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Old February 21, 2002, 11:27 AM   #1
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can't help but ask this one

As an ex-military officer....Vietnam....Phung Hoang program, ex-leo and ex-security manager....and avid knife and gun knut.....

I've never been involved in a knife-fight....took one away from a crazy kid once but never been in a knife-fight and don't know anyone who has....whether they be long-term military or LEO vets.

Now, don't get me wrong, I tote a Benchmade auto, sometimes two at a time....and am more than willing and prepared to use them....but, I repeat....NEVER been in knife-fight.

So, the question.......(pregnant pause here )......

What's with all of these "combat" and "tactical" knives now on the market...what's the attraction and more importantly, why do they cost so damned much....?????

Seems to me that the more sinister (spell and serrated) the piece, the more they sell for.....Emerson's, etc....

Maybe I'm just missing something....maybe I don't understand...but I'm certain someone out there can help me.
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Old February 21, 2002, 11:46 AM   #2
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I only know one person who's been in a knife fight, I'm not even sure what kind of knife it was because it happened so fast. my friend got sliced in the head a little and the kid who pulled the knife took off running as soon as he realized there were about six grown men standing there that weren't on his side. anyhow, I'm not sure what the appeal is, I for one would rather have my trusty old buck than any of those "combat" knives, they just seem like a defense attorneys worst nightmare.
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Old February 21, 2002, 12:27 PM   #3
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I would rather defend a shoot than a stab.

What's the deal? To make money!!! Nothing wrong with that (someone please tell the rest of the weapon industry).
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Old February 21, 2002, 12:42 PM   #4
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run that one by me again

You'd rather defend a shooter than a stabber?

Elaborate please.....

Seems to me that it ain't no big deal least in most parts of the nation....for a guy to tote a pocketknife....and if he happened to be attacked....for him to use whatever was at hand to defend oneself.

The firearm on the other hand....that tends to require conscious thought to have presence of mind to 1) have it with you , 2) have it in close enough proximity to use/access, 3) be proficient....

I would think that the firearm would be more difficult to defend if the "reaction" exceeded the moving action or proximate cause of the confrontation...

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Old February 21, 2002, 03:13 PM   #5
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"Tactical" sells.

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Old February 21, 2002, 04:18 PM   #6
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so, then?

A decade ago we had a gazillion "urban cowboys" with their Levis, Tony Llama boots and expensive cowboy hats....

NOw we have the "urban guerrillas" with their "tactical vests", "tactical boots", "tactical sunglasses/eyewear", "tactical flashlights" and of course, "tactical blades"......

Man oh man, wish I'd have seen it coming and gotten in on separating these "guerrillas" from their hard-earned yuppie pay...

Oh well....that's my story...."dollar short and a day late" or even worse...."buy high and sell low".....

Okay guys, dont' go flaming me...I'm having fun here.
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Old February 21, 2002, 06:12 PM   #7
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I view the knife more of a tool than a weapon. Alot of the Mexicans around here grew up in a knife culture becouse they weren't allowed to own guns. I am glad that I can carry a gun and it is the first thing I would go for in a life or death situation.
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Old February 21, 2002, 07:02 PM   #8
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Of course, I invest heavily in the traditional kitana, for use in my martial arts class. In the process of acquiring martial arts equipment, I have had the opportunity to observe several catalogs for "tactical" knives. As a rule of thumb for knife catalogs, if it's black, serrated, curved, and lightweight (i.e. aircraft aluminum or titanium), then it's considered "pretty." Pretty things are more expensive than ugly things. My Chicago Cutlery steak knives are low-tech and "ugly." However, in a dagger fight, I'd pit my steak knives against any of those "tactical" blades.

Most people who buy the knives out of those catalogs are not interested in practical application of self-defense. They want something pretty to hang on their belt, next to their cell phone, and look cool. Cool is also expensive.
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Old February 21, 2002, 09:42 PM   #9
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I was in a knife fight once. Young and foolish, and a lady was involved. Not really proud of it now, but it happened. My knife was a Buck Folder, and it did just what I wanted it to. I won.
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Old February 22, 2002, 09:51 AM   #10
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What's the attraction?

Respect, like most marketing ploys. "Buy this knife," it implies, "...and men will respect you. Women will want you."

"This knife," the implication continues, "Is so completely, totally, and mind-numbingly fearsome that no one but a bona fide combat veteran, a survivor of countless campaigns, could possibly carry it. You know the kind of man we mean--they type who crawled through countless miles of Hu Phuc Yoo swamp with a perforated liver and half of his intestines trailing behind him, dragging six of his best buddies out of the bush. A REAL man. This knife requires THAT kind of a man to carry it."

Other times the implication is one of hands-down bad-a$$edness. "Buy the Ninjatronic Deathmonger 5V Tactical, in Surgical Stainless Steel with a non-reflective, Mil-spec, Tactical Kill-O-Matic coating, and become an instantly recognizable A$$-Kicker. No one would DARE to confront you, while you carry this knife. And even if they did, Whoo, Boy, would THEY be in for it!! Heck, we HOPE somebody brings it on to you when you carry THIS thing! Man, alive!!"

Of course, the point that seems to get lost in all of this flurry of tacticality is that a Buck 110 will still cut you just as deep, and kill you just as dead. If size and serrations are all you're looking for, then you're looking for a Pruning Saw. 12+" of blade, MADE for cutting through a tree, for around $20 at your local department store.

Me, I'd rather have a brain and a usable knife.
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Old February 22, 2002, 12:52 PM   #11
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The Buck 110 and pruning saw are hader to carry and slower to open than a Spyderco or Benchmade. A knife is a nice lethal force option especially where firearm carry is prohibited. I don't think that there are many "knife fights," but there are probably quite a few defensive knife uses. Like defensive gun uses not involving shots fired, they probably don't always involve a cut or stab.
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Old February 22, 2002, 12:59 PM   #12
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To quote Marc "Animal" McYoung...

... "knife fights are very rare"

If the other guy starts it, it will be an asassination, and you probably wont have time to draw your own knife (those who go round brandishing knives generally don't last long).

If you have any role in starting it, it's called murder.

If you "defang the snake" then your opponent is no longer in need of cutting, and continued use of your knife will put you in jail.
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Old February 22, 2002, 07:30 PM   #13
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If someone comes after you with a knife, it's not too hard to defend yourself. They are so intent on cutting you that they don't think about anything else. Anyone who has taken any Aikido (or any other grappling art for that matter) could tell you how disarm an adversary.

The previous people were right, though. Carrying a knife and cutting someone is way more legal hassle than it's worth. I'd much rather have to explain kicking someone's ass with my bare hands than with a weapon.
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Old February 23, 2002, 03:07 AM   #14
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They are so intent on cutting you that they don't think about anything else.
Surprisingly, being intent on cutting someone is a fairly effective strategy and not to be underestimated.
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Old February 23, 2002, 04:24 AM   #15
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After my one ten week knife class I will respectfully disagree with MrClark, defending against a knife armed opponent is not going to be easy. While in some cases the disarm may go well I sure wouldn't want to give it a try, neither would my cop friend who took the class with me and he has been studying Akido for years.

I think KSFreeman was refering to the public perception of knife users in court. Really no reason for the difference but that is the way it is. I hope he will elaborate, his courtroom experience would be worth hearing.

The main thing I learned from the class was to fear the knife armed opponent. Never underestimate a knife armed adversary, even if they have no training and experience.
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Old February 23, 2002, 09:01 AM   #16
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From what I know, the result of working with large crews of migrant farm workers, You have learned well Grasshopper...

MANY of the men I worked with had several FEET of knife scars, numerous puncture wounds, and pieces missing. For Saturday night recreation a knife, machette, axe or hatchet fight was not unusual.

I particularly remember that one day two of my most intelligent workers and I were riding to the barn to put up a few thousand bales of hay and the one farthest from me had a large gauze patch on his shoulder and an obvious indentation of about an inch or two deep and the size of a large egg in his shoulder. I asked him about it and with a big grin and some cussin he said that the fellow next to me, his best friend, had cut him with an axe the night before because Man #1 was on top of man #2's woman having sex. Man #2 took an axe to Man #1 who was "in the act and wouldn't stop when yelled at". Man #2 was proud of the fact that he climaxed with Man #1's woman anyway and then got up and "smacked man #2". They both laughed and man #2 said "yeah but you bled a lot and yelled some when I slapped that Chewing tobacco into the hole and tied it in with a rag. Both of them then commenced with a lot of laughter about how the woman didn't seem to care that much about either one of them and that Man #1 looked funny naked and bleeding all over the place. They were still best friends and man #1 didn't miss a day of work. Man #2 laughed and said if he did it again, meaning having sex with the woman, that he'd take the axe to the woman and man #1 both and not stop with one silly swat of a dull axe. They just laughed like that was the biggest joke. Man #1 said man #2 never did learn how to sharpen an axe.

All language changed to protect the innocent here from the full reality.

Years after this situation, it came to light that the little "motel" these folks stayed in had SEVERAL dozens of bodies burried in shallow graves behind the building.

Do any of us want to fight with someone who is so used to cutting and being cut and witnessing killings and serious damage with edged weapons -- and laughing about it -- and folks that think an axe fight is funny????? I know my answer.
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Old February 23, 2002, 10:11 AM   #17
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You got it--perception. In my experience it comes from a couple of reasons:

1. To use a knife (unless you a Surfer Ninja like don'tshootit'sme who can hurl his sword across the courtyard or boardwalk from his mountain bike to stop BGs) you must be in contact range with your target. You cannot fall back and use time, distance, marksmanship; you must close or be close to the threat.

2. Using a knife in self-defense is not like cutting yourself in the kitchen at breakfast slicing a bagel. The prosecutor (Commonwealth Attorney, District Attorney, State's Attorney, Prosecuting Attorney, etc.) will have some ugly photos (blown up on posters) to show the jury at your trial. Raise your hand if you have ever seen bullet wounds that do not bleed immediately (Hey, I think I'm hit--last time I was hit [.22] I thought it was sweat running down my chest). Some bullet wounds do not require that many stitches as knife wounds (especially the slashing kind in defensive use).

3. The jury will have personal experience with getting cut even if by accident. They know it hurts and can empathize with the "victim" (your threat). "Oh, that poor person." Clint Smith at TR gives the example of punks giving cops the finger when having guns pointed at them vs. having a knife drawn. Different reaction because lots of people have been cut vs. shot.

4. A firearm creates distance from the act. How many have heard--"Oh, I could shoot someone but I could never stab someone" or "that's why guns cause crime because it's real easy to shoot someone rather than stab them." Guess what? You'll hear that on voire dire too! It's as if the knife has some form of malice around it when shown to the jury. (O.J. anyone? "Oh, they never found the knife. It's a perfect little weapon if you want to kill your wife." Well, Furman found it but 1. Clark was a weapon-ignorant bonehead and fixated on something else, 2. the DA abandoned Furman before and after his testimony).

5. The use of a knife creates a sort of presumed intent to do a criminal act (wrongly I agree) that you must overcome because of distance, manner of use, etc.

6. The city and area where I do business (about a five county swath along I-65 between Indy and Lafayette), guns are not usual. Lots of people own firearms and carry. If told someone is carrying a firearm, people (i.e., potential jurors) will yawn and shrug. Even some of the cops here are into guns and include several gun writers (yeah, I know) and instructors at "national" academies. Even the Marion County (Indianapolis) Prosecuting Attorney, recently had a new conference on how people should carry their derringers (they shouldn't but that's another topic). Imagine that in Illinois or New Jersey?

Good facts make a good case (from my perspective). To be fair, I have had good luck pre-trial with prosecutors and self-defense with edged weapons (last one was a sword, one of those Conan swords that they sell in the catalogues at gunshows or in the back of gun rags--they do the job believe it or not). However, shootings have not even been filed on (grand juries not required here).
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Old February 23, 2002, 10:37 AM   #18
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guns are not usual. Lots of people own firearms and carry

Did you mean to say, not "UNusual"?

I don't carry a knife with a name like "Defender Special" or "Combat Avenger" for the perception reasons mentioned above. There are some very good quality knives that have militant names that I would prefer to carry, but will NOT because of the name.

Better to know what you don't know than to think you know what you don't know.
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Old February 23, 2002, 10:55 AM   #19
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I bought a nice all steel (no cool black grips) CCKT knife. It's thinner than those huge gripped 'tacticals' and it has a blade big enough to do plenty damage. I think I would rather have it than a huge slab for rubber and plastic in my hand. Plus it can slide into my pocket (any of them) .

I would rather have my Springfield or KelTec for "REAL" defense.
If I have to stab them then I'm guessing we'll both be injured in some way, which sux.

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Old February 23, 2002, 11:37 AM   #20
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Cap'n, yikes! Should be "un." I would blame the secretrary but it's Saturday morning.
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Old February 23, 2002, 01:06 PM   #21
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Jody, those kind of things only happen in movies, not in real life. That's a fact, as many of our resident 'experts' can tell you.

Isn't it amazing how sheltered most Americans are?

Amazing and not good! You can learn a lot from the wrong side of the tracks, where life has some bite to it.

Better to know what you don't know than to think you know what you don't know.
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Old February 26, 2002, 04:14 AM   #22
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I carry one of those "tactical-looking" knives. It's truly evil-looking, with a saw-tooth on the lower half of the blade, and sort of a tanto-style point. It's got a clip on the side so I can hang it inside the pocket of my jeans and get it out without having to dig for it. It's got a thumb stud so I can easily open it one-handed.

I use it all the time. The blade is nice and sharp, perfect for opening my mail. The saw tooth is great for sawing through tough stuff, like twine wrapped around a parcel. I can get it out of my pocket and open the blade without setting down the burrito I'm eating, or the grocery bag I'm carrying.

I wish it wasn't goofy-looking, but when I was shopping, that's all I could find. I'd much rather carry something that looks like the Old Timer my dad gave me when I was 6, with all the same features.

I carry a Glock for self-defense, though.
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Old February 26, 2002, 07:05 AM   #23
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Richard Marcinko (aka Rogue Warrior) made a comment in one of his fiction books that provides excellent reason to avoid a knife fight if at all possible. He states that in a knife fight, you WILL be cut, even if you win.

Use the rules for minimizing radiation exposure to minimize injury in a knife fight. Time, Distance and Shielding. Get out of range as quickly as possible, put as much distance between you and the knife as possible and try getting something between you and it.
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Old February 26, 2002, 08:31 AM   #24
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I am not trained in knife fighting, and I know that an untrained person with a knife is likely to find temselves in deep doo-doo when they try to use it as a weapon. I blame a lot of the modern fascination with "Special Covert Ops Black Tactical Commando" knives on that overblown pig-sticker in the Rambo movies.

As someone said above, a knife is a tool. I have not been without some sort of pocket knife since I was a Cub Scout. I've been through Swiss Army knives, Buck folders, Leathermen and a host of others. I did not carry them as weapons, I carried them for times when things needed to be cut.

Now I carry a Columbia River M16-13Z. It's light, it has the pocket clip and it opens one handed, a blessing when you have to hold the object to be cut in the other hand. Yes, it has those deadly-looking serrations, which came in handy when Thelma's AC compressor froze up on a trip and I had to cut the belt loose.

My sister from NYC (I love her but she's a bliss ninny) saw the knife one day and was horrified. "What do you need THAT for?" she asks. I explain the whole tool philosophy, sparing her sensibilities by neglecting to mention the concealed 9mm on my hip.
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Old February 26, 2002, 10:13 AM   #25
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Well, I own not one but TWO 'tactical' knives. One is a Benchmade AFCK (which we all know stands for Advanced Folding Camp Knife, not Combat Knife ), and the other is a REKAT Carnivour. Why did I pick these over other similar, less 'tactical' models?


The REKAT, especially, fits my hand perfectly and the scales are made of a weird fusion of Velcro and G-10 that just plain sticks to my hand. It affords a firm, comfortable grip that truly isn't going anywhere, whether my hands are slick from sweat or from the blood of fallen foes ( ). Plus, the blade is Talonite, so it isn't rusting in this lifetime and holds its edge well under use and abuse.

The axe bites into the door, ripping a hole in one panel. The maniac puts his face into the hole, cackling gleefully, "Here's Johnny...erk."
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