Inspirations, MK Knives & Tools, Trends

Neck knife. An ornament or a useful tool?

The neck knife is a wonderful invention for all the forgetful. On the scale of unforgettability, it is somewhere between glasses on a chain, gloves on a string, and car keys, which you can find using an app on your phone. However, this is not the only advantage of the neck knife, and not even the greatest. Do you want to find out what the others are? Read on.

Neck knife – a bit of history

Neck knives were worn long before they got the trendy name neck (just like the neck existed before it was called… do you get the joke?).

Perhaps you don’t believe it. You may not remember this. However, then you probably did not follow our fan page on FB too closely. If it were otherwise, you would immediately remember what we wrote about some time ago. In the most famous adaptation of Janosik from the 1970s you will see one of the heroes, Kwicoł, with a small knife around his neck. It is true that he used it mainly for the consumption of various delicacies, and the shape definitely differed from modern standards, but is it important?

Even though Janosik was created only 50 years ago, the series portrayed times much more distant. And okay, you can say it’s fiction, or that the costume designer might have been wrong. Perhaps you are right. But you know what? We have a feeling that it was exactly like on the TV screen.

After all, much, much earlier people often wore knives around their necks. It was for a simple reason – the blade itself was valuable enough. Adding a handle made of durable materials or a scabbard was too costly. That is why many people wrapped it with string, be its substitute, and hung it around their necks.

Neck knife today

How does it look like today? A lot of knife maniacs choose the neck knife, but still such a gadget can arouse surprise on an average person.  The neck knife has ceased to have a purely utility function – now it is also an original ornament. That is why, this category of knives has to meet extremely high requirements in terms of both quality and design.

Neck knives occupy their niche in the knife market and you can find real gems there. The models differ in both the materials from which they were made, the shape of the blade, the type of handle, the sheath, and the price. Their size is rather conventional – they should be small enough to be handy to carry and large enough to be used comfortably.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a neck knife?

There are so many advantages that a day would not be enough to list them all, so we will focus on the most important ones:You can wear it even when you are not wearing clothes. For example, you lose a bet and have to spend the night naked in the woods. You can also wear it when you are extremely scantily clad. For example, in only panties you run away through the window from the enraged husband of your current (or now out of date) girlfriend. Of course, you can also wear it when you are fully dressed. Especially when an ordinary knife would be harder for you to remove, e.g. in an anti-Covid suit. You don’t have to grab it in your teeth when you want to make a knot after cutting e.g. a string and you need both hands. We have already mentioned it, but it is worth emphasizing – it is light. It won’t tire your arm (or neck), at least not so fast. Is beautiful. If you give someone a choice between a gold neck chain worthy of Jose Arcadio Morales or a neck knif, they will definitely choose the latter. It’s original. If you want to feel special, you can dye your hair blue, but a neck knife will be a much better way to stand out from the crowd. It has a fixed blade which makes it safer and easier to maintain than folding knives. Its functionality is as good as larger knives, and sometimes it is even better – for example, for precise works, such as planing or cutting. It happens that the handle is wrapped in paracord. Look what an amazing deal – you have both a knife and a paracord in the same amount! ; )

Do you need even more reasons to decide to buy a neck knife?

Of course, the neck knife has disadvantages. However, it has so few that one sentence is enough to describe them: it is too small to cut bamboo forests (in this case, choose a machete), you will not use it to obtain wood, and a piece cut from a loaf of bread will be slightly uneven. And sometimes you may dream that the blade suddenly falls out of its sheath due to  gravity … don’t worry, it’s just an ugly nightmare that has nothing to do with the truth.

Neck knife – what will it be useful for?

Basically the same as other knives. A neck knife is a good choice for lonely, long trips to the forest, but it will also work in everyday life. You can take it for a camp: be it a scouting, survival or language one. For a barbecue with grandparents, a fire with friends and a trip with the kids to Morskie Oko. Basically, there is no occasion that it doesn’t fit.

What can you do with a neck knife? A neck knife is convenient for slicing: you can easily cut an apple or bacon. You can use it to sharpen sticks for a fire or arrows for a self-made bow. You will cut twine, line, line or various materials. You will carve a heart in the tree with the initials of your loved one. You open a can or can with a broken pin. You’ll pick a splinter out of your thumb (or cut it off). You can even put it around your neck and parade along the promenade in Sopot, looking for girls to impress.

Neck knife recommended

The choice of knives on the market is really big. Manufacturers offer newer and newer models, tempting with unusual designs, good prices or exceptional quality. No wonder that it’s hard to find your dream model in the flood of this information. We have some proven proposals for you. Perhaps your heart will beat faster with one of these knives.

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QSP Knife Neckmuck QS125-A

This is a functional neck knife from a lower price range. A good choice at the beginning if you do not want to invest a large amount in a neck knife, but you want to check if you like this form of carrying a knife.

The origin of the name of this model is interesting. “Neckmuck” is a nice word game that combines the words neck and nessmuck – the name of the blade shape inspired by the knives used by Georg “Nessmuck” Sears. Neckmuck, both with its name and shape, refers to the old outdoor traditions and will be perfect for field trips.

We also wrote about this gem in one of our articles: The best outdoor knives you can afford.

ANV Knives P100

The complete opposite of Neckmuck is the P100 from ANV Knives. It’s hard to imagine a more minimalist EDC knife blade. It is slim and elegant, extremely light and handy. The handle is left without a casing, but you can wrap it with paracord (;)) and wear it around your neck. However, if it happens that this way of carrying the knife does not suit you, you can easily attach it to your belt.

When you buy P100, you choose high-quality steel and a minimalist finish. Also its Kydex® holster is thin, light and elegant. The whole thing will go great with your outfit, but don’t worry – it also goes well with wandering in the woods, even without a suit.

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TRC Knives Speed Demon

A neck knife to fight demons? We know nothing about such a feature, although we would not be surprised. Meanwhile, however, we present you the Speed Demon neck knife from TRC Knives. This is a model from a series inspired by characters from previous eras, “Tales of Man”, about which we wrote more on our blog in the article A guy and his knife: a deep relationship. Speed Demon is inspired by the American rally driver from the beginning of the 20th century – Frank Lockhart.

Like its predecessor, the Speed Demon is effective and versatile. One would like to say: fast, but it depends only on your dexterity. The Speed Demon neck knife is durable thanks to the use of premium Elmax steel. It is medium in size, has a skeleton structure and an extremely modern look. This is an everyday knife that will be useful not only for lovers of fast driving …

MK Knives & Tools MK-07

For the end, we left a real gem, the MK-07 model made by the excellent Polish knifemaker, Marcin Kampka, with whom you can read the interview on our blog. MK-07 is the perfect blade for the followers of minimalism. Its small size becomes a great advantage when you want maximum discretion and at the same time you want a knife that meets the highest quality standards.

MK-07 is a neck knife with a wharncliffe blade, made of premium Elmax steel. Like all knives from MK Knives & Tools, it impresses with its careful workmanship and modern design. You can wear it around your neck or attach it to your belt – vertically or horizontally. An innovative CNC concave cut and a minimalist Kydex® holster complete this unique neck knife.

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Why choose a neck knife?

A neck knife is a good choice basically always. Do you need a light and handy knife? Choose a neck knife. Do you want a blade that is effective, functional and for a variety of tasks? Get a neck knife. Are you dreaming of an original necklace? Opt for a neck knife. Every reason is good to buy a neck knife, so stop hesitating and order your dream blade.

MK Knives & Tools

“I needed a knife so I made one. Then one thing led to another. ” Marcin Kampka, the creator of the brand, tells about the origins of MK Knives & Tools.

Marcin Kampka, founder of MK Knives & Tools, in an interview with talks about the beginnings of his knifemaker career, about how he works and what he likes besides knives.

You’ve come a long way from your first knife in 2014 to now that your brand is known and appreciated in the industry. Tell us what prompted you to start your knifemaker career? Is there a family history behind it?

Hmm, so yeah. You don’t start a sentence with so yeah [laughs].

We’ll cut it out.

The point is, I needed a knife. I started to be interested in it a lot earlier, but I used bazaar models. One day I found the forum and started reading it. I noticed there are people out there who make knives themselves. So I decided to try to make my own. My father told me what and how, and I made my first project. Just as I was making these knives (because I was making two, in case I broke one), my uncle came to me and said that he was taking one of them. Well, I did them right away and that’s how it actually started. Then I showed my knife on the forum, people liked it too, so I started doing new projects. And so it slowly began to develop.

You mentioned that your father showed you how to make this knife. How did he know that?

Dad deals with machining on a daily basis and has a very large understanding of the entire process, not only the machining itself, but also heat treatment and similar processes.

So there was a workshop in the house.

Yes, machines and tools too.

Your knives are distinguished by excellent quality, unique designs and careful workmanship. What is the production process like, what do you pay the most attention to?

In fact, the production process is the same everywhere. The beginning is an ordinary project, that is, who thought of what, and the purpose of this knife, i.e. what it will be used for. This is the most important thing to ask yourself at the beginning. Then comes the time to select steel, materials for the handle, and materials for the sheath. Well, unless the knife is to be folded, that’s another matter. And then it’s just work and work.

What do you think is more important – good design or functionality? From your answers it seems that the functionality is.

I believe that there will always be a few people who will defend each design. No matter what it is, there is always a project that has its audience. Therefore, one should not always follow patterns. I mean, yes and no. But even if the handle is not suited to each hand, there will be a recipient for such a knife. And it is worth just doing what you have in your head, and not being guided only by what you read somewhere, why it should be this way. Because it is this direction that allows you to develop the knife industry. If everyone made the same knives, none would stand out.

And when it comes to design, it is impossible not to notice that MK Knives & Tools knives have an unusual style. You have plenty of ideas – where do you find inspiration to come up with new models?

Actually I do not know. I just sit down and draw. At the beginning you know, on a piece of paper, I sketch more or less what I want to do. I need to know what I want because it doesn’t look like I’m going to make a few dashes here and we’ll see. Usually, I just sit down, draw on a piece of paper, then on a computer, in a program. A little straight, a little curved. As a rule, I do a project, I like it more or less, I turn off the computer. And open in three days. I look to see if I still like it, if so, I make any corrections, then turn off the computer and restart in three days.

Have you ever been inspired by movies or series or other famous themes?

It is known that everyone wanted to be Rambo once [laughs]. I was very interested in TV series, MacGyver for example, because there was a lot of tinkering. I’ve always been interested in the knives and tools he used there. It was cool, but the inspiration – probably not. I did not make a knife that appeared in a certain movie, although such survival and military climates are my atmosphere.

What features do you think a good knife maker should have? What is more important – talent or hard and tedious work?

Everything can be worked out. Not everyone is born with talent, but you definitely need to be patient and polish your workshop. Train yourself when you don’t know something, because nothing comes by itself. It is known that you need to spend several dozen hours on a piece of paper to make your project. You have to have a little bit of this and that, it’s not zero one. Some know how to do more with their hands, others with their heads, so both will have to train this “weaker” feature.

We heard about the story from last year. Just before CEKE, you noticed that the anodization of the MK-01F ordered just for this event does not meet your expectations. In order not to disappoint the customer and to create a product 100% compliant with your standards, you were making it from scratch, spending the whole night on it. Your commitment is admirable. What drives you to work?

I will correct it right away, because it looked different. I finished my work at 10 p.m. and at 3 a.m. I was to leave with my friends to Warsaw. And I finish this knife, I look, and one side is a little different color than the other. Unfortunately, everything had to be dismantled and corrected. It went down to half past one in the morning, so I slept for about 2 hours. And it was like that, and before that, I was also working all day. Overall, I am quite critical of my work and maybe sometimes I worry too much about small things. If I see any shortcomings, I do not let go and I have to correct them. I try very hard to make them as good as possible, even at the cost of extra time spent on them.

In my opinion, this shows your great passion for knives. And what gives you strength to be able to work so many hours and not feel tired?

All in all, I like to do it and I enjoy the job. Because I have been standing by the machines for a long time. You can say that when someone goes looking for a job and they are looking for a man with five years of experience straight after graduation, I would be suitable, because I have been working on a lathe or milling machine since middle school.

You are definitely an exception.

Because it was at home, you know how it is. As it is there, it looks different.

You made many knives and each one was unique. But you surely have a favorite – which model has a special place in your heart?

This is probably the toughest question, because I try to apply as much as possible to each project and refine it. Even when I was making a given model, over time I try to improve a few different tiny details, not always noticeable, but to be as good as possible. My favorite model is the MK-01F, my first foldable model. I carry the first one with me all the time, I even have it in my hand now and it’s hard for me to part with it.

Lucky charm?

I don’t really believe in such things. It’s just that even if I don’t need a knife, I like to have it with me.

Everyone, even the hardest working man, has his own way of escape from reality. We have heard that you are going fishing and to the Baltic Sea. Will you tell us more about it?

I have been interested in fishing for a very long time. Already when I was in elementary school, I went fishing with my uncles and I got into that. You know, there was also a break from that, because either school or university, or just making knives. At the beginning of my activity, I took a two-year break from fishing to get everything under control, but now I go whenever I have a free moment. Such a relaxation. That’s what I needed that first knife for, for fishing trips. And I go to the seaside to relax, but certainly not in the summer. In just two weeks I am going to the seaside to rest and there will be no more screens, only the sound of the sea. I live close to the mountains but I prefer the sea.

Any advice for those choosing their first knife? What should they be guided by?

It depends on who needs it and for what. As a rule, if someone is looking for a knife that they do not need, but want to have it because it is cool, it is best to buy a foldable, fancy one, just so that they like it. Honestly, in my case, I pull out the knife more often to click myself than to cut anything. And for the very beginning with a knife adventure, I recommend a small pocket knife with other tools or a multitool. Possibly a folder or a small fixed and that’s it. And that is how it all begins. Then you buy another one and another one.

We are glad that you have decided to work with us. After all, we have a great passion for knives. You create unique models especially for us. Will you let go of the secret of what knife you plan to make in the near future?

I am also happy about this cooperation. As for the project itself, I don’t know yet. And when it comes to the knives that I already produce and are now on the agenda, the MK-06, although maybe something else. But I prefer to leave it as a surprise.

Thank you for the conversation.

Thank you.