What Should You Consider When Buying a Self Defense Folding Knife?
Now we are on the same page that you do need a folding knife for the sake of your own safety. But how do you go around choosing the best one possible? With all the manufacturers are brands in the market today it might be very tricky choosing a product that will not leave you high and dry. Lucky for you we have this list of everything to consider before you settle for a pocketknife.
The blade is definitely the most important part of your folding knife.
In that respect, you have to consider three main aspects; the type of blade, its carbon content and how easy it is to keep it sharp.
There are two types of blades drop point and tanto. A drop point blade is the more traditional type that you see in normal kitchen knives. It is rounded and grows thinner towards the tip. Those two features make it great for slicing and making fine cuts.
On the other hand, a tanto blade is evenly thick and only becomes extremely sharp at the very end. This design originated from Japan and is adored by some users because it makes the blade extremely strong. A tanto folding knife is a perfect pick when you want to do some puncturing and chopping.
The carbon content of a blade determines its quality. That is because virtually all blades are made of steel and carbon plays a major role in the heat treatment of steel. More specifically, it determines the hardness of the blade. You might not be able to know the carbon content of your preferred blade because that process requires special chemistry skills and machines.
But you can inquire its hardness (usually given as a Rockwell Hardness code) and use that as a basis of judgment. Generally, the best folding knife for self defense should be in the range of Rockwell 55 to Rockwell 60. That is a level of hardness that will ensure the blade doesn’t break easily but can be sharpened with ease.
Speaking of sharpening your folding knife, it is wise to always keep the blade appropriately sharp. Danger doesn’t knock and you never know the next time you will be faced with a situation that requires you to use the knife for stabbing of slashing in self-protection. That is why you need to choose one that will not present you with sharpening problems. Be sure to ask the seller or manufacturer such things as the best angles for sharpening.
Other than the blade, the next important part of your folding knife is its handle. You need a knife that can fit in your grip very comfortably. That will make it easy for you to manage your hand’s movements when using it. Otherwise you can hurt yourself when using the knife (due to poor handling). Or even worse your assailant can snatch it from you easily and use it against you.
There’s really no special trick to getting the right handle. If you get the chance to test the knife in your hand before you purchase it the better.
Generally, pretty much all the materials used in making folding knife handles (including aluminum, plastic, polymer, titanium, and glass fiber) are equally durable and strong. That makes it easy for you to choose based on your personal preference.
The size and weight
When it comes to size, you need to look at the blade length and the length of the knife when it is closed. A blade length of at least 3 inches will definitely inflict some serious harm to your assailant. The size of the closed knife will depend on the size of the handle, which in turn should depend on the size of your hand. As mentioned already, choose a handle that can fit in your grip perfectly as if it is an extension to your hand.
One thing that makes folding knives very great self-defense weapons is their light weight. Most usually range from 2 to 5 oz., which is a very reasonable weight to carry in your pocket or purse. You won’t even notice the extra weight.
Serrated or straight?
For self-protection purposes, a straight blade will do the job better than a serrated one. It will cut and stab deeper as long as you keep it sharp. But just in case you are looking for a knife that you can use to cut fibrous materials then a serrated one is definitely better. The good thing is that nowadays there are some manufacturers who offer both options in one blade. You get the first half being either straight or serrated and the other half offering the other option. That should make an excellent pick if you need both types of blades.
Simply put, if you can’t open your folding knife during an emergency then it is of no use. That is why all the top brands focus on ensuring that you spend as little time and effort as possible when opening the knife. In that regard, there are three different mechanisms used to open a folding knife.
The first is manual opening. In this case you will have to physically open the blade yourself using either a cut out, thumb stud or some other closely related mechanism.
The second is assisted opening. This type lies between automatic and manual opening. You have to initiate the opening process using a knob or button. These knives are legal in all the 50 states of the US.
The final type is automatic opening. This is the simplest type of opening because you only push a trigger and the blade comes out. That makes such knives very lethal and if not handled properly can lead to self-inflicted injuries or accidental stabbings. That is why it is illegal to own an automatic opening folding knife in all the 50 states of the US.
When it comes to price, there’s practically a folding knife for every budget ranging from as little as $5 to as much $500. But of course you will get what you pay for. Which means that the high-end product will come with premium features like high-grade steel and unrivaled durability. Even so, don’t break the bank in an attempt to get a folding knife. Just go for what you can afford.