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KA-BAR / TDI Ankle Knife

Written by Scott Oldham

There is just something comforting about the feel of a good knife. Even for those who normally carry a firearm, the feel of a solid and functional knife is always a good thing. For police officers especially, having a good knife may be a matter of life and death.

While most officers carry some type of a folding knife, these have limitations. The folder, by its very design, is not as strong as a fixed blade. The folder is sometimes difficult to deploy depending upon what an officer is doing at the time, i.e. involved in a weapons-retention fight; the position in which an officer finds himself physically down on one side or another; or with his body contorted in an unusual angle.

In these cases, having a fixed blade knife is a literal lifesaver…the fixed blade does not need to be deployed, only drawn. That said, the open carry of a fixed blade knife is not realistic for most officers due to space limitations on the gun belt or policy (politics) limitations by their agencies. Covert carry of a fixed blade is likewise difficult because relatively few places exist on an officer’s body to adequately conceal a fixed blade knife while in uniform.

KA-BAR, in conjunction with John Benner, realized the need for a uniformed officer to carry a fixed blade knife while at the same time realizing the failure of the then-available designs to fill the need. Benner is the founder of the Tactical Defense Institute (TDI) in Ohio.

TDI and KA-BAR have designed a series of knives that are more than adequate to the task. KA-BAR’s TDI Law Enforcement knife series is a well-thought-out line of self-defense knives specifically targeted at uniformed law enforcement professionals.

While there are several knives in the series, new to the line-up is the TDI Law Enforcement Ankle Knife. The ankle has a 3.5-inch long, partially serrated blade and is carried in a unique (to the knife industry) ankle sheath. The blade is made of AUS-8 steel and is rendered in a drop-point style. The knife features a black powder coating, full tang construction and Zytel handles.

Used in conjunction with the ankle holster, which operates and functions exactly as do units designed for a handgun, the knife almost disappears underneath uniformed trousers but is quick to reach in an emergency and comfortable to wear during the daily tour of duty.

Overall, this KA-BAR knife has proved itself a worthy addition to the daily carry gear of many officers and now with the available ankle sheath will most definitely find a home with more officers who seek to carry a fixed blade knife while on duty. Available in a number of configurations and at a very reasonable price, the KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Knives are inexpensive insurance in the often cruel world of policing.

Scott Oldham is a supervisory sergeant with the Bloomington, IN Police Department where he is assigned to the Operations Division as patrol supervisor, as well as being one of the team leaders for the department’s Tactical Unit. He and his partner, Sergeant Mick Williams, provide contract instruction on a wide range of subjects, including tactical and patrol-based skills. He can be reached at oldhams@bloomington.in.gov.


Published in Tactical Response, Jan/Feb 2007

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