Better Blades

Do You Really Need a Full-Sized Pocket Knife?


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LA-based knifemaking brothers Elliot and Chris Williamson, collectively known as Ferrum Forge, have teamed up with Massdrop to craft a tiny everyday carry blade called, succinctly, the Retracting Utility Knife. The collaboration knife addresses what is perhaps a tough-to-confront notion for some: you may not actually need a full-sized pocket knife.

Mini knives have become somewhat of a trend in the EDC world; there are tiny fixed blades, tiny tantos, even tiny cleavers. These knives are pretty, but their effectiveness can, at times, be wasted on aesthetics. The Retracting Utility Knife addresses the issue head-on — it’s essentially a mini box cutter.

The 2.6-inch Retracting Utility Knife — RUK for short — is made, like most X-ACTO type cutters, with a replaceable steel blade. In that sense, the handle is the notable upgrade here. It’s made of milled copper or brass (that choice is yours) that’s straight on its spine and knurled on its opposite side for a sturdy grip, which is important in a small knife. (And just because the RUK is useful doesn’t mean it isn’t gorgeous.) The mechanism is a simple stainless steel extension spring that’s activated with an exterior domed button.

Most importantly, the Williamson brothers equipped the RUK with a lanyard hole — because all a little pocket knife’s utility is lost of it can’t be carried on a keychain, where it will always be at hand to open boxes, lop off stray threads, and assist in opening unrelenting clamshell packages. And the RUK weighs just 1.2 ounces, so it’ll go unnoticed along with your keys.

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Tanner Bowden

Tanner Bowden is a staff writer at Gear Patrol covering all things outdoors and fitness. He is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School and a former wilderness educator. He lives in Brooklyn but will always identify as a Vermonter.

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