Well, when you decided to join ASGIF, where'd you begin?
You could always start in the General Knife discussion. If you want to look at pretty pictures, there are the Custom and Handmade knife discussions. They have guides somewhere, I believe, which might be good for beginners.
Frost Cutlery knife - was made out of cheap plastic, the plastic for the clip broke off, and I eventually lost the knife in a UCLA lecture hall when getting up from my seat. From a friend.
Kershaw Vapor - my first real knife. Bought at Walmart. Was small, sleek enough for me, and fairly cheap (~$20). Chose it out of budget, and just because I wanted a basic knife first before trying to dive into anything really crazy.
After that, I think I started a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad rush to feed my knife addiction (eventually had a flashlight addiction as well...).
Spyderco Delica - faden had one, I wanted one because I kept using his own. Ironically, I don't use mine very often and, instead, I use my Vapor the most.
Benchmade Osbourne - Wanted a sleeker knife, and something that I could wear to more formal occasions. Didn't really like the price (~$180), but it's what I wanted because I had borrowed a friend's Osbourne, and absolutely fell in love with the knife itself. It's my backup carry.
Spyderco Cricket - back-up knife that is carried from time-to-time.
Spyderco Dragonfly (3) - Yes, I have three of these. One was from faden as a birthday present because I really wanted a small knife that fit my hands pretty well. It was meant to be a backup knife in case I needed it. Second was from mic for being a bridesmaid at his wedding. Third was because it had a pretty pretty decoration. But, yes, all were intended as backup, and my small hands. Also, for mic's wedding, I flew out from Cali to the location, so I was devoid of all pointy objects (save a few pens). Needed a nice blade to keep me company in an unknown location.
Spyderco Civilian - because it's badass. It's also illegal to carry in Cali, but that doesn't mean I don't mind having it around in my household...
Hinderer Kubaton - not a knife, but efficient enough in making holes whenever I need it to. Price isn't too bad for it being completely titanium and anodized (~$120).
Kershaw Leek (3) - Looked into speedsafe and wanted to try it out. Reasonable prices, but I still think that you can always train your thumb to bring out your knife without needing to be dependent on a spring. First one was to try out the knife. Second was from faden for our anniversary. Third one was because it was on sale and I had nothing better to do (this is a bad bad bad bad reason).
Kershaw Chive - Smaller than the chive. Less obtrusive. Easy to fit in those stupid girly-jeans with little to no pockets. But, once again, I don't prefer the speedsafe.
CRKT K.I.S.S. - mainly my letter opener. Wanted a small knife, but faden doesn't like how the blade is basically uncovered if I try to grab it from my pocket. Could mean that damage control isn't very controlled. So, it's my main utility knife in the computer area.
I have an assortment of strictly collector/custom knives, so I won't go into those.
...I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting a bunch of other knives...
Overall, for beginner's, I'd probably go for Kershaw or Spyderco. I like subtle. I don't like huge, obtrusive things that people wear to make them FEEL badass (but they look like an ass).
i do, i do emergere dal fondo per lottare e poi
salire in alto più che mai
i do, i do guardare nel futuro e sorridere
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