Welcome Home...THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF OUR COMMUNITY

GUARD VS. NO GUARD - WHY IS IT THAT SOME FIXED BLADE KNIVES HAVE FINGER/BLADE GUARDS BUT OTHERS DON'T?

Hi all!

As an amateur knifemaker, I have been wondering lately whether to put guards on my fixed blade knives or not.  I would like to hear from Fixed Blade Club members on this subject.  Hear are the questions on this subject that I need some advice on:

1.  Are there any generally accepted industry-wide guidelines for providing finger guards on fixed blade knives, and if so, what are they? 

2.  Does providing a finger guard on a knife affect its market value, and if so, how much?

3.  Does the function or style of a knife determine whether a full guard is more desirable than a half guard on the knife, or is a full guard more desirable in any case?

4.  If a camp knife doesn't have a finger guard, is it less safe for the user than one that does have one?

5.  Is there a trend toward producing more fixed blade knives without guards and if so, is it simply a price reduction measure, or is it an indication that knife buyers actually prefer knives without guards?

6.  Are the answers to these questions so critical to knife sales that they are "closely-guarded" trade secrets? ;-)

OK, friends, please help me out here.  Any input will be greatly appreciated!

 

 

Views: 579

Replies to This Discussion

Except for knives that are used strictly for slicing (onions, balogna) I believe every fixed blade knife should have a blade guard, just like I believe every rifle should have a safety. Blade guards on fixed blade knives allow the user to keep his right (or left, if he is a lefty) index finger. If the knife is just for "show" it may not need a guard, but if you are going to use it the blade guard is essential. If the knife is being used to cut a tree limb or a rope or poke a hole in something then you are using force, and if your hand slips, well, need I say more. If you are butchering game you are bound to get blood on your hands --- and wet blood is as slick as cooking oil. Full guards are unnecessary (unless the blade is double-edged); if fact they get in the way when working in close quarters, such as butchering. Hunting/camping knives made with no blade guard are so because (1) the maker is lazy, (2) the maker is cheap, (3) the maker has no regard for the welfare of the end user. I employ several different materials to make bladeguards; stainless steel, nickel silver, brass, bronze, slices of antler (elk is especially good), and ivory (both elephant and mammoth). Now for the exception: if the full-tang blade has a deep recess (like a half-circle) between the tang and the blade, such that your index finger cannot easily slip past that point and onto the blade, then a separate guard is not needed.
Hi Wako,
Thanks so much for your thoughtful and detailed comments. You've helped me a lot in sorting out my "guard vs. no guard" issues.
Re-Guards,
Terry
Hi John,
Many thanks for your response to my discussion. I wholeheartedly agree with you that every knife needs some kind of blade guard. As you noted, a deep recess will keep the index finger from slipping easily onto the blade, but having had the experience of opening up one of my fingers on some sharp sheet metal when my hand slipped, I prefer a full guard just for some extra insurance. (For example, you never know when you might have to use your knife for sawing or digging [i.e., thrusting], which is a disaster waiting to happen if your knife doesn't have a guard.) IMHO, the SOG Vietnam era Bowie's full guard is probably the most ergonomic, versatile and organically stylish blade guard of all, although there are others that run a close second.
Re-Guards,
Terry
Yes, if you're not carrying any medical equiptment a simple scrape or nick can risk your life out in the woods.

Since the F1 is a Swedish knife made with a special purpose I feel that I have a responsibility in clearing up some of the confusion of why such a good knife doesn't have a guard.

It is a military knife, officially made on request from the Swedish military and is now being used in most gears worn by military personnel over here.
The intended useage for this knife is within arctic conditions, so having brass or any metal guards is out of the question, it also removes weight which is a constant worry-wart for anyone in the mil.

Most military personnel operating in arctic climate also wears tactical gloves or something to protect them and provide better grip, combined with this I can only assume the risks of the tiny guard failing and a cut happening is zero to none, especially with it's Thermorun handle material.

I'm no specialist in knifemaking however so the value of the knife and such is not my topic to reply to.
Hey Halicon, how're things? Just wanted to thank you for your comments on the Swedish F1 Pilot's Survival Knife's design for arctic conditions and for that reason, it has no appreciable guard. Having worked in the Alaskan Arctic, but not in the military, I infer from your comment that a metal guard is undesirable because in freezing weather, your skin would stick to a freezing-cold guard. If that's not it, maybe I'm missing some other reason for the F1's minimal guard. If so, please enlighten me.

RSS

White River Knives

Latest Activity

Deb Bowers posted a discussion
20 hours ago
J.J. Smith III posted a photo
yesterday
Deb Bowers commented on Deb Bowers's status
yesterday
Deb Bowers commented on Deb Bowers's status
yesterday
Jan Carter commented on Deb Bowers's status
Monday
Deb Bowers posted a status
"Hi! I have about 300 knives I'd like to sell. Does anyone have suggestions on how to start? May I share pictures here?"
Sunday
J.J. Smith III left a comment for Deb Bowers
Saturday
Deb Bowers is now a member of iKnife Collector
Saturday
Mike Bryant posted photos
Saturday
Jan Carter posted a status
Jun 12
Ellis H. Roberson commented on Joe Vadala's photo
Jun 12
Carl Bradshaw commented on Jan Carter's group Daniels Family Knife Brands
Jun 12
Carl Bradshaw commented on Jan Carter's group Daniels Family Knife Brands
Jun 12

KnifeMaker
Andy Larrison replied to Andy Larrison's discussion Case Vault Release Razor rehandled in Mammoth Ivory in the group Knife Repair, Modification, Restoration & Improvement
Jun 12
J.J. Smith III replied to Andy Larrison's discussion Case Vault Release Razor rehandled in Mammoth Ivory in the group Knife Repair, Modification, Restoration & Improvement
Jun 11

KnifeMaker
Andy Larrison replied to Andy Larrison's discussion Case Vault Release Razor rehandled in Mammoth Ivory in the group Knife Repair, Modification, Restoration & Improvement
Jun 10

Visit Lee' s Cutlery

KNIFE AUCTIONS

KNIFE MAGAZINE!!!

tsaknives.com

JSR Sports!

Click to visit

© 2024   Created by Jan Carter.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service