Push Knives, useful or just cool to look at?

Jun 9, 1999
I've seen these before and thought they would be pretty good defensive knives. I'm thinking specifically about the Cold Steel versions. Any thoughts?

Just because I talk to myself doesn't mean I'm crazy. What's wrong with getting a second opinion?

I've been thinking about it for a few years as well. I finally caved and got my CS Safekeeper II this week. It's definitely a "single purpose" knife. I'm curious to read the responses you get.

I got one in 1990. I think it's called the Defender. I carried it a couple of times but it's really no good for anything but defensive use plus it's illegal in my state. It's been sitting in a drawer ever since.


Hello - if neck knives are considered last-ditch defensive knives, then I would consider push blade knives to be even more of a last-ditch weapon. IMO, they are really only useful for stabbing, and are tough, at best, to slash with. Cold Steel has an interesting one, that is shaped like the Vaquero Grande. I think this one might be good for slashing, but I'm not sure about stabbing.

I like push knives... I've got the Cold Steel Safekeeper II - and yes, it's a purely defensive knife. It's ideal to integrate into standard punches which is great if you study something like boxing or even karate - without having to learn "knife fighting". A jab to the face becomes a very nasty stab. A punch to the body becomes a very nasty wound. In other words - very "natural" to use effectively. I also find it quite easy to slash, but range is limited since the overall length is not there.

Overall, a really intimidating looking weapon and one of my favourites - legality within your state would determine whether it is a good idea to carry or not. It's also relatively low profile since it's overall length is short.

Better than a standard fixed blade? If I was going light and concealed I'd take my SafeKeeper, otherwise I'd go for a full length (ie 7in + blade) for primary carry (to get more reach). A push knife as a "weak hand" weapon is probably ideal - with the main hand carrying a pistol/stick/another knife. As a defensive weapon, I think the push knife is superior to a 4inch folder tho.

Just some thoughts...

I've had 2 CS "Urban Skinners" (that was the original name b4 they changed it to Defender) for over a decade. They are ideal for CQC, especially when you "sneak it into play". Tough little buggers with a good solid grip. When you can't carry a fixed blade, they are a good alternative.

I have used a push dagger made by Flavio Ikoma for two years and after taht time I could do most anything wth it I uesd it to make all my cardboard boxes, for instance. Later, I started using liner lock folders but have not found them better than the push dagger. Actually, I drpped the push dagger in favor of the folders because I though the push dagger was too hard on my clothes, and the AFCK I´m using now made a big hole on the backpocket of two of my pants! I better get back to the push dagger.
As for the Cold Steel push daggers, I have only seen them, and they look very useful fgor their purpose.
Best regards

Ivan Campos

P.S.: There are no restrictions on push daggers here in Brazil
I love my CS Desperado. Scary as hell the way it comes out of nowhere from the belt line in a reverse draw.

WRT stabbing vs. other attacks, the Desperado is a full size nogales clip blade, and is effective pretty much any way it comes into contact.

The grip does take getting used to - sort of like a hard rubber egg. Very natural in a reverse grip, the forward grips are strange, but workable - just not a whole lot to hang onto. The traditional push dagger "punching" style grip is very comfortable, and really imposing with a full sized N clip blade sticking out of your fist like that.

[This message has been edited by Brian_Turner (edited 21 June 1999).]
I have messed with the Desparado, and Safe Keeper. Like the Safe Keeper, would love the Deperado IF it came in plainedge. Safe Keepers are popular in my department, because they are part of our Edged Weapons course (which i get to go through next month). Actually the older style sheaths (leather w/clip) are more popular than the concealex for 2 reasons: every piece of kydex that I have seen for CS knives is cheap, thin, POS kydex. The leather sheaths are used as badge carriers by our plain clothes and off dut people.

The Concealex sheath on my Safekeeper (bought in Dec '98) is pretty decent - thick enough and holds well on friction alone. The concealex/kydex sheath that I got with my older model Vaquero Grande was absolutely thin and a POS tho.

The Safekeeper sheaths are good enough for their purpose and will stand up to use (unlike my Vaquero sheath.)
I have carried an old Urban Skinner on and off for 15 years. As was mentioned previously, it is very tough. It has a razor sharp,single edge with a semi-sharp false edge. What I like about the Urban Skinner is its low profile. When worn inside the waist band, it is barely visible.

[This message has been edited by Willie Boy (edited 23 June 1999).]
If you understand the difference between a slash, hack, slice, and cut, the pushdagger is a very good knife with some real utility functions.

They are not good for hacking, but they are competent slashers. Yeah, the technique is different, so what? You you try to use a hammer like a screw driver? They are different tools that require different techniques, but are equaly useful.

Push daggers are great slicers. Not the best maybe for precision work, but for opening boxes, slicing pizza, stuff like that, they are fine.

They can cut well, but it takes some getting used to. Again, not the best for delicate work, but they're fine for bigger stuff.

When it comes to fighting, you can't really find a better thruster. They shouldn't been seen as unskilled weapons either. Sure, you can use them like throwing a punch, but you can use a straight handled knife like a truncheon. Of course that places needless limitations on your technique. You can do things with the pushdagger you can't with your fist, and you should train to make use of that.

ComTech had a video on their combative use, I never saw it, but most of their stuff is good. The thing to remember is that they are only a one-trick-pony if that's what your mindset is. Were it not for legality questions, I'd pack one. Dammit, I need to get my concealed carry permit!
Thanks for the info guys, Thats what I love about this forum, I can learn from other peoples mistakes and good choices.

Just because I talk to myself doesn't mean I'm crazy. What's wrong with getting a second opinion?

[This message has been edited by Roadrunner (edited 23 June 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Roadrunner (edited 23 June 1999).]
I have actually used my CS SafeKeeper I for self defense. My girlfriend and I were walking back from a movie in a less than wonderful area of LA and we had parked at the back of a parking garage. As it was pretty late, we were pretty much the only people there. Just as we were approaching my car, a rather seedy looking fellow approached us and brandished a cheap stiletto style auto (I'm assuming he thought that would be scary, but not to someone who has Daltons and MTs). Knowing that we would be in a potentially dangerous part of town, I chose my SafeKeeper rather than the usual BM Stryker. Note: I keep my push dagger held upside down from the back of my belt. Well, the dolt demanded I give him my wallet, so I reached towards my back pocket. Fortunately, he was quite jumpy, so as his eyes darted to my trembling gf, I quickly drew my blade from the kydex sheath and took a slash at his shoulder. The knife pierced almost effortly through his leather jacket and through him, finally stopping when the blade hit his collar bone. Needless to say, he was scared out of his mind and he dropped his knife (still have it). He ran off as I comforted my rather shaken girlfriend. O, he was caught at a local hospital when he went to have his wound looked at. I can't remember how he said it happened, but I remember it was hilarious. Just goes to show you how effective a push dagger can be.


PS: The Desperado is cool too, though I've never had a chance to test it's defensive capabilities.
Pushdaggers were popular in the 1800's as a hideout weapon for Gamblers and Ladies of the evening.Moving forward a hundred years, they are a great last ditch/backup weapon today.The cold steel versions are the best, especially the "Urban Skinner/Defender" series.They work best just to punch with,but are easily adaptable for "slashing techniques.An attacker can also be hit in the face(jaw ,nose)with a heel palm strike while you are still holding the Push Dagger.This gives you the option of empty hand or a push dagger technique. NOTE: As with any weapon you carry for self defense,check your state and local statutes before carrying.Although some state statutes may allow certain weapons to be carried,they may be forbidden by city or municipal ordinances.
I understand the possible legal complications of push daggers especially the double edged ones. I have the Outdoor Edge Caper, Whitetail Skinner and Game Skinner. Since these are not push knives but the T-handle design is similar I'm curious if anyone has run into legal problems. I carry the two smaller ones occassionaly but it makes me kind of nervous so I like to keep them covered witha jacket.


who dares, wins

I used to have both the Safe Keeper II and the very cool Benchmade Kuma Zume. I sold them both, though, for legal reasons and their weakness in utility use. Great defensive knives though.

If I was loaded, however, I'd try an adventurous design I have in mind. In theory, it would be highly intuitive, more so than typical push daggers, and it would be far more useful in utility purposes. Best of all, it would have great natural point of aim, similar to that of a pistol.

Oh well.
I've carried a CS Urban Skinner ever since they hit the market. I carry one for SD most of the time. I also use it for skinning deer and pelting Beavers. It allows me to use the fingers of both hand without putting the knife down. Lots of belly. It also woorks as a short; sharpened pry bar.
Does anyone know how I can determine which states Push Knives are illegal to carry in?
Depending on the design, a T-handle knife can have far more utility than self defense. We've been selling our Whitetail Skinner, Game Skinner and Game Caper to hunters and sportsmen for over eleven years. With the T-handle you get a lot more leverage, can use both hands without setting the knife down and have improved safety when using the knife hard since there really is no way to slip.

The #1 thing to look for in a utility T-handle knife is see how many different ways you can grip it other than between the knuckles. If the grip is comfortable when you use various grips this is good.

A pure defense knife is good to have but you never want to use it. On the other hand a utility knife is good to have and even better to use.

Outdoor Edge Cutlery Corp.

David Bloch,