Proper Knife Carry

By Todd Rassa, Adjunct Instructor, SIG SAUER Academy

Glock 19X in We The People holster with Spyderco Native knife,, as an EDC kit.
Proper Knife Carry

EXETER, NH –-( Most armed professionals and responsibly armed citizens not only carry a firearm but also a folding knife these days.

In a moment of honesty, we would acknowledge that not only do we carry our knife(s) as a utility tool but also as a secondary defensive tool – a back-up to our firearm.

With this in mind, we should re-visit where we carry the knife on our person. The purpose of this evaluation is not only to ensure we are maximizing our abilities to use it as a backup, but also to look at how much we are displaying our knife to the public.

I have noticed that the majority of people who carry both a firearm and a knife are carrying their “tactical folder” clipped into their strong side pocket.

By doing so, we are significantly increasing the risk of hampering —if not eliminating— our ability to access the knife in the case of a gun grab. No matter what direction the gun grab may originate, our first reaction is to clamp down on the attacker’s hand with our dominant weapon side hand.

Our only thought is, “We must not allow the attacker to gain control of our firearm!”

Once our brain processes the situation, we will engage in some action to remove the attacker from our firearm using our other hand, feet, mouth, etc. If none of these work we want to transition to our backup self-defense tool.

But here’s the issue…if the knife is clipped into the strong side pocket and our strongest hand is clamped down on the attacker’s hand or hands, we will be forced to reach across our body in the middle of a struggle to forcibly remove the knife from our pocket. What if we are on the ground and possibly using the ground to assist us in pinning and retaining the firearm? In this case, a knife withdrawal from a strong side pocket will be difficult, if not impossible!

I suggest you carry your knife to the center of the body. Whether near the belt buckle or around the neck and hanging from a necklace sheath, a “body center” carry position is accessible by either hand. This would be very beneficial in the situation described above, and it would still be easily accessible for utility purposes. A body center carry position would also increase our knife concealment as the clip would be covered by a belt or a shirt.

If you take my suggestion into consideration, please understand that you must practice retrieving the knife with your support hand! In my Defensive Knife and Pistol course, retrieval and many other knife and pistol tactics are taught so you can safely and simultaneously handle both a knife and a firearm efficiently and effectively.

About SIG SAUER, Inc.

SIG SAUER, Inc. is the largest member of a worldwide business group of firearms manufacturers that includes J.P. Sauer & Sohn and Blaser GmbH in Germany and Swiss Arms AG in Switzerland. This global network of companies gives SIG SAUER a world-class firearms knowledge base, unparalleled design expertise, and extensive manufacturing capacity, enabling the company to respond quickly and effectively to changing market conditions and the needs of its military, law enforcement, and commercial markets worldwide. SIG SAUER is an ISO 9001: 2000 certified company with over 370 employees. For more information on SIG SAUER or any of its products, or the SIG SAUER Academy, log on to


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I agree with the author. I carry my non folding knife on the left behind 2 spare mags. When I reach for a mad and their are no more then it's knife time. If someone tries a gun grab my natural instenct is to hold on with the strong hand then draw the knife with cutting edge forward to slice what ever is with in reach while turning the body while holding the attackers hand tight and hopefully breaking some of those small bones in the wrist. A solution is to where your firearm for cross draw and weak hand… Read more »

Robert Krawiec

Whether or not you have a CCW permit, a folding knife should be mandatory. If you think a knife will do after emptying your sidearm, you need a 2nd sidearm. Fastest reload is a second gun.

Grant Vlasak

I’m not sure what the value is of teaching to put another weapon in your weak hand. It seems to limit what you can do with that hand, and it introduces another weapon to the activity that could be used against you. It seems if one person’s going for your gun, now an accomplice may be using both his hands to grab the knife you hold in one; and, oh – now he’s got the knife. Wouldn’t it be best to kick and punch to break some distance from your would-be gun-grabber – and have the ‘free’ hand available to… Read more »


I carry my knife clipped to my strongside pocket as described. If an attacker grabs my gun hand, I'll let go of the gun – by that time it will be empty anyway. The attacker will have already survived a minimum of 10 center-mass .40 cal personal protection rounds (if I haven't reloaded), and the pistol at that point is a paperweight.


This could be a valid point if you carry OWB like you are or most instructors/officers/military do, but most civilians that carry do so with IWB for concealed carry. In this instance the defender would not present arms till ready to use so the attacker should really never know they have a CCW. Also with IWB you don't have the holster on the outside covering your access to your draw side pocket. Just an observation.