A fixed blade knife is an essential piece of gear that many people carry because of safety reasons. You will be able to get a much better draw time and hence ensure better protection for you and your family. The right carry method will also provide better accessibility and time-efficiency.
The knife legislation is the special kind of body or law that enacts a government and dictates certain laws that limit the use of knives. Although every state has a different law, there are some general laws that every country follows.
There are some weapons that are termed deadly and hence cannot be used by any person for any purpose. These weapons can also not be used or carried around in public without a proper license. There are obviously exceptions that have been made for hunting and self-defense purposes.
Although knife-carrying is forbidden in many countries, people may acquire a license to carry one for work-related stuff or for recreational purposes. Even in places that allow knife-carrying, there are some areas where they are still prohibited.
America, like most countries, has both ownership and carry laws for this type of gear. The former forbids individuals from carrying weapons that make the society unsafe. The latter forbids individuals from carrying any weapons, concealed or otherwise, that are forbidden by the law.
A fixed blade knife is a useful piece of gear that can be carried in a number of ways. Each carrying method will provide a different level of protection and safety for you. Moreover, these diverse ways will also help make your fixed blade knife a functional piece of equipment. So here are the many ways you can carry a knife.
This is probably the most popular technique used. The best thing about a belt is that it is closer to your body, and you don’t have to spend too much time looking for the gear.
Moreover, a belt is properly secured and will hence offer more protection. Most fixed blade sheaths are also designed to be placed in a belt. They usually come with a clip and loop that helps them in this style. IWB and OWB are two of the most common belt carrying styles that you can make use of.
IWB vs. OWB
OWB is commonly known as outside-the-waistband and is a very cool way to carry a knife. It not only exposes the sheath but also allows for quick access to the gear. Moreover, since the onlookers will be able to see the sheath, this carrying style is more likely to be used by people with proper experience and license to carry such a weapon.
It usually requires you to place the sheath on the side of your hip and allow your legs to move freely and comfortably.
- This method is very convenient and provides a quick and effortless draw.
- The blade is fixed at the position and hence allows for a quick function
- The tip-up position also allows the carrier to grab the gear from the long and ergonomic handle and pull it straight down out of the sheath.
- Saves both time and energy.
- Visibility of the blade will come in handy when you are walking on an unsafe road or if you are in any harm of danger from strangers or mobs.
- Provides less concealment
This is most commonly known as the inside-the-waistband and is a very good carrying position, especially for a knife with a fixed blade. As the name suggests, the method requires you to place your knife sheath inside your pants while it is still properly secured to the belt. This technique is also usually combined with a cover garment that can also be chosen for concealment purposes.
You can attach the sheath to the stronger side of the belt. This would usually be a 3:00 position for right-hand users, or it could be a 9:00 for left-handed users. This method also demands that the sheath is worn in a handgun holster. IWB can be one of the best options if you have the right setup. This is because it is always good to have the static line attached to the knife in case the unit slips through the waistband.
- It doesn’t fall off when you are running or walking fast.
- It is also safer to carry it this way because onlookers and people walking on the street won’t be able to see the knife.
- Might be uncomfortable to carry a heavy knife this way
This is another fascinating carrying method that makes use of the belt. It does exactly what the name suggests as the sheath will remain attached to the belt the whole time. There is going to be a loop or a strap that comes with an extension. This will be lowered down to ensure the sheath is properly attached to the wearer’s leg. Unlike most other techniques, Drop-leg requires the sheath to go further down.
Moreover, it often has a secondary strap or cord that is wrapped tightly around the thighs. This is to prevent the sheath from flopping around. This comes in handy when the wearer wants to walk fast or run at a faster pace. This will also ensure that you are comfortable in a full range of motion.
- Provides you with easy access to the knife at all times.
- The sheath occupies less belt space.
- In comparison to mounting the sheath directly to the waistband, Drop-leg saves tons of space.
- Provides the greatest level of comfort.
- It is time-consuming to pull off the style.
A cant is simply an angle that is either perpendicular to the belt (vertical positioning) or a horizontal angle that is parallel to the belt.
You can have a positive or a forward angle in cant with the handle towards a 12:00 position. There are also negative or rearward cant angles that can move in the opposite direction. The angle that you end up choosing depends on your preference and your comfort level.
- The canting procedure can make it much easier for you to access the knife from the sheath.
- Since the unit is placed at an angle, you can also reach out for the handle easily.
- The user can instantly grab the weapon if there is any danger in front of him.
- It is easy to adjust the settings.
- It is difficult for amateurs to perfect the technique in the first few times.
If you are looking for convenience and easy adjustability, then this is definitely the style for you. A cross-draw is essentially for wearers who want to reach across the centerline of their body with their dominant hand. You can also draw from the opposite hand if you are in a hurry. You shouldn’t confuse this with a weak-side carry because that requires a user to draw a knife from his left.
This is also an option in specific cases where the belt space on your stronger side is quite limited. It also incorporates a much positive cant to make it easier for you to grab the knife’s handle. So if you are looking for more diversity, then opt for this carrying method.
- It provides you with a lot of diversity
- Not easy if you are a left-handed person
Scout carry is a style mostly used by army men and scouts. It requires you to wear a knife on the horizontal section that is parallel to your belt. This not only keeps you safe but also ensures greater comfort. It is also very similar to the OWB style. This is because even in scout carry, you need to carry the knife with a 90-degree cant style.
The sheath will have to be worn at the small of your back, but it can also be positioned on the weaker side of the cross draw. You can also wear it on the opposite side, but that might prove to be slightly uncomfortable for amateurs. It is also paired with a cover garment hence providing greater concealment.
- Scout-carry is extremely comfortable and provides quick access to your knife.
- You can even reduce the risk of your sheath or your handle snagging if you move through a heavy bush.
- A bit difficult to pull off
If you are paranoid when you go out and are looking to feel safe and well-protected, then you definitely need to try out this method. As the name suggests, neck carry is when you place your fixed blade very close to your upper body. It is mostly suitable for lightweight gears. It is also used to complement a larger knife that you have placed elsewhere on your gear.
Moreover, you will need a chain to properly secure the sheath of your tactical gear, or you can also use a strand to keep it secure. There are tons of small blades in the market that are both durable and strong but can also last for a longer time. It can also be worn behind a coat or a shirt, and the solid sheath retention that it provides is essential when it comes to sharper blades.
- The neck carry is straightforward and extremely secure.
- You can also wear a black neck strap to better conceal your weapon in daylight.
- When open-carried, a neck knife can also be lightning fast to access from either hand.
- It is only suitable for small and light knives.
- The neck method is only applicable for secondary blades and for self-defense purposes.
You must have seen people wearing their guns or other self-defense tools on their shoulders, and this is because this technique is not only safe but also very easy to pull off. The shoulders come with webbing straps that make it easy to place and attach the knife on a sheath. This can also work even if the sheath wasn’t designed specifically for that knife.
But good compatibility isn’t the only good feature about the shoulder method. There are many non-tactical climbing and hiking packs that will come with some sort of webbing that the sheath can be tied to. On the other hand, there are combat knives that can be placed on these shoulder straps for quicker access.
They are often positioned vertically to ensure time-efficiency in times of need. There are also some knives that come with a standalone shoulder sling only or a harness. These are less common but can provide good results in a combat mode.
- It feels extremely comfortable.
- Might restrict your speed while running
Chest [+clipped on backpack straps]
Many combat knives are worn on the chest. Among other reasons, soldiers and fighters feel better when they have the gear positioned close to their bodies. Just like the shoulders, the neck also requires some sort of webbing. You can then position your knives either vertically or horizontally on that chest webbing.
There are countless other ways to go about the design. You can also strap the knife to the side of the pack or simply slip it in a pocket. It would still be held close to your chest hence providing you with all the usual benefits of the chest strap. But if you want the fastest access, then it is better to keep the unit hanging loosely from your chest.
- Since the knife is extremely close to your body, you are at more ease.
- It is also easier to draw the knife in cases of emergencies.
- If you encounter a trap, having a chest strap will allow you to easily cut through it and escape.
- Safety can be an issue when it comes to having knives so close to one’s body.
- You will get relatively less concealment this way.
This is a relatively less popular way of carrying your knife, but this has nothing to do with its efficiency or ease of comfort. Instead, many people choose to avoid this method because it takes more time to draw the knife.
However, the unit attached to your ankle or your boot is great for small self-defense blades that don’t need to be used very often. The method is easy to pull off as it only requires a sweat-resistant band that can be wrapped around the calf to secure the sheath. You can also make use of the sheath directly to hide the unit.
There is also a rich history behind the design, as cowboys mostly wore it in the past. There were also many purpose-built boot knives that were sneaky and treacherous and came in handy in difficult situations.
- It provides extra concealment because a small knife attached to your boot won’t be noticeable.
- It ensures that you aren’t too bothered about the weight of the knife.
- This method allows for a relatively slower draw.
- You will need a couple of seconds to reach for the knife attached to your boot or ankle.
Backpack [on or inside]
This is the traditional way, but it has stuck around for so many years because it is one of the most convenient ways to keep your fixed blade knife. It works great when you are hiking, climbing, or simply running.
Moreover, a knife that is kept in the backside tends to be really large and heavy. This comes in handy when you have to hunt for an animal and then cut it open. It can also be used to cut wood and create a fire for warmth.
- Keeping a knife in a case or a backpack ensures that you don’t have to look at it all the time.
- It also helps in carrying accessories and heavy knives.
- You won’t feel bothered about the weight too much when you are running or brisk walking.
- If you encounter danger quite often, then using such a method might restrict the draw.
- It will also require more time and effort to pull out the knife each time you need it.
How do I Carry?
Every individual has a different level of comfort that they enjoy with their knives. It is hence important that you know how to appropriately carry your tools. Here is a simple guide to help you out.
I carry it on my belt, either by the IWB style or the OWB style. This ensures that my knife is well concealed and safe.
1 Day Hike
Cant carry helps to keep a middle-sized fixed blade knife.
Hiking in the Cascades (3-7 days)
On belt (OWB style) – to keep a large and heavyweight fixed blade safely.
In my pocket – a middle-sized knife for multi-purpose in the cascades.
In my backpack – a folding or a fixed blade knife for concealment.
In my bag pack – a medium fixed blade or a folding knife that I can use for a variety of purposes.
Having a fixed blade knife is a luxury, but you won’t make much use of this splendid piece of gear if you don’t find an appropriate way to carry it. But unlike with most other products, there is no one right way to carry such a knife.
The method you choose will depend upon the kind of usage you want. A hunting extravaganza will require you to keep a large knife in your backpack, whereas a walk in a dangerous neighborhood would require you to carry the knife closer to your body.
So if you want to feel safe and secure at all times, make sure you find the right way to carry your marvelous fixed blade knife.