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Thread: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

  1. #1

    Default Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    I was wondering if people carry a multi-tool because it's just "easier."

    I'll explain. I have at times carried a folding blade with me. I like to have a knife with me. I find uses for it all the time, around the house, at work, etc. It always comes in handy. Self-defense is the last thing I think about.

    However, when I take out my knife (to use for some task, not brandishing it) I get reactions from benign to outright astonishment that I have some sort of "weapon" on me. This reaction is usually more from women than men, but there are some men who seem visually uneasy about it, also.

    I finally switched to a Skeletool CX and the reactions are FAR less extreme, especially when I show the other tools. In fact, many people ask where they could get one!

    For all intents and purposes it's the exact same thing, but somehow perceived as nefarious without the tools. I even notice this with security personnel when I need to go through a metal detector or something. Same thing - the knife is frowned upon, the multi-tool always gets the nod.

    Curious if others have experienced this...

    Btw: I actually like carrying the Skeletool now instead of a knife. It does have more utility...


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  2. #2

    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    It's more due to non knife user perception than anything else. When you pull a knife out, most will see it as a means of cutting/stabbing and that appears as threatening especially if it's a medium to large folder. A multi tool usually doesn't have a big blade on it and therefore is less of a proposed threat.

    The other thing to consider is that unless you have a sheath on your belt, you're pulling out a knife from a concealed location whereas most mulit tools are too big to pocket carry.

    JMHO

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* Str8stroke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Its just like your grand pa's old wooden stock .223 hunting rifle vs a all black, tactical loaded, AR-15. Both are lethal. But when you are moving them around in your trunk at the Mall to make room for your wifes shopping bags it can make a visual difference to the uninformed.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Quote Originally Posted by Str8stroke View Post
    Its just like your grand pa's old wooden stock .223 hunting rifle vs a all black, tactical loaded, AR-15. Both are lethal. But when you are moving them around in your trunk at the Mall to make room for your wifes shopping bags it can make a visual difference to the uninformed.
    Yeah, it's all perception.


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  5. #5

    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Quote Originally Posted by Berneck1 View Post
    I was wondering if people carry a multi-tool because it's just "easier."

    I'll explain. I have at times carried a folding blade with me. I like to have a knife with me. I find uses for it all the time, around the house, at work, etc. It always comes in handy. Self-defense is the last thing I think about.

    However, when I take out my knife (to use for some task, not brandishing it) I get reactions from benign to outright astonishment that I have some sort of "weapon" on me. This reaction is usually more from women than men, but there are some men who seem visually uneasy about it, also.

    I finally switched to a Skeletool CX and the reactions are FAR less extreme, especially when I show the other tools. In fact, many people ask where they could get one!

    For all intents and purposes it's the exact same thing, but somehow perceived as nefarious without the tools. I even notice this with security personnel when I need to go through a metal detector or something. Same thing - the knife is frowned upon, the multi-tool always gets the nod.

    Curious if others have experienced this...

    Btw: I actually like carrying the Skeletool now instead of a knife. It does have more utility...


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    If we compare both then its good to carry a multitool rather than carrying a knife. People will surely make distance from you if you are carrying a knife but its not in the case of any multi tool.

  6. #6
    kaichu dento's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    I use the serrated blade on my Leatherman for duties it's more suited for and the regular blade for things I don't want to subject my regular knife to, but I always have a knife on me as well as my Leatherman which I have mostly for the pliers and drivers.

    Got to have both.
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    I carry a knife, because I find uses for it pretty regularly. I have a nice multi-tool, but the extra bulk (to me) is not worth it - it sits at home. I wouldn't have any use for all the other stuff, and the blades on multi-tools are nowhere near as good as a dedicated knife.

    If other people are concerned about it, that is too bad for them. I'm not going to stop carrying a knife just because of someone else's perception. I use it as a tool - if they can't understand that, oh well.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic Swamplite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    I could care less about what people think about the knife I carry but my Swiss Army knife has never raised any concerns that I know of.I also have several scary looking tactical lock blades and Leatherman multi tools but the good old Victoronix knife is to me the best of both worlds for my edc.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    I find the Skeletool isn't too heavy considering its size.



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  10. #10

    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Same here. I always carry a folding knife (even though its illegal here). But depending on who's around I take out my SAK because of how this is perceived much less aggressive.

  11. #11
    kaichu dento's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    There are more things in play than just the presence of a knife when it comes to how people will perceive them, most important among them the way in which the knife is presented. Some knives just look aggressive and others don't but when someone brandishes a knife in a showy manner and makes sure to flip the blade out in front of them to show off it can't help but seem meant for purposes of intimidation.
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

  12. #12

    Default Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    It's a total shame that one has to even worry about what we carry around for EDC use.
    I EDC an ESEE Junglas (OAL 16.5 inch) for work. You should see the looks I get after work at the gas station or restaurant...or wherever. They run and grab their children! It's like your an outlaw for having a tool. I got frustrated and started packing inside the waistband. Now I look like a peg leg pirate walking around. I'm real short and the blade hits before my foot does. Clink, clink...Arrrrr, the dilemma!


    .edit: I agree with the perception concept. I also pack a leatherman. It doesn't get a second look.
    Last edited by Double Barrel; 04-23-2015 at 06:35 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Is that a Junglas in your pants or are you just happy to see me? hahaha

    I'm allowed to carry a multi-tool at work, but not a knife. If the knife has a bottle opener on it, it becomes a multi-tool...

  14. #14

    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Quote Originally Posted by Berneck1 View Post
    I find the Skeletool isn't too heavy considering its size.



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    Yes, skeletool will be good choice.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    It is unspeakably ignorant the perception some people have of knives. They are, IMO, the oldest, most meaningful contributing factor to civilization itself than any other implement developed by man.

    ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldowan )

    I simply don't care what reactions I get. Unfortunately I see it every time it happens as situational awareness is the single most important factor and most overlooked, in keeping yourself safe. ( Another concept the "knife lookers" aren't evolved enough to understand. ) It's insulting, irritating, and not worth consideration. Not to say you shouldn't practice common sense.

    Like George Carlin said, "Think of how dumb the average person is. Now think that half of them are dumber than that!"
    Last edited by ForrestChump; 04-30-2015 at 12:43 AM.

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Multi-tools are definitely seen as more acceptable by sheeple than large folders. I've been EDCing Spyderco Enduras for longer than I can remember. They have caused reactions from co-workers (business casual corporate environment) on quite a few occasions, but never what I'd consider extreme. I'd take it from my pocket, open it up, they'd make a big knife comment, I'd cut what needs cutting, fold the blade, put it back into my pocket...end of discussion.

    I always have a Leatherman in my laptop bag, but basically never use the blades since in most instances a half serrated Endura works far better, and the cutting would be done with the Spyderco before I even had the Leatherman pouch in my hand.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Swisstool works better than a knife for me. I have carried for many years without the problems of a knife, its more usefull to. I like it more than any other multitool.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    I've even had weird reactions to my Leatherman Surge EDC, but the reasons posted in this thread are why I carry that instead of a dedicated folder most of the time. I just want to minimize any annoying conversations, but maybe I should change my attitude as well.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* P_A_S_1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    OP, IDK but I believe it's typically a combination of factors that make others uneasy when a knife comes out. The environment, the type of knife, the individual with said knife, ect. Every time my 'radar' went up upon seeing a knife on an individual it had nothing to do with the knife but rather the person possessing it. With that said there are some who simply see a knife on a person as a weapon and nothing more and being you can't control how another person thinks or feels there's nothing you can do about it other then expect it at some point. I suspect these people would be more comfortable with a multi-tool being possessed/displayed.

  20. #20
    kaichu dento's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Quote Originally Posted by P_A_S_1 View Post
    OP, IDK but I believe it's typically a combination of factors that make others uneasy when a knife comes out. The environment, the type of knife, the individual with said knife, etc. Every time my 'radar' went up upon seeing a knife on an individual it had nothing to do with the knife but rather the person possessing it. With that said there are some who simply see a knife on a person as a weapon and nothing more and being you can't control how another person thinks or feels there's nothing you can do about it other then expect it at some point. I suspect these people would be more comfortable with a multi-tool being possessed/displayed.
    Best and most eloquently worded post in the thread so far.

    I tried to suggest some of these points earlier but not nearly as well as you have here and I would say that as one who always has either a 3.5
    "/4" folder and sometimes a Cold Steel Trailmaster (9.5" blade) that I have had the same feelings inaccurately pointed towards people uncomfortable at the sight of some knives. Can't know for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of the instances written about actually are precipitated by the person holding the knife than the knife itself.

    I've never even noticed anyone unnerved when I was carrying the Trailmaster, which I attribute to the fact that I never brandish my knives or act in a manner that would give anyone any reason to be intimidated.

    Thanks again for the great post PAS.
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  21. #21
    Flashaholic* P_A_S_1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Thank you for the compliment.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    We also have to be careful because in a group of people like us discussing knife usage, we are more likely than the average person to not be fazed by seeing a knife, and thus we are more likely to be on edge only when the person holding the knife makes us nervous rather than the object itself. However, as already mentioned, there are groups of people who would be surprised to see a knife no matter who is carrying it. As an example, I have been in situations where people visiting from other countries with much more restrictive knife laws were surprised to see someone carrying a knife but the rest of the group was completely unfazed.

    Anyway, I agree, these are some great posts about some of the factors that go into people's feelings about knife usage.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Quote Originally Posted by kaichu dento View Post
    Best and most eloquently worded post in the thread so far.
    +1

    I concur, unfortunately? for me thought, I have a rather large tattoo, a shaved head, and an often misinterpreted expression of thought on my face. There is a 0% chance of me misusing a knife in any way form or fashion. Even with the above attributes, I have approached LEO to inquire about concealed vs unconcealed with a knife on my person ( knowing I was carrying said knife legally ). I have never felt uneasy doing so. I think it's your demeanor, approach, body expression, confidence ect that take precedence more so over the way you look. Im around ruff people all the time in my city, I can tell instantly, regardless of appearance / race / tats / hair / wether a person is a potential threat. I can do it backwards also....normal Joe blow , clean cut, but something is "off". It's like a sixth sense and I believe most LEO that are upholding their oath have this down to a science and can most likely put me to shame reading people - Jason Bourne style!

    Quote Originally Posted by blah9 View Post
    I've even had weird reactions to my Leatherman Surge EDC, but the reasons posted in this thread are why I carry that instead of a dedicated folder most of the time. I just want to minimize any annoying conversations, but maybe I should change my attitude as well.
    I agree. You should be extremely cautious around people that are intimidated by a multi-tool. There is obviously some mental proclivity present and I would consider them to be potentially dangerous.
    Last edited by ForrestChump; 04-30-2015 at 07:24 PM.

  24. #24
    kaichu dento's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Quote Originally Posted by ForrestChump View Post
    I think it's your demeanor, approach, body expression, confidence etc that take precedence more so over the way you look.
    +1

    Words matter, but more than words, how they're said. Appearances matter too, but more than appearance how one acts.
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    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Quote Originally Posted by ForrestChump View Post
    Like George Carlin said, "Think of how dumb the average person is. Now think that half of them are dumber than that!"
    I love that!! Wish I could fit it on a bumper sticker! Maybe a T-shirt!


    BTW, the large Skeletool CX actually has a very good knife blade. It's made from 154CM, which is a proper knife steel. Same stuff used by Ernie Emerson in his production and custom knives.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-at-Springboard View Post
    I love that!! Wish I could fit it on a bumper sticker! Maybe a T-shirt!


    BTW, the large Skeletool CX actually has a very good knife blade. It's made from 154CM, which is a proper knife steel. Same stuff used by Ernie Emerson in his production and custom knives.

    I was surprised by that. Leatherman really stepped it up on that piece.

    No need for a bumper sticker, just talk to anyone on the street. BAM! Proof.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-at-Springboard View Post
    I love that!! Wish I could fit it on a bumper sticker! Maybe a T-shirt!


    BTW, the large Skeletool CX actually has a very good knife blade. It's made from 154CM, which is a proper knife steel. Same stuff used by Ernie Emerson in his production and custom knives.
    Yeah, that's why I carry it. I feel it's one of their better tools. It's certainly my favorite of the Leatherman tools. The driver and pliers come in quite handy at times, also. Not nearly as much as the knife, but I use all the tools in it.

    I agree, a lot has to do with the person holding it. I also work in a very white-collar type office. I think the reaction is more because you don't normally see a pocket knife used much in that environment.


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  28. #28

    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    You can try kubey edc multitool folding knife. It is multifunction to use and very sharp.
    http://kubeyknife.com/kubey-edc-mult...losed-318.html

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    The more we shy away from using tools legally, the more people assume a proper knife is a bad thing. We also have a duty to not negatively reinforce the bad impressions they might already have, but I feel as strongly about giving positive impressions. Often I'll take the time to explain to anyone nearby why the knife I'm using is better and safer than the alternatives and is legal and NOT a weapon.

    I EDC the largest knife I legally can, as well a Victorinox Classic. If it is a small job and it is relatively public, then I'll use the Victorinox, but if the job needs something larger then I'll just use the bigger knife, quietly, responsibly and put it away once finished without making anything of it.

    Multi-tools are more widely accepted, but I have far fewer uses for the tools in them than a knife blade, and the extra weight is not worth it to carry.
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  30. #30
    kaichu dento's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife vs Multi-tool perception

    Quote Originally Posted by subwoofer View Post
    The more we shy away from using tools legally, the more people assume a proper knife is a bad thing. We also have a duty to not negatively reinforce the bad impressions they might already have, but I feel as strongly about giving positive impressions. Often I'll take the time to explain to anyone nearby why the knife I'm using is better and safer than the alternatives and is legal and NOT a weapon.

    I EDC the largest knife I legally can, as well a Victorinox Classic. If it is a small job and it is relatively public, then I'll use the Victorinox, but if the job needs something larger then I'll just use the bigger knife, quietly, responsibly and put it away once finished without making anything of it.
    Another excellent post and my feelings exactly. Few things more exasperating than people that do carry a larger knife and make a point of brandishing it to bolster their pride. Nothing wrong with carrying a larger knife if that's what you need and you can carry it responsibly.

    Multi-tools are more widely accepted, but I have far fewer uses for the tools in them than a knife blade, and the extra weight is not worth it to carry.
    Personally, I need them both. I use the serrated blade on my Leatherman a lot for certain duties, the straight blade for things that I don't care to subject my main knife to, and use the pliers and screwdrivers on a daily basis. Still need a standalone knife for regular knife duties though. Can't imagine not being able to carry both.
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

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