Regarding push daggers, as cute as they are there are potential complications that can come up before someone might use one in self-defense, and they are certain to come after they have used it.
The first point is that I suspect they are illegal to carry in most jurisdictions. While in some places in the U. S. the law might allow a person who has a concealed weapon permit to also carry and potentially use such a knife in self-defense, in most places the CCW only pertains to a handgun. Other laws govern knives.
“Ah”, you say, “but what if you carry the push dagger openly?” First, it is hard to carry it in any way that it is not concealed at least partially or at times, depending on how it is carried, what clothing is worn, etc. Second, there are laws on the books in some jurisdictions that allow law enforcement officers to arrest people who openly carry a knife—in at least one jurisdiction the display of a pocket clip is enough to get a person arrested.
As you know, there is a patchwork of laws in place across the U. S. and across various countries. In one jurisdiction where the law is written to allow knives to be carried that are not “designed and intended” to be used as weapons, that “design” and “intent” comes down to interpretation by law enforcement and the courts.* Under those rules, it is probably illegal to carry a push dagger since it is designed and intended to be used as a weapon and cannot be justified as a tool intended for some other use or general utility.
Then, if someone actually uses a push dagger in otherwise legitimate self-defense, they are likely to be charged criminally for carrying an illegal concealed weapon, with any damage they might do to an aggressor to also be adjudicated according the local laws and preferences of law enforcement and prosecutors.**
The bottom line is that maybe the push dagger should be left at home or else only carried by people who are legally authorized to do so because their professions require them to go in harm’s way.
That is true.
Usually when I post about gear I include links to those products in Amazon (I get a small % of it) but in this case there was none to be found. I looked further and could not find a single push knife/dagger in Amazon.
That alone goes to show the problematic laws and bans they face in many States.
Yet again, you simply have to know the laws that apply you. For knives, guns and self-defense, knowing the law is important.
Having said that, where legal to own and carry I do believe they have the advantages mentioned. Compactness, ease of carry, instinctive use and outstanding retention being the most valuable traits.
No affiliation of any kind and I’ve never bought from them, but knifecenter.com does seem to have a wide variety of push knives offered.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”