Why 2?

I read this article (h/t to Greg Ellifritz) about carrying folding knives:

So, now I’m going to blow your mind. What side do you carrying your folder and let’s say you cannot carry a fixed? I would say the vast majority and I mean like everyone I see in classes carries their folder on their strong side. Again, we have to go back to defining the mission. Is this a secondary weapon, your pistol being the primary. If it is, then the better approach is to carry the folder on your weak side. The first thing people say is I cannot use my weak hand for anything. That’s a lot like a boxer saying they can’t jab with their weak hand…doesn’t make much sense does it. If you are a bit awkward on your weak side then you will need to train. We have been training on the folding knife for several years and I’m surprised to hear folks comment about how easy it was to pick up the folder on the weak side with the right structure.

We try to encourage folks to look at themselves from a bi-lateral point of view. That means consideration for weapon system available and deployable from your weak side. Not every scenario is a gun scenario, you have to find the balance. That is code for not getting you face punched in before you can think of other weapon systems. Then being able to retrieve and deploy the blade from a folder is the next progression.

So I’m going to blow your mind: carry 2 folders, one on each side.

Part of my EDC are 2 folding knives (Spyderco Delicas, if you’re curious). I learned this from Insights Training Center in their Defensive Folding Knife class. The folders are both set the exact same way: tip-up carry, clipped inside my front pant pocket, one on my left, one on my right. Yes, that means the one on the left is “backwards”, but trust me it works for consistency. It does mean when I draw with the left hand, I must give the knife a flip, but that’s alright because then I have consistent motion. If I use my right hand to obtain the knife on the left, it’s the same as using my right hand to obtain the knife on the right! Same with the left: it’s consistent no matter which knife I go for.

I often get the question: why do you carry two knives?

We can go back to the whole “2 is 1, 1 is none” mantra, and while true that’s not the primary reason. The primary reason is because sometimes you can’t get to one so you have to go for the other.

It doesn’t even have to be in a combat situation. I use my knives for daily tasks, like opening letters, opening packages — cutting things, you know, what knives were designed to do.( BTW, for those that discourage using your “fighting knife” to open letters because it will dull the blade: 1. the daily drawing of my knife is another rep, another bit of practice towards deployment and use, 2. this is why the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker was invented; buy one, use it.) And even in my daily life, sometimes I cannot get to my desired knife. Maybe I’m lying on my side. Maybe I’ve got a seat-belt in the way (and sometimes I’m driving, and sometimes I’m a passenger). Who knows. But believe me, having worn 2 knives like this for the past 6 years, while I may generally go for the same-side knife, there have been more than enough times when I had no choice but to go for the other-side — and so far, no knife fighting outside of the classroom.

And yes, sometimes I go for the other-side knife just for the practice.

I agree with the author about the importance of weak-side and being offset from your primary. But even then, you may not be able to get to your one-side, and there’s so little cost and overhead in having a folder on both sides. Consider it.

2 thoughts on “Why 2?

  1. Agree on this one. And what I just heard is to get a pink one. If in court, they hold up the scary knife. Much better if it is pink.

    • Paul Martin (http://suburbandadsurvivalist.blogspot.com) carries a pink folder. This way when/if he’s in court (he’s a lawyer) and needs to display a knife to make a point, well… it is perceived as less scary.

      It’s also why I stopped using knives with the “wave” attachment, and carrying slightly larger folders. I had a Spyderco Endura with the “wave” on it. I carried it. One day someone came to me needing something cut (piece of rope, I believe) and I pulled out my Endura, letting the wave do its work. I saw the person’s eyes grow 3 sizes in that moment. That flash of steel just cuts (no pun intended) right to the monkey/lizard/sheep brain inside us all. It changed my habits regarding what folding knives I carry, and how I deploy them.

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