After recieving the Folts Minimalist pictured above (thanks Clay!), complete with laser etched logo from CRKT Chopfest 2014, I briefly wondered if I should use it, or preserve it as a collectible. What would you do? The answer to this question probably depends on which of the following appeals to you more.
Firstly, a beautiful folding knife, hand made by a master of the craft. Exquisite filework adorns its back spring, and it wears scales of deeply textured mother of pearl. Accented by highly polished bolsters, the flawless, elegant blade opens on a silken pivot, and clicks open with a gratifying snap. Light plays across its surface, the mother of pearl scattering the rays as if through a prism. Oiled and cleaned meticulously, it rests on the mantle, encased in glass, a fine thing of beauty.
In the other corner, an old Mark 2 fighting knife. The common kabar. Carbon steel blade. Pitted. Scuffed. The edge, rough, uneven from years of use and sharpening. Its stacked leather handle, black from the oil and sweat of gruff, grubby mitts. Hardly a fine thing of beauty. Practical. Potent. Pig sticker.
I’m sure the stories that Mark 2 could tell would fill a book.
Now back to the original question. For me the the choice is obvious. I more thoroughly enjoy a knife when it is being used. As such, I’ve mostly let go of any knives I own that won’t ever see any action. If I’m going to keep a knife, you can bet I have a use for it. I wouldn’t want any of my blades to languish in a box.
Collectibility be cursed, I’ll use that Chopfest Minimalist, even though the bead blasted finish will attract scuffs like a new tax opportunity attracts a politician. And I’ll continue to take my first production run Benchmade 162 on camping trips. To enjoy these things without actually using them, fails to recognize what makes them enjoyable in the first place.
There is something a little sad about that knife in the glass case. While undeniably beautiful, the used up Mark 2 is just so much more interesting! Every scratch tells a story. I say, get out there and give your knife a story to tell!