EDC — Every Day Carry
Going to show some age on this one, but I’ve been at this for quite some time. I have long favored some kind of EDC — Every Day Carry pocket knife, most near my whole life.
Picking up midstream, or to use the proper Latin Lit term? In Medias Res, starting in the middle. I was in Northern Cal with family, and I stopped in a curio storefront that might, or might not, sell herbal farming supplies. We’ll never know.
It was, at the time, hard to tell the redneck from the headneck.
Crowded with hardware, tools, redolent in the aromatic blend of stale tobacco smoke, coffee, and fertilizer, there was an Old Timer Knife display, red faux velvet under glass, and in one corner of the display? A liner-lock, single-blade folding knife. Bone handle, looked like every other Old Timer brand of pocket knife. Think it was, at the time, a division of Schrade — but I’m unsure of corporate hierarchies.
This was in Northern Cal, a place like no other, in itself. South of Oregon, but far removed from the city confines of The Bay Area.
Means I was flying commercial, like I usually do, and it means I was looking for something that would get through airport security without a problem. In Texas, during the time, winter, or winter months, or winter in parts of the world, it would be “Deer Season,” and that means any number of fixed-blade knives would easily pass through the metal detectors, some of the blades as large a Roman Infantry Sword, and none of that would be a problem.
Single comment, “Deer season,” and the screening person would just nod, “cool.”
Yeah, so that was then. This is now. Said this started way back.
In that hardware store, or farm store, or curio shop in Northern Cal, that’s where I picked up an a single-blade, liner-lock knife that quickly became an EDC for me.
That interaction spawned a decades-long search for the best Every Day Carry for me.
As I’ve shuffled around — mostly the American Southwest — I kept searching for the perfect Every Day Carry. Depended on situations, and, of course, 9/11 changed airline security.
EDC — Every Day Carry
This search started that far back. Just explains why I have display case full of various cutlery implements, from custom pieces to production items, and any number of folders that fit in between.
This is obviously too long for a horoscope, but that’s where the idea started. It’s about the kind of steel used.
That original knife, in my mind, the perfect design, just that first Old Timer was maybe a quarter inch too short. Saber blade, liner-lock, and the steel used in the blade itself? High carbon steel — not stainless, as “stainless steel” tends to be a tiny bit softer; stainless steel doesn’t seem to hold an edge quite as well.
A good second and third place? Case makes an item called — I think — a Copper-Lock, and it’s a single locking blade with a thin handle, in the shape of slip-joint (non-locking) “Copperhead” pocket knife.
Same manufacturer, Case, also used to make a “Texas“ pocket knife, two folding blades, a smaller pen knife blade, and the larger saber, again, same shape that I prefer for whatever duties I carry a knife for, mostly letters and packages. Nail-cleaning, and cutting certain fishing line.
The various Case-brand knives were good enough for every day carry for a spell, but there was something missing, and I really prefer the higher-carbon blades.
The French company, Opinel, makes a great knife, and it’s super-cheap, too. It has a weird twist-tang lock, and it was a French farmer who introduced me to the knives; they were workhorse cutlery on the farm. Bonus with its high carbon blade. Didn’t hold an edge too long but was strong and flexible. Still have one.
EDC — Every Day Carry
Located not far from Lubbock, Texas, in a town named Matador, there was a company that made cattle tools, and along with that line, knives. One of their knives is perfect. I have three of them; they are that perfect for me.
Single liner-locking blade, “saber” style, the tang of the knives are all stamped “Matador, Texas.” Just a big bonus, in my mind.
I think I have three, two are in the case, and one is on the desk at the moment, but goes in a pocket or belt sheath, sort of depends. Got cold so long pants are a thing at the moment.
The steel is a “high carbon” steel, which means, anytime there is moisture, or, say, sticky stiff from slicing a taped box open? That stains the blade.
In the display case, I have one that is shiny. Blade looks pristine because I’ve yet to use it. The knife has some kind of limited edition handle, smooth, white bone. Think it might be part of a numbered series. Not that it matters, I’m not about to let it go. Underneath it, same display, there’s the same model, with a heavily stained blade, yellow handle. Just a semi-retired back-up.
This was originally about the steel, the high carbon steel. Doesn’t always look pretty, but is a workhorse of a material, especially for pocket knife blades.
I had one, think it’s the one in the case at the moment, and I didn’t have to sharpen it, even with almost daily use, for close to a year. That’s good stuff — surgically sharp.
The high-carbon steel is stouter, stiffer, stronger, and most important for me? Holds a better edge, longer than regular “steel” — and I’m unsure of current technologies or advancements in metallurgy, not like a pocketknife is really a high-tech gadget. Mostly low-tech.
That carbon steel, strong, useful, and not always pretty. But it works.