EDC Knife 101 – (PART 2 OF 2)

EDC Knife 101 – (PART 2 OF 2)

Because I carry, I get these questions frequently – as well as the question “why do I recommend people carry an EDC knife and not always a handgun?”

The simple answer to the latter is because people can train with knives/blades daily at home, as opposed to the occasional trip to the firing range. Most people do not get to the range enough to be competent or comfortable with their ability to use their firearm under duress. Also, because most people use an indoor range, shooters cannot always practice from the draw, which is critical in personal protection training. Also, with a blade you don’t have to worry about over-penetration and who’s standing behind the attacker. Not to mention there are places you simply cannot carry a firearm, however you can still carry a knife.

My tool choices depend a lot on ease of deployment. My rule of thumb is that if I have to dig in my pocket and manipulate it or have to unsnap something to deploy the blade, it’s a utility knife. That’s not to say I won’t carry a folder – I do. But it’s one of three types as mentioned in the previous article. (Microtech, Emerson or a Laguiole) The Emerson has a pocket clip and deploys when drawn, which makes for fluid motion.  The Microtech is an automatic and the Laguiole is a gentleman’s folder.  Hey we don’t have to be savages.  The Laguiole is a gentleman’s knife you break out at a vineyard or winery with your wife to slice an apple or some cheese.  Whereas the Microtech automatic knife with a partially serrated blade and glass breaker on the other hand is more of an E&E tool.  For example:  If you were in a severe vehicle accident and needed to exit the vehicle quickly this type of knife/tool could be a lifesaver.  It has a large deployment button for gross motor skills to utilize under stress, the serrated blade will easily cut through a seatbelt and the glass breaker will shatter a driver side or passenger side window allowing you to escape.  As for self-protection, the blade size is of little consequence in most cases, as I’ve explained to a few people, most of the vital targets are close enough to the skin’s surface that even a blade under 3” inches can reach them.

I also get the question as to why I carry two blades. My folder is for utility purposes and my fixed blade is for self-protection. I usually carry my fixed blade, IWB, in a kydex sheath, in appendix carry.  I can reach/draw the appendix carry blade with either hand. This depends on which hand is free and/or closest to the target.

I have other fixed blades setup for other missions/purposes and environments. For example, my Winkler Operator is setup for behind my back (scout carry) in a left-hand or right-hand draw and can be mounted/carried in various other positions.  My Dynamis blade mounts easily to kit such as a chest rig/body armor or can be worn with running shorts with full blade retention.  The Headhunter Blades (RAT and DIRTY) are setup for daily IWB carry.  A larger Strider fixed blade for field use and carried as a traditional belt knife. 

The military axiom “two is one, one is none” applies here as does the old adage, “use the right tool, for the right job”. 

The fact knives are more permissive than firearms in most states also factors into my decision of what to carry. When it comes to the legalities and drawing attention to you.  Demeanor is normally the deciding factor as to whether law enforcement questions someone about a knife – so long as you are not acting in any threatening or overly assertive manner local LEOs in my area normally don’t bother, unless you’re already engaged in conversation with them and they’re just curious. Even then it’s usually “what” you have as opposed to “why,” as they may be considering one for backup purposes; and if you can articulate specific uses other than defense (hunting, daily chores or other regular outdoors activities) it’s typically not an issue.  Ultimately a knife is a very functional everyday tool. 

All that being said, the level of responsibility when carrying a blade for personal protection is the same as with a firearm – as is the burden of proof for justified lethal force. This is where a thorough study of the local laws and, just as importantly, of legal precedent in cases involving a deadly force response to an attack is absolutely necessary. It is all too easy to go from victim to attacker in the eyes of a jury once you address the threat. If the attacker’s weapon comes out of his hand or ceases to be a threat, in most cases your counterattack must stop or you will be seen as the aggressor (I imagine this is the case in most, if not all states). As such, the principle of fear for one’s life must be adhered to before your blade comes out; and you should be able to demonstrate that avoidance of the threat was not an option, as not every state supports Stand-Your-Ground laws. That means everything you do and say will be scrutinized closely through witness testimony and any security camera footage that may be available. The homework cannot be skipped.

Another part of my EDC is a flashlight – it serves many of the same utility with a blade as with a firearm. I keep one in my pocket at all times. A trauma kit with tourniquet stays in my vehicle, and I keep a first aid kit (IFAK) in a backpack that also goes where I do.

EDC is not something that should be done on a whim – research, planning and practice are critical.


By:  Travis N. – Director of Operations at Bellevue Gun Club

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