There’s a lot of Pushback on England’s New Offensive Weapons Law
Especially from anyone over there who knows anything at all about knives and knife-related activities. I’m not exactly past the bar in UK law, but from what I understand they’re not allowed to buy or sell knives online anymore, and you know what? I get it England. Knives can go straight to hell. You too, Canada. The two of you clearly have things figured out on the knife front.
I’ve lived my life on the edge, so if the saying is true I know somewhere out there is the blade waiting to do me in, and I know exactly how it’s going to happen. It’ll have polished wood scales and bead-finished steel, probably a drop point, and probably a folder because they’re much sneakier. It will seem harmless at first, and I’ll think “it’s fine. I’ve handled this kind of thing a hundred times.” Then before I know what’s happening, it’ll come right at me, and my life will never be the same.
Three hundred dollars later I’ll walk into a grocery store, look at the price of bread and think “Oh crap. I still need to pay rent.”
So I get where Canada and the UK are coming from. It’s an economic liability. You can’t have idiots like me walking around with the freedom to buy a knife whenever we feel like it. We don’t have the capacity for responsible knife-buying behavior. I have a rotation of about three folders right now. Nice practical blades. They’re not even that expensive, and they’ve never failed me. I like these knives. I’ll probably never need another knife besides the three I use regularly.
But Have You Seen the Spyderco Shaman?
Because it’s cool. It has a compression lock and a sabre grind in CPM-S30V steel.
It also costs an amount of money I could use to feed myself for several months. Why do I even care about the sabre grind? I’ve never found myself cutting anything and thinking “Man, my life would drastically improve if this knife was shaped in a slightly different way from what I usually use every day.”
I don’t even like S30V steel that much. All my favorite knives have practical steels like 420HC and 154CM, which are both somewhere in the spectrum above the hand-packed coal some guy in a garage whittled to a point, and below whatever King Arthur pulled out of a rock before turning around and to tell you about the sweet mirror polish and hollow grind. But I still want the Shaman, and if I ever find myself with two hundred dollars to spare that’s one of about ten knives I’m going to think about getting. Right up there with the Kizer Ning Shoal flipper and the Boker Anso. Because that’s the kind of stupid thing a person who’s addicted to buying knives does.
If I lived in England I wouldn’t have to worry about figuring out how to feed myself after I buy the Boker Anso. I could worry about normal things like what kind of tea I should drink today, or how I’m going to open packages now.
I Only Need One, If I’m Being Honest
I started looking for a new fixed blade recently too. I don’t even use those when I’m camping, but somehow having one or five on my desk makes me feel like I could potentially accomplish something. I don’t know what that thing is. Somewhere out there is a chopping task of massive proportions and only the Condor Stratos will be the right tool for the job, because apparently there aren’t enough axes or chainsaws in the world.
The truth is, I have chopped wood and branches with a knife for exactly zero practical purposes in my life. Even in my long review of the Stratos I admitted the knife was more fun than useful, but I’ll be damned if I regret owning it.
Have you looked at the Boker Arbolito line recently? Because I have. A lot. Why the hell would I look at that many knives that average a two-hundred dollar price tag when I could just pick up a Mora Companion for under thirty bucks and never need any other knife ever again? Because the Arbolitos look cool. Never mind that anytime I go camping I would probably choose the Buck Selkirk or literally any Mora over an Arbolito, even if I had one, because I’m not afraid to get the Mora dirty.
Even the Mora seems silly when you consider that most of my daily tasks could be done with a Victorinox multi-tool (which seems to be about the only legal thing left in England) or a Buck 110. But here’s the non-logic of anyone who likes knives: if these two knives are enough to cover my daily needs, just think how much I could do with fifty more knives exactly like them.
How Do I Justify all these Knives?
As I understand it, you can’t legally carry a locking knife above three inches without good reason over there now. I suspect “Because I paid three hundred dollars for this knife and I really need to find something to convince myself this was worth it” isn’t the right answer to a police officer asking why I’m carrying anything made by Benchmade.
It might seem like absolute insanity to anyone who uses knives regularly that they suddenly have to justify their EDC with a specific purpose, but answer this: is it crazier than carrying the Cold Steel Voyager XL around in your pocket and getting tell a cop “because I want to” and walk away?
Maybe I’d go to a movie. I could buy a lot of movie tickets with that Spyderco knife money. Are the Marvel movies over yet? Did they win? If I stop buying knives now, do I still have time to find out how Spider Man changes his face every five years?
So go ahead. Ban every knife. All the folding knives and the scary looking hunting knives. I’d even argue we should take it a step further and ban kitchen knives, because for some reason I still think Buck’s kitchen cutlery set is a good idea. What in God’s name do I think I’m gonna do with four steak knives and a third 8-inch chef knife? Most of the time I’m only using this kind of crap to cut into cheese blocks. Please, someone save me from this nightmare, because I’m tired of trying to figure out how to maintain my sliver of quality of life while feeding my insatiable desire for overpriced alloy steels and pretty handles. Count yourself lucky, Englanders, because over here we’re almost drowning in our ability to buy and carry just about any knife we could possibly want.