Trying to decide...

Jan 14, 1999
Just finished a Law Enforcement Knife course (See review of LEEWT in the Tactics forum)

One of the reccommended knives is a push dagger strapped to the left (non-gun) side.

I want as many opinions (preferably from users) between the CS Desperado and the Safe Keeper series as possible. I really don't care for the serrations, but Mike can take care of that (great, another thread), and I have to admit that my CS VG gets steeled about once a week and is still shaving sharp after sporadic, hard use for the last 6 mos and will still shave hair. The knife will be a dedicated defensive knife, the utility functions are handled by my BM 800hs and REKAT Fang.

Thanks in advance.


I have never handled a Desperado, only seen pictures.

I do have an old Safe Keeper, back from the days when they were called Defenders, Mine was at the time the larger of the two then offered, it would be the middle size offered now.

The real advantage I see to the Safe Keeper is that it is extremely compact, and very easy to conceal. If you slip it inside your pants with the clip behind your belt it will be next to invisible. With a duty belt over that it may disappear completely.

Also, very comfortable to carry, the grip being at a right angle is very short, so there is nothing to dig into your ribs when you sit down.

I think my main concern with either knife you mention would be political. A push dagger has very little utility other than as a fighter. No matter whether you are in uniform or not, if you ever have to use it you are going to look like a cold blooded killer. Kind of like using a $2000.00 1911 with a hair trigger for self defense and loading it with over pressure hand loads. It may be the best thing going, at least until after you use it. I carry a S&W Chief Special Airweight not because it is the only thing I have nor the most powerful. If I do ever have to use it, it will work, and I won't look like I was looking for a fight. Besides, the Corbon hollow points are a factory load :)

If I were you, I would stick with your AFCK! If you feel that you really need the extra weight, Get a Cheif Special Airweight.


[This message has been edited by MNH (edited 22 July 1999).]
That is just it. I have a Ruger .38 for backup and have recieved specific training thru my department (backed up by policy and the DA's office) that recommends the use of the pushdagger. The dept and the DA are agreed that use of deadly force is use of deadly force. It doesn't matter if it is a shotgun or car or knife or....

on the otherhand, that may be the reason to go with the single edged safe-keeper III.

It sounds like you have all your ducks in a row, and all the questions on policy answered.

My choice would be either the smaller double edge or the small single edge.

It strikes me that the small single edge is an attempt to make a push dagger into an utility knife, with the result that it is less than ideal for defense use, and real limited utility value.

I would really want to handle both knives before deciding. If you do not have a local dealer I think dealers on the internet would let you order both, and return the one you like the least.
Let us know after you've ordered, too. I'm sure we'd like to hear your take on the knife and its sheath (I know I'd like to hear about the sheath more than anything). if it turns out you don't like the sheath or it doesn't meet your needs, please contact me and we can work something out in Kydex that will be ideal for your purposes. generic sheaths aren't always the best option for LEO's and other specialized personnel.

My Custom Kydex Sheath page
Palmer College of Chiropractic
On Two Wheels
As 'OJ' knows too well, beyond criminal prosecution there is always the possibility of a civil "wrongful death" suit. I wouldn't want any dagger (let alone a push dagger) entered into evidence if I was on the wrong end of a WD suit.

On the other hand if I wanted to carry a push dagger of modest size unobtrusively I would go for a pocket sheath. I would have some velcro (the soft fuzzy half) sewn to the inner front side of my right front pants pocket with the thread also stiching my pocket to my pants leg (thus preventing the pocket from inverting or twisting). I would attach 'hook' velcro to my sheath. When I put the knife/sheath combination in my pocket the knife handle would be just out of view when standing. If I was an LEO I wouldn't worry too much about having it out of sight when sitting--I would rather have it accessible.

If I wanted the knife out of sight yet easy to reach when sitting I would velcro it horizontal on the left breast of my bulletproof vest (under my shirt). I would replace a couple of my shirt buttons with velcro or snaps to allow access to the handle.
I've carried my Desperado for about a year and a half now. It's a great knife, and I've had plenty of use for the serrations (utility stuff). The only drawback, as mentioned, is political. There is no mistaking the Desperado for anything but a weapon.

I find the "egg" handle to be far more useful than a standard push dagger "T" handle. It allows the knife to be used comfortably in forward and reverse grips, as well as (better than?) the usual "fist" grip. It balances surprisingly well, and pivots between grips quickly, easily, and solidly. I would consider this a standard knife that has the option of being a push dagger rather than the other way around.

Give the serrations a chance. With the N-Clip blade, this is a knife that will rip through a leather sleeve like crepe paper on an ordinary slash. Just catch in the recurve at the back end, and pull. Seperates matter like a zipper. On thrusts, there's about 3/4" of plain blade at the tip (pointy, this one!) for initial penetration. Once that tip is in, and the serrations start to rip, you're talking about one deep, wide hole that expands with little effort. It's my only fully serrated blade, and I wouldn't change it.

The sheath is designed for a cross draw from inside the waistband on the left side. If you're looking to do anything else, you'll need to talk to a kydex guy. Wouldn't hurt anyway as the Desperado sheath is kinda cheap.
I agree with Brian. I have been carrying my Desperado for over a year now and can honestly say it is the best utility/defense knife that I have seen. As far as it's legality is concerned, it depends on where you live. In NY it is legal. After holding the desperado in every grip, you will realize that it is in no way a push dagger. I would recommend this knife for the needs you have stated.


Louis Buccellato

I just picked up a Safekeeper III for a customer. It seemed very well made, with a comfortable grip. The actual sheath itself held the knife securely and still quick to draw. But.......the clip on the sheath did not appear to sturdy. I did not get a chance to use it, but It left some doubt in my mind about it's utility. Nice knife nonetheless.
NMH: I do know what you mean, about civil trial. Since the course included training with such a knife I will get representation by Dynamic Defense Inc., as well as a civil liability coverage plan and a personal umbrella policy. Once again back to deadly force being deadly force

Jeff Clark: My Hobbit Fang rides on my left vest shoulder strap. Not a great defensive knife, but if it is all I have... Also the pushdagger is recommeded for carry on weak side ankle (and training was conducted from there as well, civil liability and all) because the way we protect our firearms. Reaching for an ankle and a kife you dont' have to open while wrestling for the gun (from a low crouch)and it is just pull and go.

Rely on your training with the push dagger, if the need for deadly force arises, your instinct will work in your favor. After all, deadly force is what the perp is going with isn't it?

YES,it is sharp, just keep your fingers out of the way!

I think it was Jeff Clark who mentioned a Civil Trial, however that was my initial concern as well. If your department approves of the carry and use of such a knife, it offers you some level of protection. You will no doubt recall that the police officers involved in the Rodney King incident were not protected by their department. I am sure that you will never find yourself in a situation like that, but the point being made is that if you ever use the knife, the Perp. or his family can bring charges for wrongful death, excessive force, violation of civil rights, so on and so forth. These civil charges will most likely be brought against you and your department. Your department will defend first, itself, second it will defend you, assuming that they do not decide that the best way to defend themselves is by not defending you. Even if they do defend you, you and the department can still loose. The department will get a slap on the wrist, pay a settlement, suffer some bad press. You on the other hand may loose your job, pay a settlement, go to jail, etc.

The fact that your department has a specific protocol, that you have been trained, and acted within the scope of your protocol and training are all a great help, however, nothing is fool proof.

In the final analysis once a jury gets ahold of something the law is whatever they say it is.


Kinda like "how would you like to be judged by 12 people not smart enough to get out of jury duty?"

(pin worn by DAs when they teach at the acaemy).