Monday, April 6, 2015

KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Knife and Edge/Equipped Sheath

A good knife has always been an essential for me. Back in my day, carrying my Buck 110 Finger-groove Folding Hunter on my belt in a leather sheath to high school was no big deal. Later on, that same knife was on my duty belt as a police officer in the late 1980s when Spyderco knives were just starting to make their way into folding blade fashion.

Typically... I carry two knives every day... a Leatherman Style on my keychain and a larger knife like my folding Buck Bones knife, but more recently my KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Knife in an Edge/Equipped sheath. Now I know that most knife-laden tactical ninjas will laugh at my Buck Bones knife... but I like it... and I still have a couple of Spyderco knives and a Benchmade Griptilian tucked away.

A defensive knife guru I am not, but I have had a couple of KA-BAR TDI knives for a number of years and I've come to appreciate the speed with which a person can employ one of these compact, fixed blade knives for defensive purposes. This past January, my wife and I attended the Sudden Threat Active Blade training presented by the ZNN Tactical Training Team. This is the second defensive knife course I've taken in my life and it was very well done with basic, straight-forward techniques that can be practiced, retained, and employed by every-day, average people.

Having noticed years ago how quickly the KA-BAR TDI knife can be deployed with minimal training and effort... especially since it doesn't have to be unfolded and locked in place... this most recent training and instruction made that even clearer. While the knife comes with a quality, plastic belt-sheath that can be configured in several manners, I picked up a sheath (yes, I bought it for the same price as you would) designed by my friend Matt over at Edge/Equipped in conjunction with LAG Tactical and I've been carrying the KA-BAR TDI knife almost daily in the E/E sheath for nearly four months now.

While the original sheath KA-BAR included with the knife is well-constructed and the belt-clip is able to be reversed for right or left hand access and positioning, I find the metal clip can be rough on clothing (yeah, I'm fat around the middle so it does rub when I sit in my vehicle or belly-up against things). Also, the metal belt clip doesn't fit well with some of the larger, thicker belts I wear that support my IWB and AIWB holsters I use to carry my EDC gun.

The soft and flexible, yet sturdy and non-stretching synthetic belt loops included with the E/E sheath work well with my belts and allow for various mounting configurations for the IWB Kydex sheath to suit the wearer's preferred carry position. The Kydex sheath is more compact and rounded than the KA-BAR sheath which I find more comfortable for every day wear. The snaps are sturdy and the "one-direction to snap on/off" type. They are a bit stiff to work and I often find myself just sliding the sheath onto my belt... but that is better than a couple of other holsters I have where the snaps are constantly coming unsnapped.

The edges of the E/E sheath are carefully finished during construction by LAG Tactical and the molded sheath fits and retains the KA-BAR TDI knife with just the right amount of tension, which is important for easy access, but also so the knife doesn't slip out as it is very sharp and after having these knives for several years, they hold their edge really well for me. You will also find the true genius of the KA-BAR TDI knife is the ergonomic grip angle and easily indexed finger groove that allows almost anyone to grip, draw, slice, stab, and gouge with the knife without extensive training and while not having to worry about holding onto the knife... even when it's wet with sweat, rain, or your attacker's blood.

I prefer to carry my knives on my left side... usually towards my center-line, as I carry my gun on my right side. That allows me to use the knife for weapon retention purposes. I'm amazed at how few regular people even notice the knife handle or grip when I carry it there. The placement of the rivets in the Kydex sheath allow a lot of flexibility in how and where you use the included Chicago screws to configure the sheath to your preferred carry position.

My main gal, the wife, liked this sheath a lot... so I ordered her a knife and sheath for her birthday this past March. Now don't bug E/E about the color as this purchase was a "one-off" item.  She has tried it out and really likes it so far. I find gals tend to need even more options than men to fit their various body shapes and clothing styles... so the almost infinitely configurable nature of the E/E sheath is an advantage there too.

If you've never tried one of KA-BAR's TDI fixed-blade knives, you really should. You will find the grip is just natural and your speed over your daily carry folding knife will probably be worth it.  The included sheath is good for many people, but you'll also find the E/E TDI Sheath worth the investment for the comfort, adjustability, and durability it offers.

Again... if you follow my blog... you know I don't just put a few shots through a gun and review it or try something out a couple of times and slap down my opinion. I have carried used this knife almost daily int eh E/E sheath for nearly four months and I've carried one of our KA-BAR TDI knifes on and off for several years with the included sheath... and I like it, especially for quick access and use for defensive purposes by an average, every-day kind of guy... So you may just want to consider picking up a... KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Knife and Edge/Equipped Sheath