zaterdag 25 april 2009

Philosophy Of Use

Nutnfancy has coined the term Philosophy of Use, by which he means "In what capacity are you going to use item X?" This is an important question for those of us who own more than one knife, or handgun, rifle, axe, tent, flashlight, etc. When considering a purchase and evaluating the merits and drawbacks of (for example) a folding knife, you want to be realistic and determine some boundaries on what can reasonably expected of that knife.
This also means that you will automatically be faced with the limitations of a given knife, after all, there is no knife that fits all purposes. PoU then is an important consideration, both when purchasing and when choosing for carry.
Nutnfancy uses categories to define the PoU of a given knife. He does allow for a knife to be in more than one category, and he also acknowledges that a given knife may have to be used in a capacity outside its categories, but still this category/PoU concept does sometimes seem to present us with a bit of a problem: According to PoU, I should carry knife X, but I really feel more inclined to choose knife Y. Why is this?

I can only speak for myself, but I've come to the realization that a knife that is suited for tactical use is most often also quite able to do utility chores. View for an example of what I mean this clip:

At about 3.40 he compares the subject of this review, a Cold Steel Voyager Tanto XL, to a small Spyderco. Nutnfancy calls the diminutive Spyderco "still defensively capable" and finds the 5" folding Tanto not so suitable for EDC. If you take the categories he has defined and apply them rigidly, almost literally, I would agree. But I've been carrying that exact same Cold Steel for months now, and it is an excellent EDC knife (apart from the fact that its size and appearance sometimes causes frowns on people's faces.

Where do the differences in opinion come from? To find out, let's discuss the two characteristics in question.

What makes a good EDC blade? In MY opinion (and please remember, that's the opinion of a city slicker with no weight constraints on his mind), it should be comfortable to carry, easily deployed, and able to do just about all the cutting chores I may come across. That's about it.
Defined this way, the Cold Steel folder performs excellently, and I speak from experience.

Nutnfancy basically gives the Cold Steel in this review an all-thumbs-up for defensive purposes, and as folders go, I couldn't agree more. Where I disagree with him is that a 2.5" Spyderco is still "defensively capable." I think the best that can be said about such a small blade is that it is better than nothing. But I am also sure that any would-be attacker would not be able to keep himself from smiling if you drew that in a confrontation. I'd do it if I had nothing else, but...

What's my point here? Most of us that carry a knife at all should have considered PoU when choosing. Should we ever totally disregard 'tactical' (ie defensive) purposed in our criteria? I say not, certainly not if we only carry the one blade. And if not, shouldn't we always choose a knife big enough to make us feel secure enough to use it in that capacity?
What is big enough will be different for everyone. It's quite possible Nutnfancy feels comfortable carrying an EDC folder with a blade smaller than 3" and still regard it as a usable emergency tactical blade. I for one would not be. These days, anything less than a 4" blade doesn't do it for me.
But as Nutnfancy always says "Your mileage may vary."

3 opmerkingen:

  1. Thank you for the helpful post. I found your blog with Google and I will start following. Hope to see new blogs soon.
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  2. I have read many blogs in the net but have never come across such a well written blog. Good work keep it up
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  3. IMO, you shouldn't consider tactical PoU unless you know how to fight with a knife. If you don't, and your attacker does, it's likely he'll disarm you quickly and possibly stab you with your own knife.