The online community of knife collectors, A Knife Family Forged in Steel
Ok one under 80$, would have to be my G10 Cold Steel AK47 ultralock. Which is back in my work rotation EDC. Stout, sharp, and blazing fast. Its combo of handle design and scale material, it wont slip out of your hand, as long as you have fingers!
Firstly, what is a tactical knife? Is it different from the fighting knife you first inquired about in the title?
Secondly, what purposes will you be subjecting this knife to--your title claims fighting knife but will it be used for sentry eradication and which way (kidneys, between ribs to heart or down the collar bone/throat to sever arteries and heart?), or sparking a flint, or building a shelter, or for fish, fowl & fauna preparation, or hammering nails or car windows or skull cracking, will it be polished for signalling or a non-reflective surface? Will you need a non conductive model?
I ask, as each one requires subtle variations in the knife design to accomplish properly and not all are conducive to each other’s efficiency.
Blade size? Blade design/shape? Blade steel—carbon or SS? What version of each—O1, D2, 440C etc.? Blade thickness? Single, double edged or partial sharpened false edge? Quillons (extensions from the hilt) bottom only or top and bottom or non at all? Sheath type—pouch, strap etc.? Sheath material—leather, nylon or Kydex? Blade carry—vertical or horizontal and if vertical tip up or tip down?
Thirdly, if you are going to be fighting with them, are you trained in knife and/or anti knife combat? Knife vs. knife style? Study Filipino stick fighting called Eskrima (Arnis), or French la canne or Swiss Bartitsu or Palo do Brazil or Indian Gatka or Lathi or Japanese bojutsu…Will you be employing a stabbing or slashing attack O/Dfensive? If not then don’t even bother thinking about knife fighting other then a sneak attack and then you’d better study human anatomy to known where to thrust your blade.
Do you know what is the first rule, law, tenet and definitive statement of knife fighting to be? You will get cut! Expect it, fight through the pain and don’t think of the blood loss and you’ll probably survive otherwise you’re dead.
Try this for a “fighting” knife test…Take your knife/knives to your friendly, neighbourhood, butcher shop and ask the butcher if you can stab a side of beef or pork…Take your knife and straight from the hip smash your knife as hard as you can into the beef/pork side and do that about four times—do it from different positions i.e. rip upwards from the crotch, stab forward from the waist, stab forward from the chest and finally an overhand stab…Try all the stabs with the sharpened side down and the whole routine again with the blade up…If the blade enters easily, does not bend out of shape—it does happen, does not bind on insertion or extraction, does not twist out of your grip and most importantly, doesn’t allow your hand to slide forward (either handle angle, material, shape or by quillon(s)) onto the sharp blade and gets cut to Hell, that is then a good knife.
Unfortunately, a Hell of a lot of the so called “survival” or “tactical” or “combat” knives won’t pass this test especially in the not getting your hand sliced to ribbons category!!! The animal sides, especially the porcine, replicate the human body for tissue, skin and muscle texture and bones.
Something like the Sykes/Fairbairn Commando or the Combined Forces V-42 knife is excellent for sentry removal but lacks the belly for a slashing knife even if it has doubles edges… A Tanto—the Americanized version is another purely stabbing blade…Something like the USMC knife is great for all purpose and has the belly for slashing but lacks the proper front point for stabbing but can be corrected by sharpening part of the false edge…This is three of my favourite multi tasked combat knives.
To answer you question, I’d suggest the *Ka-Bar/Bob Dozier collaboration called the Bull Dozer 6½” in a fixed blade with a street price of less then $80…Also the 7” Becker Combat Utility or the 7.125” Johnson Adventure Baconmaker are nice but a bit more money NIB…The ubiquitous 7” USMC Fighting Knife can be gotten “used” for about that price and they have a proven track record.
*Ontario Knife Company has a number of knives in that price range as does *Condor Tool Company and **Grohmann Knives of Canadian Military renown but I’d really raise my ceiling just a bit, say to $125 or so; as that opens up a whole new area to look in including brands like *TOPS, **KAI (Kershaw and Zero Tolerance), *Benchmade, **Fallkniven, Anza, *FOX, **CRKT, *Boker, *Katz, **SOG, *ESEE, Blackhawk and *Bark River…Even *Gerber, *Buck and *Knives of Alaska have models that will suffice.
If you go up to the $200 region you can add *Al Mar, *Mission, *Spartan, **Entrek, **Extrema Ratio, *Emerson, *Strider, *Chris Reeve, *Blackjack Classic Knives, Scorpion and *Dartmoor Knives both of the British Army fame, *KIZLYAR Russian Military knives (DV Hunting knife or dagger), the battle proven **Dustar (Israeli IDF knives) and the superb **Ek Knives,
Remember that street prices are a lot cheaper…The $80 would cover up to about $125 MSRP as the $125 could easily encompass $225…The $200price tag can nab you sometimes even a $365 knives…I will only ever post the price I or family/friend has paid otherwise I’ll publish only the MSRP as there are just far too many prices out there for me to search through—I’ve got nearly 400 dealers in my database
One that I really like is the J. Wayne Fears Survival Knife
You can read about the man here
and get one at Pro Tools Industries
* = I have or had or have used at sometime a model(s) of this brand
** = Knife brands that I collect [hopefully] to their entirety
Along the lines for the ideal all purpose military knife the Entrek USA Knives Force Recon 7” 440C, Micarta scales…They also have a 6” model and a 9” variant
Here are two folders I would stake my life on in regards to everyday self-defense. The top is a Bram Frank design called the LLC, which is one of the best tools for defensive use as it, can be used as an impact or edge style. Many knifes can be used in impact mode but not as efficient as the LLC.
The bottom folder, BlackHawk Crucible II design by Kelly McCann was purchased after first purchasing the fix blade version, which offers a multi position sheath yet is over the 85-dollar limit for this post. The Crucible uses a thumb stud for opening.
Both of these folders are strong locks, one-handed openers, very sharp and an important feature to me, full size handles. On both of these tools I have done real world cutting test which means taking a slab of meat and placing the meat (pork and chicken) into several layers of clothing similar to what an attacker might wear. Both had no problem cutting into the meat.
Here is the fix blade version of the Crucible which is over 85