PDN Contributor Alessandro Padovani talks with Alex and Dino of Wander Tactical about the process behind the design of a defensive knife. Numerous examples of Wander Tactical’s tough, hard-working blades are on display. Their focus is on survival and defensive knives.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD DEFENSIVE BLADE?
Wander Tactical knives feature solid blades with ¼-inch thick steel. Many Wander knives are built of D2 steel with Micarta handles. After the shape of the blade is cut, the grinding and finishing is done. Wander focuses on overbuilding knives so they will last many years.
In a defensive knife, you want a blade that can withstand a lot of pressure and abuse. In knife defense, you need to be able to have a firm, secure grip on the handle and have a blade that will not break or chip when it encounters a solid object like a belt buckle or hip bone.
PDN members will be glad to hear that our knife expert, Alessandro, has been designing his own defensive knife in conjunction with Alex and Dino of Wander Tactical. The challenge of designing the Barracuda is that Alessandro wanted a small fixed-blade knife, while Wander Tactical knives are much larger, so they took their large-scale work and modified it to a much smaller scale. We even get a look at the first prototype Barracuda.
Alessandro talks more about the collaborative process that took them from drawings through discussions, modifications, and to the resulting prototype. Further changes are to come: They’re going to make the blade a bit thinner, enlarge the guard for safety, and bulk up the handle so it fits more hands.
The goal was to create a defensive knife that is ergonomic, efficient, and dedicated to the purpose of self-defense. Stay tuned to hear when the Barracuda will be available for purchase!
Love the Barracuda as described and most of the modifications mentioned — it absolutely does need a bit of a guard to keep your finger from slipping forward is the knife hits something solid during a thrust. I like the thick blade – it MIGHT be a bit too thick for best balance so thinning it is OK, but don’t make it much thinner. The comment about being able to sharpen the other edge in places where that is legal was good, but please offer the Barracuda already sharpened there — while I live in the state that probably has the least restrictions on knives, there really are only a few states that totally ban any hint of a double-edged knife, most customers will want to sharpen the ‘false’ edge. It is much easier for the factory to provide that service at the same time they are sharpening the main edge.