View Full Version : Best Defensive Knife

April 19, 2002, 09:37 AM
OK. So what'll it be? We all know that the more expensive the knife is, the more tactical expertise the owner has; not to mention a better chance for survival.

[long pause]

Pfffwhah-hah-hah-hah-hah!!!... Alright, alright, I'm crackin' up already!

Seriously. I don't care too much for over-glorified letter openers made by Alain "Oui-oui" Savoir Faire whatever, or by Cha-cha-cha-ching Yamamoto Hara-Kiri and Company. All I want is a good, affordable, no-nonsense concealed carry knife as a supplement to my gun. But not one that comes in a plastic ball either. Any ideas?

Pics and prices are welcome.


Christopher II
April 19, 2002, 10:33 AM
My prejudices:

- I hate knife fighting. I fight with my brain, my running shoes, and a gun. I cut my food with a knife.
- Carbon and tool steels are infinintly preferable to stainless steel.
- I prefer fixed-blade knives to folders, for the additional strength and versitility. Folders are okay for most day-to-day cutting, and they have the advantage of folding. (note - folders really suck for fighting, so if I were going to a knife fight, I'd take a big fixed-blade. However, I refer you to prejudice #1.)
- I like flat ground or deep hollow-ground blades, because they cut well.
- I shy away from double-edges as being less suited for utility.
- I like composite handles.

So, what is affordable? For a fixed blade, I really like Mad Dog Knives, Busse Comabt, or Randalls. These all run about $200+. For a bit less money, try one of the various Lapland Pukkos (I have a little one, and I like it a lot.) You can get a nice ornamented silver-chased coffee-table Pukko for $500, but $100 or a bit less should get you a durable and functional working knife.

Folders? Pick out a Benchmade, Spyderco, or CKRT that resonates with you, and be happy.

- Chris

Christopher II
April 19, 2002, 10:36 AM

Take a gander. As you can see, prices vary quite a bit.

- Chris

April 19, 2002, 11:10 AM
I'd definately recommend a FIXED BLADE -- stucked in a boot etc. (I don't recommend neck sheaths). Full tang, of course, good grip and guard..a bonebreaker pommel is excellent in CQs!

Christopher II already recommended Finnish puukkos -- for the simple reason that they're good.I have several; I haven't broken a single one, and I do use them to their fullest, if one can say. Of course one reason for the recommendation is that I'm Finnish..;)

Lapin Puukkos (=Lappland Puukko) are great, I have one on my desk which I use as a letter opener. I'd still recommend Marttiini over Lapin Puukko. Take a look:


Mad Dogs are excellent, as well as are Striders, Spydercos...but they're pretty expensive. Lapin Puukko is the cheaper option, but I didn't find a URL for those. Keep looking!

Best regards,

Joe Demko
April 19, 2002, 11:24 AM
Get yourself an Old Hickory paring knife. They come in both clip point and spear point and they are made from carbon steel that takes a frightfully sharp edge. Using a rasp and some sandpaper, reshape the handle to have some finger grooves and be a bit more ergonomic. Slap a coat of urethane on the handle. Make a sheath from some scrap leather or buy a generic one that fits. Et voila, a very serviceable little boot knife for a total investment of, perhaps, $20.

April 19, 2002, 12:58 PM
check out the Dress Tactical knife from Terry Primos (www.promosknives.com) It is small enough that you could have it in a pocket sheath, or wear is with a dress sheath. It's a hand forged fixed blade knife, double edged with the top edge a chisel grind and the main edge a normal convex grind. The handle on mine is thuya burl and so I think it looks great, it's non-threatening enough that people comment on how pretty instead of cringing away.

The knife is light, the balance is right behind the guard and it feels good on any type grip. The shape of the handle is great fro retention and seats the blade naturally.

So anyway, give Terry a look. E-mail me if you want any other info.




A second choice might be the Crawford folding Tactical. Again, the size and weight are reasonable, it is incredibly strong, can be carried using the clip or in a sheath and smooth as silk.



The Terry Primos Tactical will cost about $200.00 while the Crawford folding Tactical will be about $400-500.00

Hard Ball
April 19, 2002, 04:12 PM
For an effective folder, take a look at the Emerson Commander. :cool:

George Hill
April 19, 2002, 09:28 PM
Most "Combat Knives" actually get used for "camp" chores. To me the only fighting knife is a fixed bayonet.
Swords are cool looking, but when it's time to throw down, you throw lead.

April 19, 2002, 10:15 PM
I have a little AL MAR about three inches long, folded. The blade is only about 2 and 3/4 inches long.

It has a little button that lets you thumb it open one handed very easily.

That blade is as sharp as any razor you will shave with. It is some kind of very high grade Japanese steel.

An opponent won't die of fright when he sees it because he will never see it. But he will bleed profusely from deep cuts effortlessly inflicted while I run like hell for cover or my gun.

Cost about 60 bucks new. I bought it to carry on trips before they banned pocketknives on airliners. I carry it everywhere else now and have had to mail it home to myself on two occasions when I forgot to put it in my checked luggage. I have carried it daily for about three years and it is as tight mechanically as the day it was new.

Dave T
April 20, 2002, 02:17 PM
As someone else implied, bringing a knife to a gun fight is just stupid. That being said, the best defensive knife is: THE ONE YOU HAVE WITH YOU!

If you are willing and committed, a paring knife from the kitchen is dangerous. If you're not, the most expensive Rambo Signature Model won't make a bit of difference.

April 20, 2002, 03:00 PM
I agree with everything Christopher II said...except one thing. I hate hollow ground blades. In my experience: They lose their edge fairly quickly, are brittle, and are tougher to sharpen than a flat ground. But that's just me, Chris' experience might be completely 180 degrees from mine.


Jody Hudson
April 20, 2002, 07:52 PM
I also agree that it is hard to beat an Old Hickory knife of any design you wish. Then get a leather belt and make yourself a sheath to fit your knife and your needs.

Past that, in price, I like the cost effectiveness of Cold Steel.

I worked in the prisons for a few years. I do NOT attend knife fights, even the "winners" look like losers. And even first timers often kill or maim the old pros. And, seldom are knife fights coreographed like Hollywood. They are usually started with about a dozen unsuspected stabs if the knife fighter knows what he's doing. If he doesn't know what he's doing then there is a good chance you'll have time to draw and place a few shots upon the knife fighting STOP button.

April 21, 2002, 12:33 PM
I assume that the Crawford Tactical that jar posted about is hand-made by Mr. Crawford himself. Columbia River Knife and Tool makes a Crawford (the Kasper model) that is very similar in design and sells for about $45. Hard to beat for the price.

April 21, 2002, 07:34 PM
Just got a crawford/casper folder from CRKT. It's huge and deploys very fast with a solid lockup. Paid 40 bucks for it at a show. Alot of knife for a little money. CRKT is making the most for your money right now. I have a Mirage Grey Ghost I paid 18 bucks for at a show. You have to check them out . My next one will be a Point guard from them.


deputy tom
April 25, 2002, 11:44 AM
If limited to a folder You would be well served with a Spyderco Endura or slightly more expensive a Benchmade 910s.Another good folder is the EKI CQC7B. Just so You make a truly educated purchase check out these sites.I hope this helps.tom.



April 30, 2002, 01:13 AM
Ok being a former Marine I am fairly partial to the good old Ka Bar. They can be had for about $50 and are really nice for the money. Yeah sure there are nicer knives out there but if you are on a budget and looking for a good all purpose fighting knife here ya go. You can check them out at KaBar.com.

April 30, 2002, 08:41 AM
Personally, I'dpick the one that affixes to your rifle,making a Bayonet or pike pole...

short of that, get some training in knife fighting, and then get what feels good to you... but spend some $$$ on a quality knife!

May 2, 2002, 08:13 AM
I propose a Byrd "walking spear" with a model 18 Randall affixed to the end of same....screws right on.....

That four feet or so of stainless with the Randall blade should do just fine in terms of keeping your opponent at "arms-length"....:D

If that seems a little cumbersome to you, (okay, I do have a Byrd and Model 18)....today is as good as it gets in the world of knives...whether they be folders, fixed or otherwise....

These collaborations between the great knifemakers and the manufacturers bring these semi-customs into the financial "reach" of most citizens....

I rotate what I carry....currently, I'm toting a Fox Osprey....an Italian-made collaboration with Darrel Ralph....neat little piece...

Normally, I carry a Benchmade...one of Pardue's collaborations...sometimes an auto...sometimes a more "socially acceptable" gentlemen's knife..

Point being that the choices you have are nearly unlimited and the truth is...you don't need one of those huge "tactical" pieces....I call 'em the ninja-warrier boy toys...;)

May 2, 2002, 09:07 AM
Off the wall question:

Can anyone think of a way to put a bayonet mount on a walking stick so that, say, you could carry a regular sitck in the woods but pull and attach your M4 in a pinch?

May 2, 2002, 12:14 PM
While the Byrd Spear/walking stick is designed to fit a Randall Model 18, it is a simple matter to have a fabricator make an adapter for Chris Reeve's knives.....

I love mine...I used it walking every day..(without the knife affixed of course)....it provides a nice "weight" to accompany me on the walk and is a formidable tool (dare I say weapon) against errant dogs, wolves, snarling tigers and other vermin of the urban landscape....oh, did I mention, BG's....:)

Really, it's a precision made piece of equipment and I've most certainly enjoyed mine....never had my Randall affixed except when I first took delivery of the ByrdSpear...just to see if it would fit....