What is your perfect work knife?
Does such a thing exist?
In short, no, but there are a few that come damn close. Obviously depending on your line of work this knife will vary. For my day job I am an estimator/project manager for a pest control/construction company. My day consists of inspecting attics, crawlspaces, basements, roofs and any other cramped, dark, damp and uncomfortable places that you can think of. I constantly have to cut fiberglass insulation, tips off of caulk tubes and pop cut “peek” holes into sheetrock.
I need a knife that is long enough to do all of these things, slim enough that it doesn’t get in my way while maneuvering through cramped tight places, and non threatening enough not to scare any customer when I take it out.
I work in an area that New York City folks love to buy their second homes, and have to keep them in mind when picking my work knife. Even though it might be legal and perfectly fine, they can still get a little squirrely around anything seemingly “dangerous”.
Previously I have used a Buck model 110 to fill this niche but the tip is too thin, and it has a tendency to snap on me.
Next up was a Case knives large stockman which gave me great versatility in the three blades, but didn’t lock which severely limited how much pressure I could put on it, but other than that was a perfect knife for the job. The clip point blade was long enough to slice insulation effectively, while the sheepsfoot blade was perfect for cutting cordage on the job site. While I love this large stockman, it wasn’t the right work knife for me(I do tend to carry it as a backup knife though while working).
I then went to an ESEE Izula I. While definitely stout enough to be up to the task of any job, it just isn’t long enough to perform the tasks I needed. As well, I had more than a few clients comment on why I was wearing a “weapon”.
So far my search for the “perfect” work knife had been unsuccessful up to that point.
However, about a year ago I finally found what seems to be the perfect work knife for my situation;
The Smith & Sons Mudbug lockback pocket knife. The Mudbug is a large sodbuster designed lockback knife made by Great Eastern Cutlery with a few Smith & Sons touches added to it. Made of American 1095 High Carbon steel and paper micarta handles, this knife has been my go to work knife for almost a year now.
It is large enough to do the job, opens slowly with two hands(although you can do it one handed as well), and is tough enough to stab into sheetrock, or cut hardened foam out of a corner post.
As well as being a workhorse that sharpens easily and retains it’s edge well, it’s a very nonthreatening looking knife. It’s not particularly pointy, it doesn’t open with a flick of the wrist, and while on the larger side for a folding knife it looks very non tactical.
Since I purchased the Mudbug I haven’t had any desire to search for a new work knife, and for me, a guy that is constantly upgrading my tools, that is saying something.
What type of knife do you carry at work? a slipjoint? folder? fixed blade? or does your work not allow knives at all?