Young people don’t need knives anymore

Hang around the knife industry for very long and you’ll no doubt hear a conversation about how boys today aren’t into pocket knives anymore. In fact, we here at CNJ have reported on more than one occasion that sentiment as well.

Yes, while it is true times have changed and we can quickly come up with a list of reasons, as we have, why this is the case. Young people don’t need knives they way they did last century, right?

painescutjrnlmastheadwoutdateWell, hold on to your horses there just a minute. This problem is not new to our society, nor our time. Listen to this statement as reported in the December 1930 edition of Paine’s Cutlery Journal.

“One of the leading publications in the advertising profession puts for the question ‘Why in the world don’t the cutlery manufacturers get together and bring back the pocket knife with a smashing advertising campaign to prove to the younger generation that a good knife has innumerable uses besides sharpening pencils?'”

So, there is hope because pocket knives became a rite of passage for most every boy up until the mid-1970’s.

On the other hand, there are lots of younger collectors out there- most of them just don’t carry the traditional pocket knife anymore, but they are definitely into knives just the same.

PS: Check out “Knife Collections” on YouTube to find over 6000 vids. Many of these collections are owned by the younger generation too.

Carrying a pocket knife- the way things used to be

vintage_boy_scou1Kids today carry cell phones, not pocket knives. Unfortunately, most parents today would freak out if their son or daughter pulled a knife out from their pocket.

Clearly that’s not the way it used to be. In fact, we reported in Times have changed and lifestyles have too here at CNJ, pocket knife carrying was almost a rite of passage from the 1800s to at least the middle 1900s anyway.

Want to hear what it was like to be a boy carrying a knife back years ago, then listen to Robert Simpson share with us what it was like when he was a boy. It is entitled- Nostalgia- the fine art of selective memory.

Published in: on April 20, 2009 at 5:30 am  Comments (1)  
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Knife marketing and RAT Cutlery Company

Weekend Edition

Knives come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and designs. 

Many of us have different knives for different uses, and moods. Kind of like hats and boots, and if you are like me, I decide which to wear based on what I’m going to do and what kind of mood I’m in.

There are about as many knife makers as there are different kinds of knives, and as I watch the knife industry and its players I pay attention to how each knife company brands itself. How it attempts to separate itself from competitors and the message points in its advertisements. 

One company’s ad gets my attention every time.



And while it catches my eye for more than one reason, I find their location to be of particular interest. The firm is based here in Sweet Home Alabama- Gallant, Alabama to be exact.  

The firm’s name is one you probably have seen before and you may even own one of their knives. It is RAT Cutlery Company

I was reading through the current issue of Blade Mag and noticed this ad again, so I decided to google map Gallant.

Would you believe they are only 20 minutes away?

I acted on a wild hair and emailed the owners requesting a time I could come visit on behalf of CNJ. Later that night, I got a favorable reply. So, in March I’m going to go check out this knife maker and it should be interesting. I’ll report back.

Published in: on February 21, 2009 at 10:25 am  Comments (6)  
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Pocket knife credited for saving man’s life

090211024524_truck_unstuckMaple Grove, Minn- Last week a driver who fell through the ice credits his pocket knife for helping save his life.

David Gangelhoff was delivering a truck load of sand across the Fish Lake which usually is 2 feet thick when his truck hit a patch of thin ice causing his truck to sink like a rock with him inside.

Once his cab filled with water David was able to swim out of his open window, but once he reached the surface he had to use the knife to pull up from the water.

Video story from Fox 9 clearly points to knife saving his life.

Published in: on February 16, 2009 at 6:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Just what Is Red Bone anyway?


5 Case Red Bones?

5 Case Red Bones?

One topic frequently discussed among collectors is “Just what is Red Bone, anyway?”

If you are a Case collector, there is no doubt you have wondered this yourself. All you have to do is watch eBay to see all the different shades of red, reddish brown and even brown handled knives- all represented to be “Red Bone.”

I too have suffered from this quandary. I hate to call a knife with red in the handles Brown Bone, when it is half red. Well, what about when the ends of the bone down at the bolsters are red?

Is there an accepted definition among collectors as to the strict interpretation of “Just what is a red bone, anyway?”

Here’s what I found:

“Some collectors mistakenly believe that if the handle shows a slight red tint at the edge or end of the handles it is a Red Bone. This is not correct. The accepted genuine Red Bone in the collecting field is as follows: It should be a deep red tint covering all sections of the handle and both handles should be the exact same color.”

The writer goes on to add, “There are some beautiful knives with a red color and, in most cases, are worth more than a regular Brown Bone handle.”

Pretty Bone

Pretty Bone

There that settles it. If we can now all agree on this as the standard. The good news for all of us with redish bone handled knives is they are probably worth more than a straight-out Brown Bone, but even still, they are not Red Bone.



Source: Ferguson’s -Romance of Knife Collecting (1979 Edition)

Published in: on January 29, 2009 at 6:01 am  Comments (1)  
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Looking for a pocket knife?

Weekend Edition

googleIf someone wants to buy a pocket knife today, what do they do? Sure they can go down to Walmart, but what fun is that?

Most folks today “let their fingers do the walking,” except it isn’t through the Yellow Pages anymore. Instead they turn to Google.

Google provides a wealth of information. My family turns to it almost everyday for something. The other day we were debating the origin of saying “God bless you” when someone sneezes- so off to Google we ran.

Google provides us a glimpse of what people are thinking at any point in time. 

In addition to watching our hobby from the grass-roots level, I also like to watch it from a bird’s-eye perspective. One of the ways I do this is to watch the Google trends related to various “Knife” search terms.

In today’s edition of CNJ, I wanted to share a few interesting observations about the search term “pocket knife” from the world of Google. 


Published in: on January 17, 2009 at 6:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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OK, OK, I am finally getting an EDC


Last week, one of our CNJ readers posted a comment about me being a uber geek. Now, I need to clear the air of a couple of things.

While I took no offense, I want to make sure you know I am equally passionate about knives.

I have to confess though I do get pretty excited about all things Mac (Apple Computers). I have a blast playing on my computer, publishing CNJ, and chatting with fellow collectors on forums, YouTube and by email.

I also know I tend to foster the geek image as a result of me taking it upon myself years ago to promote the fun of our hobby via the World Wide Web.

Computer nerd posing as a knife collector

The members of know a dark secret I shared a few years ago. It is one that has made some folks think I am really just a computer nerd posing as a knife collector. 

So, in an effort to set the record straight- I’ll tell you too.

I don’t have an EDC (and never have). I did buy one off eBay specifically as an EDC, but couldn’t bring myself to carry it…it was a used Case XX redbone toenail. I’m just too much of a collector to bring myself to use it.

Now, if you don’t know what an EDC is I am sorry, but I won’t further embarrass myself by explaining what it is.

I could sit here and give you all the reasons/excuses for why I don’t have one (travel a lot, don’t get into “cutting” situations often, etc, etc.,), but the EDC situation is a bit more problematic for me because my favorite knife isn’t easily carried in my britches pocket, OK?

The Problem Is Now Solved

Well, I think I have solved the problem now. I found a knife I want for Christmas (another one actually). From here out I will be able to hold my head up high around all my knife friends.

All will now know I am really not a computer nerd posing as a knife collector because I will be a card carrying member of the EDC Club.

With that said, I’d like to introduce my EDC:


Published in: on December 23, 2008 at 6:30 am  Comments (7)  
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