5 Reasons Slip Joint Knives Are Still Great
With tons of new knives with all kinds of locks, opening mechanisms, tactical black blade coatings, and new and interesting blade designs, sometimes a simple everyday carry knife can be lost in the clutter. Folks forget about the humble slip joint. Here are five reasons slip joint knives are still great.
- Slip Joint knives are classic.
Slip joint pocket knives have been in use for hundreds of years (since the 1600s); there is just something elegant about their curves and design. They are classy and traditional. They are the knives your granddaddy carried in his pocket for decades. They bring nostalgic memories of going fishing, working on the farm, or building things in the garage.
- Slip Joint Knives aren’t threatening.
Have you ever brought out your locking blade and had nearby people give you a look? Or act startled when you snap it open? I don’t mean to frighten people. I went into a fast food joint and the cashier stared at my neck knife the entire time I was ordering. In a situation where you’re not looking to draw attention, you can carry a traditional slip joint knife. People react differently to a slip joint. In the office, at a restaurant, or just about anywhere, people won’t bat an eye. It gets the same job done as a locking blade, but without drama.
- Slip Joint Knives do not give a false sense of security.
Lock design has improved significantly over the last few decades. Modern knife locks can take a pounding before they break. However, a lock will never cover errors in human judgment. A slip joint forces you to really think about what you are trying to accomplish. A non-locking knife demands respect due to the possibility of it folding back on you with improper use. It encourages the maxim, ‘measure twice and cut once.’ In other words, you might think about what you are trying to accomplish, and how you plan to accomplish it before you start slicing away. The most common knife injuries come from trying to cut something in the wrong direction or at the wrong angle, or putting too much pressure on the knife.
- A Good Starter Knife: Parents frequently come to our store looking to purchase a knife for their child that is both safe and manageable. Most parents rule out a slip joint knife. They insist on a locking blade. That’s fine. Locking blades are safer than slip joint blades, if used correctly. In fact, the safest knife type is a small fixed blade, which often surprise people. But there are no moving parts, and many early injuries are just from the operation of the knife.
I think there is an argument for slip joint blades for two reasons. The first relates back to point #1, slip joint knives are nostalgic. There is something great about passing on a nostalgic knife pattern to the next generation. The second reason relates back to point #3. A child trying to be very careful with a slip joint blade will be much safer than one without care and a safer locking blade.
I’m sure I will get a lot of angry comments and stories about how slip joint knives are a terrible starter knife. I will explain my reasoning more fully in a separate article. For now, I will simply say that slip joint knives have been starter knives for centuries, and that only you, the parent or guardian, can determine if your child is ready for a knife and what kind of knife they are ready for.
- Slip Joint knives are legal just about everywhere.
Slip joints are legal just about everywhere you go - with the exception of airports and government buildings. California, New York City, or Europe, you name the place and you are allowed to have a basic slip joint knife there. Now there might be length restrictions, or other such nonsense, but for the most part slip joint knives are pretty well accepted everywhere.
Written 9/21/16 by A.G. Russell III and Jake Broce