I am curious if you have any advice on purchasing and carrying fixed
blade knives for self-defense. I usually carry the large or extra-large
Vaquero folder, but I am concerned that if I were attacked, I would not
get the knife out of my pocket and opened in time.
I believe that knives most definitely have a place as defensive tools, even in today’s world where firearms are considered more effective. While a handgun should be your first choice when possible, the knife, and especially a well made, well designed knife in the hands of someone with some basic understanding of how to use it can be a weapon of scary efficiency.
In general I favor folding knives for this application. In Argentina I would carry a large Cold Steel Vaquero Grande, which is still the knife I recommend the most as a terrific folder for defense. The folder has the advantage of being much more compact and in general easier to carry just by clipping it to the pocket.
The fixed blade has the advantage of being more solid and as you say they are faster to use. Just draw and use vs draw, open and use. How much of a difference is there? In general I feel that its not enough to outweight the ease of carry and portability of the folder. In the few cases that I needed to bring out a folder for defense, speed was not a problem (that doesn’t mean there aren’t other incidents where 0.5 second difference does matter)and in fact snapping the blade open clearly had that desired stomach drop feeling on would-be attackers. Having said that, I have also carried fixed blades in certain situations where I wanted more of a knife, when going on more dangerous places or taking trips to more complicated locations.
The things to look for are the following:
Strength: You want a tough, strong blade. It’s surprising to learn how many times knives have snapped when used to defense. The weight of the attackers body, the momentum, the blade caught in flesh and bone, it all can put a lot of strain on the blade and you need a tough, strong blade to tolerate it.
Handle: You want a good solid grip on your knife so the handle is important. Too many times knives get dropped during violent confrontations.
Sheath: Key to how a knife is to carry, you want a good sheath that allows for comfortable and secure concealed carry.
These are my recommendations.
1) Cold Steel Kobun: Maybe the best concealed carry knife in the market, and selling pretty cheap these days. You have a strong tanto design, very sold blade, nice flat profile and a sheath that allows for good concealed carry. This is the one I carried the most and the one I recommend the most too.
This is the one I carried the most and the one I recommend the most too.
Cold Steel 17T Kobun$33.14
2)Kabar TDI Law enforcement: Designed for law enforcement, this is a knife that looks weird but feels nice in hand and works very well with natural punching techniques. Thanks to the angle just drawing and “punching” is enough to create some serious wounds.
3)Gerber Guardian Back up: Small yet strong, with a great Loveless design and a nice sheath, this is a good minimalist option.