Keith was born with a birth defect called syndactyly, caused by the umbilical cord being wrapped around the wrist of what would have been his dominant right hand. Syndactyly is a condition where skin grows between the digits, forming a kind of webbing. While the webbing was surgically corrected when he was a baby, the condition also retarded the overall development of his right hand, as you can see from the pictures. Shorter fingers, missing joints, malformed joints, Etc... While his left hand is much stronger, he is right eye dominant, and uses his right hand for tasks requiring dexterity, like writing, or using eating utensils. This left him mostly unaffected as a child, but did provide certain challenges as he became an adult. For instance, he can qualify expert on rifle, shotgun, and pistol, with his left hand, but when it comes to pistol, he has to shoot in his own style to compensate for his right eye dominance. He is not able to shoot weak side, or right handed, as he cannot reliably pull the trigger due to a deformity of that trigger finger.
How does this effect blade T&E? Easy, while his right hand is more dexterous, his fingers have much shorter reach than his left. At the same time, he has never really been able to develop fine motor skills in his left hand, despite numerous and varied attempts. This is why he's often written that he's only EDC’d fixed blades since childhood. Small FB’s simply worked better for him, as, while he could hold them fairly securely, he didn’t need the finger reach, or strength, necessary to open most folding knives one handed. In the beginning of his career, this wasn’t an issue. He worked interdiction security in a firearms restricted environment (explosives production plant) and fixed blades and crash axes were the tools of the day. As he transitioned into the corporate environment though, working in executuve protection, and emergency response, he began to look into more discrete modes of carry. Since his knife hand simulates a normal hands ability to grasp and manipulate when cold, exhausted, or under stress, it makes a pretty good platform for experimentation. He learned that even with practice, he could not open 90% of the folding knives he tried reliably, one handed, RELIABLY being an extremely important word in his vocabulary. Even the 10% he could open, did not leave him with the warm and fuzzy feeling he needed, to carry, recommend, or trade in, a type of knife. When he began his training to gain an edged weapons instructor certification, it behooved him to experiment with all the knife action types possible. Folding knives optimized for one handed opening are now becoming more and more popular with the professionals who need to count on them, and Keith has worked with all types, from manuals, to assisted openers, to automatics. When Keith finds a knife he can RELIABLY deploy with his right hand, you have a knife that you can depend on when the going gets tough.