Fighting knifes ...

Dec 15, 1998
Although I hate to ask a question like that :
What is the best fighting knife in your opinion and why (maybe this could be a pro and con one ...) ?

I do own a Peacekeeper II which fits me best, what do you think of it ?


A fighting knife is something you can get to quickly, YOU are comfortable with and handle in a crisis situation. IMHO it should be a blade at least 6" in length and sharp. I however like the HK USP 45. <g>

Blue Skies

Well, you said fighting knife, not self-defense carry-knife, and so that changes the formula, for me.
When I think of someone FIGHTING with a knife, I think of a gladiator in the Roman Circus, or a soldier with a machaira (a Jewish knife used in war as a short sword, or a knife used in a slaughter house for killing animals quickly and as humanely as possible, James Mattis please correct me), or the Roman/Thracian short sword.
Put me in that situation, specifying a knife, and I would choose either my modified Buck Nighthawk, because it fits my hand and will hold up to light armor; or I would choose my wife's 7 1/2" Forschner Chef's knife because of its lightness, reach, flexibility, razor sharp flat grind, and low drag in (some folks call it a butcher's knife, and, after all, what do you cut with a butcher's knife...?) meat.
I'm not familiar with a "machaira" or any other specifically Israelite dirk/sword in ancient warfare. The knife used for kosher slaughter is called a "challif," from a Hebrew root meaning "change" (as in changing a live chicken into poultry), and its main features are a razor-sharp straight edge and no point at all - not what one would take to war.

Martial arts are not my department, but I think what I'd want to take to a knife fight would something between a 9mm and a 12-gauge.


For the definition of a knife I fall back on the Japanese standard of anything shorter than about 12". Further, the ideal fighting knife without regard to carryability or utility. With that boundary, I offer the fighting bowie as the best fighting knife with the Black Cloud Knives fifth generation Fighting Bowie being a good example:


The Mad Dog Panther is another.

The characteristics of what makes it so have been very eloquently stated by MadPoet, and I quote him from the Knifeforums General Forum (without permission, doh!):

"...the ideal fighter, beyound being a fairly large knife, say at least a 6-7" blade should also be light, fast, and scary sharp. Secondary in importance is strength, or edge retention, or utility as some other kind of survival tool. Taken to the etreme you are looking for something that is going to do its darndest to cut flesh, and afterwards you can worry if it needs to be resharpened!

While handle styles and guards and even the choice of a single or double edge come into play, its the quickness of the knife in use that makes it a great fighter. You don't need an absurdly thin knife, but a stick tang or tapered tang, and blade that is tapered from the hilt to tip reduce weight, and lend to making a longer knife that is still fast in the hand. A high, thin, tapered flat grind and thin, thin, thin, convex edge does the cutting."

[This message has been edited by Steve Harvey (edited 18 December 1998).]
Thanks, James Mattis. Change. Yes, I can see that.

I found the biblical use of the word sword which comes out of the word "machaira". See the reference to sword <3162> and its precedent roots which I found in Thayer's Lexicon.
I found another reference to the word "chereb", used as a knife in a slaughter house, but I don't have a program that will let me look up "challif".
The element "mach" seems to relate to fighting or conflict, and the the element "cha", or "che" seems to correspond to edge.
My apologies to any real language scholars.

he that hath <2192> (5723) no <3361> sword <3162>, let him sell <4453> (5657) his <848> garment <2440>, and <2532> buy <59> (5692) one

3162 machaira {makh'-ahee-rah}
from a presumed
derivative of 3163; TDNT
- 4:524,572; n f
AV - sword 29; 29
1) a large knife, used for
killing animals and cutting
up flesh
2) a small sword, as
distinguished from a large sword
2a) curved sword, for a
cutting stroke
2b) a straight sword, for thrusting

3163 mache {makh'-ay}
from 3164; TDNT -
4:527,573; n f
AV - fighting 2, strife 1,
striving 1; 4
1) a fight or combat
1a) of those in arms, a battle
1b) of persons at variance,
disputants etc., strife, contention
1c) a quarrel

3164 machomai {makh'-om-ahee}
middle voice of an
apparently root word;
TDNT - 4:527,573; v
AV - strive 3, fight 1; 4
1) to fight
1a) of armed combatants,
or those who engage in a
hand to hand struggle
1b) of those who engage in
a war of words, to quarrel,
wrangle, dispute
1c) of those who contend
at law for property and privileges

The Mad Dog quote reminds me of a friend's comment that a real knife should hold its edge even after hitting a belt buckle.
Yes, I would call the Black Cloud Fighting Bowie a fighting knife. Wow!
A fighting knife looks scary for your opponent. The size keeps the distance and the masses will hurt him plenty if he insist..

Al Polkowski makes some great fighting/defense knives designed by Bob Kasper. I have the companion, which is a small blade at 4 in., but because of this, I carry it everywhere. The scorpion, bulldog, and Pug are larger relatives and very well designed fighting knives.

The Kaspar designs are excellent if concealement is a priority, but how would you like to fight your evil twin if he were carrying a 10" fighting bowie and you were carrying a Bulldog?


Thanks for all the replies -

Merry Cristmas and happy new year to everyone
It is very nice meeting people like you ...

According to "Greece and Rome at War", by Peter Connolly, the machaira is an Celto-Iberian shortsword. It has a bent blade with a pronounced swelling toward the tip. The book shows an early Bronze-age version from Northern Italy and speculates that they were spread about the Mediterranean world by Celto-Iberian mercenaries. The Greeks adopted it as the kopis and Alexander the Great's troops carried them to th eIndus River. I remember some speculation that the kopis was the progenitor of the Ghurka kukri.

Building on Steve Harvey and FullerH, I would describe a Fighting Knife as a short sword, or the biggest blade I could wear on a regular basis.
A Randall #2 with an 8" blade might fill the bill for me. I have never held one and I would like to feel its balance and heft.

I have looked for a drawing or picture of a Kopi, but I have not seen one. Any references to an on-line picture?
I would first like to apologise. In my 12/24 post, I said that "machaira" was a what the Celto-Iberian knife was called. I was called a "falcata". I believe that machaira is a Greek name as is kopis. You can find pictures of the kopis in "Warfare in the Classic Age" or in the above-mentioned "Greece and Rome at War". I have also seen pictures of them being carried in various Osprey books on ancient soldiers such as their "Men at Arms or Elites series. Look for titles regarding Alexander the Great, Greek Hoplites, or Spartan Hoplites.
Steve, you have a good point, but the probability of encountering someone who is carrying a 10" bowie in NYC is highly unlikely, although not entirely impossible.

I would more likely encounter someone carrying a sawed off shotgun under their coat in which case I would just become highly religious.

Seriously, I just received a Black Cloud Staight Shot from Ernest Mayer,e and it is a beautiful fighting knife. Again, it's on the small side (6" blade), but this only only means it's easily carryable.

Other than collecting, what is the point of owning a fighting knife that you cannot carry?
I think that the knife know as a Fairbain-Sykes is the ultimate fighting knife,it's the knife of the SAS-troops;the knife fighting part is well documented in Colonel Rex Applegates book "Combat Use of the Double-Edged Fighting Knife",which is an instructors book for SAS.

My regards Flemming Jensen
Col Applegate would probably not have agreed that the FS was the ultimate fighting knife. In fact, he acknowledged it's shortcomings many years ago and spent a lot of time and energy designing and promoting the Applegate Fairbairn because he was not happy with the design faults in the FS.
The FS was prone to breakage and the blade shape was more suited to stabbing than cutting/slashing. Both were "fatal " flaws in a fighting knife.....just possibly acceptable in an assassins weapon.

Brian W E
ICQ #21525343

I'll stay with my choice. God created man, and Sam Colt made him equal.

On the other hand, a gun makes a real mess of fruit or packages.


[This message has been edited by James Mattis (edited 29 December 1998).]
This has been a quest for me lately - find the ultimate fighting knife.
I have recently been taking a martial arts class that incorporates Kali (among other things) which focuses on stick (same moves as short sword) and knife fighting. My instructor is Norris Domangue, who has taught, among other things, a seminar for the Army Special forces on knife fighting techniques.
From my searching, I have yet to find a knife to match one Norris owns called the Hobbit Warrior knife. Check out the following link for the interesting history of this knife: It was designed specifically for knife fighting. (Note: I don't think it's mentioned at the site but the shape of the blade and the serrations on the back are used for "hooking" techniques) It's a bit spendy, but you said ultimate, so go with the ATS-34 Version.

My budget pick is the Blackie Collins Designed Bowie machete from Ontario Knife. Info and Pics (toward the bottom) at I mostly like it for the hand guard. If you’re in a knife fight and you take hit in the hand (which is the target you make most accessible) the first instinct is to drop your knife. This ends the knife fight and starts knife attack defense minus one hand.

Final Note: This is not an endorsement for either of the web sites referenced. It's just where I found the info.

The Hobbit Warrior is great if there's three factors present:

* You like reverse grip.

* You like to fight "on the inside", moving in close and "inside his arc of swing".

* You've got arms like a Gorilla to avoid having the upper guard jam into your wrist and break it.

If that's your cuppa tea, cool. Me personally, forget it, I'm not fast enough to play in there, I want to use reach. See also this forum, an older thread by me with the word "Outsider" in it. I'll go find it, tag a word on the end so it's easier to find without resetting the "way back" counter in the top-right corner. That piece is sorta "the Hobbit Warrior turned inside out", still capable of hooking attacks on limbs but set up for a forward-grip long-reach gameplan.

Jim March