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Ka-Bar was the knife used by the United States Marine Corps in WWII.
That excellent fighting knife was just the first to be made by Ka-Bar Knives.
The TDI Law Enforcement knife is one of their more modern offerings.
Designed in collaboration with John Benner from the Tactical Defense Institute, the TDI is not your standard fighting knife.
Ka-Bar claims that the TDI is a “last option” knife.
When a police officer loses their handgun, the TDI is there to back them up.
When a criminal has wrestled a police officer to the ground, the officer will be able to draw the TDI and end the fight.
Many fighting knives are created with a pure focus on fighting. They are long and sharp, but hard to conceal.
More like a rifle than a pistol.
Ka-Bar’s TDI Law Enforcement Knife is different.
They designed it to be more like a pistol than a rifle.
It doesn’t have the same length as other fighting knives, but that’s not the point.
The point of this knife is that when your enemy thinks he has you at his mercy, disarmed and on the ground, the TDI is safely hidden on your person.
A sharp surprise that can win the fight.
- Blade Length: 2.3125″
- Overall Length: 5.625″
- Weight: 3.2 oz
- Blade Material: AUS-8A Stainless Steel
- Blade Shape: Drop point, plain or serrated
- Handle Material: Glass-reinforced Nylon
The most obvious feature of the TDI Law Enforcement Knife is the sweeping style of the handle and blade.
It lurches forward as if it is already in the process of striking at your opponent.
This curve not only aids in fighting ability but it also helps to conceal the knife.
Standard straight blades stick out, but this curve helps hide the knife.
The 2.3125″ blade has a drop point and hollow grind. The metal is AUS-8A stainless steel, which is a good knife steel.
You can buy either a straight or serrated edge, the latter of which is more effective in combat but is harder to sharpen.
The handle is made from Zytel, which is a glass-reinforced Nylon, in either black or coyote brown.
It has a pebbled texture to aid in grip along with a single groove for the forefinger.
The sheath is also designed to aid in concealment. It is small, just enough to cover the blade, and has a reversible clip.
This lets you place the sheath on the inside or outside of your belt or anything else on which you may want to clip the sheath.
What I Liked
Ka-Bar’s TDI Law Enforcement knife fits a sharp package in a small size.
Unlike many other small blades, it has a full-size handle, which makes it comfortable to wield.
The forward design of the blade is a surprisingly good design, as it allows you to strike even more naturally than with most blades.
What I Didn’t Like
The sticking point for most people tends to be the sheath.
It is decidedly okay, which is not the best situation for something you want to hide.
Also, the grip does have a texture, but it is not as grippy as similar knives.
It’s better than a stacked leather handle, but if the grip gets bloody, the handle may become slick.
Unlike some other fighting knives, Ka-Bar’s TDI is easily concealed.
This means that you can carry it with you almost wherever you may go. It’ll be good for most EDC tasks.
If your job involves fighting, this makes the TDI an even better choice.
You can carry it to complement your firearm or even another knife with little trouble.
However, if you are looking for a survival knife that could also help you fend off an attacker, you may be better served with a different blade.
The TDI gives too many concessions for concealability for it to be a good choice in the woods.
If, like some people, you do not like the sheath, there are replacements available.
Or you can modify it with a Dremel to make it even more concealable. Ah, the joys of power tools.
Concealability: 5/5. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more concealable fixed-blade fighting knife.
Durability: 4/5. The AUS-8A steel holds a good edge and the Zytel handle means this knife can survive what you put it up against.
Fighting Ability: 3.5/5. This knife is designed for close-combat fighting when guns are a bad idea. But it is more of a backup knife, and so doesn’t have the longest range.
Utility: 3/5. It’ll do normal knife things like cut through tape (be careful about using it to cut through bureaucratic tape), but it isn’t designed for utility work. For example, this knife would not be good for batoning through wood.
Overall: 3.5/5. The TDI is an excellent backup fighting knife. But that is its problem. It doesn’t have the utility or fighting ability of other knives. However, it is a great second weapon.
If you want a similar knife, but with more range, Ka-Bar has several different designs available.
One is the aptly-named TDI Law Enforcement Knife, Large.
The other is the Hinderer-designed Hell Fire, which sports a concave curve on its tanto blade.
For even more concealability, consider the TDI Shark Bite or theLast Ditch Knife. They’re both even tinier but can still ruin a bad guy’s day.