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Building an Arsenal of Edged Weapons for Utility and Self Defense

Few things are more useful than edged weapons.  The utility and value of edged weaponry in a survival or critical self-defense situation is second to none.  The key to best benefit from this utility is to be able to build a portfolio of edged weapons and learn to care for them and to understand how to use them.

*Key Point: Don’t forget how many people could be with you in a typical scenario.  If you plan on having a family of four, or six different adults, plan accordingly to help members of the group to get familiar with, and have adequate access to enough edged weapons/utility-edged equipment.

This isn’t about putting yourself in harm’s way to prove you have what it takes to survive with a knife.  This is about understanding how to best use these pieces of equipment to help become self sufficient and further the goals in time of need.

What comprises an arsenal of edged weapons?

  • An axe capable of cutting down sizable trees
  • A high-quality hand saw
  • A large machete and heavy cleaving knives/short swords
  • A heavy-bladed survival/tactical/hunting knife
  • Several folding knives
  • Several utility blades (think drywall knives)
  • A high quality chef’s Knife
  • A high quality paring knife
  • A steel
  • A set of high quality stones/sharpening equipment
  • If you are feeling adventurous and have the commitment and time to learn how to use one: a high quality sword.

This set of edged weapons should really be looked to as a minimum setup, though it may seem excessive.  In daily use, we see these items taken for granted as we don’t realize how much usage they truly receive.  It’s about being self-sufficient and not having to waste time while in a scenario of survival.

Axe: An extremely versatile item, the axe can be used to hack down trees, or as a last-ditch effort to hack down threats.  Essentially though, it’s an item to help you build up and to tear down.  Its primary usage is to help get into places or to fortify your compound.

High-Quality Hand Saw: Ideally, a well thought out solar/wind/hydro or other alternative energy-generation plan will provide you with power tools, but a hand saw is there when a bushing or a bearing fails, when your energy system isn’t complete before its usage, or when you need to be able to carry things with you into the field.

Machete and Heavy Cleaving Knives/Short Swords: These help with utilitarian jobs around the property and can also function as a defensive weapon.  The main use is to clear debris and foliage, but they allow you to provide cheap extra reinforcements to your arsenal of edged weapons.  A super high-quality machete might cost $30.

Heavy-Bladed Survival/Tactical/Hunting Knife: A fighting knife for when you are on your own turf, a utility hunting knife in the field, and something that lets people know not to challenge you.  Simply, this item has a use in every scenario you could possibly find yourself in while trying to be fully self-sufficient.  It is a no brainer.

Folding Knives: These things will get you out of a weird situation more often than not.  Fishing, camping, cooking—it can’t do anything extremely well, but it can do a lot of things relatively well. Two per person to start, as you can never really have enough around.

Utility Blades: These will get you out of jams in construction, daily projects, and can even serve as a last-ditch weapon.  If you don’t have at least three of these $5 knives, and 100 extra blades, then you are not preparing for even a mild survival situation.  These knives can make the difference in completing a task within a reasonable amount of time and not completing it at all.

High-Quality Chef’s Knife: Look for super high quality and splurge for a good brand with a great metal.  A chef’s knife will help out in prepping all that food from your garden and from that deer you just shot.  It’s an absolute essential, so don’t skimp. Take the time to research and take the money to buy a real quality piece. A Shun brand 10” chef’s knife will give you all the versatility you will need, plus it will be light and thin enough that your older children or spouse can handle it as well.

High-Quality Paring Knife: This will do everything that your chef’s knife won’t. It’s a workhorse in the kitchen and can’t be beat for small jobs.  A high-quality version will yield excellent results. Only opt for ceramic if you plan in buying a backup: ceramic is too brittle and too inconsistent to serve as a one-knife choice.

Steel Sharpening Rod and a Set of High-Quality Stones: Get these to keep your knives in great condition.  Remember this is not an easy task: learn your stones and how to use them.  Your knives are only useful if they still cut.

Sword: It’s mostly a longer-range hand-to-hand weapon.  There are very few uses for a sword outside of trying to kill people or defend against attackers.  It is simply there to strike fear into the opposition and to provide some distance in hand-to-hand close-quarter combat.

Assembling an arsenal of edged weapons is certainly more than just for protection: it’s a move towards utility, efficiency, and value.  Do not underestimate the need for training and practice with your new tools, and don’t skimp on quality.  Remember to buy high-quality metals so you can have the best blades, and learn how to sharpen them.  The single best way to extract value out of your self-defense budget is to buy utilitarian knives and learn how to extend their useful lives.  It is equally important to understand how to use a knife as it is to understand gun usage.  Training and knowing your limitations will be important in the process of building an effective arsenal.

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