“The main thing behind this was concealing it, so minimizing the length as much as possible was key.” “It has to be able to fit in a front pocket or in appendix carry without inhibiting active movement.”
“No choil, that way you’re not going to get hung up on anything. Even back when I was working on a farm, cutting hay bail strings… any kind of a choil would just stop you dead in your tracks. Any kind of emergency, say you have to cut loose from your parachute… if you have a choil, you’re not getting through that as fast as you want. Any kind of emergency situation, it can hang up on a seat belt. Any kind of fighting situation, it can hang up on clothing, on a bone…and it can strip it right out of your hand.”
“Also I try to get the edge as close to my hand as possible. The further out the edge is, the more leverage you have working against you when you’re trying to work with it.” “ No choils…choils suck.”
From just looking at the knife, you can tell it’s not “big” in virtually any direction…this was very much intentional.
“[You need to be] able to access targets in the body, but it doesn’t need to be much longer than that [approx. 3” of blade]. The longer this blade is, the easier it is to disarm. You see it all the time in stick fights. Just like being stripped out here [from the handle] it can be stripped out from the blade, there’s a lot of leverage for taking it out this way, too.”
Note the minimal handle extension past the top of the hand
“The longer it is, for guys who run them on a chest rig, the closer the edge is coming to your own throat…and if it’s too long, you have more time and distance till you are clear from the sheath. There are times where a longer blade is good to have, it’ll give you more reach… but in close [where things are already tight and you’re going to the blade because of that]…the shorter, faster blade is nice.”
Everything about the design is purpose driven:
“As far as the finish, I’m worried more about the design, a sharp edge, and good steel than I am… as far as having everything nice and smooth and polished…that is not what I need. I’m looking more for function first, form second.”
Some of Dan’s .mil/.gov customers are wearing full kit one day, and going concealed the next, so Dan wanted to make sure his sheath could be removed from a chest rig and put into a concealment role, rapidly. The spring clip with the hook will snag on a belt, MOLLE, or even the seam on a pair of swim trunks or sweat-pants. Dan even offers a pocket holster add-on that snaps into place under the spring clip, snagging on the pocket corners when drawn. This sheath is designed so no matter what you are wearing, you can have a blade on you. And even if you are naked, you can clip it to your watch band!
The sheath uses some of the smallest rivets I’ve ever seen, keeping the footprint of the sheath as small as possible, giving the user more carry location options while reducing needless weight and bulk.
The blade will sheath in either edge orientation, so the user can rig it for deployment with either hand, or return it to the sheath after switching hands, changing grips, etc. Dan makes these sheaths for a few different blades, too…all are just as well thought out, tight to the blade, and easy to use.
The back of the sheath is cut in such a way, that the blade can be returned to the sheath without looking at it. One simply finds the metal clip, taps the side of the blade against it, slides the tip across the clip until you feel it drop down, then you’re ready to go back in. The large tab on the back of the sheath acts as an open mouth for the tip to contact during this process.
Moving into the handle, it was particularly well thought out.
“The guard and the finger grooves, they can’t stick out too far, or they can grab on stuff and disarm you.”
The handle is minimal in length. It sits so that just a hair of steel protrudes from the hand in reverse grip. It’s angled to accept a thumb cap well, or to rest against the palm (for power assist) riding under an extended index finger.
The lack of any sharp or angular handle features allows the user to not only thumb cap the blade, but also power assist it using the other hand’s palm, a knee, etc. to add more driving force to the thrust. A pointy handle design with a glass-breaker or something designed for striking would prevent the user from performing these techniques (unless they don’t mind hurting themselves in the process.)