Question Of The Day: How Many Defensive Knife Uses?

Image Courtesy KREM TVWe’ve almost always got a knife of some kind in our pocket, and knives are very useful tools. They open letters, cut cordage, dig out splinters, disassemble cardboard boxes, and even let us open up those infernal blister packs. As Clay’s Question Of The Day illustrated, we use our knives all the friggin’ time. But how often are knives actually used in self-defense?

A colleague of mine once ended a beatdown by holding a Cold Steel push-dagger in front of his face as he was being pummeled. His attacker got a severe hand laceration (separating two of his knuckles) as he punched the blade instead of my colleague’s face.

That DKU was the end of the fight, but my friend never reported it to the police because he wasn’t sure what a DA would think of using a knife against an ‘unarmed man’ even if the unarmed man was straddling him in a pre-UFC version of ‘Ground And Pound.’

If you click on the title picture, it will link you to one of the few bona-fide DKU’s (Defensive Knife Uses) that I could dig up with my Google-Fu. As you can tell, this defensive knife use hardly qualifies as breaking news; it happened more than two years ago. Justice was clearly served in that case, which resulted in criminal charges only for the gang of attackers and not their (luckily) armed victim.

If you learn of other DKUs, you will earn my eternal gratitude if you forward them to me at They can be your own stories or published reports from media outlets.

DKUs are vastly under-reported, so let’s get the news out there. Thanks in advance.



  1. Davi says:


    I think you are right that blades and “other” weapons being used defensively are under reported. Also, because many of us in America have tooled up to firearms you will find that the proportional use of blades defensively is probably lower than in many other parts of the world.

    I think you might want to distinguish between purposeful use of a tactical blade and improvised use. If (and they should) kitchen knives count as defensive use then the number goes up considerably but that is not entirely the same animal. Just some thoughts 🙂

    1. One can only guess how many domestic incidents are ended when one partner grabs a chef’s knife from the drawer and tells their inebriated other half to go sod off and sober up.

  2. Azimuth says:

    I know only a few people who carry knives, and it’s mostly work related.
    None of their knives could be rated as a bona fide tactical or defense knives.

    I know many more people who carry guns, not work related, and no knife. The back-up for those carrying guns, is another gun, not a knife. 3 of those people, I know would have a back-up gun for their back-up gun, not a knife. I think we avoid at all costs, going back to a time when we had to be up-close and personal to fend off or dispatch an attacker. For most people, knives are little more than executive box cutters and a defense weapon of last resort. Who really wants to engage in perf/sev up-close with a knife when you can perf/sev with a gun from 20′ away? Not I. That goes for everyone I know. Isn’t that why we invented the sword, the bow & arrow, and finally the gun, in the first place?

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Question Of The Day: How Many Defensive Knife Uses?

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