Below you will find a video, in which I show some of my classic slip joint pocketknives. These were the pocketknives of our fathers and grandfathers and many will have fond memories of them being used by them, perhaps to slice and share an apple with us when we were young.
In the past couple of decades, large tactical folders came to the fore and became de rigeur and these little folders became somewhat forgotten. I even see ladies with tactical folders clipped to a pocket, boot, or belt.
However, I do think that slip joints are making a comeback, as people discover their light weight, portability, and aesthetic qualities. Unlike a large tactical folder, these benign little tools may be more socially acceptable and less likely to draw complaints in a workplace or public setting. As well, many have sub-3" blades and are non-locking. Many jurisdictions prohibit locking blades and blades exceeding 3". Of course, always do your due diligence and review local laws and ordinances to ensure compliance.
They are very useful for small tasks, such as slicing fruit, opening packages, sharpening a pencil, and so on. Thus, they may be very well suited for EDC carry in less-permissive environments where a tac folder might raise alarm.
Slip joints were used by the woodsmen of the "Golden Age of Camping [1890-1930], such as Nessmuk, Kephart, and even early car camper Henry Ford. Some patterns, such as the Moose, are a bit stouter and can perform camp chores and wood whittling and carving tasks.
I believe that one company has done much to restore these little knives to the public conscience, and that is Smoky Mountain Knife Works [SMKW.com]. They have models available from Schrade, Imperial, and Case that are priced for any budget. As well, they carry a line of traditional pocket knives manufactured in China under the name ROUGH RYDER [recent brand name change from ROUGH RIDER].
In my estimation, ROUGH RYDER knives are well made, extremely inexpensive, and offer excellent quality at little cost. But more than that, their line is incredibly diverse in terms of materials and features, and are wonderfully attractive. I have one of their BACKWOODS BUSHCRAFTER Trapper pattern knives, and I could not be more pleased. It would have been right at home in a classic camp with wool blankets, a canvas shelter, candle lantern, and a Dutch oven warming over a wood campfire.
If you are interested in learning more about classic slip joint pocket knives I highly recommend that you visit TOBIAS GIBSON Channel on YOUTUBE. This gentleman has an amazing collection and his depth of knowledge of knives, patterns and history, is truly amazing.
I hope you will enjoy this video, and again, Happy Holidays!
[Bushcraft Woods Devil]