Several years ago I was seeking a true self-defense, or tactical, knife. A knife that I could defend myself with knowing it would accomplish that task very efficiently and effectively. Since I am no knife-fighter I started asking around of those that possess that particular skill set. My question, “What was the best self-defense knife?”
There really weren’t that many answers that varied a whole lot. What they universally did say, “Knife fighting is ugly and you are going to get hurt?” After a number of discussions I understood what they meant. I decided then to avoid knife fights.
But, I still need to possess a good knife for tactical purposes. The experts helped me narrow it down. But they also pretty much said the same thing pistol experts say when asked what is the best pistol to own. It has to “feel right” in your hand.
Of course there are some standard traits of a good tactical knife:
- Sturdy blade that won’t break easily
- Piercing capability
- Sufficient cutting edge surface
- Handle that is the right size
- Handle that maintains grip even when wet
After doing a lot of research, testing a number of knives, and making a couple bad decisions I finally found the right hardcore tactical knife for me. It is a CRKT Hissatsu.
- Open Overall Length: 12.25 inches
- Blade Length: 7.125 inches
- Thickness: 0.2 inches
- Blade Material: 440A
- Blade-HRC: 55-57
- Blading Coating: titanium nitride
- Grind: Dual
- Edge: Plain
- Handle Material: Double Injection Glass Filled Nylon/Soft Textured Rubber Grip
- Carry System: Glass Filled Nylon Sheath
That knife is amazing! It fits my hand perfectly and I can move it with ease and confidence. That knife can pierce by simply setting it’s tip on something. I tested it’s puncture capability very unscientifically. I placed it on a substance that imitated human flesh. When very little pressure it pierced with ease. Next came slicing meat…again, with ease.
It takes an edge well with my diamond sharpener although I have to work at it. But, it holds an edge incredibly well. The blade is very sturdy and I have not a single concern that it will break being used as it is intended.
Yes, as you can tell, I really like that knife. And it is part of my tactical kit since 2012.
But, it does have one drawback…size. It is over 12” long, the blade is over 7” of that. In a tactical situation that is not a problem at all. You secure it to your tactical vest and you are good to go. But, trying to carry it in a non-tactical (a.k.a. civilian) setting can get you some unwanted attention.
And then there is the situation where you want an easier to access knife for close quarters battle situation. Example: You enter a room, bad guy grabs your AR that is attached to a sling, and you have to get up close and personal. It may be difficult to draw your CKRT knife in close quarters, or take too long. Having a smaller tactical knife readily available might be the logical choice. But that is another article all together.
Here is some information directly from the CRKT website –
James Williams, the designer of the Hissatsu™, is a former Army officer and martial arts practitioner/instructor with over 45 years of experience. He knows cutlery as President of Bugei Trading Company, producer of fine Samurai swords. As one who has trained tactical law enforcement and military forces for the SureFire Institute, he has developed a unique and powerful approach to unarmed combatives. His system of defensive tactics, known as The System of Tactical Strategy, has its origins in the ancient Samurai military systems as well as the Russian military art of Systema.
A key part of this system is the Hissatsu based on an old Japanese design. The unique shape of the blade, made famous by the legendary Samurai warlord Takeda Shingen, provides enormous penetrating power and superior slashing capability in one blade, which works with the natural motion of the body. James arrived at this modern version as a backup weapon for close-quarters combat. This is a focused single-purpose knife for use in anti-terrorist/close-quarters battle (CQB) environments, either as a primary or a secondary weapon to augment the handgun in the hands of trained professionals.
The Hissatsu’s dual grind Tanto blade is 440A stainless steel, high satin finished. For those who prefer a non-reflective finish, the Hissatsu is available with a black EDP blade or in Desert Tan dress with titanium nitride blade coating.
The handle is in a traditional Japanese pattern, but is Twin-Fused™, double injection-molded with a high-impact polypropylene core, butt and hilt, and a non-slip soft textured rubber grip handle surface. Oyatsubo, the emperor node on the omote (outside/public side) of the tuska (handle), allows you to know which direction the blade is facing, even in compromised lighting conditions, by touch.
The custom injection-molded glass filled nylon sheaths (in matching black, Desert Tan or blue) grip the knife firmly, and have removable belt clips which can be attached high or low, vertical or horizontal with the black two-piece screws provided. There are also holes and slots for carry on belts, webbing or equipment.
The Hissatsu is intended for use only by trained law enforcement and military tactical team professionals. Enormous power in a light, flat package makes for easy carry with many options for placement on tactical gear.
Know that the CKRT Hissatsu is an excellent choice, my choice, for a tactical self-defense fixed blade knife. It is in every way a “BUY!”
OK, so now here is the downside…please don’t hate me…the knife is no longer in production, CRKT discontinued making them. The good news is they are still out there to be bought. If you want a desert sand color you have to go to eBay. They only show up occasionally. For Black you can get them on Amazon.
Now a really cool thing…there is a “training blade” version. These are great to train with. No rubber blade crap, the trainer version is dull aluminum. This trainer blade gives you a great opportunity to train like you will fight.
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