To me, a knife is a knife. Sure there are many different kinds of knives, some better at some things than others. But in a primitive level, a knife is a knife. So, when some folks pop up "on the martial market" suggesting , and even at times arguing that a paring/fruit knife is suddenly good for knife fighting, my answer is "ahhh…yeah, so…" I would never have excluded paring knives as a potential weapon. Perhaps I have worked too many police cases where kitchen knives, big and small, have been used. Of course they can be weapons. Always have been.
There seems to be a little fad/craze recently about using paring or fruit knives for fighting. You know those little kitchen knives just about everyone uses, and here in the States, you can buy for about a dollar or two in the common, Dollar Stores, or Walmart, or in every grocery store. One guy said that when he lands from a plane ride, he runs to a cheapy store or supermarket right away, and buys a paring/fruit knife for self defense. Good idea? Although I don't know how he'll carry it around, but its good for the hotel room and…thereabouts. Why not? More on this carrying around in a bit.
And I do worry about the classic hotel room defense problem too, especially in weapon-free countries I work in. I don't exactly travel to the best and safest places all the time. I was in Africa one night, and the power went out, various people filled the streets outside and…well, that's another story…
But do take a good look at these paring knives. They are good and they are cheap and you probably can get them anywhere. Not a bad idea. And, there is something to be said for using the fixed-blade knives that butchers use too. I am told they are sturdy and affordable, and butchers swear by them as tools of their trade.
Cheap knives. Expensive knives. I saw a fixed-blade knife in a knife show one weekend back in the 1990s. It was very cool. It was about $175. Then my wife and I were in a kitchen store in an outlet shopping and they had kitchen knife sets for sale. From a distance, I saw a set with similar designed wooden handles. I looked closer, I swear, I swear, the middle knife in the set of 8, looked EXACTLY like the $175 knife I saw at the show. The whole kitchen set was like $19.99. Ever since then, I have been really pessimistic about the cost of knives and branding, etc. Sure, probably the knives were made differently. But how much? And what do you want to do with them. Who, what, where, when, how and why? More exactly this equation – "Who-knife," "what-knife," "where-knife," "when-knife," "how-knife" and "why-knife?"
I am not a collector of knives, per say, so I do not collect them just for the sake of admiration and collection – if you know what I mean. And I mean to say that I really like the looks of some knives, but to me, they are just tools. I don't collect pairs of pliers either. Or hammers. Do you see what I mean? That is how boring I am. Simple tools. Useable. I understand that some people really do love collecting knives. Fine with me. I understand that. Have fun with it, I say. If you want to spend $1,000 and get a super steel blade that will stab and penetrate an Army tank? Go for it. I'd like to look at them too. Hold it and so forth. I'm just not going to buy one.
But, you already also know how I feel about carrying knives called like,
* "Close Quarter Combat 7" or,
* "Seal Team, Throat-slitter 6" or the,
…or studying knife courses with crazy names. (Remember the more macho you really are deep down? The least you need to show it.) Its all fun and games with macho, militant knives until you actually use your "Klingon CQC De-Bowelizer" in a fight. Or, you have graduated knife courses with violent names like "Beserker," or "Destructo." Or, you proclaim you are a "bastard child of the knife mafia." Worry about the name of your knife and the name of your knife course. Police and prosecutors will. They will take a hard look at the demise of your freedom. Please trust me on this. I have worked these cases. The name of your knife and the name of your knife course, like your comments on social media, works for you or against you. Grow up.
While we spend a lot on special "fighting" knives, we need to mention it is long known in law enforcement circles that simple kitchen knives of all sizes are used a lot – like in …70%, 80% or 90% – (I've even heard once 99%?) of all knife attacks in the civilized world. The rest of the world? Good chance you are going to be attacked by a knife-like, handy "tool" they use in the jungle, woods or farm fields. Thereabouts. And then of course, next there is the use of the "tactical knives" to take up the statistical slack. The military rarely uses a knife in combat, but rather as a handy tool, and when it does, it won't be a kitchen knife.
But, back to the fruit/paring knife which started these ramblings off. Will the world treat you better if you have a paring knife and not a commando hatchet? In the real world, a paring/fruit knife is still but a knife. Can you walk around with a paring knife and be safe from police scrutiny? Whatever knife, in the end, a knife is a knife. To a cop who pats you down, a knife is a knife. The idea was floated on the internet of sticking a fruit knife in a piece of fruit, all inside a plastic bag, maybe in your pocket?
And walking around like that, pretending an eventual hunger pang, with all that bulky rig bulging in your pocket, (as suggested by some young Mexico/border cop? Or, as I am also told the fruit/knife/bag idea was originated some by other people?). But wait! I heard this years ago with walnuts. Stick the knife tip inside a walnut and have some of these nuts loose in your pocket.
Using that carry for “plausible deniability?” Nahhh. You know, I just don't think so. Maybe in some rural area of Mexico? Or a picnic area on the coast of Greece? I think they are really S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G this pocket method of carry to sound innovative. To me? Not so much. Being a cop and being around cops for most of my adult life – a cop sees a knife. A knife is a knife. It’ll all fall into local length laws, knife laws, personalities and the situation, etc.
A police officer or detective doesn't say,
"oh look, how cute. A harmless, fruit knife in a pomegranite."
If the fruit knife is illegal by local law, the length and so forth, then the knife is just plain illegal, even if stuck in an avacado in a plastic bag in your pocket, or stuck anywhere else. This will not fool anyone unless the police deem the carrier is like a certified Forest Gump type. Or maybe the investigating authorities are dimwits? The situation will rule out.
If the knife, this…this paring, fruit knife…is “legal,” you don’t need the fruit, the plastic bag, or the “hungry-later” tale. Still, with the bagged knife, the police, the prosecutor, your lawyer or your embassy might think you a shallow liar. I would instantly. Two strikes. One for an illegal knife carry. One for trying to trick me with fruit and lie about it. Try that in England, Australia or parts of Canada and see what happens, or in some USA cities. But if the knife is legal. It's legal. Stuck in no matter what. Stuck in a sheath. A walnut, with a pocket full of walnuts. A peach. The overall situation counts.
I think the idea is also that you will more easily fool and stab someone with the knife in fruit and in a bag? You know – trick them? Think hard about that one. You are threatened. You smile, and slowly extract your bag/fruit/knife rig for a quick bite. Does the loan-shark, or crack dealer, or psycho not see…a KNIFE! Just exactly where, why and when would you do this fruit or walnut trick? Do you want to walk around all day long like this, with fruit bag in your pocket? What set of circumstances and situation calls for this knife/fruit/bag idea in your life? For me, I don't want a piece of fruit in my pocket all day. Or a pocket full of walnuts. If my knife is legal, it's legal.
Worse, as soon as the fruit trick gets out on the world-wide-web of clever tricks and plans? Well, it's out on the internet as a clever trick!
The arresting and prosecuting parties can look on the net and your facebook page, your social media, your favorite groups, (are you a bastard child of the edged weapon, costra nostra?) your tattooes, etc and see its a "world-wide," web trick. A deceit to create some sort of "plausable deniabilty."
While we are pondering/kicking-around, common, last ditch tools, especially in your hotel room, I can't help but think of scissors? Last ditch? Scissors, the kind that can be disconnected at the joint/hinge as in the photo below? I travel all over the world with scissors. You can't really walk around with scissors either in many countries. Your motivation could and will be questioned, though I know people who have scissors in a leather scissor carrier on their belts – using the old excuse that they are "needed for work." (by the way, the next cop question is "where do you work? And prove it.) I always have certain pairs of scissors in my hotel room, at very least. And…thereabouts. Some open and come apart, like in the photo here. Open em' up, a little like one of those damn balisongs, and split em' apart if you can. You got two edged weapons. Small, tough scissors blades hinged together, can actually feel just like a push dagger and small scissors are not illegal to possess. Just don't put them in carry-on luggage.
Recently, I learned from a contact that in a factory in Canada, there was a series of knife assaults. The knives used were used by the factory because they were tools needed for the job. Management, frustrated with the crimes, collected all the knives and issued scissors instead. In a meeting, one of the employees stood up and took the scissor halves apart and held one half in each hand. He said, "look, they took away my one knife, and gave me two knives instead!" The contact said the halves, blades and handles were quite excellent-shaped, individual edged weapons. There are of course scissors on the market that cannot be taken apart. Crime down? We'll see. (Oh, and by the way? No, I am not suggesting that people give up their knives and carry scissors, as some readers with low reading skills here have misinterpreted and smeared me on the net).
In the three decades I worked in patrol and investigations, I recall numerous times when scissors were used in fights. Domestics and self defense. I myself can't recall a "scissor" murder I worked on or helped out on, but I am more than confident there have been in the annals of crime. I don't remember anyone ever opening the scissors up and taking the blades apart though, which would enhance the "knife-like" use. I have also inspected crime scenes where the victim had the chance to grab scissors and did not, unable to identify them as a weapon. I recall one horrendous rape scene. A woman escaped into her bedroom and locked the door. While the intruder/rapist worked to open the door, the woman had time to gather something to defend herself. She didn't. The man burst in, beat her and raped her. I went to the scene right after it happened. There atop the bedstand was a metal pair of scissors. Numerous other things were available too. She didn't "identify" scissors (or a lamp, whatever, as a weapon.
Knives. Scissors, Edged weapons. But once you use a commando knife, a paring knife or scissors in a fight, whatever, the time bomb of arrest, prosecution and lawsuits begins ticking. "Plausible deniability" becomes maybe what next? Aggravated assault," maybe? And, or maybe "murder"? What happened? Who, what, where, when, how and why? Situational. When the police discover out you have taken courses in "Cartel Knife Fighting" it starts to work against you.
Edged weapon innovation. Every few years a knife maker asks me to design a knife. I pass. I really would not know what to design? What could possibly be a new knife design? I mean, I can pick up some restaurant steak knives and some feel like magic, don't they? How to be different, to design something different? I would probably suggest to the knife-maker a pair of take-apart scissors, or a weird looking screwdriver or something that. No sales for those, though. And they'd say no.
If someone made tactical, combat scissors? Then that gig/secret would be "up" and the trick "outed" too on the web. The…combat scissors! Think about the combat cane. The combat baseball bat. Even discussing this here, teaching the message here, sounds like part of the conspiracy to fool the authorities. Probably the scissors would be stamped on the side – Hock's Tactical Combat Scissors by the company, with a mean looking design/logo, maybe a skull of some sort? Maybe with…a tongue out and about to be snipped off by combat scissors? Yikes! Why else make them? That logo could also potentially be a tattoo? But, it would be safer and smarter just to name them, Aunt Sarah's Knitting Club Scissors, – as etched on the side. And no, I am not sugesting that people get scissors, get a small sewing kit, put them in a plastic bag and carry them around in your pocket. But if so, maybe the police would look at them and say,
"oh, what a cute little pair of Aunt Sarah's knitting scissors!"
All fun and games until someone gets stuck in the eye with a pair! (as any good Aunt Sarah would certainly warn us against…)
(oh and by the way? the official tactical scisssors thing is a joke. I thought I would add this disclaimer because some stupid people have read this and criticized me for my '"tactical scissors" idea. Dear Low I.Q. reader – it's a joke.)
Hock's email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Get the Push Dagger DVD or streaming/download. Click here