Sunday, December 4, 2016

Zedd vs Foray


Talk about a mismatch!  The Zedd is made in Russia by Kizlyar Supreme and the Foray is made in the USA by Benchmade.  Did someone let a lightweight in the ring with a heavyweight?

Foray and Zedd D2
Today's match:  Kizyar Zedd D2 VS Benchamde's Foray


Let’s see what happen.  There’s the bell.

Let’s start with the blade.

The Zedd uses D2 steel.  D2 is considered by many to be the best knife blade steel because of edge retention and corrosion resistant properties.  The steel has high carbon 1.3% and less than 13% chromium.  A lot of that chromium is tied up as carbides and not available for corrosion resistance.  These blades are hardened to 58-59 Rc.

Despite its drawbacks, too many people like D2 to simply dismiss it out of hand.  Just wipe it off with oil now and again and it will be fine.
 
Foray uses CPM-20CV steel.  This steel contains 1.9% carbon and 20% chromium.  The recipe is topped off with a jigger of Vanadium (4%) and a dash of Tungsten (1%).  I did notice that there are several different formulas for 20CV stainless on the internet.  Here’s a link to the Crucible information sheet.


20CV is reported to have better wear potential and edge retention.  The nature of powder metals, when handled properly, produces a finer grain with smaller carbides and better properties.  Will 20CV become a world beater?   Well, that’s an answer we’ll have to wait for.

The Benchmade blade is hardened to 59-61 Rc.

Zedd and Foray
Both nice looking knives!


The Zedd utilizes both a flipper and ambidextrous stud.  I like that option.  As their website says, “…let's agree that it is not always a good idea to flip open a knife in public.”  I would go farther and suggest sometime the polite, two-handed opening is the way to go!

The Foray is set up for stud only, but can be open with either hand.  Yes, I know you can pull the axis lock back and flip the blade open.  I also know in every knife class I have taken, everyone who uses that method of opening their knife loses it at least once during the practice drills.  People using studs and flips never drop their knife while opening it.  Something to think about.

There is no question the Benchmade Foray is easier to open and close than the Zedd.

I wish the Zedd were set up for a 4 position clip.  Unfortunately the curved nature of the clip doesn’t allow it to be reversed.  It is set up for tip up carry.  That’s a plus.  Nor is it set as deep pocket carry as the Foray. 

Benchmade vs Kizyar
The Zedd D2 on left has a curved clip as compared to Foray straight clip


Many of us remember knives with molded plastic clips.  They couldn’t be moved and they didn’t allow for deep pocket carry, and we thought they were the cat’s pajamas.  But that was 20 years ago.  Almost all the better knives come with moveable clips.  While deep seated knives are less noticeable, I’ve found them a little more difficult to withdraw from my pocket.

Having ranted about that, I need to point out that the Foray is only left/right tip-up reversible.
The Foray weighs 101 grams as compared to the 141 grams the Zedd weighs.  That difference is less than a double shot of rye whiskey.  That difference is not important to me.

The Zedd uses a liner lock and I like the design, the entire thickness of the liner is behind the blade.  The Foray has Benchmade’s Axis lock.  I can’t go to war over which lock is better, but I will say the axis lock treats lefties better than the right-handed liner lock.

Full thickness of Zedd linerlock
Kizyar's Zedd has the full thickness of the liner lock behind the blade



Here’s the box score!

Zedd
Foray
Blade steel
D2
CPM-20CV
Blade length
3.22 inches
3.22 inches
Blade thickness (max)
0.11 inches
.14 inches
Handle
G10 over metal liners
G10 over stainless liners
Operation
Manual flipper and stud
Manual stud
Clip
Metal
Metal
Clip position
I position, right side tip up
left/right reversible tip up
Lock
liner
axis lock
Handle thickness
0.58
0.56
Over all open length
7.87 inches
7.34 inches
Price
$120
$225

Now, these aren’t my knives and I can’t perform the indicated functions. That is, cut with them, carry them, use them, resharpen them.

What do I think?  Well, nobody pays full retail if they are willing to do a little searching.  Even so, the Zed is quite a knife for the price. 

I’m not a steel junkie and I don’t mind sharpening my knives.  The larger, contoured handle of the Zedd fit my hand better in static tests.  I still have enough hand flexibility to work a liner lock with either hand and I liked the flipper/stud option.


For the money, I would go to go with Kizyar Supreme‘s Zedd as a basic everyday carry knife.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Events Revisted

Knife Gun shows do bring out some interesting people.

I ran into a fellow who had a very interesting Bark River fixed blade knife.  It had a well-oiled wooden handle and a 12-14 inch blade.  The tip of the blade was pointless, similar to that of a butter knife.  He was selling but the $250 price was out of my range.  I thought of telling him I’d stand tall at $100, but decided not to.

Talking to other dealers I found out he had just bought the knife from them the week before.  It was obvious he was trying to flip the knife.  I hope he has fun, but I had the idea that the last person on that money pyramid would be stuck holding the knife for years before the price caught up.  And it wasn’t going to be me.  Still it only takes one customer who desperately needs that knife for his collection.

You can't always get what your want
I also ran into a fellow searching for a Kershaw Leek made with S30V steel.  The original ones were made that way, but now that they are available in Wal-Mart the best you might do is 420HC or 14C28V.  In truth 14C28N sounds like it could be a quality steel, if heat treated and tempered properly. 

The problem is, Wal-Mart has a well-deserved reputation for pushing manufacturers to use shortcuts and cheaper materials.  One only has to remember what happened to Rubbermaid.

I wouldn’t trust any knife I could buy at Wal-Mart for anything serious.  There are too many cheap counterfeits being brought into the country and who know where they end up.

Something New
I’ve been selling knives for years and I ran into something I haven’t ever seen.  Anywhere.

I take credit cards.  More and more people are using credit for everything from buying a cup of joe at McDonalds to a new car.  So a man walks up to the table and wants to know if I take “real” money.  I thought that was a satirical comment on credit and he was referring to greenbacks, bucks, dead presidents.

He wasn’t.  He wanted to trade one ounce silver bars for a knife.  I backed out of that as fast as possible.  Look, last Saturday an ounce of silver was selling for around $18.35.  Today it’s in the upper $17.  Who knows what it will be tomorrow.  I would have low balled him at say $15 an ounce and I’d still have his problem of selling the silver.  I can’t go to the bank and deposit silver.  I would have to sell it at the going rate or try to barter it away like he was trying to do.


Real Money or not
Are they silver?  Are they actually 99.999% silver?  Dot they really weight what they're stamped?

It’s an impossible system.  Even when we were on the gold standard, a gold coin had a fixed value.  Besides, how did I know it was 99.999% sliver and an honest one ounce weight?

Maybe if society collapsed and we were all bartering .22 rim fires for bread, we’d all have scales and would barter in silver.


But you know what?  If it was the day after the apocalypse, I’d rather have steel knives than silver. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Kydex and More

I spend some time working with kydex.  There always seems to be a knife or two that needs a sheath.  I have a very nice BK/Ka-Bar neck knife that has a sheath, but always seems too big to wear around my neck.  I realize most kydex fabricators buy features like belt loops and such.  I wanted to make on from scratch. 

The first one  (this implies I made two) look pretty good, but I wanted to fiddle around with giving it a polished edge and I thought a little heat would glaze the tool marks on the cut  and sanded surfaces.  A heat gun worked well for that and for deforming the delicate loops I had cut in the kydex to give access to the Chicago screws.  Well, if I can make one I can make another.  I found that isn’t exactly the case.  The second time through I started looking for shortcuts. It worked and I’m happy to have converted that neck knife to a belt knife.

kydex belt clip on knife sheath
My belt clip on the pre-molded sheath


Over the summer I picked up a 511 neck knife that needed a sheath.  I decided to go with a taco fold sheath and it worked quite nice.  I used a set of french curves to help me draw lines on the molded kydex.  Once I had the shape I wanted drawn on the kydex, I sat down with the band saw and cut out the pattern just outside the pencil marks.  From there a fine sanding belt and even finer hand sanding and I got a nice shape.  Unfortunately the 511 neck knife has asymmetric grooves in the handle and I’ve not been able to figure out a nice cord wrap to add a little needed grip friction.

The kydex sheath changes a $10 knife to a winner!

The Ohio Classic Knife show was last weekend Nov 4 and 5 in Cambridge, Ohio.  The show starts at noon on Friday, but I’m not sure why.  Everyone knows that Sundays are terrible days for shows, so I suspect promoters shift the show dates to Friday and Saturday in the hope of catching more traffic for the vendors.

It’s really about the attendance.  Every salesman knows that at the root, it’s about numbers.  More people mean more buyers.  More buyers mean more chances to sell.  You can figure out the rest.

Friday afternoons are pretty empty hours.  You pray that retirees, people who have taken Friday off or have Friday off will come and shop.  You hope the after work crowd will forgot drinky-poos with friends, dinner with family, or just being done with work and come out and shop.  That doesn’t always happen.  So despite it being early in the show and having the best selection, they are nervous to make a sale and vulnerable to negotiating.   At least that’s my current theory as seen from both sides of the aisle, as seller and purchaser.
Empty Friday morning
Low attendance one hour after opening on Friday.


I bought a nice little neck knife from Battle Horse.  What could be more masculine than wearing a knife around your neck?  Even a small knife at that!  It’s in kydex and the sheath utilizes a sliding lock to insure the knife doesn’t fall out.  I like it a lot.  It could become the nucleus of my Mr. T starter kit. 

Battle horse neck knife
I'm just crazy about neck knives, go figure.

Mickey Yurco sold me a gorgeous knife with an orange and black scale handles attached to a nice D-2 steel blade.  With his numbering system I know it’s his 3407th knife made.  That is very cool, too!  The knife came with a very nice leather sheath.  Mickey does his own leather work and recently purchased a pattern hammer which allows him to literary hammer a textured pattern into leather. 

My new Mickey Yurco knife
It's a nice little utility knife and after seeing Mickey work a knife, you don't need 16 inches to steel to be deadly.

Mickey and I talked about knife fighting.  Well actually, he talked and I tried to learn.  Mickey is one of these high speed guys with deep understanding of defense and offense with a knife.  After a few seconds with him, you can easily imagine how deadly a knife in the hands of someone trained can be.

I also ran into John and Dave from Shadow Tech at the show.  I got to see images of their new prototype folding knife.  It doesn’t have a name yet and it should be ready for the SHOT Show in Las Vegas Jan 17 -20 2017.  (God knows how much I miss that show!)  But if it’s not ready, you’ll see it at BLADE 2017 .
 

Stay sharp!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Off to the Shows!

Two knife/gun shows in two weeks,  That’s a record for me. 

It was obvious from the start the Great Lakes Knife Show was in for trouble from the beginning.  Our GPS lead us to an empty lot on the Rock River.  It was only because we looked around and saw a building on a bluff overlooking the river that we found the place.

We stayed in Rockford, IL and came up I 90.  There was one sign that said “Knife Show” at the exit and then there were none.  Zero. 

We drove around several closed businesses until we found a mini traffic jam in a parking lot.  We knew then we found the knife show.  The facilities were great.  Wide aisles, clean rest rooms, limited food menu.  How limited?  Only one choice of the same sandwich for meals each day.  Let’s forget the food; we were there for the knives.

Great Lakes Knife  Show
We arrived early and set up in anticipation of non-existent customers.

There were a lot of vendors.  A surprisingly large number of young men forging and make knives.

We were next to Gravelle Knives.  Josiah Gravelle has spent the last ten years making knives.  As he told me, beats having a real job.  Most of his sales are on the internet and he uses Facebook and Snapchat.

One of Josiah Gravelle's best sellers  GT-1
GT-1.  One of Josiah best sellers.  It's a half inch thick slab of A-2 steel.

Snapchat is especially interesting to me.  It’s a novel advertising media.  Snapchat, for us oldsters, is an app for mobile devices that allows users to post videos and images for, as I understand it, 24 hours before it self-destructs.  That’s a useful feature if you want to post that image of yourself drunk out of your mind, running around pantless wearing your undershorts on your head.  Not the kind of thing you want future employers to find.

Snapchat claims they reach 41% of the 18-34 year olds in the nation.  Interesting….

Gravelle knives  GT-1 half inch thick A2 steel
Yeah, it's a crappy picture but the knife is a half inch thick and Josiah sells everyone he makes. 

Facebook.  Most of you know Facebook and you realize that it is one of the preferred modes of communication in the digital age.

Unfortunately, the Great Lakes Knife Show only started utilizing these two modes of advertising the day of the show and not in advance.  While they utilized older models like the internet, printed flyers and printed media, they just didn’t get the play they wanted. 

As a result the show was poorly attended and sales, the reason for the show, suffered.

I think I know how Uti-bebic felt in 2000 BC when he was told nobody used clay tablets anymore and parchment was in!

I also spent time with Mr and Mrs. Biggins and their knives.  They had forged knife I wanted in the worse way, but I doddered and then I diddered and before I knew it, it was gone.  They too don’t use a website, but rely on Facebook and Snapchat to introduce their knives and sell them.

The message is clear to me.  If you’re trying to establish and grow an activity or business and you’re not utilizing the new electronic media you’re fubared.

The second knife/gun show was the Medina show.  It’s a regular for me.  The weather was wonderful and sales were slow.  Not atypical outcome in early October.  I did have several interesting conversations.  

The one I remember the best was about a knife collection.  Frankly, nobody ever talks about small collections, only large ones.  It must be a manhood measuring kind of thing.  He had a big one, he said.  It was so big in fact he told me,  “I have knives I’ve never seen.”  Maybe he has buyers make purchase for him and they go directly into storage without his inspection.  I wonder how many empty boxes he has been sold.

One common thread at any gun or knife show is counterfeits.
  
While I was at Great Lakes Knife I came across a box of loose Bear and Son butterfly knives marked “Your choice, $50.”  They were box less and looked like Bear Song IV knives.  They retail for around $137.  Now, I’m a dealer and I understand wholesale prices and if we assume the seller breaks even, $50 is impossibly below the wholesale cost.

These were counterfeit.  And it harms the knife industry and each consumer.  You think you’re getting Bear and Son quality, but you’re getting a piece of shit.  Bear and Son takes it on the chin because the knock-off doesn’t hold an edge, breaks when you need it, or falls apart in your pocket.
  
Now, it’s the American way to make something cheaper.  Your neighbor makes a widget and after careful inspection you realize you can make one just as good but cheaper.  Maybe you discover it doesn’t need level 10 performance, most if not all of that widget’s product life is at level 6 performance.  So you make it cheaper, use stronger material, make it lighter, make it different and you put your name on it and go into the market place and announce “My widget is as good as ABC’s widget, but you can save money.”

Soon your customers will tell you which one is more right that the other, unless they get Congress to regulate in their favor.

What you don’t do is announce that your widget is really ABC’s widget and because of some special fast slight-of-hand, you can sell their product cheaper than they can.

You know when you type it out, counterfeits make no sense.  Why do they persist?

Maybe it’s idea of easy money.  Maybe it the fact that most of us will never do anything, never depend on it, never need performance out of that knife.  We just want something to show off while we’re standing by the barbeque while waiting for the burgers to be done. Well, good luck with that.

Kind of a sad commentary, that our adventures require a cheap stage prop.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Box Cutters

I find myself collecting box openers of all things.  Many collectors will, at some distant time, liquidate their collection and reap great profits.  I don’t suspect I’ll be one of them.

It’s hard to understand what draws me to box openers.  It wasn’t the stock boy job I had in high school.  It wasn’t so great that I want to remember the daily grind.  There were a few things that stayed with me. Like the time a can of White Rain hair spray went off in the cardboard incinerator or the stack of pickle jars that got away from me.  What a mess that was!  Pickles and broken glass everywhere!

I suspect it is the variations of a basic tool that I enjoy.  You could simply grab the sealed flaps of a box and rip it open.  I don’t know how many times you could do that in a day while stocking shelves before you wore yourself out, so cutting was the way to go.  Besides, many stores want to cut the packing box so to make a shallow tray so hard-to-stack cans could be layered on the shelf.  


safety guard on Ry-Krisp box cutter
The front of the box cutter.  Note how the guard covers the single edge razor blade.

Then there’s the graphics on the side of the box cutter.  Some are rather nice and some remind us of products we knew as a child but never survived the great product wars to grow into adulthood with us.

I picked up a nice Ry-Krisp box cutter made by Bailey Beschta out of California the other day.  All I could find about the Bailey Beschta company was they were incorporated in California on Feb 7 1955.  Ralston Ry-Krisp just recently went out of business, but there’s an internet buzz that a group of investors may try to pump a little life back into the crackers.


back of cutter note Ralston Cereals
Slightly roached back.  Ry-krisp were made by the Ralston Cereal company.

One side of the box cutter looks a little roached (that term from American Pickers is creeping into my vocabulary!), but it is the aluminum blade guard that caught my attention.
The cutter uses a single edge safety razor that is not retractable.  Instead a spring loaded guard protects the blade’s edge.  Pressure against the box would swing the guard out of the way and expose the working edge.  The cutter is set up with a hold so you could suspend the box cutter from your wrist, freeing you to pick up product and place it on the shelf.


The open knife shows the strong utility blade
If it was black and assisted opening, it would be TACTICAL and you could charge more for it.


I also purchased a Sheffield utility/box cutter.  It’s the older style, non-spring assisted opener.  It locks open with a spine lock and is missing the stud to thumb it open, but it does sport a pocket clip.  The clip is not reversible and holds the knife tip down in your pocket.  This knife uses a utility blade instead of a single edge razor blade.  It’s significantly heavier than the Ry-Krisp cutter, so it’s up to heavier usage.

I bought this chiefly to round out my collection with an example of current box opening technology. 



The clip is set up for tip down carry.  I', sure it could be drilled and tapped to reverse the clip of either side.  Note:  Fingers are original equipment.

Both were a little dirty when I got them.  A wipe down with a little warm water followed by a good spray with WD-40 and another wipe down cleaned them up quite nicely. 

If you know anything about the Bailey Beschta Company, I’d be happy to add your comments.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Warther Hunter

I ordered it at the WRCA Knife Expo and it arrived the other day.  The Warther production Hunter is a nice looking knife.


New in 2016 Warther hunting knife
The script W seems new, but the jewelling is a Warther trademark


I’m not a huge fan of Warther knives.  While they make kitchen knives, custom folders, fixed blades and letter openers, it seemed they were stuck in the past making the same production knives year after year.  

This is also tempered by a story my Yee Sing Kung-Fu instructor, Les, told me.  

It seems he ordered a knife from Mooney Warther.  It was just an ordinary folder, but they would incorporate a silver dollar as a bolster in your knife.  Les wanted one with his birth date on it.  After waiting a significant amount of time the knife was ready and Les had his father drive him to Dover, OH to pick up the knife. 

As Les told the story, in the year since they agreed on a price, placed the order and placed a deposit, the price of silver rose quite a bit.  Mooney didn’t want to honor the original price.  Les stood his ground and got the knife for the original price, but what kind of adult tries to jack a kid up for a few more dollars? 

That was Les’s side of the story and the impression a 12-year-old has about a business transaction can be flawed.  Still, that story has always left a sour taste in my mouth.

But this year (2016) Warther Cutlery has released their first production hunting knife.  So I bought one. What’s really noticeable is the jewelling Warther does to their blade.  It is great branding.  When I look through old kitchen cutlery, I just need to look for the jewelling.

I’m kind of entranced by their first production hunting knife.  The 5-inch blade is made of CPM S30V steel for the steel junkies.  I don’t follow steels very much, but so many of my folders use this steel and I like the way they cut and resharpen.  The Warther handle is G-10 and it sports stainless steel bolsters.  I like stainless steel because it doesn’t react with the fatty acids in processed leather like copper or brass to form green goo.

I also admit the knife is part investment.  There always seems to be a market for Warther knives, at least in Northeast Ohio.

Should you buy one?  I don’t know, but I suspect it would make a great present to the outdoorsman in your life.


Warther hunting knife in use around the camp
It makes a great general camp knife as well





Sunday, August 7, 2016

Tactical Folder part two

Few people have the same insights to tactical knife as knife maker Ernest Emerson.  His early knives were almost tactical art knives.  Evolution and his personnel interest drove him to form his company specializing in hard use tactical knives.

Shadow Tech Karambit
Shadow Tech's Karambit may have a curved blade, but it isn't what you would call a utility knife.

In 2012, Ernest Emerson addressed the tactical knife largely from the police user point of view.  To a large degree their needs are not too different from the civilian.  Here’s Ernie.

1.  Design:  When the US Navy asked me to design a rescue knife for their special boat units (SBU), they gave me a list of tasks the knife would be required to perform.  I designed the knife specifically to address those tasks. 

2.  Purpose of the knife:  The purpose of the knife will dictate what knife you should get.  Is the knife a weapon?  Is the knife a utility tool?  Is the knife an emergency rescue tool?  Is the knife an entry tool?  An undercover officer going into a potentially hostile environment will have completely different requirements than a SWAT officer.

3  Ergonomics:  Ergonomics is one of the most important aspects of Tactical Knife design.  It must feel comfortable when you use it and handle it under stress.  There must be no pinch points, sharp corners or unnatural feel to the handle.  There should be a place for the fingers that do not force them to a specific location.  In addition, the knife should not be too large or too small for your hand, but should be just right.  The bottom line is that your knife should feel like it fits you, in size, shape and weight. 

4.  Size:  As I have already stated, any design must be purpose driven.  Therefore, the size of the knife should be reflective of the task it is designed to do. 

5.  Materials:  There are two categories, blade and handle.  Starting with the blade, I would recommend a good quality stainless steel.  The knife industry is so competitive that any reputable knife company is now using good to high quality steel.  If the knife is only $3.98, it’s made in Pakistan or China, no matter what it says.  The best knife steel ever used is plain old W1 tool steel and it’s been around for a couple of hundred years.  It’s the stuff your files are made of and they cut other steels.

6  Handle:  Handles can be made of a variety of materials from plastic to G-10 and from Titanium to Stainless Steel.  What you want in a handle is something that is stable.  What I mean by stable is: It won’t shrink, check or crack.  Stabilized materials are generally waterproof.  They shouldn’t absorb sweat, water, gasoline, or oil.  Checkering or a textured surface of course will always give you extra traction, especially if the environment is wet.  Bare in mind though, materials do not make the knife.  Design makes the knife.  A bad knife with good materials is still a bad knife.

7.  Blade Design:  The blade should have a cutting edge and a point.  It’s really that basic.  More specifically, I like a good strong thick point.  If I have to poke or dig into something, that could damage or break a delicate needle-like point as found on some knives.  A couple inches of cutting edge is plenty.  Curved cutting edges cut cloth and webbing very efficiently, i.e. seat belts.  Blades should be a minimum of 1/8 inches thick up to 3/16 thick, for lateral strength; I recommend a hardness of 57-59C Rockwell.  At 57-59 C Rockwell, the blade has some inherent flexibility.  After all, a dull knife is still a knife.  A broken knife is . . . well, expensive crap.  One last word on blades.  Always, repeat always, get a serrated blade.  They always cut, even when dull and they blow through a seat belt like something vulgar through a goose.


Tactical folder from Spyderco: The domino
Spyderco's Dominio has almost all the desired attributes of a tactical/utility knife except for price!



8.  Locks:   I don’t get too spun up about locks.  A folding knife folds.  Get it?  Never depend on the lock.  It is not a fixed blade!

9.  Fixed Blade or Folder:  A fixed blade is inherently stronger than a folder (no moving parts).  So it comes down to this: What are you going to use the knife for?  Some cops who prefer fixed blades carry a much smaller version.  These knives which are the same size as an opened folding knife are very usable, efficient and are compact enough to be carried on a daily basis.  The choice between a folder and a fixed blade should be driven by use first and preference second. 

10.  Carry Options:   Pick a place to carry your knife and always carry it there.  There is no right or wrong about how you carry your knife.  It must be easy and clear to access and it must be in the same place all the time.

11.  Reputation:   This is one of those intangibles that’s hard to describe, but I’ll give it a try.  Your knife may break or need service at some point.  Will the maker of your knife guarantee their product and honor their guarantee?  Get your knife from a company that cares about its product and takes pride in what they make.  They are out there – you just have to look.


I have a slightly less verbose set of defining principles for the tactical knife that differ from both Bob Terzuola or Ernie Emerson.

The perfect tactical/utility knife should:
  • Fit the individual and be comfortable to hold when open and in use.
  • The blade should be between 2 and 4 inches, but equally important, legal to carry.
  • The blade locks open and remains that way until we decide to close the knife.
  • Knife can be opened with one hand, either hand.
  • The knife should be stay were we put it, not calling attention to itself.
  • The blade should have a strong general purpose, partially serrated blade and be able to perform functions from sharpening a pencil, preparing dinner and opening a package.  None of these functions should preclude self-defense.  The blade should be able to stab and cut with efficiency.
  • The handle should be a durable material, resistant to solvents, water, mild acids and bases and robust enough to hold the blade securely when open or closed
  • All metals have a heat treatment that produces the best compromise of strength, flexibility and edge retention. These conditions should be met.  You should be able to sharpen it with a stone you can buy at Wal-Mart.
  • The knife should be manufactured by a reliable company and be of a reasonable cost and good quality.  I may have to lose the knife and it shouldn’t cost me a days pay.
  • The knife should be capable of assisting me with my daily chores so I have it on me when I need it.


Summary: The primary task of a tactical knife is dealing with the mundane chores of daily life, opening items, cutting cord, ties, and tape, cutting food, brush and all the impediments we deal with.  It is only the seldomly used reserve function of physical combat or survival that the knife manufacturers address their marketing and design.