Knives, in their basic fundamental design, are designed to stab, cut or chop through “something”. Since their inception new designs and functions have been created to meet the needs of the user. From survival knives for combat pilots, daggers for commandos, curved blades for farmers or small filet knives for preparing food. That being said not all knives are the same even though all knives will pretty much cut. If you’re going to carry this “tool of opportunity” it’s important to understand what you are carrying, why you are carrying it and more importantly how to safely use it.
As a military and first responder veteran I’ve had the opportunity to carry a variety of edged weapons and become an instructor in the use thereof. Every role I have played, from a Marine, (obviously using a K-bar), to a National Guard Infantry scout (still a k-bar) , a patrol man and a SWAT operator, the style and application of my edged weapon changed. For myself I can break down an edged weapon into three categories, personal defense, utilitarian and a hybrid of both.
My E.D.C, or every day carry actually includes all three of these knife categories either on my person or in a bag I carry. So what exactly is the difference? A “fighting” knife typically has no serrations, has multiple sharpened edges and one or more finger choils to assist with slashing, stabbing or retracting the knife from an impaired “object”. My personal defense knife is not used for anything other than personal protection. A utilitarian knife which can also be used for personal defense if necessary, usually has additional features on the blade or handle for other uses such as serrations for sawing or “seat belt” cutters for emergencies. A hybrid knife is one that is designed for both. With hybrid knives serrations are oriented towards the tip as opposed from away. This assists with extracting the blade from an impaled object without the serrations getting caught. Other features may include a hard pommel on the bottom of the handle that can be used for driving a hard object into another hard object, prying or to strike an adversary with this blunt object.
To round it all up, my personal defense knife will almost always have a “tanto” style blade and have at least one choil and is fixed. My utilitarian knife will have serrations and is usually “spear” tipped and thankfully my hybrid knife is one designed by our very own “BK”, the “dessert fox” which is strong enough to chop through wood and ergonomically designed to be used as a fighter as well. In the end all knifes will cut but make sure it’s the right knife for the intended purpose and most importantly make sure you know how to use it properly.