Blade Length to usage

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Blade Length to usage

Postby BRAM » Thu Feb 14, 2002 11:29 pm

Some have asked me why blades are a certain I prefer a certain length and what's a basic rule of usage..
so here goes..
the length of a blade is of course very personal..Some are too short,,just right or too long for an individuals personal tast..and theres no accounting nor changing personal taste..
Lets look @ usage.
A long blade like a sword..let's say 36- 41 inches long is not an extension of one's arms..Its got a life all it's own. It has to be moved according to the space needed..One can't make it move as we wish it to..It has to be used in a certain plane of motion..It;s too long to directly relate to one's arms..Don't think so? Go try it. Your arm moves and then the steel responds..OR you have to start the steel to get it up to speed of the arm..
24..26-30 inches of length..Ok now we're at a size that the tool is an extension of one's arms..As you ARM moves so does the tool.
Anyone who does Filipino stick understands this one..A person accustomed to a Bolo or machete also understands that use of the arm directly affects the use and motion of the tool...
7" to 14 " blade size..Well now we're at an extension of the hand..The tool directly reflects WHAT the hand does..Its still OUT THERE but its a long hand..
4"..or less well now it IS the motion of one's hand..its not an extension @ all.. Its basically like another finger but of steel.

With this in mind theres the reality of what one can carry..Society decide this through man's laws and accepted practices.. At certain times in history certain blades were in fashion even if they were frowned on by the authorities. Some were acceptable by law but frowned on by society..
Today we have both BUT the laws are varied and confusing..
Personally I'd carry a 7" blade IF I COULD.. I can't so I don't but the 7" blade feels right to me..
It echos the motion of my hand..its just long enough to be an extension but small enough to mimick my motions..
and 7" of proper steel cuts like a charm..
Real time I carry under Three inches..
This is perfect for in your face self-defense for whatever my hand does, so does the tool..

things to think ON!!!
Be safe
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Blade Length to usage

Postby RACastanet » Fri Feb 15, 2002 2:20 am

Nice topic. Here in Virginia a blade under 3" is considered a tool. The test for length is to fold a one dollar bill in half and if it covers the blade you have a tool that may be carried in any fashion. Spyderco conveniently make a whole series of knives with 2 7/8" blades, my favorite being the Delica.

The law is not specific on length beyond that but clip on folders up to but not 4" can be carried without any concern.

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Blade Length to usage

Postby Van Canna » Fri Feb 15, 2002 2:29 am

David mentioned that there is new law in Massachusetts regarding blade lenght..shorter blade , that is.

David..can you elaborate?

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Blade Length to usage

Postby BRAM » Fri Feb 15, 2002 5:39 am

In Boston and a couple of other cities its now a 2.5 inch length..
So several of the new Spydercos..including my new TUSOK;( mini Gunting) will be UNDER 2.5 inches in Blade length..
The Gunting by the way is 2 7/8ths...I required the design to be UNDER Three inches..

But atually this stuff is almost a new topic..

The cool thing of small blades is that no matter what your basic EDC project or job a tool of less than three inches is truly a part of your hand!
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Blade Length to usage

Postby student » Fri Feb 15, 2002 12:13 pm


Either I keep missing it when rereading the post or it wasn't translated there.

These days the former is actually more likely....


BTW: Bram, please notify me when the mini-Gunting is available! There is a post on BladeForuns Practical Tactical right now comparing JAK's Stingers vs. kubotans/palmsticks/yawara sticks. I mentioned that the Gunting operated like both, with the option for lethal force, but I found it awkward for my small hand.

(The drone, of course. I'm not stupid....)

[This message has been edited by student (edited February 15, 2002).]
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Blade Length to usage

Postby SKS » Fri Feb 15, 2002 10:15 pm


Hope this helps.

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Blade Length to usage

Postby Scorpius711 » Fri Feb 22, 2002 2:12 am

In a folder for my average size hands, a four inch blade feels just right. I have handled larger folders but then you just have too much handle sticking out. I do own two 2.5 inch folders(Harpy&Merlin), for more discrete carry and for when local laws require it. But they definetly don't fill my hand, or don't deploy as easily my 4 inch folders(Matarich,Camilus Claw. Plus the extra length though not a lot gives you more confidence. The Gunting answers most of these problems, I just wish it had a curved blade, like the Mini-Gunting. Or more belly, and a postive blade cant, like my Spyderco Military.

Just my 2ct's.

[This message has been edited by Scorpius711 (edited February 21, 2002).]
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Blade Length to usage

Postby inocallashir2 » Sat Mar 02, 2002 5:16 am

Thanks Bram for letting me know about your forum. I'd been busy here in Vancouver with my Arnis TV and FMA association. I also now run a full time Arnis school here in Vancouver, Canada. Let me know if you will be back in this are again soon. Shishir Inocalla
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Blade Length to usage

Postby Alan K » Mon Mar 18, 2002 8:14 pm

I have just come across this post and the question of blade length limitations in the states.

One reference concerned Massachusetts and the post related to David stating that Massachusetts law limited blade length to less than three inches.

I covered this subject matter in a post some time ago in these forums in Martial Arts and the Lsw. The article dealth with the Massachusetts dangerous weapons statute ( which is recent as far as law is concerned), which statutes cover most of our MA weapons, as well as knives.

Here is the post:

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269 Section 10 deals with the carrying of dangerous weapons. The first part deals with licensing and carrying of firearms.

The section quoted hereunder deals with other dangerous weapons.

I published this statute several months ago on this forum, but because of what appears to me to be a great interest in the use of martial arts weapons in tournaments, seminars, summer camps and the like that go right on until at least the fall of each year

Knowledge of this section is a must for martial artists because it deals with many of our classical weapons which are harmlessly used in the dojo or carried in vehicles enroute to the dojo, dojang, kwoon, or what have you. The penalties are severe. Our weapons were attacked in the Bruce Lee era in the early 1970’s, because the popular MA movies had kids in the street going bonkers with some of the weapons, and principally nunchaku (defined below in the statute for readers who are not familiar with this weapon).

Subsection (b) provides: “whoever, except as provided by law, carries on his person, or carries on his person or under his control in a vehicle, any stiletto, dagger or device or case which enables a knife with a locking blade to be drawn at a locked position, any ballistic knife or any knife with a detachable blade capable of being propelled by any mechanism, dirk knife, any knife having a double-edged blade, or a switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release devise by which the blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches, or a slung shot, blowgun, blackjack, metallic knuckles or knuckles of any substance which could be put to the same use with the same or similar effect as metallic knuckles, nunchaku, zoobow, also known as klackers or kung fu sticks, or any similar weapon consisting of two sticks of wood, plastic or metal connected at one end by a length of rope, chain, wire, leather, a shuriken or any similar pointed starlike object intended to injure a person, when thrown, or any armband, made with leather which as metallic spikes, points or studs or any similar devise made from any other substance or a cestus or similar material weighted with metal or other substance and worn on the hand, or a manrikigusari or similar length of chain having weighted ends; or whoever, when arrested upon a warrant for an alleged crime, or when arrested while committing a breach or disturbance of the public peace, is armed or has on his person, or on his person or under control in a vehicle, a billy or other dangerous weapon other than those mentioned and those mentioned in paragraph (a) shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than two and one-half years nor more than five years in the state prison, or for not less than six months nor more than two and one half years in a jail house or house of correction, except that, if the court finds that the defendant has not been previously convicted of a felony, he may be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years in a jail or house of correction.”

Note: the paragraph (a) mentioned above requiring a mandatory two and one half year sentence is for firearms carrying crimes, which section is not copied in this report.

The blade restriction mentioned above related to weapons which had automatic release factors, and here is the only reference to blade length that I can find:

"or any knife having an automatic spring release devise by which the blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches"

There used to be a popular belief in this state there was a law limiting blade length to three inches. I never found such a law, and to my knowledge the above language is current.

If David or any other reader has other information about this subject (as to Massachusetts law) please respond with the citation of the act or regulation.

Respectfully submitted,

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Blade Length to usage

Postby gmattson » Mon Mar 18, 2002 9:26 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
"or any knife having an automatic spring release devise by which the blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches"

Is there somewhere in the law that mentions a blade length for knives not falling into the "automatice spring release"?

Does anyone know the law in other states?

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Postby I. Woolley » Fri May 30, 2003 3:57 pm

well I cant recall the blade length of knives but i do know that you can legaly carry a bladed weapon that is knot a knife ie a sword as long as it is over 24 inches total

About hte length of a blade 36 41 in would be used with two hands at least some of the time and so it can become an extenstion og your body.
My boot your head. Do I need to make the conection?
-Yours truely

"'People will lie to you. Yours eyes will deceive you. Steel never lies, nor deceives, nor hides bitter reality. In the sword, you can find truth'- from Kakita's the Sword"
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Blade Length

Postby Tim Kashino » Fri Jun 06, 2003 3:16 am

Hello to All,
Blade length is often subjetive, depending on who you are dealing with.
I had a Mini Leatherman that I carried it had a 1.25 inch blade and a small
pair of scissors. No big deal right? Well there was one time I needed to
enter the INS building in Buffalo, NY, I pulled it out of my pocket and
placed it in the tray for the rent-a-cop to inspect. He stated that he would
not allow me to enter the facilty with it. In my mind I could do more
damage to a human body with my car key than I could with that tool.
When I asked him if I could take my keys with me he gave me that deer
in the headlights look.
Some (not all) LEOs have the mentality that any tool has the potential
to be used as a weapon, but there is no fine line between protecting one's
self (and the public) and trifling over minutia. Regardless of local laws and
blade length, if you are going to carry a blade be prepared to deal with the
ramifications of carrying whatever it is, as there are those triffling types that
turn into Barney Fife the minute they see anything resembling "a weapon".

Tim Kashino
PO1, US Navy
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Federal employees cannot carry knives,except.....

Postby Halford » Fri Aug 29, 2003 2:07 am

:D Knives used by Federal Employees, such as, postal workers, have to be one inch or less as concerns blade some cases the 3 inch rule does not apply and certainly not the 6-inch ones. Maintenance personnel can carry knives,and related implements. Scissors and box cutters,etc. are also restricted and considered by postal officials as "dangerous". And, I might add, just try carrying nail-clippers and under three-inch blades aboard airplanes,etc. Well, go the website and see what things are confiscated. I can't recall the address but it pops up on msn and aol,etc. from time to time. Nevertheless, a toothpick, a chop stick, and the old-fashioned match boxes could be lethal in the hands of experts.The belt buckle and its parts can also be deadly. Thanks for your time. Halford at
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