There’s an old saying that goes, “Everything old is new again.”
Well, this is definitely something “old”… and I’m seeing it more and more on social media these days.
See, there are lots of “tacticool” folks on social media, like Instagram.
(And I’m not making fun by calling them that, because in this case they really are cool, and they really are tactical.)
But I’ve noticed a trend that you might or might not have seen for yourself among the EDC (everyday carry) and knife-people crowds online:
The pop-knife is your classic box-cutter, the kind of thing every stock-boy at a grocery store used to carry around in his pocket (and maybe they still do, for all I know).
You might or might not remember this, but quite a few years back, razor-knives and boxcutters became “all the rage” with the criminal class.
(This was way before boxcutters were used in the infamous 9/11 attacks.)
The problem got big enough that in a lot of areas of the country, especially urban areas, local ordinances were passed that made it illegal to carry a boxcutter.
I’d kind of forgotten about all that until I was cruising through Instagram and noticed lots of people posting EDC pics featuring colorful pop knives.
(I’m pretty sure there are folks modding these with sheets of adhesive vinyl that has different patterns on it.)
Here’s a picture of what that looks like:
So, why would you carry a “pop knife” for self-defense or utility?
Well, for one, they make great utility knives.
They take a standardized razor blade, so you can just replace the razor when it gets dull.
That means they’re razor sharp all the time, or can be.
They’re also EXTREMELY flat, which makes them very easy and comfortable to carry (and you can improvise a bunch of different carry options).
They’re kind of smooth and slippery out of the box, but you could add skateboard tape or 3M stair tape (which has a surface like sandpaper) to give you a better grip… and because the steel is flat and square, it’s very easy to add the grip tape.
Now, if you were going to use this for self-defense, there’s two things you do need to remember.
First, you can’t cut very deep with them, so this is more of a “get off me” blade, where you slash at an incoming limb to discourage an attacker.
Second, these don’t lock, so after you “pop” the blade open by slapping against your waistband, only friction is holding that blade in place.
That limits the ways you can slash with this so your cutting blade doesn’t disappear back into the metal cover.
Despite their limitations, though, I think the “pop knife” phenomenon is pretty interesting.
I can see why these would be useful, and of course they’re very inexpensive.
But it’s also kind of funny to see this “old” idea, something that became popular among criminals, popping up again among EDC enthusiasts.
There really are no new ideas… but there sure at a lot of interesting “new spins” on those classic ones, you know?
Stay safe out there.