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The boline is the practical knife - if you need to trim a too-long candle wick, cut up some herbs, etc. while in ritual, the boline is the tool you reach for, not your athame.
What's the difference between an athame and a boline?
Traditionally, the boline also has a white handle, but I have known many witches who have gone to a camping store and purchased a perfectly good red-hilted Swiss Army knife to use as their boline (which has the added benefit of a built-in corkscrew with which to open the bottle of ritual wine!).
What this means is, not only could your dull athame be confiscated, your super-sharp non-Swiss Army boline could be, too, if it exceeds the legal blade length for your state (my boline, for example, is a bone-handled hunting knife with at least a six-inch blade).
What's the difference between a boline and an athame?
And I have a cheap steak knife with a white plastic handle that has been my boline for well over a decade.