Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stay Sharp!

There is something so exhilarating about sharpening a knife. It's a guy thing I guess. I imagine the "edged tool" was probably one of man's first inventions. They are so useful, I just think that Adam probably said to himself early on - "Hey, I need something that can cut."

And so here we are thousands of years later and I carry a knife with me EVERYWHERE I go. If I ever forget to carry one it drives me crazy. I'd rather be caught without my wallet than without my knife. And don't let my wife know I said this, but I'd rather be caught without my...well, you get the idea.

So, I have a nice sharpening system that I purchased right after Christmas and I love using it. It's a Lansky Diamond Deluxe and it puts a razor sharp edge on just about everything I throw at it. There's just something so cool about the sound you hear as you glide high quality stainless steel over a diamond crusted surface. That sounds just "screams" the idea of strength, integrity, and precision. Especially if you have a nice knife - I mean, one made out of high quality steel. That sound is just unmistakable.

When I was done sharpening one knife last night I pulled out an old leather belt and looped the buckle around one of our dining room chairs. I then proceeded to strop the blade a few times (which I've never done before - picked up that little tip recently) and man...what a difference. The edge is so sharp, and if there are any imperfections - they are microscopic. I grabbed a plain sheet of paper and sliced through it like butter. The paper almost didn't even make a sound as the knife sliced through.

On the flip side of the coin, there's nothing worse than a dull knife. It's so frustrating, you pick up a knife and try to cut something and instead of blazing a razor sharp trail through the middle, it just pushes the thing around. Again, I know this is probably a guy thing, but it's almost insulting - it's like, "you're a have one job...that's all you do...and you can't even do that!"

I purchased a Kukri machete recently. I'm going to be doing some backpacking this year, and so I figured a machete would be a nice tool to have. The Kukri is a very well designed, well balanced form of machete and I'm really glad I have it. I was holding it in my hand the other day and it occurred to me that for thousands of years, the sword was the weapon of choice for anyone needing to protect himself or wage war. I mean, civilizations have risen and fallen at the hand of a sword. With all the guns I currently have, there was a moment of pause, and respect for this simple, yet effective instrument.

So, as a reminder - stay sharp. Keep your whits about you - be alert, and sober. Ready to act and respond. These are the traits of a good knife, and a good husband/father/son.

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