Knives: Tools or Weapons?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by The Evangelist Cowboy, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

    Sep 3, 2018
    100% tool. In the rare case where it would be pressed into service, as a weapon, I would only have it around, to be used as a tool.
  2. LaneP

    LaneP Member

    Jul 31, 2019
    I'm in the camp of "depends on what you're doing with it at the moment".
  3. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    A knife can be both just like a firearm.
    Boattale likes this.
  4. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    If you're cutting something with it it's a tool.
    If you're cutting someone with it it's a weapon.
    Boattale likes this.
  5. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Sutton, Nebraska
    Mine could, in theory, serve either purpose, however, as sad as the edge is it is not especially good at either....

    Takes a razor sharp edge and will hold it right up till you actually cut something with it.
    Olon likes this.
  6. cc-hangfire

    cc-hangfire Member

    Apr 28, 2014
    In agreement with all posts to date.

    I work in an office environment and the employer defines a 3” & longer blade as a weapon (although my state doesn’t consider blades under 12” as weapons).

    So in my dress slacks I carry two knives:
    A) smaller knife in the 2” blade length as a tool, beater knife, loaner knife, &
    B) larger knife in the +/-3” blade length range that never comes out of my pocket. It and the small mace spray on my keychain are for self defense since my employer also prohibits firearm carry.

    (Once I reach my vehicle, my carry tools get changed out.)
  7. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    Both, but I mostly think of mine as a tool that can be pressed into service if need be.
    Boattale likes this.
  8. Obturation
    • Contributing Member

    Obturation Contributing Member

    Dec 24, 2018
    Northern illinois
    There are knives I carry strictly as weapons, don't open boxes with them or cut up an apple ect. They stay razor sharp and clean. Others do double duty, my work knife stays fairly dull cause it sees a lot of abuse but if it were the only thing on hand I would surely use it as a weapon and recommend a tetanus shot along with a rabies vaccine for any poor soul who may be cut with that jalopy.
    cc-hangfire likes this.
  9. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

    May 1, 2013
    Reluctant both. A knife in my pocket has 99.9% chance of being a tool over a self defense weapon. Open letters, packages, kill a bug. Can it be used in self defense? Sure. So can a hammer, screwdriver, or a wrench. A knife is more practical to carry than those.
  10. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

    May 31, 2008
    It's been used 100% as a tool, never a weapon. The state I currently reside in has the most ambiguously written knife law ever, so it will remain a tool no matter what if ever asked.
  11. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    DFW Area
    Weapons are a subset of tools.

    For what it's worth, I know of two people who have used slipjoint/traditional pocket knives in self-defense. One against humans, one against an animal. I strongly suspect that neither one of them had any intention of ever putting their knives to that use or they would have picked something a lot more suitable to the task.

    But in both cases the use was effective. So I'm going to say that even for people who carry their pocket knives purely for non-weapon usage, there's still the possibility of it's being pressed into service as a weapon if a sufficiently urgent need occurs.
    40-82 likes this.
  12. 1976B.L.Johns.

    1976B.L.Johns. Member

    Feb 4, 2015
    Very Northern Minnesota
    And any other "tool" that is handy.
  13. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Feb 10, 2016
    Fl panhandle
    It depends on... everything. When I was "in town" earlier today, I was carrying a Emerson folder with the wave feature- a nasty knife designed to be deployed very quickly, and as equally capable of doing tremendous damage to another person (if used as a weapon) as it is of cutting through a seat belt after a car wreck- along with a 9mm pistol. Tomorrow I will be deer hunting in the afternoon (yes, its still deer season here). I will be carrying a razor sharp medium size Case folding trapper in that front right pocket where the Emerson was today. I probably won't have a pistol, but I will have a bolt action 6.5 CM rifle in my hand.
  14. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

    Oct 2, 2016
    Absolutely not!

    A knife is poor substitute for a gun. Very poor. And everything I've ever read or been told about a knife fight is that everyone comes out bloody.

    Guns are tools. Knives are tools. They serve different purposes. In my view, a knife is not a self defense tool. (Here, I'm speaking of your run of the mill EDC pocket knife. If your edc is an M9 Bayonet, then yeah, okay, I guess your knife's purpose is defense. Or maybe cutting wire.)

    Yet, as others have surmised, anything can be pressed into service for defense if one is desperate enough. I mean, Colonel Mustard committed murder in the library with a candlestick for crying out loud.
  15. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    I'm not a tough man. I am fairly physically fit, still going pretty well for pushing 40 with a mostly desk job, and I like to think of myself as a person with his head up and looking where he is going enough to not get caught by surprise in a bad situation.

    However, should I find myself in any altercation my best plan of action is to get the hell out of dodge. I have rudimentary knife and gun handling skills at best. If i were to get into a scrap on the ground, i would probably be better off trying to crush the guy with my upper body strength with some old wrestling move i picked up in high school 20+ years ago. A man has to know his limitations.

    Same thing goes for my rationale behind carrying a gun. Bad thing happens that I can't get away from...Blam, blam, blam, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap. Hopefully defensive brain kicks in quick enough to get my family away, puke, and call the cops. My knife skills are about on par with that.

    Now, I carry knives and tools big enough to be formidable weapons on a daily basis. I'm very handy with a blade inasmuch as I can cut and control better than most when it comes to using them as a tool. Actually, my wife and I took a cooking class some years back and the chef teaching it actually joked and asked me if I wanted a job butterflying thin cuts of meat. Muscle memory and practice using your tools.

    Today I am carrying three tools/knives on my person. A Leatherman P4 which is basically like a Wave, a Chris Reeve Inkosi, and a little Tops Ferret. Of all of them, the Ferret is probably the most viable weapon despite having a blade less than 2" long. The P4 rides in my left pocket. I keep it handy but not quick. In my right, the Inkosi and a NAA ride in a leather pouch system. The NAA part of the holster is designed to pull free with a quick tug. The Inkosi part has purposefully be left stiff so that it doesn't fall out. It takes me a solid 5 or 10 seconds seconds to get the Inkosi out and deployed. A lifetime if I were to need a knife defensively.

    The Ferret is what I wear on my belt as a quick deploy package/box opening knife. It's designed to be worn as a neck knife where you pull it downward out of a kydex sheath. It's a little heavy for neck carry, but hanging it off my belt at 1 o'clock keeps it handy in a blink. It would make a terrible defensive knife due to its size, but if I had to jam the stubby blade into a knee or elbow joint, I think an attacker would feel it.

    Are knives tool? Sure if you want them to be, or more likely, need them to be. Like I said, I'd be much better served booking it than fighting.
  16. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

    Nov 11, 2019
    Knives are weapons. Just like hammers and bats. They all are known to spontaneously get up on their own and attack people.

    They are all made out of solid materials (metal, plastic, wood, aluminum) and are not a living thing.

    That is all that is needed to define a weapon.

    I know this because guns are made from solid materials, not a living thing and they also attack people with no human interaction.

    Hence the need to "control" guns. Once guns are "controlled," knives will need to be controlled. Look to London as an example.
  17. Boattale

    Boattale Member

    Dec 6, 2012
    They're obviously both. The only difference is the use at the moment. I tend to prefer knives that are solidly servicable in either role. Benchmade Barrage or Violi seem to find their way into my pocket more than the many other knives I own. Both have good steel, strong frames, a very strong, reliable and easy to use lock and they are both assisted opening. And they are both kept razor sharp.

    They're very versatile too. Used the Barrage yesterday in sous chef duty at a friend's house with a kitchen full of dull knives. Good steak knives too, in the right setting.
  18. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

    May 5, 2016
    Sometimes fightin' tools.
    Depends on the job.
    theotherwaldo likes this.
  19. Browning

    Browning Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    North TX
    Like I (and many others) have said before they can be both.

    Some of their features can push them more into one category or another though.


    For instance I’ve used both of these knives at work. It would be a bit harder to effectively use the orange knife by Byrd as anything but a slashing weapon if pushed into that role. It’s purpose is for cutting seat belts, straps, rope, fire hoses and cordage. The tip of the knife is partially blunted simply so you don’t accidentally poke yourself or someone else.

    If someone wanted to use it as a weapon just like with anything else they’ll figure out how to use it the most effective, but for some purposes (eg as a stabbing weapon) it would be slightly less effective than another even if they’re manufactured by the same company. If someone used enough force to stab with it could be used as such, but it wouldn’t be as easy.

    I’ve used the Spyderco at work though. That knife has never been used as anything but a tool. Been used for the same things as the other knife.
    40-82 likes this.
  20. Ugly Old Guy

    Ugly Old Guy Member

    Jan 26, 2020
    Without proper and extensive training, (and even then) a knife makes for a mighty poor "weapon" choice.
    Even if you survive the situation that you used the knife in, you may not survive the court case after.
  21. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

    Oct 15, 2010
    south Florida
    Read through each posting - all the back and forth then thought about the original question "Are knives tools or weapons" My answer...
    40-82, theotherwaldo and Speedo66 like this.
  22. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

    Dec 7, 2010

    Unless you're a surgeon, operating on a patient. :)

  23. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

    Mar 30, 2008
    In the Wild Horse Desert of Texas
    My father taught me that any time that you go into a fight then you must go in at the attack or you have already lost the fight. If you'r in a fight and you're serious, anything that you have is a weapon.
    Thus, my knives are weapons - at need... .
    40-82 likes this.
  24. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Member

    Apr 8, 2009
    It's a tool unless for some reason I ever had to use it to cut or stab someone, at which point it would be a weapon.
  25. Nuclear

    Nuclear Member

    Jan 9, 2009
    Aside from rocks or sticks, knives were the first tool humans ever made. They still are tools, made to cut. Anything that cuts can be used as a weapon. Are guns better weapons? Sure. But knives are easier to carry, lighter, thinner, less regulated.

    So they are both.
    40-82 likes this.
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