Selecting A Proper EDC Knife

 By:  Jason L. Van Dyke, Esq.

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One of the most basic truths in this world, especially one where Antifa are becoming increasingly bold and violent, is simple:  Never bring a knife to a gun fight.  The unfortunate truth is that many of our brothers live in states where (a) the ownership of any firearm that is reasonably effective for self-defense is prohibited; and (b) the carry of the few firearms civilians are permitted to own is generally prohibited.  However, as bad as the laws can be in truly communist states like New York and California, many states that issue licenses to carry firearms (or have constitutional carry laws) have laws that strictly regulate when and where guns can be carried.  While there are some places where all weapons are typically prohibited (jails, courthouses, secured areas of airports), it's good to know that a man may be able to carry a knife in places where he is unable to legally carry a gun. State and local laws vary greatly concerning the types of knives that are legal to possess and to carry. (Please remember that, just because you may find a knife for sale in a sporting goods store or at a gun show, does not mean that it's permissible for everyday carry in your jurisdiction. This article is not intended to give legal advice.)

 

But what constitutes a good knife? First of all, I advise men to avoid carrying a knife that will cause undue attention.  Large sheath knives are almost always a "no-no", as are butterfly knives, switchblades, karambits, gravity knifes, and knives with a double-edged blade.  The best knife for a man to carry is a lock-open (AKA lock-back) folding knife with a single-edged straight blade that is no greater than four inches in length.  You will certainly want something more substantial than a Swiss Army knife or a Leatherman, but you also want something capable of doing any work that you need it to do that doesn’t involve poking holes in bad guys.  This is why we look at the blade design of the knife.

This photograph illustrates the most typical blade designs available for various types of lock-open folding knives.  It should be noted that each design has its advantages and its disadvantages:

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I am going to focus on the most common blade types.  The drop point blade is your typical hunting knife.  There really isn’t much that needs stabbing when I'm out in the woods trying to kill a deer, turkey, or duck, so this type of blade emphasizes cutting.  The tanto point and spear point knives, on the other hand, is made specifically for poking holes in things.  While they are certainly able to cut, they are not specifically designed for that purpose.  While spear-point folding knives are available, this type of blade is far more common on double-edged weapons (which are usually a no-no).  This makes the tanto (or a variation of the tanto) far more common.  The clip point, however, is my favorite.  It features a sharp point for stabbing with plenty of belly for cutting.  The clip point was made famous by the Bowie knife and the U.S.M.C. Ka-Bar knife.  This is why the clip point is my personal weapon of choice. 

The third thing to consider is how easy the knife is to get open.  The truth is that most knives suitable for daily carry can be quickly opened with one hand.  This is accomplished through a thumbhole, a stud, or similar device affixed to the blade.  The most effective, however, is the "wave" feature common on most Emerson knives - which allow the blade to be opened as the knife is drawn from the pocket.  This is faster than any switchblade and makes the Emerson my favorite daily carry knife.  I personally carry the Emerson CQC-8, which I would define as neither a drop point nor a clip point, but a unique blade combining the best of both worlds.  Of course, an Emerson is a very expensive knife (usually over $200.00), which is why — if I had to choose something else — I would carry a clip point.

The fourth and final factors that goes into a knife is the steel.  Those familiar with metallurgy could probably write books about the types of steel most suitable for construction of a good knife.  I have adopted the following rule:  "When you stick with a reputable knife manufacturer, you will get the knife you pay for."  The Emerson uses very high quality 154CM steel.  It's easy to sharpen and holds an edge well.  However, the AUS-8 Japanese steel used by Cold Steel and SOG is also quite good, and those knives cost far less than an Emerson or a Benchmade.  The amount you are willing to spend on a knife is a personal choice, and will ultimate depend greatly on its intended use and the importance of the knife to its user.  I consider my knife to be a potential life-saver in a situation where I don't have access to a gun, which is why I carry a very high quality knife. 

I will conclude this article by noting that I am specifically not recommending that brothers engage in knife fights with Antifa.  Knives are extraordinarily dangerous.  They can kill with remarkable ease and penetrate body armor.  Even the "winner" of a fight involving a knife is likely to lose a great deal of blood, spend time in the hospital, and face extremely serious felony charges.  With that having been said, the right faces an enemy that grows bolder and more violent with every passing day.  The lawful carry of a knife could ultimately mean the difference between life and death.

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Author: Jason L. Van Dyke, Esq.

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