I am too much of a klutz to ever carry just a razor blade as my sharp thing (sorry Mike!). In addition I worry that when I might most need it is exactly when I may be least able to handle it gracefully - in the dark, cold and wind with a big storm coming trying to cut extra guy lines. Performing an emergency branch-ectomy or wound cleaning after a fall or other accident. Defending myself from a bear or water cache thief. Plus I'm going to need to pack extra band-aids, if not a suture kit, if I try to cut moleskin very often with a razor blade - which offsets the weight savings!
So like a lot of people here I, over the last decade or more, have been carrying either the "Swiss Army Card" or more recently when I wore my second card out, the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic. (0.7 oz, $12.93 on Amazon).
But I have known for a long time there are only three tools on this I ever will use - in descending order of frequency, the scissors, the knife, and the tweezers. The scissors for most everything, especially for cutting moleskin and everything else (currently I support the scissor faction in the great scissor vs. knife debate), the knife because sometimes I want to stab something and the scissors aren't enough, and the tweezers because theoretically I might want to remove ticks or cactus thorns, and they weigh less than my scale can show, which I have officially defined as weightless. I usually have a small piece of sandpaper so the file, while useful, is redundant. Toothpick - Really? The card also has a pin made redundant by my sewing needle, and a ridiculous "pen", also useless in light of Nick's discovery of the ideal JMT pencil.
So I am tormented by finding the perfect solution, while still carrying scissors, knife and tweezers. The knife mostly so I can pass through checkpoints in knife-held territory, but also should I need to gut a trout. The tweezers because, as I have said, they are weightless. What has been bothering me about the Classic is the for some reason the scissors on this thing are crapola. The ones on the card are "good enough":
but I have been searching for scissor nirvana. I think I have found them with these Westcott Sewing Titanium Bonded Fine Cut Scissors(recommended by a BPL member, 0.2 oz, $5.47 on Amazon):
They do need to have a piece of tubing or straw used to cover the point, but no matter.
These are excellent scissors, equally excellent at cutting moleskin, thread and fingernails. Probably the most excellent I have ever taken in my pack. So nirvana. Now I lust after knife nirvana. I would put the knife on the classic (and the card for that matter) up at the passable level. But is there a knife I can really feel good about for the same weight. I think yes, it is this, Spyderco Bug SS Slip Joint Plain Edge Knife (0.3 oz, $12.45 on Amazon):
This blade is as good as a razor blade, with a little less chance of accidentally slicing off a finger, and without that "psycho-of-the-woods" vibe. Frankly just holding in in my hand makes me want to gut a trout.
The tweezers get a pass in my kit because, I remind you, they are weightless. Canabalize them off your now-obsolete Classic.
So I'm replacing my Classic with these (total weight 0.6 oz, total cost on Amazon $17.92) :
That 0.1 oz less for only $4.99 more, but in this case the quality is way up. The scissors always go next to the moleskin, and the tweezers in the first aid kit taped to something. I think I might hang my newly emancipated knife on the sting around my neck with the UL LED light - so I can gain some cred with the 10 essentials fanatics.
Anyway, your welcome!
Please critique my sharp things gear and tell me how to cut weight.
Here is a last look: