|Randall Model 2|
The knife (or knives) you carry into Harm's Way should be selected for the task at hand.
I'm not going to get into a long white paper regarding knives. Instead, I will give you my current load-out for blades. My solution is probably more involved than most readers, so take what works for you and ignore the rest.
First I should explain my most-likely role in our National Scrum. I do not expect to ever be part of a Team fighting in the woods. I am more Donovan and Fairbairn than Thomas Baker. I know my strength and my limitations. I know where and how I can best contribute to the recovery of Rightful Liberty when the elbows begin flying.
Based on my reality, I load-out with three knives, each tasked with separate functions.
Offense: When a sentry needs to go and one must be sneaky, a good dagger is the go-to blade. I own a Randall Model 2 with an 8" blade (pictured above) for offensive wet work. I have worked with the Randall for several months now, and in my judgment it is the finest dagger I have ever owned. I classify the Model 2 as a "Fighting Dagger", not because I'd ever pull it in a knife fight, but because it is built like a tank. Many daggers are built too thin, which leads to inherent weak spots (Gerber MK II anyone?) The Number 2 is built from 1/4 Stainless and Randall keeps the full thickness a full 3 inches on the blade from the hilt. Why would I never pull a dagger in a knife fight? Because in a knife fight you may be forced to block the enemies blade with your own, and slapping his steel with a cutting edge is a bad idea. The Model 2 is all cutting edge, ideally suited for deep, penetrating attacks.
|Randall Model 1|
As most of you know I do not use my fighting blades for anything except defeating an enemy. The third blade I carry (aside from my folders) is either a standard KA-BAR or Cold Steel GI Tanto. This third blade serves as my field knife and general utility blade. You simply can't go wrong with KA-BAR or Cold Steel in this role. They are strong beyond belief, they hold an edge, and they have earned my trust over many years of use and abuse.
Knives are very personal choices and there is no single 'right' answer for every person. You have to decide what blades you carry and for what you will use them. I know many guys who put a KA-BAR on their rigging and use it for everything. There is nothing wrong with that, if it works for you. There are guys who swear by SOG, Ontario, Jay Fisher, Chris Reeve, and any number of other brands and designs. The key is to find a knife you trust, then keep it in good shape. I consider a 7" blade to be the minimum length to carry into Harm's Way. Make certain the grip is properly designed and of suitable material to keep a secure grip when wet. You do not need to spend a fortune. The Cold Steel GI Tanto is a monster that can be purchased for under $50. Sandman carries an Ontario Spec Plus Tanto that you can pick up for $75-$100 that serves him well.
Be sure you research your options when it comes to the blade(s) you carry into Harm's Way. You should give selection of your knife at least as much consideration as you give your primary sidearm.
If you ever need your blade in combat, you need it NOW, and you need it to do what knives do.
Choose wisely, Patriots.