multitool is a medocre knife, particularly when it comes to accessability. By the time you get your mut out of the case, my knife has come out, opened, finished the job and returned to my pocket. This is particularly true where the blade is inside the mut and the handles must be opened to use it (especially those where the handles must then be closed to use it saftely. I use a knife often, a multitool rarely. The knife is in my pocket, the multitool in my bag. I must admit I have been trying a small Leatherman without a knife blade. It is now riding in my watch pocket. This may or may not continue.

When on the water or in the air (not on an airline) I always carry a knife. Many times a fixed blade is inappropriate for political, comfort or other reasons. This is the place for a single blade, quick opening, folder. The same can be said of fire or rescue personnel.

Some of us are also just old codgers and have carried a knife clipped to our pockets since Spyderco brought out the Worker. I am probably not going to change any time soon. I still carry it even when I carry a fixed blade (for uses I might not use the fixed blade for like striking a fire steel or testing the hardness of a rock) or a multitool for when I want a knife more quickly.

It might not be for everyone, but many of us find lots of reasons to carry the single blade folder - and some of them even make sense!

Respectfully,

Jerry

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