I've got a Smith & Wesson Tactical knife that I carry during the summer while working as a park ranger for the US Army Corps of Engineers. This knife has taken quite a bit of abuse, but has held up pretty well. So tonight, I decided to clean and sharpen it. To make a long story short, I almost cut my thumb off. Now I can't hold my camera...and I'm not happy about this. I considered stitches, but I figured that a big gauze pad and some electrical tape would do the trick. Now my thumb looks like a Q-tip - wrapped in black tape. However, this has been a learning experience. I've realized that when you try to sharpen a knife, don't rush. It's much better to take your time and avoid the injury. I've also learned that, when you're walking through a store with gauze pads in one hand, a very bloody rag in the other and a distressed look on your face, people tend to get out of your way. Another useful tidbit: I now know what the proximal phalange is. It's the bone in your thumb just below the knuckle. I actually got to see mine. So...treat this post as a cautionary tale. Be careful in your everyday lives. Don't get in a hurry and make silly mistakes, because bad things could happen. Had the blade been about 4 inches higher, I would've been rushing to the hospital with a slit artery. Trust me, I never thought something like this would ever happen to me. I've been handling knives since I was a kid. I've never cut myself - not even once. But there's a first time for everything...and again, be careful. Please don't be an idiot like me...don't let this happen to you.