Be Heard: Knives – Tool First or Weapon First?

Welcome to Be Heard! Be Heard is your chance to tell us what you think about a variety of topics. We want to hear from you so leave a comment below.

The topic for this installment of Be Heard has to do with knives. When you are choosing a knife to carry everyday or on your gear, do you look for something that has features that make it a good tool first or a good weapon first? Why?

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7 Responses to Be Heard: Knives – Tool First or Weapon First?

  1. otis August 27, 2012 at 12:30 #

    tool first. if it cuts and penetrates to make it good for general utility, it’ll slash and stab well, too. some of the specialized fighting/defense knives are terrible for a basic tool.
    that said, a good edc knife should deploy easily with one hand.

  2. Ross August 27, 2012 at 13:06 #

    Depends on the knife. I EDC a Kershaw Skyline. That’s definitely a tool first, but it’ll cut a sucka if I need it to. Most of my knives are that way. That said, I’ve got a couple larger pig-stickers that are weapon-first-and-only cause they’d make terrible tools.

  3. Eric August 27, 2012 at 14:00 #

    I use both. One is a Benchmade 710 for last dich/tool and the other is a Spyderco Perrin Street Beat.

    I prefer a fixed blade for defensive use. A folder can work, but once stress and adrenaline kick in your fine motor skills fall out the window.

    Take a few knife fighting classes as well. I suggest AMOK! with Tom Sotis and crew. The training is very realistic and intense.

  4. Roadkill August 27, 2012 at 15:43 #

    Knives are almost always tools first. Even a dedicated fighting blade generally has a useful point and edge that will most likely see it used as tool long before defensive or offensive use. However, any useful point and edge can be pressed into as a defensive or offensive tool. Therefor, I don’t see the needs of each role to be exclusive. Most of the qualities of a great EDC knife apply to the needs of a defensive blade. Should be able to maintain a grip when wet, should be easy to be kept sharp, needs to be strong, and easy to carry and deploy.

  5. Aaron August 27, 2012 at 17:27 #

    Tool first, always. I’m big knife collector and user but I don’t envision myself using a folding “tactical” knife in a self-defense situation unless it’s a last ditch effort. That said, I wouldn’t discount investing in some practical edged weapon training.

  6. Bill Keller August 28, 2012 at 00:35 #

    For me the answer is “yes” – each of my primary knives fit a specific purpose – part of a pocket tool kit, a secondary defensive weapon or a heavy blade for wilderness use.

    Shameless plug to two of my posts:


    All about my knives and their care and feeding.

  7. benchmade knives August 29, 2012 at 05:10 #

    Yes I look first it as a good tool for use not as a weapon.I consider these benchmade knives as good cutting tool not weapons to kill someone.

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