Good choices for Primary Defensive Folders


March 25, 2009, 08:00 PM
Below are some of my favorite knives when it comes to Primary Defensive Folders. These are not for opening boxes or cleaning your nails but rather for SD if by choice, regulation, or law you carry folder. Even though many people go on an on about how if you are going to a knife fight you want a fixed blade, the truth is about 75% of us carry a folder every day. Gotta dance with who brought ya.

Left to right

Benchmade Skirmish (this one is customized)
Emerson CQC8 modded to tip down carry, excellent blade shape for SD
Benchmade Deja Voo
Benchmade AFCK (pre AXIS lock)
Spyderco Chinook GEN I (GEN II has more of a Persian blade profile)
Al Mar Payara
Spyderco Military

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March 25, 2009, 08:34 PM
Spyderco Endura for me

March 25, 2009, 08:51 PM
If, for some incredible reason, I had to defend myself and only had a folding knife, I would want it to be a Spyderco Chinook. Since that's not my primary reason for carrying a knife, I usually carry a Spyderco Native. Sometimes I'll carry a Salsa for variety. :)


March 25, 2009, 08:53 PM
Fixed blade! Fixed blade! LOL

March 25, 2009, 10:48 PM
If I knew I was gonna be in a knife fight I would go a different way.

I like the Endura as well, we use the trainers in classes.

Big Daddy Grim
March 25, 2009, 10:59 PM
I actually carry a auto columbia river knife I have grown to love takes a great edge and holds it.

March 25, 2009, 11:03 PM
I carry a Al MAR SERE 2000 for cutting things.

March 25, 2009, 11:07 PM
If I carry a knife for defensive purposes, it's a knife I can use for many tasks. My current No. 1 choice is a SOG Mini-Vulcan. I like the Spyderco Endura also with a plain edge, but I have several different Enduras. The Enduras are mostly work knives for me.

But honestly, the most common blade I'll have with me is a SAK Adventurer. I am no knife fighter, nor do I want to think that way.

March 25, 2009, 11:15 PM
What way

March 25, 2009, 11:25 PM
I carry a revolver for defensive purposes. I have no need for a special blade that never gets used. "What way"..... knife fighting and possibly killing someone with a blade.

By the way, nice collection of tactical blades.

March 25, 2009, 11:42 PM
When folk say knife fighting, I'm always afraid they envision some knife vs. knife duel. That almost never happens.

The only defensive place for a knife is when you, the good guy, are being overpowered or attacked and can't quickly access your firearm(s). If you were suddenly being choked from behind, for instance- that might be an ideal time to use a knife defensively. (The way a good many of us carry our PDW on our dominant-side hip, a choke from behind would prevent us from drawing our concealed firearm.)

I don't foresee anyone managing to close the distance and surprise me like that, but it's always better to have multiple ways to escape situations. In general, I prefer other defensive tools, but something like my favored AA lights wouldn't be nearly as effective as a sharp knife in a situation like the one I'm describing. I prefer kinetic force to stop threats quickly, but if you have nearly no distance to build power and speed, something that'll make a hole with just a bit of pressure might be just the thing.

As far as a "special blade that never gets used"- well, that's why knife killing/cutting isn't my primary mission for the knife. I want a knife that's convenient, strong, cost-effective, fast, reasonably light and useful for many daily tasks, and it can't look overly threatening to the average citizen where I live. That rules out EDC of a Chinook for me. Since it *could* be called upon defensively, I want a knife that is all the things I mentioned previously, plus large enough to make a quick dent in an assailant.


March 25, 2009, 11:45 PM
Dude, you couldn't have said my feelings on the matter any better. I don't specifically carry a knife for defense, but I honestly have really come to view my Endura as the "fighter" of my bunch. I have to say, now that some of the new-knifeitis has worn off of it and I can be objective, I find myself carrying it more and more often...

March 25, 2009, 11:51 PM
And a fine choice it is. The Endura and Delica 4 are incredible bargains. I have one of each.

Now, if I could just find them...

March 25, 2009, 11:54 PM
I carry a knife because its practical. If I want something a little more defensively minded in a folder, I have a CRKT Crawford folding Falcon that I carry. Its marketed as a tactical knife but also makes a good larger work knife. I also have the fixed version which is a small last ditcvh type knife that fits, with sheath, in a pocket easy. I like that as well.

More commonly, I carry a CRKT B.U.L.L or a CRKT Edgie, the bull if I think I'll need a locked blade, plus its a bit more compact and lighter than the Edgie.

I'm a CRKT fan. Good knives for the money.

March 25, 2009, 11:54 PM
If you carry in your back pocket with a clip, how do you keep from ripping up your car seats? :)

March 26, 2009, 12:07 AM
Where my knife is carried depends on how/if I'm carrying a handgun. If I'm using pistol pocket carry, I move my knife to my left hand front pocket or the front of my rear pocket. I've been known to move my knife if I'm riding in a car. :)

If I'm carrying o/iwb (I'm IWB most of the time), my Spyderco will ride in my front right pocket.

March 26, 2009, 12:43 AM
I carry right front pocket, pretty much regardless of whether or not I am packing a roscoe. Additionally, I have started to keep a Boker Subclaw inside my fleece vest, because I have never really figured out any other use for the little pocket in there and frankly, I want a reason to carry the little Boker. I don't particularly love it as a main carry knife, but that little Boker is a pretty good little knife that I am glad I bought, though I still wish I had bought the Subcom or the Wharcom instead.

March 26, 2009, 09:05 AM
I normally carry a pocket revolver in my right front pocket. I will switch the knife over to my left front pocket. The back pocket carry for tactical blades seems to be the best spot, but I always seem to forget about it (my Mini-Vulcan or Endura) when I climb into my vehicle. Just one more time and maybe I just tore a hole in my seats.... It is one of the reasons I dislike clips, but they sure keep the knife handy.

I like the tactical looking knives. I just don't see much need for them in my life. But what does need have to do with it? I know others have different feelings. I may not always have a firearm with me, but I always have at least one blade with me; usually two. Knives are very addicting even if I don't see much use for me for self defense. I wasn't trying to poo poo the thread with a negative comment... I just seldom think in terms of self defense with a blade, but I will say a blade is almost always in my pocket which I can't say about a handgun.

Trying to see where my new SOG Access Card 2.0 is going to fit into my daily carry. Maybe shirt pocket or watch pocket? It is a pretty niffty little blade for EDC stuff (packages, cord, tape, envelopes, etc.).

March 26, 2009, 10:25 AM
Most of the time I have a pistol on my person but now more then ever I am doing a good amount of traveling to teach. Two weeks ago I was in Indy. Next week I am in TX. I bring my pistol with me when I travel but of course it is checked along with my knives. Once I get my bags I can slip my knife into my pocket without much attention. Not so for my pistol. So usually at least from the airport to my hotel the knife is my primary deadly force option.

When I am carrying a pistol I carry an Emerson Karambit on my reaction side in reverse grip. It is the best option I have found for the reaction side to support a pistol.

For the record I don't believe in or train "knife fighting". I teach edged weapon survival including defense against edged weapons and the defensive use of the knife.

March 26, 2009, 10:27 AM
Benchmade 520---its my EDC and gets used for everything including defence--if needed.

March 26, 2009, 11:58 AM
My primary pocket knife is my Benchmade Ritter RSK-1 Griptilian.

Another brand I have recently found to be very good is 5.11 Tactical.

First Responder
Ten Eight

March 26, 2009, 12:37 PM
I thought I was the only one left in the world who favors a Chinook I!

The Payara looks good.

I presently carry a Yojimbo but still have a fondness for my Spydie Civilian as well. These may be a bit too specialized for most people though.

March 26, 2009, 01:05 PM
benchmade all the way. i loved both of mine. i gave one to my brother he got kinda jealous when i bought my second one. lol. any way i like the ambidextrous locks and they just feel better in my hand than any other folders out there. knifes in my opinion are kinda shoot and miss until you find one that has the right blade and feel for you. i guess what i am trying to say is if it is the right knife for you it's the right knife for you.

March 26, 2009, 06:27 PM
I "are" old...

I don't own a locking knife, or one with a clip
EDC is a Vic Classic SD.

I still prefer a simple screwdriver, or carton cutter that takes a single edge razor blade., and I how I come up and all...

Fred Fuller
March 26, 2009, 10:12 PM
Fixed blade! Fixed blade! LOL


I sure wish I could. But NC is weird about fixed blade carry (as with so many other legal things).

So I carry the same Mini-AFCK I got from A.G. Russell when they first came out- how many years ago?? I've long since rounded off the corners of the G-10 scales (they were too hard on pockets), cut down the liner lock with a Dremel tool so you have to work to unlock it, and sharpened about 3/4" of the false edge for back cuts. It was my first ATS-34 blade, and still seems to just want to cut. It goes in the right side pocket.

In the left side pocket is a $20 Kabar Dozier folder, to do normal cutting chores and get abused from time to time. There are several of them here in a pile on a bookshelf in a back room, my wife carries a pair of them also. When one gets dull it gets tossed into a different pile, when the 'sharp' pile is all gone, I sharpen everything in the 'dull' pile and we start over 8^).

I can generally carry a gun anywhere I can legally carry a knife, and I pretty much always carry a J frame. The knife/knives are strictly secondary as far as weapons go, the S&W is primary. But you never know how things are going to go or what you might need.


April 4, 2009, 02:16 PM
I bought today a Gerber Applegate covert,made in USA.
Wonderfull knife !!!

April 4, 2009, 04:10 PM

Benchmade Resistor. CZ P01 and PCR.

April 5, 2009, 07:31 AM
Nice picture ARMOREDMAN !

April 5, 2009, 03:29 PM
Thank you. :)

April 6, 2009, 06:06 PM
mercop: What do you think about the CRKT products?....esp. the Hissatu (sp?) folder?....

April 6, 2009, 06:23 PM
I tend to be of the idea that many knives that gives you a good solid grip and a point will do the work of a defensive folder, including most peoples EDC knives and it saves me having to carry an extra knife. Of course I usually have my multitool and another knife with me anyway in most siturations. The knife (nowadays it is usually a Kershaw Blur) goes into my left pocket, my pistol on the right side and my multitool I tend to stick on a carabiner and fasten directly to my belt, or in it's case.

I just don't see the purpose of a dedicated fighter folder, unless you are going to get far more use and actually training out of it, but something I am comfortable and very familiar with it use like my EDC knife.

April 6, 2009, 06:52 PM
Unless I am mistake the folding Hissatsu is tip-up which I do not favor. I do like the blade profile. I like the M1 though.

The rub with the defensive folder is the same with the defensive pistol, deployment. Just as you it is hard to train hard without a Blue gun it is even harder to train without a trainer/drone for your folder. Your common sense will inhibit you from trying to deploy it at combat speed by yourself much less against an living breathing attacker during force on force.

Here is a drill to do but ONLY if you have trainer. Put your knife/pistol trainer/drone in the position you usually carry it and have a buddy wearing boxing gloves try to stop you from deploying it. This can be an effective eye opener. Choosing to carry something and knowing how to use it without being able to get it out and into the fight is worthless.- George

April 7, 2009, 01:34 AM
I have and Emerson Commander, and Emerson CQC 11 and a Benchmade 520. I am also a fan of the Skirmish and a couple of the Kershaw ZT models.

April 11, 2009, 04:36 PM
Spyderco Tenacious

May 17, 2009, 09:56 AM
I carry 3: a Benchmade 239 in a horizontal scabbard (hate the handle, love the blade!), Applegate Fairbairn Mini Covert, and a CRKT N.E.C.K.

Black Toe Knives
May 19, 2009, 10:05 PM
I make knives for a living and I would carry a .45 for defense But my knife of choice hands down is a Kershaw Something designed By Ken Onion. The one handed open is perfect for everything from opening boxes to well anything you would need a knife for. BTW
I usually have three knives on me at anytime. My kershaw shallot.
CRKT and whatever Fix blade I have made and am carrying to show off.

This week

May 20, 2009, 09:53 PM
I carry a cheap S&W CK5TBS for regular cutting tasks, as well as Kershaw Leek 1660G10.

May 20, 2009, 10:37 PM
like Don , fixed blade here as well...

if I had to choose one of my folders for defense , it would be my Strider AR...but I find a fixed blade worn horizontal faster than a folder for me.

May 20, 2009, 10:44 PM
Benchmade Griptillian!

I love my Griptillian, I think Benchmade makes some of the best knives and at a great price point. I have two Griptillians, one with plain edge and one with combo edge. I prefer the plain edge for EDC. The 154cm steel is great, takes an edge and really holds it. The AXIS lock is almost as quick as a switchblade, really quick and I love it. Highly recommend BM Griptillian. YMMV


Cpt. America
May 20, 2009, 11:52 PM
I carry a Kershaw Vapor 2. Its been a great knife. I've had its since '03 and before that I carried a Gerber Gatorback first generation.

Carl Levitian
May 21, 2009, 06:40 AM
[I "are" old...

I don't own a locking knife, or one with a clip
EDC is a Vic Classic SD.

I still prefer a simple screwdriver, or carton cutter that takes a single edge razor blade., and I how I come up and all...]

I think Steve put it about right for.

Since my edc folder is usually a Victorinox bantam or Case peanut, with a classic as back up on my keyring, it's not a very strong chance I'd be using a knife for defense. To slow to get out and open. The only lockblade knives I own are a Gerber LST as my lightweight beater knife, and a couple of Opinels in different sizes.

It's funny, but I used to carry a knife for defense when I was a young man, a very long time ago, but after about middle age, I stopped. I now preffer a nice screwdriver in a pocket size, or a box cutter. I like box cutters, nice and flat, doesn't get in the way of my edc pocket knife, and cheap enough that I can use it for stuff I don't want to ruin the edge of my nice Case on. Like stripping wire, scraping a battery terminal. Easy to replace the blade.

I just don't think of a knife as a good weapon anymore, too many other things to use. Besides, I have my blackthorn stick when out in public, and that seems to work better.

As for choke holds, if somebody needs a knife to get out of one, they need to go get some training.

May 24, 2009, 05:57 AM
Speaking as one who has lost all enthusiasm for folders, I like the Emerson karambit and carry one every day. One does need another blade for utility, though, as the chisel-ground claw is completely useless for anything but defense.

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