Since I don't have a 1-type-fits-all-jobs
philosophy for screwdrivers, pliers or hammers ... I don't try to do so when it comes to blades.
I typically keep a 2 or 3 blade small/medium folder on me if I expect to be doing more general small-scale cutting
, not needing a screwdriver, leather punch, scissors or light saw blade. Something like a 2, 3 or 4-blade folder (penknife, Congress, stockman, trapper, etc).
If I expect those other tasks? I have a useful collection of SAK's that may be pocketed, instead.
Regardless of whether I'm carrying a small/med folding knife or a SAK, I'll also be carrying a lockblade folder. Daily activities, clothing and other factors ... and often a simple preference ... have an influence on which
LB folder I'll slip in my pants or jacket. Sometimes a couple of them of difference sizes are carried in colder weather.
My car (in both console/glovebox and
an "overnight" bag in the trunk) carries larger folders, a couple extra SAK's and a couple different size fixed blades. If driving somewhere overnight or out-of-state? Then, my luggage will usually contain an optional LB folder and a fixed blade.
Often, 1 or more good quality multi-tools (different sizes) are somewhere in the veh mix, especially when traveling on the road.
I also travel with one or another DMT sharpening system. Knives are dangerous, but dull
knives can present another type of danger that can be avoided.
I don't do any light day hikes anymore (well, maybe yet
), but I'd not overdo things. I'd still carry a fixed blade of practical size (circumstances permitting), but the quality & availability of newer 2-action cutting (push/pull), lightweight folding & locking hand saws (as well as lightweight hatchets) means I won't be trying to make knives do tasks they don't need
to do. I'd also have a small SAK or other pocket knife, and a decent LB folder.
If there was room and carry weight left over? A multi-tool, but probably one of the medium-sized combinations that's useful, without trying to stuff an entire toolbox into a cargo or backpack pocket.
Knives can suffer breakage or damage, or even become lost.
Ditto "emergency bags", or whatever you might wish to call them. (Doesn't matter to me, so suit yourself.
I once had someone break into one of my cars and steal a backpack & waist pack from the trunk that contained almost a thousand dollars worth of equipment, tools & supplies, including a fixed blade knife and at least 1 SAK.
So, nowadays my normal daily activities and road time see simpler & less expensive "bags" & kits left in the cars (or motorcycle saddlebags). For longer roadtrips I put in the better gear & more complete bags, and they usually get removed from the car when parking overnight.
FWIW, over the years of driving marked patrol cars & unmarked plainclothes cars, I noticed my ideas of what was considered as necessary "equipment" to have in the trunk evolved quite a bit (both LE and
non-LE specific stuff).