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Knives used by the military are sought after by the general public because these knives are designed to be robust and rugged and able to perform reliably under challenging conditions. What knives does the British Army use, and are they available to the public?
The British Army uses a range of knives, some utility knives while others are dedicated combat knives and some general-purpose survival knives. These knives include the Fairbairn Sykes Commando knife, the Rothco British army knife, the Kombat knife, Gerber Mark II, and SOG SEAL Pup (Amazon links).
The British Army does not standardize on one type of knife but offers different knives to various branches of their armed forces. We will explore the different types of knives used by the British Army and investigate the knives used by some British Special Forces units.
Knives Used By The British Army
A knife is a crucial tool in any military force. It is a versatile piece of military equipment that can be used for various purposes in the field, from opening ration packs to self-defense.
The British Army is considered one of the most prestigious and renowned armed forces in the world, and as such, its equipment and gear are of utmost importance.
Knife enthusiasts are interested in the knives used by the British Army because their use in combat is an endorsement of the knife’s durability, reliability, and effectiveness in rugged conditions.
The British army uses a range of past and present knives, some of which have become iconic because of military use.
The Fairbairn Sykes Commando Knife
The Fairbairn Sykes Commando Knife (Amazon link) is a legendary knife with a rich history. It was designed during World War II by William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric Anthony Sykes, experts in close combat and hand-to-hand fighting techniques.
They based the design on their experiences and the requirements of the British Commandos, a special forces unit tasked with carrying out raids and sabotage missions behind enemy lines.
The knife has a distinctive double-edged blade with a tapered point, allowing easy penetration and deadly thrusting attacks.
The handle is brass and ribbed for a secure grip, while the blade is made of high-carbon steel for durability and sharpness. The knife’s overall length is about 11.5 inches or 29cm, with a blade length of 6.5 inches or 17cm.
Today, the Fairbairn Sykes Commando Knife is still used by the British Army and other special forces units worldwide. The dimensions of modern knife versions may differ from the original specifications.
It is considered a classic design and is often regarded as the standard by which other combat knives are judged. Its reputation as a formidable weapon has also made it a popular choice for collectors and enthusiasts.
One of the unique features of the Fairbairn Sykes Commando Knife is that it was specifically designed for close combat situations.
Its blade is not meant for chopping or slicing but is optimized for quick, precise thrusts and stabs. This makes it an ideal tool for hand-to-hand combat situations where soldiers might need to defend themselves or take down an enemy quickly and efficiently.
The Fairbairn Sykes Commando Knife remains a symbol of the British Army’s commitment to excellence and its legacy of producing some of the finest military equipment in the world.
The Rothco British Army Knife
The Rothco British Army Knife (Amazon link) is a folding knife or pocket knife designed for soldiers to carry and use for general fieldwork. The knife is not intended for combat but rather as a utility knife.
The Rothco British Army Knife has a 2.5-inch, stout, sheepsfoot blade, a 3-inch marlin spike commonly used in ropework, a can opener, and a flathead screwdriver built into the knife’s handle structure.
The entire knife, including the handle, is made of stainless steel, which provides excellent corrosion resistance and edge retention. There are no plastic or wood handle scales on the knife, making the knife tough, durable, and suitable for the rigors of military life.
The Rothco British Army Knife is a solid choice for soldiers who need a reliable and versatile knife for various tasks. While it may not have the same historical significance as the Fairbairn Sykes Commando Knife, it is a practical and functional tool that can serve soldiers well in the field.
Kombat British Army Knife
The Kombat British Army Knife is another modern combat knife designed for heavy-duty use in the field. It is a versatile knife that can be used for various tasks, from combat to survival.
The Kombat UK British Army Knife is based on the original MoD or Ministry of Defense British Army survival fixed-blade knife used by the British Army, the RAF, and occasionally by the SAS.
The blade is 7 inches or 18cm long and made of high-carbon steel, providing a hard blade with excellent edge retention and durability. The Kombat blade is sharpened on one side only in the traditional survival knife style.
The handle is made of durable polymer, which is comfortable to hold and provides a secure grip even in wet conditions. The overall length of the knife is 11.8 inches or 30cm.
The Gerber Mark II Knife
The Gerber Mark II (Amazon link) is a classic combat knife that various military and law enforcement units have used since its introduction in 1966. It was designed by a former US Army Captain, Bud Holzman, inspired by the double-edged knives used by commandos during World War II.
The Gerber Mark II has a unique diamond-shaped cross-section that provides excellent penetration and cutting power. It has a 6.5-inch double-edged blade made of high-carbon steel, which is durable and holds a sharp edge well. The blade is also coated with a black oxide finish, which provides additional corrosion resistance.
The handle of the Gerber Mark II is made of die-cast aluminum, which is lightweight and durable. The handle also features a double guard, which provides additional protection for the user’s hand.
One of the unique features of the Gerber Mark II is its serrations. The blade features serrations on both sides of the knife, which can be used for sawing through rope and other materials.
This can be particularly useful in survival situations, where the user might need to cut through materials to build a shelter or start a fire.
The Gerber Mark II is a classic combat knife that has stood the test of time. Its unique diamond-shaped cross-section, durable high-carbon steel blade, and lightweight aluminum handle make it a reliable and versatile tool for soldiers and other users in the field.
The SOG SEAL Pup Knife
The SOG Seal Knife is a versatile, durable knife designed by US Navy SEALs. It is a modern combat or survival knife also used by the British SAS because of its versatility.
The SOG SEAL Pup Knife (Amazon link) has a 4.75-inch or 12cm partially serrated fixed blade made of high-quality AUS-8 steel, which is durable and holds a sharp edge well. The blade is coated with a hard-cased black TiNi finish, which provides additional corrosion resistance and reduces glare.
The knife’s overall length is 9 inches or 22.8cm, making the knife compact but versatile for various military or survival roles. SOG produces a range of sizes in this design, giving a choice for the knife’s intended purpose.
The handle of the SOG Seal Knife is made of high-impact nylon, which is lightweight and durable. The handle features a textured pattern that provides a secure, comfortable grip, even in wet conditions. The handle also features a stainless steel pommel, which can be used for striking and other tasks.
The SOG Seal Knife also has a durable nylon sheath that can be worn on a belt or attached to a pack.
The SOG Seal Knife is a high-quality knife designed for heavy-duty use in the field. Its durable blade, comfortable handle, and unique features make it a reliable and versatile tool for soldiers, special forces operators, and other users in various situations.
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In conclusion, knives are an essential tool for soldiers and special forces units, providing a versatile and reliable tool for a range of tasks in the field.
The British Army and its elite units, such as the SAS and the Royal Marines, are all equipped with high-quality knives designed to meet their specific needs.
The British military takes great care to equip its soldiers with high-quality knives designed to meet their needs in the field.
Whether used for combat or survival, these knives are essential for soldiers and special forces units, providing them with the means to carry out their missions effectively and efficiently.
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