Randall Model 2-8

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fighting Blades

KA-BAR 1265 Tanto Points, laser engraved
by the great guys at CADD Graphics.
The KA-BARs are in the category of 'general purpose' knives for me, field knives.  You can use it to hammer tent stakes into the ground, chop brush, open cans of peaches, cut your steak, and certainly kill a Commie.  The KA-BAR has proven to be steel of sufficient mettle to last a lifetime of abuse and take an edge every time you decide to put one back on it.  We blade-snobs cringe at such thoughts with our secondary blades, and risk a fatal aneurism contemplating such tasks with our primary Fighting Blade.

Our primary Fighting Blade never, ever cuts anything but an enemy.  Period.  Full stop.

I needed a new primary Fighting Blade.  Cold Steel no longer produces the Magnum Tanto, my preferred primary.  My Cold Steel was taken from my life more than a decade ago, and I didn't replace it.  I surrounded myself with KA-BARs and cheaper Cold Steels, even a few Benchmades.

But life has changed, and the need for a new primary Fighting Blade is no longer an option.

I studied, I talked to guys who have had blades in battle.  I talked to professional fighters and knife makers alike.  Randall Knives out of Florida kept coming up in these discussions. I knew of Randall's reputation, rock solid.  I find several of their designs appealing to the eye.  Several are a good fit in the hand.  The Number 1 is a magnificent knife, brilliantly designed for defending life, which is why it has remained essentially unchanged for many generations.  I was strongly drawn to the Number 1.

Then I had to consider my anticipated future.  Where would I be and under what circumstances might I need to draw my steel and defend my life.  My work in the III is a serious consideration.  I am far more Jedburgh than Rambo.  The odds that I will ever be runnin' & gunnin' and potentially over-run by OpFor in the woods are practically nil.  The Randall Model 1 and the Randall Bowie designs are ideal for the soldier who may find himself in combat on a deer path or a ghetto alley.  I needed a blade designed to defend myself in different circumstances.

Then I looked at the Randall Model 2.  The design is essentially Fairbairn-Sykes, though far more elegant.  It is hand-made by genuine craftsmen.  The knife at the top of the page just beneath the page title is the Randall Model 2 with an 8" blade  This one has a brass handguard, leather hilt, aluminum pommel.  I have always held that 9" is the ideal minimum length of a primary blade.  I have now changed my mind, after more than 30 years of serious knife work.

I acquired a knife identical to the one above.  The balance, the craftsmanship, the feel in the hand, the edge - every single facet of this knife is simply brilliant.  I've worked with it for about a week now, and it moves through the hands with grace.  The fit is outstanding.  I have studied fine blades for more than 30 years, and I assure you this knife is the best built blade I have ever handled - and I have had several magnificent Japanese blades in my hands.

The Randall Model 2 with 8" blade is my primary knife.  When Harm's Way is imminent, we will be together.  This blade instills faith that it will not let me down when my life is on the line.

I have studied traditional Japanese arts since my teens.  There was a ceremony.  My wife was present.  The blade was given a proper name.  Her purpose in this world was explained to her.  She began to collect the energy of my wife and of me.  Whether you think such rituals are hooey is irrelevant.  Perhaps one day I will share the meaning of the ritual, the true meaning of Honor.

But for now I simply can commend to you Randall Knives at RandallKnives.com.

If you ever anticipate that you may need to defend your life with your Fighting Blade, I am convinced you'll have a hard time finding a better knife than a Randall.  And where life is leading me, where I anticipate I may be forced into shadows on behalf of Liberty, my Randall Model 2 will be with me.



  1. Looks like they still make the Magnum Tanto II which is the same knife just a couple ounces heavier...

  2. Someday I'll inherit my father's Number1, with its custom beadblasted and darkened blade. She will be given a name, although she will have same purpose every fighting blade has had since antiquity.

  3. "Our primary Fighting Blade never, ever cuts anything but an enemy."

    I've got knives that I have carried for years and have not cut so much as a piece of string with them. They still have the factory edge and if their intended purposes never arise, they'll go with me into the ground with their factory edges.
    I typically carry at least 2 knives with me every day - one or two are fighting knives (one being a hide-out) and I carry one for everyday tasks.

  4. It's true, that Model 2-8 is a fine blade. Being a 'Bowie guy', I have carried the 1-7, 1-8, 14 and 12-9 with a 14 grind and settled on the 12-9 for my combat knife. I have another Randall, a Model 11 Alaskan for hunting. The thing is truly like a scalpel. Keeps its edge long after the dressing of game is over. Easy to bring the edge back to 'scalpel sharp,' too.

    Nearly everyone in my little LGoP's has at least one Randall....they're that good.