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Tactical knives (or combat knives) are knives that US Navy SEAL teams use during the missions to secret locations. They are specially designed for different survival situations, including self-defense. And because tactical knives are made for maximum versatility, they are more often mistaken for survival knives. But for a better description, a tactical knife is used mainly for fighting, while survival knives are so-called “all-around” knives.
On the other hand, hunting knives and tactical knives are similar in the sense that both of them can be folding knives or fixed-blade knives. A tactical knife is a handy tool that you can also use on your everyday repair tasks at home or even in the office. But then, bringing one along with you is considered as illegal in many countries. So, make sure you understand the laws on your area before you buy one online.
History of Tactical Folding Knives
Tactical folding knives became popular in the US in the early 1990s. This was the time when custom knife makers designed knives with liner locks or locking mechanisms for opening and closing the knife. And because the demand increased rapidly, production companies collaborated with some of these tactical knife makers to mass-produce these knives. Nonetheless, noted knife makers such as Chris Reeve and Ernest Emerson later decided to open their own knife factories.
Factors when Buying Tactical Knives
Generally speaking, all tactical knives are light, durable, and easy to bring. They are usually longer and more durable than the standard folding knives. Most of them have coatings and have non-reflective materials. But before you buy your own tactical knife, below are other important factors you need to consider:
If you are a police officer, a fixed-blade tactical knife may not be suitable for all your needs, not unless you are in a specific assignment that you need to use one such as defending yourself. In that case, you may want to wear a neck knife over your vest. But in most cases, authorities use tactical knives to hold an object in one hand and the other hand to slice it with a knife. Therefore, a folding knife is more applicable as long as it can be opened with only one hand. This type is mostly used in emergency situations, such as fire and rescue operations.
Blade Type and Length
For superior cutting power, most tactical knife blades are very sharp and serrated. The serration should only be partial because there are occasions where you need to use the straight portion. In addition, always check the type of tang used. A tang is metal attached between the blade and the handle. Knives with a full tang are always better than those with partial tang only, because the latter could later loosen after being used for a long time.
Drop Point Blades is one of the most popular blade types not only in hunting knives, but in tactical knives as well. The back edge and the tip are unsharpened. On the other hand, you can also choose double edged fixed blades because they provide improved stabbing and thrusting capabilities.
Meanwhile, a blade length of not less than two and a half inches and not more than four inches long is ideal if you prefer putting the knife inside your pocket. In addition, this length is sufficient penetrate the vital organs of a person. Nevertheless, longer blades look scarier than the shorter ones especially if your opponent is bigger than you.
Most likely, you will use your tactical knife as a weapon. Therefore, your hands will be covered with blood and sweat. In addition, you may lose grip on the blade once you hit a bone while stabbing someone. Below are some the hand protection features you can choose from:
- Finger Guard – A finger guard serves as an extension that helps prevent your fingers from slipping into the blade. It sticks out from the back of your knife, making it easier for you in opening the blade.
- Thumb Ramp – As the name implies, a ramp is located between the handle and the knife to protect your thumb. It also enhances your grip during stabbing and thrusting.
Alternatively, there are knife handles that allow your palm to touch the end of the knife. With this position, you can use your palm to push the knife once you lose your force, which also prevent your fingers to reach the blade.
Just like other types of knives, tactical knife handles can be made of rubber, wood, leather, aluminum, plastic, bone, horn, or synthetic materials. Rubber allows good grip even when it is wet, while both wood and leather have a good finish. They are difficult to joint, though. Aluminum or micarta is a harder material, while plastic is not absorbent. Bone and horn are equally strong, but synthetic handles appear to be cheaper. But whatever type you choose, make sure that your hands are comfortable with it.
For further assistance in choosing the best tactical for you, check out our wide gallery of different brands of tactical knives.