A lot of us that claim membership to the gun and prepper communities consider a knife to be an essential part of our EDC gear. Whether intended for defensive use, camp chores, or more mundane uses around a white collar office, a knife is almost never far from my hand. What I carry, and where, and why, are subject to a broader conversation.
Bottom to top, my Gerber Paraframe clip point is certainly diminutive. With a blade length under 2", most serious knife users would consider it cute. Unfortunately, my workplace absolutely prohibits the carry of any knife with a blade over 2" (punishable by prison time) so this is the letter of the law for me. On an average day, this knife plays letter opener, box cutter, and serves to poke holes in the wrapper of a Lean Cuisine or Smart Ones. In an emergency, I keep it plenty sharp enough that slashing a seat belt or popping an air bag would be little chore....or if I forgot to shave in the morning.
Next up is my Kershaw/Emerson CQC-8K. A joint effort between the two companies, with the Wave feature allowing quick single handed deployment of the knife, and with the tip strength typical of tanto blades, I'd consider this to be a fairly sturdy knife....for a folder. Carrying a large fixed blade knife in my typical environment in the suburbs attracts far too much attention, while a folder attracts exactly none. This is my every day knock around knife when I'm away from the office, perfectly content to slice just about anything within reason. If I had to do it over again, and with a generous brain dump from our resident knife guru Matt Kritzberg, I'd have chosen a clip point over the tanto and gained some slicing ability without giving up much if anything in the stabbing category. Regardless, it does a good job for a reasonable price.
Overshadowing the other two is my recent addition from Matt Kritzberg, a custom built modern Bowie knife hewn out of 01 Tool steel with G10 scales and a full tang, according to it's maker anything short of chopping down trees should be doable with this blade. It features a 1/4" thick spine, 6" long clip point blade, and an absence of contouring or beveling on the clip point to encourage additional strength. It's the knife I strap onto my belt when concealability and blending in aren't priorities, and I need a large sturdy knife by my side. This is my camp knife, my woods knife, my zombie apocalypse knife.
Each of these knives serves multiple utility purposes in my daily life, but (at least the latter two) also has a deeper purpose. These are my last line of defense, another tool in the tool box of self defense. At arm reach, a knife is every inch as dangerous an implement as a handgun, and often more so. When in constricted spaces, when your opponent is already on top of you, when things have gone seriously bad, a knife could save your life. What's important from my perspective, is to match your gear to it's use and your environment. Carrying a Bowie in the office isn't going to fly very far, neither would it make sense to carry my Paraframe out into the woods. Take a look at what you carry, why you carry it, and where you are carrying it and ask if you have selected the correct tool for the job. - Phil Rabalais