All posts in tactical knives

What is a Tactical Store?

We often get asked if we are a Uniform Store, from EMS, to Fire, Police and Military.  The truth of the matter is that there are a lot of variables with what “is” a uniform.  There are primarily Class A and Class B uniforms.  I often tell people we are closer to a Class B Uniform Store because we do not do tailoring, but it really depends on what you are doing for a living.  We do have a Federal Firearms License for doing firearms transfers and many of the products we sell like Streamlight Flashlights and Surefire Flashlights have a very broad customer base.   We like to market ourselves as a Tactical Store because we are not a Gun Shop or a Class A Uniform store.   We like to sell ourselves as more of a modern Army Navy Store and we also get a lot of National Guard and Military Personnel for backpacks and hydration.

There is another market we like to cater to and that is the Emergency Services and Survival.  There are many cross overs for rescue gear, First Aid, Camping, GoRuck and Hiking.  Some of the backpacks we sell can be sold to Emergency Rescue Teams that may be deployed looking for convicted felons or even lost children.  You need hydration for several days of hiking and what you want to do in that time period is survive.  There is a stigma against words like “survivalist” but it’s really a Boy Scout mentality that is very common with responsible people and prevalent with First Responders.   We tend to change up our product line with the seasons and the weather, emergency blankets, thermal gear in the winter and hydration and long term food storage in the Summer and Fall.   There are not a lot of stores  like ours, probable 1 for every 500 gun shops in the Country but get the word out that there’s a Tactical Store here in Pennsylvania.


Colonel Blades what it’s all about

Colonel Blades are new to us and we found out about them when Al Salvitti showed up in our store with his product a few months ago.   The major selling point to these blades is they are designed for people that shoot firearms, if you have the time to take martial arts, then go right ahead, but sometimes running a pizza shop and keeping a firearm around are all you have time for, but firearms are the last resort and are often not effective if you are too close to a threat.   I’m a big fan of people having flashlights and knives on them at all times, because you’ll get more use out of them every than a firearm, but the Colonel Blades really are designed for people that don’t need a lot of training to understand.

With the supplied G-Code Sheath that clips onto your belt, these are easier to deploy than a folding knife, faster to draw and punch forward without having to train, it’s a very natural and instinctive thing to do, punch a threat.  Colonel Blades has a few different blade preferences, or options and from what we see they are all coming with a trainer.   The only negative I have gotten from customers is that you have to properly seat the blade in the holster because if you do not, it will come loose and you will find out when you cut yourself.   It’s no different than holster and re-holstering a firearm.


Are Cold Steel Knives dangerous weapons or are they useful tools?

cs_logo_whiteCold Steel KnivesI’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here, but sometimes we need to remember, that with all of the stupidity in our society, that all those dangerous looking Cold Steel knives or any other tactical knife that you see on a tactical store, or hunting store website, are probable already in just about every household in the Country but with a slightly different handle or blade.  Any knife can be used for something productive, or something destructive.  How many people keep an axe in the shed, but having a Tomahawk in your car makes you a nutjob.   If you do some research you’ll find that many of the Tomahawk or Axes that we sell are actually considered rescue tools.  Any of your leftist anti-gun friends notice that many building keep an axe on the walls of buildings, RIGHT NEXT TO THE FIRE ALARM.  Gee, I wonder why?  So you can break down a door or a wall and save your life?

I recently got back from a Boy Scout Troop meeting where 11-16yr old boys were being shown all about the types of knives and how to hold, carry and deploy them.   God Bless America!   Cold Steel Knives can be use for cutting seat belts and pulling people from burning vehicles, it happens more than you think, and that guy you see carrying a knife with him, EDC, might be the one that saves someone.   I’ve even heard of people rescuing dogs that were being strangled on leashes or even a female that pulled a blade and held off a potential rapist.    You always have to balance your EDC knife with what is legal in your State so don’t get carried away and keep it out of sight.


You can blind fold me and I’ll tell you I have a Kershaw Knife in my hand

Kershaw KnivesIt’s not always just about the blade, it’s how you are intending to deploy it and how it fits in your hand. If you can flip it open or grip it properly, then it’s not the knife for you.  Many of these tactical knives or EDC knives are very different in contour and design and its yet another one of those things many people like to see before they buy.   Kershaw seems to be at the top of the pyramid as far as quality and name recognition and they have been often known to work with other companies to build unique designs.  They are one of the top gift knives that wives or girlfriends come in our store looking for around Christmas time.

Some of the Kershaw knives we sell are are that that expensive like the Kershaw Cryo assisted knives but they have very small blades about 2.75 inch blades to a little over 3″ in relation to the size of the grips.   Nothing wrong with that but I prefer a blade like the Kershaw Ken Onion blackout with a 3.25 Blade.   To each his own but in this industry blades, handles, materials all can vary but you are going to get a lot of use out of anything made by Kershaw.  For those of that do a lot up in the mountains camping the Kershaw Camp 14″ Machete can be very useful and not something that an EDC knife can do.


CRKT Knives, The M16 Knives

M16-14SFGCRKT M16 KnivesI don’t consider Myself a knife guy, but I know enough between crap and quality.   I’m not the type to go out and drop $200 on a knife but I know there are plenty of people that do.  I have found great use for always having a good knife on me, for cutting seat belts, opening boxes, and God forbid, self defense.  I got a lot of experience working an NRA convention for the guys at GATCO or Great American Tool Company, and learned a lot about knife sharpening.   It can be very frustrating to sharpen a knife and find out a few weeks later the darn thing is dull and won’t cut through re-enforced packing tape, if that’s the kind of knife you have, you might want to increase your price range for your next buy.

I have found a winner and according to our sales data, The Columbia River Knive & Tool company makes a great selling knife for us.  The CRKT M16 Series knives come with different blades, Combo Edge, Plain Edge, Black Zytel or Titanium Nitrade.  The only negatives to this knife I’ve found are that the screws that hold the clip on will probable need locktite on them because they come loose otherwise, the only other negative about this is that if you drop it when it’s in the folded position, they can open up on their own.  On the plus side they are very easy to flip open and probable one of the best folding knives to carry even though fixed blades are for the most serious individuals.


A good utility knife is a good knife

It doesn’t matter what you spend on a knife, if it works for you you’re fine.   There are plenty of reasons to not have to spend $180 on a knife, even if it’s really sharp and holds and edge.   If you loose that knife I guarantee you’re going to cry.   Besides being able to have a good edge on it, get a good knife sharpening kit or whatever knife sharpening system you think works for your price range and use it correctly.  I’ve seen many times how people just eat up a knife and don’t sharpen them properly, and it’s basically useless once you get away from cutting through tape on boxes you got shipped in.  A butter knife can usually get the job done just because it’s hard and and blunt.  One thing I have found that people should seriously consider is a good sheath or make sure you loctite any and every screw even if it means taking it out and putting it back in.

I don’t really have a favorite knife because I use so many of them for different things, on second thought, I think my steak knife is my favorite.   We  have a large selection of tactical knivesTactical Knives, rescue knives and even SOG and Leatherman multi-tools.   Sometimes  multi-tool might be a better idea but make sure it’s something you are actually going to carry and not get something that is an over kill.   There are always elaborate ways of carrying these from neck knives, boot knives, clip on pocket or carrying in a sheath.   Different blade metals can make a huge different in durability but a knife that looses it’s edge isn’t going to be of much use for cutting.


Knife Sharpeners, Utility Knives, Warranties, and will you cry if you lose it?

Knife SharpenersKnives and flashlights are kind of in the same group when it comes to accessories.    Most people in this industry are carrying one or both of them almost all the time but depending on the job you are on, there is always a chance you are going to loose it.    Sometimes these are consider expendable and other people spending money for pouches or holders so they reduce the chances anything will be taken off of them.   Just clipping a knife to your back pocket doesn’t mean a fall down the stairs, or getting in and out of your car is going to keep it in place.   I’ve seen enough people walk in our door several days after purchasing a knife only to come back in and buy it again because they lost it.   If you take care of your stuff, and spend the money for a good knife, you are going to want to brush up on all of the knife sharpening optics especially if you have a serrated or partially serrated knife.   It can be difficult to keep that part sharp and if you have to cut through something, it makes it a lot easier to do.

I have done Filet knives, steak knives and plenty of tactical and utility knives with the Gatco 5 Stone Knife Sharpeners.   We always try to keep them in stock and have one at the counter to show some of the various features, and also how easy it is to use these.    Most people don’t pay attention to warranties in this industry and from a retail standpoint, it’s nice to be able to point people to the manufacturers website if there is a problem.    SOG Knives and Leatherman have great Warranties and always keep that in mind if you need to replace a multi-tool blade or device.  We always looking for new stuff to carry especially in the rescue and multi-tool so if you don’t see it on our website, let us know what you are looking for.


Columbia River Knife & Tool Company M16 Knives

Columbia River Knife and Tool CompanyOne of those niche products in our inventory that we always try and keep around are the CRKT or “Cricket” as some call them, M16 series knives.   We have a diverse Emergency Management customer base, some folks want the first cheap knife they can get to carry around in their pocket at work, and others are very particular about the blades they are using.  Hand size is also a factor because if you want to be effective with a knife it has to fit your hand otherwise you might not get the leverage you need while trying to cut a seat belt or rope and that isn’t a good thing if you are under stress or possible injured.   Many people in this industry are using knives for rescue and utility, far more than they are carrying them for self defense.   I’m partial to combo edged blades but not as concerned about and point like tanto ect.

I am presently carrying a M16-13Z  Carson Design which fits my hand perfectly and considering how impressed I was with the blade edge it came from the factory, and going on more than a year with heavy useage, I’ve only sharpened the knife 2 times and pretty much just for fun and not because it was getting dull.   The Columbia River Knife and Tool Company M16 series locking knives are big sellers and starting in the mid $30 range up to $100 will give you a lot of selections to consider.   A knife like this is perfect for many in our line of work but the only negatives are that you have to do a lot of practicing to get the safety on the blade and locking liner open with one hand but there are real reasons it’s a good idea to have a safety on any hard use folding knife.   The negative I found with the M16 product line are the belt clip holders screws which don’t want to stay screwed in so make sure you use lock tite on them if they happen to come loose on you.


“That’s not a knife, That’s a knife”

tactical knivesThere are plenty of products in this industry that people won’t buy online once the product hits a certain price range.  All the product descriptions in the world aren’t comprehended by most customers because they usually need a dictionary to to reference to.   The designers in the product might be mentioned or a reference to another popular knife that our customers never heard of doesn’t really help them.    Knives often displayed in glass cases show of the finish, but the majority of shoppers are going to want to know how it feels in the hand.  It’s almost in the same category as gloves.   Handles and ambidextrous features make the difference because it’s yet another left hand vs right hand piece of tactical gear that left handed people are often blackballed over and find out the product wasn’t designed for theme.

Price ranges for most of the knifes from Spyderco, Kershaw,  Emerson and Columbia River Knife & Tool in the $50-$100 price range while others like Emerson are under $200.   There are lots of people in EMS industry that just want a utility knife or tactical knives  for under $50 and there are several knifes in this price range that go out the door with them.   The Timberline SOC Knife and the all of the plain edge and comb edge Vallotton spring assisted knives.  The majority of name brand knife manufacturers have good warranties so always keep that in mind and stick with the name brands.   Knife sharpeners especially the Gatco Sharpeners can be fun to use and will make you want to go in the kitchen and get your steak knifes ready for dinner.


A very successful year in Delaware County

philadelphia police supply storesThis year was a very successful year for us in the Delaware County area in launching our tactical store and we double the size of our business in the first 6 months.  People are still finding out about us via word of mouth whenever they need a new holster, police boots or even just Ambulance companies hiring and people  needing to get a pair of pants.  Much of the product line we stock in our store is for people to checkout instead of buying it online.  Duty gear like handcuff keys and various police belts are things that people in the Law Enforcement industry lose or wear out over time and are always in need of.    Police vests, tactical pants, uniform pants, belts, hydration unites, SWAT team bags are things that are always wearing out and need to be replaced.

We’ve learned there are so many types of handcuffs, swivel and hinged doesn’t always narrow it down, some are different weights and types of metal.  The items we have brought in this year are the Safariland lightweight handcuffs and in our region there are no Philadelphia Police Supplies shops around here and many of our Law Enforcement Officers are very happy to see a business like this open up.   Tactical vests, body armor are all things people need to be sized up on and this is something that has to be done right so that there are fewer returns.   We stock a large number of Blackhawk serpa holsters, safariland products, pepper spray, mace, tasers, batons, police badge holders and more and more duty gear.

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