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Security Pro USA

Protecting Your People

June 20, 2017
Posted By Scott
How to Choose the Perfect Tactical Knife

How to Choose the Perfect Tactical Knife

As a young kid that growing up in rural Tennessee, I took my first job at a hunting store, and since then I have always had an interest in knives. However when I first started collecting, it was an uncommon sight to see a police officer carrying a tactical knife, a lot of them carried them however they were more akin to a tiny Swiss Army Knife than a full blown military knife. Today it’s a much different story; almost every officer carries a tactical blade that is visibly clipped to the pocket of their duty pants. As the demand for every day carry (EDC) knives within the law enforcement and military community has grown so did the availability of “tactical” or “duty” blades. The problem with this is that just because the manufacturer labels a knife “tactical” does not mean it is actually suitable for duty or every day carry (EDC). So without further ado we have provided a list of qualities to look for when choosing a tactical knife that is right for you.

Choosing a Tactical Knife: Size Matters

Tactical Knives come in a variety of shape, sizes and colors from tiny 2″ California legal automatics or folders that you can drop in a small pants pocket to mammoth 2’ Bowie knives you need a cart to carry around. For most, a folding knife with a 3.5" – 4.5″ blade and 7" – 9″ overall length will suit your needs. Any smaller and you run the risk breaking it on even ordinary tasks or not having enough surface area to cut. Any bigger and you will find it too cumbersome to carry on an every day basis. However if you are a civilian depending on the state knives with 3.00” - 3.75”inch blades may be legally mandated or better suited for every day carry.

Choosing a Tactical Knife: Design

Knife design really comes down to a matter of preference however I would highly recommend that you go with an EDC blade that has a comfortable thumb stud and locking mechanism as well as a sturdy pocket clip. A thumb stud can make a world of difference when trying to your knife with one hand while under duress. While a sturdy pocket clip allows you to easily and comfortably carry and deploy the knife without using a cumbersome or bulky sheath. They also allow you to carry the same knife in the same location in and out of uniform. Especially for those using a tactical knife in the line of duty, your knife needs to work and fit properly, which is why a lot of experts recommend opening, closing and using the knife to cut a piece of paper or cardboard before adding it to your everyday duty gear.

Choosing a Tactical Knife: Blade Edge & Knife Type

Another important factor to keep in mind when choosing a knife is choosing the type of blade and edge for your tactical knife as they come in a variety of different configurations which we will explain for you. Plain edge blades that are one continuous sharp edge — are far more traditional. They serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is what most of us think of when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. Another key advantage of a plain edge is that it doesn't snag or fray when cutting through some ropes, though with other ropes, particularly ones made of plastics or other synthetic materials, the blade may simply slip instead of cut. A plain edge cuts cleanly. Serrated edges (also referred to as Combo) have some kind of toothed or saw-like edge ground into on the cutting surface. These are intended to be used much like a small saw, with a back and forth motion. They're great for cutting through belts and ropes, fabric, and various other textured materials. Serrated blades also work great on substances that are soft and flexible. Knives with serrated edges are not without their downsides however; when the blade dulls it's much more difficult to sharpen and often requires sending the blade back to the manufacturer to get it repaired especially if the sharpening is long overdue. In addition a serrated blade does not cut as cleanly as a plain edge knife.

Choosing a Tactical Knife: Blade & Handle Material

The most expensive blades found in knives are typically Damascus steel which is known for its unique pattern and appearance. However Damascus steel is cost prohibitive and typically geared more towards collectors than those in the Law Enforcement or Military. Instead, most well-known knife makers utilize AUS8 steel which has long been known for its durability and ease of sharpening. However please note that all AUS8 steel is the same so I would recommend buying from trusted brands such as SecPro, Benchmade, Kershaw, Kai Zero Tolerance and Gerber. Other common types of knife or tool steel are 14C28N, S30V, D2 and 440C. The casing and grip should be made of a composite material to prevent cracking or shrinking, and include a checkered pattern for improved retention when wet. I have tried a few models that used a rubber-like material for improved comfort but found that over time, they tend to dry and crack which often renders them useless.

Choosing a Tactical Knife: Blade Edge & Knife Type

Another important factor to keep in mind when choosing a knife is choosing the type of blade and edge for your tactical knife as they come in a variety of different configurations. Plain edge blades that are one continuous sharp edge — are far more traditional. They serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is what most of us think of when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. Another key advantage of a plain edge is that it doesn't snag or fray when cutting through some ropes, though with other ropes, particularly ones made of plastics or other synthetic materials, the blade may simply slip instead of cut. A plain edge cuts cleanly. Serrated edges (also referred to as Combo) have some kind of toothed or saw-like edge ground into on the cutting surface. These are intended to be used much like a small saw, with a back and forth motion. They're great for cutting through belts and ropes, fabric, and various other textured materials. Serrated blades also work great on substances that are soft and flexible. Knives with serrated edges are not without their downsides however; when the blade dulls it's much more difficult to sharpen and often requires sending the blade back to the manufacturer to get it repaired especially if the sharpening is long overdue. In addition a serrated blade does not cut as cleanly as a plain edge knife. In addition to the type of edge, the type of blade is also a factor to consider when purchasing an army or military knife as each has its own pros and cons. The most common types of blades found in tactical knives are as follows: Drop Point, Tanto, Clip Point, Dagger Point (also known as Needle Point) & Spear Point. In order to lessen the confusion we at Security Pro USA have broken down the advantages and disadvantages of each knife.

Clip Point

One of the most popular knife shapes in use today, the Clip-Point Blade can be identified by the back edge of the knife that runs straight from the handle & stops about halfway up the knife. It then turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area can be straight or curved, and is referred to as the "clip". The clip point is used on many >fixed blade knives pocket knives. Pros:
  • Very sharp and controllable knife point, reduces drag and withdrawal times during piercing or stabbing actions
  • Large surface area for slicing
Cons
  • Tip of knife is narrow and can be broken easily if direct pressure is applied

Drop Point

One of the most common blade shapes in use today, the drop point blade is a well-rounded blade with very view weaknesses. The main feature of it is that the back edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner. The drop point is most commonly used on hunting knives because of the controllable point which allows the user avoid internal organs and large blade area which makes it ideal for slicing Pros:
  • Strong knife point that can be easily controlled
  • Large amount of cutting edge (also known as the “belly”) makes the item great for slicing
Cons
  • Point is not as sharp as other knives such as a spear-point, making it less suitable for piercing

Tanto

The tanto blade has a high point with a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong point. The front edge of the tanto knife meets the back (unsharpened) edge at an angle, rather than a curve. The tanto blade does not have a belly, which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip, so it is not useful as a general utility knife. However, it's extremely strong point allows it to be used in tough situations where piercing hard materials is needed. Pros:
  • Extremely strong point
  • Great for piercing hard materials
Cons
  • Lacks a cutting edge for slicing
  • Hard to control point

Dagger Point (or Needle Point)

A Dagger Point or Needle Point blade is a double-edged blade designed primarily for stabbing or thrusting. It has two sharp edges which reduce the profile and let the knife cut in on both sides. Daggers are primarily used for self-defense in close combat situations. Read more about  needle point blades. Pros:
  • Very thin and sharp point provides the ultimate in piercing soft targets
Cons
  • Weak point that can break on hard targets
  • No cutting edge limits ability to slice

Spear Point

spear point blade is identified by a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade's long axis. They can have either a single or a double edge. Although the tip is only sharp if both edges are sharpened. A spear point provides a very strong tip and is often used in throwing knives or other daggers. Pros
  • Strong point allows blade to be easily controlled
  • Sharp point (if double edged)
Cons
  • Small cutting area impairs ability to slice

Choosing a Tactical Knife: Grip & Fit of the Handle

The most important feature for any knife is also . It should be well balanced, not too heavy in either the grip or blade. The grip shape should also fit comfortably in your hand without sharp edges or pinch points. Finally, I avoid molded finger grooves as in my experience they fit poorly when the grip is reversed they also provide pinch points. In Closing: choosing a tactical knife that is right for you is a highly personal decision. Hopefully these tips help you pick the knife that is right for you. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the opinion of the writer and do not reflect the policies of this website or organization.
December 12, 2016
Posted By Scott
How Prepared is Your Family?
There is no time like the present to take an inventory of your emergency preparedness kit. As summer gives way to fall, it's the perfect time to take an assessment of your survival tools, that is if you have any. Each car and home should be stocked with basic emergency preparedness supplies. Depending on where you live and the propensity to natural disasters in your area, stocking up on survival supplies is a must. Whether it's an earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane or terrorist attack, communities, organizations, families, and individuals should have a supply of emergency survival must haves in addition to a well documented and practiced emergency plan. Emergency preparedness planning minimizes anxiety and reduces unnecessary confusion and chaos that can occur when emergencies and disasters strike. The proper planning can help with evacuations. In addition homes, cars and offices should be stocked with survival kits that cover the entire family for a 72 hour period of time. Having food and water supplies is critical. Basic medical care should be reviewed as well as identifying the location of first aid kits and medical supplies.
December 12, 2016
Posted By Scott
Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act
Did you know the Department of Justice has a Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program? The Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP), created by the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act of 1998 allows federal funds to be used to defray up to 50 percent of the cost of each vest purchased or replaced by local law enforcement. SecurityPro USA has a complete line of top quality bulletproof vests from military flak jackets, tactical ballistic vests, concealable vests and even civilian t-shirt vests. For more information on the BVP program, please visit https://ojp.gov/bvpbasi/
December 12, 2016
Posted By Scott
NIJ Ballistic Levels
Body armor is a critical safety piece of safety equipment that has saved the lives of thousands of people. However people who are in the market for body armor often find it difficult to assess which choice is right for them. There are a few primary factors to consider which solution will best suit their needs; threat level, heat buildup, comfort, mobility concealability and cost. Threat level or protection level is typically the biggest factor when choosing body armor, and also the most difficult aspect to understand. The U.S. National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has established and updated minimum performance stands for body armor to ensure that users will know what their body armor will protect them from. The NIJ classifies body armor into 5 different threat levels: Level IIA, Level II, Level IIIA, Level III and Level IV; based on their ability to stop specified rounds at specified velocities. The current standard is NIJ 101.06. Also please note that while a higher level generally means protection against more powerful rounds, it does not account for other factors such as weight, or multi-hit capability. Because of this it is suggested that you choose body armor that is right for the situation and not the one that is the highest level. NIJ Level IIA armor is typically soft body armor, meaning that it is composed of layers of high-strength woven fibers. Common types of these fibers are aramid fibers such as Kevlar, Twaron, and Goldflex or Polyethylene fibers such as Spectra and Dyneema. Level IIA is designed to stop a .9mm FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) round at a speed of ~1165 feet per second (ft/s) and a .40 S&W FMJ at 1065 ft/s. Most often found in soft body armor vests, Level IIA is usually the lightest, most flexible, most comfortable and easiest to conceal. A step above Level IIA is Level II which is also most commonly soft body armor. Level II is designed to protect from .9mm FMJ traveling at a speed of ~1245 ft/s and a .357 Magnum JSP (Jacketed Soft Point) at ~1,430 ft/s. Like IIA, Level II body armor is typically very light, comfortable and easy to conceal, however it provides significantly more protection against blunt force trauma (trauma caused by kinetic energy of the round hitting the plate or vest.) Because of this factor most concealable body armor vests are either Level II or Level IIIA, with Level IIA falling largely out of date. Level IIIA is designed to stop .357 Sig FMJ FN (Flat Nose) bullets traveling at a velocity of ~1470 ft/s and .44 Magnum SJHP (Semi Jacketed Hollow Point) rounds at a velocity of 1430 ft/s. Like its level IIA and Level II, Level IIIA is most commonly soft armor, however hard armor plates and ballistic shields can sometimes be found with a rating of level IIIA. At level III, we transition to soft body armor vests to the world of ballistic plate levels. Ballistic body armor plates are also referred to as rifle plates or hard armor plates. Level III rifle plates are designed to stop 6 spaced hits of 7.62x51mm NATO FMJ (U.S. Military designation M80) at a velocity of ~2780 ft/s, which is very similar to the .308 Winchester round often used in hunting. Some manufacturers (ourselves included) also offer hard armor rifle plates that are referred to as level III+. While the NIJ does not recognize the rating of level III+, these plates typically have the + to indicate that they stop the same rounds at higher velocities or to indicate protect from NIJ threat level III plus additional threats such as M855 and M193. Level III and III+ body armor plates can be found at a variety of different price points depending on the rifle plate’s weight and material. The cheapest and heaviest of these options are typically steel body armor plates which can weigh anywhere from 8-10 lbs depending on the size of the plate. While more expensive options such as those made from Polyethylene or ceramic, can weigh as little as 3 pounds. Level IV ballistic plates are the highest rated hard armor plates under NIJ 101.06 standards. These hard armor plates were designed to take 1 hit from an armor-piercing rifle. These rifle plates are tested to defeat 7.62MM armor piercing (AP) bullets (also known was .30-06 or 30 ot 6) traveling at a velocity of 2880 ft/s. Please note that since level IV ballistic plates are only tested to stop 1 shot compared to 6 shots from a level III hard armor plate, a level IV hard armor plate is not always better than a level III hard armor plate. Besides NIJ certification there are other standards of bullet resistance such as the U.S. Military’s SAPI (Small Arms Protective Insert) standards, which features plates designed to military specifications. This standard first came into play with their Interceptor body armor (IBA), and later with their Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV) and the Modular Tactical Vest (MTV). Since 2005, they have moved to the ESAPI (Enhanced SAPI) Program. There are also what are referred to as Special Threats plates which are designed to stop common threats while minimizing weight and cost. Typically examples of these plates are AK-47 and AR-15 plates. One other thing to consider is when purchasing is whether or not the body armor plate is Stand-Alone, meaning it does not require any additional armor to meet its stated threat level; or In-Conjunction, which are designed to meet their stated threat level when in-conjunction with a soft body armor vest. There are also hard armor plates that are listed as Level III/IV ICW, which means that the plate is Level III Stand-Alone and level IV when paired with an appropriate soft body armor vest. Regardless of what type of soft body armor vest or hard armor plate you choose, it is always recommended to pair a vest with a blunt trauma plate (for soft armor) or a soft armor vest (if you’re using soft armor.) This is because even though a bulletproof vest or rifle plate may stop the the bullet from penetrating the vest or plate, there is still a lot of kinetic energy that is transferred to the plate/vest and then into the users body. Trauma plates and soft armor backers help absorb and mitigate much of this energy, thus reducing the potential for injury. When you have determined the threat level that is appropriate for your situation, you must consider the trade-off between protection, cost, comfort and weight. If you are wearing a vest for an extended period of time, the importance of weight, comfort and mobility becomes an incredibly important aspect. In conclusion, prospective buyers should define the criteria that will suit their needs. By narrowing what type of rounds you are expected to encounter you reduce the chance of under preparing or even worse, over preparing. Often people purchase armor that is too heavy which they will not wear or if they do will severely limit their movement, making them a sitting duck in hostile situations. Lastly no body armor plate or bullet proof vest is 100% fail-safe they are only bullet-resistant; the best defense is to not get shot at all.
December 7, 2016
Posted By Scott
Welcome to the Security Pro USA Blog!
Security Pro USA has been long regarded by State and Federal Governments worldwide as the premier supplier of homeland security products, disaster recovery and survival equipment.Our foundation in security products began in 1986 and has developed over the years to an extensive knowledge and understanding of the challenges that face law enforcement, emergency and first responders, as well as the wide network of specialized military forces and public safety agencies. Our expertise in personal protection, critical resource tools and tactical equipment spans more than two decades, ensuring the products we carry are of the highest quality and performance. With this open forum, we encourage you to stay informed, offer feedback and become an active member of our online community.
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