Quite often this type of knife is referred to as a switch knife. The toothpick is basically a clasp style jackknife that comes in a very compact package. This particular style of pocket knife is found in sizes ranging anywhere from 3 to 5 inches in the closed position. The larger toothpicks are considered to be the most collectable and generally will have a greater value. The smaller versions should not be confused with a “
” toothpick which often referred to a large “ Texas ” style knife. Bowie
The toothpick was a knife that was easily carried in your pocket and it was also characterized by a long clip blade with a distinct curvature of the blade’s spine.
There were also two bladed models and both types were mainly used as “fishing” knives and quite often found themselves residing in someone’s tackle box or as a part of their regular fishing gear. The long, narrow clip blade was well-suited for detailed cutting chores such as filleting fish.
There is also some debate as to their use as a fighting knife but this may have been more of a marketing ploy that was created to sell more knives of this type. Unfortunately, many people carried a wide variety of pocket knives. If an altercation developed, the type of knife that may have been used would almost certainly have been one that was carried on a regular basis and wouldn’t have necessarily been a toothpick.
The popularity of toothpick knives has declined mainly to the large quantity of filet knives now available on the market which were better suited to the task. Many people now collect toothpicks and this has generated new interest in this style of pocket knife.
Staying above the water line!