I had the recent revelation that I’ve been carrying a piece of self defense gear every day for over two years and I have yet to share my experience with it. This part of my EDC is the Cold Steel FGX Push Blade II. Fortunately, I’ve never had to defend myself with it, but because I choose to carry it, I have trained and practiced with it. So, let’s talk last line defense, featuring Cold Steel’s polymer push dagger.
Cold Steel’s Push Blade II isn’t your average pocket knife for two reasons, its blade shape and material. Push daggers aren’t a completely unique development (CS has several models of steel push daggers of different edges and shapes, such as this Safekeeper III), but push blades made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic are. Because of Cold Steel’s choice of material for this knife, its uses are a bit different than its metal counterparts; we’ll cover the use more in depth at a later point in the article, though. For now, let’s hone in on Grivory–Cold Steel’s unique brand of fiberglass-reinforced plastic–and its pros and cons.
If you’ve not before considered a plastic blade alternative, you may be wondering why Cold Steel would design a set of blades (Cold Steel makes a whole line of these FGX tools in different shapes and sizes called the Nightshade Series) that you can’t sharpen? Well, don’t knock it til you try it. The Push Blade II’s Grivory blade receives both UV and heat treating, making it virtually impervious to weather or temperature damage. That means they can be concealed in places you wouldn’t be able to keep steel – in the shower, tucked in a corner of the backyard, or thrown on your key ring. I carry mine everywhere, right between my bottle opener and house keys.
The Push Blade II utilizes a t-shape, with a cushioned grip molded straight on to the tang. The blade itself is a double-edged spearpoint. For a plastic knife, the edges are surprisingly sharp, handy for small tasks like opening mail, but the tip is where the real damage capacity lies. The Push Blade II’s needle-sharp point easily penetrates clothing and flesh. Cold Steel’s Grivory is highly impact resistant, which allows the Push Blade II to retain its strength during forceful strikes with just enough flex to resist snapping brittlely.
As convenient as FGX can be, the Push Blade II was not designed to be used in the same capacities as your average everyday carry folding knife. In an Amazon review of one of Cold Steel’s Nightshade weapons, one disgruntled buyer had the complaint that Cold Steel’s plastic knives don’t have the best edge retention when put to heavy use. After the edges dulled, this same buyer also tried to sharpen his FGX knife as one would a steel blade, to no avail. Grivory may be strong and weather-proof, but it was not intended to replace the functions of steel.
The Push Blade II’s grip is one of this style of knife’s advantages. The “T” shape fits comfortably into the user’s palm, and the blade protrudes between the fingers. The grip itself is made of Kray-Ex, a slightly tacky weather and temperature resistant polymer material.
There are two particular advantages that the push dagger style of grip offers the wielder. For one, effective technique is simple. The shape of the grip allows the user to hold the knife in their fist. That makes the knife easier to hang on to, and operate with force, with less risk of the tool sliding from the operator’s grip. It also has the bonus of augmenting any punching technique with the added devastation of the 2 ¼ inch stabbing implement held securely between their fingers. Apart from technique, if, while wielding the Push Blade II, the user were to fall, because the grip is held within the fist, there’s less chance of the user injuring themselves or losing the blade to their attacker.
Knife fighting is brutal. It’s visceral, imprecise, and messy. One of the biggest risks when fighting with a close range edged weapon, like an EDC knife, is the virtual guarantee that, at some point, your hand will slide along the knife, injuring you, or loosing itself from your grip completely–or both. Not to mention, if you or your attacker become injured, the blood could make holding on to the knife even more difficult. Whether you’re holding it in traditional or reverse grip, the risk is still there for an attacker to pry it from your hand at the weak point in your grip. This is where the T shape of the push dagger shines. A fist is the hand position with the strongest grip. Keeping the blade between your fingers is your best bet to hang on to the knife during an aggressive hand-to-hand exchange, reducing the risk of cutting yourself on your own blade, and also reducing your attacker’s ability to disarm you.
I mentioned previously that the Push Blade II isn’t your typical EDC pocketknife. The obvious element here is that this tool is completely plastic; however, it has some use constraints that arise out of its size and blade/handle configuration, as well.
Earlier, we touched on the perks of having a small polymer knife at your disposal. One of the key points was in its concealability. The Push Blade II comes fitted with a thick metal keyring (which is how I usually carry it). Its spearpoint blade shape makes the Push Blade II especially effective when used with stabbing gestures. It can also slice, but, as we noted before, heavy use will dull the edges which cannot effectively be re-sharpened as you would with dulled steel. The impact-resistant Grivory is most effective when used on soft tissues, such as the eyes, neck, or abdomen. However, when striking a hard surface, such as bone or granite, the tip (and edges) will wear.
Due to its small size, light weight (only 1.1oz), and resistance to the elements, the Push Blade II, and other polymer weapons like it, are best suited as highly affordable last ditch self defense options. Let me reiterate: I do not recommend the Cold Steel Push Blade II as a primary self defense tool. Personally, I opt for a concealed carry pistol as my one of my key primary lines of self defense. This type of self defense option allows me to meet a lethal threat with lethal force–from a distance. If I’m at the point where I have to combat an assailant hand-to-hand, it is only because I have no other options left. In that situation, access to a last line defensive tool, like the Push Blade II, could be the last chance I have to save my life.
Here’s the situation: you’re home by yourself and you decide to take a shower. In the middle of washing up, a home invader busts into the bathroom while you’re alone and vulnerable. The circumstance is immediately dire, your attacker is less than a couple steps away, with dangerous intentions. You grab the Push Blade II from its place on your shower caddy, grip it tight, and fight for your life.
In times when you’re forced to a last line defense, the Push Blade II can be used effectively. As long as you don’t try to force it to perform for uses other than for what it was designed, $7 (at MidwayUSA.com) will buy you a durable, last ditch self defense tool you can count on when all other options run out.
Blade material: Grivory FGX (fiberglass reinforced plastic)
Blade length: 2.25 inches
Blade shape: Spear point
Grip material: Kray-Ex