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Old 02-26-2024, 05:33 PM   #11
mburr0003
 
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Default Re: The Classic Swutchblade

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I've handled both folding and out-the-front switchblades, and would say that "expensive," "well-made," "solid," and "not cheap" wouldn't describe any of them . . . I'd hesitate to use one as a weapon.
Exactly. Outside of a balisong*, I wouldn't ever use a folding/retracting blade for combat.

If I did have to use one, it would be very carefully, careful cuts, no accidental backswings or parries, no stabby-stabby. And I own some very high quality "combat" folders that hold up exceedingly well to stress, but I still wouldn't want to test them with my fingees on the line.


* And even then, it would have to be from a knife maker I trusted as most balisong I've seen were cheap pieces of trash whose blade would snap if you look at them hard enough.
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Old 02-26-2024, 10:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Classic Swutchblade

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Originally Posted by mburr0003 View Post
Exactly. Outside of a balisong*, I wouldn't ever use a folding/retracting blade for combat.
knives shorter than a machete or kukri can't parry and can't be used unless you get so close that you can't get away. I would never use a knife for combat anyway.

Although I admit I have three kubatons, and a tasar in-case-of-burglar and all have the same objection. Though in large part I bought them because they are kinda cool anyway.
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Old 02-27-2024, 05:42 AM   #13
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Default Re: The Classic Swutchblade

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
The mechanical aspect of switchblades, flick knives, and butterfly knives appeals to the inner fourteen-year-old, and folding or spring knives can fit into a smaller space than a fixed-blade knife (in GURPS terms, they have better Holdout, eg. +0 rather than -1 for the Tactical Folding Knife and Switchblade on High Tech pp. 197, 198). In those respect, they do appeal to petty criminals.
Interestingly, they saw at least one military use because they were safer than a conventional knife for the job.

Paratroopers need knifes to to cut themselves free if they get tangled in their parachute lines. But falling over and rolling around with a blade on you risks cutting or stabbing yourself. A solid enough sheath prevents that, but adds cost and weight. So German WWII paratroops carried a "gravity knife" - hold it the right way, push the button and gravity deploys the blade. Let go and it locks.

The inner fourteen-year-old might have had something to do with it too.
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Old 02-27-2024, 08:12 AM   #14
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Default Re: The Classic Swutchblade

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
knives shorter than a machete or kukri can't parry and can't be used unless you get so close that you can't get away. I would never use a knife for combat anyway.
Even a really short knife can parry, it's just really bad at it, and you're probably more reliant on luck than skill to pull it off. And yeah, knives are really bad weapons - better than bare hands, of course, but there's a reason behind the joke of identifying the winner of a knife fight as the one who bleeds out in the hospital.
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Old 02-27-2024, 11:54 AM   #15
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Default Re: The Classic Swutchblade

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Even a really short knife can parry, it's just really bad at it, and you're probably more reliant on luck than skill to pull it off. And yeah, knives are really bad weapons - better than bare hands, of course, but there's a reason behind the joke of identifying the winner of a knife fight as the one who bleeds out in the hospital.
The usual idea behind something like a switchblade is that you have a knife and the other party doesn't. Switchblades, balisongs and navajas are pretty much the only folding knives that have even an ostensible purpose as fighting knives AFAICT. Otherwise they're mostly meant as small utility knives. A penknife is for sharpening pens in the days of quill pens, a jack[leg]knife* is the tool of a jackleg carpenter, etc.


* Apparently a Scottish corruption of the name of French knifemaker Jaques de Liège, at one time famous for his clasp knives
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Old 02-27-2024, 01:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: The Classic Swutchblade

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Even a really short knife can parry, it's just really bad at it, and you're probably more reliant on luck than skill to pull it off. And yeah, knives are really bad weapons - better than bare hands, of course, but there's a reason behind the joke of identifying the winner of a knife fight as the one who bleeds out in the hospital.
I get flashback of Tommy Lee Jones vs. Steven Segal in "Under Siege"
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Old 02-28-2024, 04:36 AM   #17
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Default Re: The Classic Swutchblade

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Originally Posted by Culture20 View Post
I believe its popularity (and infamy) stems from its being more easily concealed in any pocket or purse, no sheath required.
Nah. More that it was the routine and dramatic weapon used in cinematic portrayals of 1950s-60s street gangsters; a switchblade is no tougher to conceal than a Boy Scout knife. Having once owned one (illegally, given my state), I agree that its utility as a weapon is limited to fights between switchblade wielders. "That's not a knife ... THAT's a knife" remains one of the better quotes for a reason.
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Old 02-28-2024, 04:56 AM   #18
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Default Re: The Classic Swutchblade

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
knives shorter than a machete or kukri can't parry and can't be used unless you get so close that you can't get away. I would never use a knife for combat anyway.

He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue! That's the Chicago way.
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Old 02-28-2024, 11:05 AM   #19
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Default Re: The Classic Swutchblade

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Originally Posted by RGTraynor View Post
Nah. More that it was the routine and dramatic weapon used in cinematic portrayals of 1950s-60s street gangsters; a switchblade is no tougher to conceal than a Boy Scout knife. Having once owned one (illegally, given my state), I agree that its utility as a weapon is limited to fights between switchblade wielders. "That's not a knife ... THAT's a knife" remains one of the better quotes for a reason.
If you mean a large locking folding knife like an Opinel, then it needs two hands to open. Switchblades were fashionable with criminals because they were concealable but could be opened quickly with one hand (and because the mechanical aspect makes the inner 14 year old happy). Of course its not that hard to conceal a fixed-blade knife, and it is a better weapon.

Tactical folders offer the same combination of compact, one-handed opening, and gee whiz (and you can get them in matte colours which are tacticool today, like a switchblade with chromed furniture was cool in the 1950s).
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Last edited by Polydamas; 02-28-2024 at 11:38 AM.
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