One of the pillars of a survival kit is the knife. A survival knife is a must have piece of gear for any serious prepper. A survival knife is not something you want to get skimpy on. You need to be picky, but decisive. I’ve gathered what I think are the most important features to have in a survival knife and hope they can guide you to choosing the proper knife for you.
Fixed or Folding?
The first question we have to answer is will the knife be a fixed or folding blade? Conventional wisdom says a fixed blade is the superior choice. They are stronger, longer, and better suited for survival tasks and even self-defense. A fixed blade can be used for batoning wood, digging, hammering, along with the typical slicing, dicing, and stabbing a knife is commonly used for. A dedicated survival knife should be a fixed blade. The right fixed blade will take everything you can toss at it.
With this being said there is no rule saying you only need to carry a single knife. A folding blade can still be a handy tool for survival, provided it’s durable enough to do the job. This article is going to focus on dedicated survival knives but I bet most readers here carry pocket knives on a daily basis. Pocket knives are perfect for those smaller cutting tasks that a fixed blade knife may be a bit much for.
Related: Tools You Will Need When SHTF
There is two factors to blade style, the point and the edge.
The Point – The point of your knife determines quite a bit about how your knife is designed to be used. A Drop Point is one of the best choices for a survival knife. A drop point has a nice long belly that makes skinning game easy. A drop point blade tip is very strong, and the blade design excels for batoning.
Other types like the tanto are good for stabbing and piercing, but poor for skinning game. The clip point is nice and controllable, but somewhat weak at the tip.
The Edge – The biggest question is going to be straight or serrated. I prefer straight blades. I find them easier to sharpen, and better for batoning wood. Serrations of course makes cutting through thicker materials a bit easier. Both are good options and its a personal preference situation in many cases.
In terms of blade design you want a single edge blade. A spear point blade with a dual edge is a good weapon, but a poor tool. The double sided design makes these blades difficult to use for batoning, striking ferros rods, and the dual sided blade can harm you on accident if the knife gets away from you.
Related: US Official Procedures Before SHTF. How to Know Before It Hits
A lot of people have a bigger is better mentality when it comes to survival knives. I personally find that to be untrue. A long blade can become unwieldy and if you want length go with a machete. A blade length between 4 to 7 inches is often a good range in terms of blade length. This keeps the knife easy to control, but large enough to work. The shorter the overall knife is the easier it is to carry.
A tang is a part of the knife blade that is hidden in the handle, or acts as the handle. A full tang knife is where the tang runs the full length of the handle. A full tang is the best option for a survival knife. It lends an extreme amount of strength to the knife and keeps the blade from breaking off at the handle. Cheap knives will have a “half” tang or no tang and have the blade just attached to the handle.
These knives are quick to break. It’s a shame how many people I see utilize knives with hollow handles as survival knives. The idea behind a hollow handle is that you can store survival supplies in the handle. That sounds like a great idea, but I’ll bet you 10 bucks the blade breaks before you can ever use those supplies.
Lastly, there is the false full tang, or rat tail knives. These knives may proclaim a full tang, but in reality the tang gradually gets thinner and thinner as it goes. These are also easy to bend or break.
The Spine of a knife is the portion of the blade opposite the edge. We already covered that spear point blades are a poor choice due to the fact they lack a spine. Typically there are two types of spine, rounded and squared. A rounded spine allows the user to control the blade with ease and use their thumb to drive the blade. This does increase the control of your knife, but its the best choice for a survival knife.
A square spine allows you to strike a ferro rod to create sparks and build fire a bit easier. A square spine is also easier to ‘hammer’ which allows you to split or baton wood. A square spine between a 3/16 and a ¼ inch is an excellent choice. A rounded spine is typically the better option for a pocket knife.
There are tons of different types of steel with slightly different composites. We can’t cover all of those here, but we’ll touch on the main two types of steel you are likely to see. Their subsections would be an article to themselves.
The first is stainless steel. Stainless steel is quite common and is an effective steel. It’s resistant to corrosion, tough as hell, and will last a lifetime. Obviously there are different types of stainless steel, but high quality stainless steel is tough, and easy to sharpen. The downside is that it tends to lose its edge faster than our second type of steel.
Carbon Steel is quite tough, durable, and can be sharpened to a fine edge. It can be honed to the point where it’s close to razor sharp. Carbon steel also holds an edge longer than stainless. God doesn’t give with two hands so you do have to deal with rust. If you are using carbon steel look for a knife that utilizes a strong coating to resist corrosion.
Generally you want a handle that fills the hand. A nice thick handle will fill the hand well, and prevent fatigue from setting in. Thinner grips often make the knife a bit lighter, and easier to carry concealed. However, in a survival situation concealment isn’t an issue. A nice thick grip is more comfortable, and is less likely to slip from your hand. The grip should also be textured to make it easier to grip and harder to slip out of the hand. You should be able to easily grip the knife while your hands are wet, cold, or when you are wearing gloves.
My Suggested Knives
There are tons of high quality survival knives on the market, and it’s definitely a buyers market. One of my favorite is the simple and robust ESEE 4. It’s affordable, there are tons of sheaths available, and ESEE backs the knives with an outstanding warranty.
Now that’s my suggested knife, but what is yours? Any particular models you have your eyes on? Anything you’d add as a necessary feature? Let me know below.
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Battle Horse Knives. Great knives for a whole lot of reasons
One question I have about tangs and have not been able to answer is: Japanese swords do not have a full tang, not the daito, the long sword, the wakizashi, the short sword nor the tanto, the long knife. Yet each of those is battle tested, more so than any single western sword or knife. Paintings of battles in Japan will depict swords broken mid-blade but none depict any sword broken at the handle. Yet U.S. dictum is that in order to be strong a knife must have a full tang. Practical evidence from battlefields that stretched from what were medieval times to as late as the 1860s in Japan when the last battle between sword wielding samurai and firearm equipped governmental forces took place made famous in the west in the motion picture “The Last Samurai” with Watanabe Ken and Tom Cruise indicate that a less than full tang works quite satisfactorily.
Maybe it didnt need a longer tang because it was so sharp and intended for one thing. To quickly slice through muscle and bone. but I’m no expert. ☺
Not only did you not ask a question, but you referenced a ridiculous movie as proof of your personal opinion. This is the reason aliens don’t come to visit. The song “Shiroyama” by Sabaton has more history than a thousand Tom Cruise movies. Back to topic: A full tang is not required for a strong knife but is certainly a boon for balance and peace of mind.
Perhaps you misunderstood my reference to the motion picture. I referenced it only to provide a reference for those readers who would not understand if I used the Satsuma Rebellion as a reference. The point I was trying to make which apparently wasn’t clear to all was that the shortened tang has long history of battle testing stretching all the way from around the 1100s to 1877 when the Satsuma Rebellion against the Meiji Restoration took place. That’s almost 700 years of battle proofing, reinforcing my point that a partial tang can indeed be strong and I wonder why in the U.S. we insist that the only quality knives have a full tang.
I think Nicholas, perhaps, provided at least a partial answer. With all sorts of makers making knives and without doing massive research, a full tang in a knife means that the maker at least thought enough of his product to include enough metal to make a full tang.
While that isn’t the complete answer by any means, it certainly does reveal what I suggested in the above paragraph.
And perhaps a full tang offers better balance although tanto may have dispatched more people in their 700 or more year history than any other single style of knife known.
The full tang is a way to be certain of at least half decent blade construction when you do not personally know the maker. An extremely well made half tang that can compete with a good full tang blade is completely possible, as you have proven.
In a world of cheap, mass produced blades, a full tang is preferred because you can visually verify the build’s quality.
Just because a fixed blade has a full tang doesn’t necessarily equal a quality build and I would not judge a blades quality on that.
The mid blade failures are just the most common for light weight thinner blade weapons like those you mentioned. Striking these thin blades on the weak side results in common mid blade failures. However, I think you are misinformed about the construction of these swords. The tang is almost exclusively full length, however not necessarily full width of the handle, making it not “full tang.” The argument in favor of the full tang is based on the overall strength of the blade. Take any blades of similar blade thickness and metallurgy and the full tang will be stronger and hold up better. Look into torture tests that include prying and twisting and you will see why full tang is overwhelmingly recommended in survival knives.
A partial tang knife or sword is generally not able to leverage as much force against the resistance of material being cut as a full tang design would allow. This limits the amount of force which a user should apply to the handle of such a weapon. Such designs may be optimal in light-weight knives or swords designed to be kept extremely sharp and used to cut less-resistant materials. Scalpels and Japanese samurai swords are perhaps the most well-known examples of such tools.
The Samurai sword is a hidden tang design. The tang usually is the same length as the handle but is slightly narrower than the blade. The handle then covers the entire tang. When discussing tangs there is a lot more than just full or half tang blades. There are almost as many tang designs as there are knives.
The blades will mostly break in the blade becuase like most knives and swords the tang is not hardened like the blade, keeping it more flexible and soft. Same reason for the hamon line. The clay put on the spine during heat treat keeps the spine softer and more flexible than the edge.
As a side note, much of what is believed about the Samurai sword is myth. There were many quality blade makers but the vast majority of the swords were junk. They were made mostly from unknown small bits of scrap metal, forge welded together. One of the ways to tell if you have a true battle tested Samurai sword is to look down the spine of the blade. While slicing they a very strong blade, they are very prone to bending side ways and will eventually pick up an “S” shape in the blade.
True information. Thanks. Those “experts” selling knives are expressive. Other examples of a rat tail knife is the Marine combat knife and most bayonets used by the military. While I’m no expert but avid collector. I want a knife I can rely on. Fixed blade, full tang (not for strength but damage to the handle, easily sharpened, long enough to penetrate grave winter clothing and leather, full belly for skinning and sharp point that can penetrate bodies or C Rations. Many knife makers from Randall to Schrade, , cold Steel, Buck and others. Get one that you want, but check the quality too
The selection of a knife should be based upon what you intend to use it for; general outdoor survival/ hunting, SHTF survival, E&E survival, etc. Not just for it’s features or design.
This is one of the biggest mistakes in knife selection.
These generic articles do little to help anyone, but just confuse novice survivalists.
Regarding the promotion of ESEE knives.
I do not see what “ESEE backs the knives with an outstanding warranty.” Really has to do with making it a good survival knife.
If it is SHTF or if you do not survive some other event, what good is the Warranty?
My personal favorite is the 11-inch M-1 bayonet from WWII. It was designed as a hard use knife and was battle tested in WWII and especially in hand to hand fighting in Korea. I had one during most of my tour in my 8 years except for one brief period with the 3rd MAW where we got the new shorter version with the skinny blade. Didn’t have the utility of the older WWII bayonet. I have cut locks off of wall lockers with two of those working on the lock and didn’t wreck the blades. I’ve opened C-rats with it. I dug holes with it. It always came back with a stone and a little oil on the stone. You can baton with it and while I never had to use it in self-defense, lots of the Old Breed with whom I had the honor to serve verified that it did the job when it came to to the nitty-gritty.
Good choice. I also believe that that in my own personal mental dictionary “survival” means something different from “bushcraft” A survival knife must first meet the standards of a combat knife and must have a blade at least 7″ to reach deep into an enemy. I’d like a drop point and full belly to aid in skinning animals. Preparing meals, butchering and providing a striking surface for a ferro rod are also chores my knife is required to do. I don’t use my knife as an ax to baton wood, but I could, I guess. The other two issues are a true hand guard to prevent slipping on to the blade and a handle that is both comfortable and secure when hands are in gloves or wet. Carrying additional smaller or general purpose knives are always a good idea in my estimation.
I have a WWII Camulis with a fiberglass sheath w a cotton webbing belt loop, Marine issue I believe. What are you thoughts about this (besides weight) for a survival knife
Are you talking about a Camulis made WWII bayonet?
No it’s not a bayonet, my dad traded his K- bar for it on a beach in Japan. He was in the occupation forces. It’s a hell of a knife. The tip turns up a bit and is sharpened on the back side @1/3 of the length, like a Bowie knife. It’s Cardin steel and full tang and has leather disks as the handle. I’m probably not using the correct terms for this knife. Sharpens week and holds an edge well too. It’s about 11”.
Personally, I would do some on-line research to determine the value of that knife. I am certainly no expert in value of older knives, but sometimes you are better off not using something that is very valuable. For instance, you might have an almost new Luger with Nazi markings that shoots like a champ, however, every round you put down the barrel reduces the value a little. So in that case, you are better off making it a safe queen than you are taking it to the range or making it your everyday carry gun. Also, be sure not to polish the knife or take extra steps to clean it up. If a relic weapon has extra value, that value is in part based on the wear pattern and the patina of age. Too many gun owners have ruined the value of an collectors’ item by “cleaning it up.”
COLD STEEL SRK, or an original.Outdoorsman. The more knives I use, the more I keep.coming back to certain Cold Steel products.
I love COLD STEEL knives. Especially the ones made with carbon 5 blades. Unfortunately I’m told they no longer use the carbon 5. I like the SRK and the Bowie. The Bowie is great for heavy use and the SRK is a great all around survival knife.
My Favorite Survival Knife which also performs a lot of workhorse bushcraft skills in the field is the “Mora Garberg.” Tried and tested in my hardcore outdoors excursions.
I totally agree, that’s what I carry
My favorite is the Mora Companion. It’s a good size knife that will do just about anything I need a knife to do.
My second favorite Mora Knife is the “Mora Robust” – very durable & indestructible which is unlike the Garberg where it is only a partial tang, but amazingly it is so indestructible when it was tested by one of my favorite Youtube Channels “Dutch Bushcraft Knives” which they could never destroy this Mora Robust coz it is a beast & also for rugged use. Check the video out from YT – Dutch Bushcraft Knives Mora Robust Indestructible test – very entertaining.
I find that the PKS mountain lion fits the bill for my favorite survival knife to date.
First, “the knife you have on you in an emergency just became your survival knife.” A quote from my late husband. Second having more than one knife can vastly improve your chances. My second knife wold be a fish filet knife. here is why, first deer I ever took had a full bladder. Bust the bag and you just tainted your meat! The filet knife removed the bladder between the pelvis bone intact. And held it’s edge. Good knife.
The Esse is okay, but there are a lot of good budget priced knives from Schrade, Gerber, and so on. I’d suggest the SCHF9 or the shorter stainless SCHF10 or SCHF26. The SCHF3 or SCHF3N are also good and more classicaly designed like a KaBar. If you prefer lighter and shorter blades, SOG sells their SEAL Pup for under $50. A good carbon steel (1095, 1070, etc.) or the commonly used 8Cr13Mov or 9Cr18Mov stainless steels are all good. And don’t ignore the old standard 440a, 440b, 440c as the Gerber Strongarm, Prodigy and LMF2 are made of this steel and they’re proven to be tough and durable. Whichever knives you buy,you have to keep them sharp. There are a lot of choices, but I tend to favor stainless steels to resist the tendency to rust in the Florida humidity and are good for food preparation. Carbon leaves a taste on foods,but for dirty work it’s great. The handle should be
comfortable. Bigger and heavier means better chopping, but lighter means less fatigue in handling and easier manipulation like when prepping food. As mentioned in the article, many people carry 2-3 blades in different sizes,steels,and weights.
I carry a Schrade schf54M, in a custom kydex sheath. Excellent knife, good balance, and the micarta scales seem to get ” grippier ” when wet.
I also carry an Opinel no.8, for lighter camp chores, such as meal prep.
My personal SHTF knife is the Cutco Kabar….I have found it to be an excellent knife for my daily carry on my property here in San Angelo Tx…..whether it is used for cutting limbs or skinning a deer….I don’t think it can be beat!!!
I use a knife from a company called “TOPS”.
This thing is a beast, it is razor sharp and more durable than I thought possible. This company is fairly small. Their knives are all high carbon steel.
There are truly hundreds if not thousands of acceptable knives that fit most of the uses one would put a knife to. It is my opinion that there is no single “best” knife for every circumstance. While I could hack up a deer with my WWII 11″ bladed bayonet, that’s what it would be, hacked up. You wouldn’t want me to remove a bullet from you with it. I could, but it wouldn’t be the neatest job you ever saw. On the other hand, a Havalon replaceable blade knife might just be the tool to have for such work. I sure wouldn’t get much wood batoned with the Havalon.
Cold Steel SRK in my get home bag
Like most internet info, the discussion of steels is wholly inaccurate, misleading, and serves to only perpetuate confusion for most.
MTKnifemaker, it would be more helpful if you pointed out the errors in the discussion, the basis of your opinion and the correct information. To just say that the discussion of steels is inaccurate and misleading does nothing to dispel the incorrect information if, indeed, it is incorrect.
Randall made knives make some really nice ones but they are not cheap
I have my tops knives XL alert fixed blade always in my go bag and a sog traction folding knife in my pocket. Both quality blades for my work and hold their edges beautifully. I choose tops because if the high carbon steel and the sog because aus 6 steel just holds up to abuse of daily tasks. In my emergency pack is my sog seal pup and my Spyderco dragonfly. Not all knives do every task but they sure can get you out of emergencies with the right sized blade.
I have a Knives of Alaska Bush Camp. I has a 6″ drop point blade made of D-2 carbon tool steel. It has a full tang and nicely slip-resistant handle. The blade is quite robust with a thick spine. I have looked at many and decided that this was what I could best used to get home with! It’s also made in America.
My personal survival knife is a Randal Survival knife using Solingen high carbon steel. It is very strong and easy to sharpen. It is subject to rust but a bit of oil or grease seems to control that. The blade will penetrate a 55 gallon drum easily while maintaining its edge. I first carried it in Laos and vietnam in the 60s and still use it today.It does have a hollow handle but the handle is welded to the full tang and has held up through some rather tough use over the years.
My “do it all” knife (in my bug out bag) is the specwar knife by Emerson, with the thigh rig. It is ATS-34, chisel ground, very thick and sharp. I think this one was designed for Special Forces or something… But I find it to be extremely effective for most outdoor use. It’s a very expensive knife as it has been discontinued for quite some time… But I would like to have it with me if it was the only knife I had. I also have an SRK but Cold Steel.
A very cost effective knife is the Schrade drop point sharp finger. I have one in every car or truck i own. I had a larger knife custom made for survial use.
I’m partial to my Buckmaster . I’ve also got knives of Alaska cleaver set that stays in my ruck sack and has come in handy a time or two.
my survival knife is a TOPS BOB that is the best one for me does everything I want. having more than one kind of knife is smart too for other jobs like food prep and small work.
Knives are such a part of being human they might as well be woven into our DNA. Have to add, though, after a long life of working and playing outdoors, I get as much use out of a good pair of scissors as one of my knives.
For folder, check out the Benchmade Adamas 275 and 2750 auto knifes!
I am fond of the Tahoma Field Knife, by TOPS Knives, designed by Andy Tran. I made 3 different types of kydex sheaths for it. An under the arm concealed carry (I spent an entire year doing an EDC experiment I’m very satisfied with). Another sheath for sleeping and just generally carrying it, and a knock off of a TIE tactical that hangs from my belt and lashes to my thigh.
EDC the TFK !
I have a K-Bar. I think its the 2000 or something like that .Any way its stainless and extremely sharp as my wife will tell you.Just had surgery to have my tendon re attached (upper left thumb).
Mine is a 5 inch fixed blade KBar. Steel blade is the hardest I’ve had, been using knives 50+ years. Worked long and hard to get a razor edge but now it holds that edge and sharpens with a few minutes on the oil stone. Light weight, comfortable grip, skins, filets, batons and sparks flint rods with ease.
Chuck Norris Dont need no knife!
Once upon a time, there was a man on YouTube that performed knife destruction tests. He had a long procedure, with several steps that increased the destructive pressures. When he tested the Busse Battle Mistress; he had to add more steps. This knife was the most unbreakable, still functional blade of all of his testings. Busse’s sibling company; Scrap Yard Dog Co. (SYCO) had another top performer, using a different one of the Busse’s proprietary steels.
The top of the line Busse steel is called INFI, but there are also different levels of INFI steel, between the “economy” models and something like the Nuclear Fusion Battle Mistress. Besides his own three proprietary steels, he also began using commercial steels, like Elmax, and now others of the ever- evolving new “super steels”. He also experiments with heat treatments, etc… to arrive at very high Rockwell Hardness levels.
I have Busse, SYCO, Spyderco, Cold Steel,
and Shrade in fixed knives. And Zero Tolerance, Cold Steel, Spyderco, Boker, Victorinox in my top folders. Did I mention the high quality clone of the Microtech D.O.C.?
With all of the new, and increasingly pricier super steels out there like Elmax, M390, CPM 10, CPM 90, INFI, etc…; the old-timer D2 tool steel remains a darn good choice. And you have those Esse’s, and TOPS’ knives with the old-timer 1095 high carbon steels for durability. Busse knives are quite expensive; but they are top of the line for long term durability under hard and demanding use.
I have about two dozen knives for different purposes.
My main knife is made of 1095 high carbon steel, fixed blade drop point. About 10.5 inches long.
I carry a buck 110 because I like the strength of a lock back
I have owned a Buck 110 for 44 years. I used it to “jump start” a fork lift when I worked for Bell Helicopter in Iran , when moving main rotor blades for AH1J COBRAS ,
( LATE 1970’s). Hollow ground holds an edge like its right . OOOrahh !!!!
I carry a pocket knife everday. It is a Kershaw no idea the model. I bought it from the MAC tool truck about 10 years ago for around $30. Hands down the best pocket knife i have ever owned. 3″ locking, assisted opening. I am an auto tech by trade so an overly expensive knife was out of the question, but this little guy stands all the abuse i can give it.
My favorite fixed blade i have is a hand forged 10″ Bowie made from the axle bearing race of a 3500 Dodge truck. The thing will almost cut a diamond.
I own two smith-signed real (practical) katana; they have full tangs inside the haft. One is a converted-to-military configuration, the other is a youth’s or woman’s weight blade. Both ere made before WW2; probably before the Meiji confiscations. For close work I’ve a modern stainless steel tanto with a full tang.
For camp work I recommend either a modern-steel full-tang Kukri or Bolo blade. The haft should be either ‘bastard’ or two-handed.
I also habitually carry a folding-locking Buck sailor’s knife. Any blade without a real guard isn’t a fighting one, but a tool.
you can never go wrong with a Grohmann…I have a Grohman 4″ Canadian belt knife and a Grohmann 5″ survival knife…both will skin an elk without sharpening.
bigger than 5″ blade…might as well use an axe…will do the job better.
My favorite is a Puma White Hunter that I bought in 1973.
A set of ole Hickory knives does everything from chopping to surgery.imo.
“Other types like the tanto are good for stabbing and piercing, but poor for skinning game”. Boy do I ever disagree with that statement. I can skin a deer or sheep in 1/2 the time with a Tanto blade. I have never cut a hide with that point.
This was very informative, thank you for the article.
Mora or MoraKniv are good Swiss knives that can be picked up for as little as $15 right on up to $100+ for the survival knife.
I have a knife my father made in the late 1960’s he was in charge of entire machine floor of a Jig and Tool company in England. The knife he made was what he thought was the same as a Bowie knife it is a rather large knife and the hilt is a good size it has brass and wood in it with a blade guard top and bottom and is riveted to the blade is 2 1/2″ wide at its widest point and was made using machine tool steel hardened and tempered as it should be. To test the knife for ability to cut he hacked at the apple trees in the back yard pruning them for the first time in 20 years, it cut really well and the knife was about as sharp when he finished as when he started its only problem is it has got slight rust damage
I prefer telescopic blades
Thanks. Interesting post
have been using a kabar since 1968 it has clean up a lot of moose and other game i find no fault with it as a hunting knife i would recommended to anyone its a good knife.
Can you please tell me what specific type of Kabar Knife this is? Coz after your comment – I am so yearning to order from Amazon. Thanks!
I don’t think you can go wrong with a k bar knife with a helper in a buck 110 folder.
First, i try to read most every comment on each email i get. Hubby & i are both retired. Hes carried a pocket knife since we met 52 yrs ago. He had a hunting knife. All this info on ‘ best survival knife’ is great. What about those of us that are prepping for the SHTF scenario and are not ex military. I, as a 70+ yo woukd like to add one to my carry bag. I have a Swiss army knife…but thats not what i need. How do I choose something for my arthritic hands ?? Not all preppers are ex military or middle aged.
i prefer a full tang knife , 1095 high carbon steel, 4-5 in. blade, sharp spine, with a broom handle design. my favorite is the Kephart from Pathfinder Knife Shop. it has a scandi grind, but i put a micro edge on it. i have batoned wood but would rather use a hatchet or ax for that. my back up knife is a puukko made by Pathfinder Knife Shop. same steel, full tang, sharp spine, broom handle. i also carry a Victorinox Camper. great knife. all three knives are very affordable and great quality. i’ve had them for 6-7 years and no complaints.
I prefer knives to have the two sided finger and hand guard projections. In self defense work, the safest use of a knife is for slashing, not poking. Poking requires “getting close” that increases danger you you. Slashing keeps a person at a distance. But slash work can involve turning your hand offensively, or defensively, and knife striking knife can, in a sense, throw the arm off balance. It is just too easy for a blade to slash not just the edge of the knife, but also the hand. And what purpose does that serve? At least with the finger guard and back of hand (or wrist guard), one is less likely to get one’s hand or forearm slashed. But I find that knife manufacturers prefer a fast draw to finger and wrist protection. And I despise that. If I were aware of my surroundings I would already “make ready” for a fast draw; and at that point I want finger, hand and wrist protection. Who wouldn’t? So, as it is now, anyone who wants protection has to be wearing a thick leather glove that would provide some slash protection for hand and forearm? Is there anyone out there who wears a glove every time they use their knife? I expect some, but not most. Many ancient swords had a full “cup” (so to speak) as a finger, hand and wrist guard. Why aren’t they on more knives, even if they could be attached?