Be Prepared: Carry a Pocketknife

Like most girls, I didn’t grow up carrying a pocketknife, but when I became a mother I realized that a pocketknife is an essential tool, not only for boys and men, but for everyone.

My first Swiss Army Knife, the classic model in green, included seven implements: scissors, nail file with screwdriver, tweezers, toothpick, blade, and key ring (yes, the key ring is considered one of the implements, not tools, included in this knife). I immediately attached the ring to my keys so it was easily accessible and wondered how I ever managed without it.

My collection of knives has expanded over the years to include a couple of pocket-sized Leatherman tools. After all, you never know when you’ll need a corkscrew or bottle opener, but the needle-nose pliers and wire cutter are indispensable.

Just a few ways I’ve used my knife:

  • Open those crazy packages. Packages of food, candy, fishing lures.
  • Peel and cut fruit.
  • Sharpen a pencil.
  • Attach a license plate.
  • Cut straws.
  • Separate stuck Legos.
  • Cut tails off zip ties, another must have tool.
  • Cut fishing line.
  • Clip those itchy tags out of clothing.
  • Scrap battery terminals.
  • Unscrew the compartment so you can change batteries.
  • File your nails.
  • Remove a splinter.
  • Trim nails.
  • Snip threads from clothing.
  • Cut a pill in half.
  • Open a box.
  • Cut ribbon so you can open that gift.
  • Remove staples.
  • Loosen a knot.
  • Open a bottle.
  • Cut those hard to open pill containers.
  • Cut a flower.
  • Prepare a stick to roast marshmallows.
  • Add a new hole on a belt or on a shoe strap.
  • Remove auto fuse.

One pocketknife no longer meets my needs. I carry a knife in my purse, in the first aid kit, in my technology bag, in the glove compartment of both cars, as well as many drawers in the house. And we never go on the boat without a knife since John always has one attached to his life jacket.


There’s one thing I hope you won’t do with your knife, PLEASE don’t use it as a toothpick – not even the toothpick tool. That’s just gross!

The motto of both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts is “Be Prepared”, so carry a pocketknife and be prepared.



By the way, don’t buy one of these tools new! You can pick them up for next to nothing at garage sales or thrift stores!