Cheap Punk Knives


December 6, 2012, 12:27 PM
My son was forced to read "The Outsiders" a book from around 1970 about growing up poor and dealing with the rich kids in an area with horses and rodeos which play no part in the story.

I did not see it as art or desirable literature and comment to his teacher that for me it just stured up some stuff I would just as soon leave behind.

Anyhow it reminded me of yet another box tucked away and here are a couple of knives folks I knew carried during that very time and social setting. The black one is Japanese and the "rainbow knife" (sorry about the condition, decades of storage have not been kind) is actually an Imperial and made in the USA I think in the late 1950's.

Both are junk as knives but I am sure "empowered" their original owners with confidence where it likely should not have been.


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December 6, 2012, 12:34 PM
How does that Imperial work, is it sprung?

December 6, 2012, 12:35 PM
""Both are junk as knives but I am sure "empowered" their original owners with confidence where it likely should not have been.""

I don't know about that as far as the bottom one is concerned. That particular knife and a fisherman specific version of the same were very popular in tackle boxes in Minnesota and transom trays in San Diego when I was a kid. I always assumed the stripe-nasties were for visibility when a guy really needed to find a one handed knife fast while fishing.

December 6, 2012, 12:47 PM
The rainbow Imperial was sprung but even before it got put away the spring snapped off. It certainly did spring open and sort of lock whe nit was younger.


I have seen slip joints with the same scales and blade design at a lot of shows and a few switch blades like it , mostly broken as well.

In Florida in days past (pre concealed carry liscence) a sprungknife was allowed IF a doctor wrote a note explaining why the other hand did not work. Other wise it was a forbidden weapon. While recovering from a serious injury to my left hand I carried such a "prescription" and the black knife was a gift from a friend meant to help me out.

It always made me think of the movie "Dirty Hairy" and duct tape. Owww!


December 6, 2012, 01:20 PM
We were poor but grandpa made sure we had quality knives.
Usually good Barlow pattern slipjoints.
One punk that did carry a cheap switchblade got dealt with.

I got a couple of punk knives in my collection just because.

They dont stir up much emotion for me as the other memories not involving knives

December 6, 2012, 01:46 PM
Prescription... That's rich.

Funny how much sense that makes though I've never heard of it before.

December 7, 2012, 01:55 PM
The Dr note is not a FL specific law, it has to do with federal laws protecting people with disabilities. While the top knife could be considered a "Dirk" in FL due to the possible second (albeit false) edge, switchblades were NEVER specifically forbidden in FL. While they would not be considered a "common pocket knife" they would be classified as a "weapon" and therefore illegal to CONCEAL, but the only law that came close to addressing them was our ballistic knife statute which was later revised for clarity.

So.... switchblades were always legal so long as they weren't concealed. Yea, I realize that's kind of a moot point seeing as how 99% were carried in pockets, just throwing that out there :)

I had that knife on top and my spring never stuck out that far, but my lock did wear out to the point that when the knife was "closed" the point was still exposed. It was definitely a POS :(

BTW "The Outsiders" is a classic, I wouldn't have a problem if they make my son read it. In fact, I hope they do...... along with "Rumblefish" ain't nobody as cool as "Motorcycle Boy"

December 7, 2012, 03:28 PM
I had a nice collection of "punk" knives we took off Iraqi army POWs in 1991. Unfortunately we had to dispose of them before heading back to Germany. They were the epitome of crap but hey if the much-vaunted Republican Guard carried them they must have lent them an air of superiority.

December 7, 2012, 03:51 PM
Knives are tools for me. If these knives made the people who carried them feel "empowered", so be it. I hope the empowerment was for defensive reasons.

Folks like the Imperials today for collecting purposes. They were cheap knives usually for that time, but not really that poorly made overall. My very first knife was an Imperial when I was in the 2nd grade.

December 7, 2012, 07:03 PM
FL has no restrictions on switchblades these days.

The candystripe would be surprisingly valuable if you could clean it up without damaging it.

December 7, 2012, 07:51 PM
I had to read the book in school also. Good book. The movie is a classic with some big name actors when they were young. Matt Dillion,Tom Cruise,Patrick Swayze,Rob Lowe,etc.

December 7, 2012, 09:15 PM
I read the book and saw the movie . All 3 of my daughters(18,21,22 ) read book in school and we have the movie in our collection.
As I remember the author wrote the book while she was in high school and her home town in Ok was the setting..

Iam almost 67 and I carried a Italian switch blade from time I was in Jr High thru HS . Teachers never cared. Several knew I carried it. Guess I was considered a good punk.

December 7, 2012, 09:21 PM
See page 38

December 7, 2012, 09:33 PM
I like te movie breaking away. So you where a "cutter".

December 7, 2012, 09:45 PM
I thought it was interesting to watch "From Here To Eternity" today (TCM's nod to D-Day today). I fully expected Borgnine's "Fatso" character to have a "cheap punk knife" - go figure.

When it came to the alley knife fight (switchblades - both) between Prewitt and Fatso, Fatso pulls a knife first and while I couldn't see it, I was surprised by the relatively "quality" sound of the knife. I just assumed it was a "Foley effect" but then Prewitt says he has Fatso's old knife used to kill Maggio and when he drops Fatso's old knife it is clearly seen to be one of my favorite autos - a bone handled Presto.

So - Fatso clearly being a punk and a bully breaks the mold a bit by carrying a couple of pretty nice autos.

December 8, 2012, 02:16 PM
I am pretty sure that prior to Florida adopting the shall issue CWL and state preepmption laws that spring loaded knives were specifically forbidden for carry.

Unfortunately I just checked and it appears my wife finally got rid of her ancient statute books.

What ever the statue actually said I was certainly taught that switchblades were reason for arrest in my Florida Law for Policemen class in the late 1970's. Some Florida LEOs at that time even argued that a lockblade like the Buck Ranger and such were by dint of the lock not "common folding pocket knives."

Most of my crowd carried "common folding knives, which was taken to mean slip joints, but some would place a bit of match stick under the tip where it was folded to keep the tip of blade barely exposed. The idea was that on drawing one snagged the tip on the edge of the trouser pocket and so opened the blade. In my last year of highschool I knew folks that would take the pull tab from a soda or beer can and wrap the tongue of it around the tip end of a blade and use this to start a blade open.

It suddenly occurs to me that the younger members have no idea what I am talking about. The early pull tab cans had pull tabs that came completely off in normal use. Folks made decorative chains from them and such but mainly just tossed them on the ground. Many of us folded them over and stuck them in the can so as to not leave them laying about.


December 8, 2012, 06:06 PM
I am pretty sure that prior to Florida adopting the shall issue CWL and state preepmption laws that spring loaded knives were specifically forbidden for carry.

Don't think so. Long before the AWB came about I was a switchblade collector and knife law activist. FL treated switchblades as "common pocket knives". Of course they could have been one of the states that jumped on the switchblade ban-dwagon back in the mid fifties, but for at least 20 years or so they've been one of the states that switchblades were common and commonly available.

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