(Article originally published on The Martialist)

A curious feature of some state laws outlawing switchblades is the exemption provided therein for hunters and fishermen. This is because, on some level, even politicians understand the utility of a one-hand knife.  It is for this reason that one-hand blades have become the standard for knives carried by armed citizens.

One-Hand Knife Opening Tactics: Looking Back

Maybe you’re holding a fishing pole in one hand and need to be able to cut a line with the other.  Maybe your handgun is pinned between you and the assailant who is lying on top of you, beating your brains out with his fists, and to save your life you’ve got to cut him to get him off you. In either case, if the knife you are carrying requires two hands to open, it’s of little use to you.

One-Hand Knife Opening Tactics: Looking Back

We all have that friend and fellow armed citizen who insists on carrying his pistol with no round in the chamber, “for safety.”  When he finds he has only one hand free in a self-defense altercation, that chamber-empty pistol might as well be back in the gun safe at home.  The same is true for any knife that requires two hands to deploy.

The Problem with Fixed Blade Knives

The one-hand-opening “tactical folder” is now the industry standard, but this has not always been so. Armed citizens were carrying backup blades well before the market answered the need for a general purpose utility folder that is also suitable for self-defense. Especially in the days before one-hand knives were common, the fixed blade knife might have seemed the best option. To some, it still does.  A fixed blade requires no fine motor skills to deploy and is faster to access than a folder.

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