Advice On Blade Length Please


March 7, 2008, 01:50 AM
I recently good a great deal on a Camillus brand switchblade. SB are legal here as long as the blade is under 3". The blade on mine is 2.5".

Can someone please tell me:

1.) If I stuck my 2.5" blade directly in from the front would this be deep enough to penetrate to the human heart, on the average?

2.) Would it be long enough to cut the trachea (windpipe) ?


If you enjoyed reading about "Advice On Blade Length Please" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 7, 2008, 02:53 AM
1.) Not unless you've got Arnold doing it for you, the blade would have a hell of a time penetrading the sternum without enough force behind it to throw the person back 10 feet.

2. The windpipe? Sure. However, what you want is the carotid arteries on either side of the trachea.

You really should leave the surgery to the doctors, though.

March 7, 2008, 03:10 AM
Do a search of this sub-forum and it should become apparent that, to the experts on this subject, fighting with a knife is generally a Bad Idea (tm) to be avoided if at all possible.

Have a look through some recent and older threads to see what I mean.

Remarks by such people as hso and JShirley are usually pertinent, as is guidance from Steve (sm).

Just sayin'.

March 7, 2008, 06:33 AM
Camillus made two switchblades after 1958. You probably have the pilot's knife (their last knife under development before they went under was an auto and I don't think any were sold to the public). It is not the knife I would pick to carry or defend myself with if I had any other choice.

Why do you specifically ask about hitting the heart or trache?

March 7, 2008, 08:22 AM
Location, location, location. In Michigan, one of the first questions many officers ask if you are carrying a knife is "Why?" If you respond "...for defense", you go to jail. The sole weapon allowed in Michigan is a handgun. To even own a switchblade, you have to have literally only one hand.

My former superintendent (when I was a HS principal) went to jail for a rather lengthy time for pulling a switchblade on a fella. Bet you didn't see that one comin' did ya?! :evil:

March 7, 2008, 09:02 AM

1.) If I stuck my 2.5" blade directly in from the front would this be deep enough to penetrate to the human heart, on the average?

Given that the human hearts location starts at a depth of about an inch and a half to two inches, yes it would, but just barely. There's also a little bit of give as far as the ribs go, just not a whole lot unless you're bending the ribs out of place by using ALOT of pressure (as anyone who has done CPR on someone can tell you).

I saw an episode of Cops awhile back where a father defending himself from an attack against his drug crazed son stabbed him once with a regular Swiss Army knife and it penetrated his aorta and killed him within just a few minutes. If a Swiss Army knife (which doesn't have a lock and the blade on a SAK is roughly the same length as the blade on your your knife) was able to do that then I'm pretty sure that your 2.5 inch folder could do the same thing as it's not all that far from the surface of the skin to the middle or outer portion of the heart.

Model showing organs without the ribcage in place.

Downward view of where the heart is in contrast to the surface of the skin.

See what I mean?

The heart (depending upon the size of the person) is only a very short distance away from the surface.

The toughest part is and would be punching through the breast bone or rib cage in order to target the organs.

2.) Would it be long enough to cut the trachea (windpipe) ?

Yes it would since that's structure is even closer to the surface of the skin.

All that being said though, I wouldn't recommend using a blade as a primary weapon.

For one thing it exposes you to greater risk because you're closer to your attacker (which means that you're within range too) and for another there's usually a greater chance of prosecution from Law Enforcement even if you were completely in the right and you were just defending yourself from a legitimate threat that warranted using lethal force because using a knife to hurt or kill someone is looked upon with a great deal horror in most circles.

March 12, 2008, 09:24 AM
Thank you so much for the pix and the advice.
As I mentioned SB are legal here. It is intended as a last chance back up to my chemical spray and 9mm.

March 12, 2008, 09:35 AM

If you have one of the older Camillus switchblades you do not have a very good defensive knife. The locks are not very solid on them and the thing is valuable enough to a collector to sell or trade for a much (much) better knife.

Hitting the neck or heart is nearly impossible in a SD fight. The head moves, the arms move, the body moves. People reflexively (meaning faster than normal) protect the head and neck. It's terribly difficult to cut the arteries in the neck with anything other than a large sharp (very sharp) knife. The heart is just as bad with the protective cage of the ribs protecting it. It takes time and training to become remotely proficient going after these targets.

In addition to this, it takes quite a long time, in fight time, for someone to drop from even a severed jugular. Long enough to kill you.

I'm not saying do nothing, but I am saying that it sounds like you're operating from some fiction based assumptions.

The Tourist
March 12, 2008, 11:13 AM
Your forum members are correct, a knife is about the worst weapon for a fight, and I sell and service knives.

Not only can you be cut or injured because you are also within contact distance of your attacker, you're apt to cut yourself.

If your knife is sharp enough to do any good for real chores, then it is also sharp enough to seriously cut you if your hand slides forward onto the blade.

Now granted, people in Wisconsin and Illinois don't have the choice. They cannot get a CCW license. If they carry a knife (over a kubaton or pepper spray) they do so because that's all they're allowed.

Actually, a good exit strategy and condition yellow might do more for your security than any knife.

March 12, 2008, 07:27 PM
I own about 15 SB's and i wouldn't consider any of these to be any good what so ever in a fight. I just like things with moving parts and am a collector. I have some blades that I paid a hefty price too, some antiques made well, but none are made well enough for a fight.

I will say some are made well enough if I were the attacker, which I have no plan to ever be. And even then I would still use a gun.

The fact the switch blade mechanicly works the way most do, is just too weak for any serious self defence.

Kershaw makes some fair auto assist folders that I might consider in a limited sence as a last resort blade, which I had one of, but lost. One in a series of "Ken Onion" blades and not to pricey.

What I am trying to say is if you plan to use a SB as a last resort and it breaks you are really going to have a bad day.

There is a reason most real fighters are one hunk of steel. Of course courts and sheep don't like you to carry that sort of thing, as to them it looks like you were out hunting.

March 12, 2008, 08:41 PM
Just get a Benchmade Axis lock in a non auto configuration. With practice, they are as fast or faster than any auto version.

No SB blade restriction then.

March 12, 2008, 09:19 PM
You might consider carrying any one of a number of 2 AA flashlights. Both WalMart and Target sell 3W versions that put out over 70 lumens (the same power range as the original SureFire 6, but for 20-30$, and without the expensive batteries), and both will make excellent kubaton-type striking weapons.

I personally think a hard swat with a blunt object is likely to be instantly effective more than a short knife.


March 13, 2008, 09:21 AM
Specific and lengthy training is a good idea before carrying a SB for self defense. That Camillus you mention is a terrible knife. Good chance it will open in your pocket. Good chance it will fold even though it's locked open. Good chance it will break if you try to stab anything with it. It was designed to be carried only in a dedicated pocket and for use in cutting nylon parachute cord only, not as a fighting knife. As issued, it wasn't very sharp and it was very difficult to put a decent edge on it.

March 14, 2008, 02:33 AM
My Camillus is VERY sharp, straight from the factory.

Again, my switchblade is legal here in VT.

Again, it is intended as a last resort weapon if the chemical spray doesn't
work and/or I don't have a gun on me.

THANKS to everyone for the feedback, especially the pics. Seeing where the heart is will help me place my shots in a lethal force situation, which I pray never happens again.

Pax Jordana
March 14, 2008, 09:33 AM
Another plan for short blades, courtesy of some friend of Don Rearic's.
Obviously, because it’s so small and flexible, the razor's most used parts are the "corners". Restricted by his own particularities, the razor it's very demanding in use. The lightning-fast cuts are, generally, oriented to "key" targets (eyes, forehead, neck, wrist/elbow veins, etc.).

source ( Neat article, about street weapons in romania, iirc.

March 14, 2008, 12:15 PM
Don's a good guy. I haven't talked to him in a while...

If you enjoyed reading about "Advice On Blade Length Please" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!