Skip to comments."THAT'S a knife!" (Saturday Night Vanity)
Posted on 01/09/2010 4:54:45 PM PST by Travis McGee
Sure, we all know that classic line from the movie Crocodile Dundee. Sometimes, bigger IS better. Like when a punk pulls out a small switchblade.
But the problem is, you can't carry a giant bowie knife concealed very easily. And anyway, if you're going to carry a giant one-pound-plus hunting knife, you might as well carry a pistol, right?
Well, maybe not. Maybe there's an alternative. I came across this knife recommendation in Fernando Aguirre's book "The Modern Survival Manual." It's about his experiences in Argentina since the 2002 monetary collapse. He has extensive, detailed chapters on personal defense, including with firearms and knives. He recommended this particular knife as a great value, and I bought one. It's changed how I look at self defense.
The recommended knife is the folding "Vaquero Grande" by Cold Steel. I purchased mine off of the internet for $80, without really shopping around. For comparison, I photographed it next to a big, heavy Colt hunting/survival knife with a fixed blade.
If you grip this big folding knife in the middle of the handle where it's most comfortable, you will notice that you have eight inches of blade extending past your fistThis is the same blade extension as the big Colt survival knife, gripped normally. But try putting that big hunting knife in your pocket like this! (The black macrame string extension is my own addition, to make it faster and easier to draw.)In your pocket, you can't tell the big Vaquero Grande folder from the average folding knife, which has about a four inch blade, and only a four inch extension from the hand when open.
Note the overall size of the heavy Colt hunting/survival knife, compared to the folded size of the Vaquero Grande. Yes, the folding knife fits easily into any front pocket, and doesn't look any different from an average folding knife that many folks carry today. But when it comes out, look out! "THAT'S a knife!"
Now, in Florida where I live, my CCW permits me to legally carry all types of concealed weapons, not just handguns. You may have to look into your own local laws. But carrying a BIG folding knife does open up some new options.
Inside of the 21 foot "Tueller drill" distance, a blade actually has some advantages over a pistol. It won't run out of bullets, and it's much harder to wrestle away or disarm, to name a couple.
The curvature of this blade is not based on style or looks, but is intentional. The downward curve of the fully serrated knife belly gives it the deep cutting/slashing power associated with the Ghurka knife. The recurved tip makes it an effective stabber. And so on. It's not my intention to get into knife design or knife fighting tactics. I just wanted to present another option for a VERY effective lightweight weapon that you can carry in your pocket. I don't leave home without mine.
Saturday Night Weaponry Ping
Cool. I want one!
That is a beautiful weapon. Would you please add me to your ping list?
I just hijacked our CW2 (Civil War Two) ping list for this vanity. It’s just a CW2 list, usually. Still want on it?
The constitution gives us the right to be armed, it doesn't say firearms, it says arms - the founding fathers would be aghast at the idea that a knife would be a felony (and don't even think of a real sword...) We really do need to push those laws back, pitched as anti-gang legislation, that has limited our rights to self defense.
Because it's a folder, in my county, it would be perfectly legal, but in the neighboring county, it exceeds the permitted limit of 2 whole inches.
What I mean by all of this is: know your laws, which I'm sure you do, but others may want to investigate, before they follow with your recommendation.
You bet, that’s why I wrote to check your own local laws first.
You did, I missed it, and now I gotta hang my head. ;)
You certainly can carry a large fixed blade..
Check Mike Sastre’s work at
Get a southern comfort sheath and you can hide a cold steel trailmaster in your pants.
Trust me, Ive done it successfully.
Strangely enough in California its perfectly legal to carry the biggest folder you can find without a permit, but not a fixed blade and not a handgun without a permit, but its almost impossible to get a permit to carry in Cali.
Is the glass half empty, or half full?
Maybe I'm a sick puppy, but I look at all of those as big advantages for me!
I don't consider myself under-armed when I'm carrying only my Vaquero Grande. Sometimes I just leave the old pistola en casa.
According to the Cold Steel website, the Vaquero Grande is both “sold out” and “discontinued.”
Get Gabe Suarez’s DVD on folder fighting. He teaches how to draw and deploy the largest Cold Steel folder and use it to tear up your oppponent.
Fernando Aguirre's recommendation must have led to a run on them!
I do. Sign me up.
Do you talk alot about weapons? If so, yes.
Very cool knife though!
I talk a lot about weapons and self defense..sign me up as well if you don’t care
The fairly heavy blade has plenty of momentum and locks open easily one handed.
This leaves the blade semi-concealed, edge forward, and ready for a very surprising slashing attack at it's full 8" extension from my hand.
Of course, it's just been practice.
Usually we just ping CW2 threads. But we’ll put you on it.
Anything that helps defend people from Goblins is good work my friend. Keep it up..I eat that stuff up.
Yeah, me too!
Since most of the time I just carry a Walther P-99 or a S&W model 642 snubby I usually carry a Spyderco Michael Janich Yojimbo folder.
It’s discontinued, but that thing will tear up the bad guy..
Google it for knives still available. (New)
I carry one of these:
or one of these:
...not really happy with either one. I prefer a fixed blade. the canadian belt knife is about perfect in size and shape, but I’m not happy with the quality. The kershaw is very good steel. but I don’t like the handle or the folding aspect.
got one of these too, but I think it’s too heavy and bulky to carry:
So what’s the pistol of choice for CCW in warm Florida weather these days?
Very nice. Thanks for posting.
Warm weather in FL? What’s that?
Ask me next month, I’ll probably have changed my mind a few times! But for now, I really like carrying a big folder.
If Cold Steel made a “Mas Grande Vaquero” I’d buy one.
well I know its not this week..we were going to come down this month since Im starting a nnew job in late february, but its almost as cold as it is here in WV.
It’s getting down to the TEENS here near Jax FL tonight, and my beloved orange tree is in extreme peril.
I wonder where Algore is hiding this winter?
that chick on MSNBC that dresses like a man was on letterman the other night and she said any weather changes now are because of global warming.
Its easy to change the rules of the argument if you control the media isnt it?
Im a knife tester for columbia river knife and tool since I write for an online magazine called www.themartialist.com
Im getting a new assisted opener this month from CRKT that is designed by Ken Onion, the guy who made all the speed safe design for Kershaw. I should have it next week, I hope.
An assisted opener with like a 4-inch blade would be the thing to have, since its as fast as a switchblade but legal, where a switchblade is not.
Please add me to your ping list. Thanks.
Very nice. And yes, size does matter. I’ll have to get my hands on one and see how it handles. One can never have too many knives. For me, it comes down to what I’ve trained to fight with. I have a Cold Steel Recon tanto that’s been with me for 37 years now. It’s one of the originals made in the US - brass cap and hilt, grey Parkerized blade and it’s slightly hilt-heavy. Didn’t really learn to fight well with it until the early 90s. Then I got schooled.
Even today, that knife still runs through my hands like water. That’s the one in my kit.
And it’s curious - I bought an updated edition of the same knife back in 97. Made in Japan. Perfectly balanced. All stainless steel. Beautifully made. But it just doesn’t feel the same.
I acquired anotehr knife right about that same time: a Chris Reeve large Sabenza. It’s a folder with a titanium handle. Taht one, too seems to have a life of it’s own. Perhaps it does. That one’s always on my belt.
(I didn’t ping Sam)
I consider a folder to be a dress knife...to be carried in dress pants.
I like a fixed blade in my work pants. It goes in the side pocket of a pair of carpenter style pants.
Whats the name of that new knife and can I find a pic of it on the net somewhere?
That’s a great Jeff Cooper term that should get more usage.
Goblins, that is.
When I was up in Portland, visiting the CRKT plant, Rod Bremer gave me a Carson M21-14, that has been my EDC since then. It has no springs, and is faster than a switch. The AUS-8 Steel will take a very good edge and hold it, and will slice through clothing and hide. The combo edge cuts through rib bone easily. Even though it is a large knife, it carries well in a front pocket with the 4 way clip.
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