Any type of knife can be dangerous in a fight, but some types are as dangerous to the user as they are to the attacker, such as a cheap folding knifes with a weak blade lock that allow the blade to close on your fingers. A fighting knife is one best suited for self-defense. Since it is designed as a weapon, local laws may prohibit carrying a fighting knife. A knife best suited for ordinary use that is legal to carry, may be practically useless for fighting.
Some points to remember when choosing a fighting knife are:
- Fixed blade is stronger than a folding blade.
- Double edge blade better than a single edge blade, since both sides may cut.
- Point should not be so sharply tapered that it may easily be broken off when striking bone or accidently striking a hard surface. Even with a broken tip, the blade will still be a deadly weapon.
- Slightly oval handle is better than a round one, so you may know by feel which ways the edges are facing.
- Handle should not be slippery when wet, too soft when hot, or too hard when cold.
- Handle should be slightly longer the width of your hand so the butt may be used for striking. Some knifes have a metal pommel on the butt to make striking more effective. If handle is too long, it may snag on clothing or be grabbed by the opponent.
- Blade with a shiny surface is intimidating, while a blade with a matte finish is more easily hidden.
- May have a guard to protect the hand from opponent's blade and to keep the hand from sliding over the blade if the tip hits a hard object during a jab. A guard that angles upward may trap an opponent's blade.