What Makes A Knife A "Fighting Knife"?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Night Rider, Jun 19, 2022.

  1. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah, it's a good fighter. Ed's a great guy, too.
     
  2. rtz

    rtz Member

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  3. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

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    A few seconds after the first stab, the victim is totally unable to defend himself. About 20 seconds after the first stab, he is unable to stand without assistance.


    Knife use rapidly ends fight--leads to the death of one participant.


    5 seconds after the stab, the victim is literally painting the street. Makes it to the hospital but does not survive.
     
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  4. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    This can happen. OTOH, Byron told me about the woman who walked into the ER with a butcher knife buried in her chest. She was slowly drowning, but it was taking a while.
     
  5. shafter

    shafter Member

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    A fighting knife needs to be on you when you get into a fight which for all practical purposes excludes most knives since they're too big to be carried. It also needs to be accessible with one hand because you will most likely be grappling when the need for a knife occurs. This excludes many folder.

    My preferred blades are Amtac Blades.
     
  6. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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  7. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

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    Anyone that thinks a knife isn't deadly or lame, better watch those 3 videos.

    The first and second particularly, in the first the guy was a road rager. Thought it was a good idea to pull over and confront the other driver. Slapped the other driver and got stabbed about 20 times and died right there!

    The knives probably wouldn't be considered "fighting" knives but they still did the job.

    As others have already said, the best defense against a knife is distance and a gun.
     
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  8. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

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    Yup. Taking it out will speed the process. While it's in place, it's acting as a plug. She was smart or lucky to have left it in.
     
  9. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    For many years, as part of a weapons display at my Department, we had a photo of a woman sitting on an examination table with a full sized Buck folder buried in her back. That knife never penetrated anything vital and she survived just fine… One-of our officers reported that as they wrestled her enraged husband a back up officer was asking where the knife was… The offender said, “right in her back where I placed it”

    Nothing funny about an attacker with a knife - particularly if you don’t know you’re facing one…
     
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  10. Double_J

    Double_J Member

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    I have a friend who is a retired city cop who has a knife story to tell. He was about 6-7 months out of the academy and just started riding solo when he responded to a domestic disturbance call. The husband was drunk, angry, and very confrontational, the wife was also drunk and very emotional. He separated the two of them and was placing the husband in cuffs for the ride downtown when he felt something jam into his back. The wife stabbed him with an 8 inch boning knife screaming "you can't take him anywhere." Another unit showed up at that time and cuffed the wife for her ride downtown for a much more serious "conversation." He said the only thing that kept him out of the hospital was a "stab plate" in his body armor, one he had just bought a few weeks prior.

    He was terrified of finding a blade coming at him due to that encounter and seeing people getting cut and stabbed while working the job. His advice to me is do not fight with a blade unless you have no choice, and use a short, sharp slashing blade to make the other guy get off you and RUN AWAY.
     
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  11. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    What makes a knife a fighting knife?

    I’d say a combination of a very bad day and a strong desire for self preservation.
     
  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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  13. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Early and mid 1970’s I chose a F/S Knife for use on patrols around and up to 3 km outside Pershing Missile Combat Alert Sites and Field Sites in Souther German. The patrols were typically only three men…. patrol leader, radio operator (PRC 27 ) and lag man. Typically we were issued only one magazine of 18 rounds to discourage engagement. About one third of these patrols were run with NO AMMO for one reason or another.

    A killing knife seemed rather important to me and I ran over 100 such patrols in basically 14 months.

    I liked the M3 blade style but we were seldom issued bayonets.

    We had an old heavy wool coat like a Navy Peacoat and went at it with a couple of knives and different techneques. Hacking, chopping and slashing attacks seemed to not work so well against it. Stabs with K-bar/ bowie were difficult, M3 Bladed bayonets worked stabs well…. but the F/S “Commando Dagger” just slipped through almost like nothing was there by comparison.

    I still carried it when it got warm because it was what I had. It got used for no other purpose so it was sharpened to a razor’s edge down to just over an inch infront of the guard (incase I had to put a finger over the guard to retrieve the knife).

    At the time I thought of the F/S as a Fighting Knife…. you may or may not as you please.

    I generally carried a pocket knife, wore a Buck 112 in its leather holster on my trouser belt and the then German issue Kampf Messer sheath knife. All of them together likely weighed about the same as some of the big honking knives here.

    Each person in my squad also carried one or more tools. I carried my cap crimpers, a small crescent wrench, a file and a two sided sharpening stone.

    We were light Infantry and traveled afoot.

    We believed that “Travel light, freeze at night” was a warning rather than instruction.

    Knives I have known of that were fought with include a variety of slip joints of various blade types, and a Single edge razor that was carried stuck against the sole of a shoe and into the heel. But nastiest was a “tile knife” hawkbill fixed blade used for fitting rolled linoleum flooring!

    They all drew blood in and stopped fights. Where they fighting knives?

    -kBob
     
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  14. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    @Night Rider, if by "fighting knife", we mean a knife carried with the primary intention of being used against live human targets, there are probably more fighting knives than there are fighting styles, and there are a lot of fighting styles. You can even see this trend all the way back to medieval times and further, as there were a variety of secondary and tertiary blades that were used, even when blades were a primary weapon. In this thread, there are examples of my own that include a large work knife, that would double well as a fighting knife if you're not in a context where rifles are likely to be carried. I have also shown a dedicated compact fighting knife meant for combat soldiers who might be at close ranges with the enemy, and a tiny defensive knife meant for troops who might be caught without any weapon, and even perhaps without any clothes! So there are three widely differing knives, with three very different missions, sharing only the characteristic that all of them are designed with ways to help protect the user's hand from slipping onto the blade. Are they all fighting knives?

    There is a type of knife that in the US has come to be generically described as a fighter. The Randall Fighting Knife is probably the easiest example of this style knife, what I think of as a "stabby Bowie" with usually a 5 to 7 in or so blade, and single or double guard. Sometimes they have a sharpened false edge. @Valkman's fighters shown here fall into that category (though with a choil and blade profile designed to protect the user's hand, instead of a guard).

    There are also what I think of as deployment blades, which are usually fairly general purpose knives that could also be used for defense at close ranges, if needed. The USMC fighting knife, the quartermaster's knife, the Air Force survival knife, and many others fall into this category.

    Fighting knives are knives people carry be used against other people, or potentially animal threats. Himalayan people, to include gurkas, have carried the kukri for many hundreds of years. They have many different styles of kukri, and several are used every year for defense against the local bears, which are small but aggressive. I think knives carried for offense or defense should usually have some protection against slipping onto the blade. The kukri is a notable exception to this rule, in that it is almost completely a chopping knife. My Camp Defender design incorporates a weight-forward style that allows chopping, while also allowing for a stab if desired. It also provides protection for the hand. anyone who handles a Camp Defender will probably not be surprised that I have spent many hours using kukris. I designed a knife that met my ideal requirements for engaging a dangerous threat at close range. If I couldn't use a knife like mine, my very first choice would be the Spyderco Darn Dao. The Dao, though, really is edging more into short sword territory than what most of us think of as a knife.

    Different people will have different ideas about what makes a perfect/ideal fighting knife. Be safe, train realistically, and make your decisions from there. I suggest full water bottles* and PVC insulation around midsize branches to begin getting an idea how effective YOUR "fighter" might be.

    Good luck,

    John

    *one or two liter full water bottles hanging from 550 cord can move, and provide some resistance against slashes and stabs. If you get good at opening them up safely (swings should stop just after the target, so you don't leave yourself open for a counter-attack), you can begin taping old clothing to the bottles for additional resistance. Your results may surprise you.
     
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  15. kBob

    kBob Member

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    one of the reasons I stopped being impressed by SoF magazine in the mid 1980’s was an article by some “knife fighter” that down played the slash and hacking slash to state that radically the chop that can totally lop off something and the deep stab were all that were worth while.

    Being a loon, I went out in the yard and hung a roast slatted for stew meat, in two plastic grocery bags, and the leg of a pair of fatigue trousers I had cut off for my “Magnum PI shorts”… told you… a loon.

    This I hung from a branch via a rope at about shoulder hight.

    First hack/slash with a common slip joint like an “old timer” cut cloth, bag, and meat to a depth of one onch and four inches long.

    Gerber whatever they call their M3 style blade almost tripled the depth.

    M5a1 bayonet went to four inches.

    Crappy old Bowie from a kit almost severed the whole thing in half.

    Note these were edge attacks, no point involved.

    These were all done with an “ineffective” attack where you punch at the target and snap the knife down as your fist would have struck resulting in a slashing attack We called a hack rather than a chop.

    A chop was what you did on brush clearing and was more of a round house type thing and no doubt would have resulted in chopped meat, but be more easily blocked than a punching attack and harder to execute in the woods or indoors.

    After the test I used an old hickory to reduce the meat without the bag or clothing to gobbets and tossed it in a pot with carrots and potatoes and onions and called everything a success.

    I have since then put less faith in magazine articles and not worried that my Spyder Co or whatever folder could not get someone off me and desperately seeking medical aid.

    It’s the fighter not the knife that makes it a fighting knife.

    -kBob
     
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  16. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    @kBob, your description of your snap cut, where your wrist whips the tip through the target is what I'm typically using, not "chopping" like chopping wood with an axe. I should have remembered the sophistication of most of my audience. :) I only meant "chop" in the sense of quickly driving a blade through the target in a way meant to separate a lot of meat and perhaps even bone, as opposed to something like a slash, which I think of as a sweeping stroke that might not cut deeply. I believe my fighting style mostly uses a combination of slashes and snap cuts- I've had a lot of training in a Japanese style, but live cutting has usually been with large weight-forward designs. Draw cuts can be immensely powerful, but they're more of a finishing technique. (Meaning the pull cut, not "cutting while drawing your blade".)

    John
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2022
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