opinions/advice on defensive blade

Apr 5, 2000
Ok, I'm a knife-nut in that I love knives, but not a knife nut in that I don't know a lot about them (steel, geometry, etc.) All of my current fixed blades are heavy duty types ( camillus usmc, CS SRK, BK&T Campanion), and now I want a defensive fighting knife (I hope I *never* use it, just like I hope I never use any of my Glocks). In Tejas, they let some of us carry firearms, but there are times/places when a firearm is impractical or not legal. So, I want a fixed blade that is legal to carry (here in Texas that means 5 1/2" or shorter). I'm a big fan of tanto style blades. I'm looking hard at a CS Kobun.
Any opinions on this one? I've also looked at Livesay's UJI - very impressive, but I'm not too sure about liking a "bent" blade, or the lack of finger guard. I've also looked at the SOG mini tsunami, but not a big fan of 440A, and it seems to be a plain blade with a tanto point (no curve in the edge). Are there any other choices in a similar price range (50 - 120 bucks)? I'm really leaning towards the Kobun - anything bad I should know?

Last question, please forgive my naivete -
the CS and Livesay are both 1/8" thick - is this sufficient for good strength? That is, if you miss and stab something hard will it hold up? Can a 1/8" blade survive a side slap from a bigger knife?

Thanks in advance for your help!!
AN uji is my daily carry for defence for $50.00 its hard to beat very tuff good stabber and slasher.
I also carry a Dozier straight blade most of his blades are in the 31/2" range so they dont cause worry when carried in the open.
and theres always a glock to balance them out.
If you're looking at the blade as a fighter than steel type becomes far less significant - 440a, AUS6/8 will work just fine. I think 1/8th or 5/32 will work just fine for a small fighter. Also you may want to broaden you sights a bit and look at something like SOG's Pentagon dagger, the Seal Pup, or their NW Ranger. IMHO these are easily the equal of anything CS puts out and are very affordable. You might also want to look at a couple of Dozier's blades such as the Agent or Toothpick - although these are at the high end of your range.
I would buy the new carbon V kubon if I were to choose from the knives mentioned above. It has a very deep hollow grind which means it will actually cut through stuff rather than just skim the surface. The Seal pup is a bit bulky for everyday carry, while the kubon is really quite thin--only the culloden is thinner. I have heard that the little oval guard on the kubon gets some wear and tear since it is they only thing holding the knife inside the kydex. 1/8in is plenty thick for a blade that size, meant for that job. If you have ever tried beaking 1/8in thick blades, no matter what the steel, it is not easy unless you have a vice. I don't think the kubon is large enough to take a blade slap from something bigger, but most knives with <5in blades don't have a guard sufficent enough to do that stuff anyway. The Uji seems interesting, but micarta + no guard = problem
The bend in the uji tip is pretty slight.You can also have one made without the bend.As far as grip on the Uji.The micarta is pretty grippy and there are 5 sets of grooves cut into the micarta for grip.I carry an Uji and have done my own stabbing tests and have set in my own mind the knife's limits.On a knife with no or minimal(speedbump) guards any full force stabbing with wet or cold hand will be prone to slippage.Most of my knives are guardless and many have a finger choil as a guard.Relying on a small index finger cutout as a guard is (imo)a big mistake.The only real way to tell is to get your hand wet or slippery and do some stabbing.
What you find might surprise you.
In a fighting knife, a guard is needed to prevent another blade from sliding down your blade onto your hand, not just to keep your hand from sliding forward.


Thanks everyone!
I really appreciate the answers.
I'm feelin better about a "paper thin" 1/8" inch blade
. Also thanks for the steel answers. There's one more knife I didn't know about when I originally posted - I'll start a new post to ask about it...(tactical Ghurka)

It's nice to be a rookie and not be treated like a dull blade!
I wouldn't get the tactical gurka from Junglee if that is the knife you are considering further. It has a very very thick edge that is extreemly hard to sharpen, and the one I got was not sharp at all from the factory. The tip is also not even remotely pointy so basically it is just a prybar with a rubber handle and nice leather sheath.