@ qman8: What kind of shape was the gasket in? Was it stuck to the motor, or did it come off with the filter?
K&N has a nice little nut on the filter, but the key word is "little." How much torque can you apply to the little nut vs. using a cup-style socket that attaches to the whole filter? As Steptoe mentioned, the little nut can twist off. I myself would prefer the ability to apply more torque. I've used the cup-style socket method for over 35 years on all kinds of vehicles, and never had a problem getting a filter off with it.
I don't like loud pipes, but I like loud clothes: Hi-Vis ATGATT!!!