Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

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Cheddarnut
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Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby Cheddarnut » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:38 am

Hello all,
Here are some thoughts on knives. I bought a Sebenza in december and was completed. Until i got a back in stock notification for the 52100 millie.
So i started thinking...
I've bought a lot of knifes (a lot being subjective of course), with a large part of the purchases being "oh, this blade steel is going to improve my life". But at the end of almost a decade of collecting i'm starting to come to grips with what actually influences which knives get pocket time, and its often not a "performance" reason. A lot of my purchases are conceptual overly cerebral decisions that often prove moot once the knife is briefly auditioned in my pocket. The reasons why a knife works for an individual has to be considered on a holistic schedule based on the context of that individual and not on the empirical properties of a knife per se. This is true of everything, knives included, and likely redundant to even state once considered out loud. For example, i cant stand the para 2, though many love it. I thought it might have been a subliminally affected contrarianism where i wanted somehow to prove everyone wrong by being the black sheep that broke free from the mob mentality of the cult of this knife and disliking it not because of the actually knife but the aura surrounding it. And then i bought a Sebenza and fell in love with it, despite the cult following around it. So i started thinking about how much of what i like in a knife is the concept of it, and how much is invested in the actual knife, free of rhetoric from online fan forums obfuscating the knife in a real world setting. Am i cutting with hype or my knife? Do i actually like this sprint run i spent money i don't yet have on, or is it that i like how it feels to have a tool to use that others don't because of its limited nature, and its the powers of exclusivity that douse the fires of my core deep feeling of inadequacy that i'm purchasing into which has in fact nothing to do with the properties of elemental amalgams, no matter how in love i am with the romantic notions and connotations of those earthly alchemic fantasies.
I like stuff.
Knives are stuff.
I don't need stuff, i want it.
I am an addict.
Knives are a drug.
Or maybe knives are a nutrient. When the body gets the nutrients from food it needs, it signals the brain to stop eating. Maybe these knives are devoid of the nutrients we need to feed our souls. My first Spyderco was purchased at a time in my life when i was more alone than i ever had been before, and it represented a safety and trust that was lacking it the rest of my environment. I projected emotions onto a piece of metal and plastic, and before long i was trying to manifest those feelings of trust, maybe even love, onto multiple usurpers, knives that meant nothing to me that were only meant to trigger an emotional response in me, based on how the original one (a black PE native 1 btw) had "made me feel", when in fact i could have projected onto anything, because it was the context of the entire situation that created that projection. So really what ive been trying to do is capture the extreme emotional event that took place during this time, and the pleasure of surviving it, and distill that down into a small, incidental toy. Though even as i write this i await my most recent purchase (which should be ready at the post office by now, they wrote 'ready after 1' on the Could Not Deliver slip, what the hell am i still doing here writing this?!) which somehow quells the inevitable truth that the world is doomed and we're all going to die, no matter how many exclusives we collect, no matter how fine the tolerances are, no matter what the task is. Be well.

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bh49
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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby bh49 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:41 pm

Cheddarnut wrote:
I am an addict.
Knives are a drug.
+1
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf"
George Orwell
My top choices Natives5, Calys, C83 Persian,Hungarian, Memory

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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby Liquid Cobra » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:10 pm

Interesting post. With this hobby as with all things in life, we have to try to find balance. I am working on it, but it isn't easy. I've figured out the knives I like and the ones I don't. I try not to buy the ones I doubt I'll like. That's what I'm working on now. When I get the hang of it, I'll take it a step further and so on.

All the best,

Donovan
Most recently acquired: Native Chief, Shaman S90V, Para 3 LW, Ikuchi, UKPK, Smock, SUBVERT, Amalgam, Para 3 CTS-XHP, Kapara, Paramilitary 2 M390
Grail Paramilitary 2 M390 X 2! ACHIEVED!!

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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby Doc Dan » Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:04 am

Have you ever had the experience that thinking about buying a knife over and over is better than actually owning it once it is in your hands?
I have bought knives that I thought about, reasoned out, discussed, loved, and then finally bought, only to then put it up and rarely use it again.
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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby SpyderNut » Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:26 am

Good post, Cheddarnut. This is something I've also experienced in terms of buying knives and other things. It seems that happiness (i.e. being content) can never be found through ongoing purchasing of items. While the purchasing process is often very exciting, it does not last and must be repeated frequently in order to achieve the enjoyable euphoric high effect. In a way, I agree that purchasing can act like the effects of a drug.
Doc Dan wrote:Have you ever had the experience that thinking about buying a knife over and over is better than actually owning it once it is in your hands?
I have bought knives that I thought about, reasoned out, discussed, loved, and then finally bought, only to then put it up and rarely use it again.
Yes, very much so. For instance, I had always wanted a Schempp Kris. One day, my wife surprised me with a NIB Kris. I was ecstatic! I carried it a few times, but I never wanted to damage it, so I put it in the gun safe. In all honesty, I haven't even looked at it for a few years. :o
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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby twinboysdad » Sat Jun 25, 2016 8:05 pm

"The things you own, end up owning you"

-Tyler Durden

Yes, I often times look at my meager collection and think about me calling my B&M or waiting for sprints like the BHQ PM2 and think Tyler would effe slap me for putting this much thought into another knife when the ones I have are beyond suitable for hunting, gathering, sustaining, EDC, SD, whatever.

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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby MacLaren » Sat Jun 25, 2016 8:26 pm

Very nice Cheddarnaut.
I honestly believe that most of the fun is in the chase and anticipation of getting the knife....
But theres always a few that just really shine for me.
In either or both performance and build quality to surely include the looks of the knife.
I too never really cared for the PM2. But always loved the Military.

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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby anagarika » Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:46 am

Cheddarnut,

Thanks for sharing the thoughts, I can relate in many aspects.

My getting Enduras in various steel & format is about the buying euphoria. Carrying one daily (ZDP) is the other side of enjoyment, which perhaps should be the real experience.

Getting a Stretch in VG10 challenges the Enduras, now I found myself looking for Stretches ... And telling myself just get the HAP40, it will satisfy my need & use.

Then there's discontinued GB1 calling as Stretch on steroids ..

On the other hand, my friend bought a PM2, and although it's smooth and nice I don't find liking it. From him, I also got to try:
The N5 FRN, is really nice. The Delica & D'fly don't do it for me either, despite I like backlock.

So it maybe also I'm searching for the right one, but it's none to be found, and the cycle continues...
:o

Or perhaps it's a journey to make living more enjoyable?
Chris :spyder:

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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby tvenuto » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:27 pm

anagarika wrote:Or perhaps it's a journey to make living more enjoyable?
This is what I keep coming back to.

Often, when people don't understand your knife collection and it looks on the surface to be excessive consumerism, you might question "what is it all for?" Of course, I've never needed more than my original delica when it comes to cutting tasks. But when it comes to bare need, we hardly ever use that as the standard for what we should do. If we did, we'd never go out to a nice dinner, and just feed ourselves as cheaply as possible (which is very cheap nowadays).

Image

Having a collection of knives, while it may look strange on its face, can't be judged that way. For one, I appreciate elegant mechanical designs, and carrying a nice knife is one way to enjoy that. Almost every house has some sort of art on the wall, and that can't possibly be said to serve a utilitarian function. We crave beauty in our lives, no matter where it's found.

An aside: It's interesting that someone brought up the Tyler Durden quote, I've thought a lot about his philosophy and how it can relate to my life. He's obviously the yang to the yin of the Ikea/corporate/desk-jockey/docile/unsure/socialized person, but he's not morally superior, he's just the pendulum swinging back the other way. His lifestyle has the opposing costs of the one the main character starts out with. The end is satisfying in that the main character outgrows the need for him to exist, and can incorporate a more balance philosophy/lifestyle, as he was stressed out on each end of the spectrum. We all need to decide where we fall in the durden/durden scale, and the sooner you realize where it's comfortable for you to be the better.

Another way to look at it is it inserts me into a group of like-minded people, which all humans also crave. We can come here and discuss a common interest, or just random topics such as this.

And finally, who knows what sort of new paths your life might take due to carrying a knife, or appreciating knives? It resulted in a trip to Amsterdam for me, which was an experience I otherwise would have missed out on. What sort of conversation might be sparked when you take it out and someone is intrigued/scared/surprised? What could you learn or teach in such a situation? Growth happens on the border of support and challenge, and we need people different from us as much as we need like-minded people.

So in the end we all have interests and hobbies, and it's healthy to partake in those. Sometimes they cost money, but you can't take it with you.

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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby demoncase » Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:15 pm

I like a nicely made, intelligently designed, understated yet utterly functional item- that's one of those fetishes/preferences that I've always had.

When something works 'just so' and feels like every little part of if is supposed to be there, then it's a piece of order in a chaotic world.

Spyderco make knives like that.
I love that.
I love their approach to interaction with us wierdos- the end users
I love their product- it's so often 'just so'....and unlike fine English shotguns, 1960s sportcars or RD-series Yamahas- I can afford to collect Spyderco and appreciate them without needing a new house or an extended mortgage.
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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby Sully » Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:35 pm

Quality read. Appreciate the introspection.
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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby awa54 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:10 pm

Cheddarnut, thanks for one of the best forum threads ever (and I've been on more than a few forums), I think you're essentially probing at many of the dilemmas that modern humans who live in the First World ponder. If we are open to the reality of the world around us, we can't help but question our own ways, after all many of them are far removed or re-purposed from the desires and motivations that helped us survive in the past when the frameworks of society and government weren't present... the old instincts are still strong, but there isn't a socially acceptable outlet for some of them. So here we are; channeling our desire for power and utility, our appreciation for ruthlessly efficient design, into a hobby that is functionally almost purposeless as it relates to the reality of our daily lives in the construct that is modern existence.

My take is this; I could be doing things that are much more destructive to assuage that primitive part of my self that craves the ability to have something unique and potentially dangerous/powerful, I also like the idea of supporting excellence in design and manufacturing, so all in all having many knives that I absolutely *do not need* is a comparatively small sin... plus I make every effort to actually honor the spirit of each of the cool items I have collected by giving them some pocket time and a chance to do what they were made to do. Others might just lock them away to be appreciated by no one.

Our world is crazy sometimes, feel the worth in being perceptive enough to see that and keep striving for a balance that works for you!
-David

still more knives than sharpening stones...

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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby The Deacon » Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:00 pm

Not arguing with anything that's been said, just find it interesting that knife collectors and gun collectors seem to be subject to the expectation that we must "do something" with the objects we collect to a degree that most other collectors are not.

There is nothing wrong with having one knife and using it.

There is nothing wrong with having a number of knives and using them all.

But there is also nothing wrong with having a number of knives and only ever using one or two of them.

Just because they can "do something" does not mean they must. Some folks get pleasure looking at paintings hanging on a wall, or sculptures sitting on a shelf. Getting pleasure from looking at a display of knives is no different.
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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby paladin » Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:06 pm

The Deacon wrote:Not arguing with anything that's been said, just find it interesting that knife collectors and gun collectors seem to be subject to the expectation that we must "do something" with the objects we collect to a degree that most other collectors are not.

There is nothing wrong with having one knife and using it.

There is nothing wrong with having a number of knives and using them all.

But there is also nothing wrong with having a number of knives and only ever using one or two of them.

Just because they can "do something" does not mean they must. Some folks get pleasure looking at paintings hanging on a wall, or sculptures sitting on a shelf. Getting pleasure from looking at a display of knives is no different.
Not to mention all the stamp collectors...so all you philatelists out there get to lickin and sitckin! ;)

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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby anagarika » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:57 pm

... and getting pleasure from slowly opening an FRN lockback, feeling the velvety smoothness of a well polished tang/lock interface, the firm snap when the lock engages, grip it fully (even better when it's Stretch), depress the lock, pull down the blade with forefinger, and completely snap shut closed it.

And repeat.

(next round will be E4, GB, and..... what? :eek: I've sold the others to fund Stretch HAP40 :o )

Then ......

sharpening and feeling it dry shave face nicely, and the mirror bevel reflects back the surrounding images, distorted because the bevel is free handed convex.
:cool:
Chris :spyder:

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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby tvenuto » Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:04 pm

awa54 wrote:Cheddarnut, thanks for one of the best forum threads ever (and I've been on more than a few forums), I think you're essentially probing at many of the dilemmas that modern humans who live in the First World ponder. If we are open to the reality of the world around us, we can't help but question our own ways, after all many of them are far removed or re-purposed from the desires and motivations that helped us survive in the past when the frameworks of society and government weren't present... the old instincts are still strong, but there isn't a socially acceptable outlet for some of them. So here we are; channeling our desire for power and utility, our appreciation for ruthlessly efficient design, into a hobby that is functionally almost purposeless as it relates to the reality of our daily lives in the construct that is modern existence.

My take is this; I could be doing things that are much more destructive to assuage that primitive part of my self that craves the ability to have something unique and potentially dangerous/powerful, I also like the idea of supporting excellence in design and manufacturing, so all in all having many knives that I absolutely *do not need* is a comparatively small sin... plus I make every effort to actually honor the spirit of each of the cool items I have collected by giving them some pocket time and a chance to do what they were made to do. Others might just lock them away to be appreciated by no one.

Our world is crazy sometimes, feel the worth in being perceptive enough to see that and keep striving for a balance that works for you!
I'm very much convinced that "the old instincts" are where "collections" come from, and even what we call "hording" in extreme examples. When you're in the forest, if you find something useful, you'd better hang onto it! If you have a back up? Even better! That first one might break and then it's back to toiling at that task the tool made 100 times easier.

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Re: Think One Hundred Times, Cut Never

Postby Blerv » Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:46 pm

Great post Cheddar :D!

People consume and collect a variety of things. Expensive liquor and cigars, clothing,concert tickets, automobiles, jet skis, boats, the list goes on. It's the nature of a budget, hoping there is enough expendable income after bills and investments for a little fun.

Unlike a consumable or a product that depreciated to almost nothing immediately after purchase (electronics and some cars, etc) knives are unique in that resale is typically very high. If bought smart and held a long time they can even appreciate in value. Some outrun the best stocks and others pace with the most boring of bonds. In that way it's split between an investment and entertainment (for me) but more towards the latter as I shop emotionally rather than logically. :o

I'm personally pretty much done as a knife "collector" and have recently moved a number of them to pay for other more expensive ones. It was depressing having so many that I carried so infrequently, but again this was just me...not making any statements or judgements. However, less depressing than putting thousands of dollars into car mods that returned 0% of my money upon the sale of the car. :p

I wouldn't knock anyone for collecting anything as long as they were not doing it self-destructively. The healthiest of things can become a vice and a bumpy road if put above all else.


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