LIVING ON THE EDGE: picking the right knife

Let me begin by saying i am not a martial arts instructor, just a regular guy who has learned a thing or two about knives and other edge weapons. This is not an instructional guide, or manual for being a bad ass. Now that being said, the first thing I’m always asked is why a knife why not a gun, my answer is you’re not always going to be able to carry or reach your gun, and a knife doesn’t need reloaded and with most knife stabbing strikes can be used with other items like a pen or car keys, I’ve even heard of using a drinking straw. Yes, ideally you would want a gun to keep as much distance as you can from an attacker. Most attacks are up close, usually within arms reach and well within striking distance of any blade or improvised weapon.


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Now the first thing you need to know about edged weapons and one of the most important things is your local laws, what you can and can not carry. Most places prohibit knifes with blades larger than Three or four inches, but lets face it your not Crocodile Dundee or the predator. Three or four inches is enough to do some real damage to not only tissue but organs as well, unless your being attack by a Jabba the hut sized attacker.

The next step is choosing your knife and in my opinion, there are only two real choices: fixed bladed knifes or folding pocket knifes. So I hope to help you find the best knife for you.

Lets begin with folding knifes. A pocket folding knife is obviously a knife that folds, fits in your pocket, and is probably the most common. Now what should you look for in a Folder, first thing you should look for isn’t how cool it looks (surprised right?), you want a blade made from 440 stainless steel or better, this will make sure the blade will stay sharp and is strong enough to do what ever you need to do. Next you need to pick what you want to use it for, I.E. work versus self defense. For self defense your going to want a spring assisted folder which have, dum dum duuummmmm, you guessed it a spring mechanism inside that helps it to open quicker, or with one hand and lets be honest if your attack you don’t want to fumble around. These type of knives usually have a thumb plate\knob on the blade or  on the back.Last but not least “blade wobble.” You can check this is when the knife is open and locked into place, then grabbing the blade (don’t be a dumb ass and grab it by the sharp side) with your index finger and thumb then trying to move the blade side to side and front to back.  If there is any wiggle to the blade then its probably, A. been used a lot, B. been thrown, or C, just cheaply made, eather way the knife is junk. Now you might be wondering “Wolfking, why is so important?”, Well if the blade moves that means that its not properly locked into place and can close on your fingers or snap the Axel causing it to just fall apart.


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Now let’s take a look a fixed blade knives. A fix blade Knife is harder to carry because they are harder to conceal do to the fact that they can’t be folded and put in your pocket. Every good knife starts with the steel, like with the Folder 440 or better. A full tang knife is what you what if you want a fixed blade. This means the metal that makes the blade runs all the way through the handle. Cheaper knifes will only have a rod welded to the blade, this are less expensive but tend to break very easily. Make sure the sheath for your knife will keep it secure, if you don’t have it you cant use it. A good grip is very important, I prefer ones with a rubberized textured grip or para-cord wrapped. Fixed blade knives tend to be more rugged than folders having no moving parts which is better if your in a situation you know your going to get dirty like camping outdoors.


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These are many other thing in considering what kind of edge weapon fits you such as other types of weapons, blade style, sheaths, But for now i hope you learned something. So remember be safe, know the law, and the best way to win a fight is to never let it start.


– Matt Mollett A.K.A the WolfKing

TWITTER @therealwolfking