Your best combat fixed blade...Any price

I would like to know what everyone considers the best combat style knife, production or custom at ANY price. Personally I've found my Greco and Busse pieces to be my favorite.
Feb 4, 1999
Best one I own right now...let's see. Probably my D-2 custom from Madpoet. Great utility shape with enough belly to make it useful. Good design, although no guard so it wouldn't be a great killing weapon! ;-) PLus the D-2 is easy enough to sharpen in the field.

Palmer College of Chiropractic
On Two Wheels
For those of you who might be making more obscure references(not cold steel,Ka-Bar etc..) I would appreciate info. about the knife as to where you found it.
I'm currently digging out an old design that I had ground several years agao, before school got in the way of my knifemaking. It's a pretty straightforward clip-point that has a shallow clip and unique grind angles that retain most of the stock width to within 3/8" of the point, giving strength like a tanto without the tanto shape. The main portion of the blade is fully flat ground, and the current examples are in 3/16" ATS-34. I would consider 420V or Talonite for the "ultimate" version. I have ground specimens in 5.5" and 7" blades, and might add a 4." Considering adjusting stock thickness to 1/4" on the 7" and 5/32" on the 4." The handle is an untapered slab tang that will be lightened as appropriate to the blade length by dilling holes in it. Handles will be solid scales of micarta or a rubber compound, originally with integral bolster and guard but I'd like to try steel bolster and guard as well. Handle has a single guard and substantial pinkie-hook, with a pronounced swell and light grooving of the spine for grip.

I'm not making any plans to ofer these for sale, but I describe it in this detail because it's the result of my thinking on this topic and I should soon have a few examples "in the field" to see how that thinking holds up in use. A few key points are:
Reinforced tip (NOT a tanto)
Full flat grind - if you need to make the knife stronger, make it thicker; don't saber-grind it.
Single guard.
Grip to fit hand and allow easy retention.
No "gizmos" like sawteeth, prying areas, screwdriver tips, etc. Just simple and solid.

If all goes well, I'll tell you how these work out in a few months.


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
Mine is an old Western fixed blade.... (the laughter clears).. No its probably not what you think it is. Imagine a Kabar, then imagine it on steroids. The only potential problem with this knife is the sawteeth. The blade is blued and takes a razor sharp edge with ease. Its a western model 221. I picked it up at a gunshow in near perfect condition for $30. This is the most solid feeling knife I own, and I have a kabar and a trailmaster and god knows what else I dont feel like looking for.
I would just adore a Randall or BJ model 1/ 1-7 however.

[This message has been edited by yoda4561 (edited 27 June 1999).]
Man too many to mention here. I guess if I could only choose one it would be a Busse Battle Mistress.

A few Mad Dogs would have to be next on my list. Then many knives by many makers.

For the money though my Recon Tanto does a pretty sweet job.

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!

As a bargain, probably a cold steel recon tanto second or recon scout in a better sheath or a K_bar

For sheer combative ability a Bagweel Bowie and my skill level elevated to take advantage of it.

Should I need a short sword for cutting power and dirty work a kukri

For classic good looks and performance, a Randall Number 1

As a bargain with a good sheath and great handling a livesay Model 140 airborne asault.

Ultimately at this point in time given my present abilities and understanding, a George Lainhart Recon Generation II (custom) or a Kevin Hoffman Marine Recon knife, both bladed along the lines of a BJ mamba but bigger belly.

Did we say one? I cannot pick right now, let me own all of these and i will let you know.

Don't want to sound like a broken record but... Battle Mistress click...Battle Mistress click...Battle Mistress......
REKAT hobbit warrior, JSP Archangel & Doshido. Also, 3 Mad Dogs when I get em...

I like The Greco Companion a lot, and the price is outstanding. For a good everyday amigo, I like JSP Archangel 2.


I've got a copy of a Randall model 2 fighting stilleto made by the Japan Sword Company that I would rate as a top fighter. On a more esoteric plane I have a long slender Bowie that I gave a Belgian style epee grip that is very tough.

"Defense against knife attack:
Option 1. If you have a gun shoot him."
I thought we were talking "combat." In my book, that puts fighting way down at the bottom of the functions list, if it's even on it. That's what the rifles are for.


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
I guess I associate the word "combat" with the actual fighting process. Randall has categories like "Fighting Stilleto" and "Fighting Utility Knife". Of course the nomenclature topic has been beaten to death. I've got a Vietnam Era "Kabar" with the mildew-proof plastic handle that I'd probably take with me if I went off to combat. I'd call it a large utility knife.
I like the Cold Steel Tanto. I have a Master Tanto that is very sharp and quite tough. The "Americanized" tanto style provide substantial tip strength and the curve of the blade provides plenty of slashing ability. Its only weakness, in my opinion anyway, is the leather sheath. Of course, that can be easily remedied with a Kydex sheath.
This is a very limited category I will include only the "fighting knives I have carried.

1. Don Fogg - Jambya maiden hair damascus.
2. Bud Neely - 5' damascus tanto
3. R. Cover - subhilt clip point
5. Yancey - Applegate/Fairbane
6. Randall - Model 1
7. Arbuckles - Leftentant
8. John Smith - Inner city fighter
9. WWII - Sykes/Fairbane

This is the list of the "fighting knives" I have carried at different times in different places. I will say I never had a need to use any of them. They are distinctly diferent from what is generally most useful. Most of the knives mentioned actually fall into the size and weight category of field knife. They are generally too heavy for the reach that they have.

The knives I would add to this list as ones I would carry today if I needed something new.

1. REKAT - hobbit warrior
2. Ontario - Bagwell Bowie

I have no need for a true "fighting knife"
just a good field tool that does what I ask of it.



"Cet animal est tres mechant;quand on l'attaque il se defend."("This animal is very mischievous: when it is attacked it defends itself")
Hands down, the best combat fixed blade in the world is the Bagwell Bowie. Bill Bagwell has perfected his Bowie knife into the ultimate close quarters killing tool. His knives are big and FAST. What makes his bowies so lethal is their geometry and the sharpened back edge. This allows for lightening execution of the infamous back-cut, a move that is virtually unstoppable and unforseeable in a fight. There isn't a knife on the planet that can match it(in a fight). Personally, I carry a Glock 19. But if we're talkin' knives...Bagwell. There is NO Substitute.
Lookit, I hate to beat a dead horse, but Bagwells are the ultimate fighting knives... and terrible "combat knives." The modern soldier is rarely going to engage an enemy with his (her?) knife, and when they do that enemy will likely be unawares and almost certainly not armed with another knife in hand. Hence, no duel, no need for a fighting knife.

What a soldier needs are a good combat (read "field utility" knife) and maybe what I call a "killing knife" (Gerber MkII, Applegate-Fairbairn, etc.) if they are in a special branch where sentry-removal and such is a genuine concern.

Fighting knives are a great piece of American history and I enjoy them very much, but I strongly doubt whether they have a place today - certainly not on the modern battlefield.

My opinion and only that, as always.


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
This confusion will continue unless someone attempts to define the terms a bit. In my opinion, the defacto meaning of "fighting knife" is a knife whose primary (perhaps sole) purpose is for fighting. "Combat knife" -- which this string is about -- is a knife whose purpose is to serve as the main cutlery for combat troops. That means prying, cutting, pounding, etc., first, and fighting as a secondary purpose. You won't find these definitions in the dictionary, but they're what seems to have been adopted by most of the knife community.

Bowies can make fine combat knives (I'd argue the Randall #14 is a bowie, same with the Battle Mistress). But the Bagwell Hells Belles is pretty clearly a fighting knife. Same with Ernie Mayer's incredible fighting bowies.