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Hints about shtf knives

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by bdcochran, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. bdcochran


    Sep 23, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Hints about shtf knives
    I am a former dealer and as a kid went deer hunting and boy scouting. I have also been trained (getting rusty) in stick and knife fighting.

    1. Use Youtube
    Learn how sharpen knives and tools by watching videos. For example, Spyderco has a three cd /dvd set to watch on you tube about sharpening knives and tools.
    Watch the knife reviews on Youtube and listen to the comments.

    2. Read the buyer reviews about a specific knife on and on a number of knife selling websites.

    3. Understand that a knife is a tool. No one tool is versatile to handle all demands.
    Let me give you some extremes. You can be a pilot in Alaska, walk with bears in Yellowstone Park and wrestle with alligators in Florida. Or you can be the guy who lives in the city, the suburb and has his car breakdown sometimes on the wrong side of town. The needs are very different.

    4. Think about teaching basic safety to your loved ones before issuing a knife.

    Today, I am at Big 5 in Santa Monica, CA. The shopgirl is using a box cutter on a package and drawing it towards herself. I explain how to use a box cutter properly and that she should bring her own knife to work if the company will not issue her one. Last week, I give my girlfriend a folder knife. She is familiar with the French Opinel that opens and locks and is folds back differently. She is shown how to handle the new knife and does it until she understands.

    If your kid isn’t taught how to walk and carry a knife properly in his hand and he trips and falls and cuts himself, you failed him.

    5. Don’t believe what you see in the movies. One of my knife maker buddies does/has done the knives used in the Rambo series and other movies. Neither of us would carry the huge monster knives used in the movies. Don’t believe the war movies wherein guys are carefully honing bayonets to make them sharper. There is a reason that they are issued relatively dull and it is not to save money.

    6. Copy the manual that comes with the knife that you select and download the same into your computer.

    7. Obtain a decent sharpening system and know how to use it. Heck, I went to college. But I cannot maintain a 30 or 40 degree angle on a free sharpening stone. However, I can move a knife up and down vertically on stones that are properly angled, so I chose the Spyderco system.

    8. Think about carrying your folder in a two way pouch. Raine and Benchmade make them in different sizes. You may want to carry a folder horizontally on your belt instead of vertically.

    9. Think about your knife carry. There are carry systems for belts, drop belts, packs and so forth.

    10. Think about whether you want leather (rattle rattle) or material pouches.

    11. Think about how you want to use your knives. I put the following into each suitcase and car: a leatherman with a pair of scissors, a Victorinox Huntsman (wood saw and scissors) or old Champion, and a folder and an inexpensive fixed blade like a Mora.

    12. Think about whether you want to have a folder and/or leatherman in each knock about jacket, pack.

    13. Think about the appropriate knives for the significant other and the kids, if any.
    Mora makes wood handle, fixed blade knives. You can get the same fixed blade knife for about 1/3 the price if you take a composite handle. Mora makes the same knives with hand guards and without handguards. A Finn kid gets a Mora with a handguard when he is about 7 years old. When he demonstrates how to use the knife properly and uses it for a few years, he is allowed to cut off the handguard.

    You will learn that some of the comments also apply to other manufacturers of knives. They make a whole series of different knives using different scales (handles to those outside the industry), metals and blade types.

    My rule of thumb is that if the knife looks like a fantasy knife or is weird, I won’t buy it.

    14. Don’t underestimate the value of training or the dangers. The average knife fight is over in less than 20 seconds. I saw a kid draw a switchblade. His opponent was unarmed. The unarmed opponent kicked ass and ended up with the knife. Some people have the same attitude with firearms – get a mean looking gun or a mean, wicked looking blade and you win! No way. You are incompetent.

    In every class I have attended, people get seriously cut – and most cut themselves. The all time record was a girl who was going to take a kukri knife class and cut herself so badly before the class started that she had to go to the hospital!

    15. If it is too big to carry, you aren’t going to have it on you when shtf when you leave the movie theater, have a flat tire in a bad section of town, or when the threatening group approaches. I carried 5 knives in Afghanistan. My late wife always carried 3 knives.
  2. Lone Kimono

    Lone Kimono

    Jul 15, 2009
    16. Where are the suggestions ;)

    Good write up! Thanks for posting it!

  3. very good writeup. knives are alot more common than guns and can be made from just about anything to include toilet paper. very dangerous weapons to be aware of but also as important to know how to safely handle one.

    i still have my very first pocketknife my dad ever bought me when i was getting trained to use on in cub scouts. its a sak thats over 20+ years old.
  4. skew12


    Sep 13, 2012
    That's quite a bit of info. Nice.
  5. Deputydave

    Deputydave Millennium Member

    Feb 20, 1999
    +1 on the Mora knife. The sheath is pretty iffy, but it can be wrapped with paracord for a little reinforcement and of course the paracord is handy to have in-and-of-itself. Good carbon blade, easy to sharpen and keeps an edge. Of course, keep it oiled.

    I've carried a Spyderco Endura with the full serrations almost daily for 18 years. On duty and off. Hot, cold and lots of sweat. Used it on a variety of tasks without issue. Makes a great defensive weapon of course, but is an effective rescue tool (cutting seat belts or other material in an emergency).

    I have carried a Victornox Swiss Army Tinker for the same length of time. Just an all around handy pocket knife.

    I have a Cold Steel Voyager Tanto with partial serrations. Very nice knife which has found its way into one of my GHB's.

    Lots of other knives as I use to be a collector years ago, but these are my daily use and favorites.
  6. Good info. Always had loved knives but not well enough to fight decently with them.
  7. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

    Sep 16, 2008
    Martial Arts is a crapshoot. I seen plenty of Karate guys get their asses handed to them by some street thug. Same goes true with knife fighting.

    If you go to a class and the guy starts off with a reverse knife hold and does flowing slashing motions, you should offically be able to smack him in the mouth and walk out of the class. That crap will get you killed.

    It should be fast stabbing and slashing with a short blade. Think like fencing or a prison shiv attack. A longer blade like a Ka-bar on up will be better at slashing and chopping of flesh.

    No ghey flowing martial arts katas. Pulling a knife is serious business and like a gun should only be if your life is in danger and you need to kill someone. You can slash you way out of bad situation for a "possible" less then lethal option and getting jump buy multiple attackers, but all in all, you pull a knife your main goal is stabbing and slashing the bad guys vitals as quick as possible.
  8. BR549

    BR549 Thread Killer

    Jan 18, 2008

    I don't use leather much. My leather sheaths hold the knives tightly and are very quiet when bumped and when drawing.

    I choose kydex often. The knives don't rattle in the kydex, but the kydex makes noise when bumped and when drawing. Cordwrap can prevent the noise when bumped.

    I'd like to hear more about the 5 and 3 knives (or types) y'all carried.

    Nice thread. :thumbsup:
  9. Clutch Cargo

    Clutch Cargo Amsterdam Haze

    Nov 29, 2010
    A SHTF knife is more a tool than a weapon. It will get plenty of use chopping, prying, and cutting material.

    You pointed out interesting facts about knives as they relate to use as a weapon. It takes a very special mindset to be able to cut someone while looking them in the eye. Knife fights are also very brutal, bloody, and painful. It isn't the movies, you WILL get cut.
    Opponents with knives? That's why we have Glocks.:whistling:
  10. Clutch Cargo

    Clutch Cargo Amsterdam Haze

    Nov 29, 2010
    I agree.

    Too many arts are more about getting in shape, sport, and confidence, than defending yourself in the quickest, most brutal and efficient manner.

    I've known a number of folks that spent time in the joint. ALL street type fighting, whether armed or unarmed, is about going to work quickly and efficiently.
  11. FireForged

    FireForged Millenium #3936 Millennium Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    Rebel South
    Thats a whole lot of info... what exactly are we talking about. I thought this was gonna be about some heck hit the fan knife suggestions.
  12. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    Well said. :thumbsup: There’s nothing in your post that I’d disagree with, but these are so crucial as to be worth repeating over & over. Or maybe they’re just my personal hobby-horse soapbox points.

    No one single tool is “the answer”. About the time we decide on the “perfect” crowbar, we need a scalpel.

    On sharpening, my sharpening weakness is a plain old stone. I can get a knife sharp with one, but I can’t get a knife sharp with one, as fast as I should be able to. Give me my eze-lap and I’m hitting extremely-sharp in no time. Give me a mousepad and some sandpapers down to 6000 grit, and we’re hitting oy-vey-sharp pretty quick. But a flat stone, it takes me longer than it should; a failing of mine, but a minor failing as I keep eze-laps all over the place. (One of those “a man’s got to know his limitations” kind of thing.)

    Major +1 also on just having pocket knives or multitools in jacket pockets, glove compartments, briefcase pockets, etc. Like a flashlight or lighter, it’s one of those things that it’s hard to genuinely have ‘too many’ distributed around.
  13. Or a Navy Seal attack?:whistling:


    As for most martial arts studios, they do their students a great disservice because they don't tell them how it is in a real street fight. If it is sold as a fitness or confidence tool, like aerobic kickboxing, fine, but you teach someone that he is too deadly because of his twin crane flying over the grand canyon technique, and therefore, can't spar and get some real contact experience, is setting them up for failure.

    The first time you get popped in the nose, or the first time you do your magic technique and your opponent punches you back harder, you get to learn defeat first hand.
  14. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

    Sep 16, 2008
    I was going to post that exact video :rofl:

    Its funny because most Martial Arts teaches people how to defend against these one shot haymakers slashes, or these very stiff upward or downward stabbing thrust, while most street thugs who pull a knife on you will stab you like they (punch) jab you...repeatedly.

    [ame=""]Knife Attacks - YouTube[/ame]
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  15. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member Millennium Member

    Oct 28, 1999
    Blue Planet
    Here's my hints..

    1. Don't cut yourself

    2. Don't fight with knives, you'll probably cut yourself

    3. Knives aren't rocket science, don't cut yourself.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  16. Stevekozak

    Stevekozak Returning video

    Nov 9, 2008
    How did this thread get to be about knife fighting? I doubt many of us are going to be knife fighting post SHTF.
  17. Slackinoff


    Sep 20, 2011
    Awesome videos lawman800 and bilbo bagins
  18. RatDrall


    May 23, 2009
    I've completely changed how I think about SHTF knives.

    I sold all of my thin, short bladed fixed blade knives. I don't want to bother carrying a fixed blade knife if it is not thick enough to baton wood with, and a specific blade length between 4" and 5". The only things I use the fixed blade for are food and fire preparation, and shelter making.

    Anything short of that, I can do with a pocket folder like a Spyderco Delica or Endura, that take up half the space as an ESEE-3 or similar would.

    A Spyderco Delica and a Bark River Bravo 1 worked great this Summer for every hike and camping trip.

    Not even going to get into knives for fighting, other than to say that in prisons all over the country people are constantly killed with sharpened toothbrush handles and nails wrapped in tape. It doesn't take black coated blades, tacticool designs, or magic steel.

    Ever try force on force with a training knife and an airsoft pistol, at close range where fights start?

    A pistol is only dangerous in a straight line from its barrel, and it runs out of ammunition. A knife is dangerous to the touch, and is much harder to deal with at close range.

    There was a book written 20 or so years ago called "Put 'em down, take em out". It was 50 pages or so, and is long out of print. The book was about knife fighting techniques from Folsom Prison, and was pretty shocking to the martial arts community at the time. Most martial artists don't know what to do in response to a 'sewing machine' style knife attack, when they trained with a willing opponent who stabbed once then sat there to let them work their magic.

    Here's a good clip about what a knife attack is likely to look like:

    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  19. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

    Sep 16, 2008
    That is the other half of a good SHTF blade. If you have a solid, full tang knife, with a folding saw, and something to start a fire and you are pretty much set in a survival situation.

    I was big into lightweight hatchets back in the day, but the more I got into good batoning blades, the more I like them. Its most bushcraft/batoning knives are lighter than the lightest hatchet, and they are safer and easy to use. You have other uses with a good knife like food prep, gutting, skinning, carving, and self defense.

    The knife I carry in my pocket is more for opening packages and stabbing bad guys if I can't get to my gun. Currently its a Benchmade mini Griptilian, because I recently broke my CRKT M16. If the SHTF it can be pressed into service, but its hard to get a pocketable folding knife that would make a good survival knife. I have a Cold Steel Recon 1 folder that is not too bad, but its a PITA to carry.

    Going back to what bdcochran said though in his OP, teach your kids. So many kids today don't know how to use tool like hammers, screwdrivers and knives.

    I was actually going to start a thread on GNG about this. I have two young daughters that know how to swim, ride a bike, use tools, and use a knife. I see too many teenagers.. both male and female who have no clue how to function independently and use their hands, to the point where they slide their plate over to Mommy to cut their food up for them.

    Its really sad.
  20. UneasyRider

    UneasyRider C.D.B.

    Dec 1, 2005
    If you fight with knives you will get cut and bloody.