A Junk Knife

Or as I usually refer to it, a cr@p-knife. Something to use for cutting packing tape, prying open boxes, and those things you really do not want to use a good knife for. I hate having to get tape residue off a good knife. And thus was created the cr@p-knife.

It needs to be cheap yet functional, something that if it gets gunked up or dull, doesn’t really make a difference. I prefer fixed blade knives, since junk folding knives seem to have hinges that break or springs that fail at the worst possible moment in the worst possible way. I don’t want the blade snapping loose as I try to defeat UPS’s box adhesive, for instance. Stabbing myself is not the goal.

The Red Family tradition of the cr@p-knife started a number of years ago, when certain mail-order retailers began sending out cheap, usually Chinese-made, knives as a Thank You gift with orders. 99% of the knives were absolute junk, and Dad Red ended up with at least a dozen, probably closer to a score of the things. Now, I’d recently had a good Victorinox knife ruined when someone borrowed it, then used it to clean the gunk off aircraft battery terminals. Acid etching did not help the blade, and the guy was mildly apologetic but did not offer to replace said knife.

This is NOT the proper tool for cleaning aircraft battery terminals! Don’t be “that dude.”

I replaced the knife, grumbling all the way. Dad offered me my choice from the drawer-o-knives, but I didn’t trust most of them. I kept the old SAK (Swiss Army Knife) to use for stuff I did not want to use a good blade for, but that didn’t require a truly sharp blade. Like, cutting packing tape on boxes, and opening envelopes.

NOTE: I’m probably preaching to the choir, but don’t use a dull knife for anything serious. The more force you apply, the greater the chance of something slipping and damaging either the thing to be cut, or you. Sharp knives are safe knives. Treat them with proper respect and care, and you won’t get hurt. If you use junk to do sharp-knife work, something will go wrong.

Anyway, thus was born the cr@p-knife. At the moment, the cr@p-knife is a fixed blade thing that looks like a cross between a Clovis point and John Rambo’s worst pizza-induced nightmare. It has strange serrations and points on it, the blade is cheap stainless that cannot be sharpened unless you melt it down and recast it, and the shape is perfectly wrong for every job I can think of quickly. But it is perfect for opening boxes and puncturing the little seals under the cap of engine-anti-ice and the like. And if it dies, no great loss. It lives near the back door, in with the laundry stuff, and is handy, has a nice grip, and serves a purpose as long as you don’t try to really cut anything fiercer than pineapple tape.

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