What is the bead for? Is it just a decoration you put on the lanyard, or is it functional in some way?

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reswright
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Mar 5, 2021
The answer is "it depends on the knife and the person". On a small thing like this the bead can be functional, especially if it's a decent size and textured in some way. Little knives like this box cutter don't fill the hand and can be clumsy feeling if you try and do medium sized work with them. It works with the lanyard to give the remainder of your hand something to grip, which reduces fatigue and increases control of the blade. It also counterweights the knife, which increases overall mass but reduces the amount of work your wrist is doing to stay balanced. Like so:
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It also gives you something to grab onto if the knife starts slipping out of your hand. It helps your hand locate the haft of the knife in your pocket which reduces the amount of thought and time necessary to retrieve it. If necessary it can serve as a fob to pull on to partially or totally withdraw the knife from a pocket so you can get your hand around the handle. Of course, not everyone's tying a lanyard with functionality in mind. For some folks it's just something they're doing for looks. Hard to say, really. TBH I think for many folks it's monkey see monkey do and because they think all that they're doing is tying some lanyard and a bead or two to their knife, they don't ever tie it in a way that enhances use. Definitely some are doing it less to be snazzy and more to say 'this one's mine' -- they had lanyard, they had a bead, they didn't want their knife or razor cutter being mistaken by someone else for theirs, et cetera. But some of us are most definitely trying to get a little more out of it than that.