Friday, August 21, 2009

Sharps: For the move

Over the weeks and weeks it took us to execute our household move, hundreds of times I reached for a folding knife or a multi-tool. Since the bulk of my sharps were packed away, only three saw duty.

Most often I pulled a Victorinox Farmer from my pocket -- no surprise to regular readers. From cutting cardboard and tape to removing a handful of wood screws securing a dinner bell to a door frame, this knife was unremarkably competent at everything I asked it to do.

If I have one complaint, it's that it takes two hands to open the Farmer -- but that's picking nits. Truth is, I could've unpacked a Bundeswehr or a new Soldier if I'd really wanted a one-hander. The bottom line is that the humble Farmer turned in a predictably solid performance.

I got up one morning a few weeks ago knowing that I'd be pulling a lot of RG-59 cable from the joists in our old house, and a multi-tool seemed right for that job. I clipped a
SOG Paratool to my belt -- not my first choice, but it happened to be the only multi-tool that wasn't already buried in a box -- and headed down to the basement.

It didn't take long before I wished that I'd gone digging for my Leatherman Wave instead. The SOG's pliers proved plenty capable of twist-breaking dozens of cable ties and snipping the occasional wire, but whenever I needed to deploy a knife blade or a screwdriver tool, I was reminded how bloody inconvenient (and borderline unsafe) the Paratool is. I really want to love the American-made SOG, but I can't.

Note to self: Either sell the Paratool or pack it away.

I'm going to mention my new
Benchmade 551 Griptilian here, even though I've been using it for less than a week. This is one excellent folder -- solid, sharp, smooth, well-designed and comfortable. Especially at its price ($63 street), in my opinion the made-in-USA Griptilian deserves consideration as a truly great knife.

No, my big orange Grip doesn't sport pliers and it can't turn screws. All the same, it's earned a place in my EDC rotation. It's a keeper.

I did, by the way, think about carrying and using a small fixed-blade during the move but decided against it. Maybe next time.

As for when "next time" might be, if it's a hundred years before we move again, it'll be too soon.