Friday, October 17, 2008

a little help?

Two of my gunchicks have realized that they are responsible for their own defense and that any weapon is better than none at all, so they have decided to carry knives everyday. I am so very proud of them.

So to celebrate, I'm thinking of buying myself a knife. I already carry a 3" Gerber paraframe clipped to my pocket but I think now need a small dagger-shaped bootknife*, like this one. It's another Gerber, the right blade length, has a nifty tension-release sheath with a belt clip and is very tacticool in black.

My knife knowledge is pretty much limited to "Ooh! Shiny! Sharp!" so I'm wondering if this would be a good choice, or if anyone has another recommendation.

*I have checked Ohio's laws regarding knives and can't find anything referring to fixed blade knives or double edged blades, only switchblades.


Willorith said...

Madam Boudica:

An edged weapon, a sword, is appropriate for a warrior queen.
What does Ohio law have to say about open carry of swords?

Carteach0 said...

Breda, I own both the Paraframe and the double edged boot knife.

The boot knife is cute, but nearly useless compared to agood single edge folder, and frankly I'd rather have the Paraframe if I needed a defensive knife.

My boot knife is practically new, and without wear. That's because I never carry it. :-)

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

THAT's something you can attach to your bionics. You could probably walk through metal detectors that way with it, too.

falnfenix said...

i second Carteach0's comment - the Gerber is fine, but single-edge blades aren't terribly practical for carrying for protection. unless you intend to wear it on your belt, i'd skip it entirely.

that Gerber, on the other hand, is a fine blade.

tanksoldier said...

I'd advise the opposite of some.

You're far more likely to need a knife as a tool rather than a weapon. A single-edge or "false edge" knife is far more practical as a tool than a dagger but can be adequate as a weapon at need.

Karl Keller said...

I have that double edged knife--currently lent out to a young female relative who carries it _very_ discreetly inside the waistband ahead of the hip at about the two-o'clock position.

timmeehh said...

Unless you have TRAINING in defensive knife use, don't ever pull a knife on a man. He WILL take it away from you.

Never take a knife to a gun fight.

West, By God said...

timmeehh... i would revise that. Unless you have training in defensive knife use, don't ever pull a knife on a man who has training in defensive or offensive knife use. Most criminal scum won't realize what you are doing until you have it buried hilt-deep in their gut.

Frankly, I don't worry much about a knife as a defense tool, because almost everywhere I can't carry a gun, I can't carry a useful knife either.

My choice of a daily carry knife (and I do carry it _every_ day) is the ToolLogic SL3 Fire.

It is not a defensive knife. It is a relatively cheap folding pocket knife, that is sturdy as all hell, AND you can use it to make fire. This is my "holy shit" knife. If I was ever lost in the wilderness and was given the option of having one single possession, it would be this knife.

doubletrouble said...

Wow, where to begin.
First, I agree that the single edged unit will be put to more use, & won’t give people fainting spells when you use it. I (& the wife) carry 3.5” or so pocket clip folders that are quickly deployed, yet don’t give off that “tactical” smell when used in a non-threatening situation. Any well-made name brand knife will carry the day; I’m partial to Benchmade, Gerber, SOG, & CRKT. The latter brand makes a cool little “flipper” type unit w/a 3” blade & spear point (looks like a double edge but isn’t). Good for sticking, if that’s what you want - it’s the Carson M16-01K. SOG makes a cool “assisted” opener which has an internal spring, but requires a finger push to get it open, thus avoiding the definition of an automatic knife.
By all means, do get the Gerber Guardian, but just ‘cause you want to (& you know you do- that’s the problem w/cutlery- mostly inexpensive enough to just have). Like Cart0 says above, it won’t get too much carry.
Jeez, I could go on for days, but do check out the CRKT M16 unit- I think you’ll like it. Good luck!

BasicaGuru said...

Hi Breda,

Which knife to carry is as much a personal choice as a carry gun is. I have been an instructor in Modern Arnis for many years. Arnis is a martial art from the Philippians that is known for its knife fighting.

Obviously you are considering the knife as a back up to the hand gun, not a primary defensive weapon. I personally would go to a knife first just because of my training. So, what to carry?

Consider first what situation would cause you to not have the handgun. Would it be because the location does not allow it or because you could not use the gun. The reason could be physical injury or gun malfunction or whatever.

When I train someone to carry a knife I always stress the ability to access the knife if you are on your back or belly. As a back up weapon you have to assume things have went bad for you to need it.

My primary knife is a Benchmade Mel Pardue lock blade that is 3 inches long. I myself would not carry a dagger type weapon because I prefer to fight with a reverse grip. But each to his own.

As far as training goes, it is just like becoming proficient with a firearm. I do think training is important, but I would not discourage someone from carrying a blade just because they do not have training. If someone does try to take it away, they are going to get cut trying.

If you can, try to find a video called Surviving Edged Weapons. It is a law enforcement training video that will show you what a person with training can do with a knife.


docjim505 said...


That ToolLogic is a neat looking blade! I don't camp so it isn't practical for me at all... but I think I'll be snooping around Gander Mountain for one!

As for carrying a knife for defense... I would think that some training should come first. Once you learn a bit about how to use a knife properly when the SHTF, you'll be in a much better position to decide which one is best for you.

When you do, I hope you'll share the info. My guess is that being a gunowner will become a felony sometime after Jan. 20.

fearsclave said...

Paraframes aren't bad knives. I still have one in my car crash kit.

Might I bring to your attention the Spyderco Endura (my current EDC knife) and its smaller look-alike, the Delica? Light, flat, nigh-indestructible, good blade steel, available in serrated, plain, or combo edges, pocket clips, one-hand opening, all-around kickass knives? My Endura has spoiled me for pretty much anything else.

If you're set on something less general-purpose and more stabby, Gerber makes some Rex Applegate-designed folders that are apparently pretty good.

Old NFO said...

Benchmade Mel Pardue... Double edges look neat, but unless you are trained, my opinion, they will do nothing but get you in trouble.

Tam said...

I have about fifty or a hundred you're welcome to paw through next time you're in town.

The only generalities I can offer are 1)If it's a folder, you want it to deploy fast and one-handed and 2)If it's a fixed blade, it needs to be small enough to realistically carry.

Buckshot said...

2nd on fearsclave's recommendations of the Spyderco Endura (longer) and Delica (shorter)Clipits.

Until 9/11 the Delica was legal for airplane carry, but that got shot down quickly.

Mine are combo edges, and when asked why I carry a knife like that I reply that I believe in seat belts but don't want to get roasted alive if one sticks, so that is my "seat belt escape tool".

Since most of Ohio's knife laws look to intent or why you carry, I ALWAYS list it as a "seat belt escape tool" rather than a knife.


timmeehh said...

West, by god,

I was giving that piece of advice specifically to Breda.

I have no knife fighting training, but I am confident that I could disarm a 5'0", one legged woman.

I am 6' and 195 lbs.

Breda, that is not meant as a put down, I am merely being realistic.
Stick to the gun, it will serve you much better.

Breda said...

Okay, let me clear up a few things here. First -I want to carry this knife when I can't carry my gun. For example, in a library. I would like to carry it discreetly, perhaps in the same manner that commenter Karl's relative does - inside the waistband. My paraframe is a useful tool but I have trouble getting it open in a hurry and I thought that a fixed blade, like a little dagger, might be better for that. I also would not be adverse to knife training.

Secondly, timmeehh, etc.. I wear a prosthesis. So I do technically have two legs most of the time. It's just that one isn't made of flesh and bone. If I'm wearing pants, usually no one can tell I'm different than anyone else. My small stature, however, would definitely put me at a disadvantage in a fight.

Brad said...

For what it's worth, I am a cop and I carry the exact same Gerber knife as you do.

I know that up here in my neck of the woods (in the suburbs of Detroit), a double edged knife or a knife with a blade longer than 3 inches is a no-no. The law is kinda obtuse, going on about a dirk, or stiletto and such, but the two prior points are the two criteria I use when I am deciding whether or not to give someone a hard time about the edged weapons they are carrying.

Oh, and the mechanical blade thing is illegal too, unless they have only one arm, there is an exception in the law for that.

As a subject control instructor for my agency, I like to train my people on using knives as a last resort option, but police administrators get queasy when we talking about killing people with knives. So we kind of have to do that stuff off the record.

Nothing wrong with more training and being better prepared. Certainly can't hurt. I would strongly advise some kind of training though, there is a science to knife fighting, just as there is to gunfighting. I did not find it to be an instinctive thing, in my experience.

Wai said...

Roger, fighting with a reverse grip on a knife limits your jabbing distance and your slashing capabilities. (See Marine Corps knife fighting videos).

Breda, at any given time, I have no less than 2 knives on me. I have a Swiss Army knife and a Leatherman multi-tool with a 154CM steel blade (this is the steel from which aircraft engines are made) which will retain an edge so sharp, it'll cut you just by looking at it. My folding knife is a Benchmade, again, with 154CM steel. The only reason I carry so many blades with me is because up here if freaking liberal Long Island, I can't get a full-carry gun permit, and if I forget to put my folder in my back pocket, I have two backups.

I like the double-edged knives and will eventually get another one in the near future (I gave away my first one to my cousin). It is great for slashing and jabbing. But get one with a wider hilt/finger guard. The last thing you need is your hand to slip over the narrow hilt and slicing your hand on the blades.

I suggest a lockback (preferably from Benchmade, Cold Steel, Ontario Knife Co., Buck or Gerber) and a double-edged knife as backup. I prefer Benchmades with the sliding release button; I can pull back on the button and flick the blade open and lock it back by releasing the button I pulled back.

Oh, I highly recommend the Chef's Choice 3 stage knife sharpener with the stropping stage. I can restore the edge on my knives to arm-hair shaving sharpness!!

Jenny said...

Ooh, does Tam have the pointy toys!! :)

I can say my favorite pocketknife was one of the smaller benchmade axis-lock models. Quick to open, comfortably solid lock, handy... and a definite source of comfort in the face of an overly aggressive panhandler in NYC once upon a time.

That said...I can't help but think a better investment might be a couple years in a (good) martial arts class. Not for any "eschew icky weapons" ideas, but because - like dancing - the human body only moves in so many ways. It's a good general base to extrapolate from, regardless of what might happen to be near at hand in the library some awful day.

madsaintjack said...

I like the Ka-Bar TDI.

I undid the belt clip and carry it in the pocket. The knife is drawn by pushing the sheath off with the thumb.

I will bring it to Indy to show you.

For inside the waist band I have an older version of this:

Attached to a belt loop with para chord.

madsaintjack said...

Any Scot in you???

and don't forget I have a present for you, which you can carry in a non-permissive environment.

Jay G said...

I carry the same Gerber, actually. Bought it for something like $18 off Amazon as a "filler" for free shipping (yeah, I know, I spent more on the knife than shipping would have cost...)

What I like about it is that if I wind up going somewhere that searches, I can toss it in a trash can and only be out $18.

That said, if I were going to be carrying an expensive knife, I'd go with an assisted opener like the Kershaw Blur. I've got the Ken Onion Leek right now, and the blur is a larger version.

They're very simple to use, insanely sharp, and not a lot of money (you can get the Blur at Wal-Mart for around $50).

Another option is the "Homeland Security" line from, of all places, Smith & Wesson. I bought their serrated folder at the S&W factory last year, and it's got a buttery smooth action that's nearly as slick as an assisted opener - with no assist.

Just some thoughts from a cheap bastard... ;)

ansel said...


For someone just starting out, I highly recommend the Spyderco P'Kal. A bit pricey for a production folder, but you really DO get what you pay for. I'm one of those shifty escrima guys who happens to be fairly good with the blade; I recommended the same knife to my partner, who while very well trained with his Kimber, is pretty much lost when it comes to blade work. He viewed Southnarc's videos and bought his P'Kal that night.

Check out Southnarc's website - he is the designer of this knife. He has some excellent primers on using this blade, with links to YouTube video demos.

The drawstroke is simple, and the techniques for using a P'Kal couldn't be simpler. If you want to get the most from using your P'Kal, I recommend Southnarc's 'Reverse Edge Methods' videos.

Another choice that is a bit outside the box, have you considered a Taser? I happen to carry an X26c on duty, and it has done more to keep the peace than my XD Tactical. Most 'mentally challenged' ""patrons"" know their behavior doesn't warrant a lethal force response, so having a .45 is not much of a deterrent. EVERYBODY has seen Taser videos on YouTube, they all know it is extremely effective, and that is is considered a much lower level of force than a firearm or baton. They have figured out (correctly) that I can get away with tasering them at the drop of a hat.

The point is, as a small statured female who, due to a prosthetic limb is not afforded the option of running away from a confrontation, you can get away with tasering a scumbag a lot sooner & easier than I (a marvel of manly prowess) could.

Finally, even here in the People's Republik of Kalifornya, you do not need a permit to carry a Taser concealed.

Weer'd Beard said...

The wife and I each pack one of these when we don't have a gun:

the 2" straight blade. It isn't even considered a weapon under most state laws so I can carry it anywhere where I can carry my Kershaw liner-lock pocket knife.

This would likely include the Library posted "no Weapons"

Also the angle of the grip on the Ka-Bar TDI makes it VERY intuitive to use, and very safe as your hand won't slip down the blade on a trust.

Enigma said...

Great commentary all. But no one has addressed the legal issue.

First off...I am not an attorney and this is not intended as legal advice. But I am highly confident your attorney would give you this recommendation. If challenged by a LEO as to "why" you are carrying a knife, be sure to say to say it's "a tool." You use it to open boxes, cases of books...whatever. DO NOT say you carry it for self defense. You can (and very well may) be charged with carrying a concealed weapon. It has happened to many people who answered that very innocent question of "why" when asked by a police officer.

Ohio law says its okay to carry a concealed firearm (with the requisite license) but get a young LEO out to impress his sergeant, and you might be in trouble -- even though carrying a knife, for many, makes common sense. I carry one. Its a tool.

Also keep in mind that in self defense your goal is to stay as far away from the bad guy as possible. Unfortunately, use of a knife for self defense requires you to be upfront and personal with Mr. Scumbag. If the entire intent is to stay as far away from trouble as possible, relying on a knife puts you in close proximity to danger. I would rely on a firearm, personally. But there are those places, like a public library, where those irrational signs have been posted at all the entrances. I understand the concern, and the need to have a way to defen one's self.

Bottom line: Remember...if you are ever asked...the knife is a "tool."

ansel said...

>Also keep in mind that in self defense your goal is to stay as far away from the bad guy as possible.

Agreed, unless you're unable to keep your distance for some reason, like having only one leg...

In which case, a contact weapon err... I mean 'tool' becomes the ideal solution when the firearms aren't available.

Check out Jennifer Garner's fight scene with a plus sized terrorist in the movie "The Kingdom".

Less said...

Remind me to give you a Tuff Writer when I see you...

I'll see if I can't dig up a few good "usage" videos for you too...

ansel said...

Interesting bit about the Tuff Writer. A tactical pen would be pretty much invisible on a daily basis, especially in the hands of a librarian.

Surefire makes a very nice model with a retractable tip.

BasicaGuru said...

"Blogger Wai said...

Roger, fighting with a reverse grip on a knife limits your jabbing distance and your slashing capabilities. (See Marine Corps knife fighting videos)."

Wai I am not looking to start a who knows more type argument and I normally would not respond someones comment, But...

A reverse grip accomplishes several goals.
First the knife moves as the hand does. Punch, block or parry like you normally would and the knife is there. A new set of skills specific to the knife is not necessary to learn.
Second a forward slash pushes the blade tip back and can force the hand open. Simple leverage. With a reverse grip the blade pushes against the forearm if it is forced back.
Third The thumb under the butt of the knife braces it against push back, keeps the fingers safer.
Forth As I stated, it is my preference. I have trained both ways, can use a knife either way but with a shorter blade I prefer a reverse grip. Give me a bayonet to carry every day and I just might do it "the regular" way.

Vincent said...

I have the Paraframe and carry it daily.
I am a big fan.

It is small enough that it doesn't impede, and substantial enough should it be needed. Unless you are in a really crappy situation, in which case a knife probably isn't going to be sufficient.

I would prefer the Benchmade I got issued when I was in Iraq, but it is 1) Bigger & Bulkier. 2) Spring-opening. (as I understand it, it isn't "technically" a switchblade, but it's close enough that I don't want to have that conversation with Officer Friendly.


Earl said...

Well, I go mostly with Tam, a folder will only work if you can open it one handed in a hurry, Murphy and I say it will be in the wrong place for the wrong hand when you need it most. I would go with a oyster knife or a sheath knife positioned so you could grab it with either hand and slash and stab - I am more in favor of stabbing than slashing unless lots of blood is your desire to bathe in. So you stab twist withdraw and stab twist and withdraw again - do it with a ham (with bone) for practice, and ribs before cutting them apart and cooking.
both hands, either hand, practice. Four inches minimum if killing quickly is your choice, but you could go for less if just being a bother would work (it won't in a deadly situation.) Everyone makes choices, and they live with them.