Why military/butcher/slaughter/hunting knives can pierce ribcage and skull but most knives can't?

Discussion in 'General Weapons Discussion' started by Bullsherdog, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. Bullsherdog

    Bullsherdog Yellow Belt

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    I just finished reading Marc MacYoung's Writing Violence ebooks from Amazon Kindle and in his knife volume he points out most knives lack the necessary elements to puncture a rib directly or pierce most areas of the skull. Instead what you'd want to do when attacking the rib cage is to turn your knife sideways so it can slip through the bones and hit organs directly. In the case of the skull, hit his eye socket or some specific weak areas of the human head or stab from the throat if you're aiming to hit the brain fora quick kill. However he does mention an exception to the rule would me historical knives such as the dirk and military combat knives which usually have the design to stab through the bones of the ribs or through the hard parts of the skull. He also states some types of knives used in butchering meat pierces and slaughtering live animals as well as specific hunting knives can also penetrate these bony parts with a direct stab. He mentions these kinds of knives can with proper technique penetrate almost any proper bones and skeletal structure without difficulty.

    Why is this? What makes hard parts like your shoulder collar get penetrated by specific types of knives like the bowie knife? How come achieving the same results with say a dining knife be almost damned impossible?
     
  2. Rat

    Rat Master Black Belt

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    Its normally down to the purpose of the blade is how is designed. And diffrent edge types, blade thciknesses etc are better at diffrent things.


    Knives in generally are iffy against bone and pending its thickness so you want to aim for the fleshy bits as you want to cut flesh and cause bleeding etc. (in regards to stabbing, if the blade is long enough and of decent enough quality you could cut bone with it by slashing. but not as well as say going for a join to just get tendon)

    I need to read up on the diffrent designs of knife, not looked into it for a while.
     
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  3. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Combat knives, hunting knives, etc...have a thicker spine and tang which makes them stronger.

    Cutting knives like kitchen or utitly knives have a much thinner spine and lighter tang.
     
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  4. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    One time I came back from China to US. At the airport in China, I was stopped by Chinese police because I carried 8 pagoda knifes (cost me about 1 US dollar each). Those Chinese police tested my knife against the wall to see the amount of bending. They then let me get on US airplane with my 8 knifes.

    I assume there is a big difference between military knife and knife for souvenir.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    I know guys who pig hunt with boning knives and they kill pigs just fine.

    Otherwise the thinner the tip. The more likely it is to break. So military knives quite often have stouter tips.
     
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  6. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    So basically the better the shape. The better it will hold up.

    Here is a stainless steel knife getting abused.

     
  7. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Ummmm, I do not think I've ever seen a stab wound that went through the bone. But I've only been in the ER for 35 years or so, so maybe it'll happen. Knives don't go through the ribs. They go between them. I've seen a meat cleaver to the head on a few occasions, but even those rarely fully penetrate the bone. I think if you're hoping to penetrate the bone, you're going to need a fair bit of mass. And obviously that would favor the larger blades found on blades intended as weapons. It also helps if the point is in line with the midline of the blade, which is another characteristic of the fighting knife. Blades with the point out of the midrange tend to be multi-purpose knifes.
     
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  8. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Knives can go through the ribs....when that happens chances are you would have to work the coroners office to see it since you are talking about extremely violent stabbing.

    Rare but possible
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  9. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    There's a crap ton of differences between knife designs and all elements of a design goes into how effective it is at any given task.

    the shape and profile of the knife itself either lends itself to thrusting or to slashing/cutting. Some have elements of both. The poignard is definitely a thrusting knife with some cutting ability but a stiletto is more narrow and will thrust more but is not known for much cutting. A bowie knife has some thrusting, some cutting, even back-cutting but may not thrust as deeply as some others. A cinquedea has a needle point and will thrust in nicely but the deeper it thrusts, the broader the wound channel is. It can chop but doesn't slash as well as the bowie, for instance.

    There are differences on the design of the spine or central ridge too. Is it designed to be able to parry? It'll probably be more stout on the spine.

    What's the point geometry or the edge geometry? The edge geometry on a straight razor is vastly different from that of a KA-BAR. The straight razor will easily cut to the bone, but typically has a fairly fragile edge that can chip or deform with impact.

    And let's not forget the grip itself. A table knife has a different handle than a chef's knife which has a different handle from a butchering knife, which should have a different handle from a fighting knife. How it's intended to be used changes the handle, hilt, and guards (such as a cross-guard, s-guard, d-guard, or even a complex or shell guard/basket).

    And, of course, all of this is without exploring the environmental, social, and legal norms under which each fighting knife developed. The expectation of armor, heavy clothing, or bare skin changes the design of a fighting knife. A knife designed for the environment which existed in Germany during "The Little Ice Age" looks different from the fighting knives designed for use in the 18th Century Philippines because the clothing was different in each environment.

    These are both fighting knives but they look very, very different:
    [​IMG]
    [Spanish Main-Gauche]

    [​IMG]
    [Karambit]

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  10. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Hmmm, if that's really a Spanish dagger wouldn't it be a daga de mano izquierda? Or did they adopt French terminology?:eek:
     
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  11. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    OK, I admit it. I just like to messer 'round with words :p
     
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  12. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Generally, I've been told, the term is used for the style of fighting the dagger would be used in. That said, yes, period Spanish would have been pissed at me for using a French term for their weapon. Their Rapier style, La Verdadera Destreza, was unique to them as well and clearly different from the French and Italian methods.

    In the modern context, a cursory overview of Destreza often makes FMA guys go, "we do all that." Which usually leads to a discussion of Spanish influence on FMA, and vice versa. However, it's not accurate. A deeper analysis of Destreza shows a strong stylistic difference from FMA footwork. Further, the Spanish upper crust, who practiced Destreza, wouldn't have mixed with the Filipinos anyway so any cross-pollination of swordsmanship would have come from the foot soldiers and mercenaries (mostly Portuguese mercenaries, IMS), who would have used both different weapons and different systems.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
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  13. yak sao

    yak sao Senior Master

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    Nyuk nyuk
     
  14. EdwardA

    EdwardA Green Belt

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    A good knife tends to spread ribs. Ribs are flexible.

    ...but I've put mine thru old metal cars from the '60s. Years ago I had a friend that owned a neighborhood used car lot.
     
  15. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well that dampens my zombie apocalypse plan.
     
  16. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    From the sources I've seen (TWD and such), the bones of zombies are apparently pretty soft. You can just stomp them once and their head goes like an overripe melon. So don't give up your plan yet!
     
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  17. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    it's almost like different knives are designed for different purposes. Try to butcher an entire cow with a fish filet knife and you might see why there are different designs of knife blades.123
     
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