Bladed Weapons

Gibbs Rule Number 9

Basic Knife Law
The CJA 1988 mainly relates to carrying knives in public places, Section 139 being the most important.
“It is an offense for any person, without lawful authority or good reason, to have with him in a public place, any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed except for a folding pocket-knife which has a cutting edge to its blade not exceeding 3 inches.” [CJA 1988 section 139(1)]
The phrase “good reason” is intended to allow for “common sense” possession of knives,
so that it is legal to carry a knife if there is a bona fide reason to do so.
Examples of bona-fide reasons which have been accepted include:
A knife required for ones trade,As part of a national costume, or for religious reasons.
In this case, public place is meant as anywhere accessible to the public.
For example a private campsite, which members of the public must book to use, is a public place.
Also, knives should only be carried to and from and used at the location where they are needed. For example, leaving a knife in a car for use when you go fishing would be illegal. It should be taken back into the house each time you use the car (other than to go fishing). You are not allowed to store your gear in the car.
The special exception which exists in the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (s139) for folding knives (pocket knives) is another “common sense” measure accepting that some small knives are carried for general utility however even a folding pocket knife of less than 3″ (76mm) may still be considered an offensive weapon if carried or used for that purpose.
It was a long held common belief that a folding knife must be non-locking for this provision to apply.

Pen knives.
A folding bladed knife with multiple blades. The strength of these knives is really down to how good the hinge is. In the UK these are the only knives you are allowed to carry (with good reason) provided they are 3 inches (75mm) or less. In a survival situation they are dangerous.
Blades closing on fingers is the usual problem.

Lock knives
Better than a pen knife, the huge advantage being that the blade can be locked open.
The ideal safe cutting tool. Unhappily banned in all it’s forms in the UK where it is seen as an offensive weapon (Unless being used for a professional occupation).
Shame about your fingers being cut off by a folding blade but that’s the UK for you.
If you must have one (which I advocate strongly), make sure you can open it one handed.
Saving your fingers from amputation is worth the risk of ownership in my opinion.
In an attack or defensive mode,  most designs only give you a few inches of cutting edge so as a weapon it is best used in an ambush mode.

Standard Bladed Weapons
When selecting one, concentrate on knives with a full tang i.e. the ‘handle’ metal is sandwiched in the handle giving the knife great strength. So called survival knives with flashy hollow handles are generically weak and although the steel may be good, this weakness is bad.
Forget about serrated fancy edged blades. If you need a saw edge use a saw.
Serrated blades are difficult to sharpen and unnecessary in a survival situation.

Machete’s or Kukri.
Hacking tools, especially the machete or panga.
The Kukri’s big advantage is in its design is it’s built to chop AND stab. 
The blade bends forward towards the opponent.
The huge advantage is that you keep your wrist straight so there is no loss of strength or flexibility.

Axes and Hatchets
These are great survival aids but are not really good open or covert fighting weapons.
The reasons are wood cutters are short reach weapons with short cutting length blades which are not well suited for cutting through clothing.

Forget about chucking them at people.
It only works on films and if you miss you have just armed your opponent. 

Entrenching Tools
Not the folding type but the fixed handle type, a sharpened entrenching tool is the ideal tool and weapon.
Multipurpose, it looks harmless and has great reach, weight, and balance.
Used against the head and neck it is one devastating weapon.
It is perfect as either an open or ambush weapon. A bonus is that they aren’t banned by UK law. 

Sharpening Blades
This protractor segment shows the sharpening angles for various types of blades from a razor to an axe , machete, and my personal favorite the Kukri.

Use a ½ round medium to fine metal file for deep notches and nicks and a fine slip stone or ceramic sharpener for everything else. 

Sharpening Aids

  • Steels. Used for softer metals like kitchen blades. Treat them as a sort of soft file,
  • Tungsten Carbide sharpeners (tool steel) is a good basic sharpener which doesn’t need lubricating.
  • Slip stone or carborundum stones, Lubricate with oil.
  • Ceramic stones lubricate with water.
  • Lubrication aids the cutting action and aids the dispersal of swarf.
  • Diamond sharpeners No lubricants are necessary but they don’t necessarily produce a good edge.
  • A leather razor strop doesn’t remove metal like a stone does it just re-aligns any ripples without removing any of the steel.

The Knife Fight
An open knife fight is a good way to get injured EVEN IF YOU WIN.
Never threaten with a knife or indeed any weapon.
It indicates to a skilled attacker that you don’t really WANT to use that weapon.
90% of the time they’ll be right with that assumption.

Defense from a knife.
The most simplest and effective defense is to put something between you and the knife.
A chair, book, door, gun, etc. finally the best of all, DISTANCE.

Using a Blade Offensively 
Capt. Fairbains Book “Get Tough” is a basic guide to using a knife.
It was the definitive guide to using a blade offensively by the armed forces.
Dated, brutally efficient, but USELESS ON THE STREETS.

My advice? (for what it’s worth)
Don’t get involved in a knife fight.
Only use any bladed weapon as an ambush weapon i.e.
Draw from cover and strike without warning.
Once you start, keep going until the assailant is FULLY disabled.

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