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Blade Length

Discussion in 'Knife Laws' started by Alpenglow, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Alpenglow


    Jan 7, 2019
    Hello, new member here . First post.

    Question, as I cannot find an answer whether blade length (legal definition) is defined as the length of the blade that has a sharp edge, or length of the blade as measured from the front of the handle/scales/bolster. But then there are those knives where the blade just blends into the tang without any change to contour other than the sharp edge, and the tang is the handle.

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  2. Dfunk1210


    Apr 7, 2015
    I can almost guarantee you blade length will be the length past the end of the handle. I can hardly see a LEO measure just your cutting edge and say you are good to go lol
    marchone likes this.
  3. sgt1372


    Oct 16, 2018
    Blade length is measured from the tip of the blade to the base where it meets the handle and/or guard. If the handle/guard is angled or contoured, it's the shortest distance between those 2 points.
  4. tom19176

    tom19176 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    I agree with the two above BUT there used to a LEO from Conn posting here who said some of his officers measured the cutting edge and it held up in court, so you never know....
  5. cheesemaster


    Jun 29, 2012
    Regardless of the legal standard, if it even exists, I don’t think I’d expect to get very far quibbling over quarter inch differences with an LEO. That just sounds like a bad day. So I try to stay well on the safe side.
  6. sgt1372


    Oct 16, 2018
    I agree that it's generally not worth "quibbling over a 1/4 inch" but bear in mind that, in any situation, LEOs have the discretion to: 1) release a "suspect" of any crime w/o any legal consequences whatsoever, 2) impound an apparently illegal knife w/o arresting the suspect and/or issuing a citation or demand to appear or 3) to arrest and book a suspect on specific charges that a DA can choose to prosecute or not.

    So, there is nothing lost by attempting to make a case (in a calm and patient manner) for using the length of the cutting edge rather than the blade for measurement by claiming ignorance of the law (which will be no excuse in court) but may incline the LEO to simply impound the knife (which he will probably just keep for himself) and release you so that he can avoid "wasting" at least several hrs booking you in and writing a,report to support the arrest and booking.
  7. zzyzzogeton

    zzyzzogeton Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 17, 2013

    Actually, Connecticut's "dangerous weapon" law has in it ".....(5) any knife that has a blade with an edged portion four inches or longer." https://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/rpt/2007-R-0346.htm has a much more in depth report on CT Illegal Knives.

    This is where the less than 4" edged max comes from. The problem is the laws do not include any definition of the "edged portion." Do you measure the actual cutting edge length or do you measure a straight line from the tip towards the guard/front edge of the handle and stop at 4" from the tip and see if the sharpened edge extends beyond that "magic" 4".

    If they (the people of Connecticut) have had court cases where the actual measured edge is the governing criteria in the verdicts, then court precedent now has that limit set in concrete until a law change occurs.
  8. Brookes


    Jan 3, 2019
    Like every finger are different from each other similar how the knife length is same. Length is differed according to person.
    that is my thinking I don't know how many of your agree with me.
  9. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    Your local law may have more definitions that are not part of the normally quoted law. It may take some looking to find if the law references some other standard.
    I would guess that measuring back from the tip, the major feature that is first encountered, so bolster if it has one, choil or end of edge if there is no defined handle scale. That is how I would do it, rather than handle out.
    The reality is that if you live somewhere with a knife length law, and it is poorly defined, you need to decide if you are willing to be the test case. Or pay a legal researcher to find out for you if there is case-law already on the books. Probably not the answer you hoped for, but its the best I got.
  10. David Nowlin

    David Nowlin Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    I hate that the laws differ from state to state. Guess i’ll just have to rent a lawyer to bring with us on our vacations for now on?
    Laws just work for law abiding people. Criminals gonna do what ever the want.

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