View Full Version : Best Defensive/Carry knife

May 17, 1999, 08:54 PM
I currently have a Mad Dog Wild Thing and a Benchmade Sentinel. What are some other good choices, and what do you guys consider to be the best?

May 18, 1999, 02:43 PM
The knife that works best from me - after using a great deal of others - the Benchmade AFCK... 2nd place is the Spyderco Endura.
Other knives can be just as good, but these guys do the MOST the BEST for ME...

And the hole turns out to be faster to open for me than a thumb stud. Both knives are of good size to grasp quickly, and the large holes can be found by my thumb very fast.

The Endura isnt as spendy as AFCK - but I think it is just as good, if you can live with out G-10 scales. It is also a LOCK BACK, which some people like better than the AFCK's liner lock... it's a little more familiar to most people. Cheaper to make as well... wether or not it is actualy stronger - I dont know...

I like the AFCK - have 3 now - one I won from HERE last year in a contest that I cheated like heck to win! The first one I had has a broken tip and resides in a tackle box. The latest one is a fully serated blade with a black coating finish on the blade... this is a very agressive knive I cary only when flying... JOKE! I leave that one at home most of the time.... The one I won from here is my every day carry folder... I love the AFCK!


May 18, 1999, 03:25 PM
I carry daily a Brenchmade 970 with a titanium blade. It is a copy of the Emerson CQC7. This knife fits my hand well and is a very well defensive knife design. I would recommend this knife to any one that is serious about thier knives.

May 18, 1999, 04:20 PM
I also carry a Benchmade 970. Lightwieght and fits my hands perfectly. Very happy with it.

May 19, 1999, 05:56 PM
I have carried either a Benchmade 970 or an AFCK for about two years. Love them both. The AFCK is a little more versatile, in that it's point is better for getting under tightly taped seams.

Just recently picked up an Emerson Commander. NIICE knife! It opens faster then my others and the balde shape is so cool. Less useful as a tool, vice defensive weapon which it is designed to be.

Freedom is not Free

May 21, 1999, 05:32 PM
For defensive use? REKAT folding Hobbit, Carnivor, or Escalator.Spyderco Civilian, Terzoula, MOD trident,Hornet, Tempest, CRKT Apache,M-16. There are also several hundred others. You will get more than enough opinions. Log on to Bladefourms.com and start this thread. I reccomend you go to a show and handle as many different knives as you can. You should start at the BLADE SHOW
in Atlanta. It is the largest knifeshow in the world. Both custom and the best of the factory knives will be there. This is also where most of the new knife designs will be seen first.

Good Hunting,


Rich Lucibella
May 22, 1999, 10:15 AM
Mr. Murphy rides in the locking mechanism of any folder....though Chris Reeve's Sebenza has a pretty good Anti-Murphy Factor. Folders are great for minor utility tasks and will work as a last ditch defender, if the stars are properly aligned.

But for pure defense? Make mine a fixed blade....preferably the Mad Dog variety.

May 22, 1999, 11:48 AM
Rich - I agree with you. But in the city - you HAVE to be PC. And packing a fixed blade of a decent size is sometimes not an option. Folders are the only way to go here.

By the way - Thanks for the AFCK again! :)
I have had other knives come and go - but this perticular AFCK is just sticking with me.

As does The Firing Line in general... Thanks for this forum too, Rich!

You Da'Man!


May 22, 1999, 01:09 PM
Does anyone have any experience with the Gerber covert by Applegate? I've been looking at this as a replacement for my Endura. Every time knives are brought up, these seem to be left out. Am I missing something?

May 22, 1999, 03:30 PM
Ah... it's a Gerber...

Kidding... Actually the Applegate is not a bad knife. I think it is over priced for a Gerber - but the knife is not too shabby.

If you want to get rid of that Endura... let me know... :)


Rob Pincus
May 22, 1999, 04:38 PM
I have been carrying an Emerson CQC7 daily since early March.

Before that I carried Benchmade autos almost all the time. A combination of things lead to my switch, about equal parts anxiety over carrying the often illegal auto and the quality of the Emerson and the speed with which it can be deployed one-handed, for all practical purposes it is just as quick as the auto.. and I like the liner lock for one handed closing as well.

I am waiting for a Custom Mad Dog Rat made to 3.75 inches, for legal carry in TN.

The Applegate knife is nice, but not very covert, and probly not the best defensive knife in the world. The rounded grip is pretty fat for everyday carry in jeans.
I have a full size fixed version of the knife. Remember that this knife was primarily designed for Stabbing, and is based on an offensive knife designed to take out BGs silently....


[This message has been edited by Rob (edited May 22, 1999).]

May 22, 1999, 05:37 PM
I've been carrying a Benchmade 910 Stryker for quite a while and just bought a new Emerson CQC7 with partially serrated blade.

Both have blade tension adjustments which will allow opening with a flick of the wrist and without touching the thumb disc.

The liner lock is about as good as it gets in a folder.


Rich Lucibella
May 22, 1999, 06:19 PM
You're welcome, big guy...and thanks for the plug.

Remember the question was framed from the standpoint of a "defensive" knife. I assumed that means man-to-scum survival. I've just returned from a tour of Greece and Turkey, including big cities like Athens and Istanbul.

I don't know the carry laws there but I can tell you that I'd have been a lot less comfortable without my fixed blade, ceramic Operator under my jacket....it passed the hotel and restaurant security points with ease. Ad to this one custom Cane Masters cane in "therapeutic" tones and a beautiful lady in Condition Orange and I reckon I could have done far worse in the armament department.

May 22, 1999, 10:00 PM
Could you tell me more about the ceramic Operator or point me toward a resource to read about it.

May 25, 1999, 06:11 PM
Having just finished a course in knife combatives, I have to offer this up.

Several people had fixed blades, most of us had folders. For speed, surety, length of strike, strength, and even concealment the fixed blades have it all.

Saw a Gerber Applegate 3/4 Fixed, several Polkowski/Kasper fighters, and one or two others. Folders were mostly Benchmade AFCK's, with two Crawford/Kasper folders, and one Emerson COmmander. Most problematic knife was the Commander, it was mine I might add. Opened to soon, or not completely enough. This caused some bleeding (very sharp edge) when trying to draw too fast. Biggest problem was my inability to consistently open the knife as designed, on the pocket seam. I resorted to standard folder opening, using the snaproll after it had left the pocket.

I am considering going back with a fixed blade soon so I can learn to use it correctly. Oh by the way, a flat fixed blade of about 5-6 inches is VERY concealable even on a 5'-2" women of petite build. Folders in the pocket are always visible.

Just some thoughts!

Freedom is not Free

May 25, 1999, 06:40 PM
I am thinking fixed bladed again as well.
I was considering a STIFF KISS - but would prefer an ATS-34 blade...

That being the case, I'll have to opt for a more spendy blade - the HOBBIT FANG.

20 bucks for the STIFF KISS.
50 bucks for the Hobbit Fang.
Both come with a good sheath.

Of course the Ka-Bar Tanto is looking very good to me. 100 bucks...

[This message has been edited by Kodiac (edited May 25, 1999).]

Rob Pincus
May 25, 1999, 11:22 PM
I have a Mad Dog Mirage X Ceramic Knife as well. Mine is under the 4 inch FAA rule and I have carried it through several Airports, including La Guardia, NAshville, Dulles, McCarran and O'Hare without a problem. I did some extensive tests on it before I purchased it (on Rich's in fact, he loaned it to me for the tests...) at a federal building, witht he help of some US Marshalls and some rent-a-guards.

Details of the tests have been posted at this site I believe, but I am 100% sure that they are at Http://www.bladeforums.com . Try running a search under "Mirage test" or something like that.


Rich Lucibella
May 26, 1999, 08:18 AM
For info on the MD Ceramic knives go to http://www.mdenterprise.com/miragex.htm

The owner of the site, Shannon Lew, is a Mad Dog Dealer and a real good guy. If you decide to buy one, tell him we I sent you.

May 26, 1999, 10:40 AM
Randal makes a very nifty little neck knife, blade is around 4", and lile has a some you might look at in fixed standards....fubsy.

June 1, 1999, 05:20 AM
I carry a 4.5" fixed blade most often, a MD Operator, and otherwise carry a Sebenza, but it's intended for tool functions.

If you must go with a folder, be sure it's one that has a cutout/guard for your index finger. Otherwise there's not much other than a strong grip keeping your fingers from sliding forward onto the blade on a strong thrust. The cutouts at least allow a stronger, surer purchase on the handle should your hands be slippery or tired. Best picks in this category go to the AFCK, Emerson Commander and Specwar models. If you'll use the knife for utility, I'd recommend against the chisel ground Emersons, they're not as handy as the clip and spear point models.

June 1, 1999, 11:28 AM
Just placed an order for a Hobbit Fang yesterday...

I am such a toy junky!


June 13, 1999, 01:02 AM
For serious carry, it' s my fixed blade 5" Polkowski Pug in a kydex IWB sheath. For a folder, which sees a majority of my daily uses, I' ll go with the BM AFCK or the Spyderco Tim Wegner.


"To earn a million is easy, a real friend is not."

June 13, 1999, 05:31 PM
The Mirage X ceramic knife would be of less value to us civilians than to more trustworthy government officials. We lower classes get the knife with the metal insert to ensure we do NOT carry it on airplanes, through security checkpoints, etc.

Yes, I'm sure it's a good knife. But for that price I can buy a handful of good knives to put in the hold of the aircraft to be lost with the rest of my luggage or unavailable to me until I reach my hotel room.

June 16, 1999, 08:06 PM
The hobbit fang turned out to be great. I am very impressed... Just made a deal on a Rekat Utility - similar to the Fang - but with out the dropped nose.

Good thing knives are cheap!

Just ordered a Mini AFCK as well... to go along with all the other knives I have aquired recently.

I need help...


June 21, 1999, 09:21 AM
My choise is the Applegate Covert Folder from Gerber. Good fighter design of course, because it is Col. Applegate's. Good steel, ATS-34, and in the double bevel model like mine it is possible to sharpen the other edge also. This is not the lightest folder (4 oz) but in my opinion sturdy enough for most tasks.

I have used my Covert for some moths now for all utility tasks that it performs well. What I really like is it's manual safety that goes automatically on when gripping the knife so there is no risk of losing fingers with accidental closing of the folder.


July 5, 1999, 04:36 PM
I have several liner lockersnd autos that are good defensive knives. My two favorites are the Cold Steel Gunsite and Cold Steel Scimitar. The Gunsite has a big 5 inch blADE which is very sharp and has a pocket clip which fits good even in back pocket for such a big knife. It is good for slash and run since it has a long reach like a small sword. The Scimitar has a curved 4 inch very sharp blade and pocekt clip that fits nice in front pocket. I live in the country and for city use my Benchmade 910 stryker would be nice. It is smaller than big Gunsite and would be less obvious in the city.

Rich Lucibella
July 5, 1999, 05:34 PM
That Tanto point at the end of the Gunsite folder completely underwhelms me. If my understanding is correct that the Tanto design is made to enhance piercing capability, the use of such on a folder (especially a Cold Steel folder) seems to me an accident waiting to happen.

Stabbing strikes should be avoided with all folders at all costs, IMHO.

July 5, 1999, 10:41 PM
Rich, your right about the stabbing...
Knife fighting in general is to be avoided at all costs!
Real fighting knives and Combat knives are ment for utility on the battlefield... Not as a weapon.
If it comes to it... A knife sure as heck is better than nothing. Of course on the battle field - should my weapons run dry - and the fighting went hand to hand... The E-Tool would be better than that double edged EK Dagger I had during my green machine years... Each has its own advantages to be sure. Anyways...

The Mini AFCK, and the REKAT UTILITY have arrived - both are neat little knives. The Mini AFCK rides now... smaller - less frightening to the sheople who are in fear of getting skinned. The REKAT hangs via a neck chain. One Hell of a necklace for a Guy! Black T finish keeps it in shape while wearing it under your shirt. REKAT has discontinued them - so get one while you can before they are all gone!


Every man Dies.
Not Every Man Truely Lives...


July 6, 1999, 11:12 AM
Hi Morgan,

I carry a Spyderco Military (serrated) on a daily basis around work and a Bud Nealy Pesh Kabz with the longer five inch fixed blade when wardrobe permits.

Also keep an old Spyderco Police (serrated) in a fanny pack with my .45 in my car.

- Anthony

July 6, 1999, 10:37 PM
Don't buy an Emerson. His production models are not worth the money. His CQC7 is alot of handle and little blade. Priced 2X what they are worth. And machining on product is very poor. It's too bad Ernie is capitalizing on his name with inferior product. Now, his other production models, who knows? The others have received mixed ratings because of production defects-loose lockup especially. Buyer beware. However, the CQC series is a joke. EDI or MT Socom is well worth the $$. Or maybe a Emerson Commander (if you can see and handle it ahead of time).

July 7, 1999, 12:17 PM
Im a spydero fan for folders.....I carry a delica at work every day, and feel lost with out it...lol......I prefer the endura and have a couple but were I work I had to carry the smaller bladed knife---and like someone else said the whole in the blade is very quick and sure.......
I went on a trip to fla and left my knife home(horror of horrors there), and stopped in a little hardware store and checked out what they had and picked up a swiss victorinox I dont remeber what model but it has a locking blade of 4" length and has on the handle a straight back and a wavy bottom line,,,,it comes with all the normal bells and whistles and is not easy to open, you must use both hands, but its a fine folder...fubsy.

July 7, 1999, 02:26 PM
B.M. Mini-Stryker

Here in Michigan 3" is as long as the law allows. No problems in airports either. I just stick it in my planner for the trip through the X-ray

July 10, 1999, 12:41 PM
does anybody who write in this forum used a kinife to defend his/her bacon?
can you gibve a short narration of haw it was?
I will prefera handgun instead kinfe.
many the mexican kid.

July 11, 1999, 09:16 PM

[This message has been edited by Prichard (edited February 07, 2000).]

July 13, 1999, 12:34 AM
IMHO Emerson Commander (BT blade #876) has replaced every other folding carry knife I own (even the MT's). I have read some minor complaints of problems with some of the Emerson knives, but have never seen a problem. I own 2 and my girlfriend owns 2.

July 13, 1999, 09:30 AM
Ive personally never had to use a knife in defense or offense and I dont want to.....
When a bit younger and rowdier I hung in some pretty rough dives, a friend who was a rather large fella was a bartender in a particular biker bar in ElPaso, I was trying to hustle a little pool and an altercation broke out at the barend nearest the door, I looked up and started moving over that way as my friend was trying to get someone out of the place, my friend hoppy, was removing a man Ill call crazy c, hoppy was about 6'3 and 300+ lbs, crazy c, was 5'8 165lbs or so....well the hands started flying and crazy c was getting the worst of it as you would expect even though he was still getting his shots in, crazy c is finally out the door and Hoppy turns around and his front is rapidly covering with blood, it seems that in the rush of the situation crazy c had been stabbing hoppy with a 5" airforce survival knive, Hoppy didnt even feel the sticks....I dont remember how many stab wounds hoppy had, but he almost lost his life that night. If he had not had been as fat as he was the blade length might have reached a vital organ and he would have died.....crazy c went to jail for a few years, and I ran into him once after he was released--he's still crazy....hoppy died a few years later from a heart attack, Hoppy made the finest chili I ever stuck a fork in, he was a participant in many of the terlinquia chili cook offs and often a local judge/participant in chili cook offs.....he forgot to watch the hands......fubsy.

August 1, 1999, 09:40 PM
EMERSON COMMANDER. It is as fast to draw as a fixed blade via the wave. it has replaced everything i own and i am dieing to get another.

September 6, 1999, 07:57 PM
To MANY: Not me, but a friend of mine was down in Fla. and decided not to bring his off duty gun as he was flying. Well, he and a girlfriend got jumped. He was yoked from behind, and grabbed a Spyderco ( i believe it was a Co-pilot...tiny tiny knife) from his pocket top. He drove it into the perp's right leg just above the knee. Only problem was as he tried to rip upwards, it was stuck in the bone. So he yanked it out and stuck him again, and ripped. He tells me that as he was nearing the guys groin area he heard the most pleasing sucking noise coming from the skels mouth. This was just before the perp passed out. It turns out some off duty deputies saw the end of this, and grabbed perp number 2 as he was fleeing the scene. The local LE held his knife for about two weeks, before mailing it back up to him in NY. Hey, given my druthers, I'd rather have a bigger non folder, but then again, I'd rather have a tiny knife instead of NO knife at all.

George Hill
September 7, 1999, 09:01 PM
Well - it was a small knife yes - but it was a Spyderco...
Many knives out there - but Spydercos are the BEST PERIOD. They can get boring though... Just like HK guns can get. I classify 2 knife classes...
1. SC blades (Spyder - Co.)
2. OTSC (Other Than Spyderco)

But then I like to reduce problems to there simplest form. :)

BM CS Gigand all make good OTSC stuff... But given the choices... Spyderco...

"Supreme authority derives from a mandate from the masses. Not from some farsicle aquatic ceremony."

The Critic formerly known as Kodiac

September 7, 1999, 11:27 PM
I agree with George Hill, it's Spyderco all the way for me these days. I started carrying a Delica when I was in high school, and have since tried Emersons and Benchmades, but have come back to the Spyderco Delica. The handle may not be as comfortable as the Emerson, but I've found the Delica to be the best cutter I've ever handled.

I use it at the hospital I work at to open packages, at my other job to cut down cardboard boxes, and around the house to open mail and perform any other chores that have come along. It does so with very little effort on my part.

I've taken it on several airline flights without as much as a strange look from the security guard I hand it to. That's another great thing about the Delica. It's not intimidating to the doctors I work with, the airlines, and any one else I hang around with. It's light and flat and easy to carry. It is also plenty of knife to extract myself from a close quarters assault. I think that too many people expect their folder to perform feats that are best served by a full sized fixed blade, or for that matter a firearm.

I no longer feel the need to walk around with a 4" black coated bladed "tactical" looking knife. My Delica has proven to me that good things can indeed come in small packages.

September 8, 1999, 04:31 PM
Spyderco Delica
Carry it every single day, work, school, play. It's lighter than a feather, sharper than a pencil!

September 9, 1999, 12:55 AM
My everday carry is a Spyderco Police model with aluminum scales. I also have the same knife in steel, and also a steel Worker model. I too have gone through airport security with this model without raising any eyebrows. I cannot agree with some of the other posters that Spyderco makes the BEST knives. I have worked a magnetometer post on and off over the last 11 years and have seen thousands of knives come through. I have a little familiarity with some of the custom knifemakers, and have seen some impressive pieces. As to a commercial brand though, I once had a Cold Steel folder (don't remember which model)with a hammered and folded non-serrated blade (San Mai III Steel, Kraton scales or something like that)that I can truly say was the sharpest knife I have ever handled. When you have to expend a great amount of attention opening and closing a knife to prevent deep razor type cuts, you know it is sharp. My Police Models although sharp, are closed without any thought given to it. They don't come close to the amount of damage that Cold Steel could cause. Also, the Cold Steel out of the box could be used to shave with. Back then I was walking around with bald spots on my arms from showing off this knife to Co-workers :)

George Hill
September 9, 1999, 07:20 AM
If you like the Delica - Look at a steel Endura, the Delica's big brother. I think it may be the BEST of the Spyderco line.

"Supreme authority derives from a mandate from the masses. Not from some farsicle aquatic ceremony."

The Critic formerly known as Kodiac

Covert Mission
September 30, 1999, 07:52 PM
The Spyderco Wegner is nice... can do double duty as a field hunting knife, for which it was designed, but i think it would do fine as a fighter too, although the AFCK might be better (but less versatile).

I like the older version of the Sebenza too, by Chris Reeve, but he changed the shape of the scales and I don't like now. Check out some of Pat Crawford's designs too, if you have the $cratch. Microtechs are nice for production custom.... superb fit and finish.

I too, have been somewhat disappointed in looking at Emerson's production knives. Too much side-to-side play in the blade, for one thing.

I have a super custom damascus tanto sheath knife....really thick backbone, almost to the tip. Quite a stabber... the samurai used their tantos to penetrate bamboo body armor. it's too nice to carry though. Cotta check out the ceramic knives...

Anyone have some more good knife site URL's to post Here? So many knives, so little $$. I see so many in the knife mags that i can only dream about.

George Hill
October 1, 1999, 12:22 AM
The Wegner has just been discontinued...
So what will happen is when they are all sold out they are GONE. There is a similar model called the ProGrip. It costs less and is a very good knife. Toggle lock instead of Liner like the Wegner.

Not all Liberals are annoying... Some are Dead.
The Critic formerly known as Kodiac

Axel Yup
October 2, 1999, 09:54 AM
My daily carry knife outside the home is a Crawford Kasper Fighting Folder (KFF). It has a deep finger cutout which allows for a secure grip for thrusts even in the natural grip. The blade is wide with plenty of razor sharp belly for slashes. I did have Pat Crawford add 1/2" of extra unground edge near the pivot just in case the knife folds up accidently. This mod would spare a cut to my index finger.

I carry the knife without a clip in an Inside Pocket Knife Holster http://www.magills.com for total concealment. Once on the website click on "Our Complete List of Items" and then "Concealment Holsters." Scroll to the bottom of "Titles" and at the bottom of the list you will find the knife holster. Click on it for a picture and description.

I also feel that if you carry a folder which is not suitable for stabbing that you are greatly limiting the defensive ability of the knife. IMHO, thrusts are going to be your most effective fight stoppers.

At home I carry a Polkowski Scorpion. 4.5" of double ground blade in a nifty IWB Kydex sheath.

Check out Bob Kasper's site for info on both of these knives as well as others which he has designed.


I also have a Gaunt on order from Al Polkowski.


[This message has been edited by Axel Yup (edited October 02, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Axel Yup (edited October 02, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Axel Yup (edited October 02, 1999).]

October 2, 1999, 11:20 AM
Wegners are discontinued?! Are you sure about that? For a time, there was a cult following for those things over in bladeforums. I thought they were wonderful folders. What a shame.

Also, according to Spyderco's website, the Progrip is a lockback. Is there a toggle lock version coming out? Anybody got a picture of a toggle lock?

Just curious.

[This message has been edited by SB (edited October 02, 1999).]

H&K Fan
October 6, 1999, 12:52 AM

[This message has been edited by H&K Fan (edited May 25, 2000).]