Carry Blade of Choice?

Discussion in 'Lameco' started by Guro Dave Gould, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Guro Dave Gould

    Guro Dave Gould LAMECO ESKRIMA SYSTEM

    Hi guys,

    I was just curious, for those who choose to carry a knife on their persons, which knife do you carry? Most important, why?

    Fixed blades are alway preferred as they will not be compromised on impact, whereas a "folder" is only as good as its locking mechanism. I have had some very well known folding knives collapse on me during hard training, totaly because the locking mechanism failed being compromised when a certain amount of pressure was placed on the blade in motion allowing the blade to slip past the locking mechanism and close on my fingers.

    Any folder which I choose to carry must have some kind of "Axis" lock technology or something similar, such as a steel pinion covering the back of the blade to make it all but impossible to slip the locking mechanism and close on impact. The Benchmade 710 "McHenry & Williams" model is a perfect example of what I choose to carry concerning folders.

    As for fixed blades, I really like and have confided for years in several custom blades from knife maker Al Polkowski. If you are not familiar with him or his work, or if you are currently looking for a good combative fixed blade, I could not recommend a better knife maker than he, as his work more than speaks for itself. Be forewarned though that there is usually quite a significant waiting time which one must under take in order to get one of his custom pieces, but the product is well worth the wait as his pieces are so well balanced and made that one quickly forgets that it is in the hand.

    I look forward to your comments, train well, ciao.

    Regards,
    Guro Dave Gould.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  2. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Benchmade is an excellent folding option. I utilize one as my backup the griptillian model. My primary though is the Tarani 5.11. Nothing like a folding kerambit for work or anything else! ;)
     
  3. Guro Dave Gould

    Guro Dave Gould LAMECO ESKRIMA SYSTEM

    Brian,

    Thanks for posting! Steve Tarani is a long time friend of mine and a fellow brother in Lameco Eskrima. One thing about Steve is that he does love the Karambit, to be sure, however he has also been known to carry a fixed blade or folder as well.

    In a knife I specifically look for about 90 percent thrusting capability leaving just 10 percent for slashing capability. This is well represented in how I train knife as well as how I choose to teach knife to my students. In my opinion a karambit is very one dimensional in its combative approach and although there are thrusting options available, however minute and minimal they may be with the majority emphasis being placed on slashing for effect.

    In California where I live this would not be a problem as it is a warm weather environment all year around, but in cold weather environments the Karambit can be somewhat limited as dictated by numerous layers of cold weather clothing being worn by everyone in ones immediate environment during harsh winters. Against a heavy coat, scarf and a few layers of shirts worn underneath this somewhat nullifies the slashing capability of a Karambit. Which is why it is wise that you back up the Karambit with another knife that has strong thrust capability as an option.

    Which touches down on another issue, the knife that you carry needs to be long enough for thrusting purposes by which to be effective, depending on the circumstances and environment which one may face in defending life and limb in the streets. For thrusting capability in a warm weather environment a 4 inch blade can be effective as it will take at least 4 inches to penetrate the breast plate and enter deep enough into the heart to be able to make the heart fail. However in a cold weather environment one must compensate adequate blade length to adjust to numerous layers of clothing in addition to anatomical challenges and requirements. Against a heavy coat and a few additional layers of fabric worn underneath, a 4 inch blade will not be quite long enough to pass through all of the afore mentioned additional fabric and the breast plate while leaving enough blade length to do major damage to the heart.

    In my field of expertise, where I train mostly our elite military, this is essential as there are numerous layers of gear worn on or around the chest on the field of battle which must be effectively passed in order to have positive effect. So a knife which will be heavy enough with adequate length by which to pass through additional layers of fabric or equipment is essential, not to mention a good combative handle which enhances grip should the hand come into contact with blood, sweat or rain while fighting which could other wise compromise ones ability to maintain control of ones knife under duress or on impact. Having the right equipment in combat is just as important as having the knowledge which necessitates the equipment to begin with.

    Something to consider as you choose your daily carry...

    Train well, ciao.

    Regards,
    Guro Dave Gould.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  4. Guro Dave Gould

    Guro Dave Gould LAMECO ESKRIMA SYSTEM

    Hi Guys,

    I just wanted to say that I am neither a spokesperson for any knifemakers in specific, nor do I get paid by anyone by my endorsement concerning knives. I just feel obligated to share with those whom share a common interest with myself and other like minded individuals who recognize and appreciate quality fighting gear. I do not place the value of my life to be very cheap, so when I place confidence in a specific knife you can be assured that the knife in question accels far above the norm regarding practicality, quality and over all affect.

    I have been a fan of Mr. Al Polkowski and his custom blades for about 12 years now and I personally own 3 of his custom knives. I can say with confidence that I have never held or felt a better knife in the hand regarding his fixed blades. They are a little pricy and it takes awhile for him to complete your order as he does every knife by hand, but in reality the one question which we all need to ask ourselves is; what is your life worth to you? Strange but I could not come up with a monetery value when I asked myself this question years ago. Anyway if you would like more information just follow the link:

    http://www.polkowskiknives.com/

    Again I am not a Spokesperson for Mr. Polkowski nor have I ever met the man, I am just a very satisfied customer who has been in awe of his work for numerous years now.

    Regards,
    Guro Dave Gould.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  5. RickSwe

    RickSwe New Member

    I chose knife depending on what I do. But I always prefer fixed blades by the same reason Guro Dave Gould stated. If concealment is of great issue I would prefer a thin smaller fixed blade like Cold Steel Braveheart or SOG mini Pentagon. For bigger fighters I like the TOPS Ranger and Gryphon M-30A1 Combat Knife. Which have very good quality and maneuverability.

    The carry system is also of outmost importance so you can get the knife in your hand quickly when you need it.

    Rickard
     
  6. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Hey Dave,

    In all options I prefer a fixed blade but as a civilian they really are not that practical to carry around nor legal in most circumstances. (unless of course in a home invasion) With folding knives the danger of having a break due to the locking mechanisms is high enough that I will not thrust with them at all unless to soft tissue and even then with opponent movement your risk is very high irregardless of the lockign mechanism. A fixed blade is definitely the way to go but not always practical in the civilian world. As for cutting performance I always prefer a curved blade whether one engineered like the kerambit or ginunting or the Japanese Katana. They simply cut that much better than a straight blade! (of this there is no doubt) When teaching the military personnel that I work with we also almost always work with fixed straight blades that have good thrusting capabilities and are long enough. So I think we agree probably on most counts!
     
  7. Guro Dave Gould

    Guro Dave Gould LAMECO ESKRIMA SYSTEM

    Brian,

    Again thanks for the response, I agree with you whole heartedly. The goal of any reputable "Folding" knife maker has always been to get a folding knife to perform as a fixed blade, more specifically having it not collapse on impact while thrusting. This indeed has been a challenge, in my personal training based on numerous years of activity while donning "chainmail" gloves I have collapsed numerous folding knives on impact while training with them. I have stabbed trees, tires, rolled up rubber matts, rolls of carpet and numerous other hard surface targets experiencing about an 80% failure rate while using some of the most recognizeable folding knives on the market. As well numerous trainers which were replicated and manufactured after the actual knives themselves have collapsed on me while exchanging energy with my students with nothing more than a hard parry of the bade allowing the locking mechanism to pass the blade and collapse, thereby closing on my fingers.

    In my experience I do not trust any knife that advertises a "Lock-back" locking mechanism, these are usually the lower end knives on the market. Any folding knife that blends plastic handles with an aluminum locking mechanism is a failure waiting to happen. 90% of the "folders" on the market with "Liner-Lock" mechanisms are not to be trusted for thrusting, they seem to be alright for slashing but stay away from hard targets such as the skull, breast plate, ribs or any large mass area of bone while thrusting. Some of the larger folding knives with "Liner-locks" utilizing titanium frames and locking mechanisms are more trust worthy but I think that I would still hesitate if forced to execute in defense of life and limb. The best folding knives that I have seen so far are made available by Benchmade with the "Axis-Lock" mechanism which is offered on a few of their models such as the "710" and "720". Basically when the knife is opened a fire hardened and tempered 220 stainless steel pinion locks in behind the hilt of the blade making it very difficult to fail and collapse, this combination with titanium handles and frame make it a little more trust worthy, although it would be unwise to place full confidense in any folding knife. But when carrying a folding knife this is the one that I carry as well as a large folding titanium "Crawford" which is the size of a medium fixed blade.

    As Rickard G. discussed above, the carrying system is absolutely a must when carrying fixed blades. The Polkowski "Companion" which I carry is a 4" custom blade and the carry system is a Kydex sheath set up for inside the waist carry (IWC) and since it is a smaller fixed blade it conceals nicely and does not pronounce when moving about. On the field of battle being able to access all of your weapons is essential and literally the difference between life and death. In civilian life different rules and regulations exist and it can be difficult to carry fixed knives, in many states or jurisdictions it is illegal to do so, which is why the onus is on each individual to know local penal codes and laws for the jurisdictions in which one lives. It is imperative to be at the ready to defend life and limb in our city streets as more and more limitations are placed on our defense capability with each year that passes. Eventually only criminals and law Enforcement will be found to carry weapons leaving innocent civilians caught vulnerable at the center of it all and left at great peril while mingling between the two armed factions.

    Train well, guys, ciao.

    Regards,
    Guro Dave Gould.
     
  8. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Yes Dave,

    My experience follows your path as well. Particularly with Benchmade being the standard for locking mechanisms. Still we both agree that you cannot trust them fully. Having said that though they are the best out there right now in that category! It always amazes me that people do not actually test out what they carry. ie. folding knives and the strength of the locking mechanisms, blade cutting, etc. More practitioner's need to invest not only in training but in testing what they carry. Of course they need to do that safely and that is why you learn from someone who has been down that path before! ;)
     
  9. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    I have been in the market for a new folding knife for sometime. I cannot find a benchmade that has a decent choil. Is there a model that you are aware of which has a deep enough choil that you don't feel that you are going to slide forward on the thrust if you encounter any resistance? I looked at the Rukus but it has been discontinued. I have also been looking into this folding Kasper in the titanium frame but I haven't been convinced enough to spend that much money. I have no problem spending good money on a knife. I figure that I wouldn't bat an eye at spending money on a gun and I carry my knife everyday everywhere I go whereas I only carry my gun about 35% of the time.

    One thing I will say that in a carry knife I am quite happy to have one handed opening be easy. However, the idea of being so easy to close that you can do it one handed to me, is a bad one. I have stayed away from liner and frame locks because I can thrust them into an object and twist them and engage the liner just by having a strong grip. I hate that and I don't feel secure with it. In TN where I live, the rule is a 4 inch or below folder and the rules are more strict for fixed blades. Particularly when you work at a university.

    Thanks for the link on the fixed blade knives. Some good stuff in there.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  10. Guro Dave Gould

    Guro Dave Gould LAMECO ESKRIMA SYSTEM

    jwinch2,

    Hello, thanks for responding. The Benchmade Model 710 (McHenry & Williams) has a slight incline with pretty decent thumb serrations, but like yourself I wonder if they would be abrasive enough to maintain a firm grip with my thumb during a heavy thrust to a hard target. So far while stabbing tires with full force I have only experienced minimal slippage at worse with my hand traveling forward up the blade no more than half an inch or so. On a positive note I have not experienced a single failure yet with this blade concerning the locking mechanism (Axis-Lock).

    The best handle that I have found on a folder to date is the Emmerson Commander complete with subhilt and deep thumb serrations built on top of the "Wave" portion of the blade itself. The only problem is that out of most of my folders it proves time and time again to have a high failure ratio. The '"Commander" trainers which I have had, and I have had several, have all closed on my hand some as many as 10 times in hard sparring over the span of an hour or so. The problem with this knife is that the "liner-lock" pertrudes about an eigth of an inch right where your index goes, so the slightest pressure from the index under duress moves the liner-lock enough for the blade to bypass the locking mechanism and produce failure resulting in the blade closing on your fingers. If Emmerson could install an "Axis-Lock" on the "Commander" it would be one of my favorite folding knives.

    I have a custom Large Folding Crawford "Kasper" which is one of my preferred carry blades. It is all Titanium with a thick Titanium Liner-lock and it is the only Liner-lock which I possess that I have not been able to force a failure from, regardless of what I thrust into or how hard. The reason I like it is because it is exactly the same dimensions as the Fixed Blade Polkowski "Companion" which I carry and the much cheaper Production model Fixed Blade the "Polkowski - Kasper Companion" which was manufactured through Colorado River Knife & Tool (C.R.K.T.) some years back, which is what I carry as my "throw-aways" when traveling in foreign countries. The CRKT Models were like $30 U.S. Dollars so it made them perfect for me as they possessed all of the qualities which I expect in a Custom Kasper or Polkowski "Companion" but they were cheap enough that I did not mind throwing them away or leaving them behind if I had too. Something that I certainly would not do with my Custom Polkowski "Companion" at $450 U.S. Dollars or my custom Crawford large folding "Kasper" at $600 U.S. Dollars.

    Thanks again for your comments jwinch2, ciao.

    Regards,
    Guro Dave Gould.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  11. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    This is exactly why I hate liner locks. I have tried explaining this to people before and they act like I am crazy. I like the Emerson designs as well but I have heard nothing but bad things about the integrity of their locks and ease with which they are disengaged.
     
  12. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    Not necessarily. Take a look at what we have done in New Hampshire.

    http://www.kniferights.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=99&Itemid=1

    "
    May 18: New Hampshire Governor John Lynch has signed Rep. Jenn Coffey’s Knife Rights Bill into law, removing restrictions on switchblades, dirks, daggers and stilettos in Hew Hampshire and essentially removing all restrictions on knives in New Hampshire state law. New Hampshire now has no knife laws which stop law abiding citizens from buying, selling, owning, carrying, possessing, transporting, collecting, or lawfully using any type of knife. This is the first complete repeal of a state's knife restrictions ever.
    NH Union Leader Front Page Headline: "Switchblade knives now legal in NH..." Read entire article.
    It is worth noting the bipartisan appeal of this legislation; a bill introduced by a minority member of the legislature passed with unanimous consent in both Democratic controlled houses and signed by a Democratic Governor. Proof of what can be accomplished when you have a well-conceived plan and combine a passionate and effective legislator; a professional lobbying effort supported by Knife Rights and organized, hard-working and involved citizen support.[/quote]


    The message: get involved, and stay involved!

    My carry blades are a Ka-Bar, which is either in my computer bag or lashed on my backpack, and Bram Frank's Lapu Lapu Corto.
     
  13. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    I've been carrying emerson knives as one of my edc for almost 10 yrs now and I have never had any problem with the locks and I beat the hell outta mine.. I have 2 cqc7s and a cqc 13, all 3 have been through the ringer and have been used for live blade training against my pell post. No problems what so ever.. Even if I did have problem with the locks, it is something that is easily taken care of because I have had good luck with anything dealing with emerson knives..

    I personally hate the frame locks due to the fact that I tried one once with a pair of gloves and the lock got caught on the fabric of the gloves, totally fubared the knife until I could take it apart and repair it.. That was the only frame lock I ever had and will be the last..
     
  14. RickSwe

    RickSwe New Member

    Hello,

    My personal opinion is that a symmetrical double edge dagger or similar design is the best choice. No matter how I’m forced to grip the knife under stress you always get the right grip and with the sharp edge out. With either hand. In my opinion most asymmetrical designs means that under real stress you may have to fumble to orient the grip and the edge. Because the handles may be in a certain shape to fit the hand and have finger groves, cants and so on. I like to keep it simple and for me every second counts in a fight. I can’t afford to get a lousy grip.

    I feel that some form of cross guard is important to as when thrusting or stabbing the hand can slip when knife is stuck against harder parts.

    Rickard
     
  15. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Carol, that's great! Being able to carry a 'real' knife is excellent. I'd despair of finding a legislator who would find this issue worth his time, and wouldn't think it'd make him look soft on crime--and my state rep. shares a property line with me.

    RickSwe, I very much agree about wanting a guard so your fingers don't run up the blade (let alone the previously made comments about folders failing). On the other hand I do like a single-edged blade so I know the side of the blade facing me is safe. Yet, I always tell students they never know how they;ll end up gripping the stick initially in a real confrontation--it's true to a less extent (because of the handle) with a knife, but still true.
     
  16. Guro Dave Gould

    Guro Dave Gould LAMECO ESKRIMA SYSTEM

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your responses thus far.

    Carol, I am afraid that what is happening in New Hampshire is an Isolated phenomenon, this is certainly not the case here in California and numerous other States in the U.S., not to mention knives being outlawed in numerous Countries around the world now. I wish that every State would come forward and ease up on the carry laws but they seem intent on taking our rights to carry any weapons away, leaving us vulnerable to criminals who seem to have no problems carrying assault rifles (Uzzies, Mac-10`s and Tech-9`s) and side arms on them as a daily ritual. As long as a criminal class is well armed I too will arm myself with some type of weapon, which is why it is necessary for us to train ourselves to defend life and limb with weapons of opportunity. They may eventually be successful in taking our rights away to carry knives or other weapons but I can not see them outlawing pens, rocks, bricks, screwdrivers, hammers or anything else which can be held in the human hand. It is the knowledge which is truly important and essential, as I have stated before that any weapon is only an extention of the mind. I can implement my knowledge of weaponry through any instrument which can be placed in the human hand in accordance with the nomenclature of the object dictating purpose and delivery of said knowledge.

    Bill, Yeah brother I have had several Emerson Commanders from 1996 - 2005 models and they have all failed me numerous times resulting in slipping the locking mechanism and collapsing, primarily on impact. Any pressure placed on the blade allows the index finger to nudge the liner-lock to the side where the blade by passes the lock. My only fault with the Commander is the locking mechanism as I like everything else about the knife, if Emerson would correct this with a "rolling-lock" or an "axis-lock" I would surely carry one as my primary folding carry. It has not just happened to me but to numerous other practitioners whom I know and have trained with to include numerous students of mine. I have had them close on me by accidently coming into contact with elbows, blade to blade contact, disarms with pressure being applied to the blade with someones forearm or knife blade and even by a parry to the blade. Because of the high ratio of failure that I have personally experienced over the years, I see it as the "Pinto" of fighting knives. I know that you like this knife Bill, just know that I have no political agenda with Emerson or his knives, I am just stating my unbias experiences with them, and to be honest if even one failure is reported it should gravely concern you, much less numerous accounts of failure.

    Rickard, look at the Polkowski "Scorpion" fighter model, if you like double edged knives you will love this one. It has a 4.5 inch blade with a very good combative handle, too include a deep subhilt for your Index and deep thumb serrations to keep your hand from sliding forward on hard impact, as well as a third finger catch and pinkey catch for using the but as a weapon. The carry system is a kydex sheath set up for inside the waist carry which is also set up to attach to military gear such as an LBE or body armor. I too love the double edged fixed blades as there are alot of nuances added to ones combative effect using top blade offensive and defensive options in combat. My primary carry concerning fixed blade is the Polkowski "Companion", however I also carry the Polkowski 'Scorpion" on numerous occasions and I am hard pressed to choose between the two as I am totaly satisfied with both equally.

    I have three primary daily carries concerning knives: My fixed blade is the Custom Polkowski "Companion", my folder is the Benchmade "710" and my ground fighter is the "Bear Claw" offered by C.R.K.T. (Very similar to a Karambit jwinch2), designed primarily for close range solutions in confined areas of movement. I carry all three on my person on a day to day basis and as such I feel that I have most of my bases covered.

    Train well guys, ciao.

    Regards,
    Guro Dave Gould.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  17. Guro Dave Gould

    Guro Dave Gould LAMECO ESKRIMA SYSTEM

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  18. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

  19. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    The CRKT line is a pretty reliable second tier grouping of blades that are not outrageously costly. Not as good as BenchMade but still doable!
     
  20. Guro Dave Gould

    Guro Dave Gould LAMECO ESKRIMA SYSTEM

    jwinch2,

    Congrats on the purchase! The knife looks great, be sure that when you receive it to let us know how it feels in the hand and review its performance if you could. I am curious to know how the combination of G-10 scales and Micarta scales enhances grip performance. Do you have any idea why Benchmade discontinued this model? Just Curious...

    Train well, ciao.

    Regards,
    Guro Dave Gould.
     

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