Best EDC Defense Knife: Ka Bar TDI. An Amazing (and Affordable) Everyday Defense Option

I’ve had several people ask me recently which knife I like to “conceal, don’t feel” carry (as my daughter calls it). Now I own a LOT of knives – several of which I will be doing reviews on – but there are two that I gravitate to when I gear up for the day: My Leatherman Skeletool – this is my everyday utility knife (more to come on that one later) – and my Ka Bar TDI – this is my self defense knife.

Screen Shot 2016-09-29 at 11.03.32 PM.pngMany of you might think it’s a little “overkill” to carry two knives, but it’s because they have COMPLETELY different use-cases…and the Ka Bar TDI was designed for one purpose: self defense.

The TDI  was designed for Ka Bar by John Benner, who is the president and founder of Tactical Defense Institute in Ohio – which is where the knife gets its name.

The standard model is a 2.3 inch, fixed blade knife and you’ll a slight bend in the blade. When pulling this blade out of the sheath, it’s already in a very positive grip and extremely difficult to knock lose. Screen Shot 2016-09-29 at 11.07.53 PM.pngIt’s a drop point and hollow grind and, weighing in at 0.2 lbs, it’s a great carry option.  Not only for full size preppers like me, but also for smaller folks, like Mrs. PreppedForLife. The sheath is hard plastic with a friction fit and several anchor points.  This makes it fully customizable to allow for multiple angles of carry (right-handed, left-handed, inverted, etc). It would also work great for purse carry, tucked behind a duty belt, tucked in a boot, tucked under the seat…you get the idea.

Screen Shot 2016-09-29 at 11.10.32 PM.pngThe TDI is designed as a secondary weapon, to be worn on your “support side” (meaning the side of your body you DON’T carry your primary weapon on…if I’m right-handed, I would carry my gun on the right side and my TDI on the left side). The concept is that, if all my primary means of defense have been taken away, the TDI becomes my last-ditch option.

There is a great video of John Benner himself talking about why he designed a fixed-blade knife over a folder. It all comes down to speed. The speed of draw, the accuracy of this knife with the positive grip, and the sure footing you get with this knife as you draw are HEAD AND SHOULDERS above any folder I have ever used. And the compact size makes it extremely easy to conceal and carry on a daily basis.

Screen Shot 2016-09-29 at 11.15.00 PM.pngComing back to the reason I carry two knives in my EDC (everyday carry): I will not use this knife for anything but self defence. I’m not cutting rope, or opening packages, or – yes – picking food out of my teeth with this knife (you know who you are). That’s what my Leatherman is for. The only reason I carry my Ka Bar TDI is to create effect on target should I ever have my back against the wall and be forced to use violence.

All in all, I have LOVED carrying the TDI.  It’s a well-made knife if your focus is self-defense…but not so much as an everyday work knife.


Suggested Gear Shopping List

Click any of the links to shop directly on Amazon.  These links give us a small referral fee so we can continue to provide good content, but they DO NOT alter the cost to you

Ka Bar TDI-Coyote Brown

Ka Bar TDI-Black

TDI: Black-Plain Edge

Leatherman Skeletool

Leatherman Skeletool CX

Leatherman Skeletool RX


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