Tactical or Non-tactical?

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
You'll likely get a million different answer to that one! Personally, "Tactical" means that use/function, and designing/building towards those factors takes precedence over all other considerations....including materials. Things that require intense care or that simply should not be "used" such as heat colored or blued steels/damascus who's finishes would be destroyed upon first use, are not "tactical". All too often, people think "tactical" has to mean ugly, big, bulky, or any number of other undesirable characteristics, when in fact, Form follows Function, and if that format is followed, it's usually difficult to make a knife that doesn't look as good as it functions. :)
 

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
I think in recent knife times the term "tactical" could possibly stand opposite "traditional" and could be taken to mean "modern".

In that case "tactical" might be defined with characteristics that might include (but not be limited to) flipper folders on bearings, frame-locks, carbon fiber, g-10, timascus, superconductor, possibly tanto shaped blades, compound chisel or "nightmare" grinds....etc.
 

Gene Kimmi

KNIFE MAKER
You'll likely get a million different answer to that one!
I was afraid of that.

My question comes about as I'm looking at the Knifedog Choice Awards and trying to decide which category to nominate a knife. I guess if the maker considers it different than what it was nominated for, it could be moved.
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
I agree with Ed on a lot of his points. I would consider a "TACTICAL" knife to be used in unfortunate circumstance like defending yourself or others. Have some additional functionality like a glass breaking hardened point. Be built rock solid. Small enough to conceal and easy to deploy if it needed to be. Today the term "TACTICAL" seems to be a selling point. Kinda like all the BS people were hanging on their ARs to be (love the phrase) "TACTICOOL". I see the term used a lot to describe Folding knives. Folders are very convenient but the stationary blade is a superior design as a "TACTICAL" knife. Sorry for the rant I just had a huge discussion on this with a friend of mine. LOL!!
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
I think the mall ninja, armchair commando crowd is responsible for the confusion of terms.
AMEN to that!! I can't count the times in recent history that I have had young makers call or email me, seeking advice on this or similar subjects, and then when I answer their questions/give them advice, I'm told "Your Wrong..that's not what XXXXX says!" Sorry, not trying to whip a dead horse.....just an example of "how it is" these days. In many ways, custom knifemaking has been diluted to the point where tradition in nearly all aspects of it gone right out the window.

It's taken me nearly two week out of the hospital to even start getting atop this flu thing. Crazy.....Cindy and I went to Doctor's appointments in Seattle, came home, and got the flu. :( She was up and over it in less than a week, but me, with my nearly dead immune system, is still working on it. I gotta get going and get those damascus billets up for sale, plus, if I am gona make it to Atlanta this year, I gotta make at least a few knives! :)
 
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Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
Glad you're feeling better Ed!

Having worked with and around guns and other weaponry I've seen everything from shoelaces to tin cups called tactical. I don't think it's a whole lot different with knives. To me a knife that is tactical means it intended to be used with deadly force against an opponent. How that is accomplished is up to the maker and the user.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
That's what it SHOULD mean, in reality. But that's not the case in recent knife history.

I think the mall ninja, armchair commando crowd is responsible for the confusion of terms. The hoards of people that think they might ever be in a knife fight is laughable.
In honesty, a knife is so far down on my list of items I would chose to fight with its laughable really (and I have studied knife fighting briefly). Everybody bleeds in a knife fight its just a matter of who runs out first.
 

Heikki

Well-Known Member
In honesty, a knife is so far down on my list of items I would chose to fight with its laughable really (and I have studied knife fighting briefly). Everybody bleeds in a knife fight its just a matter of who runs out first.
Absolutely. I'd rather face a firearm than a knife any day. There's a book called "The Disaster Diaries" by Sam Sheridan that has a chapter on knife fighting that will really open your eyes (great book too, btw).
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
I took a "Knife class" basic defense stuff. Some of the class content was extremely eye opening! They have a 21 foot rule, this is unbelievable. it takes at least 21 feet if someone rushed you to deploy a weapon to defend yourself! Which is amazing! The instructor proved this 3 or 4 times and the thing is you knew it was coming. In a real world scenario that 21 feet could be more!! Situational awareness is key!! The class was very enlightening to say the least!!
 

Gert B. Frobe

Gold Membership
The 21 foot distance was taught to me in the mid 80's while in the police academy. Part of street survival training. The demonstrator was highly trained and used a rubber knife with chalk dust on the edges. At the sound of the whistle you had to draw from a snapped holster and "pretend" to fire a dummy gun before the rubber knife guy made you look like a chalk board.
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
The 21 foot distance was taught to me in the mid 80's while in the police academy. Part of street survival training. The demonstrator was highly trained and used a rubber knife with chalk dust on the edges. At the sound of the whistle you had to draw from a snapped holster and "pretend" to fire a dummy gun before the rubber knife guy made you look like a chalk board.
Called the Tueler drill. Not sure I spelled his name right. Named after the officer who originally came up with the concept.
 

tkroenlein

Well-Known Member
IMO, tactical describes anything that is used in a predetermined fashion either offensively or defensively against an opposing combatant. The Benner/Ka-Bar TDI Lawman is a good example of a tactical knife.
 

bladegrinder

Well-Known Member
The term tactical is sadly applied to to much nowadays. there's even tactical bacon in a can, which honestly I'd like to try but there's nothing tactical about it, just something tasty in a can labeled tactical.
I just got back from a muzzle loader hunt with an old Thompson Center .50 Renegade, I tapped the Green Mountain barrel on it and
mounted a scope so I guess I can call it a tactical smoke pole now. :D
 

Bruce McLeish

Well-Known Member
Steve, I have a similar rifle-gun. Main difference is mine still has the original tactical iron sights and an engraved tactical patch box in which to place additional tactical balls and patches. I'm planning to upgrade this deer season with a black night vision scope. Can't wait to see that green buck!
 
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