Carry A Knife
Should You Carry A Knife?
A knife is the oldest functional tool known to human kind (ok, maybe a sharp stick is older!) and also one of the most useful. Most people have access to a wide selection of cutting implements and figure they don’t need to carry a knife because ‘something’ will always be available. Scissors, package cutters, clippers and snips of all sorts perform their unique functions. Yet a good quality knife is the most versatile, reliable and dependable of all possible options.
The first thing that you need understand is that a knife is a TOOL. It is NOT a weapon! It is not for “self defense.” A knife simply enables you to do things that you cannot do with your fingers.
It is almost impossible to list all of the potential everyday uses that a small, handy knife can perform. From opening packages and trimming loose clothing threads to peeling off stickers and slicing up your pepperoni stick for lunch, the utility of carrying a small knife doesn’t require much explanation. A knife is simply a tool – a very useful, reliable and time tested tool.
There are good reasons why EMT’s, police, firefighters and emergency personnel carry a knife. They know from first hand experience that having a good quality, sharp knife handy at all times can often mean the difference between life and death. While they often rely on more specialized tools and equipment to do their jobs, there is often simply no substitute for having a sharp knife available in the moment. Everyone is familiar with stories of people being tangled in seat belts in vehicle accidents or having loose clothing get hung up during an extraction and having to wait helplessly till emergency help arrives. It happens.
Fortunately there are a huge variety of knives available on the market today to choose from. There are pocket versions with multiple blades like your grandad used to carry, tactical folders with pocket clips and assisted opening mechanisms, small and large fixed blade knives with virtually unlimited handle and blade shapes. There are beautiful ornate artistic knives worth thousands of dollars a piece! So if you decide to carry a knife how on earth do you decide which one?
What follows are a number of important considerations that you might want to think about before dropping your hard earned cash on a knife that you intend on actually using and carrying.
1) How Easy Is It To Carry?
Let’s be honest. Who needs one more thing to pack around? You’ve already got your keys, your phone, your wallet or purse, a pack of gum and a pocket of loose change to contend with. If something is cumbersome, uncomfortable or inconvenient to carry with you eventually it is going to be placed in a drawer somewhere and forgotten. It’s just a fact of life.
It’s no different when you decide to carry a knife. For that reason alone – all other things considered – the lighter, smaller and more compact your knife is the better. Ideally you would want to carry a knife that you completely forget about until the moment you need it!
If your knife isn’t effortless to carry, eventually you’ll just leave it at home or throw it in a drawer somewhere. And we’re all familiar with Murphy’s Law – the day you leave your knife at home will be the day you really wish you had it with you. If you decide to carry a knife just make you want to make sure is extremely easy to carry. Talon knives are easier to carry than most folders. Which leads to the second consideration…
2) If You Carry A Knife Is It Quick And Easy To Access?
When you need a sharp edge for whatever reason – especially in an emergency situation – it won’t do you much good to carry a knife that is buried in the bottom of your purse, stuck in the upper zipped pocket of your motorcycle jacket, or stuffed under the papers in your glove compartment.
Probably the best invention of recent years when it comes to folding knives is the introduction of the pocket clip. Pocket clips can be great. They keep your carry knife secure and easy to access – for the most part. But in many common situations if you carry a knife clipped into the top of your pants pocket or in the front of your waistline it becomes extremely difficult to access. Try accessing your pocket clipped knife while sitting in your vehicle wearing a coat with a seatbelt on and see how quickly you can access it. Carrying a neck knife is another popular option but that too comes with certain advantages and disadvantages.
If you carry a knife, have you ever actually timed and tested how long it takes to deploy? Consider the typical folding knife with pocket clip, safely tucked in your front right pocket top. Sit down in your car with your jacket on and put on your seatbelt. How long does it really take to access it? When seated, your knife is solidly pinched behind folds of clothing. You have to hitch your body forward and lift your hips off the seat, feel till you find it, draw it, access the thumb stud and open it.
Imagine that same situation but this time under stress. When human beings are put in highly adrenalized situations (sudden trauma, violent accidents, personal assault or predator attack) a number of predictable biological effects occur, chief of which is the loss of fine motor skills. It becomes extremely difficult if not impossible to access, draw and deploy a folding knife under stress even for trained individuals.
If you’re not convinced, try this simple experiment. Give your friend a whistle and a stopwatch. Clip your folding knife in your pocket or wherever you usually carry a knife. Then do the following: Get down and do 25 pushups. Quickly jump up and start throwing air punches as fast as you can. Have your friend randomly blow the whistle and start the stopwatch after a few seconds of you throwing punches and THEN try to access your folder! Good luck.
This simple exercise only simulates the physical aspects of stress on your body. To make it more realistic, have someone wearing boxing gloves start swinging at your face while trying this exercise to add emotional stress to the mix. You’ll be shocked at how difficult it is to use your fine motor skills to access your knife. In our experience, with a bit of training you are lucky to succeed 2/10 times.
Fixed blade knives are generally much quicker to deploy. However they are highly dependent on how the sheath is designed and where the handle is positioned.
If you choose to carry a knife, the easiest knife to access is a fixed blade version with:
a) A high degree of secure sheath position options so your knife can be accessed while seated or standing, moving or standing still
b) Quick and reliable to grasp and draw, even without relying on fine motor skills such as during trauma or extreme stress
c) Highly retainable. You don’t want a slippery handle or one that doesn’t feel natural in your hand.
Talon Knives are not only incredibly light and easy to carry, but they provide unparalleled performance in all three of these aspects. It is easier to carry than most folding knives.
3) Is It Legal To Carry A Knife In My Jurisdiction?
There was a time not long ago when you could simply carry a small knife on your person without having to worry about running afoul of some law or another. Your grandfather most likely carried a pocketknife without ever even considering whether it was ‘legal’ or not. To our ancestors a knife was what it actually is: A TOOL. And it was simply respected as such. Unfortunately our political world has changed and today it is important to become aware of and follow local laws that pertain to tools.
In some jurisdictions you can carry a broadsword without any worry about legal interference – such as, for example, while hiking in the wilds of British Columbia. On the other end of the legal spectrum, even a judge isn’t allowed to carry nail clippers through TSA controlled airports.
In between those two examples there are countless laws that can come to bear on one’s legal right to own or carry knives. In many places carrying a knife is perfectly legal except within certain buildings or zones. Some localities have blade length restrictions, making smaller knives like the Talon ideal. The Talon is legal to buy and own in the USA and Canada, but carrying one is a separate issue.
The only way to know for sure if it is legal to carry a knife in your jurisdiction is to do your homework! Know the laws of your specific region. If you follow the law, act with common courtesy and be respectful towards law enforcement and other people you’ll never run into a problem.
Always remember that a knife is just a tool – an incredibly simple, useful, proven and potentially lifesaving one. Treat it as such!
Order your Talon Knife now!
Carrying A Neck Knife
Small Knife or Large Knife – the Great Debate