Friday, January 16, 2009

Fighting knife choice

Don Williams said...
I noticed a few years ago that you favored the El Hombre knife by Cold Steel. I've always wondered why -- seems to me that the curving blade would make thrusts less precise, but you seem to make astute choices in gear (e.g, the 357 Sig.) Care to explain advantages of El Hombre?

First let me tell you, I’ve been a “knife nut” for as long as I can remember.
My grandparents were farmers in Spain, ( worked as carpenters when they came here) and a knife was simply something a kid had to have.

Saw and used many good knifes, even at a young age I would carry a pocket knife my grandfather gave me.

So these days I have more knives than I care to count, use them a lot, read about them, even dared to make a couple.

Cold Steel, Spyderco, Buck, Gerber, Opinel, and various others, can be found in my collection.

The "El Hombre" is discontinued,replaced by the "Vaquero" series.

So, why a recurved blade?

Curved blades like the various “corvo” blades, the famous kukri, the “the corvo chileno” knife, or the blades used in some pacific island cultures have been around forever.
Greek swords, African weapons, or weapons used by ancient Mesopotamic civilizations had curved blades as well
Today you can find some blades called “claw”, which is basically a curved blade as well.

What’s the advantage? the curve draws the blade into the material, it hooks into it and with a slashing motion the material gets caught and force is directed right into the cutting edged.
In larger tools like swords or the kukri, the forward portion has better chopping geometry, almost like an axe has , offsetting the contact edge form the handle axis.

The “s” shaped recurve also has the advantage of having a point that allows it to be used for stabbing, something that a claw or other forward curved blade cant.

I should also say, you get more edge surface for the same overall length with a recurved blade than with a straight one.

When I tried various blades on an old leather boxing bag I was about to throw away, everything became even more clear:
While other high quality razor sharp knives would “slip” on the surface when slashing, the recurved Cold Steel blade would 'bite' into the material with every slash, cutting more aggressively.

The “slipping” sensation I had with the straight edges ones was replaced by a sensation of digging in, taking full advantage of the force used in each strike.
When checking for results, the straight edges would make shallow cuts, while the recurved serrated blade made brutal, deep cuts.

You could clearly see how the straight edges could probably slip on someone’s clothes when fighting, but the recurved blade would cut to the bone with a good slash, and could be used for stabbing as well.

So there it is, that’s why I have a recurved serrated folder as a self defense knife.

Having said that, as a working blade, I prefer a straight edge.
Why? 3 good reasons.

1) It’s a much more even geometry for working.
2) The recurved blade is MUCH harder to sharpen.
3) The S shape make for difference force being required depending on if you are cutting with a forward or backward motion, and this feels odd.

So, that’s why I have a recurved serrated for fighting ( just for defense, keep the edge razor sharp at all times and don’t use that knife for anything else) and a average Spartan Victorinox for every day chores.

Hope that answered your question.

Take care.



Ryan said...

I carry a fully serrated knife because it will cut through anything really fast. It is a 4" Spyderco and cute like mad. Not good for neat stuff but if I needed to cut through something (rope, seatbelt, goblin, etc)it will do it better then anything. I should sharpen it though.

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Anonymous said...

You did not answer my question if it were possible to buy submachine guns in Argentina.
These IPSC athlets shoot SMGs in Argentina:

IPSC seems to be important in Argentina.

FerFAL said...

Anonymous, thanks for understanding.
Certain questions, if replied, can be used against you.

The particular model was a certain sub machinegun that had been reduced to semi auto, the thing is that this particular weapon would still work in full auto, because the semi auto reduction was rather poor. So it was kind of a loop, a legal weapon to own but after some time it would go full auto on its own.


The last cause said...

An "S" curve blade, one that is serrated like the El Hombre series, is a great choice for a Self Defense and utility blade.

Especially one with a longer blade so it can reach out and hit targets that smaller blades cannot touch.

Only quibbles, those locks can fail, no hilt means your fingers can slide up on the blade, and it's a folder which takes a bit more time to deploy.

FerFal, any experience with Cold Steel's Desperado blade? It's fixed, and really slim, so it can be tucked into a waist band of your pants.

And did you learn any martial arts moves that highlight knife work like Penjak Silat or some of the Filipino arts?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply

Anonymous said...

Do not leave Argentina, Ferfal. You are not aware of the problems in other countries - or the future problems in these countries.

Earn some money in other countries, yes, that is a good idea, but do not argentina.

I believe, you might think about going to Europe or USA. But these countries will have difficulties in the future (debts, pensions, social security etc.).

Although, your wife might want to divorce when outside of Argentina. Then you would be financially crippled.

FerFAL said...

Why would my wife divorce me?
You know somethign I dont Anonymous?:)


Anonymous said...

Why would your wife divorce you?

Ferfal, many men asked the same question and have been very surprised when their wife filed for divorce.

You believe that by being a good husband you can avoid divorce. Not so.

See, I read your paper on frugalsquirrels, where you wrote that burglars are cunning, you cannot shoot them from 300 yards.

Divorce is not avoidable by being a good husband, if the legal environment makes divorce easy and rewarding and if society encourages divorce.

You may be good at shooting, wrestling and using your el hombre, you may know how to survive in Argentina, but you have no idea what awaits you in divorce.

So yes, I may know something you do not know - marriage is highly risky in US and Europe.

There are many websites dealing with marriage and divorce in the western world. Look them up.

It seems to me, you love it to protect your family. If you got divorced in the US or Europe your wife would get custody and you would lose (nearly) all contact to your child, while still paying child support.

The your wife could easily get a restraining order on you. And when you argue that you might want to protect your child with your el hombre and gun, you would be laughed in your face, taken your weapons, thrwon in jail for a while.

Noone asks if this is fair or not, Ferfal, noone!

Be aware: you can be a perfect husband, your wife can still divorce you in the US and Europe, the legal system has everything installed to do just that.

I repeat: you have no idea what is going on in the US and Europe.

mangety said...

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I would ask you to answer before Saturday or at least Monday morning.

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Anonymous said...

I'm guessing the person who wrote the anonymous post about divorce has recently been divorced, which I'm sorry to hear, and is still very bitter. I was born and raised in the USA and I am happily married. I'm sure you already know this FerFal, but coming to the US is not a guaranteed divorce. Not even close. If your eyes don't stray in Argentina, then you'll be fine in the US :)

BTW, which state in the US are you looking to move to?

Anonymous said...

Ferfal, be aware that divorce is rampant in the US. 50% divorce rate overall, 70% divorce rate in california.

The culture is very different in the US. Divorce is literally encouraged.

There are men in the US who plan to go to South America to find a better wife. Can you imagine that?!
They do that hoping that the culture is more family friendly in south america.

If your wife wants to divorce you in the US, you are pretty much doomed.

If you believe that only bad men get divorced because they are so bad, you are very naive.

Divorced men kill themselves in the US, the suicide rate is high among divorced men. They get financially fleeced, loose all contact to their children, the children are alienated from their fathers and quite often the father cannot leave the US anymore.

Ferfal, stay in Argentina. But try to work internationally, this way you earn a higher income.

And by the way: hard economic times are coming to the US, so why do you plan to go there anyway?

Stay where you are!!!!

Go to Brazil, Chile or whatever, work some time in the US, or Europe, or Asia, but let your family stay in Argentina.

If you do not believe me, try to talk to men who went through divorce in the US, it will open your eyes.

FerFAL said...

I appreciate the concern, but I’m not worried about divorce.


The last cause said...

Well, FerFal, I recall you trained with Gabe Suarez when he went down to Argentina, and a part of that training was knife usage in a self defense situation.

Do you feel a competence with using a knife in SD?

BTW, Come to America, bring the family, I think you'd really prosper here, and the Western US supposedly looks like the Argentinian Plains.

FerFAL said...

No, I never took Gabe's classes.

I took classes with Baigorria, that is part of Gabe's team.

Baigorria is a local cop that's been traning cops and security here for a long time.

I learned some kinfe techniques from the guy I practiced vale todo.

I'd like to pick some more, but I feel ok with the basics.

You can do a lot of damage with a good blade.

The recurved blade is, in my opinion, the best kind of blade you can pick for a defensive folder.

Tanto points are nice becuase they do awful puncture wounds when stabbing.
A regular clip point or drop point will separate the material ( flesh), while the tanto tip punches a hole that will bleed a lot.

So, tanto is best for stabbing, a serrated recurvd blade is best for slashing.

I'd rahter sacrifice a bit of stabbign power but have the much more efective slashing tool.

Just a matter of personal opinion. :)


Dr Woody said...

To Mr. Anonymous; divorce is not inevitable if you move to the US. The reason why it is so rampant is decay in family values. You can be a good person and still lack basic family value skills. You said you may be the best husband in the world, but will still get beat over the head by divorce unknowingly. I believe you are wrong. There is are always strife in a marriage before a divorce, whether you are oblivious to it or not.

2nd point, the collapse of the US while may be on the horizon, it is not going to become mad-max over night. Our economic collapse may look like a tea-party compared to the conditions in other countries.

Ferfal and other posters are 100% correct our "poor" here is laughable compared to the impoverished in other countries, if you don't believe me then you need to travel more.

Telling people to not come to the US because of impending doom is silly and somewhat irresponsible.

Anonymous said...

You've made some interesting points about why to carry a recurve knife. You might want to add 'Busse' knives to your list of manufacturers. I've had great success with mine.

Anonymous said...

"The reason why it is so rampant is decay in family values. You can be a good person and still lack basic family value skills."

No, it is not personal, it is cultural. The culture which is the laws, the media etc. promotes divorce. The culture promotes promiscuity and does not condemn female promiscuity as it did 50 years ago. Thus a woman can divorce even if she cheated and get all the benefits that the legal system can give her.

Divorce in America is massively biased towards the wife.
The wife gets alimony, the children, the house.
The husband has to pay off the debts, the lawyers and very often he has no visitation rights.

Very common are false accusations of child abuse.

Again: it is not a personal lack of family values of the men, it is the lack of values in the culture.
Proof is the very high divorce rate of 50% and more.

"You said you may be the best husband in the world, but will still get beat over the head by divorce unknowingly. I believe you are wrong. There is are always strife in a marriage before a divorce, whether you are oblivious to it or not."

Divorce is a very onesided business in America. A husband can literally be at the feet of his wife for years, doing everything she aks for, he still will be robbed in divorce.
The judge will ask no questions at all, and if she accuses him of child abuse, nobody will ask for evidence. Then comes the restraining order, job loss and so on.

Ferfal, is much too optimistic regarding his prospects as married man in the US. I know the reason: he was born and raised in a country that still has some family values.

Marrying in the US is very dangerous and can not be recommended at all.
Ferfal seems to be so in love with his wife and the US, that he cannot think of a divorce. Guys like him are the first victims. Usually they have no prenup either.

It is nice to have some knives and guns and be a great urban survivalist, but life demands a bit more than that: legal knowlegde.

Instead of learning through the internet, he may learn the hard way. Just remember: many divorced men commit suicide - for good reasons.

"2nd point, the collapse of the US while may be on the horizon, it is not going to become mad-max over night. Our economic collapse may look like a tea-party compared to the conditions in other countries."

LOL, just wait and see.

"Ferfal and other posters are 100% correct our "poor" here is laughable compared to the impoverished in other countries, if you don't believe me then you need to travel more."

In the US there is less poverty due to welfare handouts. If there are less of these, poverty and crime will rise very fast. Look to California, handouts are stopped.

"Telling people to not come to the US because of impending doom is silly and somewhat irresponsible."

A married man should not go there with his family.

Canis Lupus said...

We can still find Cold Steel El Hombre on the web.
Which size is yours ?