First, I want to again thank Kirk McCune for helping out
with last week's post. If you missed it, he discussed double versus single edge knives.
Ok, we are covering a lot in this post so let's just jump right into it.
There are more types of knives, blades and shapes than I have listed. But, what I have here should arm you with ample knowledge to pick or create the best blade for your character.
Types of Knives
Folder - Think folding knife. You have to fold the knife open to reveal its edge.
Fixed - The blade is fixed in place. Kitchen knives are fixed blades.
Gravity - A gravity knife is a knife with a blade
Switchblade/OTF - Blades are spring activated. Switchblades open like folders. Out the Front (OTF) knives reveal the blade straight out the front.
Plain vs Serrated - Plain edge blades, like the balisong pictured, are good for push cuts. Also superior when extreme control, accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary. Serrated edges grab with their points and pull to the scallops for cutting. Ideal for slicing. Even when dull, the design of the serrated blade will still cut which isn't true of the plain edge. However, the teeth will catch on clothing. It is also harder to sharpen than plain.
Combo Edge - You can have both on a blade's edge (like the clip point pictured) or you can have a plain edge and a serrated back.
Types of Knife Blades
Clip point - One of the three most common knife blade shapes used (the others being the drop point and the spear point). The clip itself can be straight or concave and allows for quick, deep puncture and quick withdrawal. The tip can be weak though.
Tanto - Great tactical blade. Because a good bit of metal is at the point it has great piercing ability. Also good for chopping and slicing performance.
Trailing point - Provides a large curved cutting area. Great for slicing through. All sharp blades will slice but a curved one will slice through easier. That's why cavalry swords were curved. A straight sword would just as easily cut but would get caught. A curve allows for a good exit.
Straight back - Because of the strong back, good for driving forward. Easy to sharpen, excellent for slicing and because of dull back, you can put your hand on it to push down.
Wharncliffe - Great for straight, pulling cuts like box cutting.
Pen - Originally designed to cut or sharpen quills for pen. Common shape for pocket knife as it is very utilitarian. This ain’t a self defense knife.
Drop point - Because of the balance of drop points, you can change your grip and it still indexes well - meaning the blade remains at the right angle to maximize its edge. That's good because if you are using it for a tedious job or for a long time and want to move your hand around on the handle, the blade will still be efficient.
Spear point - They can be single or double edged, although the tip is only sharp if both edges are sharpened. A spear point is for piercing.
Hawk bill - The hawk bill blade does its cutting by pulling along the material. It requires very little downward pressure to work, allowing you to simply pull with one hand. Not good at stabbing since the point faces downward.
Sheepsfoot - Great for cutting and slicing where a point is not wanted or needed.
Needlepoint - AKA dagger, the needlepoint is a double-edged blade used for stabbing or thrusting. It has two sharp edges which reduces the profile.
Spey - Great for skinning. It is also favored among cattlemen for castrating. Yes, really. The reason being, if the bull kicks, you won’t have a sharp point coming at you.
Here’s two blades that are becoming more popular in movies. Thought I'd include them.
Kukri - You will hear these called knives but they are actually machetes. They're big. You won’t
find a little kukri because it's for big jobs. The shape redistributes mass, focusing it on the cutting edge near the broad tip. It is lighter near the handle. This makes the chopping motion efficient and natural. When you hold one, you just want to whack something.
Karambit - The karambit’s design provides the user with precision and stability regardless of where they are or how they are positioned: water, ice, hanging upside down. The curve allows for multiple planes of use meaning you can get all kinds of angles going. The shape of the weapon allows the wielder to "hook and destroy," as Doug Marcaida does in the video. The ring helps the user to draw quickly, maintain possession and keeps the blade from sliding back in the hand.
Carrying A Knife
Before addressing carrying a blade, we need to address something of greater importance. If you remember nothing else from this entire post remember this:
IF YOUR CHARACTER (OR YOU) SHOWS A KNIFE, BE READY TO USE IT.
Never threaten with a knife. Ever. So, regardless of where the weapon is hidden, unless one is willing to kill with it, leave it be.
On that note, y'all, when carrying a knife for self defense, you have to be able to access it quickly, safely and covertly. So, when you are placing a knife on your character ask yourself if that placement allows for all three. If you have to lift a pant leg to get to the knife in your boot, that might be safe but it won't be fast or furtive. Same thing with what I call the "sexy lady" carry when women strap a knife to their thigh. Goodness, if you have to get up under a skirt, hoop and crinoline to get to the thing, that's an issue. Not to say that if I were a cowboy I wouldn't have one in my boot or if I were a sexy lady I wouldn't strap it to my thigh. But, in both cases, that would be my backup knife not my go-to.
If it is hidden up your sleeve, you may be able to let it drop covertly, but will you be dropping handle first or blade first? If handle first then the blade may not completely drop from the sleeve and will get caught in it. If it drops blade first, well you need to be quite careful because if it drops too quickly, it could cut you. If too slowly, well, that's an issue too. Also, by the time you drop it down enough to get to the handle, the blade will be visible below the hand. So, the sleeve hide is not very safe, quick or secret.
So, where to hide it? Well, that's another post. :) Sorry, I have to give you all a reason to keep coming back, right?
I leave you all with the best movie knife fight scenes ever. As you might imagine, they are kinda bloody and stuff. You've been warned. It starts with a balisong (butterfly knife). Watch just that little bit and you will see why people cut themselves practicing.
Until the next round at FightWrite.net, get blood on your pages.
Until the next round at FightWrite.net, get blood on your pages.