The Decline of the Fixed-Blade Knife
I thought about posting this in the armory, but due to the historical nature of my interest I thought this would be a more appropriate forum.
For a variety of reasons it seems that folding knives have, in recent years, eclipsed fixed blades in popularity. They are more portable & so preferred for utility knives & in many areas the carrying of knives is regulated & fixed blades as well as larger knives are frowned upon.
This presents me wit ha problem, as I do not feel the pressing need to carry a knife either for utility or self defense on a regular basis, but do have an interest in knives as they relate to the martial arts. I have trained dagger techniques from medieval & renaissance manuals & have found dagger simulators that I like, but Iím interested in owning actual knives of reasonable quality (for largely the same reasons that Iíd like to own sharp swords of good quality) & Iím having trouble finding reliable information on quality fixed-blade knives & daggers.
My primary knife training is in medieval dagger work so I would very much like to find a fighting knife suitable to such a style. Iím also interested in later period material & would consider buying a Bowie if I was impressed by its quality. My tastes are decidedly western, so Iíd be interested in European or American knives much more than anything in an Asian style. I know that many modern combat knives are utility tools as much as they are weapons & while that does not automatically make me dismiss them I would appreciate the advice of people more experienced than myself before making a purchase.
Does anyone have recommendations?
What kind of price point are you looking at?
Cold Steel makes several nice knifes at about $200. I personally own their Big Bear Classic (a double edged thin bowie) and like it quite a bit, except for the POS Kraton sheath.
Don't know what your budget is but here:
Cold Steel Fixed Blades
is an ok place to start looking.
Are you planning to actually carry it and what kind of budget are you working with?
I’m looking for something in the $100-200 range. Preferably on the cheaper side, at least to start.
Cold Steel is actually the one brand I seem to see a lot of when looking for fixed blades. I think the handling characteristics of their swords have turned me off to the brand somewhat. Are their knives of better quality or the same basic clunky but usually sturdy kind of budget design?
Edit: I have no intention of carrying a knife on a regular basis, but it would be nice to have something that is amenable to being carried, just in case of zombie apocalypse.
You said you'd potentially consider a bowie style, but what syle do yo prefer? Size? Materials - do you wnat modern tactical look and materials, or more traditional historic looks?
Take a look at Gerber and SOG Specialty knives. There are also quite a few custom makers around that are affordable too (Kelgin Knives). If you want to go a little higher, I'd say to look at Al Mar and Randall.
Most of my training has been with rondel daggers & that informs my tastes.
What I’d like is a 7 to 10 inch blade with a good point for thrusting & a sufficiently pronounced guard to make heavy thrusts safe from slipping down onto the blade. Ideally double edged with a grip that is comfortable to hold either with the blade oriented toward the thumb or in an ice pick grip. I’m less concerned with period look than similarity of function, although, aesthetically I prefer a symmetrical blade to one with a distinct false edge…but that’s not a deal breaker one way or another.
As I said I’d like to find a sort of entry-level knife in the $100-200 range, but I’d also like to know what’s considered top of the line. With medieval swords Albion serves as a useful benchmark & I’m trying to establish a similar sense of the quality/price spectrum with other weapon types. If there’s an extraordinary knife out there that meets all of my dream requirements I would consider saving up to buy such a thing later on, but would still want a cheaper weapon sooner.
Try the Gerber MkII, Sog Daggert, or one of the Applegate Fairbairn daggers out there. For something really nice (without going too crazy) look at the Randall Model 2
The Randall is very pretty & the Sog looks like a good fit for what I want in a starting knife. Thanks for the advice!
Jesus! The price tag on the Randall isnít bad, but thereís a five-year wait on orders! No surprise then that their used knives are twice the price on eBay. Too bad. I could accept the price sooner than I could the wait.
Here's a couple more modern looking choices..
Blackhawk UK Special Forces
MOD Beshara XSF 1