I enjoy the knives I use a lot more than the ones I stick in the safe. If I’m going to drop a good amount of money on a knife, I will enjoy everything about it more if I actually use it. Old used knives are cooler than safe queens...
There's a story out there about a boy who saw his dad hire two men who applied for a job, one of whom carried a pocket knife, and paid him a dollar more than the other guy. The son asked why, and he said it was because he carried a knife. The son still didn't understand, and the dad explained it was because he was clearly more prepared, and that would make him a better worker. Something like that. It's a sappy story.
But I do find that I simply feel more prepared, and have a better mindset, when I carry a knife (just about 100% of the time, no matter what). Even if I don't use it for the day for anything, I am more prepared having one with me. Oddly enough, my wife never carries a knife. But she will occasionally ask me if I have mine with me, for no other reason that even she knows I'm better off - and therefore she is - if I have it with me.
1. Always carry at least one knife - I saved my wife’s finger once with a small, sharp folder. You never know when the critical need will come.
2. Don’t lend - Ask the person what they need to cut, then offer to do it yourself instead. If you do lend, don’t be shocked when someone uses it as a pry bar or screwdriver.
3. Fixed and folder is a winning combination. Fixed for speed, ease of use, harder or longer use. Folder for those times you want to be discreet.
A few things come back quite often. Most people agree that it's a bad thing to lend your knife to others, that it's okay to buy more than you actually need, that there's no ONE perfect knife and that cost doesn't equal quality.
I agree with all of those and most of the other stuff that has been said so far. Especially the "don't lend your knives" rule, most people aren't ready for that level of sharpness and just don't know how to use a knife, period.
A lesson I've learned recently is that expensive, "super steels" are still just steel. If you cut food on a ceramic dinner plate you're going to ruin your edge. If you cut dirty carpet, you're going to ruin your edge. If you accidentally hit the ground with your blade, you're going to ruin your edge. My point is, no matter what steel you have and no matter how much you paid for it, it's not a miracle material. People have crazy expectations because they paid crazy amounts. You will get a better steel if you pay more, but it's still just steel.
A lot of people abuse their knives. It's okay to test them for Youtube and go to extremes to see how much it can take, but prying open a car door with a folder is unrealistic and stupid. (I have yet to see someone actually expecting that from a knife, but you get the point)
The less expensive knives can and will do most jobs just fine. If you know the limitations of a knife you will work accordingly and use the proper technique. When you do that, you don't need a bomb proof piece of steel. I often find myself using my Moras and not needing more than that.
Steels are like Pokémon. There is no ONE perfect steel and all of them have strengths and weaknesses. Trying to find THE absolute best steel for everything is a total waste of time.
Sharpening isn't that easy, but is a necessary skill for any knife enthusiast. Learning how to do it properly is worth it.
I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things, but I guess I can just come back and write them later.
Don’t buy a camo knife.
Don’t set it down when you are done using it
Don’t let it get really dull. A regular touch-up on the sharpmaker beats a full sharpening
S30v is a great compromise between easy sharpening and edge holding
Carry a multitool or pry tool so you aren’t tempted to do something you shouldn’t
Spyderco warranty is barely a warranty when compared to ZT/BM/etc
After all the threads, pictures, videos, reviews and participation in the knife community, don't lose track of the fact that any reasonable task you want to accomplish with a knife can be done with something that costs less than $30.
When I was a young man having a knife with me saved my life or at the least a bad beating..and if you have your pants on you should have a knife in your pocket. I learned that from my 86 year old father in law who ALWAYS has one. Finally even 'pretty' or 'fancy' knives are still a tool and WILL cut stuff..