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Crappy Knife for Self-Defense

So I recently bought a dual-blade folding knife: store.artofmanliness.com/products/aom-pocket-knife

It’s really nice and I like it, but there’s one problem. The blades can be kind of stiff (they are pretty secure in the handle) and it usually takes me more than 1 second to pull them out. In a street fight, I’m dead.

Any tips on how to better deploy the knife for combat situations? And yes, I will invest in a new knife in the future, but for now, I’m a college student on a budget.

Knife recommendations also appreciated

All knives are dangerous when used correctly, and, your Boker is a fine utility blade. That said, it was not designed for fighting so deployment will always be slow. A little WD 40 may help, but, over time the simple action of opening it on a regular basis will take care of any sticking points. All knives are dangerous in skilled hands and death traps for amateurs. The best defense for a knife is not be there for a knife fight. period.

Take a few minutes and read the links:

Blades are a lot like firearms, everyone has their favorites, but, if you are determined to rely on a knife and willing to learn how to use it, I would go to Walmart and buy a Spyderco. For under 50 dollars you can get a good serviceable blade. A knife, just like a gun, has to be secure on your body, your carry method will determine if you use it for defense or it is used against you.


I have include some suggestions for the future:





You should just return that since you can probably buy something way better for 30. Get a big Tanto knife and holster it and keep an ice pick as a back up in case it gets knocked out of your hand. Basically nobody will fuck with you when you pull out a 7 inch knife and you probably won’t even have to use it unless the dude is crazy on angel dust or has a gun.

That’s a beautiful knife man. I love AOM, and Boker is an excellent knife company.

That being said, that’s a classy, everyday-carry type of pocketknife - not a self-defense weapon. For one, it’s got no blade lock, which means you’re as likely to be badly cut as your adversary. Secondly, it’s got thumb-nics, which means it can’t be opened with any real degree of speed.

If you want a blade for “self-defense” - which you probably shouldn’t, but we’ll talk about that another time - get a CRKT or Spyderco, as Idaho said. Relatively inexpensive folders you can beat the fuck out of and won’t close up on you if you need to use them.

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Third what Idaho and Irish stated about that not being a great knife for self defense. As Idaho mentioned, any blade (or even sharp object like a credit card) is a potentially lethal weapon in the right hands. Unfortunately, my gut tells me those are not your hands.

There are several things you need to consider when selecting a knife for self defense:

  1. is it legal to carry where you live? You don’t want to effectively use it to defend yourself only to realize that you broke the law in even carrying it in the first place and wind up in jail

  2. is there plausible deniability for carrying it? Again, just because it might be tactically effective doesn’t mean that you carrying it is a good idea. Walking around with a huge sheathed Bowie knife thinking you are Crocodile Dundee might win you the fight, but the prosecuting attorney is going to have a pretty easy time painting you as some sort of thug going around looking for trouble so you can use your knife. Things like Spydercos and other utility tactical folders can much more easily be justified in carrying as they have multiple non combat uses.

  3. is there an effective locking mechanism? As Irish noted, when the crap hits the fan things are very likely to not go according to plan and a knife without a locking mechanism is likely to close and possibly take some fingers with it

  4. is there an effective bracing mechanism? The human body is made up of soft tissue stretched over a hard bony skeleton. Again, in a real altercation there is a very real possibility that you may strike bone and if that happens the knife will suddenly stop. If you don’t have an effective bracing mechanism, then your hand will keep going, sliding right down the blade till it too hits the opponent’s body. Again, potential loss of fingers or at the very least severe cuts to your hand.

  5. are you actually going to take the time to seek out professional instruction in its use as a self defense tool? Weapons like knives and firearms can fairly easily be used against you should an attacker gain control over them. For this reason, if you aren’t going to train seriously with one, you are arguably better off not carrying it at all.

  6. Price

Everything else is preference. Good luck.

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  1. I live in Texas. We are very liberal about our gun laws here and any blade under 5.5 inches is good. Furthermore, we have “stand your ground” laws here. There’s no better place to live as far as self-defense is concerned IMO.

  2. I could legally carry around a sig-sauer and shoot someone dead if they were on my property or was “in fear for my life” here and get away with it easily. Instead, I choose to carry a 3 inch pocket knife.

  3. No blade lock

  4. Pretty solid in terms of bracing I think

  5. I have trained in martial arts since I was 6 years old, so yes, I love to train and want to know how to fight with weapons. I have trained AGAINST knife attacks going bare handed, but have never trained WIELDING a knife. I have, however, trained with escrima and other martial arts weapons. Currently looking at youtube tutorials for knife fighting.

Can’t. Anything over 5.5 inches is illegal where I live (TX). Besides, I want something that can fit in my pocket and can conceal easily.

This is the knife I own and carry… Will never carry any other knife after you see why…

Well worth the price, extremely sharp, and deploys in less than a second as you get better at it. No other knife will deploy as quick as this, not even push button assist.

I’ve had mind for nearly a year now. It comes with me everywhere I go.

Couple things beyond what Idaho, Sento and Irish have said, which I agree with.

In terms of “bracing” I believe Sento is meaning some kind of a feature/contour/guard that would prevent your hand from sliding up onto the blade (especially when thrusting) and generally allow for better retention. Your knife is very attractive, but is smooth and flat along the grip. If it comes to a sudden stop, your hand will continue moving onto the sharp bit.

Concerning “knife fighting”, most knife fighting material I have come across is based on a “duel” type premise where both parties know there is going be a knife fight before it starts and choose not to disengage/flee at the first opportunity. Knives are ambush weapons in North America. If someone attacks you with one, you likely won’t know it until you see the blood. The value of a knife in a self protection context is as a last ditch “fuck off” tool to interrupt an attack, create distance and disengage if you have failed to see/avoid the threat before contact. Fundamentally different mindset than street/knife fighting.

If your state laws allow you to carry and you are serious about self protection, why do you, in your words, choose a knife over a pistol? Both are lethal force options. I’m not suggesting you get a gun, I’m just asking what your thinking is.

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Absolutely. The whole “knife fight” scenario is garbage cooked up by self-defense “experts” and dojo douches looking to sell an answer to a nonexistant question.

To my knowledge, most people who get stabbed actually think they got punched … until, as Batman said, you see the blood.

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Well then you likely don’t have much to worry about regarding legal/moral responsibility. Still important considerations nonetheless.

In your case then, I would suggest:

Returning that knife and purchasing one with a solid locking mechanism at the very least. If you absolutely refuse to return this knife and intend to use it for other purposes, then don’t ever open it in self defense and instead just use it as either a small weight to improve the mass of your punches or as an impact tool (butt/pommel strike).

If you choose to return in and get another knife purely for self defense/killing/maiming reasons, then some features to look for include:

-again, quality locking mechanism

-solid bracing features/mechanism (blood is more slippery than oil and there may be a lot of it should you ever truly need to use it in a life or death situation)

-quality steel

-some people prefer black coating for added stealth

-some people like “spring assist” or “gravity assist” opening mechanisms for faster access

-some people prefer a partially serrated blade to better cut through tough clothing (like denim or leather)

-you want a blade that can both stab and slash effectively. Some blade designs are only really slashing blades, and some are only really stabbing blades. Pick one that can do both; you don’t want to get caught needing the function that you don’t have.

This is “The Talon,” designed by one of the best (in my opinion THE best) knife combat experts alive today, Richard Ryan. The original line is no longer in production (though, last time I talked to Rich he said he was looking into resuming production again soon), so I am just posting it to illustrate some of the above points to look for.

  1. notice that the way the blade is positioned on the knife it would be nearly impossible for the hand to slide down it should you hit a solid target (this is further assisted by the “teeth” on the thumb brace on top of the blade, and the brace on the back side of the blade itself).

  2. notice that the blade is not in a straight line with the handle. This allows the holder to grip the handle in any way and have the blade find the target first without the need to articulate the wrist. This makes for more solid gripping, even when slashing.

Here is another knife which seems to have taken some similar concepts. Not quite as ergonomic, nor as good for stabbing, but still has some good features.


And honestly, any decent “tactical folder” with a solid locking mechanism, solid bracing mechanisms, and an all purpose blade like the one linked below, are going to be light years ahead of what you currently have.

Good luck.

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Agree 100% with the ambush and functionality, as well as all that Sento you batman and idaho have said.

I will add though that I think as far as traditional martial arts go, escrima is very good for the “knife fight” scenario if taught by someone who is the real deal and if practiced seriously, constantly, and with intent. One of the benefits of escrima is that it essentially is weapons fighting from the very beginning and knives are pretty 2nd nature as far as the art goes. Not sure of the OP’s experience with it. Everything you do is geared around the other guy having at least a weapon of some sort, which is an inherent advantage.