Feb 20, 20185660 views

[Ongoing] Tactical Knives Discussion

On Massdrop, there are beginners who are just starting out and experts who really know their stuff. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum, you should always be able to find answers to your questions within the community.
TACTICAL KNIVES There’s a tactical knife for every occasion. Some come with screwdrivers, some come with glassbreakers, and others come with a little of everything. Whether you need a knife for everyday use or emergencies, you can usually rely on a tactical blade.
ASK QUESTIONS Want to know the difference between various grip types? Or what kind of steel is best for which task? Maybe you just want to learn a bit more about the history or development of these utilitarian blades? The best way to find the answers to your questions is to ask the community. There are members who are experts in pretty much every area you can imagine, and they can help you go from beginner to pro.
Ask your questions by posting in the discussion below.
GIVE ANSWERS Many of you in the community know a lot about tactical knives and have great information to share. We encourage you to help out anyone who has questions!

Want to start your own discussion? Click here: www.massdrop.com/blades/talk/new

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I’m more in the Nick Shabazz camp of ”tactical.” Most likely even further than him. I prefer to avoid the term altogether have real disdain for people who are way too ensconced in tactical culture. They are why we can’t have nice things (Like being able to carry a balisong in my state). But that’s just me
I agree with you, but to be fair, balisongs are illegal primarily because somebody needed a convenient excuse to arrest people, and "because they are a minority", or "because they look sketchy" wasn't really cutting it.
Knives are tools and like all tools, their purpose is to facilitate a specific task or tasks. If we look at the definition of tactical, we find, “relating to or constituting actions carefully planned to gain a specific military end.” Having established that, when people need “tactical” blades, they either intend them for military, LE, or self-defense OR they want to collect them. Other than collectors, a tactical knife would suggest some level of tactical training if the tool is to be effective, otherwise it’s like giving a book to someone who is iliter. It’s cool to collect but if a tactical blade is chosen to be used as such, the user should choose it to best meet its expected use.
Or people get them because many companies tend to make knives in the “tactical“ category with better materials and ergonomics. It’s still a knife and its primary Function is to cut, not much training required. There are a few exceptions like karambit, but so many drop point, sheepsfoot, etc are labeled as tactical, but are great for many tasks
I don't know if I would agree with that. With the exception of companies like Cold Steel, a lot of companies are moving away from the tactical moniker. Manufacturers like Spyderco and Benchmade tend only to attach tactical these days to their stuff that is pretty obviously meant for cutting people rather than things.
While we are on the tactical subject, let's not forget the Ka-bar tactical spork.
I've tried every common knife brand, type, blade and lockup system. To date I haven't found anything that can rival the Mel Pardue Axis Lock found on Benchmade knives for every day carry. One hand flick open/close is better on this than anything else I've found, including automatics. Lockup is solid and safe vs many alternatives. I sold off many of my other knives and now just use a variety of Benchmade models... usually the tried and true Griptilian and Mini Griptilian because they're so light, fit the hand well and if you lose or break it it will be upsetting but not the end of the world.
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I'm a big fan of Spyderco's Compression Lock as well.
They're great knives I'm sure but I use and abuse knives and don't want anything I will be too upset about if I either damage it, lose it or forget in a bag and have TSA take it away at an airport. Benchmade griptilian and minigriptilian are perfect for my needs and much lighter weight in the pocket than most customs.
So who on here has questions and not snark involving judgement on mall ninjas? I’m a serious user and budding collector and I would love to help others in their hobby through discussion and experience, and would like the same in return from others. Let’s try that?
Good! When people see the number of blades I have, their first reaction is, "Oh! You collect knives!?" Then I let them handle a few, and the reaction turns to, "Oh! You use ALL of these knives????" My reply is, "I don't have any "safe queens" ... of anything."
Serious users welcomed! A blade is only as good as the task it solves!
If I fall in love with a knife I will typically buy another for a few reasons, 1. I might lose the one I have and need a replacement 2. If I like it others probably do as well and most of the knives I own are discontinued or sprint run.
I subscribe to newsletters from many knife manufacturers and distributors. Apparently, there are more makes and models of knives used by Navy Seals, than there are Navy Seals.
If you have a tactical knife, you might as well buy a can of tactical bacon. You can start a fire with your tactical fire starter, open can with your tactical knife and cook it on your tatical cooking pan. I highly
recommend getting bacon in a black can. It is more stealthy and it gives you an advantage over the guy carrying his bacon in a ziplock baggie. )

And don't forget my patented Tactical Toilet Tissue, or T3! (Search under my previous handle 48th Ronin.)
for anyone starting to collect knives, be careful of 'buzz words' like tactical, hard-use, super steel, super-coatings, high carbon stainless, surgical steel, etc. the thing to note is every knife design choice, steel type, price point, etc. all have advantages and disadvantages, so do your own research.

the goal of the knife hobby is: to use and experience all type of knives, and try to find the best one that fits you.

a few sub-goals: dont go broke, dont scare people, dont hurt anyone, dont screw up your knife too badly
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That's actually pretty close my classification too, although I think 440C is more of a midrange steel, and you can make the argument buck's 420HC is mid-range too.

I think a better estimate of how 'good' a steel is by average market price of a 3in folder. The lines between mid/high gets pretty blurry, though
low: >$10
standard: 10-25$
mid: 25-80$
high: 80-150$
super: <150$
cold steel marketing is especially catering to fanboys. 'buy our knife, because then you'll be as hardcore as the axis lock' although I would love to see someone on the cold steel's youtube video team do a pull up on one of their knives. you know, after then batoned it into a brick wall or whatever. I'll never buy a new cold steel knife, because i hate this type of marketing. it's gives non-knife people a very unrealistic impression of knives and knife users. also i feel like it is forcing myself to see my masculinity in a certain way, similar to fashion magazines forcing a certain image of women. this has nothing to do with the quality of their knives, although i do have issues with the texturing of their G10, and terrible pocket clips.

I have to disagree with MAP pricing, since it was a way to prevent large sellers from dropping their prices too low to out-compete small stores. It is also an attempt at the knife company to properly set the value of their knives, rather than the market, to keep their identity as so-and-so. Sadly, the market would rather have online shopping convenience than brick and mortar stores because people just dont know what a quality product is, or how to choose them.
Tactical stuff is only for ridiculous mall ninjas to carry and feel like a bad ass. The majority of it isn't actually practical to use, and I can't help but laugh at people who own 'tacticool' crap
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A normal folding knife meaning a knife that's just designed to cut things well like say a spyderco delica as opposed to something like a ZT 0452 that's obviously designed to look all murdery and appeals to mall ninjas who don't care too much about a knifes ability to actually cut things
That‘s a fair way to look at it, the ZT0452 is large and impractical for most people but I wouldnt call it a tactical piece of crap, it cuts well, is made of higher end materials over the delica, and has a better warranty than a Spyderco (fast service and blade replacement as an option over having to buy a whole new knife if something bad happens). At the end of the day, I’d like to think that someone who purchases a Spyderco or ZT probably did a little research into what they were buying, as they are getting something that cuts well.