We Need More Tactical Kitchen Knives

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by fulloflead, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. fulloflead


    May 3, 2002
    You know what I'd like to see more of? Tactical knives that are designed so they're also useful for kitchen-type work.

    It's a simple fact that "tactical" knives used in military conditions and also for outdoor use are OFTEN used to prepare food.

    Stay with me here...

    Kitchen knives have a blade/handle relationship that allows for (say while using it in the middle of a flat table or counter) the back edge of the knife to touch down on the surface (cutting board) without the handle or your fingers getting in the way.

    The PROBLEM with "tactical" knives and a lot of outdoor knives is that they often have handle guards that prevent this common food-prep behavior.

    It's a simple change. Just get rid of the bottom guard. For example, I once had a Kabar Warthog (see photo attached or standard model) where I ground off the bottom guard, effectively turning it into a tactical chef's knife. Look at the photo and imagine it.

    I know there are a very few out there - maybe even some customs. Actually, I once had an extensive conversation about this very concept about this with Tom Krein over the phone, and I think he might have taken it to heart and done something like this. (I'm not up to date on all his current models.) And I know there is he occasional "tactical cleaver", but all of this is still very rare.

    I don't know who all has knives that fit this concept, but I'm curious and would love to build a list if you'll help me here.

    Cold Steel (bad segue from Tom Krein, I know) turned one of their small kitchen knives into a neck knife. It was a good move. I may buy one.

    4" blade folders could work the same way. For example, there are a few Emerson folders that would work this way with some material removed from the handles, like the CQC-10 which would allow the entire blade to touch-down if the handle was relieved of its guard. Some others would need some removed from the butt as well. A.G. Russel has a folding chef's knife as well. I want one, but I don't think it has the other strengths and features we like here on BF.

    Anyway, how hard would it be for makers to make a folder or fixed blade with a thick, flat-ground blade, with a strong point, but a blade that extended down below the handle so the thing behaves like a chef's knife. This is a rhetorical question, of course. It would be easy.

    I'm not just asking for a list of knives, here, that fit the bill. I'm hoping to open a discussion about the concept of allowing the back of the blade to be able to touch-down on a cutting board, and the concept of having a tactical knife that has food prep in mind in the overall design of the knife.



    Attached Files:

  2. Swedge


    Dec 23, 2008
    IMO, the concept of a knife being tactical includes the possibility of using it to stab, and if the knife is going to be used for stabbing, then a handguard of some kind is helpful, if not necessary. A bottom guard would be most effective to keep the hand from slipping onto the cutting edge. Perhaps finger grooves on the bottom of the handle and a guard on the top would suffice to keep a hand from slipping onto the blade.

    Of course, to the extent the marketing of the knife is based on its being tactical, designing it to be used in food prep would be like designing a Ferrari to be more useful for runs to the supermarket. It could be done but would dilute the concept.
  3. kamagong

    kamagong Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2001
    There is one knife I can think of that fits your wishes perfectly. Check out the Talmadge Tactical Kitchen Knife or TTKK.
  4. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod

    Apr 6, 2000
    Is that TTKK by Trace Rinaldi?

    I use almost all of my fixed blades and folders in the kitchen when I first get them, and many of them stay in the rotation. Chris Reeve, Bark River, and Spyderco seem to do best in the long run. MOST of these are effective tactical knives, too. Maybe not fighting knives, but hard use field knives, which is what I consider tactical.

    Right now, my latest best kitchen knife was designed for outdoor protection: the Spyderco fixed Temperance. I just picked up a second one, I like it so much. No way that grip would ever slip.
  5. mrmaigo


    Apr 13, 2007
    A 10", heavy-duty, black powder coated bread knife in a kydex sheath inside the pants with one of those cords attached to your belt (if forget what they're called).

    I'd call it the Pocket Chainsaw
  6. Joben


    May 22, 2009

    I was in Target the other day, and spent a few minutes looking at a neat little paring knife. It was vaguely reminiscent of a Mora Clipper.

    The thing was done up in lime green, blade and all. It was shaped so the blade could touch down on a flat surface. It looked VERY well designed for kitchen tasks. Although it was thin and very flexibile, it had a wicked grind and point on it that would make any commando grin.

    I couldn't help but think how much I would like to have a bigger beefier version out in the woods.

    (I would have bought the thing, but I had my arms full of necessary purchases and I was rapidly heading toward flat broke :D )

    This CAN be done, and I think you can do it without diluting any "tactical", or hard use utility.
  7. firebert


    Mar 24, 2008
    If the blade offset is enough, the blade itself would act as a guard against slippage.

    This definitely isn't tactical, but it shows what I mean.


    One of the biggest problems would be the grind. A good chef knife should be thin. A good tactical tends to be thick. There would have to be a compromise.

  8. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    I keep a CS K4 necker in my bag at all times, as well as a mini Epicurean cutting board. Works great for on-the-go food prep!
  9. Southern Cross

    Southern Cross

    Jan 30, 2009
    I just read an article about the TOPS Tactical Steak Knives. Those look like they'd fit the bill farely well. They certainly look like they would put Outback's to shame...and I love those babies!
  10. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod

    Apr 6, 2000
    Brian Jones wrote a very favorable review of the TOPS steak knives.
  11. ALIass


    Oct 30, 2002



  12. amen74


    Mar 10, 2008
    ALIass. Those are some awesome kitchen knives.:thumbup: Looks like fun.:D

    VOX is the maker?
  13. Dr Heelhook

    Dr Heelhook

    Jul 24, 2007
    VOX is awesome.
  14. Hateman

    Hateman Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 28, 2000

    Back to Topic: The Spyderco Perrin, the large version, may be that tactical/ kitchen knife balance you're looking for. Spyderco even billed it a comfortable around the campfire and in the kitchen [something along those lines]. I thought it was hogwash until I actually used it on a hike and later tat week in the kitchen; worked well in either case.
  15. peanuts


    Dec 9, 2007
    Why would you want a kitchen knife to have a thick blade and strong point? Or is this the tactical side of it? Is it tactical if you use it in the kitchen? Lol. Well rather than giving answers, theres a few more questions.

    Now, on to the topic of a tactical knife needing a finger guard vs. a kitchen knife not working with one. If the cutting edge is lower than your fingers, couldn't the blade itself stop you from sliding onto the cutting edge? Since that was explained rather horribly, here is a diagram (knife in diagram has a tanto point, as thats the only tip I could figure out how to draw with punctuation):

    \ ___________:----------

    Ok, so in the diagram above, you can see the tactikitchen knife. There is a guard on top to rest your thumb on, preventing it from sliding forward in a thrust. The dotted line is the bottom of the handle. Since the cutting edge is lower than the handle (allowing kitchen use) your index finger would be prevented from sliding forward by the vertical piece of blade, between the bottom of the handle and the cutting edge (i.e. the space between the solid line that represents cutting edge and the upper dot of the colon would be the guard). So, I guess my point is with a cutting edge lower than the handle, you don’t need a guard to stop your hand, the blade forms the guard.

    EDIT: -.- *sigh*. It took me like, twenty minutes, alot of writing and another five minutes into making a diagram to get my thought across. It took firebert half a sentence to do the exact same thing.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
  16. Knife Outlet

    Knife Outlet

    Jan 4, 1999
    The applications are different enough that a knife designed for both will do neither very well. The basic problem is that outdoor sporting knives are, for the most part, to thick heavy for kitchen use. The lighter and thinner the blades, the better the performance in the kitchen. I think the Warthog will be a loser as kitchen knife no matter what you grind off of it.
  17. ADD


    Apr 29, 2006
    Luc Burnley makes a nice Field Santoku. :thumbup:


    (If someone can post the pic :eek:)

    I agree, a compromise is made when the two concepts are put together.
  18. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster www.kosterknives.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001
    I'm fascinated by this very subject - thanks for bringing it up!

    I think, though, that we need a better definition of what makes a knife "Tactical".

    Is it materials used? (synthetics, stainless steels vs. wood + simple carbon steels)
    Self-defense potential? (stabby tip, pommel crusher, etc)
    Is it the finish? (matte/satin vs. polished)
    Is it the grind? (scandi=outdoorsy, flat=general purpose, hollow=?, chisel=?)

    I made a few "Tactical Santokus" a while back with thicker steel and steep flat grinds (including a one-sided grind).

    I think for sure there would be some compromise between the 2 ideas (tactical = strong/beefy, kitchen = thin/fine).

    It would not be the ideal kitchen knife...but rather a tactical knife that could also double-duty in the kitchen when needed.

    Probably the closest thing I make right now is this:


    and in synthetics:



    But I would describe the Nessmuk as more "Campy" than Tactical....but I guess it could be made more tactical...depending on how you define it.

    Great discussion. Let's hear more ideas....and see more pics!!!


  19. moonwilson


    Aug 10, 2006
    Mike Snody makes a very cool "kitchen combat" knife too.


    Oh Dan, this thing is lovely.

    FWIW, I've used my Koster bushcrafter and my W&SS neck knife extensively in the kitchen, with good results. The Spyderco Aqua Salt works great too.

  20. Sep


    Mar 14, 2009
    I have actually looked for such knife. Cold steel seems to be ahead with their K4 in neck sheath and several other models (Roach Belly, Canadian, and Long Hunter). I settled with the Roach Belly.

    If you read on the history of the Long Hunter, it was an 18th century French kitchen knife.

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