An excerpt from the upcoming book Dumb White Husband vs. Fatherhood (A Guide)

Annoying tags. Threads on clothes. Those wires that hold toys into their packages. Fighting off bears. Turning water bottles into sippy cups. Making good on threats to pop that damn balloon. Cutting things.

Nothing ridiculous. I’m not talking about strapping a machete to your leg and scaring the neighbors. Just a simple pocketknife will get you through the day and out of most scrapes.

The Swiss Army Knife is the definitive pocketknife. Several tools. Compact size. You probably got one for graduation or something. They are everywhere and they suck. Try to pry with it and you end up with a bent knife. Try to fight a bear with it and you’ll cut your own thumb off. And you’re not going to win a fight with a bear with just one thumb.

Sure, there are a lot of tools on it, but, face it, now that you’re a parent you’re not going to need that corkscrew to open a bottle of wine as much as you’ll need a real blade to cut through the zip ties holding “the dolly that pees” in its Fort Knox packaging.

So, let go of your Wenger and get a single-blade folder with a locking liner.

I’ve tried several and found that I like the Kershaw Leek.

It’s not bulky, so it fits nicely in your pocket. (note: don’t clip it to your belt. Don’t be that guy. We’ll all laugh at you. Twice as hard if you’ve got your cell phone in a holster, cowboy.)

It has an assisted opening so it opens quickly with one hand – good for bears that surprise you. And, trust me, if you’re ever in a bear fight, it’s a surprise. They are notoriously bad about calling ahead.

I prefer a partially serrated edge. The fine edge will cut a page out of a book, but the serrations will saw through rope or balloon ribbon as if either was balloon ribbon.

And, most importantly, it has a good, solid blade that has not bent on me yet.

But, that’s me. There are many good tools out there. And, as long as you spend more than 30 bucks and it’s not a knife from that movie – any movie – you’ll be in good shape.

I think that as a father it’s important to be prepared and a knife is the simplest, most versatile tool in the world. Its practical applications are endless. But, if you need one more reason, remember that no young boy looks cooler than the one whose Dad pulled out the knife in front of his friends and saved the birthday party, fixed the toy or killed the bear.


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  • reply Scott ,

    You ad DWH aproved knife to your product line and expand your empire

  • reply Gutmeister ,

    I fully agree about the knife. I have just purchased a small Winchester pocket knife for such occasions. I used to carry a multi-tool ALL the time and for some reason quit doing so about 5 years or so ago.

    I think it’s because I started working at home and didn’t have need for a belt most of the time. But yes, a knife is an essential tool for any man, especially a dad.

  • reply Woelf2.0 ,

    Kershaw is a good brand. I have a Swiss folder in my SUV and the Leatherman in my office. Wife bought it for me a couple of years ago and I found it to be a surprisingly effective tool for small emergencies around the house and when fishing. it has not failed me yet. I’m still looking for that ultimate folder though. Growing up, along with collecting comics, I collected knives too. It helped that my dad was a Knifemaker. Man, the memories…

    Funny thing about movie knives – we are obviously talking about Rambo here, but I remember as a 12 year old, I wanted one of those multipurpose-in-the-handle survival knives he used in the 2nd Rambo movie. Luckily, my dad educated me on the dubious quality of these knives – the ones mass produced for hungry Rambo-loving consumers, of course. Not the original Jimmy Lile designed one.

    Sylvester Stallone used Gil Hibben to create the knives he used in the last two Rambo movies and Expendables movie. If you are interested, check out Gill’s site. It is awesome:

    • reply A Dumb White Husband ,

      Your dad was a knifemaker? Cool.
      I had that cheapo survival knife. Got it at a flea market. It broke.
      Hibben does make some cool looking knives.

    • reply Western outlaw ,

      Every man needs a decent knife. I like big bowie knives.

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