The purpose of this essay is to help you find a knife handle that will fit your hand by filling in the information often missing on handle dimensions in the specifications on knife maker’s website.
I often gets asked for recommendations of knives for self-defense use.This is usually easy to do, once I get the answers to these two questions:
1. What is legal for you in your area?
2. What will you be using the knife for when it is not put to self defense uses? (Which we can usually assume is the vast majority of the time.)
The one parameter that would often make this choice difficult was when I was asked to recommend a fixed blade for self defense with a blade of less than 4 inches. The problem here is that most fixed blade knives with sub 4” blades have correspondingly small handles. When you have large hands, this can be a problem.
Back in the 1970s, when I first started learning Pekiti-Tirsia knife work, Tuhon Gaje had us do many exercises to strengthen our grip. Things like doing push ups while holding our rattan sticks with the butt end braced on the floor, as well as striking and thrusting our sticks full power into a stack of car tires.
When I was a range officer for my department, we taught a different grip to the officers armed with revolvers than we did those armed with semi-autos. While the grip taught was different for revolvers and semi-autos, our preferred stance for each group was a two hand hold with the arms fully extended. We also taught one handed shooting skills. Even here, there was a difference in use depending on the distance of the attacker. You didn’t want to use the same technique at grappling range as you would at long range. In addition you would not use the same grip on a rifle or shotgun as on a handgun. The same is true in regards to knives. Different tools usually require different techniques to be used most effectively.