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Welcome to the Toothpicks & Ticklers Discussion within the Knife Patterns Group!

This discussion is for all types of folding toothpick, for the tiny Texas Toothpicks to those large Ticklers!

Pictured above, top to bottom 

Case Amber Jigged Bone  Standard Toothpick

Colonel Coon Coon Stripe Large Toothpick

Rough Rider Stag Tiny Toothpick

If you like toothpicks then this is the place to come. 

The toothpick pattern developed from the old Navaja Cuchillo  a Spanish work knife that became famous among bandits.  That said, today's toothpicks are vastly different from its ancestors; the most notable difference is the locking methods for the single blade.  The old Navaja used a ratcheting lock system whereas today's Toothpick is a is normally a slip-joint folder.

Toothpicks are basically slender built folders that were first used as a bird and trout knife. This explains why so many people who collect fish knives also like toothpicks.   The shape is always a tapering serpentine handle with a long slender clip blade, most often a California clip.

The larger toothpicks can still be used for a small game and fowler.  The small ones are really more a Gentleman or Lady's  dress knife.  This explains why the tiny or Texas Toothpicks remain more popular than the larger models.

Like the old Navajas the larger Toothpicks  developed a reputation as a good knife for use in a brawl.  The blade design allowed for it to easily pass through the rib cage and the knife picked up the nick-name Tickler.   This name is often given to any Toothpick but it is especially applied to Toothpicks that have a locking blade.

Speaking of which, Texas Toothpick is also often given to any of the folding toothpicks but, among collectors it normally refers to three inch, especially if that three inch Toothpick is by W. R. Case & Sons.

Another name that is often tossed about is Spanish Toothpick.  This normally refers to the larger Toothpicks that are five or more inches when closed.  this is due to the Spanish heritage of the original design.

The most commons sizes of toothpicks today are:

3 inch  (AKA: Tiny, Baby, Texas, or by its length)

4 1/8 inch (AKA: Standard, Medium, or 4 inch)

5 Inch*  (AKA Large, Tickler, or 5 inch) 

*5 Inch toothpicks are probably have the most variation in sizes.  They range in size from 4 7/8 inch to 5 1/2 inches depending on the brand!

so there you have a little background and fascinating toothpick pattenr!  Show 'em if you got 'em.  and if you don't got 'em, what are you waiting for.  Go get one!

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Replies to This Discussion

It isn't my most expensive Toothpick but it is probably my favorite toothpick!    It's Rough  Rider A Stroke of Luck Toothpick

I mostly tend to collect the big toothpicks but I do have quite a few of the tiny ones!  Here is one of my favorites, it is the second release of the Rough Rider Stag Toothpick (RR 665)  Rough Rider has discontinued its Stag handled slip joints citing the cost of the stag as  the reason.  My personal feeling is SMKW figured they could make more money by putting Stag on Colt knives and charging much more that they did on the RR line!

My latest five inch toothpick is the Amber Stag Bone Queen with D2 steel blade.  D2 air hardened steel that is considered a semi-stainless tool steel  due to its high chromium content. While D2 is more commonly used for scissors, shears, gardening tools it also popular among knife makers.  Queen Cutlery has a long history of using D2 steel. It has excellent wear resistance but is not as tough as other carbon steels with less chromium.

My latest Bear & Son five inch is less than impressive. the handle is supposedly Rose Wood but it looks like pakkawood.  there is grinding at the joint when you open and close it. and it lacks a sabre grindso common in most of my other B&S toothpicks.  i got it at SMKW back in July.  im kind of having second thoughts about it.  Anyway i figure I'll toss it in the pocket and see if it holds up as well as the Rough Rider I've been carrying for almost  two years.  if it doesn't I'll let you know. 


White River Knives

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