Opening a Knife with Your Wrist

Originally posted by Sharp Phil
Almost any locking folding knife can be opened without the use of a thumb stud, thumb hole, or other opening tool if you know how to perform a simple wrist-snap. I took the time to do a write-up on this, with pictures.

Very interesting. I do this a little different - though it's the same basic principle.

I start in the same position, then drop my wrist sharply through a short counter clockwise arc (like I'm drawing the smile on a smiley-face), and I end with a short upward flick. The "smiley-face" arc starts the blade opening and the upward flick locks it in place.

I'm going to have to play with your method some, though, and see if one is more reliable than the other.

I've seen this done. It's easier with some knives than others (though one can always loosen the screw).
I found out that if the knife can be opened with a wrist jerk, then it can be opened with the thumb pressing it on the side.

The advantage of this is that your oppenant wont see a jerking movement before the knife is open.

Some knifes cann't be opened with the thumb, but usally it's the same knifes that can't be opened with the wrist.

Virtually any locking folder can be opened with a wrist snap -- it's just a question of practicing and performing the snap with a lot of power. "Wiping" the blade with your thumb does work in some cases, but carries with it a great deal of risk (unless the knife is very loose closed) because you could easily cut your thumb if it doesn't go smoothly the first time.
I would say that it's technique to use the thumb, but of course it depends on the knife, like everything else.

The few knifes I've owned I havn't had any problems with opening them with my thumb, just a matter of praticing correctly, so , as you stated, dont cut your thumb.

I have been practicing this type of opening for a long time now. I first learned about it on Mike Janich's tape on fighting folders.

However, I have to say that I have abandoned it in terms of a practical means of opening a knife in preperation for combat.

The problem is in fine motor control. You have to have a firm grasp of the knife as well as a flexible wrist. If you have both tight, you can not generate the torque. If you are not strong enough on the blade, it goes flying.

The thing is, under the stress of adrenaline, fine motor skills like this are the first things to go flying out the window, probably followed by your knife.

I have spent countless hours while watching tv opening a drone version of the Spyderco I carry. Yet, when I tried it a little typsy, I could not pull it off. The same went for trying it after I had done enough push ups to make my arms want to fall off. I was able to pull it off when my arms were ready to freeze in winter. However, my tests show that with even just a little loss of motor control, the skills were just no doable. I expect my motor skills to be even worse should some thug corner me and announce his intention to kill me.

I think I am going to reccomend against practicing and relying on this until I hear a story of someone able to pull it off under a real situation and not just the training I have gone through.

Anyone know of any cases? There has got to be something out there on the subject. Or is this just not well known enough for someone to have been able to try it in combat?
That's a good point, Don. I think it's useful to know for a variety of reasons, but obviously knowing how to do it doesn't mean one has to rely on it (and, based on your comments, one probably should not).
In my experience, this move is best used when you have a point heavy knife. I can and have pulled it off under stress. One advantage is when the creep coming at me saw the blade pop out, he suddenly remembered he had an appointment somewhere else.

One thing you should do is practice this move with at least three varied follow ups. If you always practice it followed by a thrust, then you will do that when you try it on the street- even if it is best to make the other guy back off. So practice the move with at least three different follow ups so you do not fall into a pattern.

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