Self Defense Knives

In the quest to equip people with the best tool for the job, we wouldn't be able to sleep at night if we didn't offer knives that were catered towards self-defense.

It's all about having the right tool, at the right time. We've seen enough news articles where the bad guy, unfortunately, wins... We want to give power back to the good guys. To do that, we set out to design/produce a few different blades that should help instill confidence if or when you happen to find yourself in a self-defense situation.

First off, what defines a Self Defense Knife?

Without diving too deep into history, we'll give you our interpretation and thought process. To us, a Self Defense Knife is a blade that is strategically designed to give you the best fighting chance in a high-stress, and potentially life-threatening scenario. High-stress is the key phrase. When your adrenaline is at its peak and you're in a fight or flight scenario, your general motor skills and hand coordination will be much less dialed. For this reason, a Self Defense Knife should have an easily gripped handle - preferably textured, as to prevent the knife from slipping out of your hand. The next attribute a Self Defense Knife should have, in our opinion, is a blade that can penetrate and slice. Nothing too scientific here, but it should be able to do both.

Lastly, and definitely not least, a Self Defense Knife is only as good as its sheath. How many times have you seen someone fumble while trying to deploy or re-sheath a fixed blade? Even one is too many. As you can imagine, seconds in a self defense scenario can mean life or death. We side with life and, to do that, we design our sheaths with extreme intentionality and precision. The goal is to minimize hang-ups, while offering a dependable draw - every single time.

Dauntless Models that may work for your Self Defense needs:

The Utility Blade Karambit (UTK)

  • Signet ring helps to keep the tool locked in your hand and give you more control, under high-stress and sweaty conditions. 
  • Reverse grip of the UTK makes it ideal for close combat.
  • Carry-ability: Due to the fact that the blade can be removed and replaced, your carry environments are almost limitless.
  • Small form factor for EDC.

The Hiker Pikal

  • Tried and true reverse grip of the Pikal makes it ideal for close combat, slashing movements.
  • Highly textured handle scales prevent the tool from slipping.
  • Lightweight for EDC.

The Dogbone by Matt Helm

  • Do-it-all blade shape that can puncture and slice. 
  • Highly textured handle scales prevent the tool from slipping.
  • Handle design allows for comfort and control in multiple grip styles.
  • Lightweight for EDC.
  • Also offered in a Trainer Blade.

Practice, practice, practice.

If you're not practicing, you're losing. If you're not practicing your draw stroke, grip, movement, striking... it won't matter how cool your Self Defense Knife is. Training is cool. We're not advocating you practice knife tactics at your local in-store retailer. What we recommend is picking up a trainer, like the Matt Helm Dogbone Trainer, so you can get your reps in without the risk of accidentally injuring yourself or your poor wife that you made stand their as a "fake threat." The draw stroke, sheath retention, grip and proportions are almost identical to the live blade. But the key is to train more than just the first week that you get your new trainer. Make time in the mornings, while getting dressed, to get a few reps in so that it slowly becomes muscle memory.

Location, Location, Location.

Where you carry a Self Defense Knife (or tool) is equally as important as what you carry. As we mentioned, seconds can mean the difference. There are a few variables that you should consider before deciding what the best location is for mounting/carrying your blade. 

  • Blade Type (Pikal, Karambit, Standard)
  • Body Type
  • Support or Primary Hand Preference 
  • Most Commonly Worn Clothing / Uniform
  • Most Common Environment
  • Local Laws

We suggest catering your blade location to the following criteria. Once you have considered these bullet points, you can begin to decide where and how you prefer to mount your blade. There are a lot of great videos and products for blade mounting. What we recommend (and sell on our site) are clips from Discreet Carry Concepts. The wide variety of lengths and sizes is great but, more than that, the ease of mounting and overall versatility are the main reasons why we love using them. The one-piece construction is another bonus of this style of clip; less parts to wear out (especially if you carry every single day).

If carrying on a bag or on a chest rig makes more sense for your lifestyle, the Tek-Lok (by Blade-Tech) or the UltiLink (by UltiClip) are great options. These allow you to adjust the mounting angle of the sheath, and make it very convenient to snap on and off. 

See our Sheath page for a broader, more in-depth, look into our sheath offerings.


There is no best Self Defense Knife for everyone. There are a lot of variables to consider, and no shortcuts to becoming proficient. So, do your research and find out what will work best for you and your environment. Carry on!