EDITORS NOTE

Cut to the chase

One of my earliest memories of misbehaving (and being caught out by my parents) is when I got my hands on my Dad’s Swiss Army knife without his permission, or supervision, and then proceeded to close the longer blade on my fingers. It was difficult to disguise the blood, tears and crying, so the error of my ways was quickly discovered.

I think my parents administered a well-considered blend of medical treatment, comfort, told-you-so advice, and discipline. It was a tough and painful lesson to learn, but I came away better off for it, an...
show more

Cut to the chase

One of my earliest memories of misbehaving (and being caught out by my parents) is when I got my hands on my Dad’s Swiss Army knife without his permission, or supervision, and then proceeded to close the longer blade on my fingers. It was difficult to disguise the blood, tears and crying, so the error of my ways was quickly discovered.

I think my parents administered a well-considered blend of medical treatment, comfort, told-you-so advice, and discipline. It was a tough and painful lesson to learn, but I came away better off for it, and with a healthy respect for pocketknives, and blades in general.

Still, the shiny appeal of knives never waned. I think that’s the case for many little boys – girls too, I’m sure. Knives carry this unique appeal, especially pocketknives, with all their hidden components that fold away so neatly. A few years later, after a trip to Europe, my parents returned with Swiss Army knives of our own, for both my brother and me. I was 11 years old, and I’ve treasured that item to this day.

These days, my go-to multitool when camping is a hefty Leatherman Super Tool 300. It’s amazing how often a sturdy pair of pliers comes in handy when you’re roughing it, and the variety of other tools has helped to solve dozens of other problems. At the office, I usually have a small Opinel blade with me. I use it for opening packages, envelopes, and fiddling with while writing or editing (no, I haven’t slipped up and cut myself. Yet).

Knives have helped humans evolve over tens of thousands of years, which in my opinion is strong justification to always have one with you. Why oppose the natural flow of progression? That, or they’re just pretty and shiny, and I want to own as many as I can.

To help narrow down the selection process if you’re shopping for a knife, we’ve taken a look at 22 different knife and multitool models and styles, on page 22. (Don’t tell the suppliers, but I wish I could’ve kept all of them – sadly, we had to send them back after reviewing.)

Although I’ve been waffling on about knives, this issue is crammed full of interesting stories, not least of which is our feature that commemorates the 50th anniversary of humans walking on the Moon, an occasion we marked in July. We hope you enjoy it all.show less