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No homesteader should be without this tool. It is the only tool every homesteader needs. It is small, lightweight, versatile, and easy to find in the stores. Importantly, and you all know how I am about watching your financial resources, they are very affordable. Although you only need one, I suggest getting several. If you are like me you will constantly misplace yours, so you should have a backup (or six).
From field to farmhouse, the one tool every homesteader needs is…
A pocket knife!
I already know there are a few readers asking, “wait, doesn’t everyone carry a knife?” Nope siree, they do not.
In the photograph above, you can see my pocket knife, no longer than the tweezers pictured next to it. It is pretty clear, the knife could fit easily into the top pocket on my overalls or my chore coat and I use it constantly.
In the photo, the knife had assisted in removing a sliver of metal in my hand. I had tied up a floundering cucumber vine and cut some baling twine for a row marker or two when I spotted a pig. A pig, where no pig should be. Notorious P.I.G. (for that was his name), was rounded up and taken back to his appropriate location. Then I used the knife to twist a widget and finagle a dongle, or whatnot to fix the fence and a sliver of metal slid into my hand. Hence the knife.
See how handy?
More ways I use my favorite tool..
I use my pocket knife all the time. Everyday.
That knife has cut burrs from hair, a snagged pant leg from barbed wire and fruit from bushes and vines. It has pulled a broken feather quill from an injured chicken, carved initials in a wooden board, cut open bags of feed and seed packets. My knife has tightened screws (my husband just winced), opened paint cans (wincing again) and cleaned dirt from under nails (husband: seriously?) The sharp blade has whittled arrows with my daughter, cut flowers for a crown, gently dislodged 4 leaf clovers, rescued drowning ants, cut slices of cucumber for the little guy to snack on as we harvested and pointed out tiny green strawberries to curious visitors. It is my most used tool and one I try never to be without.
Back in suburbia, I never carried a pocket knife and found it slightly amusing because Danny always had one on him. When we finally got our own homestead Danny handed me my first knife, one from his collection. The fact I had asked to borrow his numerous times had nothing to do with it, I’m sure.
What sort of knife is best?
One you will use.
The honest answer is, this depends on the person and your most likely uses. I like a small knife, foldable, lockable, easy to keep sharp and that I can open and close with one hand if need be. A clip for belt, pocket or tool belt is good too. Affordable is important, I look for knives in the $10-$30 range…because of my misplacing issue. I don’t want to be freaking about losing a $100 knife, $20 is bad enough.
Not everyone would agree with those requirements, but for my pocket knife, that’s all I need. It is the one tool I think everyone should carry on the Homestead. It is, however, far from the only tool you need. I have plenty of other favourites (you can read about some here) but if you are heading down a Homesteading path, pack a pocket knife (or two).
A little tip for helping with the knife misplacing issue: use some bright nail polish or a splash of white paint on the handle so you can see it easily in a dark barn, leafy salad bed or amongst the grass.
Some of our Favorite Knives
The Smith and Wesson Rescue Clip Folding Pocket Knife at $12.99, this is a great knife for the price and has a strap cutter that can be used to extricate yourself from any manner of tricky scenarios. Easy, inexpensive and one-handed open.
A simple Buck Knife, the 864 Iceman Pocket Knife with Clip. Love it for a very easy one-handed open, and at just shy of $20, the price works for me.
This last knife is actually my husband’s favorite. It is a version of one he has been using for years. The Gerber Swagger Serrated is out of my price range at $39.99 but the husband doesn’t lose his knives the way he loses his keys. He says it stays sharp, he loves the ease of opening and closing with one hand and the clip is a no brainer.
A pocket knife is not the only one I use on a regular basis. I have one I call my best friend, she’s huge and needs her own holster. She is so sharp, that holster is the only way to stay safe…but that’s for another day.
Do you have a favorite knife?