Knives vs Flashlights

Poppy

Flashaholic
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Dec 20, 2012
Messages
7,042
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Northern New Jersey
Small light. Small knife. View attachment 22842
I too carry a small light, and small knife.
Each however are very functional.
:)


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gemniii42

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 28, 2009
Messages
4
Knives and lights, what a subject.
I was held back by strict parents and don't think I was allowed to carry (and play with) my OWN knife before I was 5, circa 1956. Parents did not seem to concerned with flashlights. So carried.
But since 1956 (when security allows) there has usually been a knife in my pocket, if not also on my hip.
I've been carrying a Victorinox Cybertool M for about 20 years, except when it was misplaced. In 2003 I bought an S for a backup. But that was a poor choice and 2 years ago I bought another M, for a failsafe backup.
From 1975 to 2011 I was basically in Field Support for the US Army mapping community. This required almost daily use of knives for cutting everything except flatulation. For the last 20 years of that technology came in and having a selection of bits, especially a Torx and a Phillips saved a LOT OF TIME and money. So I went through a Leatherman/Gerber period until my WONDERFUL wife bought me a Victorinox Cybertool M at the factory.

Flashlights are another matter,
Like I wrote I've had them since youth but I don't worry if I can't find one by slapping my pockets.
I currently try to keep a DeWalt 20v Max (I've got most of them) in every often used room plus probably about 30 or so Harbor Freight "freebies" floating around.
 

tex.proud

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
449
Location
Texas
An Every Day Carry setup is not complete without BOTH!

I have several of both, but most days the same items make in into my setup.

Fenix E05 on the keychain, HDS Rotary 18650 on my belt, and a Spartan Harsey in the pocket.

IMG_20220227_021721.jpg
 

nollij

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Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Messages
69
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Earth
I've been working on a theory - "exponential permutation and the elusive optimum ". It tries to understand why we are attracted to flashlights. The same hypothetical principle applies to knives, automobiles, firearms and watches, and many other things. I would appreciate your thoughts, maybe you can help me refine my theory.
Let's take knives as a simpler example.
Knives can be said to have categories of properties, and within these categories lie sub categories.
Construction: Fixed blade, Folder.
Within each of those categories lie sub categories: Folder - locking, slipjoint
Within, let's say, the locking category, are yet more sub categories: Back lock, frame lock, axis lock etc etc.
It's like a tree of differentiations. When the "construction" tree has been exhausted, we then find a whole other tree, that of steels. Then one of blade shape. Then grind. Handle material. And each of these trees are cross compatible with each other. Any branch on any tree can contact any branch on any other tree. The potential permutations are infinite.
However, the market is not infinite, and economics has pruned these trees to certain limitations. The reason for this is consumers are driven, as a collective, by their quest for the optimum.
Sometimes you need, or want, a product that pushes down one branch as far as possible - an obsidian scalpel, for example. Or a timbersports racing axe. These are "best for a certain task" options. The flashlight equivalent would be a Lazer. Best for throw/signaling. There are times when only the best will do, and all other considerations and handicaps are moot.
But for the vast majority of consumers, there exists the craving to find the optimum. That ever elusive balance point of personal needs. It's different for everyone, of course.
Now, considering flashlights: here we have even more scope for permutations. The "trees" would be:
Emitter type
Driver type
Tint
Cri
Cell type
Body type
Charging type
Metal type
Optic/reflector type
UI. type....
And many more. All these trees and sub categories can combine with each other to produce unique offspring. This is the blessing and the curse of being a flashaholic.
Within the economically limited field of choice, we still have a vast range of potentials. Where flashlights beat knives in this game is the ever advancing technology, which keeps raising the bar, year on year.
This was an ad-lib rant. Penny for your thoughts...
I have to disagree on the advancing technology assertion with knives. Blade steels, locking mechanisms and handle materials have come MILES in the past 30 years and do not cease, not to mention the search for the ultimate knife 😉
 

Olumin

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
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1,142
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"...that famous Texas part of Hamburg"
I have to disagree on the advancing technology assertion with knives. Blade steels, locking mechanisms and handle materials have come MILES in the past 30 years and do not cease, not to mention the search for the ultimate knife 😉
Someone who knows how to sharpen & strop their blade will get as much use out of 440C or old carbon steel then a S110V (perhaps more because these super steels can be a pain on the a** to sharpen). A good old fixed blade, back lock or slip joint is as valid a tool now as it was when it was made. Its like with vintage guns; well taken care of , with modern ammo they shoot as well (or better) as any.
 

vicv

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 22, 2013
Messages
1,737
Location
Southern Ontario
Actually in my experience, even the super steels are easy to sharpen. You just need the right tools. Silicon carbide stones can cut through the vanadium carbides. As can diamond. And use a coarse enough stone. I find I can sharpen anything with a Norton crystolon stone. Or a dmt diamond hone. Or even some sic paper on a flat board
 

Monocrom

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
17,110
Location
NYC
Someone who knows how to sharpen & strop their blade will get as much use out of 440C or old carbon steel then a S110V (perhaps more because these super steels can be a pain on the a** to sharpen). A good old fixed blade, back lock or slip joint is as valid a tool now as it was when it was made. Its like with vintage guns; well taken care of , with modern ammo they shoot as well (or better) as any.
I've encountered individuals who claim they've resharpened their Super exotic steel blades numerous times. A bit of probing has found that what they're actually doing is maintaining the edge on their blades. Weekend camping trip or something similar. Come home, maintain the edge. They call it sharpening.
 

nollij

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Oct 19, 2005
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I've encountered individuals who claim they've resharpened their Super exotic steel blades numerous times. A bit of probing has found that what they're actually doing is maintaining the edge on their blades. Weekend camping trip or something similar. Come home, maintain the edge. They call it sharpening.
Can’t argue with that! I’m a fan of not letting my knives get dull enough to need a full resharpening… but I’m OCD like that. I’ve shied away from the super hard steels (s90v and zdp-189) for the fact that they tend to be far more brittle and do not tolerate chopping/hacking or twisting and have a tendency to chip and crack if exposed to that treatment. For me the sweet spot has been M390 although Elmax is pretty nice (but harder to sharpen). I don’t let my M390 knives get dull but I only have to touch them up a couple times a year with regular use. Granted, I use them as cutting tools, not axes.
 

fuyume

Enlightened
Joined
Jun 25, 2021
Messages
211
I can take a 200 year old carbon steel knife, and it will perform more than adequately. Try that with a 200 year old flashlight! 😂
 

jz6342

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Joined
Jun 9, 2022
Messages
32
Location
SC
My most used combo - Kershaw Westin and a Rovyvon A1x
 

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