The Bethune & Son gentleman is always prepared, and oftentimes that means being properly equipped with a quality pocket-knife.
Why do I need a pocket-knife?
Think back on times when you needed something sharp ASAP - and not having anything at hand, you resorted to your keys, a pen tip, or worse yet (gasp) your teeth. Not exactly a classy solution. People are impressed by your preparedness when you come to the rescue against those nasty little foes like tags, plastic wrap, or shipping tape. It’s more than being a boy scout; being a man means being prepared for any challenge that crosses your way, big or small.
The Bethune & Son man primarily possesses a pocket-knife as a everyday utility tool. It’s also about participating in a time-honored tradition. A well crafted knife is often passed down the line from father-to-son. It becomes a part of family history, and becomes something you may look forward to passing on someday as well.
How much should I pay for a good knife?
You want something affordable, but in order to get quality you’re going to have to pay a little more than Walmart rollback prices. Anywhere from $40-70 is a good starting point, and if you can afford more, great. There's no earthly need to drop thousands for a titanium hand-crafted blade.
How long will my knife last?
Generations. Seriously, if you choose good quality and take good care of it, your knife will last forever. Invest in a blade sharpener. Blades dull with frequent use, and a sharpener will make sure your knife is in good working order whenever you may need to use it.
What kind of knife should I buy?
If you didn’t get a knife from pops, then start the tradition today and buy a quality forged knife that will last generations. For obvious reasons, you’ll want to look for a folding blade. The gentleman always values safety first. Consider a blade length under 3 inches. Chances are you won’t ever need anything longer. Some states and public spaces have restrictions on large blades, so choosing over 3 inches may require you to leave it behind a lot of the time.
You’ll also want to consider size. How bulky do you want it to be in your pocket on a regular basis? Again, blade length will play into this somewhat. Your knife’s design will also influence size. The more blades, the bulkier it will be. There are three knife designs we recommend you consider: Jack, Lockback, or a multi-blade Pen knife.
Jack knives are the classic go-to. You can identify them by the two blades that fold into the hilt. Jack knives are easy to carry, easy to use, and the two blades give you tools for large and small needs. Some may only have one blade, and that’s perfectly fine. Jack knives that lock into place are known as Lockbacks. A single blade folding lockback knife is basically the best “first” knife someone could choose, and many find it satisfactory in the long-run too.
Pen knives also fold into the hilt, and they often have multiple blades. Slightly more sophisticated, and good choice if you find that one or two blades doesn’t always cut it. Multipurpose knives may have more blades yet, and will often look like a Swiss Army knife. These can get rather bulky, so we don’t recommend them as much. Plus, how often do you need a corkscrew at a moment’s notice?
Next, decide which blade type you’d prefer. A drop blade is great for heavy tasks as it has a fuller bodied shape and is very sturdy, yet also versatile. The tanto blade is also very strong and good for heavy use, but boasts a slimmer profile than the drop. If you find yourself skinning game or cleaning up after a day out small game hunting, you might want to make sure you have a skinner blade on your knife too. Lastly, the pen blade is a great all-purpose blade for smaller activities, like opening mail or as a makeshift screwdriver.
You of course want a knife handle that is both practical and has a classic look. Our recommendation is wood. A wood handle is timeless, aesthetic, and incredibly durable. Other handles like rubber, micarta, or composite may provide you with better attributes like grip, especially if you find yourself often in wet conditions (hint, hint, fishermen).
Lastly, we could go into detail about choosing a knife based on how it was forged, whether it’s one solid piece of metal, and so forth. Honestly, keep it simple by checking for three things: good edge retention, rust resistance and ease of re-sharpening. If you want a professional opinion, we recommend you check out brand websites. That’s why Bethune & Son trusts Buck Knives - their website is wonderfully informative. Since 1945, Buck Knives has been an industry leader and forged the way with the “lockblade” style of knife. Best of all? Their knives have a forever warranty and are crafted in the good ol’ U.S. of A.
Penny for our thoughts...
The Bethune & Son blog captures the lifestyle of the South Texas gentleman. From men's clothing, to recreations, food and values - this blog tells you all you need to know about being a Bethune & Son gentleman.