The Gift Of Edge


The gift choice of edged pocket or purse jewelry is always well appreciated by the recipient and will provide years of service.

While we have survived (barely) the gifting choices of Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter, there lies ahead the challenges of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  Retailers bring out their best neck ties and scented candles to make gift giving choices for those holidays easier, but when such selections are made it becomes obvious that the gift giver really hasn’t put a lot of thought into the process. When it comes to gifting choices for the two upcoming occasions, let me suggest that you “think outside of the box” by giving the gift of edge.

Either of these two double-bladed folders, Peanut, bottom, or Doctor’s, top, would make a welcome gift for the man of the house. Photo: Durwood Hollis

My own father carried a pocketknife every day. Most of the time it was a three-bladed stockman pattern friction folder, but there were several variations from that pattern from year-to-year. You see dad often used his little pocket folder for a wide range of functions, many of which resulted in broken blade tips. Not to be deprived of knife use, he simply used a grinder to readjust the blade shape. After a while, these so-called “field modifications” impacted the overall serviceability of the knife itself, thereby providing an opportunity for Father’s Day gifting.

I often wondered what ever happened to my father’s damaged pocketknives. That mystery was solved one day when Mom, in need of a sharpened edge to open a package, reached in her purse and pulled out what had once been one of my dad’s old knives. Then and there I realized that women find knives as useful in everyday life as any man. And that understanding spawned a new approach to Mother’s Day gifting. While pocketknives were definitely masculine in nature, the concept of edged purse jewelry easily found a home with those of the feminine persuasion.

When it comes to folding knives, no cutlery manufacturer does it better or with a more diverse product line than Case Cutlery. Founded in 1889 by William Russell, Jean and Andrew Case in Little Valley, New York, the brothers began selling their knives from the back of a wagon to villages scattered throughout western New York. In 1905 manufacturing was subsequently relocated to Bradford, Pennsylvania, where the company is now located.

There have been changes in ownership over the years with Case Cutlery now a part of Zippo Brands, but cutlery quality has never been compromised. One of the things that sets Case Cutlery apart from other cutlery manufacturers is their unique tang stamp dating system that was used from the early days of cutlery production. This alone has made Case knives the favorite of collectors the world over.

This colorful Case Tear Drop folder, with its green Sparkle Kinite handle scales, combines both a gentle touch with functionality. Photo: Durwood Holllis

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, my suggestion for Mom’s edged purse jewelry gift would be the Case Tear Drop folder with the colorful green Sparkle Kinite handle scales, single 3 1/2-inch Warncliff pattern stainless steel blade and nickel-silver bolsters. Designed by Tony Bose for the movie “Lincoln,” this knife is also available in multiple handle scale material variations. Versatile beyond description, the handy piece of purse jewelry can handle everything from opening the mail to cutting vegetables and a whole lot more.

For the urbanite father, two particular edged pocket jewelry gift suggestions come to mind: The tiny Peanut folder measuring a tad over two inches in length and featuring both a clip pattern main blade and a companion pen pattern blade crafted from stainless steel in a single brass frame with nickel-silver bolsters and jigged reddish bone handle scales. This knife is handy both at the office and in the home and sure to become part of Dad’s everyday pocket carry.

My second choice would be the famed Doctor’s Knife that pairs a narrow spear point stainless blade with a tiny pen blade. The design of this knife dates to the time when physicians made house calls and were often required to modify tablets for better patient ingestion, hence the square bolster to crush pills into powder. Those involved in the medical profession can well appreciate the rich history of this particular piece of pocket jewelry.

Any outdoor type would appreciate this Case Tribal lock-blade folder. Photo: Durwood Hollis

If the father in your life is the outdoor type, he no doubt will appreciate the Case Tribal Folder. This knife features a 3 1/2-inch spear point pattern stainless blade with a half-opening stop and back spring lock for safety. My handle scale choice would be bone stag, but other materials are available to personalize the knife. This is a handy edged tool that can deal with daily at-home assignments as well as small game field chores and even be right at home in deer camp.

Case uses several different blade steels in their knives, however, all of models mentioned herein feature what is termed “Tru-Sharp” stainless steel. This is nothing more than a proprietary term for 420 HC stainless steel made by Latrobe Steel. A rather simple alloy (carbon 0.46%, chromium 13.00%, vanadium 0.30%, manganese 0.40% and silicon 0.40%), it provides solid resistance to environmental assaults, is tough enough to withstand chipping and abrasion and, with a Rockwell value of Rc 55-56, the steel is relatively easy to sharpen. Not only is this a serviceable knife blade steel, it’s affordable making any Case folder an outstanding purchase. Not only does Case Cutlery have a peerless reputation, their pocketknives are extremely desirable and often passed on from one-generation-to-another.–Durwood Hollis

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