Everyday Carry Items: Selecting an Edged Weapon for Everyday Carry Part One

The following is an excerpt from my book “Principles of Violence”. My upcoming title on the subject of edged weapons use will cover this topic in much greater detail. This excerpt is intended to be the first in a series of posts on the topic of choosing the right equipment for everyday carry. 

The knife is an extremely efficient tool when it comes to taking a man’s life. It should be noted that this, not “self defense” is the only reason why one would opt to carry a knife for personal protection. If you choose to carry a knife, you absolutely must be prepared to use it to mortally wound another man. If you are not willing to do this on a moral level, do not carry the knife. Like “shooting to wound”, there is no “cutting to intimidate” or anything along those lines. The knife does not leave your pocket unless it is about to enter the man’s body and end his life.

If you are opting to use a knife in an asocially violent situation, then all of the criteria necessary to permit you to use lethal force must be present. Namely, you must be in imminent danger of death or grievous bodily harm, or must be acting on behalf of a third party that is in a similar situation. Use a knife in a situation where these conditions are not present, and you’re going to prison.

That said, if you choose to carry a knife, for use as a tool in the case of an appropriate situation, your knife need not be “impressive” or intimidating.  You are going to have a much easier time explaining why you chose to stab the man and end his life with your ubiquitous, unassuming pocket knife than you are if you opted for a blade dubbed “The Ultimate Combat Tactical Folder”, or a double edged, fixed-blade dagger. A judge is not going to want to hear your explanation for selecting such a tool, and you are by default going to come off as a hyper-vigilant, militant type of individual.

When used correctly the knife is felt, not seen. The man will not know that you have a knife until it has already inflicted a mortal wound on him. Therefore you don’t need a knife with “wow” factor. You are not “Crocodile Dundee”, so stick to something a bit more practical.

Your knife should be small, with a blade no longer than four inches. Personally, I think that three and a half inches represents the upper limit on blade length for a concealed carry blade. When used effectively, a three-inch blade can kill a man every bit as dead as an exotic, six-inch folder. It should be believable that your knife is part of your everyday kit, and used to cut tape, open boxes, or any other, non-killing-a-man type of activity.

Much like how most would find it completely logical that you stabbed a man with a kitchen knife that attacked you in your home, it is certainly believable that, when in fear of your life, you used your every day pocketknife as a “defensive” last resort. This is also one of the reasons that I advocate the screwdriver as an edged weapon. Like the claw hammer, the screwdriver is fifty-state legal, and easily purchased anywhere. While it may be a bit if a stretch to use one that you’ve pocketed in a business suit, it will make sense to most if you stab a man under the ear with one who is reaching in your car with a gun to your head.

I urge you to take selecting a pocketknife for carry serious, and not dismiss my thoughts while rambling about your rights, etc. The law’s perception of your tool of choice will become extremely relevant and important to you should you find yourself in a holding cell, or in an interview room after killing a man in “self defense”.



If you enjoyed this post stay tuned for part two where we look more specifically at commercially available knives to consider as part of your everyday carry kit. Also, click here to visit the store and purchase “Principles of Violence”, my eye-opening book on combating asocial violence. 


5 Responses

  1. JamesC

    Great post,

    I’ve always liked the concept as classifying my knife as a “Tool” and I carry it for such things as cutting boxes at work, cutting rope or if i ever had to cut a seat belt, this way its always justified why I had it.

    I also had a friend who always carried a screwdriver instead of a knife and he always justified it by saying he was a car mechanic and forgot it in his pocket.

    What brands of knifes do you recommend? I’ve always liked the Kershaw Blur.

    September 30, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    • Right on Jamie. It has to be a tool, otherwise what is it but an offensive weapon? That’s not a situation that you want to be in if things end up in court.

      As for the blur. I think that it’s a fine knife, but I am not a fan of anything that has an assisted opening feature. Thumb studs/holes do the trick fine on their own and can be used to open the blade quietly as well, which cannot be done with an assisted blade. I’ll elaborate on this more in part two.

      October 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm

  2. Jason

    Great post ! The truth often is simple and intrudes upon peoples armchair fantasies very rudely. My knife brand choice is Cold Steel, they have a great lock and are factory shaving sharp. Aus8-A isn’t the latest and greatest super steel but its shartp, tough and easily resharpened.I am sorry regardless of companies or magazines that would insist differently, if I stab or cut you with Aus8-A or S90V CPM steel your body does not know the difference.

    October 1, 2013 at 3:18 am

  3. Jason

    I forgot while pontificating. my 2 knives that are my favorite are the Cold Steel Holdout series II and III and the Code 4 spearpoint. My wife carries their new Talwar and the Code 4 clip point.

    October 1, 2013 at 3:21 am

    • Jason,

      You are dead on. I am a big cold steel fan as well. In part two you will see what my personal EDC items are knife wise. I have one small gripe with the hold out series which I will illustrate in the sequel, but you are absolutely right when it comes to quality. This whole EDC series will be an all-out assault on the “armchair Warriors” that you spoke of.

      October 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm

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