Life saved by your knife?

Jan 16, 2001
i was just wondering if anyone here had ever experienced a situation where their knife saved their lifebe it againts large, angry animals that are hungry or even a survival type situation... figured it would be interesting to hear about.
Used a machete on a wild dog once but the real survival situation was when I fell through the ice about 6 miles back in the woods. I used an SOG Trident to chop a branch to support the ATV so it didn't sink and then had to pull my full wieght(180 back then) out using only the knife stabbed into the ice. That's why I never venture out without a good fixed blade easily accesible.


Bill Siegle

Bill Siegle Custom Knives
Camp and Japanese Styled Knives a Specialty
Sold a small neck knife to a deputy sherrif once. A year later he comes by my table at a show to let me know a paramedic used it to save a kid's life. The kid had his throat crushed in an automobile accident, and it seems their scapel was missing from their kit. The deputy produced mine & they used it to perform an emergency tracheaotomy (sp?) on the kid. Sort of made my day....
My first (purchased) Spyderco Delica was used in two separate instances to "cut down" suicide attempts by hanging. It was also used once to prepare first aid supplies for my old gf's son who was injured in a rock climbing incident. Another time, I used it to cut seatbelts from the victims of a head-on collision with grave fire potential. The knife has been retired. It paid it's dues.
I haven't had one save my life yet but another officer that I work with did. He got into a fight with an armed suspect. The Officer was on the losing end when he whiped out his Delica and stabbed the suspect in the neck. Definately saved the officers life.

Dennis Bible

I've used a spyderco Police to cut a ski line after it had entagled a person who was being dragged by a boat. (I was assigned to watercraft patrol for a couple years)
I used a Spyderco Delica to cut down a woman who was attempting suicide and have seen three other "hangers" cut down with duy knives.
I've heard tales of many lives saved with knives, might make an interesting book.
Stay sharp

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell
"Those who hold the thin blue line keep order, and insure that anarchy and chaos will not prevail." Chad (1992)
"He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. He who dies by the sword did not train hard enough" -Chad (1999)
This story was related to me by a WELL-KNOWN knife maker about 18 years ago whose name will remain unknown for obvious reasons. The place it happened was Texas

" I was going back to the knife show from my hotel room and was walking across the railroad tracks that were between where I was staying and the show. While I was crossing I was accosted by a man who demanded my money. I was carrying one of my bowies behind my back and reached for it as if I was getting my wallet. I drew the knife and slashed downward across his arm (I can't remember if he said he had a gun or knife) and he fell to the ground as if he had passed out. I went to the show and gathered up my stuff and immediately went home." This maker is a fairly good sized man and I am sure that cut was substantial.

If he reads this I hope he e-mails me because I want another knife from him..

[This message has been edited by sheepdip (edited 01-23-2001).]
My old Camillus Pilot's survival knife saved my butt when I accidentally slid down a glacier (also got about 7 rolls of slide film of the adventure). I used it to stab and guide myself around the crevices (some so deep you couldn't hear rocks hit bottom when they fell through) and then slow me down enough to prevent me from falling off a straight 2000 foot drop. I hit a bunch of boulders at the bottom, and both the knife and I went banging and rolling over them, still doing about 40 mph. I stopped about 7 feet short of the drop. If I hadn't used the knife to slow down me down, I would have certainly gone over the edge.

I then used it after the fall to sharpen and notch a piece of elk horn, and lash that to my walking stick for better traction when getting out. I had to climb back up the glacier and up about 800 feet of rock cliffs (free climb). The elk horn/walking stick was a sort of makeshift crutch, since I had chipped a bone in my hip from the fall and had to spend another two weeks walking out after the climb. It was trying and painful, believe me. The hip still aches when it rains.

The knife withstood huge amounts of lateral stress when I kept stabbing into the ice -- I weigh about 185, and my pack was about 60-70 lbs. My friends who were there guessed that I was travelling down the ice at about 40 mph. Add that up and you'll get an idea of the amount of stress the knife had to endure (not to mention my poor body, LOL). Ths knife isn't even bent slightly.

I still have and use that knife; it's almost 20 years old now (first fixed blade when I was a kid), and was about 15 years old when this happened. And I'd been using it hard for those fifteen years. It has quite a bit of sentimental value to me as you can imagine.



Brian Jones
Wilderness & Survival Skills Forum

[This message has been edited by Brian Jones (edited 01-24-2001).]
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bill Siegle:
Used a machete on a wild dog once but the real survival situation was when I fell through the ice about 6 miles back in the woods. I used an SOG Trident to chop a branch to support the ATV so it didn't sink and then had to pull my full wieght(180 back then) out using only the knife stabbed into the ice. That's why I never venture out without a good fixed blade easily accesible.




that story has gotten better... I recall you telling it when you attended one of my winter trips in 2000. Now how did you get that ATV to be supported with a branch?



Greg Davenport
Simply Survival's Wilderness Survival Forum
Simply Survival's Web Page
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Here is a good one.Several years ago, a local man was clearing timber on a coal strip site with the idea of using the logs as building material for a new home. A big oak log slid onto him, shattering one of his legs just below the knee and pinning him there. The leg was only attached by some muscle. He took his rusted pocketknife, sharpened it on a stone and proceeded to cut himself free. Then he drug himself to his pickup and drove to the nearest residence and had them call 911. Afraid of going into shock, he drove till he met the ambulance. The truck was a stick shift!!! He survived and ultimately built the home as he had planned. One helluva TOUGH individual.His name as I recall was Don Wayman, from Armstrong Co. Pa.
Saw him on tv telling his story after he got his new leg. Quite an individual.
Glad you liked it, Darrel. It was my own foolishness/recklessness that got me into the situation, but luckily I'm around to chalk it up as a learning experience...

Wouldn't wanna repeat it, but wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

I remember that story. We had a little write up about it in the newspaper I work for. That guy had some intestinal fortitude.
I can't say whether or not this saved my life or not but a knife definitely helped me out. Back about 1988 or 1989 when my job was still located in NYC, I was walking across town on 42 St to the PA bus terminal. On a dark street in front of Bryant Park(before they cleaned it up for you NYers), this guy comes running up to me with half a beer bottle in his hand saying, give it up, give it up. I reached in my pocket and pulled out my Benchmade 975 CQC7 and made it click open as loud as I could. He looked at it, didn't say a word, and took off running across the street. Being a native NYer, I'm always pretty aware of my surroundings but he shook me up pretty good.
I'm pretty new here so hey to all. My wife who hails from S. Fl. has been picked on(mugged) half a dozen times. This is primarily due to her size and slow movement as she has MS. While i was still dating her the first Christmas gift i gave her was a Benchmade Panther. At lunch time one day in a strip mall drugstore she noticed a big dude in front of the line checking her out before heading outside. Experience prompted her to take the folder out of her purse and palm it inside her pants pocket. When she got outside the guy was waiting for her. He pushed her against the wall with his hand around her throat and whispered with threats the he wanted her purse. To the folks around it appeared like they were just a couple leaned against the wall. She nodded her head and as the guy moved back a bit she pulled her hand out out, flicked the folder open (actually tore her pocket, just noticed it later!!) and slashed the guy across the chest. Needless to say the fight was over, the guy was charged and convicted - served 8 months - he also has a bunch of priors on his record and was actually carrying 3 knives one of which was an illegal automatic. Sorry bout this being long. BTW she did get the panther back after a while. She was able to use another knife on another occasion which i would be happy to share

Later, eugene
First off I am personally very glad to hear stories of decent people saved by their forethought and preparation. We all hopem and pray the day never comes but when it does we owe it to ourselves and loved ones to act, legally and responsibly, to protect ourselves regardless of the type of threat. I used a Gerber Guardian one time in a nasty situation. Coming out of a convenience store, I notice a large fellow sitting on the hood of my car. After asking him to leave, and noticing his friends in the car next to mine, I went back in the store to get a security guard. He was unfortunately unwilling to help out, so I went back outside and the man approached me. He and his friends joked about having a Deliverance sort of evening with me, and he grabbed me by the jacket. Outnumbered, alone and in fear for the sanctity of my person, I drew the knife, cutting him once across the lips and backing away to my car. Problem solved, no further action needed.