Question of the Day: If You Could Only Save One Knife

Image courtesy of David C. Andersen

Let’s say, due to circumstances beyond your control, you are only able to keep one knife from your collection. What would it be? Would it be your EDC? Or, perhaps the knife you choose would be an antique or something that is no longer made and could not be replaced. Maybe you would choose something for sentimental reasons.

My choice would be a sentimental one–my Camillus Official BSA Whittler, given to me by my father, was my first “real” knife as a child. My father also carried a Camillus Whittler as a Boy Scout, a black handled example that he still uses to this day. Mine is the one knife I will never part with, as there is no way to replace the history wrapped up in it’s jigged faux-bone scales. Not to mention the fact that there is no longer a factory in Camillus, NY that is making knives.

My BSA Whittler has grown with me. You can see the evidence of the progression of my skills over the years. I shudder to think of the days when I used to hone it with one of those nasty pull-through carbide sharpeners. Eventually, I learned how terrible these types of sharpeners are and began sharpening the blades on bench stones, and later, a Spyderco Sharpmaker. You can still see some carbide scars on the coping blade, although that will probably change soon. I’ve recently given the main blade some attention–clearing away the last of the scars by giving it a mirror polished convex edge. Done by hand, it took some time, but it felt good to treat the old Whittler with the respect it deserves.

And now it is your turn. What knife from your collection would you save?


  1. Sean says:

    that’s an awesome knife!

    if i could only keep one knife, it would have to be my Lionsteel SR1a, because it has only two moving parts, the pivot, and the lockbar. It is an integral with a rotoblock system which makes the lockup virtually indestructible, and it may not be the most fun knife to play with, compared to some of my flippers, but it is probably the most robust.

  2. Robert says:

    My Randall Model 1 8″ with stag handle. Owned it since 1987.

  3. Raina Collins says:

    An antique Western folder I inherited from my grandfather. He hunted with it for over forty years and I’m really not sure how old it is. It’s similar in style to one that Case offers with clip and skinning blades in trapper orientation, both about 4.5″ long. It’s a victim of my learning how to sharpen, too. It has so much character…The base of both blades are peened from him batoning through deer and elk pelvises, the bottom bolster chipped from hammering on Crom-knows-what, scratches from his even worse sharpening technique. I’ve thought about restoring it and polishing it, but it would lose so much of him by doing so.

  4. Sam L. says:

    I can’t pick just one. I have my self-purchased BSA Scout Knife, the 2-blade slim Henckels my uncle gave me a few years later, My Gerbers Mk II, I, and Guardian, and LST, the Gerber folder I gave my dad…

  5. ChuckN says:

    I have a Buck 120 General made circa 1970. It’s been tried
    and trued many times over. I’ve put it through a lot of
    punishment over the years and it’s never faltered once.
    It has boned and skinned everything from ducks to moose
    and still stays sharp enough to shave with. The knife has
    been more places I have and always come back in one piece.
    First it spent some time with a Marine cousin in the Balkans.
    Next it was in Sudan and the Congo with an uncle during
    a short stint as a medic with Drs without Borders. Then two
    tours in Afghanistan with another cousin. Currently it’s
    deployed with my little brother in the mideast. The family
    history alone makes it impossible to ever give up that knife.

  6. ElliottH says:

    I might hesitate over my Randall Model 1, however the old man’s NIB 80’s era Puma White Hunter would win the day. That is one knife I will never sell or lend to anyone simple because of how dutifully he has kept it for three decades through thick and thin and one day it will pass to me.

  7. Jon M. says:

    My sentimental answer is a Hen and Rooster canoe that my grandfather passed down to me. Green jigged bone, the shield
    is missing, it’s dinged all to hell, but it’s one I’ll never give up.

    The practical answer is my Becker BK 24 or an ESEE Izula because they’re small enought you can conceal on your belt or pocket but have just the right amount of handle and blade length to handle almost anything. Like the perfect sized fixed blade.

  8. kap says:

    a military issue Kukri

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Question of the Day: If You Could Only Save One Knife

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