What determines a self-defense knife? How to find the right model

Self defense knife

The mere mention of the term “self-defense” arouses many people’s associations with adventure, freedom, and exciting challenges. In the outdoor area, in addition to the sense of sight, most other senses such as taste, smell, and hearing are also required.

If a critical situation arises, it must be overcome as well as possible. There is no reset button like on a simulator. The multisensory challenges and the “real” experience are what make self-defense training so attractive. For thousands of years, we humans have learned to develop tools for easier self-defense in the wild and for hunting.

They are still necessary today in self-defense training in natural settings such as the wilderness. However, conflicts can quickly arise with regard to the items of equipment to be carried. The tools should be suitable for as many functions as possible, but not too heavy either. In this way, you do not turn out to be a hindrance when you move quickly, such as when you are fleeing.

Self-defense and the right knife: what kind of work should it be used for?

Adventure fans often take the term self-defense literally and train to survive in nature or wilderness. They do without the special achievements of civilization such as mobile homes, tents, industrially produced canned, dry, or other ready-made food. The use of matches or lighters is frowned upon.

Self-defense also means being able to use what nature has to offer to build a shelter for the night. Depending on the season, you should also be able to feed on plants, fruits, or mushrooms. If huntable animals are preferred, they must be trapped or fished and broken up.

If meat or fish is actually supposed to enrich the menu, it is common to light a fire to grill without a lighter or match. This means that a fire drill set must first be made. With this, dry moss can be ignited. In the ideal case, the self-defense knife performs well as the most important all-around tool for all the activities presented.

In detail, the following work should be easy to perform with the knife:

  • split wood
  • Cut off branches
  • Carving wood (stick, bow and arrow, building traps and much more)
  • Killing a trapped wild animal
  • Breaking up and cutting up a prey animal
  • Scale fish
  • to pick mushrooms
  • prepare meals

If you are looking for a new self-defense knife, you will surely find the right one in our online shop.

Self-defense has always relied on good knives

Self-defense knives received an important development boost from Webster L. Marble. He made a name for himself in Michigan in the 1890s as a wilderness lover and tinkerer. He was constantly developing tools that made it easier to hunt, fish, and explore the then little-touched forests.

Until now there have only been knives that have also been used by butchers and cooks, he developed a new concept. The hunting knife was characterized above all by a heavier blade and its special shape. The hunting knife was reminiscent of a scaled-down Bowie knife. The combat knife reached in the early 19th

Century in the Wild West of the USA certain fame. It was largely due to Colonel James Bowie. A typical Bowie knife is equipped with a wide, long blade with a length of up to 30 centimeters. Bowie knives have a fixed blade and are characterized by a characteristic knife tip which, for example, supports the function as a stabbing weapon.

What are the characteristics of a self-defense knife?

It is understandable and well known that the size and shape of the blade have a decisive influence on the properties of a knife. The type of steel used for the blade as well as the shape and material of the handle also influence the character of the knife. This also applies to the way the blade is attached to the handle.

In addition, the type of sharpening of the blade demands attention, because different common sharpening causes different properties of the knife. It also plays a major role whether the self-defense knife has a fixed or a retractable blade. To make the knife safe and reliable, the folding and locking mechanism on a self-defense knife must be solidly constructed.

Which steels are particularly suitable for self-defense knives?

There is simply no clear answer to this question because every steel is a compromise in terms of its properties. If it is known which properties are preferred, the manufacturer can choose from the available steel grades or develop a new alloy.

Of course, there are high-quality steels that have properties that are well suited for self-defense knives and support many areas of application. The knife blade steels, which are ideally suited for outdoor knives, are characterized by a carbon content of at least 0.22 percent.

In order to meet the requirement for corrosion resistance, precious metals such as chromium, vanadium, and molybdenum are added to the steel. They make the knives rustproof and the steel relatively soft, which contradicts the requirement for hardness. The composition of the blade steel is therefore always a compromise. Balancing the details against each other is a challenge.

It ultimately leads to different results and thus brings out the specific properties of each blade. The designation “stainless steel” is protected throughout the European Union. In the USA, too, it is registered as a trademark at the Federal Institute for Intellectual Property. Whoever uses the designation must guarantee the trademark owner the intended rustproof composition of the steel.

Which blade shape is the best for self-defense knives?

Some of the blade shapes available are primarily used to create a knife for as many uses as possible. Different shaped blades give the knife properties that make it more of a selected special knife. The most common are the following forms:

  • Normal blade: Blade with a convex construction and straight back, the cutting edge tapers to a point
  • Clip-point blade: the straight back of the knife has a concave indentation towards the tip (clip)
  • Drop point blade: one of the most popular blade shapes, the back of the knife and the cutting edge connect with a convex curve to the tip (not entirely symmetrical)
  • Knives with normal blades are reminiscent of kitchen knives, but self-defense knives are more robust. They are suitable for chopping wood, for piercing or skewering, and very good for cutting. The clip-point blade has a much longer and thinner point.

It has excellent piercing properties and the point is very suitable for drilling in wood and for widening holes. For many users, the drop-point blade is the blade with the best all-around capabilities. The tip of the drop point blade is less spectacular than that of the clip point blade. But it is stronger and more robust. The opinions of the experts differ on the question of whether the self-defense knife should have a retractable or a fixed blade.

The biggest advantage of the foldable knife is that it can be carried inconspicuously on almost any occasion. This means that it is always available. A restriction can exist if locally applicable requirements of the regulatory authorities prohibit the carrying of knives. The fixed knife that most adventurers prefer for self-defense cannot accidentally collapse. No mechanism disturbs the connection between the blade and the handle. The load-bearing capacity of the connection between the blade and the handle is, therefore, higher with the fixed knife blade.

The cut of the cutting edge determines the cutting properties of the knife

The most common grinds for self-defense knives are the flat grind and the Scandinavian grind. The crowned cut is also used on more expensive models. The flat grind runs on both sides either over the entire blade or only part of it. It has a so-called secondary bevel, a bevel that determines the actual sharpness of the cutting edge.

Thus the blade remains very stable up to the cutting edge and still has very good cutting properties. Regrinding a flat grinding requires holding the angle of the secondary bevel, which takes some practice. The Scandinavian cut looks similar to a deep flat cut. With him, the cut starts in the first third of the blade. Unlike the flat cut, the Scandi cut does not have a secondary bevel.

Blades with this type of cut, therefore, penetrate the material to be cut more easily and are ideal for carving wood. However, breakouts occur more quickly because the blade is very filigree just before the cutting edge. The regrinding of a Scandi grind is very easy for this. To do this, the entire surface of the cut can be placed on the grindstone.

The crowned cut also has no secondary bevel. Like the flat bevel, it can run over the entire blade or just part of it. The spherical cut forms a uniform convex curve up to the cutting edge. This achieves very good cutting properties with very high stability. However, the displacement is very large, which is not ideal for all tasks. It also takes a little more practice to re-sharpen a spherical cut.

The handle and the blade are firmly connected

With a robust self-defense knife, the connection of the knife blade to the handle is particularly stressed when doing rough woodwork. The type of connection, the handle material, and the design of the handle has an influence on the robustness, handling, and versatility of the knife. With jack knives, there is also a far more complex technical problem.

The load on a folding knife used outdoors is usually very high. The folding mechanism must be able to absorb the forces and at the same time offer safety in the operation of the knife. The knife must be easy to handle. Nevertheless, for reasons of safety when using the knife, the blade must on no account accidentally collapse.

There are basically three techniques available for attaching the blade to the handle of fixed knives. The safest and most robust connection can be made when the blade extends continuously to the end of the handle. To do this, it has to be forged from one piece. The two handle shells are riveted or glued together so that in both cases a permanent connection is created. The technique is called Integral, Full Tang, or Fletcher.

It is also possible that the blade tapers towards the handle and only protrudes into the handle as a narrow band. Then there is talk of Rat Tail, Spitzer, or the concealed Erl. The extension of the blade is called the Erl. It is plugged into the handle and glued. If the blade ends in a round rod, the connection is called a round tang or screwed tang. Glass fiber reinforced G-10 plastic is often used for the handle because it is robust and insensitive to the weather.

But there are also natural materials such as noble-looking wood or horn used. A knife handle with a special look and a very special design is the paracord handle. It was originally developed for paratroopers. The handle is wrapped with a paracord cord. For emergencies, the tear-resistant cord is always available, which can be easily unwound from the handle.

The matching self-defense knife from Knife Master

The US online shop Knife Master has the perfect knife in its portfolio for every adventure. Both outdoor experts and newcomers to this field are guaranteed to find what they are looking for here.

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