Saturday, August 04, 2007

Running with knives

When I run, I like to carry a knife with me. Sometimes I run in some areas that are fairly remote; other times I run in the heart of the city. Whether I am on my on, where nobody can hear me scream, or coming in constant contact with people, I like to carry a bit of self defense. So I started carrying a folder on my jaunts.

After a few rainstorms it got a little rusty. Secondly and more importantly, there were several problems with deploying it. It is lot harder to present to an attacker than a fixed blade. Also, because some of my shorts do not have pockets, it would move between waistband and pockets, depending on the shorts I was wearing. When in the waistband, the knife tended to get flipped upside down. I set out to solve these different problems.

I was looking for a fixed blade knife that would be very resistant water, sweat, and dirt. It does not have to be too large, but I would like to fit the hand well. I had considered neck knives, but if I was on the ground in an odd position, the knife would not be in a consistent spot. I looked around and Gerber has a river shorty which is made for wet environments, like river rafting. I saw one in the store and the point was blunted. Great for making sure you do not pop you inflatable life jacket, not so great for poking holes in people, and let's face it that is what we are looking for here.

After some searching, I found a line of knives by Cold Steel, Nightshade, which look like they might fit the bill. The only catch is that these knives are plastic (ok fiber glass composite). After debating it with myself I ordered two. I ordered the FGX CAT TANTO and FGX BOOT BLADE II. Let us start with the bad, then I will move to the good.

The bad, these knives are NOT work knives, survival knives, or knives to be used for skinning game. While they could possible be put to use in those capacities, they are not designed for that. Their only goal in life is to poke holes in things. The edges on these knives are dull. The tanto is a little large to be concealed easily. The boot blade is a little thin and the point is fairly flexible. Additionally, they do not come with sheathes.

While the tanto is a little two large, the boot blade is just right. It fits the hand great and the rubber handle is grippy when wet and sweaty. While the boot blade is a little thin, it has a spine that runs the length of the blade, which I believe provides enough strength for simple thrusts. Another great advantage is that the knives are both very light, this makes them easily to carry while running. Besides, the blades were only about 10 dollars a piece. I also figured that I could make a sheath from duct tape. What better material to make a sheath for a plastic knife out of, than duct tape.

Here is the finished product.

Overall, I have been happy with my purchase, though I would prefer the boot blade to have a little bit less flexible blade. As I was gathering links, i found out about the river runner. It is a river shorty with a sharp point. I will probably replace the knives with that one, because I honestly have a hard time trusting my life to a plastic knife.