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duper tactical folder through your enemy’s clothing, pectoral muscle and ribcage and still have enough blade length to pierce and destroy his heart?

As I mentioned in my article on the reverse grip, REACH is everything in a knife fight. If you find yourself pitting the 4" blade of your tactical folder against an enemy armed with a 71/2" blade, you could be in a whole lot of trouble. The first thing you will notice is that it’s very hard to “lead” or initiate an attack when your blade is 31/2" shorter than the other guy’s. Every time you think you’ve found a good opportunity to strike, you realize you could be cut or stabbed first since your opponent, with his longer blade, can stop-hit you from comparative safety. This shortcoming means you’ll have to bring superior speed, timing, rhythm and footwork to the fight if you are to prevail.

A full size fighter like our Tai Pan keeps your hand at a reasonably safe distance when counter slashing a Trail Master Bowie.

Another big problem in facing a longer blade with a tactical folder is that you must get dangerously close to your opponent’s blade whenever you attack or counterattack his knife hand. For instance, if your opponent launches a left to right cut at your abdomen, you may want to counter by dropping your knife under the plane of his incoming knife hand and slash his fingers. To pull this off and disarm him you must have excellent eye/hand coordination and perfect timing. You see, when the first 2 inches of your blade meet his fingers, your hand will be only 2 inches away! This is cutting it very close indeed.

Using a 4" Tanto Point Voyager to try and counter slash a Trail Master is very risky. Just look at how close you must get to that big blade to touch the hand holding it with even 1" of your Voyager blade!

The finest examples of tactical folding knives can be compared to high-quality, small caliber handguns like the .25 caliber Berreta. Gun magazines refer to small caliber pistols as “mouse guns”, implying that stopping mice is all they are suited for. The mouse gun is small, handy, lightweight, easy to carry and conceal, and will get the job done in a self-defense situation. However, they are no substitute for the knockdown power of the .357 magnum revolver or the .45 caliber automatic. Similarly, the tactical folder is the mouse knife of the combat knife world. It is lightweight, easy to carry and conceal, and (okay, okay, okay) may be more politically correct.

A word of caution — the best of the mouse knives are no match for a full-sized fighting knife, not to mention a Bowie or Kukri. The tactical folder is still underpowered when compared to a boot knife with a 5" blade. Yes, it will perform well against unarmed attackers and serve better than fingernails, but it is way behind the curve when facing enemies armed with larger weapons.

Facing a man armed with a 91/2" Trail Master is almost suicide when all you have to bring to the ball is a puny 4" Tactical folder. Your going to have to be a superb fighter to survive an encounter like this!

If you are going to carry a tactical folder (and I suggest you do), it pays to be aware of a few things. Ignore the hype from the magazines and the empty, hot air from my competitors. None of these people have ever done an article on or shown examples of these knives being tested. Instead, pick a truly razor sharp knife with a lock that has been proven strong and a blade with proven cutting power. This accomplished, you will have the best and most effective tactical folder money can buy.

A Mouse That Roars

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