YES… Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight


ray-gano-medBy Ray Gano

OK… Ok, hold your horses all you gun folks.

Like it or not, the knife guys got you by 21 feet. Anything after that and yes you gun guys have the tactical advantage.

See, me having a knife and if I am within 21 feet of you and I choose to rush you with that knife with the intent to do harm, odds are I will do harm and you will lose.

What I am talking about here is called The Tueller Drill

The Tueller Drill

The Tueller Drill is a self-defense training exercise to prepare against a short-range knife attack when armed only with a holstered handgun.

Sergeant Dennis Tueller, of the Salt Lake City, Utah Police Department wondered how quickly an attacker with a knife could cover 21 feet (6.4 m), so he timed volunteers as they raced to stab the target. He determined that it could be done in 1.5 seconds. These results were first published as an article in SWAT magazine in 1983 and in a police training video by the same title, “How Close is Too Close?”

Source –

Now there are ways to combat the person with a knife and I have been to a number of these classes. Can it be done? Yes, you can defend against a knife attach from 21 feet, but it really means that you have to have your situation awareness turned on uber-high so that you see the attack coming.


In the time that it took you to read that statement, the attacker was upon you and you were taken out of play.

That is how fast a knife attack can happen.

This is one of the primary reasons why I am pro-carry knife, in fact I am all about carrying multiple knives, because not all knives meet the needs at hand.

Why Is A Knife A Great Up Close Tactical Weapon

First and foremost, you can conceal it very easy.

For example I carry my Cold Steel Voyager Clip Point XL in my right hand pocket in a “Point Up” position.

The reason I do this is because I am able to draw this with my right hand and in the process of possibly blocking or having to swing, I can pull this knife and because I have practiced for quite some time, I can flick this knife open faster than someone can flick open a switch blade.

I have also practiced pulling this knife, keeping it concealed behind my right thigh / butt and I can flick it slowly and it will also deploy the knife without the possible attacker knowing that I have a knife ready to defend myself.

This is nothing special and it is something that everyone can learn.

In fact, I practise drawing my knife at least twice a day. The time I put it in my pocket, and the time I take it out and put it on my desk for the evening.

These times I will do a pull, flick and deploy my blade. Depending on what I am doing, I will also practise a one handed close on the blade using my thigh to help assist closing the blade.

ONE HANDED CLOSE NOTE – this is kind of an advanced move, I have cut my index finger open several times doing this. One time I almost cut it to the bone and had to go to the emergency room. So make sure you know your knife and know yourself before trying a one handed close.

Why I Carry Multiple Knives

As I said, not all knives meet the same mission. So I have found that carrying at least two knives, I have a lot of the bases covered. But sometimes two knives just do not do it for me, I have felt the need to carry more. Call it a knife thing.. LOL.

What you need to remember is that a knife is a tool, and as a tool you will find yourself using it throughout the day for different tasks.

So when you are equipping yourself for that day, think about what tasks at hand you may be presented and try to have the proper knife with you.

My Primary Knife

I have three PRIMARY knives that I have in my EDC (Every Day Carry) rotation. Meaning that there are days that I feel like carrying one knife over another. I look at what I am doing that day, where I am going, ect.

These are my first “go to” knife that when I have to pull or put into action a knife, be it working around the house, yard, work, or if I need to deploy a knife if I need to defend myself.

coldsteel-voyager-Clip-Point-Ray-Gano-EDCFIRST – Cold Steel Voyager Clip Point XL – This is probably my favorite knife of all times. I keep coming back to this in my rotation and I love it when I carry it. It is a big knife and the handle has really good texture so if you are working with sweaty or wet hands, you are not likely to drop the knife.

I also like the grip on this knife. You can hold it in a standard grip style, but if you need to get some distance, you can drop back on a secondary grip and doing that will give you an extra 5-6 inches in reach.

PROS – it is very easy to flick with the wrist and deploy the blade, when you get good at this, you will beat a switchblade every time.

PRO – It is a great all-purpose working blade. You can use this to pull out a splinter to using it to chop a small tree down.

PRO – very easy to maintain, sharpen and keep it razor sharp. This is a workhorse of a knife and will take a beating.

PRO – Cost – $38.51 W/ Amazon Prime

Cold Steel Voyager XL –

Cold-Steel-Ti-Lite-Ray-Gano-EDCSECONDCold Steel Ti-Lite Zytel 6” – this is a great all around true fighting knife. It is longer than the CS Voyager XL and is a true pocket sword. I

PRO – I like that you can carry this in your hand and it doubles as a kubaton. It is large enough to really do some damage without even deploying the knife.

PRO – The quillion, the little hook at the base of the knife blade, also is a very mean weapon in and of itself, The rough thumb grooves on the quillion will do damage if you use this as a kubaton. You can hook a chin, rip an eye, do a number of kubaton moves where the quillion will do some major extra damage.

PRO – You can deploy the knife as it is pulled out of the pocket by “snagging” the quillion on the pocket edge. This is a move that needs to be practised as well, but you will have a great tactical advantage just taking the knife out of your pocket and it deploying as you remove it.

PRO – Like the CS Voyager Clip Point XL, you can learn to flick open this knife one handed. So if you are using it in a kubaton style, it is nothing to flick it in the process of a swing or block and deploy the 6” razor sharp blade.

PRO – Cost – $56.33 w/ Amazon Prime

Cold Steel Ti-Lite 6″ –

spiderco-resiliance-zip-tieTHIRD – Spyderco Resilience Black G-10 PlainEdge – this is the third knife that is in my EDC rotation. I have to admit that I do not carry this one as much as I carry the other two. This is a big beefy blade and in fact, it is one of the tactical blades that truly double as a great kitchen knife. It is built a lot like a 7” butchers knife.

PRO – The beefy blade makes it easy to flick open one handed. It takes a little breaking in, but once you have it, this blade flows really nicely.

PRO – As I mentioned, it does well in the kitchen and I know this for a fact because I have used it multiple times in my own personal kitchen and it does wonders on meat and chopping some veggies.

PRO – Cost – $47.97 w/ Amazon Prime

All these knives are excellent knives and will serve you very well. The real benefit is the cost. In all these examples the cost is under $75.00 and you are getting a knife that will serve you when the time comes, especially if you have to defend yourself.

What you do not want is a knife to close up on you, blade break off, handle grips get loose, ect.

In fact, both Cold Steel knives are rated to be able to hold 130 lbs when opened in a locked position before the locking mechanism will begin to falter.

So these knives are built tough and believe me, living where we live out in the country, I have put my knives through the paces and they still keep holding a great edge and are there for me when I need to deploy them.

Syderco Resilience –

My Secondary Knifes – The Neck Knife

This is my back up knife and a lot of times it is a another tactical folder or a neck knife.

What is a neck knife? These are knives that you wear under your shirt and are on a lanyard around your neck. Think of a knife necklace if you will.

These are all fixed bladed knives that have a 2” blade up to a 4” blade. Most of them come in a kydex sheath that are molded for the knife itself. The reason you want this is so that the knife does not fall out of the sheath very easily.


FIRST – CRKT Folts Minimalist – This is a great little neck knife. What I like about the Minimalist series is that they come in several different blade designs, a bowie clip point, a razor edge, a tanto and a black bowie / razor edge hybrid.

PRO – Very light and you do not notice it hanging around your neck.

PRO – Stays in its sheath even when you are doing rough work around the house or yard.

Pro – They also come with an optional belt clip you can wear it on the inside of your belt in an “abdominal” carry postion, which is a great way to carry a fixed blade. It allows you a very draw of the blade.

Mark-Human-MultiDimensional-WarriorsMy friends and knife fighting teacher Mark Human of MultiDimensional Warriors carries the Folts Minimalist clip point Bowie in this manner and you would never know that he is carrying a knife at all.

He likes the Folts Minimalist knife because he does a lot of international traveling and in a lot of countries long blade knives are against the law. The Folts Minimalist is only about an inch and a half to two inches long.

PRO – Very easy access knife when you have small cutting tasks that need to be done like opening boxes and envelopes, cutting cordage, pulling out a sliver.

PRO – Good knife fighting knife. Great grip and the built in lanyard acts as a grip extension that fits naturally in the hand and adds extra stability.

PRO – As I stated before it comes in different blade styles. I carry the razor edge, my friend Mark carries the Bowie clip point.

PRO – Depending on the blade style – Approximately $22.00 w/ Amazon Prime Shipping

CRKT Folts Minimalist Neck Knife –

Cold-Steel-Secret-Edge-Ray-Gano-EDCSECOND – Cold Steel Secret Edge – This is a great neck knife and patterned after a Scottish “Sgian Dubh” sock / boot knife. The point on this knife is wicked and I constantly prick my finger or hand. The edge is razor sharp and is a solid full tang fixed blade. The overall length is about 6 inches, three for the handle and three inches for the blade. It hangs nicely and very easy to deploy. It is heavy, but not so heavy that you notice it being there.

PRO – Great kydex sheath. I like the MOLLE rivets and you can find a MOLLE belt clip that you can attach this to your belt if you wish.

PRO – The steel is Japanese AUS 8A Stainless, so you can put a razor edge on it and it will hold that edge for some time. The Japanese AUS 8A has a little bit different make up than the standard AUS 8 stainless, so I find sharpening the blade a little easier and faster than my other stainless blades.

PRO – The G-10 Griv-Ex Style grips. They are “rough” in the hand, but not so much so that it hampers using the blade. The Grive-Ex is a rubbery grip that holds really well in the hand.

PRO – $23.90 w/ Amazon Prime

Cold Steel Secret Edge Neck Knife –

CRKT-Dragon-Black-Ray-Gano-EDCTHIRD  – CRKT C/K Dragon – This I the longest of my EDC neck knives. It is 9.25 inches long overall. When I got it, I had to make a custom lanyard so that it would hang comfortably on me. This is a knife that would also do well as a horizontal belt knife and situate it on your back left hip area so that it is quickly deployed with the left hand.

PRO – Full tank 4.5 inch blade. As you may notice I tend to lean towards a spear point / razor point sort of blade that have very pronounced points.

PRO – The steel is 9Cr18 High chromium stainless steel with black coat on the blade. They do that so that the blade does not rust. Sharpening this blade is a lot easier than the AUS 8 blades but it also tends to dull quicker if you use it a lot. I do like that I can get a razor’s edge on this blade pretty quickly.

PRO – The G-10 Grips and handle w/ pommel. Being one piece of steel, I really like the way this knife fits in my hand. CRKT did this one right and I also appreciate the pommel that can act as a “skull crusher” if you need to. CRKT has drilled a hole in the pommel in case you wish to add a lanyard.

PRO – $24.99 w/ Amazon Prime

All these neck knives are great knives and all are best sellers. Many people who are “knife guys” prefer one of these makes if they do carry a neck knife.

All of these are weighted nicely but not so much that they pull on your neck. Which makes carrying these a breeze. If they are not comfortable, then you will not carry it and if you do no carry it, it just gets regulated to the “knife drawer” that many of us knife owners have.

One of the best things is that all of these are just under $26.00, which makes them very affordable.

With Father’s Day coming up, the family can get dad both a good EDC tactical folder and a nice neck knife all for under $75.00. All these knives have a certain appeal to them and any guy would love to have one of these blades or a combination of tactical folder and neck knife.

skeletoolSPECIAL MENTION – LEATHERMAN Skeletool CX Multitool. There is one knife that I do carry a lot, but a lot of times is not thought of as a knive. That is my LEATHERMAN Skeletool CX Multitool.

This is one of my most favorite EDC tools that I own. When I carry this, I use it a lot for a lot of tasks.

What I like about this vs the standard Skeletool is that Leatherman has worked to add carbon fiber into the frame of the tool, thus reducing the weight to a total of 5 ounces.

This is a multitool that when they developed it, put a LOT of thought in mind.

What I also like is that they did not add all the other gimmicky sort of stuff that would weigh the multitool down.

This has the bear minimum that you REALLY need.

  • Needle nose plyers
  • Regular plyers
  • Wire cutters
  • A GREAT razor sharp knife
  • Carabiner / bottle opener
  • Also Leatherman’s  philips and standard screw driver.

You can also purchase the extra “bit kit” and have other screw bits at your disposal if you need.

PRO – There are a lot of pros when it comes to this multitool. It has a replaceable pocket clip so you can carry this in your pocket or do like I do and clip it to my belt loop. Probably the best thing that I like about it is the weight and the fact that I can snap it onto a belt loop and I am ready to head out the door.

I carry this a lot so instead of my standard 2 carry EDC, this makes it three, but because it is a multitool, I don’t think of it as a knife per say. But if I had to, there is a blade there that can be deployed and uses as a self defense weapon.

If you are looking for a really cool present for dad, this is something that he will really love. This is a gadget guy and knife guy dream come true. Trust me on this.

Now the one negative about this multitool is the cost. It runs about $75 – $80 on Amazon. But this is a Leatherman and I have owned mine the moment that they introduced this. So mine is about 8 years old and it still looks great even with all the wear and tear I have put it through.

If you are going to buy a multitool, don’t skimp on some cheap Chinese thing, get something that will last you and also perform when you need it to perform.d

Leatherman Skeletool CX Multitool –


We live in a world that is getting more and more violent every day. Having a good, solid every day carry knife that you can truly depend upon is a very wise thing. Having a good knife that you can use to defend yourself is something even better.

All these knives I have recommended are knife that will not only help you in day to day service, but could also save your life if you had to defend yourself.

All of these are built with fighting / defense in mind. So know that if you were in a situation where you had to use your knife, these knives will do the job.

Again, for under $75, except for the Leatherman, you can get a good tactical fixed blade and a neck knife. This will provide you solid EDC and you will be able to handle just about any task that is put before you.

Finally, with Father’s Day coming up, all of these will make a great Father’s Day gift that dad will really use.

So don’t buy Dad some hinky tie or something useless that will get stuffed in a drawer. Get him a gift that he will be proud to carry, proud to show to friends and proud to use.

This way if you or Dad are ever caught in the situation where you have brought a knife to a gun fight, both of you will be properly prepared and good chances that you will live to see another day.

If you have any questions about knives, swords or machetes, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]

Stay Safe!

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