When looking for a tactical knife for defense, the most important aspect of your choice is how you plan to use it. The term "tactical" sounds fancy, but really it is all about how you apply it. While the police may use one type of tactical knife, a naval officer may use another. The truth is that any given knife will work well under certain conditions and not so well under others. As many knives require a certain skill set to handle, how you envision using your knife for defense or on a daily basis should come into play with your decision to purchase one.
Legal ramifications of using a knife for defenseThere are many great tactical knives to use for defense, but before getting into this, you may want to know how the laws regarding self-defense may protect you or can work against you. For instance, there are legal knives for personal use, and there are illegal knives. This also changes depending on where you live, so it is best to check the laws of your state and county before carrying a knife. The idea of using a tactical knife for self-defense may seem great. However, the ways in which one can legally use a knife for self-defense are very specific. The three words to remember when presented with a deadly situation in which you are tempted to use your knife are opportunity, ability and intent.
- An attacker must, in the present moment, have the opportunity to attack you.
- They must have the ability to attack you (in other words, they can't attack you if you are behind a stone wall).
A short history of knives in combatKnives have been used in the military and for self-defense for thousands of years, and they are usually predicated by close combat situations. While any knife can be used to defend oneself, the style of combat knives has changed over time. As body armor advancements were made, knives that could pierce or find holes in the armor were more and more valued. While tactical knives enjoyed many years on the combat field, machine guns and other long-range attack methods became the standard after World war I, and knives rather retreated out of the spotlight. Even though knives aren't specifically used for attacking in the military anymore, knives are great survival tools and are still used by soldiers for varying purposes.
Self-defense knivesHere is a list of a few well-known tactical defense knives and the companies that make them to help get you started:
- Microtech Ultratech blades tend to be good for both utility reasons and self-defense. Theirs are known as some of the best in automatic knives that can be used with one hand, which is great for pocketing and pulling out in a pinch for quick use.
- Spyderco Kahr is inspired by a similar blade made by Michael Janich, a self-defense expert in the field. At 2.5 inches, this blade was designed to be legal in urban settings and uses a similar design handle to Spyderco's more popular models. Unlike the Microtech, though, this blade folds into itself. Folding knives can be more difficult to open but are discrete and easy to hide in a pocket.
- Emerson's Super Karambit tactical folding knife, with a 3.3-inch blade, is a cool thing to look at. Both sleek and curvy, the knife is inspired by a similar concept from ancient Indonesia. An easy knife to carry, it boasts a lightweight and ergonomic grip and is known to be deadly when in professional hands.
- Jake Hoback Kwaiback tactical knife comes in several colors and is made from carbon fiber. This clip knife has a rugged look and is a mix of two different knife styles: the Hoback and the Kwaiken. Taking its inspiration from the Japanese samurai class of knives, this knife has been crafted with art and precision.