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Emerson Knives

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

I stumbled upon a listing for a new knife in one of my magazines (it wasn’t an ad; just a blurb in a section devoted to new products on the market).  Normally, something like that I wouldn’t give a second thought, but what caught my interest was something called the “wave shaped opening feature.”  I’d never heard of such a thing, but I understood the concept and it intrigued me.  Fast forward a couple months and we were prepping for our trip to Malaysia.  I decided I needed a “real” knife to carry around and if it was any good I’d leave it as a gift before we came back.  I recalled that I’d seen something in one of my magazines, but I didn’t remember any names, so I started digging through my stacks of magazines.  It took a weekend, but I found it — it was for an Emerson Mini Commander.  So I went to see if Emerson had an Internet presence (you’d be surprised who doesn’t in this day and age).  They do, at http://www.emersonknives.com/ .

I spent a week periodically reading everything.  After a few days, it occurred to me that blade length could be an issue, so I tried to find out if there were any knife laws for Malaysia.  I found in some expat-populated forums that as long as the blade was under 3 inches, I probably didn’t have anything to worry about.  Lots of folks said westerners shouldn’t worry about it anyway.  I decided on the Mini CQC-7BWSF (2.9 inch blade, tanto point, wave opener, satin finish, no serrations).  I carried it for about a week before we left and it felt like a great pocket knife.  Into the checked baggage it went, and I crossed my fingers it’d still be there when we arrived.  It was.  I carried it the rest of the trip without problem.  The only negative I had was that the clip really stood out against my light tan linen shorts.  I know most people are oblivious to the world around them, but to me it’s a standout to see a pocket knife clip.  At the end of the trip I left it to the brother-in-law I have that had been nearly killed in a knife attack a couple years ago.  My thoughts were that he’d appreciate what a good knife could do, and he’s probably the relative most likely to need one.

After getting back home, my Leatherman Skeletool CX no longer felt adequate.  Certainly, they’re different kinds of pocket knives.  The reality is that except maybe once, I’ve always had a real screwdriver handy when I’ve needed it.  The pliers have come in handy a few times, but only in that I was too lazy to dig out my real pliers.  Heck, I never even used the bottle opener.  I decided I needed another Emerson and started thinking about what to get this time.  The Mini CQC-7BWSF was nice, but I had another set of requirements now.  As a daily carry knife around here I didn’t think I needed to worry about the blade being less than 3 inches; 4 inches might be too much, but not 3.  So, I started going through Emerson’s line again and I read about their “Prestige” line, which included a CQC-7V, which is a CQC-7B with a V-grind and tan handle.  Hey, I wear a lot of khaki colored pants, that’s perfect.  So I ordered one.  That’s a nice knife.  It really feels great in the hand.  The only negatives I have about it are that it’s a V-grind, which is odd, I know, but I really started to like the practicality of a chisel grind, and the clip is still black.  In fact, the tan handles are still darker than my khaki pants so it doesn’t really disappear anyway.  I’m going to find some durable khaki paint to paint the clip, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Now, I’m no knife aficionado, but I started thinking about various holds and the ergonomics of the handle.  I started to realize that some of the other handle shapes that Emerson had might be more versatile.  I wasn’t sure, but curiosity got the best of me and I decided to pick up another Prestige line knife — the Roadhouse.  I liked what I saw in the handle shape.  Having carried it for a couple weeks, I think I like the handle a lot better.  That’s not to say the CQC-7V is deficient, it’s a smaller knife, but I do like the Roadhouse better.  I’m going to have to split the carry depending on the pants/shorts color I use on a particular day.

It feels great to find a truly American made product that I’m proud to own.