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Need a 3.5-inch folding knife for trail running and hiking (Read 198 times)

yager


    A half of my long run is on a unpaved trail shared by wild animals and human beings.  Around my neighborhood there are wild life too.  I've seen coyotes, bob cats, dears, and heard of black bears.  For unleashed dogs, I have a pepper spray in case they really want to take me down.  Wild animals are not a big concern as long as I am running alone.  However I am planning to bring my sons and wife to take a walk or bicycle ride sometimes.  To ensure my family feels safe, I need a small weapon when in rare occasions I do need to protect them.  Having something is better than being barehanded.

     

    According to the local law, 3.5-inch (blade length) folding knife is okay to carry, fixed-blades are not.  Knives are lightweight and can be carried without too many troubles, so I want to get one.  Hopefully I won't ever need it, and I don't need to peel apples, cut ropes or do other work with it.  Therefore only basic features are necessary, it just needs to be sharp, reliable and tough.  Can anyone recommend such a knife?

     

    I have no experience with any tactical knives, but the following caught my eyes, what do you think?

     

    http://www.amazon.com/Spyderco-Tenacious-Handle-Folding-Serrated/dp/B00128UD5Q/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=312O78SFSN4KA&coliid=I1298MYQ8C1ZKZ

     

    http://www.amazon.com/Kershaw-Blur-Knife-Steel-Blade/dp/B0015ZXCT0/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=312O78SFSN4KA&coliid=I2RAJNEREP4M0N

     

    http://www.amazon.com/Gerber-22-41586-Torch-Tanto-Serrated/dp/B000Q7V90M/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=312O78SFSN4KA&coliid=I336BPGB1SVXF9

     

    http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Steel-Recon-Tactical-Folder/dp/B006YBW976/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=312O78SFSN4KA&coliid=I228FO4EAGHX2J

    ShuffleFaster


      To me, a folder is only as good as it's lock.  Many of the cheaper folders have inferior locks that will break lose when the blade is torqued.  This can cause the blade to close on your finger/hand as you attempt to use it.  As in most things, you often get what you pay for.

       

      Spyderco mades some very good knives, and the Tenacious is known as a good value for the money.    The Endura has a heftier build quality and better steel, but is a bit longer than what you specified.  The Delica 4 is also a good EDC.   The Paramilitary 2 is a favorite of many as well.  I personally feel Gerber and Cold Steel are a cut below Spyderco.

       

      Some of the best locking folders are made by Benchmade (their AXIS lock models are a favorite).   They are strong and well-priced considering the quality.  They are more expensive than the Spyercos, but IMHO still a good value.

       

      If you want the best, IMHO, it's hard to beat Chris Reeves' Sebenzas.  They are very expensive, but I've not found a better, stronger utility knife.  They are amazing to use and carry.

       

      I'd strongly urge you to be sure to handle whatever you are thinking of buying at your local knife store or knife show.  Everybody's hands are different and some knives are just going to feel more "right" for you than others.

       

      Finally, if you intend to use this weapon for self-defense, I would respectfully suggest getting training in it's use if you haven't already.

       

      Good luck!

        I have something similar to the cold steel knife. It is pretty big with a serrated blade. I carry it on my hikes and use it for everything including protection.  I think it would be too bulky for carrying on a run though. It would be flopping around or getting in my way.  There is not much around here except people that would attack me. I have ran past coyotes and no problems. I have had a dog lunge at me before but no attacks yet.... Pepper spray sounds like a good idea though.

          5k  = 19.48 10/1/13

        10k  = 45.28 4/16/13

        Half Marathon = 1:37.16 9/08/13

        Operation Jack Marathon 12/26/12  4:39.11

        Solo O Marathon 06/02/13  3:52:10

        Operation Jack Marathon 12/26/13 3:40.34

          The Kershaw Blur is one of the best knives I've ever owned, hands down.  Perfect weight in the hand, fantastic grip, and smooth, fast action.  Plus, Kershaw is known to really stand by their products (although I'm sure the others do as well).

           

          You're not going to go too far wrong with any of those options (particularly the Spyderco), but from personal experience I can recommend the Kershaw.

          "Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn.  Climb that goddamn mountain."

          Jack Kerouac

            I have never heard of coyotes, bobcats, or deer attacking adult humans.  Cougars and bears might attack you, but it seems doubtful you would have time to get out a folding knife if you didn't notice them before they were close enough to attack you.


            Best Present Ever

              I'm a not-strong, not-fast woman, not-large woman.  I run by myself in the most black-bear dense place on the East Coast, a place with bobcats and coyotes and plenty of deer.  I backpack alone on the same trails.  Aggressive deer sound like the premise of a Monty Python skit.  I think there have been 4 black bear related deaths along the Appalachian Trail in the past 50 years.  I see bears often, and they mostly just run away.  Sometimes they amble with an attitude that suggests "I'm not hurrying just because you're here" (big ones) sometimes they scurry quickly (the young ones). I have seen photos of a bobcat taken by a friend using a motion activated night camera, but never ever actually seen one.  No one I know has.   I have heard coyotes but never seen them.  I have seen rattlesnakes twice.  They did nothing.  I gave them wide berth and continued without incident.  Note that when I'm with my kids, I have never seen any interesting wildlife mammal wildlife because the kids usually talk the whole time we're out.  I am loving the fantasy of engaging in hand-to-hand combat with a black bear to protect the family though.

                Yeah it is fun to imagine fending off a wild animal attack with a 3.5-inch folding knife.

                 

                I see a lot of coyotes and some deer in my suburban hobbyjogging. I've seen several black bear on runs in NH and ME. The only animals that have ever attacked me or even stood their ground and not run away were a red tailed hawk (dive bombed me and sunk its talons into the top of my head) and a few wild turkeys who have stood in my way--and rather than get in a confrontation I gave them a wide berth and went around them.

                 

                I think there has been 1 possible coyote attack on a human in Massachusetts in the last 50 years.

                 

                Someone thinks they saw a mountain lion in Westford, MA the other day. Those, along with grizzly bears, are generally the only wild mammals in North America that will occasionally attack humans unprovoked. I'm not sure I'm buying it but even if its true there are mountain lions in MA, that doesn't change my approach. If a mountain lion attacks, you won't see or hear it coming. When I lived and ran in mountain lion country in CA, I didn't bother carrying a weapon but I did try to run tall and make a decent amount of noise.

                Runners run.

                  +1.  This is especially true if, as OP says, "To ensure my family feels safe, I need a small weapon when in rare occasions I do need to protect them.  Having something is better than being barehanded. [...] I have no experience with any tactical knives."

                   

                  OP, carrying a knife is not the right decision for this purpose.  A knife is a useful tool, but if carrying a knife makes you "feel like" you can take on a black bear or coyote, you shouldn't be carrying one.

                   

                  Upgrade your pepper spray to bear spray.  Read something like this or this.  See if you can maybe take a class or talk to some local hunters, backpackers, or the like.

                   

                  I am loving the fantasy of engaging in hand-to-hand combat with a black bear to protect the family though.

                  "When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem." 
                  Emil Zatopek


                  Fat butt on couch

                    The pepper spray you already have is your best option.  I carry a knife all the time but I've never really considered it a legitimate defensive option against anything.

                    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                     

                      Agree with Spaniel, keep your pepper spray as it's probably the best thing for your purposes.  I've seen numerous bobcat and coyotes on my trail runs (I live in Northern California, no black or brown bears but mountain lions, bobcat and coyotes abound) but never, ever seen a cougar - but I bet they've seen me.  The worst attacks I've endured are from nesting swallows and, worst of all, geese.  Those suckers will attack you and they do stand their ground.  Everything else either runs away or hides when the Big Dawg comes through!

                      zonykel


                        .  The worst attacks I've endured are from nesting swallows 

                        African or European? :-)

                          Laden or unladen?

                           

                          African or European? :-)

                          "When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem." 
                          Emil Zatopek


                          Fat butt on couch

                             I've seen numerous bobcat and coyotes on my trail runs (I live in Northern California, no black or brown bears but mountain lions, bobcat and coyotes abound) but never, ever seen a cougar - but I bet they've seen me.  The worst attacks I've endured are from nesting swallows and, worst of all, geese.  Those suckers will attack you and they do stand their ground.  Everything else either runs away or hides when the Big Dawg comes through!

                             

                            On cougars -- It sounds like the OP is out east.  Cougar attacks occur almost exclusively out west (correct me if I've missed any east of the Rockies, I haven't seen any) because they are usually the result of a hungry/frustrated younger cat who has been pushed into bad habitat.  Out east the population density is still very thin and while they are around people rarely even see them, much less have negative encounters with them.  Cougars worry me more than grizzlies (I spend time in areas with both) but out east I don't even think about them, even though I know there are a few around where I spend time out in the woods.  A cougar attack is likely going to take you from behind, and chances are you will have little opportunity to reach anything you are carrying.

                             

                            As for geese, spread your arms out like big wings and move towards them, hissing.  You will look dumber than anything but this actually works at turning them.  At least around here.

                            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                             

                              Hmm, wildlife danger - I was once stung by a wasp whilst running!

                               

                              Actually bees can be pretty dangerous. My mother was hospitalised after multiple bee stings. We did live in Malawi at the time. Probably they were extra-nasty African bees. I don't think a knife would have helped.

                                 

                                On cougars -- It sounds like the OP is out east.  Cougar attacks occur almost exclusively out west (correct me if I've missed any east of the Rockies, I haven't seen any) because they are usually the result of a hungry/frustrated younger cat who has been pushed into bad habitat.  Out east the population density is still very thin and while they are around people rarely even see them, much less have negative encounters with them.  Cougars worry me more than grizzlies (I spend time in areas with both) but out east I don't even think about them, even though I know there are a few around where I spend time out in the woods.  A cougar attack is likely going to take you from behind, and chances are you will have little opportunity to reach anything you are carrying.

                                 

                                As for geese, spread your arms out like big wings and move towards them, hissing.  You will look dumber than anything but this actually works at turning them.  At least around here.

                                 

                                Right you are.  If you want to run in Big Basin or Henry Cowell in July .... that's mountain lion territory.  Bring your folding knife!

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