Archive for February 27th, 2008


A “Tactical Ring” does not a Kunai make…

A couple of days ago I ran across an interesting fighting knife:

Black Ronin Kunai Style Fighting Knife

Black Ronin Kunai Style fighting knife
[view full size]

Now you all know I have a thing for Japanese weapons. And the idea of a “Kunai” style fighting knife is an interesting one. Contemporary kunai designs are, in fact, very close in aesthetic to the original Shangai knife upon which the infamous Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife is based. The Shangai knife had a short, pointy blade with a somewhat wide base. Kunai were similar except with a really wide blade. They also lacked sharp edges, but they weren’t really intended to be knives to begin with, so edges were unnecessary.

However, while it all sounds good in theory, traditional kunai design is not really fighting knife material. Seriously. The kunai evolved from a garden trowel. A workable weapon? Yes. Ultimate fighting knife material? Meh. Not so much, imho. Which is probably why this knife here has some rather interesting weaknesses.

Like for instance, the blade profile. Kunai have wide bases and sharp points. good for parrying, and thrusting. Not so good for slashing. The FS knife design solves that be having a relatively narrow blade across it’s length as well as a sharp point. This knife has… Errm… a belly? Yeah. Right. Good for slashing (and skinning unwary prey…) Not so good for thrusting. Even with that cool fake rear edge. Or the admittedly cool curve to the black cord wrapped grip. Or the spine cut outs that don’t look like they are particularly useful…

And then there’s that humongous ring. Yes, yes, we get it. It’s a “Tactical”, “Kunai style” ring. Looky here ppl. The kunai was a garden trowel. It’s primary feature was a leaf like blade shape. Not a ring. Seriously. In fact, some kunai didn’t even have a ring because the ring was a little more work to make. Honestly. How many garden trowels do you see today with huge rings like that? Eh? Pfft…

Now I think the folks that are marketing this thing were probably more interested in trying to squeeze as many cool Japanese terms as possible into the name, rather than actually duplicate any kind of specific functionality (Black Ronin Kunai? What is this supposed to be the weapon of a rogue samurai turned ninja? LOL… whut? Helloooo!! No…)

But by and large, while the design might work (in a pinch) for fighting duty, personally, I’d probably use this as a camp knife first… I’m just saying…

Black Ronin Kunai Style Fighting Knife – [True Swords]

February 2008

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