View Full Version : Folding trainer questions

03-27-2004, 10:12 AM
Gabe or anyone else, recommendation please.
I want to do one of Gabe's knife self defense classes. I need a trainer and I'd like my trainer and folder to be the same, so I guess I'll be buying two and grinding the point and edge off of one.

I'm thinking about the Columbia River Knife and Tool folders, which I have a couple of and like. Any suggestions, reasonable price appreciated, but CRK &T seems like a reasonable price for pretty good quality. The thing is I want a reversible clip and few of the columbia river knives seem to have that feature. Also I was told to get a knife with the LAWKS safety system.

Also, do the serrations have any real tactical uses. I've never cared for serrations as they seem to be substitutes for keeping your knife sharp, but I don't really know about tactical uses. Thanks, Kyle

Ted T.
03-27-2004, 03:03 PM
My buddy swears that his CRK&T folder is the best he's ever played with and I must admit, it is nice.

None of my folders feel the same and none of the drones feel like the folders.

So, since exact duplication of impossible, go for a drone if it is cheaper.

Joe Talmadge
03-27-2004, 04:07 PM
Gabe or anyone else, recommendation please.
I want to do one of Gabe's knife self defense classes. I need a trainer and I'd like my trainer and folder to be the same, so I guess I'll be buying two and grinding the point and edge off of one.

Note that if you'll be drilling with a partner, especially intensive drilling as you get more advanced, just dulling the edge and point isn't enough. Any squared edge on the blade or handle that might come into contact with your partner needs to be rounded. I include in this the spine of the blade, which is usually completely squared, and the little area of the blade near the handle where the grind first starts (there's often a sharp point there). Same with the handle.

I scraped one of my partners up pretty good with the original version of the endura trainers, which had sharp areas on the blade where I pointed out above. The newer trainers corrected that.

While I like the idea of training with a drone version of my carry knife, I often switch to an aluminum trainer or padded trainer for drilling or sparring.


Gabriel Suarez
03-27-2004, 07:26 PM

I just finished Day one of Integrated Combat Skills in Thurmont, Maryland. Most folks here cannot yet get CCW (seems the gov forgot all about the Constitution up here). The focus was on the knife, the stick, and gun disarms. We used drones (that is dulled actual folding knives) for the solo drills (you'd be surprised to see how many knives hit the deck when we begin), and Cold Steel Rubber trainers for the buddy drills.

My sugestion would be to go to a pawn shop, and/or gun show and buy a used knife for grinding down as a trainer. The knives to use for the partner drills should be rubber and I'll bring all those.

03-28-2004, 06:02 PM
Gabe has a great suggestion. Buy a very used copy of a knife you carry and grind it down with a Dremel tool. As far as training blades goes, I have an aluminum trainer from Keene Edge that is great, and a very stiff foam trainer from Bogner Drill Blades. Both are excellent.

03-28-2004, 07:34 PM
Gabe, sorry I missed you in my AO. Next time get up here for some range and dojo time. I have keys to both. The Gov is a good guy. Just too many liberals here. I have a Strider fixed blade trainer that I love. Solid and hurts like the devil when hit with it.

03-29-2004, 10:55 AM
My favourite trainers are from Spyderco and Cold Steel, as production trainers go.
I have a couple of the Endura trainers, and one Temperance (fixed blade) model trainer from Spyderco, and they are great.
For sparring/contact use, Cold Steel's ruber trainers are really top notch - three styles that cover most common fixed blades, dagger, fighter and tanto - but they can be easily cut down to simulate smaller, more folder sized, knives.

If you are looking for a cost effective, high quality, folding knife & trainer pair, look at the Spyderco Endura and Delica models - they are very tough, very reliable, knives, with a good design, and good workmanship - the hole opener is one of the best and most reliable under stress, and for probably under $100 you can get a Live blade and Trainer of either model, and you are good to go.
The Endura model is part of my EDC, great knife, great utility or fighter design.

Also, the Benchmade Griptilian, much the same idea, a simple folding knife with the thumb-hole opener (my fav, cant ya tell? ;) ), and with trainer models available - these are excellent knives as well, and again, for under $100 you should be able to find a live blade and trainer.

I'd look at www.newgraham.com (http://www.newgraham.com) for good prices on them individually, or at www.selfdefensegear.com (http://www.selfdefensegear.com) to see if they have any of their sets still available.

Not as cheap as CRKT maybe, but definately a better quality knife, with better steel and generally better fit, finish and quality control.

Serrations make little difference if your knife is well sharpened to begin with. I prefer plain edge, personally. Even for utility work. "Tactically", I see no real difference or advantage with serrations.

Edited to add - check out this thread, http://www.selfdefenseforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1835 its a nice rundown and discussion of training knives and a wide variety of production/semi-custom trainers available.

Joe Talmadge
03-29-2004, 12:51 PM
For sparring/contact use, Cold Steel's ruber trainers are really top notch - three styles that cover most common fixed blades, dagger, fighter and tanto - but they can be easily cut down to simulate smaller, more folder sized, knives.

Hmmm, not to take us too off-topic, but I have a question about the rubber knives. I like aluminum trainers, even for partner drills. Control is important, but there's nothing like some minor bruises to reinforce the lesson.

For doing really intensive drilling or sparring, aluminum trainers become too dangerous or impractical, and going to rubber or padded trainers work better. The big problem I have with rubber trainers is that, while they are safe for stabbing and slashing with, they are often not stiff enough for hooking. I feel a lot of work should be done on the inside, and there things get tangled and hooking becomes really important, IMO. That's why I favor a stiff padded trainer -- you can hit hard with it, but it's still stiff enough to hook and clear with.

Are the Cold Steel rubber trainers stiff enough that you can put some muscle into them and they'll hold?

03-29-2004, 06:57 PM
I'd say they are stiff enough - YMMV tho of course.

03-30-2004, 05:25 AM
I use the plastic or wood [ made from plywood to the shape of a spyderco police or endura and the corners radiused ] for all my training classes.

Aluminum hurts, can break wrist bones and leave nasty bruises. As well, when the aluminum trainers are whacked together, they can leave a burr which will cut the student pretty good [ seen it too many times where the clanging of trainer on trainer produced a spot that would open up skin real quick ].

I have never had much luck with rubber knives being stiff enough to effect redirects with authority under high speed sparring. I have a few but they sit and do not get used.

I have found the wood trainers work just fine, you can make a dozen or more at a time in a few hours and the cost is nill. They hurt when tapped with them over an extended 2-3 hour high speed training class and leave bruises.

I won't allow aluminum trainers in the classes to be used on myself. If two students want to use them, no problem. I've been nicked, bone bruised severely on the hands and wrists with them over the years enough to say "enough" of that.


04-01-2004, 02:39 AM
I carry the Columbia River Kasper/Crawford 6783 folder. Some thoughts on it:

The pros...it fits my hand really well, although it has a linear lock, the lock has a lock that is pretty much automatic to set (you have to see it to get what I mean), it has finger groves in the handle so you don't go sliding down a slippery handle (though these make it so you can only do a reverse grip one way)- though the handle is not smooth the finger grooves are extra help, it's not too expensive (around $40 or less - I got one with a broken blade tip on ebay for $20 and ground it down for a drone - mostly I practice deployment and strikes on my long-suffering BOB with the drone and only go at my training partner with foam or rubber), it has an adjustment for blade tension to get the inertia opening very quickly and the adjustment doesn't loosen up without you intentionally loosening it. I'm probably leaving stuff out.

The cons - it is tip down carry (but you can get a tip up carry belt sheath made for it - I did but then I found with practice practice, practice, I can deploy it as fast as tip up knives), it is advertised as their "tactical" folder so you will have a harder time arguing it's just a UPS box opener. It is big (but they have smaller models but the big one makes a heck of an impact weapon in a pinch!), it has a linear lock (but then it has the lock for the lock). The blade quality is not as good as some of the more expensive knives in terms of holding an edge, but the two I carry aren't used for anything else, so it's not like I need to sharpen them. God forbid I ever need to use them, they will hold the edge. (Yes, I've tested one on leather coats, elk carcasses, etc.)

All that said, there are lots of good knives out there, this is just the one I like (but I'm always looking at what else is out there).