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Old 08-29-2010, 19:14   #1
Brad737
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Please help me choose...

Hello all,

I haven't really carried a knife before, but the more I read, I think it would be a smart idea. What I'm looking for would be a good quality folder, for self-defense, and also general safety. Right now, I'm leaning towards an auto with a partially serrated blade...in the unlikely event I'd be involved in an accident or something, and would need to cut through something like a seatbelt. As for self defense, I'm not really sure what attributes are desirable. So far, I've sort of narrowed it down to the following choices, but I'm very open to suggestions.

What do you all think of these:

Microtech LUDT Auto
http://www.bladehq.com/item--Microte...utomatic--6129

Protech Tactical Response 2.2 Auto
http://www.bladehq.com/item--TR22-Pr...Tactical--3770

Protech Tactical Response 1.4 Tanto Auto
http://www.bladehq.com/item--TR14S-P...Tactical--2722

or the Kershaw Emerson Commander Auto
http://www.bladehq.com/item--Kershaw...ommander--4095

All of them are roughly in the same price category, and all have somewhat similar features. I guess I'm wondering what blade shapes, size, general features you all think are important?

Thanks,
Brad
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Old 08-29-2010, 19:21   #2
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Unless you are a trained operator, the entire concept of a knife for SD is terribly overrated. The so called SD knives are mostly used for mundane tasks.

If you want something for personal security...carry a SD firearm. Leave the knife stuff for the movies.
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Old 08-29-2010, 19:27   #3
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Well, I do carry a handgun, generally a Glock 30, and also a HK USP 40. But several articles I've read speak of the importance of a good knife as well.
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:54   #4
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There are some places I can't carry a pistol, but I always carry a knife. As for the blades you have listed, my personal choice would be the Protech Tactical Response Tanto for what its worth.
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Old 08-31-2010, 00:40   #5
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Originally Posted by CharlestonG26 View Post
Unless you are a trained operator, the entire concept of a knife for SD is terribly overrated. The so called SD knives are mostly used for mundane tasks.

If you want something for personal security...carry a SD firearm. Leave the knife stuff for the movies.

eh, i hear what you're saying.. always carry a knife. even if you aren't trained.

i'd recommend looking into a durable, drop point blade knife. a general straight or combo edge is great. the practicality is great for most anything you'll need it for.
i'd also recommend checking out benchmade. the axis lock stuff is great with the griptilian handles..
check out the 551. benchmade makes some great stuff and i love carrying their stuff.
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Old 08-31-2010, 00:47   #6
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You should absolutely get a knife with a partially serrated blade, in my opinion. Its always been intensely useful to me. The whole Tanto edge thing never really grabbed me, just makes them more awkward to use for the everyday mundane tasks you're going to use them for.

You're not going to use your knife in a self-defense situation. It just ain't gonna happen. In the incredibly unlikely event that I'm wrong, minute differences in the knife's design aren't gonna make a lick of difference in how effective it is, especially without you having any real training with it.

Get something you would make good use of frequently in your daily life.

Last edited by John Rambo; 08-31-2010 at 00:48..
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:34   #7
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Here are some things to consider when looking for a self defense folder:

(1) Blade length: You don't need to go crazy with it, but for a folder, 3.5" to 4" give or take is pretty ideal.

(2) Strength of the lock: Not all locks are created equal. One part is the quality of the manufacturer of the knife, and the other is the inherent strength of the type of lock. You want a good sturdy lock that won't fail or close on you. Some examples of strong locks are in no particular order:
(a) Benchmade's Axis lock
(b) Frame lock or Reeve Integral Lock (usually titanium)
(c) Spyderco's Caged Ball Bearing Lock
(d) Spyderco's Compression lock
(e) Cold Steel's Triad Lock
(f) Liner Lock-This one is iffy. Like I said, not all locks are made equal. There are really good liner locks out there and really bad ones. Good ones come from the well known makers like Spyderco, Emerson, Benchmade, etc. So make sure you know who you are buying from. A perfect example of a liner lock done right is Spyderco's Military.

(3) Speed of deployment: How fast can you get the knife from the closed position in your pocket to in your hand and locked. Something you won't be able to tell until you handle a particular knife but most modern folders with a lock are extremely fast (as fast or sometimes faster than an auto).
-A point to consider here is whether you prefer a thumb-stud opener or a thumb-hole opener. It is entirely preference.
-Noteworthy here is Emerson's patented "wave" feature that catches the fabric of your pocked and opens as you pull the knife out and -->
Spring assisted openers.
(I've found both the "wave" feature and spring assisted to be unnecessary.

(4) Comfort of carry: Especially if the knife is primarily for self defense, it will be in your pocket a lot. So pick one that isn't too heavy or uncomfortable.

(5) Blade Edge, Geometry, and Steel: Blades come in all sorts of shapes and grinds. People all have their various theories on which is the best for SD, but truth be told there are plenty of good ones.

This is about the plain edge (non-serrated), vs. serrated, vs. combo edge debate. As a practical matter, who knows if it will actually affect anything, but I follow the esteemed Michael Janich's philosophy of thought that plain edge works best for self defense. Why? Because serrations tend to catch and get stuck on clothing.

As far as blade shape, there are many good ones and no "best." Some popular shapes are clip points, bowies (type of clip), drop point, spear point, tanto, etc. They all have a trade of some sort. Find one that appeals to you.

Blade Steel: Not too important if all you're going to do with the knife is carry for SD. There are myriad good steels out there, any of which would be fine for SD. For folders there are two main types of steels: stainless and tool (carbon) steel. Generally, but not always, stainless will have better corrosion resistance, but tool steels will be tougher/less likely to chip, break, whatever. Something to remember about steels is there are ALWAYS trade offs. Some examples of good stainless steels are 154cm, S30v, 440c, and S90v. Some examples of good tool steels: D2, CPM-M4, and M2.

(6) Ergonomics: This pertains to the general features of the entire knife. Things to look for in SD oriented ergos:
(a) Grippy handle. You want the handle material and texture to have good grip to it, even when it's wet with blood, water, etc. Good examples of high quality handle materials that are typically grippy are G-10, carbon fiber, micarta, titanium (to a lesser extent).
(b) Ramps and jimping: You want the knife to have some kind of hand-guard or thumb ramp so that in a thrusting/stabbing motion your hand doesn't slide over the handle and onto the blade. Jimping is a term for rounded metal serrations around the knife to enhance your grip. Not a must, but something to consider.

That's all I can think of at the moment. So in closing to that thesis I'll list some makers and models that I and others think are good SD knives. P.S. A lot of the top companies have SD specific models.

List of high quality manufacturers:
Spyderco, Benchmade, Emerson, Kershaw, Zero Tolerance (Kershaw's sub-line), Chris Reeve, and Strider. Be aware that Chris Reeve and Strider are $300 and above new.

List of potential SD models for you (these are just some examples, shop around online):
Spyderco's: Military, Manix 2, Paramilitary 2, Chinook 3, Civilian, Endura (the Civilian and Chinook are specialized self-defense models. The Civilian was designed for undercover law enforcement with no knife-fighting training).
Benchmades: 710, Griptillian, 950 Rift, On-Slaught, Beldam,
Chris Reeve: Large Sebenza 21, Umnumzaan
Strider: SMF, SNG
Zero Tolerance: Pretty much everything in their line is good for SD.
As to the other manufacturers, I don't have much or any experience with them so I'm not familiar with their models but I listed them because they are generally accepted, high quality brands among the knife community.

Hope this helps. Also, don't listen to people who say knives are worthless for self defense. How do you think people killed each other for thousands of years before guns? Knives are definitely not the best choice for something to defend your life with, but sometimes that's all you have. If you have anymore questions feel free to email me at smolanskyb@gmail.com. Take care.

Last edited by daddysnapmuffins; 08-31-2010 at 01:38..
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:50   #8
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Benchmade or Kershaw with SpeedSafe and a non-serrated blade.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:41   #9
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Hello gents,
Thanks for all of the great information! For my first knife, I went ahead and bought the Microtech LUDT with a partially serrated blade. I'll carry that at home for awhile, and see how I like it. I also spend 2 or 3 days per week in Orlando for work, so I'm definitely going to have to buy another knife for down there. I'm leaning towards a Benchmade or Protech for FL, but I'm also interested in an Emerson Wave. I'll keep you posted.
Thanks,
Brad
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Old 09-01-2010, 19:26   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlestonG26 View Post
Unless you are a trained operator, the entire concept of a knife for SD is terribly overrated. The so called SD knives are mostly used for mundane tasks.

If you want something for personal security...carry a SD firearm. Leave the knife stuff for the movies.
How about option c... carry both.
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Old 09-01-2010, 19:46   #11
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How about option c... carry both.
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Old 09-01-2010, 21:43   #12
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Originally Posted by stopatrain View Post
Benchmade or Kershaw with SpeedSafe and a non-serrated blade.

That would be my pick.

Almost always have a gun on me. I always have a knife on me.

A knife in an untrained hand is still very dangerous. Spend some money on a drone and practice one weekend on slashes and stabs an you'll be good to go.
I'm guessing a stabbing victim never ever said "dang you didn't cut me like a trained operator".
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Old 09-02-2010, 15:03   #13
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Originally Posted by Brad737 View Post
Hello gents,
Thanks for all of the great information! For my first knife, I went ahead and bought the Microtech LUDT with a partially serrated blade. I'll carry that at home for awhile, and see how I like it. I also spend 2 or 3 days per week in Orlando for work, so I'm definitely going to have to buy another knife for down there. I'm leaning towards a Benchmade or Protech for FL, but I'm also interested in an Emerson Wave. I'll keep you posted.
Thanks,
Brad
I'd go Benchmade personally.
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Old 09-02-2010, 15:18   #14
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If you aren't trained in knife fighting don't carry one for self defense or pull one out in a fight EVER.

Carry pepper spray if you can't pack a gun and you know pepperspray won't snd you into shock or an asthma attack.
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Old 09-02-2010, 21:40   #15
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If you aren't trained in knife fighting don't carry one for self defense or pull one out in a fight EVER.

Carry pepper spray if you can't pack a gun and you know pepperspray won't snd you into shock or an asthma attack.
Just curious, why do you not want someone to carry a knife if they aren't trained?

I've got some training but nothing extensive. In my former career, I saw my fair share of stabbings/cuttings. I never asked about their training, but these were hood rats so I''m gonna guess it was minimal.
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Old 09-03-2010, 15:41   #16
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Originally Posted by hackinpeat View Post
If you aren't trained in knife fighting don't carry one for self defense or pull one out in a fight EVER.

Carry pepper spray if you can't pack a gun and you know pepperspray won't snd you into shock or an asthma attack.
Tell that to all the people every year that are murdered by thugs with knives and no training. For the deterrent factor alone, I'd be pretty scared if someone pulled a knife on me; pepper spray not so much. People aren't as scarred of getting their eyes irritated as they are killed.
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Old 09-03-2010, 20:40   #17
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Get a Spyderco Calypso III and be done with it.
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Old 09-09-2010, 23:42   #18
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Hi guys,
Once again, thanks for all of the great advice. I got another carry knife for when I'm working in Florida. I went into Bass Pro Shops today, and was surprised to find a decent selection of Benchmade knives. I'm still watching a couple online auctions for various things. But I found a knife that I HAD to have today. I brought home a Benchmade 551S Griptilian with the Axis lock, half-serrated blade, and thumb stud opener. I have to say I'm REALLY impressed with it. It opens very quickly, and is very solid. While I'm still interested in a few other different knives, I'm totally digging my new Benchmade. I can see more Benchmades in my future.
Thanks,
Brad
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Old 09-10-2010, 18:13   #19
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ProTech makes really quality autos and Benchmade is another good option.

I am going to chime in on the "Don't carry if your not a trained operator". In a CQ attack (think bear-hug or shoved against a wall/car) you can't always draw and level your firearm against your attacker when they are upon you. Now if they are fighting you to prevent your draw or trying to take your weapon, a knife is great. You can get a knife into action much easier in a tight confine than a gun and will get great results from using it.

I always carry 2-3 knives (weak-side front and strong-side front and back) and my weak-side is reserved for a quick deployment fighter.

Train with what you get. You don't have to be an "Operator" to train for CCW with gun or knife.
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