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Author Topic: Fixed Blade vs Folding Knife: Which is better?  (Read 8768 times)

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Fixed Blade vs Folding Knife: Which is better?
« on: April 18, 2012, 08:41:23 AM »

Since I am still a rookie when it comes to knives and knife fighting, what are the pros vs cons of a fixed blade vs a folder?
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 11:28:42 AM by SteveM »
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Re: Fixed blade vs folder
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2012, 09:01:44 AM »

When I had this same question for myself, I came up with this:

- Fixed blade faster to deploy
- Fixed blade less likely to be fumbled/partially deployed, meaning the blade won't be partially opened, or snap back into the handle - this is an element of overall speed, but I see it as separate issue also
- Fixed blade sturdier, since there is no hinge give way, loosen over time, etc
- Fixed blade generally less expensive than similar sized folder with same quality blade, handle

- Folder lets you stow "more knife" in approximately the same space; e.g. the Spartan gives you about 10 inches of knife overall, but is only six inches folded.  A 10 inch fixed blade would be tougher to pocket carry, or carry anywhere.
- Related to this, folder may give you more (quantity) effective knife under the laws of (in our case) Texas, since you can have a lot of handle and a short blade, giving you overall better reach.  A fixed blade could be designed this way, but I don't see too many like this unless the knife is very small overall. Seems to me that once a fixed blade handle reaches normal "hand size", the blades are just made longer and longer, running into the 5.5" limit, whereas a Voyager gives you a decent blade and a very long handle, extending the reach.
- Folders do not require a sheath and a way to fix it to the body...just need a clip for a folder
- Folders can be made to look more innocuous, less "weapon-like," if that is an important in the environment you move in

Right now I have one of each.
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Re: Fixed blade vs folder
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2012, 09:32:54 AM »

Good question there John and good observations Eric.

I have numerous knives and about 50% are fixed blades. I like both fixed blades and folders and they each have their time and place in the EDC arena.

At my current location, for example, I am prohibited from carrying a fixed blade, but can carry a folder without any problems. I actually carry two and there are other folks here who may carry three at times.

I like folders very much, for the simple reason that I can conceal them easily regardless of their size. IE: My 6” Voyager disappears in my pocket or waistband as needed, where a similarly-sized fixed blade knife will not.
And as I'm supposed to be unarmed under the terms of my contract (I know, I know, long story) I can explain away a folder much easier than a fixed blade.

Fixed blades are more reliable and durable than folders for every day use. My BOBs all have fixed blades in them.
In a fighting situation, depending on how it is carried, I’ve heard many people state that fixed blades are faster to draw and present. I’m not sure that I agree with that statement 100%. Every time I carried a fixed blade as an EDC it was always covered by some kind of garment which had to be cleared before the knife could be accessed, drawn and presented.

My folders generally sit in my front pockets, are easily accessible and much faster to get into the fight.
And this can be done this with one hand while the other defends since there's no need to clear any clothing to get to them.

Opinions in this subject will be many and varied. I have heard people before argue and argue about the merits of each type of knife without wanting to accept that they both have merits.

My opinion, as stated in the beginning, is that they each have their time and place.
One is not necessarily better than the other per se. They are nothing but tools and it all depends on what you need to use them for.
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Re: Fixed blade vs folder
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2012, 11:08:58 AM »

Everthing they said pretty much with:

Fix blades are generally MUCH cheaper than the equivalent folding knife.  (The hinge is not only a point of weakness but more expensive to manufacture).

The fix blade is worthless if you won't or can't carry it (in a manner that makes it accessible.)

The last is true of ANY weapon but more likely when considering fix vs. folder.

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Re: Fixed blade vs folder
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2012, 11:48:42 AM »

...

My folders generally sit in my front pockets, are easily accessible and much faster to get into the fight.
And this can be done this with one hand while the other defends since there's no need to clear any clothing to get to them.

...
Some more thoughts:

I also didn't like the idea of having to clear clothing if I had a fixed blade affixed to a belt/waistline, either IWB or OWB.  So when I got an inexpensive one to experiment with, I just put it in my right front pocket exactly where a folder had been riding, and that works pretty well, with some room for improvement, and allows one-handed deployment.

It is about 8 inches long, 4.5 handle/3.5 blade, which turns out to be just the right size to keep the butt of the handle just inside the pocket opening.  This has worked with all the pants I usually wear, 5.11s, painter or cargo pants.  I does not require much in the way of hand or arm movement, don't have to "catch the wave", or whip the hand around for inertia opening, etc.  Remembering how Sonny was showing us how to draw pistol without a lot of shoulder and arm movement, I can do the same thing with this knife.   And like a pocket pistol, I can have my hand in my pocket and have knife in hand, ready to go.

It has a leather, rather than Kydex, sheath so the sheath does not stick to it when drawn.  It simply rides there, right along the back seam.  The only problem I have had with this is when at Sonny's pistol course awhile back, it came out out when we were doing the drill where we got knocked backwards onto our backs (and were supposed to simultaneously draw pistol).  I am thinking of just attaching a clip to the handle, just like a folder.  It would be more secure, and the overall length would not have to be "just right" to keep the handle in the right position to reach.

At the AMOK pistol course last August, Mark Human had the CRKT Folts Minimalist, a small fixed blade with a kydex sheath, in his right front pocket.  He attached a lanyard to a belt loop, and when he pulled the knife out, the lanyard would pull the sheath off the blade, like a Zack holster for Glocks.  I have one of the same knives, but what I don't like about the "zack" method is that it takes a more vigorous, more sweeping hand movement to get the sheath off of the knife, versus my current set up where I just basically pull it out of my pocket.



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Re: Fixed Blade vs Folding Knife: Which is better?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2012, 12:33:15 PM »

All I can say is make sure you have one on you..preferably two..be good with any and all and deploy when necessary. Make sure it has a nice point and a sharp edge..harden your heart and do what you have to, when you have to...don't be grip specific..how ever it comes out you can work it (however that floats your boat) ..after that what else is there.
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Re: Fixed Blade vs Folding Knife: Which is better?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 09:02:58 AM »

To me, the best thing about a folder its its clip -besides we are able to hide them more easily- the clip make the knife be on the same spot averytime.
In my time and place it will be very difficult to have a fixed blade on me 24/7, like I do with my folders.
Pablo
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Re: Fixed Blade vs Folding Knife: Which is better?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2012, 09:06:37 AM »

I carry both. 

My fixed blade is a Rat 3 that is carried horizontally just to the left of my belt buckle.  I can grab it left handed in a reverse grip or right handed in a saber grip.  I carry it in a Kydex sheath that I had Dale Fricke make for me. 

My folder is the bigger of the two knives I carry.  It's a Cold Steel Voyager that is 4".  It's a bit more awkward for me to draw but that's partly because I need to do a little work to get it to stop hanging up on my pants.  The clip is very tight and then the scales are so rough that it just sticks where it is clipped.  I'm sure a little time with a sander will help with that, I just need to get out to the shop and do it!


Here is a link to a pic of the fixed blade being carried.  I'm still challenged by my macbook when it comes to posting pics sometimes.  The original of this is on the last laptop I used, which died an ugly death.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2156167588614&set=a.1257981774530.2036283.1379211054&type=3&theater
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Re: Fixed Blade vs Folding Knife: Which is better?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2012, 09:25:51 AM »

...Here is a link to a pic of the fixed blade being carried.  I'm still challenged by my macbook when it comes to posting pics sometimes.  The original of this is on the last laptop I used, which died an ugly death.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2156167588614&set=a.1257981774530.2036283.1379211054&type=3&theater

Just visited that link and "liked" the pic.

And I can definitely see how the "Tactical Gut" makes it easier to conceal that knife.  ;D
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Re: Fixed Blade vs Folding Knife: Which is better?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2012, 11:03:09 AM »

...Here is a link to a pic of the fixed blade being carried.  I'm still challenged by my macbook when it comes to posting pics sometimes.  The original of this is on the last laptop I used, which died an ugly death.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2156167588614&set=a.1257981774530.2036283.1379211054&type=3&theater

Just visited that link and "liked" the pic.

And I can definitely see how the "Tactical Gut" makes it easier to conceal that knife.  ;D

LOL!
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Re: Fixed Blade vs Folding Knife: Which is better?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2012, 02:46:55 PM »

For EDC all I have are folders. Mostly Endura or Delica since a couple of years ago. Both opened usin thumb.
I also 2 Buck Strider. Very comfortable in the hand but heavier than the spidercos. And they open better/faster by using inertia.
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Re: Fixed Blade vs Folding Knife: Which is better?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2012, 06:31:18 PM »

my personal opinion i will go with a fixed blade any day of the week for a combat/outdoors situation. but unless you are on and active deployment or always in the woods you haft to think about concealability. i keep a thrower in each boot to close space if ever needed. i also have my emerson in my pocket at all times. the rapid deployment of a emerson has saved my life if not saved me from severe injury more times than i care to recall.
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Re: Fixed Blade vs Folding Knife: Which is better?
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2012, 02:26:28 AM »

After deployment, the fixed blade is superior to the folder in almost every way. So I will just address the issue of deployment.

Conventional wisdom says fixed blades can deploy faster than folders.

However, in my situation I cannot carry fixed blades, so I have developed my folder deployment skills far more than fixed-blade deployment skills. I currently find folders easier to deploy - slip it out and flip it out.

With fixed blades, perhaps it is my lack of a suitable carry rig, but I find many times the sheath will be pulled along with the blade, which requires me to grab the sheath with one hand and the knife with the other, and yank with both hands. This is after I've secured the sheath from flopping around.

Also, depending on the size of the blade, pulling it out of the sheath might require more motion than pulling a folder out of your pocket. A previous poster mentioned "more blade in less space."

After pulling out the knife, there is still the matter of presenting it in a defensive stance.

With practice, I find that opening the folder (once it is drawn) is very quick and fairly reliable. The time it takes is negligible compared to the fixed blade after it is drawn. However, the reliability may be compromised by wet hands, cold fingers, etc.
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Re: Fixed Blade vs Folding Knife: Which is better?
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2012, 03:03:10 AM »

Another advantage not mentioned (I believe or at least not emphasized) is that a folder can be drawn, hidden in the hand, and not shown as a knife.

It can be used this way, possibly limiting the lethality if the attacker doesn't require that level of force (perhaps against a dog or mentally altered by not totally dangerous 'acquantence').  Maybe not good advice, but it gives more options and that is generally a good thing.

This also leads to legal advantages (which MAY exist) to having the knife in hand, but not yet deployed as a knife.

How is a fixed blade superior "in almost every way" once deployed than a folder?

[For instance, the triad locks on the robust Cold Steel knives pretty much eliminate any significant weakness due to the hinge and lock.]

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Re: Fixed Blade vs Folding Knife: Which is better?
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2012, 03:19:26 AM »

yall are correct fixed blade is superior in all ways after deployed. But in my personal experience I have always been faster with a fixed blade compared to a folder. just look at the steps. Fixed Blade- Draw, and attack. two steps simple as that. now look at a folder. for argument sake lets just say the folder in in clipped in the front pocket of the knife barer. Folder- retrieve from pocket, adjust to propper grip, deploy blade, then attack. thats four seperd steps compared to a fixed blades standard two steps. that is why the only folder i will carry is a Emerson. becaus the clip is closer to the mid point of the handle you retrive the knife from your pocket already in a proper grip. and becaus of the wave feature of the blade as soon as the knife clears my pocket my blade is deployed witch cuts it down to a two step weapon same as a fixed blade draw and attack.
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