Don't forget your knife could save your life! Respect it and choose well.

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posted on May, 14 2011 @ 04:39 PM
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Why is it everyone seems to put so much time and thought into their firearm collection and use. Training at the range, throwing lead, prepping, cleaning, modifications, and making a fine tuned defense and or hunting machine. I love firearms and completely understand but most people seem to toss in their knife as an afterthought. I believe the knives you carry and own will prove to be more important in your day to day life and if a SHTF scenario ever did happen a well thought out blade collection will save your life more than a firearm. Ultimately you want both, but a good firearm without good knives as back up will leave only half prepared and as far as utility tools goes a good blade will out-pace anything in your survival and day to day tools.

I should start with I am not a knife maker, I am not affiliated with anyone who sells or makes knives, and I am not a professional. I have however been an enthusiast for a long time and have spent countless hours reading about, rsearching, and training with edged weapons so I do at least know what I'm talking about.

Day-To-Day knife
To start with having a day to day knife sitting in your pocket is invaluable. Everything from opening letters, boxes, kids toys and packaging, and pretty much any normal daily use along with a measure of self defense.A Swiss Army knife or non-locking folder, a leatherman or a locking utility razor are all fine choices if you don't intend for it double as a self defense tool. Remember with these you do get what you pay for, and a cheap tool is a dangerous tool.If you intend for it to double as a defense tool or simply find yourself needing to open a folder with one hand often I feel there are several choices:

A good folder with a thub stud is awesome. This knife is made by Kershaw, a reputable brand and you can see the little stud near the base of the blade. This is made so you can open the knife with your thumb using only one hand. With a little finesse and practice you will learn to do this very quickly.



My favorite is the type with a pocket release. This is a knife designed to unfold as you pull it from your pocket. There are many knives that do this to one degree or another but the best is the Wave system designed by Emmerson knives. The one pictured is my personal favorite a Spyderco utilizing the Wave design. You can see the little hook looking thing on the top. This catches on the inside of your pocket and deploys when removed. With a little practice you can do this faster than any switchblade or spring assist available.



Other choices are spring assist knives and switchblade knives. A switchblade is a terrible utility knife and actually slow compared to the Wave knives, the spring assist knives (Which work like the thumb stud or pocket catch but are assisted by springs) are in my opinion dangerous and offer no real benefit over learning the finesse without a spring. I am currently carrying a little spring assist knife and see no benefit. (I did give it a chance I swear)

Finally for the day to day if you find yourself really doing a lot of utility cutting and are not so much relying on defense one of the locking folders with replaceable razors work good and is better than nothing in a defense situation. The one pictured below is made by Gerber but the Husky brand (Home Depot) and others seem to function just as well.



Now many of you are thinking to yourselves that a fixed blade is the way to go. If this works for you in your day to day life I tend to agree. But I will reserve fixed blades for outdoors, hunting, survival, and specific combat situations.

Outdoors Utility and "Gardening Knives
First and foremost if you have property, a yard, or find yourself in thick vegetation you should have a good Machete around. Take it hunting, fishing, camping, and makes for decent intimidation or a weapon in a pinch. Below is a Machete (I think made by Cold Steel?) with a saw back for a little extra. This isn't a combat feature! Machetes are are wobbly, usually cheap, and excel at cutting through brush. Be sure to carry a file or sharpening stone as they dull quickly.



Second in the Garden implements should be a good portable axe I know it isn't a knife but hey who cares?. The Axe below is termed a combat axe but I don't see it. I think it is a fantastic portable chopping tool that could offer a formidable defense if required. Something like this isn't exacly the most versatile but if you have the space is very handy to have around. The one below is made by SOG (if you can't guess).



Hunting and skinning knives are also specialty outdoor utility knives. A good skinner / gutter will help make dinner faster as it is purposae built, but any sharp knife will work if needed. For this reason I wouldn't add one to my pack but in my opinion if you're going to I would definitely get one with the gutting hook like the Buck knife below. This just adds more value and utility for the weight:



General Survival
Now ofcourse there are the "Survival" knives. There are a few purpose built for downed pilots, and other specialties. Then the Rambo style ones that have a hollow handle and are filled with useless crap. If you want that crap buy a sheath with a pocket. The only good here is you can attache a stick to the hollow handle and have a spear otherwise I think they are garbage. If you're getting a fixed blade it should be full tang (The metal goes all the way down inside the handle). The only one I really like is the multipurpose made by Tops Knives below. This just has so much versatility and quality it would be a good single blade to carry.



Defense / Combat
Now we can move to the purpose build defense / combat knives. All of these make great utility knives as well if your going to bug out.

If you want chopping and stopping power along with so many varied and frightening uses is the Gurka Kukri. If you only have one knife many would recomend this one. It works as a Machete, an Axe, a combat knife, a shovel... Many begin and end here. I think it is slow and unwieldy not to mention I couldn't order a real one from Indonesia and am still bitter. The one below is made by Cold Steel and as a warning there are a ton of cheap knock offs and Machetes shaped like Kukris.. this isn't a Kulri just a Mchete. The one below is somewhere between a really good one and a Machete. Note I place this as a combat knife only to quell anger. It really isn't a combat weapon but a tool used as a combat weapon.



I happen to own my Grandfathers Navy KaBar style combat knife he carried in WW2. A fantastic knife in design and quality. There are many variants and KaBar has many great knives made in a siilar style with new materials. You can't go wrong here. Below is KaBar's reproduction of the same knife they made during WW2. Note there are many good manufacturers of similar knives and these are good utility knives as well.



Then ofcourse we have the Trench knives. These are essentially cut down sabers or bayonets with a handle in design and originally that is indeed what they were. For a combat knife they are generally very good. For a utility knife... well anything sharp will pass really. The one pictured below is a also a Damascus knife. There is much debate as to whether the new style Damascus is as good as the old as the tecnique was lost. I would suppose if it is Boker got it down in this Tench knife. The benefits of Damascus is supposed to be greater shatter resistance, sharper edges, and edge holding. It is essentially layered and welded steel.



Last but not least is the Bowie knife. People often call the KaBar's Bowies or anything with the similar blade shape. The distinguishing feature between a real Bowie and one similar is a good hand guard. Jim Bowie as the story goes, cut his hand when a Boar charged him and invented the Bowie knife with a good hand guard as he presumably didn't want to get his hand cut again. (Not sure how true that is as all sources from that time were prone to exaggeration and fantasy). The one below is made by Boker.



Final Stuff
Other than style it is important to take into account materials, manufacturer, design, and just plain what feels best in your hand!

When Selecting a steel you need to take into account SWEST

Stain(less)-Wear (Resistance)-Edge-Strength-Toughness.

Basically do you need a knife that is rust / chemical resistant, resists lots of repeated wear and tear, holds a good sharp edge, is strong as in being able to double as a pry bar, and is tough as in resisting impact. This gets very complicated and there is no one answer. As such I will refer anyone to this article which is the best summary I found along with lots of other good info: Article on ZKnives

Finally no matter what knife you chose know how to use it. I can't emphasise the importance of becoming familiar with your knife. Familiar with how to use it, and safety.

There are many dull metal and wood taining knives available. Buy books and videos or go to you-tube and watch lots of knife techniques and defense. Then go practice with your buddies with training knives. Or if you're lucky there might be a self defense course that teaches knife skills nearby you. This is the most important thing. Learn to use that knife and practice a lot! If you are not confident and skilled you could run into trouble trying to defend yourself with that knife you have!

Another good resource to "Shop" for knives is here: Knife Center Dot Com but nothing beats a local cutlery or sports shop where you can go in and try out the knives before you pick one out. As a rule if I'm going to go to a store I will buy there to support local rather than online. It is rude to waste their time and resources to save 20 bucks later. But thats just me. I hope someone found this helpful and I am sure there will be many more opinions so please add them, I would love to hear them.




posted on May, 14 2011 @ 04:59 PM
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Nice little compilation. I carry a simple "officer issue" swiss army knife for normal utility. Never fails and only costs 15 bucks or so. My machete is an ontario and my main "combat knife" is a sog seal pup. I have gerbers and such too. One thing people need to be aware of is serrations. They are great for cutting tough things but SUCK for woodwork/camp use. As far as cheap knives you are generally correct, although mora's (made in sweden) are excellent knives and are loved by bushcrafters around the world, and they are only 8 bucks or so each. Other than the mora and swiss armies, you do get what you pay for.


Deebo



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 05:03 PM
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What a great thread ! I am currently wanting to buy a bowie knife, for my bug out bag...but i also want one that has an ankle sheath.
Im in the UK so were not aloud to carry one, but, hey, you never know what fool is lurking around the corner these days. I just want to be able to protect myself and my family..

So, question....is a Bowie knife the right one for use with an ankle sheath? And any ideas in the UK where i can buy one?




posted on May, 14 2011 @ 05:14 PM
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Originally posted by Deebo
Nice little compilation. I carry a simple "officer issue" swiss army knife for normal utility. Never fails and only costs 15 bucks or so. My machete is an ontario and my main "combat knife" is a sog seal pup. I have gerbers and such too. One thing people need to be aware of is serrations. They are great for cutting tough things but SUCK for woodwork/camp use. As far as cheap knives you are generally correct, although mora's (made in sweden) are excellent knives and are loved by bushcrafters around the world, and they are only 8 bucks or so each. Other than the mora and swiss armies, you do get what you pay for.


Deebo


For every rule there are exceptions. You will of course be able to find special purpose knives for a lot less especially smaller ones. Ontario makes good Machetes and I'm pretty sure the one pictured above is Ontario. I was just thinking Cold Steel because of their habit of adding all sorts of junk onto their knives.

I've been eying the Sog Seal Pups for awhile, how do you like it?

I was going to talk about the serrations that are so popular these days. They are hard to sharpen, terrible for defense, (harder to pull out and keep in your hand) and pretty much only good for cutting rope. If you'e going to cut a lot of rope a razor is better. I just don't think the serrations are a useful add to most knives. That said I'm carrying a cheap Chinese made spring assist with a low quality pocket catch and serrations...

Do as I say not as I do!
I wouldn't recommend it to anyone and it's already falling apart after about a month.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 05:25 PM
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Given my temperament and experience, knifing for combat is not a big consideration for me. But everybody's different.

When outdoors, I carry a dressing knife with a gut hook, a knife with a super-fine blade that I keep sharp using my grandad's razor-stone (it requires a lot of "looking after," but has a scalpel like cut. seriously). I also carry a pistol-gripped bone saw in a scabbard, with a 4 inch blade and a rounded end, so I don't damage the guts when sawing through the pelvic girdle. That's all for hunting.

I also carry a leatherman and have a cheaper knock-off in my tackle box just for fishing work. I have a great little hatchet by buck that I carry when I plan on camping.

If you met me on the street, I carry a small swiss army knife, and have others in the grab bags of each vehicle. Also a doo-dad stuck in the visor of the driver's seat for cutting through seat belt straps.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 05:27 PM
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reply to post by iWokeUp
 


I wouldn't wear a Bowie on an ankle sheath. The hand guard catches on your trousers if its hidden, if it isn't hidden you're better of with a belt sheath as it is easier to get to.

If you really want a boot knife I would go with a Trench knife or some other sleek knife that isn't too bulky.

As far as legality that isn't even legal in California where I'm at so I'd imagine a boot knife would get you locked up in the UK.

I think the web-site I listed will ship to the UK and they have some non-locking Spyderco knives specifically to carry in the UK. These are supposed to be legal in UK

For home protection I have a 1 meter hand and a half sword with a nasty sharp hilt and a Machete plus the kitchen knives are always easily available.

Again don't rely on a knife for protection unless you put the time in to train! Someone like me could easily pull it out of your hand and have a new weapon. Especially a Bowie. Thats another thing I left out. a hand guard is nice but makes a great purchase to grab / knock it out of your hands if you'e not holding it correctly.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 05:32 PM
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yes i agree, but its more to have one concealed. In case something were to happen. We have an all female house hold, and we go walking and camping alot so its just something for protection ..

i am trained in Karate, but sometimes that just isnt enough..if you know what i mean ?



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Given my temperament and experience, knifing for combat is not a big consideration for me. But everybody's different.


Can you elaborate on that?

I really debated adding bone saws and leathermans to my little list here!

I am assuming you don't intend for the Swiss Army knives to be a defense tool but just a utility thing?



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 05:37 PM
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I always have a lockblade in my pocket, and a leatherman on my belt. I never leave home without either. At work, sometimes I have one of those lockback utility knives as well.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 05:42 PM
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reply to post by iWokeUp
 


So when it comes to concealed protection I would reccomend something like this:
Small punch knife It is probably illegal so don't get nabbed when you have it. It will go nicely in a boot, a Bra, just about anywhere you can think to hide it and is really hard to disarm you once you have it.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 05:52 PM
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Well put together thread. I'll give you my woman's perspective on owning a knife for survival. It's messy! Especially for self-defense; can't even imagine sinking a blade into someone...gross. (Or even an animal for that matter)...For the everyday common sense sort of uses, yes it's a great tool! But as a self-defense tool? I'd much rather pull a trigger.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 05:53 PM
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reply to post by Jinglelord
 


Jinglelord I really enjoyed your OP. Very well put together; I know I will be using this for reference in the future. I'm not allowed to have firearms so alternatives are important to me.

I've noticed knife threads always mention using a stone for sharpening. I don't care for stones for a few reasons:

1. they can break if dropped
2. they are heavy.
3. i've never been able to sharpen a blade using a stone; i guess its something someone has to teach you.

So I'm wondering, can you sharpen fixed blade and pocket knives using one of those handheld gimmicks like I use to sharpen my kitchen food preparation knives with? I realize you experienced fellows may get a laugh from this, but I am concerned. I want to include a knife sharpener in my BOB that will see me through the tough times if they should come. I understand that a well sharpened better quality blade can make a big difference when one has things they have to do.

I thank you in advance for your time and consideration.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 05:57 PM
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reply to post by LargeFries
 


Some of those handheld "gimmick" sharpeners work surprisingly well. I prefer my multistone method for sure, going from course to fine in 4 stones, but I have tested a few or the handheld ones, and they got the job done OK. If you do get one, might as well get one with a handguard built in. The only problem with them, is they treat all blades equal. They work OK for a knife, but they will not do well on an axe for example.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 06:14 PM
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Originally posted by Jinglelord

Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Given my temperament and experience, knifing for combat is not a big consideration for me. But everybody's different.


Can you elaborate on that?

I really debated adding bone saws and leathermans to my little list here!

I am assuming you don't intend for the Swiss Army knives to be a defense tool but just a utility thing?




1) I am "old" by ATS standards. Too old to fight close-quarters with someone. Jump them, possibly. But not fight.

2) I worked in law enforcement once upon a time. knives are far more lethal than guns in a close-quarters confrontation. So my strategy calls for me to avoid knife fights at all costs. Suffice it to say that brandishing a knife is deadly conduct. And, well, there's some men you just can't reach. Let's leave it at that.

edit on 14-5-2011 by dr_strangecraft because: less is more



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 06:19 PM
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reply to post by LargeFries
 


I agree with what TKDRL said. The only thing you need to watch with the kitchen sharpeners is if your knife will physically fit in it for many of the models it can be a problem as kitchen knives tend to me much slimmer.

Other options would be nail boards and files. These work really well. I once honed a knife using my wifes nail manicure stuff. Other than having to hide the ruined boards when I was done it worked really well to hone the edge.

Diamond stones also work wonderful and don't break when dropped. I use these for my carving knives and lathe tools. (The smaller 3 inch versions) Diamond Boards



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 06:28 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

Originally posted by Jinglelord

Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Given my temperament and experience, knifing for combat is not a big consideration for me. But everybody's different.


Can you elaborate on that?

I really debated adding bone saws and leathermans to my little list here!

I am assuming you don't intend for the Swiss Army knives to be a defense tool but just a utility thing?




1) I am "old" by ATS standards. Too old to fight close-quarters with someone. Jump them, possibly. But not fight.

2) I worked in law enforcement once upon a time. knives are far more lethal than guns in a close-quarters confrontation. So my strategy calls for me to avoid knife fights at all costs. Suffice it to say that brandishing a knife is deadly conduct. And, well, there's some men you just can't reach. Let's leave it at that.

edit on 14-5-2011 by dr_strangecraft because: less is more


I probably should have mentioned this very clearly in OP thanks for mentioning it!

NEVER pull a knife on someone unless your life is directly threatened and you intend to kill them.

Your knife will kill just as fast as a gun and requires the same level of respect.

And to clarify: I have the same strategy but it is a bit further: Avoid fighting at all costs. I value my life and there are very few things in this world fighting for and pride is not one of them.

There are times though when you simply can't avoid a mad man, a rapist, a robber intent on injuring you... for those times I am prepared.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 06:32 PM
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reply to post by Jinglelord
 


i wish i could get 1 of those knives but its illegal to own any of those in my country, sad i know. i have always wanted to go on 1 of those survivalist courses but never knew where to go about it.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 06:45 PM
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reply to post by gazzachel
 


Not really sure what country you're in but I doubt kitchen knives are illegal...



Take up cooking as a hobby, a few pots and pans and one of those. If that is illegal you need to flee the country immediately!
Some formidable kitchen knives here...



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 06:51 PM
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Originally posted by queenofsheba
Well put together thread. I'll give you my woman's perspective on owning a knife for survival. It's messy! Especially for self-defense; can't even imagine sinking a blade into someone...gross. (Or even an animal for that matter)...For the everyday common sense sort of uses, yes it's a great tool! But as a self-defense tool? I'd much rather pull a trigger.


There are many times you can't pull the trigger. Person is too close, a perp has a loved one in a struggle... no shooting into a struggle! A knife isn't always a good choice... in fact it is never a good choice to defend with. But on occasion it can be the only choice and if that day comes you will be glad you knew how to use it.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 06:57 PM
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reply to post by Jinglelord
 


i live in the uk and if i took out a big carving i would be tazered and locked up as there is a big emphasis on knife crime at the moment.





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