7 Reasons to Always Carry a Knife (and none of them are for self defense)


By Brian Meyer

Being a former Boy Scout, I was taught that you should always have your pocket knife on you at all times. This was usually a folding Swiss Army Knife with four or five tools built into it. This was perfect for just about everything a camping trip could throw at us, and beyond that, it was cool to have.

Today I’m many years out from being a Boy Scout but I still keep a knife on me all the time. Instead of the BSA Swiss Army knife, I now carry a Gerber with finger guard and pocket clip. Along with my wallet, I always have my knife on me, clipped securely in my back pocket unless I’m in a bar, then it’s my front.

Carrying a knife is important and not for the reason most people think. Sure, with training you can defend yourself pretty successfully with a knife, but as most of us haven’t received hand-to-hand combat training with edged weapons, a knife should be an absolute last resort for self-defense. Instead, having a knife on you at all times is more about usability and basic survival than defense. If you’re looking for defense, get a gun. If you’re looking to be useful and prepared, get a knife. Here are the top reasons for carrying a knife that you can use on the next person that asks why you always have that knife with you.


This one sounds like a no-brainer, but in everyday life as well as emergencies, a knife is really the only utensil you need, as long as you aren’t eating soup. From apples to oranges to even doubling as a steak knife, a quality knife in your pocket means you’re not going hungry any time soon.

Minor Car Repair

You’re driving along and suddenly your car starts steaming and overheating. You open the hood to find a radiator hose has cracked, spraying coolant throughout the engine compartment. You could walk to a parts store, buy a hose, and walk back and install it, or if the crack is close enough to the end, you can cut the end of the hose off and reattach it.

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What if you’re in a minor fender bender and you have a strip of plastic hanging from your car? Instead of ripping at it and causing more damage, a knife is useful to get it taken care of quickly and correctly.


Speaking of knives and cars, having a knife on you all the time is a great way to keep yourself safe AFTER an accident. Seatbelts have a way of getting stuck on after a hard hit, trapping the passenger in the vehicle. Since seatbelts are made to be strong, there’s no way to rip or tear one to get out.

With a knife on you all the time, you’re always ready in case you or someone else is in an accident and trapped in their vehicle. This can be a real lifesaver and could easily be the single best reason to keep a knife on you all the time.

Emergency Window Punch

While we’re on the topic of automotive safety and your knife, the butt end of a folding knife makes for a great window punch in case your vehicle gets into water and has electric windows, like being caught in a flash flood.

A window punch is also great for rescuing someone who is unresponsive in his or her vehicle with rolled up windows and a locked door. Being able to break the window easily and safely can get you or someone else the help they need.

Making a Fire

With enough practice and skill, all you need to start a fire is dry wood, some string, and a knife. While you should hopefully have matches or a lighter to start a fire as well, a simple pocket knife can help you make kindling, find dry wood inside wet wood, and even spark a fire with the help of a flint.

Open a Can (in an emergency)

With all the canned food being saved in bug in and bug out locations, what happens if you lose the can opener? While there are some methods to open a can without a can opener, the most readily at hand method is with a knife.

Just poke the blade into the flat top of the can, and work the blade around the top. With a little practice, you’ll get the hang of it. Make sure to wrap the blade in a towel to keep from cutting yourself in the process, too.

Cut Paper/Tape/Rope

The last reason is the most simple of them all, and that’s to just cut stuff. Having a knife readily at hand makes opening boxes, cutting lengths of rope, and slicing everyday items a breeze.

While most people need to hunt for a knife, it’s great knowing yours is in your pocket, ready to be used. There are lots of reasons to use a knife for protection, hunting, fishing, and other survival purposes, but they are useful for so much more, too.

Jacob is the editor at SurvivalBased.com.  His website offers emergency preparedness products, as well as shares practical and useful prepping tips, tactics and tools. The goal at SurvivalBased.com is to help people be more than ready for any emergency situation—from the hardcore prepper to the family on a budget. You can follow SurvivalBased on Facebook and Twitter, and you can find more great articles on the SurvivalBased Blog

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published September 30th, 2014
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  • SurvivalPunk

    I use mine for eating all the time. So convenient to always have a steak knife

  • arizona

    i have a possibles bag on my belt and carry the pocket bushman and large voyager (both by cold steel) as well as the large stockman from case and the buck lancer. the bushman is dedicated to food prep and food prep ONLY (gotta keep it sanitary for food you know). the case does everything from whittling to opening the infamous clamshell package to trimming my nails to opening the post. the lancer takes care of what needs more finesse than the case and the large voyager takes care of jobs the case is too small for.

    yes, i carry knives that are 4″ plus, but i have legitimate uses for them and let me tell you self defense is NOT one of them. honestly it makes me sick when these “politically correct” pudding brained idiots start vilifying and labeling large folders as weapons, just because there are some that use them in that capacity, then try saying no one NEEDS to carry them. so much for america, “the land of the free”.

  • Hello there,
    I have also a nice and every useful pocket and it really handy. I use it in various work and and In this article I get few new idea to use it in more effective way and fields. thanks for this informative post.

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