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Short Blades With Big Grips

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by ugaarguy, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    Sometimes life takes us to places where the maximum allowable blade length for a knife is quite restrictive. Often, these knives that are short in blade length also come up short on handle size, and overall utility is handicapped as a result. Inspired by the "Little Big Knives" moniker that Spyderco has applied to their Meerkat (and some other knives), I set out to find other pieces with ultra short blades that maintained bigger knife grips and sturdiness.

    The results was my Small Serious Knives article on Shooting Reviews, where I examined the 2012 Sprint Run Spyderco Meerkat, Spyderco Chicago, Cold Steel Mini Tuff Lite, Boker Plus Subcom Titan, and Boker Plus JC1. There were some interesting surprises that I found in use and testing. I hope you folks find the review useful and interesting.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  2. Jsg81

    Jsg81 Well-Known Member

    I have found that the largest of the AG Russell pen knives to be more useful than I thought they would be. I have not used it very hard but I do use it often. I also forget it is in my pocket when I am not using it.
  3. Victorinox, with whatever tools you think you will need. Infinitely more useful than any single or double folder. You can even get some with a locking knife blade.
  4. DNS

    DNS Well-Known Member

    I usually carry a medium size tactical but I can honestly say that my three inch and under slip joints i carry in my other pocket do 90% of my daily chores. One of my favorites is a Buck Lancer.
  5. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    Victorinox doesn't offer a single knife with a locking blade less than 4.37 inches. That's not useful for someone in a blade length restrictive locale. Their smaller knives have slick, oval shaped scales and thin blades. That doesn't make for a serious use small knife. Pairing a small Swiss Army knife or other small multi tool with a robust short blade folder isn't a bad idea though.
  6. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    Just to clarify, as stated in the OP, this review focused on knives that are legal in areas with highly restrictive permissible blade lengths. For me, that's college campuses in the state of Georgia. For others it may be times when work takes them to a city like Chicago or anywhere else with totalitarian control on what tools their citizens may carry. I hope that makes sense.
  7. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Well-Known Member

    The Case Peanut is great and can do 90% of what you need.
  8. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    And illegal in the restrictive environments mentioned. Only blades with 2" and less length qualify.
  9. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member


    Gerber EAB utility knife

    This is inexpensive,small, very useful knife that I really like and carry often. Ask any carpenter about his utility knife.
  10. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    Even if we expanded the criteria to the almost as restrictive 2.5 inch limit imposed in many other areas I'd still choose any of the five knives I reviewed over a slip joint. All of those knives have heavier duty blades, bigger and stronger pivots, pocket clips, and some type of one hand opening mechanism.

    These restrictive areas are also great for criminals because they keep victims disarmed. Rapes and strong arm robberies are common on college campuses. I'm not an advocate of using a knife as a weapon, but much like John's ARK knife, I'd rather myself or a friend have a stout pocket knife to resist an assailant than nothing at all.

    ETA: kkbailey, I'm generally not a fan of current Gerber products but I'll look into the EAB. They're certainly inexpensive. I do have to wonder about TCO of swapping blades in the EAB vs. the life of even a $25 Cold Steel Mini Tuff Life after multiple sharpenings.
  11. HiWayMan

    HiWayMan Well-Known Member

    The wife and I both use the Gerber EAB. If you polish the Gerber logo off it looks like a nice money clip. That is how we use them, a wad of cash and credit cards under the clip.

    Maybe not the best blade out there, but cheap and easily disguised and ditched.
  12. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    Good job with the video ugaarguy. You're making me think about this. My tendancy would be to get the Spyderco Meerkat. But the Cold Steel knife has my attention.

    I don't think in terms of sub 2-inch knives (generally 3"), so I really have no practical knives <2". I don't think the Vic SAKs are strong enough to be truly useful with a sub-2" blade except for slicing open a letter or something. The medium sized SAKs have about a 2.5" blade.
  13. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Well-Known Member

    My Bad I though the Peanuts main blade was only 2 inches. But it is 2 n 7/8 inches .
  14. DNS

    DNS Well-Known Member

    FYI, the Buck Lancer I mentioned has a main blade of 1 7/8ths inches. Darn thing could double as a surgical scalpel in a pinch I think.
  15. mole

    mole Well-Known Member

    I've been carrying this for years: http://www.amazon.com/Irwin-Industr...9&sr=8-1&keywords=irwin+folding+utility+knife

    Ace hardware puts them on sell with an instant rebate knocking it down to $4.99 every few months. It's tougher and easier to use than the Gerber mentioned above (I like the Gerber for light use stuff). Just this week I've used it to open packages, break down boxes, cut drywall, strip wires, and trim a few branches. Very useful and nobody bats an eye at it.
  16. MErl

    MErl Well-Known Member

    Second on the boxcutter. Also been known to fold a piece of masking tape over the edge of a razor blade and just carry the blade.
    Extremely useful and sharp small knife.
  17. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    RE: EAB & Other Utility Knives

    I just checked, and unfortunately the EAB and other utility knives / box cutters don't work for my occasional forays onto college campuses in GA because they fall under "...straight-edge razor, razor blade, ..." wording of OCGA 16-11-127.1. So, everything reviewed is legal, but anything with a razor blade is prohibited. It's silly and stupid, but laws are rarely logical.

    That wording contained in that sub section has been on the books for decades here in Georgia. However, in our post September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks world, there's now an irrational fear of box cutters amongst the tool ignorant of western society. I'd not be surprised if there are many other jurisdictions that restrict razors, razor blades, or box cutters. That aside, the lesson here is to read the applicable laws carefully, whether they be in your local area, or when preparing to travel.

    Thank you for the compliment. I'm glad you both enjoyed the video and found it thought provoking.

    If you want a Meerkat I'd start looking now, since last year was the most recent sprint run. As a knife knerd / knut I didn't have a problem paying $75 for the Meerkat. It's a very cool knife that's fun to use and play with. Even non knife people tend to be comfortable around it because they think it's cute, neat, or cool. The blade length was just icing on the cake.

    The Cold Steel Mini Tuff Lite really was a pleasant surprise. I thought I was ordering the lowest priced reasonable quality knife that fit the criteria. Then i started using it, and realized it really is a great performer. The Triad Lock is also crazy strong. Don't let the price fool you. The best thing is that the MTL is readily available.

    That's how I feel as well. SAKs and pen knives still have their places. I wanted to find 2" or less blade length knives that had strong locks, grippy big knife handles, and sturdy blades. I think I found a handful of such knives.
  18. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Well-Known Member

    NYC, unfortunately, has it's own, more restrictive, laws. One is that knives with locking blades are illegal.
  19. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    Hmm. Is there another section of NYC ADC Law besides 10-133 that further restricts knives? Or is this more of DA Vance's judicial activism and twisting the law like a worn out rubber band. I've previously read about the interpretation that a pocket clip fell under the "to wear outside of his or her clothing" clause in the law. I'm not surprised by anything regarding knife laws or their interpretations by the sleazy politicians in NYC. Citations are always helpful though.

    If locking blades are indeed verboten in NYC many of the Chad Los Banos designed Boker Plus knives are available as slip joints, denoted by the 42 suffix. The Spyderco UK Pen Knives are another line of sturdy slip joints. The deep finger choils on both provide at least a modicum of safety.

    I don't know if a 2 & 15/16 inch blade is legal in NYC, but if it is Knifeworks still has the Spyderco T-Mag in stock.

  20. jbj

    jbj Well-Known Member

    The best small knife I've fund was the Spyderco Mouse. It's a miniature Wegner (the full size was my edc before Emerson caved and started making a round hole knife). It's no fighting knife, but it'll do most chores.

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