BLADES STYLES AND LENGTHS
Emerson maintains that a blade shorter than 4 inches in length is ideal, and his patented wave-shaped opening device enables a folding knife to deploy while being drawn from the pocket. He does maintain that there is an advantage to a fixed blade.
“A fixed blade is always stronger than a folder,” he said. “But it has to be the right sized fixed blade.”
The key to choosing a defensive knife comes down to portability, Emerson said.
“One thing governs all choices about the knife you select for self-defense,” he said. “It has to be a knife that you will carry, one of a size and type that you will have with you 100 percent of the time because violence does not care where you are, what you are wearing or what you are doing. It will strike almost always in an opportune time; opportune for the attacker, not opportune for you. Owning a big bowie knife sitting home on the shelf while you are at the movies does no good, except for the attacker.”
As for style of blade, it seems mostly a matter of personal preference. Tanto points are ideal for stabbing because they provide good penetration. "Forensic evidence clearly shows that a stabbing wound to a vital area is much more likely to cause death than a slashing attack,” Emerson said. “However, historical data shows that the majority of fatal attacks were accomplished with slashing and chopping blows rather than stabbing."