Learning how to handle a knife with skill and precision requires exactly what it takes to get good at anything in life: practice, practice, practice.

Unfortunately, too many people get the right kind of knife, but skip the training. That’s a mistake.

For those who want to walk a wiser path, practice knives and training knives are important to have and to use. Using them can improve your knife skills in a number of important ways, including building muscle memory for handling the knife and also give you more skills in how a knife can be used in situations where you have to defend yourself.

Here’s a look at how a practice knife or a training knife can improve your skills – and perhaps making a difference went the moment counts.

Practice Knives: Try Before You Buy

Even before getting into heavy practice, it’s important to handle a knife to determine whether the knife fits your needs. Is the weight right for you? Does it fit well in your hand? Are you comfortable using it in various moves?

Once you’ve picked out the right knife, you then need practice knives that will help you learn how to use it properly. The key is to have training knives that best match the edge tool you’ve decided to purchase. In fact, it’s a good idea to have different sizes of training knives so you have more options when practicing.

“This will allow the trainee to adapt to the length of the knife, balance, reaction, weight and deployment,” said Louis Krudo, owner of KRUDO Knives, one of the leading makers of tactical knives (as well as a wide array of other weapons and tactical tools).

Some of the things to consider include:

  • Anyone learning edge tool or weapon techniques should have more than one training knife or sword
  • Material in the construction of your practice knives is important and you need to decide what is best for your training. Choices for edges include steel, polymer, rubber, aluminum, G10 (a combination of glass cloth and epoxy resin), carbon fiber and wood.
  • Handle material also comes in a wide variety of choices, including paracord (short for parachute cord, used to wrap handles), plastic, rubber (typically from a tire tread), cork, cork hybrid (cork mixed with resin), aluminum and G10. Most training blades are made from aluminum and paracord-wrapped handles, according to Krudo.

Why It’s Important to Train

Having a knife without training is like having a sports car without the keys. It might look good in the driveway, but it’s a lot more useful if you know how to drive it.

Because of the prevalence of other weapons, particularly guns, the utility of a knife in a crisis situation or physical altercation has been minimized. That’s a mistake. A person with an edge weapon and the proper skill in using it can unleash a deadly defense if attacked by an opponent.

Becoming skilled at using an edge weapon will bolster you confidence if you find yourself in a situation where action is needed. And the only way to become skilled is having the proper set of training knives and to put in the time practicing with them.