Best knives for the city?

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Aug 22, 2021
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Good questions about the local laws. Also, why in a backpack versus a pocket? What is the purpose of the knife? Do you or can you carry other tools in the backpack?
Well, I am searching to set up a bag in case the car breaks down or get stranded in the middle of nowhere. I plan to carry a firestarter and a Swiss army knife. I work at a local hospital so I can't carry one on me while in the building.
 

P. Ortiz

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Feb 24, 2013
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Moving upmarket a bit from the Opinel I recommended earlier, you can try an Enzo PK70. Now discontinued, there is one place I know of that still has it in stock in the Scandi version. Mine is full flat S30V. This knife was designed to beat the stiff UK knife laws. It's a slip joint that takes two hands to open (but VERY secure when open), at 70mm long, the blade falls under three inches, it has a half stop that favors the open position, the handle is adequately hand filling, It can be completely disassembled and cleaned, and the fit and finish is stupendous. It's one seriously nice piece.
 

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Dadpool

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Well, I am searching to set up a bag in case the car breaks down or get stranded in the middle of nowhere. I plan to carry a firestarter and a Swiss army knife. I work at a local hospital so I can't carry one on me while in the building.
For this use case, I'd go Leatherman. I love my Charge+, highly recommended. Heavier than a SAK, but also bigger and more capable in some areas. I bought the bit kit, assembled one "tray" of bits that match my general needs, and keep that in the (included) sheath. Perfect setup for a backpack. :thumbsup:

GJF1ZbZ.jpg
 

Velitrius

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For the OP: +1 on the "you can’t go wrong with a SAK" crowd. If you’re in an environment that you think a knife might draw unwanted attention, a SAK with the red plastic scales is probably the most ubiquitous "this is just a tool, nothing scary" knife I can think of.

Indeed. It's the Saint-Bernard-With-A-Cask-Of-Brandy-Around-Its-Neck of the knife world. If you see one appear, it's likely a relief.

SAK Farmer X or other model with scissors. Laugh not. They come in handy more often than you might think at first blush.

No laughing matter. The scissors might be the most used accessory on any of my multitools that are so equipped.
 
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Well, I am searching to set up a bag in case the car breaks down or get stranded in the middle of nowhere. I plan to carry a firestarter and a Swiss army knife. I work at a local hospital so I can't carry one on me while in the building.

That helps. Getting stranded in the middle of nowhere should hopefully be a very rare occurrence. Essentially, this is just a backpack that will be with you or your car.

That said, I'd recommend the following:

1. A knife. Really, any knife you like can work here. Just have a dedicated knife.

2. A multi-tool. If the multi-tool has a knife, then you've got a back-up. (If not, you're covered by 1 above.) I definitely prefer a pliers-based multi-tool like the Wave or Charge from Leatherman. They have a bunch of options. Two other things I pay attention to on multi-tools are scissors and a file. Both can be extremely helpful.

3. A Bic lighter. Seriously. People get all wound up about ferrocerium rods, Fresnel lenses, etc. when really, the simplest thing can be the best. People say "what if..." but most of the time, that Bic lighter will be A-OK. If you are very concerned, you could add one of the other options as a back-up but what might be more important could be some dry, sealed, starter material. It's always good to be covered but it's worth gauging that against the actual chances that you'll be stuck out of the blue in a situation where you absolutely need to build a fire (and your skill in doing so).

It also helps to have a snack on hand. :)
 

Planterz

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In a pack, a Leatherman or similar multi-tool is indispensable. Especially if all you have in your pocket is a small folding knife (or nothing at all). Weight is always a factor when assembling a "BOB", day pack, or whatever, but something like a Leatherman, while heavy, saves weight because it replaces so many other tools.
 
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May 30, 2009
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Although the OP has said that his city does have a size limit, that aside, plus one on an Opinel.
Especially if it is carried in a backpack, you can have a fairly large Opinel before people start to feel intimidated. The "picnic knife" gestalt makes even a large blade seem less threatening.
 
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For Sunday church services you need your “Gentleman’s Smatchet”.

For the OP: +1 on the "you can’t go wrong with a SAK" crowd. If you’re in an environment that you think a knife might draw unwanted attention, a SAK with the red plastic scales is probably the most ubiquitous "this is just a tool, nothing scary" knife I can think of.

I just noticed recently Böker came up with pocket smatchet.

Seriously though I concour with the multitool.
 

Boattale

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Smatchet is the knife world equivalent of the PGA's "get in the hole".
 

willc

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Philadelphia no knives unless for work.
Yep.

I lived 8 blocks north of city hall for over 10 years and regularly would carry a CS XL Voyager even on the weekend.
I still work in Philly probably 80 percent of the time and I carry whatever I feel like.

As long as you are not a scumbag doing scumbag things the police will not even give you a second look.

It is a ridiculous and ambiguous law and I doubt it is ever enforced except when it is combined with other charges.
 
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Nov 13, 2013
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When I carry a backpack I usually have either a SAK fieldmaster or a Leatherman depending on what I expect
The SAK is lighter and makes a great EDC

if you need a locking blade, a Bugout is so light and thin that it will not take much space even in a small pouch in your backpack
 
Joined
Jun 29, 1999
Messages
7,882
Moving upmarket a bit from the Opinel I recommended earlier, you can try an Enzo PK70. Now discontinued, there is one place I know of that still has it in stock in the Scandi version. Mine is full flat S30V. This knife was designed to beat the stiff UK knife laws. It's a slip joint that takes two hands to open (but VERY secure when open), at 70mm long, the blade falls under three inches, it has a half stop that favors the open position, the handle is adequately hand filling, It can be completely disassembled and cleaned, and the fit and finish is stupendous. It's one seriously nice piece.
The Manly Wasp also meets European carry criteria.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
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293
For me...

SAK Huntsman traveled Europe for a week and didn't need anything more.

Also the Bugout and the Mini are good choices for folders. Fixed you could always look at the Spyderco Enuff series.
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2012
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760
Yep.

I lived 8 blocks north of city hall for over 10 years and regularly would carry a CS XL Voyager even on the weekend.
I still work in Philly probably 80 percent of the time and I carry whatever I feel like.

As long as you are not a scumbag doing scumbag things the police will not even give you a second look.

It is a ridiculous and ambiguous law and I doubt it is ever enforced except when it is combined with other charges.
I'm not debating it just stating the law.
 

rustyspike

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Jan 17, 2016
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332
I live in Philadelphia suburbs. PA is not that bad. I do not carry in Philly.

All that being said. Hers is what I own and have carried . SAK Pioneer X, Fixed Esee Ezula , (these 2 go in a pouch (Spec-OPS Pack-Rat) Folder Spyderco Delica. These are just some suggestions. I listed these knives because the are under 3 inches.

Rich K.
 
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