Defense-Utility? Show of Hands

Warning - This post is intended to kindle further debate
(all in good fun)

Regardless of the original motive I am glad we are rasing the question. If most of us use our knives almost exclusively for utility purposes, and we agree that virtually any knife can be used for defensive purposes (common kitchen knives have probably been used more often than anything else), then why are we and the industry so concerned about using knives for self-defense.

Could it be that knives positioned for "self-defense" are subjected to lower practical conditions and hence easier to design/manufacture/sell, than knives that need to meet, and deliver performance for basic utility?

A knife sold for self defense (i.e purchase exclusively for said purpose) tends not to be used - many of you carry a knife for utility and a separate knife for self defense; nor does a knife developed for self defense need not have a practical blade shape (e.g. Americanized tantos, chisel grinds). Is this just a gimmick to sell anything with a point while capturing the interest of former and current gun entusiast(like myself). Is it an excuse for defending impractical stuff that would otherwise be in-defensable.

I usually assume that any of my knives may and could be used for self defense. My decisioned to purchase a knife is based on whether the knife provides adequate utility for the specific purpose I intend to use it for. I wish we would focus more on utility and lesss on defense - only because the criteria for utility provides a higher test standard.
I carry a kniffe for utility reasons, but I have once had to use it for defense. Fortunately, it was a Black Ti Police and, therefore, intimidating as Hell. The punks backed off when they saw me pulling it. I was in an elevator and they were preparing to use the STOP button, and I started to draw the knife. They backed off and, when the elevator reached the bottom, they ran up an escalator to the street. I was scared s**tless, but I had nowhere to go, I was cornered. I would have used the knife and dealt with the ramifications later, if I had had to do so.

Walk in the Light,

To FullerH:

What a great story. Good thing you had the Police on you. I consider the Police to be a timeless tactical classic. For several years I carried a serrated Police as a defense/utility folder. For utility cutting tasks I found that the Police had a bit too much tip and that the tip would grab or catch too much when reaching in to cut something. Although I love this knife I have retired it as my carry choice and I tend to prefer a blade with a bit more belly. My current carry folder is a 4" titanium Model 4 by Kit Carson.

I personally think many of us are nuts about "tactical" knives because we have little other cause or use to carry a knife other than out self defense fantasies. I would be the first to admit that this is true of myself. I am a bona fide knife nut, good lord have pity on me!

To a certain extent though, I am seriously prepared to defend myself. I live in a predominately peaceful world, and the chances of needing to defend myself with a knife are slim, but it is an unpredictable world, and to me, knowing the nature of our species, I consider it somewhat irresponsible not to make some preparation for violence, even if it were just to think how best to react non-violently if I were physically incapable.

When it comes to a daily carry, I do look for knives that are ergonomic, reliable, and cut efficiently above all else. I have found that most of the same characteristics that make a knife a good hard-use utility knife make it a good defensive tool as well though. All thought of defense aside, the knives I like are the ones that cut efficiently, are strong, are easy to keep ahold of, and don't cause debilitating discomfort if used hard and long. In other words, a good utility knife.

Last night, I was out for a walk with my friend Plato. He was born 5 years ago with a full set of chompers and goes about 70 lbs now. I was walking through a dark place but feel secure from two legged beasts.

I usually have a knife from my dragonfly money clip to larger folders but I count on the pup for the defensive work. Most bad guys follow the rule of least resistance. Dogs mean trouble. If I needed more than old Plato, I'd apply for a CWP. Though as a pastor, I wouldn't like to shoot a human made in the image of God. Deer, dove, turkey, ducks, rabbits, are another story.

So for me, Knives are 99.9% utility, although I did put my hand on Mr. Wegner, Sr. the other day when a rottwieler came out from behind a house the other day. The fat lug was out of breath by the time he hit the street and his equally out of shape master distracted him.

Next time, I'm going to go out with my folder of course, otherwise I'd be naked, but also with a can of Muzzle, which is mace for dogs. A knife is a weapon of last resort.

[This message has been edited by JerseyCitySteve (edited 28 July 1999).]

[This message has been edited by JerseyCitySteve (edited 28 July 1999).]
Many knives are marketed as defensive weapons only because the image sells. Since few will use the knives as defensive weapons, that don't have to be optimized to work as weapons, only looking scary is important.

Infact the whole "tactical" thing is 90% image. Look at all the knives endorsed or designed by high profile people who's careers and experience really has little to do with knives or knife fighting, or fighting with knives, or what ever you care to call it. "Joe Blow, a sreet lethal Airborn Seal Ranger with over a thousand kills with a rifle at 1 billion miles knows about combat. Buy the knife designed by a man who knows about killing". Yeah, like ability to squeeze a trigger or rappel or swim has anything to do with using a knife.

Beyond that, sure anything can be pressed into service as a weapon. You can race Yugo's too. Of course, I'll take an Indy car over a Yugo every time.

It's a matter of being well designed for a particular application. This also depends on who you intend to use the knife. If you're a slasher you want emphasis on belly, if you're a thruster you want a good point. Everybody needs a strong, reliable lock and a secure handle.

10%badge of warning

I always have a one hander clipped to my pocket.My work involves getting close to operating manufacturing equipment that potentially can grab clothing with severe results.I have to travel by car a lot and feel better knowing I have a rapid seatbelt remover.
As a permitted carrier of a concealed pistol,I don`t really expect to use my knife for defense.But I like having the clip showing to let the bad guys know there is easier prey to be had.The general public doesn`t seem to notice,so I`m not coming across as some extremist to them.Besides,knives are really cool.
AKTI# A000150

Are you trying to start a more PC name for tactical folders?

I think you will find few if any people on this forum or any other fourm who can say they use their knife for self-defense more than 5% of the time (and that is probably high).

How many of us fight our way back and forth to work?

Personally, I carry a handgun when traveling to places that a problem may arise. I also carry a knife on a daily basis, for utility purpose. My use of a true tactical knife stopped when I hung up my BDU's.

I think carrying a knife on your person gives many of us a feeling of security (real or false). This is shown outwardly with an air of confidence. It is a proven fact that criminals, like all predators look for the weak and sick of the heard.

Being aware of your surroundings and giving off a confident "vibe". Will, in most cases eliminate you from the "hunt".

David, you have started a good thread. It's always good to help people understand why they carry and how they would use what many people would consider a "leathal weapon".

Les Robertson
Robertson's Custom Cutlery
I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.
I get to use my knife about every 5 minutes at work and defend utility.

I just recently semi-retired my gerber bolt-action after 15 years or so active duty, the last 3 in the boxcutting field. I have recently found knives on the web and am having a ball. I am currently using one ill suited for the job but much more fun. But I am looking for one fun and functional.
95% utility

5% self-inflicted injury

!!! Loca Grande !!!
100% Utility.

I'm embarassed to say that 99% of that 100% utility is used to simply slice my daily lunch apple.

Even if I were confronted in a fight, I would most likely talk my way out of it or turn and run away. I'd draw it only if backed in a corner and forced to fight.

Always best to live to see another day than to live to see how tough you are.
100% utility. The Walter Mitty in me wants to say:
90% utility
10% defense
but it just ain't so. GOD FORBID I should have to use a knife to draw blood on someone else.

The choices we make dictates the life we lead.