Question of the Day: What Knife for “Sheltering In Place”?

After the home invasion and stabbing death of Leila Fowler, police advised locals to “shelter in place.” The murder went down in rural California. While many residents are likely to have a long gun or handgun for home defense, not all will. The number of those affected likely to have an everyday carry gun with appropriate holster is even smaller. So, if you were restricted to your home environs and could only carry an edged weapon to defend yourself and your family which one would you choose? Remember, you’re not worried about people (other than your own family) seeing the weapon. Well, that and the cops. Anyway, which blade?


  1. Tyler Kee says:

    A machete. Easy to grip, easy to swing, frightening as all hell.

  2. jwm says:

    An assegai backed up by a machete. If I couldn’t have a gun.

    1. Dan Zimmerman says:

      The zombie’s worst nightmare: a freshly sharpened machete. Cheap and wikkid effective.

  3. Derek says:

    I’m of they opinion that without the weight and leverage of a longer bladed weapon, like a sword or Tyler’s machete, a knife is more effective at stabbing than slashing. Seeing as I don’t have anything like that (ok, I impulse bought a SOGFari a couple years ago cus it was stupid cheap) I’d probably just throw my CRKT Hissatsu on my belt just behind my mag carrier.

    Now if I could grab whatever bladed weapon I wanted but still had to be able to sheath it (Sorry F. Dick Meat Splitter) I’d probably grab something like the Gauge Customs Marauder

    1. Robert Farago says:

      That’s gotta hurt. But if we’re going in that direction my SOG tactical axe is where I’m at. And it has a sheath. Well, an axe head holder thingie (that’s the technical description).

      1. gloomhound says:

        Mask, it’s called a mask.

        1. jwm says:

          Bad Jim Carrey movie, but aren’t they all.

  4. Sam L. says:

    Got a 9″ or 10″ Gerber chef’s knife and a kukhri, but I’d rather have a 20″ cutlass.

  5. David says:

    Its got to be a sword or machete if all blades – not just knives are allowed. If just knife then this:

    Yeah, I know it screams gimmick but I want someone to use it so I know how functional it is. Seriously TTAK guys, if the funds are there we need a review.

  6. Edgehill says:

    A Bagwell fighter would do fine. Played with one this weekend.

  7. CTrees says:

    I have a spear (five foot shaft, eight inch head), and a decent idea of how to use it in a space the size of my house. It’s in a sufficiently good condition that I’d be willing to use it in a fight, and I’m far more confident in my ability to fend off an attacker and escape uninjured with that spear than I am with any knife I own. A few feet of added reach are a wonderous thing.

    Note that this actually is somewhat considered – I also own a brace of halberds, but I wouldn’t try to fight with those.

  8. chuck k says:

    I have a Cold Steel “Bushman” attached to the end of a sturdy 4 ft. pole. If it got to close quarters I have a nice Tanto blade. I usually have a Kahr 9mm in my pocket or IWB though, even around the house. Plus a short barrelled Mossberg 500 handy, among other things.
    If I actually knew I had to go up against a knife with no gun, I would rather have a good police baton. I learned a few tricks with that from a relative who was a big city cop.

  9. styrgwillidar says:

    Well, on my bathroom counter I have a bayonet for an M1 as well as a Kaybar that just go well with the decor. They’d have to do.

    1. jwm says:

      Styrg, you don’t get many visitors, do you?

  10. PubliusII says:

    In descending order: (1) katana, (2a) fencing foil with the end button removed, (2b) a long (19th century-style) bayonet with cutting sharp edges and sharpened point, (3) Kabar, and (4) machete.

    A lunging blow with a long pointed object is much harder to parry than a swing (a la machete) and it’s more deadly. People are chockfull of vital organs that a pointy thing can get to more easily than a swung blade can reach. And after running the attacker through the first time, multiple follow-up lunges will be relatively simple.

    1. Sam L. says:

      Fencing foil is too flexible. An epee, now, with a sharp point is a maybe. Epees have 3 dull edges; even if sharpened, it’s only a thrusting weapon.

      1. PubliusII says:

        Fair enough. My main point (sorry!) is that a lunge blow with a weapon designed to pierce is a highly effective way to injure or kill an opponent.

        Those big sweeping, slashing blades look very dramatic in the movies, but the blows are easier to parry or avoid. Also, when you strike like that you must first draw back your arm, leaving your front unprotected.

        A katana does both lunges and slashes quite effectively, which is why it’s at the top of my list.

        If I’m confronting an assailant, I want to keep the pointy- sticky-sharpy thing between me and him. I’ll make sure it has sharp edges so he can’t grab it without having tendons or fingers severed.

        But the killer part of the blade is the point — which is my entire point. (Sorry again!)

        Stabbing beats slashing because it strikes deeper.

      2. PubliusII says:

        Just a follow-up. Here’s a katana being used to stab:

        The photo shows the assassin readying a second lunge, which the people surrounding him prevented. But the first lunge was sufficient — Asanuma died from the single stab wound.

        1. chuc K says:

          Famous photo.

  11. Ing says:

    Well, if it was a choice only of what’s on hand in the house, I’d be raiding my son’s stash. He has one of those Bear Grylls survival knives; cheesy, I know, but it’s a solid good-size blade that ought to do the job. Actually, I do have a belt knife I made in 9th grade (clunky handle, but a dang good blade), so I could pull that out of the storage drawer and roll with it. The other choice would be one of our brace of camp hatchets; cheap things, not very sharp, but I wouldn’t want to get hit with one.

    Also, I’m not 100% sure it’s legal, but I do have a nasty little club I keep in my truck for just-in-cases. It’s a sturdy 20″ piece of maple I trimmed from a tree in the front yard, weighted with a 3/4×9 lag screw and three 1 1/2″ washers on the end. Reinforced with 3 colors of duct tape (cuz I’m like that), with a carved grip and a lanyard loop. My wife has a similar but slightly smaller one in her car. We both have CWPs, so maybe that covers the clubs, too. I dunno. Odds are we’ll never have to find out anyway.

    If I had my choice of any bladed weapon to defend house and home with, I think I’d go for something like a Greek xiphos. Enough heft to chop appendages off, perfect for thrusting, and short enough to be very handy indoors.

  12. Mark N. says:

    A kukri. Excellent in small spaces, excellent heft for slashing and cleaving, excellent handling for thrusts. Much superior to a machete. I have an Angus Trim hanging on the wall, but a hand and a half with a thirty six inch blade is hard to swing with eight foot ceilings.

  13. Duncan Idaho says:

    Probably my scramasax that I made- sharp as a razor, heavy as an ax. One of my favorite blade designs.

    My 1917 bolo would also be candidate, but it’s a bit heavy for my liking. Maybe the Heron Mark, even.

  14. Matt in FL says:

    I’ve never been a “knife guy,” so here are my thoughts. A katana seems like something you need to have practiced with for it to do you a lot of good. Terms like kukri and xiphos (though I know what those are) and modern “knife special” brand names are largely lost on me.

    But I do own a machete. Thousands of Africans can testify to its effectiveness.

    1. Pantera Vazquez says:

      Machete-Oooh yeah…..

    2. Sam L. says:

      A kukhri is the knife of the Ghurka soldiers. Little Nepalese guys with big knives and big hearts. Look them up.

      1. +1 Matt. The machete is the AK of the blade world. Looks mean, can be wielded effectively by those with minimal training, and does wicked job through power rather than precision.

      2. scubamatt says:

        +1 Sam – There is nobody I’d rather have backing me up in a real world fight than troops from a Ghurka Regiment. Simply the finest men in the world – skill, honor, and spirit. A close second would be any Filipino Marine, for the same reasons.

        Kind of funny how cultures that still revere the blade have strong traditions of honor, respect and fighting spirit. We need more of that, I think.

    3. And thousands more were unavailable for comment…

  15. Cliffo says:

    KA-BAR Pestilence Chopper

  16. Shorr Khan says:

    My pick would be a gladius, or the somewhat longer-bladed spatha if more reach was needed. Good for close in thrusts and cuts. It worked for Rome for hundreds of years.

  17. Easybeans says:

    I went buckwild on Amazon a couple weeks ago…

    Cold Steel Indian War Club
    Cold Steel Katana Machete
    Ka-Bar Kukri Machete
    SOG Tactical Tomahawk

    So…. One of those… (Leaning towards the kukri) Would have loved to seen the person packing my Amazon box with the smile on it.

  18. Chris Dumm says:

    I’ve got a giant Bowie that was probably made from the leaf spring of a Pakistani taxicab. It’s made of mystery metal, but it’s got a keen edge and a sharp point and it’s the size of a small Roman gladius.

  19. Aharon says:

    An edged weapon that is double-edged and can be used effectively in thrusting as well as slashing. One that can reach the intruder at arms length yet is not not too long and cumbersome that it cannot be used well in close corners or doorways of a home. The weapon should be light and fast in your hand, and not so lengthy that the intruder can maneuver around it.

  20. Pat says:

    Cheness short wide bladed (22 inch) Katana under the bed. Can be used with one or two hands and swung in hallways or low ceilings. Simply nothing better. You can stab a man through or chop his head of with a single swipe and the ability to use two hands increases speed, power, and control exponentially.

  21. Hudsonfrog says:

    Got a lot of knifes, it’s a tough choice. Since I have practically no training, I would use my 16 inch blade German bayonet. It’s pretty light, no too long, not too short, and easy to handle, but it is very strong and can be used to slash and thrust. Other than that, outside, sometimes I carry a sword cane, blade 2 feet long, double edge on the first 8 inches, very strong, very sharp, and can be used with 2 hands. It’s a
    little bit like a small Katana or a 2 hand small saber. I love Bowies, but unless you really know how to use them they are a bit too bulky, and paradoxically too short, you have to swing them very close to the opponent. If you got to swing a blade better use an US Army (very thick) machete.

  22. scubamatt says:

    Just a blade?

    My ginunting, without a second thought. Not only is it the weapon I train with regularly, it is made specifically for close combat. My wife and I each have one, and they are not ‘wall hangers’ or costume weaponry. <– demo of it cutting through a leg of lamb

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Question of the Day: What Knife for “Sheltering In Place”?

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