The second installment of my ‘State of XYZ Collection’ brings us to knives. Which is possibly the most boring of these, as I basically use/own very few knives. I went from having piles around the house, to five. And of those five, I use two most days. I’m not counting anything stashed away in emergency bags, but rather a knife I am likely to grab and use for a task. Here they are:
- Chris Reeve Small Sebenza (21 and 31): I have two of these, one is the 21 model with S35VN steel, and the other is a 31 model with Nichols Damascus Steel. The 21 is my beater knife, and the knife I grab when I am going to do some work that isn’t destroying Amazon boxes. The 31 is the knife I carry in my pocket when I leave the house, but only if I am opting for the Sebenza. I’d say I grab the Sebenza about 40% of the time but it is far from consistent.
- Tactile Knife Bexar Titanium: this is a near perfect knife for me. I overthought knives for so long, but this one centered me again and made my life easy. I keep thinking I should buy another with different scales, but I suspect it would gather dust as I prefer to carry this. I carry this about 58% of the time. It’s astoundingly good. It disappears in your pocket, has an exceptional blade shape, and feels great in the hand. It’s fucking good.
- Victorinox Small Tinker: I love the Tinker, but always felt they were a little large in the pocket. The Small Tinker hits the balance nicely. This is what I toss in my pocket when I am going to be hanging by the pool, or going to a birthday party where kids will be around. It’s simple, effective, and non-threatening. Call it 1.5% of the time I carry this.
- Benchmade Anonimus: I bought this as I was uncomfortable not have a large fixed blade knife. I only ever take it in my bag when hiking, or in hand when play acting jungle warfare by destroying errant vines in my backyard. I love it, but I also don’t have a lot of use for it. Felt odd not having a large fixed blade though, so I keep it around.
- Winkler Standard Duty 2: I find smaller fixed blades really fun to carry. This is what I carry on most hikes, as I want something stout and durable. It checks the boxes while being light and small to carry. I’m a big fan, but I also don’t hike much in the Houston area so utility is very limited here.
If I had to pull back to one knife, I think it would be the Bexar at this point. It’s the best knife for me, but the Sebenza is for sure the better overall knife. Tough call, close race. But by owning both, I can’t even bring myself to be bothered testing out other knives — there’s not a lot I want from any other knife right now, and frankly the market has been rather boring in 2023.