Thursday, March 11, 2010

Score! (P-51)

Paring down my road trip packing list to better suit air, train, and bus travel for a trip to Europe with a friend one of these years, I decided to try a P-51 can opener in lieu of my Ekco Miracle Roll thinking that the longer length would give more leverage and make the P-51 easier to use than a P-38.

I debated getting a Swiss Army knife (SAK) with a wood saw for cutting bread, a can opener, a cap lifter, and a corkscrew, but wanting to keep the weight down, unable to make up my mind as to which model of SAK, and already having a folding churchkey opener that has a cap lifter at one end and a can punch at the other, a plastic knife that cuts French bread quite well, and thinking I can always buy a corkscrew if I need one, I decided to go ahead and get a P-51 instead.

The only problem is that the P-51s are available for sale on Amazon at ridiculously high prices and two of the three listings don't look authentic to me because the bodies don't have the same taper, the notches are squared instead of rounded, and the blades are more straight. Sure, I could order them from someplace else online, but shipping for only the one item makes it cost-prohibitive.

Yes, there's a surplus store in town that sells some military items, but it's never had what I've wanted in the past. Worth a phone call, but not a drive, I called anyway and was happy to hear that both the P-51s and P-38s are available. The manager said he'd set a couple aside for me because they go fast.

The next afternoon, I bought three P-51s for only US$0.89 each and one P-38 for US$0.59 feeling like I scored major points for the acquisitions since they didn't cost much and are authentic, being stamped "US Shelby Co" and not made-in-China imitations. When I left, there were only three P-51s left in the store's bin.

One of the P-51s I bought is for my suitcase and the second is for my key ring for impromptu meals when I get the urge to keep driving instead of returning home to eat and don't want to pay for restaurant food. That one is hung between a couple of keys to keep the sharp point from accidentally nicking me; I may decide to put a piece of tape over it, later. The third is for a spare.

I bought the P-38 for comparison purposes because it's been a long time since I first tried one and rejected it in favor of the Miracle Roll can opener. Not only is the P-51 easier to use than the P-38, the longer blade makes it go faster around the can. I'm really happy that I got the P-51 because it's considerably smaller and lighter than my Miracle Roll and is easy to use.

For those who may be concerned about a lid's sharp edge, my dad taught me to go slowly at the end. About a quarter of an inch away from being cut off completely, the lid will lift slightly. That's when to stop. If you cut any further, the lid will drop back down. Remove the can opener and insert a fork under the lifted edge to raise the lid letting the uncut metal act as a hinge as you bend the lid back. That way, you don't risk your fingers being cut.

No comments: