Over a short period of time as a writer for the Loadout Room I’ve really been woken up to different ideas, and different methodologies and of course different gear. So during my Emerson La Griffe review I was pleasantly surprised. In my experience, folding knives are small and made for the pocket. Fixed blade knives are large and hang off the belt. The Emerson La Griffe defies both expectations. It’s a fixed blade knife that goes on the belt but is small enough to pocket.
In the few weeks time I’ve had the La Griffe, I’ve carried it every day. Sometimes on my belt, other times tucked into my pocket. I started carrying it horizontal carry and had a small issue. Mainly the belt loop attachment just poked me terribly. So I transitioned to standard vertical carry for daily belt carry. At the beach and on the water I actually carried it around my neck with a piece of paracord.
Emerson La Griffe
It’s extremely small, and just wonderful to carry. It’s so small it disappears under a shirt like it doesn’t exist. In the hand, it is almost the same. If I needed to draw it without attracting attention it would be very easily to do. I could even hold it ready to go and it would be extremely hard to notice if I didn’t want it to be.
Speaking of covertness, even drawing the blade can be done covertly. Small folding knives are great and covert but are not perfect. A pocket knife can go one of two ways, spring assisted, or manually opened. Manually opened takes quite a bit of movement to open. A spring assisted knife of any kind has that loud click when actuated.
It’s Florida, and I’m carrying the knife close to my body. This means it’s exposed to sweat. More so when I tossed it in my gym short pocket and worked out. Even so, there is zero rust on the knife or the metal eyelets on the sheath. This thing was constantly popped on and off my belt and the button closure never wore or loosened in any way.
So I learned while carrying the knife that griffe is French for claw. That is an accurate description of this knife. Like a claw, it is made for cutting and slashing. The Emerson La Griffe is not made for tasks like prying or standing in as a screwdriver.
While it can be used for everyday tasks like cutting and opening. The blade is quite sharp and stays that way through normal cutting operations for quite some time. in my opinion, it is better suited as a weapon. A quick, extreme close quarters combat weapon. The blade is obviously very short and will not reach something vital. In close quarters that short size allows you maneuver the weapon easier and quicker.
That short blade would allow me to chew someone up in they were pinning me to the ground or had grabbed me in some kind of bear hug. I found through some basic knife training, taken from the USMC Close Combat Manual. The tactics certainly need to be adapted for such a small knife, but the training is still valid. The Emerson La Griffe is very easy to manipulate, and the finger hole keeps the weapon from slipping or sliding out of the hand.
I’ve thankfully never been in a knife fight but I’d imagine they would be incredibly bloody. I do know blood makes the hands slippery more so than sweat or water. However, again the finger hole in the knife handle would keep it from going anywhere.
The last thing I did find is that the hand does get tired slashing the knife against a target. My target being a few layers of cardboard. The ultra thin and small handle is certainly not made for long and hard work. However, it is not really a major problem since I doubt you’ll notice in a fight.
Overall the Emerson La Griffe is a fantastic edged weapon, a well-made knife and a new piece of gear in my EDC.