There are correct and wrong techniques for holding a knife in different positions. When walking with your kitchen knife, pocket knife, or any other type of knife at all, it is important to know how best to hold that knife so that you don’t hurt anyone.
Hold the blade at the bevel and extend your hand fully down to your thigh. Point the tip down and the blade towards your body or backward.
This ensures you have minimal grip and thrust force on the knife while reducing the chances of someone cutting themselves by coming closer to you.
Read on to find out more about walking safely while holding your knife.
Can You Walk with A Knife?
This might sound like a redundant question, but it is fine to ask.
And yes, you can walk with a knife.
Walking with your knife is usually not advised because a lot of things can happen, and they are not pretty. Once you learn the proper knife holding techniques for walking, though, you can safely walk with the lade.
The knife holding style explained in the intro section above is preferred because:
- Holding by the bevel reduces the thrust force since anyone running into you won’t be as hurt as if you were holding by the handle;
- Pointing the knife down reduces the chances of poking anyone around you with the tip; and
- Turning the blade towards your body means you are more aware of the danger, rather than someone who doesn’t know you have a knife, so you can prevent cutting anyone (and yourself) easily.
The above method works best when you have other adults in the kitchen. If you had a toddler around, it is best to point the knife tip up. Toddlers can reach the point if it is pointed down so making this adjustment keeps them out of harm’s way.
If you could, though, simply keep your toddler away from knives and out of the kitchen in the first place.
These safety measures apply to most kitchen knives since you can easily fold your pocket knives and walk with them. Likewise, the same safety practices should be applied to any fixed blade EDCs that you carry.
Other Methods to Hold A Knife When Walking
There are other slightly different methods for holding a knife so you don’t bump into anyone or hurt them while walking with your blade.
Here are some:
Method #1 – Holding by the handle base
This is more like the style I recommended first, but with a twist to it.
Instead of holding the knife on the bevel, you hold it at the start of the handle (closest to the bolster/ knife blade) as shown below:
When holding in this position, you maintain a slightly firmer grip and the knife edge is pointed forward (in the direction you are facing). Note that the tip is not the part pointed forward but the edge of the knife.
This knife holding position ensures:
- You can always maneuver the edge to not hurt anyone since its pointing forward;
- The small fist you make around the handle provides a cushion against cuts whenever anyone bumps into you;
- The tip is still pointed down so the knife cannot pierce anyone; and
- In the case someone bumps into you, the highest risk they run is a knife-edge imprint on their clothes, not even a cut.
This method doesn’t take any special considerations to pull off and can be alternated with the initial recommendation.
Method #2 – Carrying against a cutting board
If you were using a cutting board with the knife and had to move to other parts of the kitchen, use the board as a buffer.
Place the knife side down on the cutting board, towards any of the board edges. Ensure the knife edge is positioned to point down when you walk. Hold the knife steel against the cutting board, pick both up and walk with it.
Cutting boards are usually much wider than knives. So, there is a high chance anyone that bumps into you is hitting the board, not the knife.
Method #3 – For EDC enthusiasts
Folding blades and swiss army knives should be properly closed and pocketed before walking around. You can also choose to close them and walk with them in hand as they don’t hold much threat that way.
With fixed blade EDC knives, though, the story is different. I have written a concealed carry guide that details how you can walk with these knives in your area.
If you live where open carry is what the law supports, you can also apply the methods in the concealed carry guide, adapting them in such a way that the knife is in the open.
Mistakes to Avoid When Walking with A Knife
Walking with a knife is fine as long as you do it right. Making any of these mistakes could, however, lead to an accident.
You don’t want any knife accidents to happen. Even if you had followed all of the recommended safe practices for knives, make sure you don’t make these mistakes:
- Walking too fast with a knife – This increases your chances of bumping into someone, or not being able to control yourself enough to prevent bumping into someone. You don’t want to stick a knife in them while at it.
- Walking with the knife point up – Even if you weren’t walking fast, you could still prick someone with the tip of the knife when it’s up.
- Using the ‘Ninja’ technique – You can also protect others by carrying the knife parallel to your forearm with the handle cupped inside your palm. Between hand swinging motions when walking and the blade surface area being so high against your skin, you can still do some damage to yourself this way.
- Swinging your arms while walking – Under no circumstance should you swing your arms when walking with a knife. Even when you’re walking with the knife in the recommended way, make a conscious effort to keep that arm firmly by your side.
- Not announcing the knife – A friend of mine was a student in a culinary school, and she told me how they learned to announce things like “Hot” when someone is coming with a hot item. The same goes for knives, and a call like “Sharp!” or “Knife” will do.
This is not an exhaustive list of the mistakes to avoid but it does cover some of the main ones that I can think up right now.
Tips to Avoid Walking Around with A Knife Too Much
It is great to know how to walk around safely with your knife in the home, kitchen, or other places. At the same time, the best form of safety is when you don’t need to worry about safety at all.
That said, here are some considerations to minimize how much you have to walk around with your knife:
- Keep your cutting close – Cut close to where you need the cut food items. That way, you either never have to travel with the knife after cutting, or you don’t have to walk too much.
- Create designated cutting areas – And keep to them. This ensures you know where all the knives will be and they don’t have to be taken away from that zone.
- Always be mindful in the kitchen – When cooking with multiple people in the kitchen, especially friends, you might get carried away with all the chatter and forget that you’re taking the knife around. Remember to always set the knife down when not in use.
- Know when to drop the knife – EDC knife enthusiasts get so attached to their knives that they sometimes ‘forget’ to stop carrying them even in their own homes. If you keep the knife to defend yourself, for example, you should feel safe enough in your own home to never have to worry about carrying it around.
When you can apply these tips, please do. They greatly reduce any chances you might have of an accident.