Serious Knife Question

Not open for further replies.
Mar 25, 2001
I know that self defense is truly the number one reason for tactical high end knives. But how do knife owners feel about contracting aids during a knife confrontation for self defense. I would think that a handgun would be better suited for self defense.
I carry a "tactical" knife (okay, fine, *knives*) for utility purposes. At least, that's the story I give any concerned questioners. Defense is actually a big reason for carrying on a daily basis, it's the reason I *started* carrying, but I don't want to deal with uninformed laughter and "What, you think someone's going to attack you?" when I give that reason, so it's just easier to say the knife is for utility. Not a lie, but not the whole truth.

If I had my druthers, I'd carry a Sig P229 .40 cal, but considering the laws of my state (the great *koff koff* state of Massachusetts), I don't feel it to be worth the trouble. That handgun would *definitely* be better for defense than any knife I could carry, but given the realities of everyday life and work, knives seem (IMHO) to fit better into that reality.
Alex - if you're fighting for your life in a confrontation, the first thing going through your head isn't "am I gonna catch something from this mook?" It's more along the lines of either "How can I deal with this and come out OK", or "Oh, God, just don't let this a$$hole kill me". Sure, a gun is better if you can carry one, have the time to draw it, and the stones to put a bullet in someone, but if you ever get into a down and dirty fight for your life, most likely it'll be one where you're grappling with the guy, and reaching for a piece would give him an opening. Knives are quick to draw, small enough that they can be used effectively in close quarters, and can do a bucketload of damage in a short amount of time.

Of course, that's just MY opinion - I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller
Actually, my knife is a LAST resort for self defense. I'd pick up a bottle, pipe, or rock from the street before I used it. I agree that a firearm is a better defensive weapon, but in IL, I can't legally carry one.

As for AIDS, if I'm using a weapon, the confrontation has escalated to the point where I stand just as good a chance of serious injury or death without it.

[This message has been edited by Brian_Turner (edited 03-29-2001).]
Alex,No offense dude but knive vs. gun has been done a lot here and always gets someone all worked up.
Now for me I've had a carry permit for about 20 years,I'm a life member of the NRA and carry more than the average gun guy.But I always carry a knife, always.Why? It has some advantages over a gun,for me the biggest is I can always carry it in places a gun can't go.Like work,my kids schools,county parks ect.Plus theres times where its just hard to carry a gun,like when I hop in my hot tub with friends or family,a knife I just place on a shelf and no one looks twice and I don't have to worry about someone who might not know how to handle a gun picking it up.
Then theres times I take my kids over to one of the neighbors pools,same thing I can put a folder on a table and hop in the water no big deal.Out on our boat we often go to a beach,anchor and wade in,clip blade to swim trunks a lot easier than my Glock.
So for me a knife goes where my gun can't(add airplanes to list) and backs up my gun all others.One more I workout about 4 days a week,always have a folder clipped to my shorts during workouts.
Aids,is a concern,but how big? Well if I don't fight back and cut the attacker death may come a lot quicker.
I would take a Glock 19 or 26 anyday of the week. But where I´m from it is not legal to buy one unless you go through some serious bureaucracy. It would take approximately a full year. No limits on caliber or magazine capacity but even then a CCW is impossible to get unless you are very, very wealthy AND have recieved serious threaths.

So, I carry a knife and sometimes an ASP which I would prefer to use in a knifefight.

Getting HIV and developing AIDS would not be a great concern to me in a lifethreathening situation. Surviving the confrontation is more important to me than the risk of contracting HIV.

Alex1951 brings up an important subject here, and it will no doubt grow in importance, no matter what kind of weapon one carries (or does not carry, for that matter).
As a security officer, I've received training in "bloodborn pathogens" and other nasty stuff. Along with the much publicized HIV virus, there is Hepatitus C and a few other nasties.

Not to mention sexually transmitted diseases which may be passed on to a victim of rape.

Criminologist Gary Kleck has observed that criminals are generally a very irresponsible group of people who violate not only criminal laws, but also traffic laws and other safety rules, which is why LEOs can often find something other than a traffic violation during a stop. As a result, drug abuse (including intravenous, remember), "safe sex" habits, and for that matter, handwashing, are probably lower in the criminal element than in the general population.

If you are attacked by a scumbag, there is probably a greater chance that your attacker has something you might catch than if you were dealing with a law-abiding person.

For that reason, "exchanging fluids" with a criminal should be discouraged, unless absolutely unavoidable. While we may be envisioning a grappling, slashing, edged weapon melee with a mugger, close range handgun techniques (esp. if you use a contact distance shot) could also result in blood loss and contamination, perhaps with some blood-mingling and/or face splashing.
Also, as an absolute last resort, biting your attacker is certainly acceptable for solving an immediate "death problem," but even if nothing is contracted, waiting for results of HIV tests, etc. will not be pleasant.

There are modern procedures for emergency personnel (LEOs, EMTs) to handle blood on scene, as well as protocols for clean up of the accident/crime area.

I don't think it is prudent to ignore the threat, especially if we can plan on some training or equipment to mitigate it. I wear a pouch with rubber gloves on duty, but I don't carry these off duty. If I ever came into contact with someone else's blood, especially a criminal's (and ESPECIALLY if I had suffered open wounds during an altercation) I would make it a priority to wash off what I could to try to prevent any infections.

I have some ideas on this subject, but I suspect there is a lot more I could learn.

Do you think this topic is better placed in the "Practical/Tactical" section?


"Celebrate the diversity of inclusive, self-esteem nurturing, multicultural weapons arts." Karl Spaulding, The Safety Guy
I have a couple of Police Officer customers that I have specially designed knives for.

They are designed to ride on the "off" side of the hand gun and be immediately accessible in the event someone would rush the officer and get them in a postion where they are fighting for their gun.

The knife in essence is the last resort. I think this is in "general" the right attitude.

The one in particular a 5" tanto blade automatic will scare the jeebies out of you when it opens! Intimidation works too!
In order for anything to be "transmitted", bodily fluids must be exchanged. This is probably not very likely in a hand-to-hand confrontation.
If you get cut, you're going to be bleeding, which may be a good ( well, relatively good! ) thing, as infected blood is not likely to enter your system.
Getting bitten is more problematic!
It is definetely something to consider, however.

" Those who live by the sword will get shot by those who don't."
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Colinz:
So, I carry a knife and sometimes an ASP which I would prefer to use in a knifefight.

I have a pair of ASP batons that I keep near the front and back doors of my home. It would be nice if I could carry them as a defensive weapon, but it is illegal to carry them where I live, as seems to be the case most everywhere.

I find it strange that I can legally carry my Sifu but not my ASP. Still, that being the law, I carry a knife and leave the baton at home. <sigh>

--Bob Q
Saftey Guy, Glad to read your posts on Blade forum,you write well and have good things say. Now I happen to work with bloody people on a regular basis.Last Monday night we had a rather bloody shooting in a bar.Our only modern procedures are to wear gloves,sometimes glasses and try not to get much blood on us.We put our bloody equipment in a plastic bio-hazard bag for disposel.But clean up of the bloody floor of the bar,or any other scene is up to the owners of that scene.
Stay Safe.
Not open for further replies.