Courtesy Kershaw

I can remember the first time I cut myself with a pocket knife. I was whittling, believe it or not, a wooden knife and the blade slipped past the wood and into my hand…ouch.

Correct, but maybe not right

I may be a firearm instructor, but since then I have had an intimate relationship with knives, too. They are one of the easiest self-defense tools to acquire and carry. And with a modicum of training, the can be incredibly effective.

Today’s modern pocket knife has evolved, not so much in its lethality, but in accessibility. For a knife to be used in a self-defense setting, speed of deployment will be a major factor. I hear so many folks talk about the advantages of a fixed blade and they are all correct. But they may not be right. A folding knife carried in a pocket is ideal for just about everyone.

What’s the Appeal?

There are a number of factors that make a good folding knife so appealing. The biggest point I make is the legality of the item. Many states have restrictions on fixed blades regardless of blade length. But folders are legal virtually everywhere. If we were to steal a phrase from the gun industry, first rule of winning a knife fight is to have a knife. It’s a very rare occasion I don’t have some kind of pocket knife on me or within easy reach.

The next point is the ease and convenience of carrying a pocket knife. If you have a pocket there really isn’t a reason you can’t have a knife stashed in it somehow.

The last point is the utility of a pocket knife. They’re useful for everything from cutting a seat belt in an emergency, to opening packages to defending your life. There is a lot of utility in a good pocket knife.

The Nuts & Bolts

What are some features you should look for when purchasing? The four main features are blade type, opening mechanism, locking mechanism and carry features.

When it comes to choosing a knife, you can get lost in the weeds really fast with the kind of steel, the length of the blade and point type. My rule of thumb is 2.5 inches is a good blade length. While 3 inches is usually the legal limit in most jurisdictions (be sure to check yours), I like to come in under that to be on the safe side.

I prefer a standard blade versus a serrated or combination edge. As for point type, I prefer a drop point style for its versatility and ease of sharpening. Since I don’t have a specific purpose other than as a self-defense tool, this blade type gives me a fair number of options.

Consider the Details

Opening and locking mechanisms to me are the small print features of a good folding knife. Since speed of deployment is critical, I need a three-dimensional feature to produce a reliable opening sequence under stressful conditions.

Whether it is a thumb stud, thumb hole, flipper or a wave design with T-post, it has to have something to grip for reliable deployment. Once deployed, I need the blade to stay open despite the violence being perpetrated.

Liner locks and lock backs provide good security, meaning the blade cannot fold back on you.

Something I have grown fond of is the ability to secure the pocket knife once I have deployed my handgun. The way I think about it is I am always working towards and improved weapon and/or improved position. These features a few others allow me to safely secure my pocket knife with one hand, a major bonus.

Clip It

The utility clip is one of the features that makes the modern folding pocket knife so popular. Having it clipped to the top of your pocket ensures a quick deployment. That availability does come at a cost, however…you’re advertising the knife’s presence. For everyday carry purposes, good concealment practices can help mitigate this issue, but you must be aware of the message it conveys.

The deployment sequence starts by moving to the pocket knife’s location and clearing the pocket. Then using what I call a hip check to ensure my grip is optimally positioned to ensure a positive deployment.

Many times folks will run short of their thumb’s range of motion and resort to flicking or using momentum to open the blade. That’s something you should avoid and is unnecessary when you use good technique.

There are virtually no downsides to carrying a good pocket knife. Learning how to choose, carry and deploy the blade in a self-defense situation should be a priority if you are a serious student of the art.

 

Jeff Gonzales is a former US. Navy SEAL and preeminent weapons and tactics instructor. He brings his Naval Special Warfare mindset, operational success and lessons learned unapologetically to the world at large. Currently he is the Director of Training at The Range at Austin. Learn more about his passion and what he does at therangeuastin.com.

108 COMMENTS

  1. The Tops Street Scalpel is a viable alternative. Fixed blades work. Action will always beat reaction. -30-

      • Unless you’re close in with that knife.

        Evan Marshall used to say his worst nightmare was being caught in an elevator with a trained knife fighter. He reckoned he would win the fight, but he expected to lose an arm doing so.

        I think he was maybe overconfident. A trained knife fighter who is aware that his opponent is packing would make sure that neither hand was functioning enough to deploy it before moving on to the more serious arterial bleeding.

        It’s next to impossible to stop serious injury from a trained knife fighter’s knife and probably fatal injury unless said knife fighter can be put down in time for the EMTs to get there and render aid. Fewer people die from gun shots than die from knife wounds precisely because of bleed out and shock which is more severe in heavy knife wounds.

        • “Fewer people die from gun shots than die from knife wounds precisely because of bleed out and shock which is more severe in heavy knife wounds.”
          That’s a common myth that is not borne out by data. The reason why so many people die from knife wounds is not because they are particularly more severe. It is because they are quiet and because people don’t realize how badly they are hurt. When people hear a gunshot, everybody calls 911. When people get a little poke, they wait a minute. Then they sit down. Then they get woozy. Then they go unconscious. Nobody calls 911. I’ve been an EMT or paramedic for about 20 years now, and I have seen this happen over and over again.

  2. Decades ago I saw a heart breaking story in the evening news. A little girl trapped in a car seat inside a burning car. Two men attempted to rescue her and finally had to give up. Neither had a pocket knife. If those men are still alive they can still hear that babies screams.

    All for lack of a simple edged blade. I never am without a knife.

    • my identical twin sister inlaw’s husband is from a family of orthodox jews that largely abandoned their faith when a puddle jumper touched down on a small lake and the youngest inside drowned for lack of a means to free the occupant from the safety restraint. somber group, to be sure.
      wifey wanted an emergency tool for the car immediately afterwards.

  3. “There are virtually no downsides to carrying a good pocket knife.”

    Agreed. I don’t understand how people who don’t carry a knife (or a few) get through the day. I can’t recall a day where I have not used a pocket knife. The only time I don’t have one is when I’m in an airport or similarly restrictive environment and I hate it. I’m so used to having knives on me that, more than once, I’ve forgotten to put them in my checked baggage and had to mail them home before going through airport security. The only upside to that is that I have an excuse to buy a new knife at my destination.

    • Yup and even most of the time if I pick a decent one at my destination I mail it home to myself before I hit the airport on the return trip

      • I have owned 3 CRKT folders that became mine for exactly this reason. Kept one, gave the wife one and a friend uses the third as his EDC. CRKTs are good bang for the buck in my opinion.

    • True story. Once I was walking to lunch with an attractive much younger woman and another friend my age. Two geezers, one pretty gimpy (me), and an attractive younger woman = targets on that street. Sure enough we were soon being approached from behind by a large Black guy who was much bigger and about 30 years younger. I tensed, fully expecting trouble when suddenly Mr. Street Thug rather conspicuously turned and walked across the street. Later when we discussed what happened, my friend—who grew up a lot rougher than me—said he’d noticed the guy coming up behind us and simply held his opened blade at his side so the thug could see it. Suddenly, we ceased to be such an attractive target of opertunity. Knives are admittedly imperfect defense weapons but it’s better to have one than to not have one. A few years back, I received a good assisted opening knife from the NRA. I carry it with me at all times.

      • Being stabbed is a pretty effective deterrent for most people, even hardened criminals who’ve done time. It’s psychological in most people, I imagine, that if you see someone holding a blade and seemingly willing to stab, that you’ll assume they have no doubts about doing so.

      • Crafty move. Anyone who just happened to be innocently walking behind you all wouldn’t have noticed or assumed the knife was meant for him.

      • Garrison, used my knife to release crash victims from their seatbelts. Also seen two victims disembowled. In 1860s you could carry a Navy Colt in Memphis,TN, but not a Bowie knife. What does that tell you? Two Randall #1s in the safe. And a couple of Jimmy Buchner stag handled bowies. No substitute for a real knife.

    • I started carrying a nice Swiss Army knife a few years back. I now use the thing all of the time and I’m lost without it. Now I understand why people carry them–they are extremely handy.

      • Agreed, I am always with my victorinox recruit. Inuse it every day. I cant think of a day in my memory when I did not use it for something.

        I have a tension assist that is more tactical in nature, but ever sense I started carrying a pistol I stopped carrying the tactical folder as I figure If I needed to defend my life inwould just as soon pull the trigger.

        It may be time for me to rethink this though.

    • “There are virtually no downsides to carrying a good pocket knife.”

      … as long as you don’t get stopped in NY City with it. (Cue the snide remarks.)

      • re NYC knives:

        keep it under 4″
        slip joint only, no lock back.
        make sure it has a very stiff spring, and no thumb hole or thumb-stud, so it can’t be flicked open (if it can be flicked open, the moron NYC DA calls that a “switchblade”, I shit you not).

        No pocket clips, no belt sheaths, so it’s not visible,
        and don’t take it out in public to cut open a box or slice an apple in the park…
        or someone will call the cops on you.

        And join https://kniferights.org

    • Got my first knife at 5 years old and have not been without one or more every day since; 60 years so far. Carrying them is the same as getting dressed, not dressed without two or more. Carry in back pockets, one each side, nobody notices them. Use a knife for everything multiple times a day.

    • Pretty much the same way you would approach selecting and training with a carry gun. Read, research, ask for advice from sources you trust, avoid the hype and be honest with yourself about what you want and how you plan to use your new tool.

    • my kershaw blut half serrated has never failed me for an under 100 dollar option. perfect for the large to xl hand and feels practically weightless in the hand. also have a leek for a dress knife and crkts for in the woods

        • I like the Kershaw Link better than the Blur simply for the finger flip lever instead of a thumb stud.

          For an inexpensive knife (i.e. Chicom) it’s really hard to beat the Oso Sweet though.

      • “I’m partial to the Buck 110 automatic.”

        Does Mass. consider that a switchblade?

        • Yes, but according to my read of MGL c269, section 10, If you’ve a Class A permit, those restrictions don’t apply. This does not in any way constitute legal advice btw. I’ll post the relevant sections later today.

      • A little big for EDC but I love all the Buck 110s. I have two. No other folding knife fits or feels better in my [large] hands. The price on the standard 110 (w/sheath) drops below $30 on Amazon from time to time and you can’t find a better value in knives than that. I want the new drop-point in oak.

        I’m not a big knife guy but you can’t even BE a knife guy without owning at least one Buck 110. Abuse and beat the hell out of it and it will still outlive you. If you break the clip point, send it back for a new blade or new knife.

        My EDC is a Benchmade 940 bought long before the recent betrayal.

    • Opinel knives are tacticool. Realistically I like the Kershaw Link for EDC and impromptu self defence. I always carry a Victorinox knife for multi tool use.

    • Yes. Don’t ask people on forums for advise on buying knives. Do your own research to your own benefit.

    • Best advice I can give is buy quality. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune, there are a number of very decent knives that come in under 40 bucks, but definitely stay away from the cheap $5-10 Chinese blades. Not only do the cheap knives have crappy blades that WILL NOT hold an edge, but I’ve had chintzy locks give out under harder use and close on my fingers! We’re talking major swearing and blood loss! Never had a problem with a quality knife though.

      After you have one you will not only find a million uses for it, but those around you will also find a million things they need you to cut for them. There is seldom a day goes by that I don’t use my knife for something. Like others here, I’m completely lost without it.

      • Been there myself, bought a Kershaw from them. REALLY cool place with about every kind of sharp pointy thing you can imagine!

    • Cold Steel brand has just about anything you could want in a knife or other pointy objects. I look at other knife brands but their value isn’t as good.

    • What you want in terms of a knife is a bit of a complicated question because it has to do with out it fits your hand and how you plan to use it.

      Since we’re discussing self-defense here and staying in that lane, you want a knife that if you stab with it and hit bone generally won’t let your hand slide forward onto the blade. Other than a fixed blade with an actual hilt nothing can guarantee this. Blood is slippery as hell and if you’re using a knife against another person someone already has or soon will be cut and bleeding, probably on your hand.

      So, you want something that prevents this. Aggressive handle checkering, like on a Griptillian helps but the real key is where your thumb and forefinger rest. This area needs to be aggressive. Ramping it also helps. So a jimped (“serrated for grip”) thumb ramp is a good idea (see a SpyderCo Delica for example).

      Once you have that kind of grip then you want to make sure the handle fits your hand fairly well. Bigger mitts mean a smaller knife, in terms of handle, may not be great for you but a bigger handle doesn’t always mean a larger blade.

      Personally, I’m against cheap knifes other than as beater utility tools. When I say cheap, generally I mean <$50. Really, for an EDC knife for defense realistically for a good blade made of good steel you’re talking $100-$250. Sorry, that’s just the way it is if you’re looking for a defense item where you life depends on this this working, working right and working NOW without breaking. That $25 gas station special is a decent knife to beat the fuck out of but it’s not what we’re talking about here.

      So for brands of folders I’d start looking at CRKT, Benchmade (unless you’re now boycotting them), Sypderco, MicroTech, SOG (If the blade is made in the good ol’ USA or Seki Japan, otherwise just say no to Chinese metallurgy) , Gerber, Boker, Kershaw, Zero Tolerance, Schrade, Emerson, Case, Mantis, Hinderer or Ontario.

      Really though, for defense a fixed blade (if legal in your area) is better because you can’t fuck up deploying the blade. For small blades, all the way through big ones, I’d look at TOPS, ESEE, Condor Tool & Knife, KABAR, Ontario, Shrade, SOG (same rule as folders) or Boker.

      For something more exotic, like a karambit style knife, Mantis has a lot of them, Schrade makes some really vicious ones and Emerson makes them in fixed and folder styles. Butterfly knives are cool but I just can’t really recommend one as a defense knife.

      Really, once it fits your hand and doesn’t slip it’s all about how you intend to use it because blade style reflects the intended use in a lot of cases but that’s deeper than I’m going to get into here.

      • with all due respect in regards to your chinese metallurgy comment; last year the chicoms got their shit together and are tossing steels like lc200n, zdp189, maxamet, m390, 3v, infi, s110v and other powdered and super steels into some superbly machined products. these steels in a u.s. made knife will cost substantially more. for now.
        as it relates to sog, i will say that more than half the makers you mention offer chinese, japanese and taiwan produced examples. virtually all crkt, more than half spydies and even some kershaws are made offshore. which is not to say they aren’t as good or better than american made counterparts, but you do have to inspect for country of origin if it matters to you, even within brands.

    • Spyderco Endura.
      If you want to go big, Cold Steel Voyager is a beast, and a lot of knife for the money.

    • So many. Start inexpensive, I love the Ontario Rat 2, great quality knife for $25-30 on Amazon, and if you lose it, break it, whatever, who cares? Then go up from there as you learn more about these folders.

    • the article foto is a kershaw skyline. can be found under $40, ok steel, u.s. made. as good a first step as any.

  4. Bought 2 neck knives on line. At the range I found out that I was wearing one wrong. I had the chain tied to the knife. I never could have used it. Education never stops.

    • Well, you *could* have used it, but only on yourself… 🙂

      And you don’t strike me as the suicide type, Vic…

    • I always thought that if you wear a neck knife on a chain, you’re supposed to grab the knife and rip the chain off your neck…

  5. I carry a case 6347 and a Griptillian.

    I don’t consider either a fighting knife unless I have nothing else.

  6. I dont like how every knife now comes with that pocket clip. I hate them. My pocket knives are for my pocket not to be displayed. I still remember my first pocket knife. My grandfather, my dads dad, gave me my first knife. I’m 67 now and I was just 3 and something then and still remember it. It was a small Case folder with that yellow bone. True story. I still can remember it.

  7. Rarely go anywhere without my Leatherman Skeletool CX. Pretty basic as far as multi tools, but it has everything I need. Used to have a lot of trouble getting a good edge on it, but the worksharp I received as a Christmas gift helps me keep it just shy of razor sharp. I also carry a Boker Mini Kalishnikov from time to time. Couldn’t imagine walking around with some kind of knife, given how often I use them.

  8. Excerpt:
    There are a number of factors that make a good folding knife so appealing. The biggest point I make is the legality of the item. Many states have restrictions on fixed blades regardless of blade length. But folders are legal virtually everywhere. If we were to steal a phrase from the gun industry, first rule of winning a knife fight is to have a knife. It’s a very rare occasion I don’t have some kind of pocket knife on me or within easy reach
    *******************************************
    …”Right of the people keep and bear arms shall not be infringed…”

  9. If both parties have knives then there is no winning a knife fight, there are only differing degrees of losing.

    Knives are useful tools and can be effective weapons but getting into close quarters with another person with a knife is a losing proposition.

    The first rule of knife fighting should be “never fight someone else who is also armed with a knife”.

      • I saw a survey of martial artists (FWIW), and the majority said they would defend against a knife without deploying their own. The theory is that you must inflict an injury on the knife fighter before he can use the knife. Think kick to the groin or kneecap. There are a lot of points of view on this one, for sure, and each situation is going to be different.

        • That’s idiotic. If there are no guns and a knife in the fight, you are going to get cut or stabbed. If each has a knife, you are going to get cut or stabbed.

          Now of you had a stick weapon (or better -two) you can have a distance advantage.

          In the real world, the gun wins. If someone catches you unaware, it doesn’t matter if it’s a knife, gun, or rock.

          Don’t ever let someone keep approaching of they have a melee weapon….you are just losing your advantage.

        • I’m pretty sure pulling a knife on a knife is better then trying to use your hand. The person who first pulled the knife will at least be forced to recognize they’re going to get cut too.

      • My open hand will have a gun. There ain’t no Marques de Queensbury rules. I wouldn’t try matching weapon for weapon.

      • There is no advantage, other than having less stuff to weigh you down while running away at top speed. I’m not saying that there is a good option for fighting someone armed with a knife (other than a gun at greater than say 25 metres distance), I’m saying that if you get into a knife fight the best place to do it would be the ER waiting room/car park of a major trauma centre.

        Of the chest stabs I’ve treated over 90% needed a chest drain inserted to relieve a haemo/pneumothorax, >20% needed a central line to counteract volume loss and >10% needed surgery in less than an hour from the time they arrived in hospital.

        For abdomens the story was fairly similar, those stabbed deep enough (sometimes that was <2 inches for skinny people) required emergency surgery very soon after their arrival in trauma.

        This included those stabbed with improvised weapons like screwdrivers, bicycle spokes and glass bottles. The point is being stabbed hurts (100% of patients surveyed agreed with this) and if you aren't dead by the time the ambulance arrives you are going to spend around a week in hospital (minimum) recovering from fairly "minor" wounds (minor in the sense the entry wound may only need a few sutures to close).

    • “If both parties have knives then there is no winning a knife fight, there are only differing degrees of losing.
      …The first rule of knife fighting should be “never fight someone else who is also armed with a knife”.

      The first rule of knife fighting is “You’re going to get cut”. The only question is who inflicts fatal or incapacitating damage first. Whether you both have knives or only he does, it’s still a knife fight and you’re going to get cut.

      The problem with a knife fight is that there are two main schools of thought and both are right sometimes.

      Sometimes you have to trap the other guy’s knife. That’s true right up until it isn’t and you get killed. Sometimes you want to attack the incoming weapon. That’s also true right up until it isn’t. Sometimes you want to attack the person, again true until it isn’t and you exchange a throat punch or breaking his nose for getting stabbed.

      One of the things to keep in mind with the concept of trapping the knife is that switching hands with a knife is extremely easy. So you can trap the knife, he switches hands and stabs you before you can let go of his hand/wrist/forearm and move to the other.

      The other thing to keep in mind is that logically speaking fighting against a knife is easy. In reality it’s not. Not because the knife is “so deadly” but because it causes your brain to short circuit. The amount of aggression and serious brutality involved in a knife attack usually causes people to have a brain fart. Knife training classes are kind of eye opening in this regard where even against a rubber training knife people have this kind of reaction. You can be on the sideline screaming at them and they just don’t hear you because they’re so focused on the blade in front of them.

      Avoiding a knife fight at all costs is preferable. The problem is by the time you know enough to escape from the “coming” knife fight it’s usually already upon you. At that point you comply and hope to be left living or you go 200% at killing this asshole immediately.

      • The advantage of EDC knives are their usefulness away from conflict. I use mine all the time. Now, I do train for knife defense and offense as well. Having it at the perfect position for deploying in your pocket close to your fingertips is a great advantage. If you train you learn that most street perps do not know how to really use a knife, only as a threat. I am a true beginner at knife work to accomplished artisans. To most street thugs I will hold my own and overcome. I put EDC knives in the same category as handguns. If you carry them, practice with them. Otherwise, run away. Still a good policy anytime.

        • “If you train you learn that most street perps do not know how to really use a knife, only as a threat.”

          This is true. It however presents a serious downside. Most knife attacks are not going to be predictable because the person committing the attack is not trained to use a knife. Instead it’s a very aggressive, random melee attack that follows no rules and relies on surprise and aggression, knowingly or unknowingly, to overcome any defenses.

          That kind of “berserker” attack is very, very difficult to deal with. Effectively the other guy is saying to himself “I don’t really know how to use this thing so I’m going to get close, go apeshit and hope for the best.” Which unfortunately for the defender is a very effective strategy on the aggressor’s part.

          Having been on the receiving end of an attack with a knife I can honestly say that the only reason I’m here is because this drunken asshole turned this whole thing into a 4v1 fight. The four of us had a hell of time dealing with him too. Even if we all had guns it still would have been the same fight because none of us would have had the ability to draw and even if he did we’d have been more likely to shoot each other than shoot the guy with the knife.

        • strych9, good points. Books have been written on the subject. I have trained with a guy who taught knife fighting to law enforcement. Knife fighting is ugly.

      • It doesn’t matter who inflicts fatal or incapacitating injuries first, second or third, what matters if that if you don’t have a 100% reliable way of incapacitating the other person immediately then you can also suffer fatal or crippling injuries to an opponent who is dead but doesn’t know it yet…

        Logically speaking knife fighting is not easy it is incredibly hard and that is why I said there is no winning, there is only different degrees of losing.

        As you said in your other comment about an untrained muppet with a knife, if it wasn’t 4 vs 1 you would have been in more trouble.

        A great way for anyone who doesn’t have a training knife to test their skills against an aggressive but untrained opponent is to cover someone’s hand in chalk and get them to try to hug you, then take off your shirt and realise that every chalk mark would be a wound anywhere from 2 to 6 inches deep.

        • “It doesn’t matter who inflicts fatal or incapacitating injuries first, second or third”

          Absolutely it does. Whoever told you otherwise has no idea what they’re on about.

          Blades, whether they are knives, swords, arrowheads or spears tend to do massive damage and do so in ways the body can’t cope with because the cut is smooth rather than jagged or a tear. That combination means the damage is rapidly incapacitating or lethal because the body can’t contract the blood vessel the way it does with a jagged wound.

          We’re not talking minutes here. If you tag someone with a blade in the right spot(s) they’re going to lose blood pressure, and therefore blood flow to the brain and going to start getting tired and rapidly declining in capability within seconds.

          A good slash to the brachial artery is known to cause people to almost instantly feel tired, lose the ability to really move around or think coherently. They stumble around for 10-20 steps in a haze and then drop in about a minute and, without intervention, bleed out rapidly after that.

          If you get someone first in a knife fight your chances of getting out of this alive just skyrocketed. If they get you first your chances just nosedived. That’s the cold, hard statistical truth and time matters quite a bit in this because we’re playing a game of seconds between being 100% and not having enough blood in your brain to understand what is going on.

          I never said defending against a knife was easy. I said the opposite. I said it seems easy until you actually try it.

        • Nobody told me it didn’t matter who gets in the first lick, I’ve treated enough knife wounds to learn that for myself. If you didn’t quote half of my sentence out of context you would realise that what I said was that you need to end the threat immediately to avoid potentially fatal wounds yourself and short of severing the spinal cord somewhere above C4 there isn’t really a good way to do that. To paraphrase that old line about the police “When moments count rapid declines in capability are seconds away.”

          I’ve seen a guy who had his right subclavian artery severed by a good stab, he retaliated against his attacker with a few stabs between the ribs. Both survived the experience and were transported to hospital and subsequently underwent major surgery to fix the internal damage. Neither of them cared about who got in the first hit, they were both just upset they were going to be in hospital for an extended period recovering from their wounds. *Both were fully conscious when they arrived at the hospital.

          Another patient I saw stabbed a colleague in the chest at work over a relatively minor dispute, his victim removed the knife and returned it, point first, back to its owner. Both were bloody lucky their wounds didn’t include cardiac damage and “only” resulted in collapsed lungs.

          “If you tag someone with a blade in the right spot(s) they’re going to lose blood pressure, and therefore blood flow to the brain and going to start getting tired and rapidly declining in capability within seconds.” – I’d generally consider the left ventricle to be “the right spot” and yet I’ve seen decently large wounds to the heart that survived transport and got the hospital in time to be fixed. I’ve also seen stab necks with arterial damage that made it to the hospital so unless you do a proper job of it there is the risk that someone you injure fatally can still return the favour before they shuffle off this mortal coil.

          Now I only saw a percentage of the serious knife wounds that occured in the city as many of them died before transport and so didn’t get delivered to the hospital but there were a large number of imminently fatal wounds that did survive the trip to us and were treated successfully (and in a number of cases their attacker had to be treated for serious wounds as well).

    • Yeah it’ entertaining reading posts where people think they may win a knife fight someday. Will. Never. Happen.

      • I don’t plan on winning one in the future. But I’ve survived two in the past.

        The real key to any of it is the same as anything else, situational awareness. If they get on top of you before you know there’s a knife, you’re probably fucked.

        • I wasn’t having a crack at you mate. I also appreciate your terminology “I’ve survived 2 in the past”.

          Situational awareness and the ability to run faster than the other guy is the best way to survive a potential encounter with a knife wielding attacker.

        • “… the ability to run faster than the other guy is the best way to survive a potential encounter with a knife wielding attacker.”

          That’s very true because you never have any idea what that person is on. The guy I fought 4v1 had to be high on coke or meth or something. He wasn’t big or muscular but he was strong and he could take a beating like you wouldn’t believe.

          By the time we got him to drop the knife his face looked like we took turns hitting him in the face with a hammer for an hour. I kicked him in the head like a soccer free-kick at least five times and stomped on his face half a dozen to zero effect other than making him scream he was going to kill us all.

          We later found out it was all over him jaywalking and getting some friendly advice to be more careful. He followed those folks and attacked them.

        • Situational awareness is the most important. If you are aware and see a possible threat, avoid it if possible, fight is always the last option. I most knife fights there rarely are winners, just survivors and the others. Knife fights are ugly. I would rather be shot than cut up. That doesn’t mean that I don’t train to survive one of these encounters. The biggest key is if faced with the last option, go all in all at once. Offense, counter offense, re counter offense. Never back up and do not stop till the other person is neutralized. This is combat, not sport. You also need to train as close to that way as you safely can. You should have already been tested in training several times. Your reaction should be instinctive and a reaction, not a fully conscious act. I hope to never use my training except on the mat but still train just in case. Society has gotten more stupid the last 10 to 15 years or so.

  10. Be very careful with knives, I myself had to spend over two weeks in intensive care because of a knife in the wrong hands. A young relative of mine almost cut his hand in half because he thought the blade was locked & wouldn’t collapse… silly. Boy…KNIVES ARE DANGEROUS.!!!

  11. I’ve been carrying a $25 Buck Bones knife for years. Love it, keeps a great edge, and its slim profile is great for EDC. Easy knead handed open and very solid locking mechanism.

    I don’t leave home without it and it’s never failed me.

  12. Hate to contradict the writer but, my daddy told me
    1st there are no rules In a knife fight
    2nd always bring a gun.

  13. I am a big fan of blades but I feel that there is a significant disconnect in the way that people think about knives. Often times, people think along the lines of catastrophe carry…”If this happens, I might need this”. The chances that you will get in a knife fight or a car accident are pretty slim.
    The knife is one of the best tools at your disposal. If you carry the knife as a tool, you may find that some days you will want/need a bowie vs a folder vs a flip. The concept of having just one knife is essentially like just having one screwdriver. I prefer to have a few blades at my disposal for any given situation at any given time. Not to mention, the best part…You don’t have to pick a straight edge vs serrated. You can have both!!

  14. Switchblades look cool but bust to easy. Sometimes I carry a filet knife. I’ve always got a Swiss Army knife but it’s to slow to open if I was to get in a fight.

  15. I received my first knife as a gift from my Great-Uncles brother. I guess he wasn’t an uncle of mine but I called him uncle Zack just the same. I picked cotton for 1 day (as best I could LOL) and he gave me a dollar and an knife that was longer than my hand. I was 6. My mom saw and got onto him and he traded it back for a little Old-Timer 2 bladed. He and his wife were both killed the next spring in the 1968 Arkansas tornadoes. Still miss him.

    Bet I’m one of the few people my age who has picked cotton by hand.

  16. I agree with most comments and agree that serreated blades are for bread. Put on blades for people that can’t figure out how to sharpen a blade. A knife is more to deter an action as above. Depending on how you count it an edged tool was mans 2nd or third tool; fire, club and an edged tool. ALL knives are tools first, weapon is secondary. Most all of the above mentioned blade makers are good. But worthless when dull. Was sent an NRA knife a while back that was a cheap piece of china crap. Gave it away before I could throw it away. Cold Steel and Buck are very hard to sharpen steel. Keep to Rk scale of high 50s. Less will dull faster, more makes the steel harder and harder to sharpen.

    • Depends on how the blade is designed. Serrations can be very, very useful on a knife that’s meant as a weapon. They cut through heavy clothing and leave really, really nasty cuts on people.

      The Spyderco Matriarch 2 and Civilian were both designed as “last ditch” folders for combat and they’re styled in a way that makes them very effective for that use with a forward curved blade that’s fully serrated. The only downside is that they’re not good for much else.

  17. I carry three blades on my person, all small utility blades: 1 regular Swiss Army knife, 1 small Swiss Army knife, 1 small Leatherman Squirt with a blade. If I think it’s needed, I also carry a larger Leatherman multitool which has a blade. I also have a Chinese Sanrenmu made $10 folding knife with a three-inch blade, a strap cutter, a can opener and a glass breaker. It’s pretty useful for a cheap folder.

    I advocate using the smallest blade for the task at hand which is why I carry more than one folder, also for redundancy in case a smaller blade should break.

    I have two Smith & Wesson karambits under my pillow and carry one of them when out and about.

    I also have a Cold Steel Recon Tanto in my bug out bag.

    I’d like to get a kukri for the bug out bag as well at some point, either a Cold Steel version or an actual Indian kukri.

  18. The Kershaw Skyline in the photo is my EDC knife. I’ve tried a number of others, but I keep going back to it. I wish I’d gotten in on the fixed blade versions that apparently aren’t being made any longer. If you’re looking at one and think ~$40 is too high, the Kershaw Chill is nearly the same design with cheaper steel and no studs (which are useless on this design, anyway), and it costs half as much.

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