Since the beginning of civilization, blades have been the simplest and greatest tool in man’s battle against the wilderness. As time progressed and mankind advanced, the knife improved as well to match the need. It was a given understanding that everyone owned a knife. Only in the past twenty years has society deemed the knife a terrifying weapon, banishing it from the belt and pocket of the everyday man. Modern society has demonized the knife, which is slowly opening a rift of inconvenience and impracticality. To help you avoid falling into this rift, I have composed a list of knives ranked by level of convenience. In all the photos shown, each of these knives is less than five and one half inches (This is the legal limit in the state of Texas. Check your own state knife regulations) and legal to carry everywhere. (With the exception of certain government buildings)
Superlight: I describe a superlight as any folding knife with a blade under two inches in length. While these blades have very limited use in everyday life, they make up for this by being nearly weightless and altogether discrete and convenient to carry. They can be stocked in a back pocket, hooked on a key ring, or tucked in a sock without a second thought. If you’re looking for a tiny, unnoticeable knife to open letters and trim clothes tags, then these compact blades could suit you perfectly.
Utility Blades: A utility blade would be any knife with multiple functions. These knives can have dozens of attachments and, on occasion can present tools that I’m not sure the makers even know what they’re supposed to do. These knives certainly have a great convenience value without taking up much space in a pocket or bag. I would recommend a twenty dollar Swiss army knife to everyone. These knives tend to be cheap, durable, and all around a classic trademark blade for any adventurer.
Light Folders: Any simple folding blade with a blade in the two to four inches range, I deem a light folder. This is about the largest knife any average citizen will ever need. It can open boxes, cut packaging and rope, or just be a nice pocket decoration to try and blend in with the rest of your crazy knife-toting friends. Though these blades are not typically high-performance knives, I find that anything from a lockless knife to a spring lock can do most jobs perfectly well.
Heavy Folders: My personal favorite, heavy folders are any knife above four inches which possess strong locking mechanisms and some degree of quality steel and handle reinforcement. As folding technology and durable light weight material advances, the use of these knives is becoming nearly limitless. If you don’t mind putting up with a little extra pocket weight and a lot of terrified glances from your friends and co-workers, these knives can fulfill just about any cutting requirement needed. I have personally felled small trees with the use of the knives above. Though one should be hesitant to pull these knives out, for fear of frightening the faint of heart, just knowing you have the power to chop down a tree in your pocket can make your day feel just a little better.
Fixed Blades: Although knife laws allow for such blades, I would rarely recommend these blades for every day carry. You could have a foot long sword folded up in your pants and no one would notice or care, but once you show them five inches of blade nestled in a scabbard on your belt, things go bad quickly. Though these knifes win out in durability and ease of access, the flashy nature of a big fix blade knife often scares people, rendering them useless in the field of discretion. Though it is your right to carry any blade within legal length, I would recommend, for the sake of convenience and general civic courtesy, to stay on the discrete side and make sure any fixed blade you carry is less than four inches. The three knives above are legal to carry in the state of Texas, though I have never opted to do so, simply because I can carry a blade of the same length and similar strength folded in my pocket. No muss, no fuss, and no police called.
This being an opinion article, I can only give you a recommendation. Weighing the options, the choice is yours. If you want to carry a five and a half inch fixed blade and have people run from you like gazelle from a tap dancing lion, then that is your prerogative. As well, if you want to carry a micro knife that can barely do the job of an overgrown fingernail, then that is what you may do. If you want to carry six dozen massive folding knives all over your person like a doomsday prepper just robbed the Joker, then you can do that too. (I’m one for the latter) With this little bit of information, I hope you will be able to make an informed decision when you finally do decide to get a knife to carry. And, by all means, please do get a knife.