It is safe to state that a karambit knife is a multi-functioning tool; the typical karambit knife comprises a hooked or curved blade; a safety ring; and, a comfortable handle for a smooth and sturdy grip.

Originally, the karambit knife was designed as farming too; whereas, the modern version of the karambit knife can be carried and wielded for a number of reasons, such as self defense, utility use, and as a combat tool.

This blade was first used in the Indonesian territory; the blade of the karambit knife is double-edged as well as single-edged depending on the type of karambit knife.

One of the most appealing factors of the karambit knife is its resemblance to the tiger's claw which is also one of the basic reasons that it has become popular worldwide. This article will cover some of the essential information of the karambit knife.

What is the Modern Version of the Karambit Knife?

The modern version of the karambit knife is much similar to the older version with some slight changes. The knife manufacturers have updated the latest versions of the karambit knife with respect to the material as well as the inclusion of some more knife "options".

Now, you can choose from a vast variety of the karambit knife; you can opt for getting a handmade karambit knife; or, you might go for the one that has been manufactured with machines.

Some of the popular versions of the karambit knife include the "Karambit CS: GO" and the "Karambit Fox 479". If you want a handmade karambit knife you can also have it custom-made as per your choice of design.

Many manufacturers use a combination of hand and machine for the production of the custom-made karambit knife.

What are the Design and Essential Features of the Karambit Knife?

A karambit knife has a plain, yet an easily distinguishable structure and set of features. The curve of the blade is directed in the inner side and takes up the whole length of the blade for cutting. 

It is not only the blade of the karambit knife that is curved; the handle of the karambit knife is curved as well; thus, it is rightfully known as the tiger's claw. The ratio of the curved handle is similar to that of the curved blade; therefore, it resembles the form of a half-moon.

The ratio of the blade and handle might vary slightly if you have a folding karambit knife. The final feature of the karambit knife is the ‘safety ring' that is attached to the bottom of the handle which lets you perform tricks with karambit knife

This is also the particular feature of the karambit knife that renders uniqueness to the blade. The safety ring adds to the sturdiness of the grip; the wielder of the karambit knife may hook his/her index finger (or pinky finger) through the safety ring for added safety as well as grip strength.

What are the Advantages of Carrying a Karambit Knife?

  1. The karambit knife is a good utility tool due to its great balance and precise control level. While making cuts, the entire blade of the karambit knife is used. This aspect definitely lessens the effort of the wielder of the karambit knife while making cutting all the way easier and smoother.
  2. The safety ring of the karambit knife comes quite in handy, especially during difficult situations that require having a sturdier and more controlling grip, such as during a fight or freezing conditions.
  3. If you have a folding karambit knife, you will not require a sheath which will result in a quicker knife deployment.
  4. If you are using the karambit knife as your tool of personal defense, your fighting technique will definitely differ from the typical knife fighting technique. Your distinct maneuvering techniques will definitely catch the attacker off guard and give you an edge over him.
  5. Lastly, the karambit knife is quite intimidating. The different stance and grip of the knife coupled with its unique curved blade would suffice for the deterrence of quite a number of possible fights. We all should never forget that the best fights are the ones that can be effectively avoided.

What can be the Possible Disadvantages of carrying a Karambit Knife?

  1. Due to the curved blade of the karambit knife, it can be a very tough job to sharpen the blade of the knife.
  2. It might be more difficult to find the appropriate sharpening tools or a shop that knows how to handle with the curved blades of the karambit knife.
  3. The karambit knife is designed for special uses; it is not your ordinary knife. This can be effectively used for combat or some task related to agriculture. It is not recommended to use the karambit knife as your EDC or survival knife.
  4. If you know nothing about the maneuverability of the karambit knife, you better don't carry one.

What is the Purpose of the Safety Ring on the Karambit Knife?

The safety ring of the karambit knife makes sure that the knife doesn't slip out of the hand. This factor is much useful, especially in the chaotic situations where the wielder of the karambit knife might be dangling upside down; or, the conditions might be wet, even bloody. 

Whatever it is, the safety ring ensures a steady and strong grip. The ring also ensures that the karambit knife does not accidentally slip into the hand of the wielder and cause unnecessary injury.

The safety ring makes sure that the karambit knife cannot get taken out of the hand by the opponent or attacker. The retention of the karambit knife is exceptionally increased with the safety ring as it is incredible to disarm the wielder of the karambit knife. 

The safety ring makes it possible for the wielder to hold more than one weapon at the same time. You can hold the karambit knife in one hand while carrying a gun/ torchlight, or even call the cops while holding your phone in the other hand.

How to Learn Using the Karambit Knife?

As you might have noticed till now, the karambit knife is not your usual EDC knife; it is so much more with respect to the design, form, and features. 

If you are planning to wield a karambit knife you ought to find someone first who is proficient in using the karambit knife for a similar purpose as yours. You might want to use a karambit knife for the hunting purpose or your personal defense. 

Whatever the purpose is, it is recommended to find a ‘specialist' who has mastered the use of the karambit knife in your chosen venue.

The majority of the people use the karambit knife for personal defense rather than a utility tool; in this regard, there are various forms of martial arts, such as the "Silat" and "Kali" that are intimately connected to the use of karambits. 

Both of the referred martial arts utilize the karambit knife while focusing on teaching the arts of combat and survival. Simply put, the referred forms of martial arts teach the people to come out of a life-threatening survival situation alive while wielding the iconic karambit knife. 

Some of the worldwide recognized karambit knife trainers are Tuhon Ray Dionaldo and Guru Maul Mornie.

In case you are wondering how you could use the karambit knife without getting help from a master of the martial arts or some other specialist; here is the tip: use the karambit knife similar to the farming tool scythe as this knife is specifically designed for slashing instead of stabbing. 

During a fight, you can maneuver the "catch" and "hook" feature. Usually, the hook feature of the karambit knife is located on the outer side of the blade. 

During a close-body fight, you can catch the arm or hand of the opponent with it and can push it to whichever direction you want with the help of the pressure from the hook.

Fixed Blade Karambit Knife vs. Folding Blade Karambit Knife

A karambit knife is available in two basic styles, one is the fixed blade karambit knife; whereas, the other refers to the folding blade karambit knife. Each of the mentioned knife styles has their own set of pros and cons. Both are reliable and useful in their respective environments and different situations.

There are some basics that everyone needs to know before getting a karambit knife; fixed blade karambit knife is double-edged; therefore, it is perfect for close-quarter fights and personal defense. 

The fixed blade karambit knife also excels the folding karambit knife with respect to durability and reliability. Hence, the fixed blade karambit knife is perfectly designed for the tougher jobs. Since it lacks the locking mechanism, the fixed blade karambit knife ensures quicker blade deployment.

In contrast to the fixed blade karambit knife, the folding karambit knife can be both, single- and double-edged. The advantage of carrying a folding karambit knife is that it is compact in size and can be concealed easily along with storing it comfortably in your pocket.

The circular force of the blade of the folding karambit knife is transferred onto the full length of the knife's locking mechanism; thus, it is made safe and secure for the wielder of the folding karambit knife to carry and wield their knife without the fear of having it broken. 

It is recommended to get the knife type which feels the best in your hand as well as the easiest to maneuver.

Karambit Knife: Utility vs. Tactical Use

As we already know, from the historical purpose, the karambit knife was used as a utility tool, specifically as a farming tool. In fact, the Karambit knife was similar to something like the EDC in the Southeast Asian region of the world. 

The earliest versions of the karambit date back to the 11th century; the earliest karambit knife didn't have the safety ring; yet, it resembled the modern karambit knife in shape and form.

With the passage of time, the shape and design of the karambit knife kept changing as per the requirements. Today, we can also find some karambit knives that have a secondary safety ring located near the blade itself. 

The karambit knife is quite useful in a variety of tasks, such as the cutting of a rope/cord; the karambit knife is capable of cutting through heavy materials without much strain and effort.

The curved blade of the karambit knife makes the cutting process a lot easier as the entire length of the blade is used for this very purpose. 

There is a minimum chance for the shifting of the grip or slipping off the handle due to the safety ring. All kinds of people use the karambit knife for a variety of tough jobs; for instance, the karambit knife is used by hikers, mountain climbers, first responders, and backpackers. 

The karambit knife is recommended for anyone whose job requires a tougher usage of the blade; a karambit knife is always a good option due to the fact that it ensures a better, safer, and reliable handle grip as compared to other blades.

Though the karambit knife is great to be used as a utility knife; yet, nothing can beat the combat and tactical use of the karambit knife. 

The modern version of the karambit knife is definitely meant for the combat mode; specifically, for close-quarter fights. In fact, the wielder of the karambit knives can cause enormous damage to the attacker with minimum effort. The karambit knife is concealable and easy to carry.

The safety ring allows for a strong grip with the impossibility of having the karambit knife taken out of your hand. The tip of the karambit knife is wickedly sharp and allows you to slash through your opponents' flesh with ease. 

In contrast to the straight blade knives, the knife allows deeper penetration which is made possible due to the penetrating curve of the blade. A straight blade will allow you to go only as deep as much you put in the force; however, a knife allows you to penetrate through anything without much resistance. 

All you have to know is how to maneuver the karambit knife effectively.

Read More: A Comprehensive Guide to Cool Knives