what folder should I get (and a couple of other ?'s)

Jan 29, 2001
first off I'm new. I'd tell you all about myself but that would be very boring. Suffice it to say that I'm 24, male, and spend 95% of my time in the Twin Cities of MN which are becoming more dangerous every month. In fact, last year for the first three months we had more murders than New York City.

My first question is, which folder should I get. A little explanation of what my goals are. I really don't know much of anything about folders. I have two katanas, and I can tell you a whole lot about japanese swords, but my knife knowledge is zip. The only knives I've trained with have been the wooden and plastic training knives in my karate class. With that in mind, here's what I want:

I'm looking for a folder with a 3" blade. I don't care about it being pretty or artistic. Though I won't tell the cops this, this is purely a self defense weapon. I wouldn't mind it to have a bit of a threatening look since that can sometimes diffuse a nasty situation without ever having to use the knife. I also want it to be relatively cheap. I'm seeing all these $50+ folders out there on the 'net, and I just don't see the need to pay that much for something that I will use only as a weapon and only as a last resort and therefore will probably never come out of my pocket except when I change clothes - I have a victorinox Swiss Champ for the utility stuff. I'd rather have one with a hole rather than a knob for opening the knife since the one with a knob that I tried didn't feel right against my thumb.

My other question is what kind of training does everyone here have with knives? I've lurked all evening reading posts from people that carry 4-8 knives on them at any one time and was wondering where you learned how to use them. As for myself, I'm currently training in a karate class with a navy SEAL instructor who's also very proficient with filipino knife fighting and a 6th degree blackbelt in ryuku kenpo. I'd hardly call myself a great knife fighter yet, but I'm getting there ;)

I have no training with knives.
As to your first question, take a look at the Spyderco Gunting. This is a martial arts weapon, and a darn good one.
By the way welcome to the forums, it's good to have you aboard.
IMO you might find that posting threads about knife fighting will be better received in the Tactical & Training forum. This one is more for general knife discussions.

[This message has been edited by Keith Montgomery (edited 01-29-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Keith Montgomery (edited 01-29-2001).]
Thanks for the welcome :)

That looks like a great knife, but I haven't found it anywhere for under $150. That's about $110 more than the max I'd want to spend on it. As I said, this thing's never coming out of my pocket so it doesn't need to be an expensive one - - just something to use as a last resort.

RE: the fighting techniques - - -sorry! I hadn't found the fighting forums yet. No one needs to respond to that one ;)

There are easily dozens of good knives that would meet your requirements. Of course, there are a lot more bad ones.

Given your price point and design preferences I recommend that you look at the Spyderco line first. In particular, check out the Delica Lightweight. It has the right length blade, a thumb hole for opening, good quality steel, excellent ergonomics, and a price that usually runs under $45.

--Bob Q
Keith and Bob Q have given some good advice. If you have to stay at $40, spyderco is the way to go. But let me ask you a question. You say the knife will be 100% for defensive purposes,right? Isn't your life worth more than $45??If it won't be used for utility, then you don't even have to worry about scratching it up.Also, have you considered a neck knife or an inside the waistband fixed blade like a Polkowski,Lightfoot, or Nealy? If a utility knife fails, no big deal, get another one. If a defensive knife fails, it may be your last. Anyway, that's my .02.

And how about CRKT Kaspers?

Dave, I like the way you think, but let's keep in mind that a defensive knife may be a subject to losing even if it is not being used. For peoples with thinner wallets it is a factor.

And finally, three times more expensive knife isn't going to protect one's life three times better.


[This message has been edited by jeegeet (edited 01-29-2001).]
exactly! What I failed to mention is that I'm a college student who has to spend about half the national debt each semester on books! I also failed to mention that I lose stuff all the time, and I'm almost guaranteed to lose this knife within the next year.

As far as it failing, when I get it i'll test it. I'm not too worried about it failing because i'd be using it against flesh. My instructor doesn't train us to hit the other guy's knife, but to cut his knifehand wrist and then run like hell, so as long as the thing lasts me for one or two good strikes I'll be happy.

But the absolute bottom line is that I simply don't have $150 to spend right now. In a few years when I'm a rich lawyer I'll upgrade. ;)

i've found a delica and a delica II. They're both about the same price. Which one would be better?

[This message has been edited by shadowfax (edited 01-29-2001).]
Spydies are great!Ck. out the Gunting(save up it's more than$50, but you won't be sorry)!If you are set on $40 ck. out the merlin!
www.bladeart.com has the guntings for $114. Let me say this about the Gunting. It is one awesome self defense tool, but I firmly believe that if you get the Gunting you need to get the trainer. That is another $114. There are so many techniques that can be done with this knife. The only way to get proficient is to practice, and the only way to practice is with a trainer.

Sticking with the $50 limit and 3" blade I would recommend the Columbia River small KFF. The steel isn't the greatest, but since you are not planning on using it for anything but defense it will do fine. AUS-6 isn't all that great at edge holding, on the other hand it sharpens easily.

Dennis Bible

Welcome to BFC!!!

To keep in your price range I would suggest, as previously mentioned by Jeegeet, looking at CRKT's (Columbia River Knife & Tool) Crawford Kasper Folder. I have no experience with them but so many others here swear by them for being both a good defensive weapon and a good value. It just happened to be the first knife that popped into my head when I read your post.

A little higher in price (about $85.00), and this one I own, is the CS (Cold Steel) Scimitar. I recommend this knife, if for no other reason, it is very, very intimidating looking. That was a consideration for you also. This knife feels real good in the hand, has a good grip, is sharp as hell, and has a great titanium linerlock with a wicked sounding lock-up. More intimidation factor.
The only thing that I don't care for is the slightly cheap-o feeling of the handle (Zytel). Don't get me wrong, I believe the knife to be solid, it's just that I prefer natural materials over synthetics.
Take a look.......make your own opinion.

--The Raptor--

Take a look at the CRKT M16 Zytel with Flipper! Lighter than the CKFF and Lightning-fast!


*so is life : hard but unfair - BE PREPARED*
The Spyderco lightweights are a safe bet. The Delica, Calypso Jr , and Merlin will keep you at 3" or slightly under. The Native (my personal fav), has a 3 1/8" blade and may not be an option. The Merlin's hawkbill blade may serve you well. The Delica can also be had in a training (drone) model. That way you can have one for training (dull & blunt), and one for use (sharp & pointy). Hope this helps.

Thanks to everyone for their replies!

I wound up going with the Delica knife. $43 shipped. That knife in particular and spyderco in general was recommended so often in this and other similar threads that I figured I couldn't go wrong.

As for the trainer, we have tons of trainers at the dojo, several of which are the approximate size/shape/grip of the delica, so I'll just buy one off the sensei for a few bucks ;)

Shadowfax: I hope you like the Delica! Once you've received it and played with it a little you'll have to come back and give us your evaluation of it. It has been reviewed before, but an additional point-of-view is always interesting.

Paul: It's funny, you were cautious about recommending the Native because the blade is just a little too long and I didn't think to recommend it because the blade edge is just a little too short (2.5").
I'm still learning to keep all the numbers straight.

In any case, I really like the Native too! I've got one of the blue shell inlaid ones and the only problem I've found is that my wife keeps threatening to steal it.

--Bob Q
The native was actually quite tempting, but carry laws in MN (I live just across the border in WI where I can't find many laws regarding anything other than automatics, and i spend most of my time in MN) say that it has to be 3" or less or it's automatically considered an assault weapon. And based on the cops that have stopped me for going 1mph over the limit, they'd probably be anal enough to take a tape measure to it :p

Admittedly, no one's ever given me grief when I openly carry my 42"-blade katana to the dojo, but why take chances when i'm not going to karate? ;)

I guess that its too late now, but I was going to recommend a Outdoor Edge Impulse. It has a decent steel(12C27) and from what I have heard excellent quality. It can be found for under $35 online.

"The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none."
Thomas Carlyle
I would suggest a Syderco Delica to keep you within the "legal length to carry" situation. A folder with a 3 inch blade is not only ideal to carry in an urban environment, but it is also ideal for utility use.