Skip to comments.Carry a Knife – Save a Life
Posted on 03/14/2012 7:02:14 PM PDT by marktwain
Gilbert, AZ --(Ammoland.com)- Quick thinking and a one-hand opening knife saved a construction worker recently, as posted by Seth on BladeForums.com. Below is his post (edited for readability)
I work in construction, mostly in copper fabrication and seamless gutters, but also a bit of everything. Last Friday, I was helping a co-worker do some roofing, We were installing Permaclad sheets, a very typical roof setup here, galvanized 26 guage steel sheets with a U-panel design. The roof was somewhat steep, but it was dry and we had decent traction. The sheets were 18 feet long x 3 feet wide.
I was about 14 feet up from the edge, marking out screw lines, when someone on the other side of the house sprayed water over the roof. Nobody will admit to it, but a wet Permaclad sheet can be like ice.
This house was built backing a gully, and from the front of the house, only 10 feet to the roof. On the back of the house where I was, it is about 35 feet drop to the ground. I started to slip, couldnt get up to the ridgecap, and nothing behind me to stop me.
Luckily, I remembered my 551 Grip (Benchmade Griptilian one-hand opening folder), yanked it out of my pocket, flicked it open and I slammed it as hard as I could into the (steel) sheet. The blade went through right to the thumb stud, and it held my weight. I spent about 2 minutes trying to remember how to breathe (well, maybe 20 seconds, but it seemed like forever) and my heart was beating like mad. When I looked behind me, I only had about 4 feet of panel before a long fall.
Thank God for having a good knife in my pocket. My only other tool was a 18v cordless drill for driving home, no harness, stupidly, as usually it becomes more of a nuisance due to lack of anchoring points on the roof. All I kept thinking was, thank God for a strong knife.
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And it's a 3+1/2" blade that's half serrated. Very functional as well as nasty-looking and lightning-fast.
Jethro Bodine, too. ;-)
The next day, I went to Home Depot and bought 2 chipping hammers. Had a couple of extra knives and side cutters (dykes/wire cutters) so put one of each in our car and pickup consoles. In case we need them to cut the seat belt, or, in case I came across someone else in a wreck, I could cut them out, if necessary. Should door be locked or jammed or window up, could use the chipping hammer to break glass to reach in. Side cutters in case belt was so tight couldn't use knife, especially through jagged window. Can always ease s/cutter in and snip snip snip, and free.
I finally gave in and bought a "working" Kukri, not an ornamental one. Took a while to work a decent edge onto it but...dang that is one fearsome blade. Because of the inward curvature, when chopping into something the blade bites in, rather than trying to slide off. Kukris, owing to their thick heavy construction, carry a lot of heft and momentum into the blow. Going camping soon as the weather eases a bit here, first time with the Kukri. I'm sure I'll find lots of uses for it.
If you can afford a decent one (they're not terribly expensive) get one. They are, feel ... well, different. Not a machete, not an axe or hatchet, not a knife...
I carry a Colt Police Task Force at all times when I'm dressed. All times. Sitting in row AA at "Les Miserables" in a suit jacket? Clipped to my pocket. At my son's college in the stadium watching football? Yep. Volunteering at the local High School - yes, just discretely slipped into the pocket, not clipped to the outside. Basically, if I'm not in bed, in the shower, or in the tender mercies of the TSA/FAA (a rarity these days) - it is on my person.
Under a 3.5 inch blade so it is not even legally recognised as a "knife" in my state. It has assisted opening that really, really works. It also has a glass breaker and a seatbelt cutter. Granted, the blade locking mechanism could be stronger - looks like it could fold if slammed into a tin roof or something. Also, being stainless, it is a little softer steel and doesn't take/hold an edge as well as some other steels.
I also keep a Gerber Suspension multi-tool within arms reach in my car, and a survival/go bag in the car with various items including a Ka Bar combat/utility knife.
What about a pointed stick?
Made a really nice hardwood dibble I use in my garden & orchard. hee hee hee
After trading in my long belt knife for a different sidearm, I have been looking for the right replacement. My buck is too deep in the pockets to reach in the car. Leatherman is on opposite hip, but not terribly convenient for emergency use.
I do keep a straight blade in the console for the whole seat belt thing.
Tried a Smith and Wesson folder. Disappointing. Blade got loose easily, and needed two different sized hex keys to tighten it.
I would feel most comfortable going back to the belt knife, but others might question why I feel the need for so much adornment, when I am not in the woods, at any rate.
I would give a lot for a true Bali-song again (it was lifted), but the knife laws regarding them are subject to interpretation... IMO, it was the most useful blade I have ever had - the steel on that cut the hasp to pieces when it flipped in the way on closing, held an edge, heavy enough to use for striking (unlike almost every other butterfly I have owned or tried out), punctured anything and stayed sharp...
Somehow I think I just decided what knife I want to carry again - if only I can find one.
I think I have thrown all Leatherman tools in the trash. I have replaced with mon-communist company equipment like Gerber.
P38, I remember them well from my army days:) I used to carry one all the time in the field when I was camping back in the day. Don't do much camping now but if I did, I would surely round up a P38 to keep on hand. One of the most useful things the service ever invented.
I picked up a Kukri blade a few years ago from Atlanta Cutlery for around 35 bucks. Nice, practical knife, steel is 1/4” thick. They carry the same kukri knives as issued to the Gurkha regiments.
I liked the design so much after playing with it for a while, that I picked up a sawback kukri machete this spring; it’s much more efficient than my old standard machete.
Thanks for tip.
Knife CKRT M16
Knife, small hidden (other)
Flashlight Nebo Redline
Short length of line
Large bobby pin
Spare cell phone battery