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New Product Drop & Restock

 

We've introduced two new patterns of push dagger, and restocked Variants and Envoys of several types. Drop by the store and check out these and other in stock items.

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Non-Metallic Composite Knives for Everyday Carry

The first knife I ever sold was a non-metallic blade, in a custom shoulder harness, for a lawyer. That began my specialization in non-metallic composite knives, and served as a favorite example of a use-case for such tools. When talking about non-metallic knives, the first purpose given is typically their low-signature, less detectable nature, ideal for non-permissive environments. That’s what I’ve made them and sold them for, for almost twenty years now. However, my customers have been opening my eyes to another use for them, over the past year: Every day carry.

Steel blades, even titanium blades, are heavier than G-10 composite. Duh, right? Of course, they also cut better. Titanium, particularly with a carbidized edge, is a great middle-ground of light weight and defensive cutting ability (though not, strictly speaking, performance). Steel remains king for performance. For any task that requires the most of edge performance, retention, and strength, steel is the best material. (Ceramic can get extremely sharp, and has great retention, but is brittle and best suited for non-metallic defensive knives, vs. regular users. It is also heavier than composites). But that weight… It doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you add a handgun, tourniquet, flashlight, OC spray or impact weapon, plus your wallet, keys, etc. to your daily carry, everything gets heavy. Saving a little weight can have it’s advantages. Light weight blades can be more comfortable to carry. They are less obtrusive, and add less to the overall fatigue of a robust daily carry loadout. Lightweight blades are also much easier to carry in lighter clothing, like exercise clothes or a lot of feminine attire, as they put less stress on the fabric and are less likely to pull loose, print, or cause the clothing to sag oddly.

Late last year, customers started asking me to build them G-10 composite knives without concern for non-metallic sheathing, specifically for carry in yoga pants and similar. Using the Discreet Carry Concepts clips, the best “grab” of any clip out there, this is not just possible, but easy. Of course, a metal clip and metal rivets ruins the low signature advantages of a G10 blade, but the overall package weighs less than a folding knife. Weighs less than a folding knife, and has none of the disadvantages for a defensive tool.


 

G10 is capable of cutting. The edge will dull rapidly, but for a defensive tool, it’s enough. The initial sharp cutting edge will remain sharp-ish-enough to shear and peel with, and point strength (on a well designed tool) is high enough to maintain for dozens of thrusts. Particularly for point-driven defensive knife styles, G10 is a very capable material from which to build a blade. It’s not going to make for a good utility knife, but it’s a bad habit to use your defensive knife for utility. If you’re carrying a strictly defensive knife, and are only ever going to use it for that, making that knife out of G10 is not a serious disadvantage. And if the weight savings is important, due to overall weight of your daily carry, or your clothing needs, then G10 only makes more sense.

After fulfilling a few requests for yoga-pants-friendly defensive knives, I built a prototype of my current-generation Zipper model, to test the updated design and my laced-edge grip idea. Testing meant carrying it regularly for awhile. Regularly turned into habitually, turned into the non-metallic Zipper being my EDC defensive knife. Why? Because it weighs next to nothing, carries very comfortably, and is simply easier and more convenient than other knives in my stable. My customers rubbed off on me.

More recently, a prominent self defense trainer contacted me to talk about options for a lightweight everyday carry defensive tool suited for his students, who are primarily younger, urban, athletic types, many of them women, who aren’t interested in or able to carry a gun every day. A reliable knife is an obvious choice for these users, but the question of weight comes into play heavily. Yoga pants? Gym shorts? Lightweight hiking garb? Lighter fashionable styles? All of these things lack the stiff fabric, robust waistband, heavy stitching, and often belt-loops of the clothing we’ve built our concepts of concealed carry around. But, in reality, what is more common? I see more people, particularly in urban environments, dressed in those ways than I do in the “carry appropriate” uniform so many of us take for granted. And a lightweight blade makes infinitely more sense for those folks, than does a heavier one.

I’m coming to see G-10 composite knives as more than simply “non-permissive environment” tools, but also ideal everyday carry tools for modern life. This would also be an ideal use for carbon fiber knives: Though we’ve determined they can set off metal detectors, if that isn’t your concern and you just want a lightweight everyday carry defensive tool, carbon fiber will work just fine.

We’ve got a variety of G-10 composite knives in stock currently, for anyone who wants to give this idea a spin! 

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