URBAN SURVIVAL: Concealed Carrying a Large Fixed Blade Knife Daily (the CRKT Hissatsu)

CRKT Hissatsu IWB Concealed

After working in Iraq for a couple of months and making the mistake of being competent and having a fairly polite personality as opposed to the shitty security contractor douchebagnus “I am a tough bearded guy” attitude I was placed on a tedious project (because I am “responsible” and know how to write) in an area where I would not be able to carry a firearm for a while.

This had nothing to do with the threat level; it had to do with some stupid political BS that I won’t get into here. Considering that would be on a base shared by Local Nationals with the constant threat of kidnapping I sure as shit was not going to walk around unarmed.

So I decided to go way old school and arm-up with a full sized fixed-blade knife as my primary weapon that I would conceal – with an Applegate-Fairbairn gerber Mini Covert clipped to my pocket as back-up. My original plan was to rig-up an ankle rig for my Short KA-BAR but on a PX run I saw the sexy looking CRKT Hissatsu hanging on a rack so I snatched one up.

Despite its rather long length it ended up being an excellent choice for concealing, mostly due to its Zytel Sheath that is unintentionally perfect for concealing. The Zytel Sheath has a removable Zytel belt clip that can be screwed on and off the sheath with a flat head screwdriver (I used my thumbnail) that can be attached to the holes and rails anywhere on the sheath.

But the cool part is if you mount the Zytel belt clip upside-down at the top it basically becomes an inside the waistband paddle sheath that you can still loop your belt into. After hooking the Zytel belt clip on upside-down you just stuff the sheath into your pants and hook your belt through, throw on a shirt and BAM, you are now concealing a 7” CRKT Hissatsu with no visible footprint.

In this particular concealed set-up when I draw the CRKT Hissatsu it is in a reverse grip, which is fine with me as I am familiar with this style of knife fighting. The draw is a relativity smooth action of pulling up my shirt with my weak hand and gripping and drawing the knife with my strong hand.

I tried wearing it on my weak side and doing a cross-draw but it was sloppy and slow. I practiced the draw about 300 times before I started carrying it and I can now draw and cut in a single smooth motion in about 1 second.

CRKT Hissatsu sheath with the Belt clip attached the standard way

CRKT Hissatsu sheath with the belt clip attached upside down for inside the waistband (IWB) concealment

The CRKT Hissatsu EDC concealed is surprisingly comfortable and unobtrusive, the one bad point is I have to wear a t-shirt under my regular shirt because the handle rubs against my side – that sort of sucks because it is one trillion degrees outside but hey, no choice.

Now for most folks reading this concealing and daily carrying a large fixed blade knife isn’t legal or practical (why not just pack a gun). But for various unforeseen reasons you may find yourself in a situation similar to mine because of your profession or environment (or if you are just strange and like to pack big-ass knives for no particular reason) so I thought I would share the info.

CRKT Hissatsu and sheath

CRKT Hissatsu >>>>
70 Bucks and Up

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~James G
Founder – Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and laughing his ass off when reading the Hissatsu description on the CRKT site.

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30 thoughts on “URBAN SURVIVAL: Concealed Carrying a Large Fixed Blade Knife Daily (the CRKT Hissatsu)”

  1. Absolutely. Check out Mike Sastre’s “southern comfort” sheaths. One is sitting right next to me at this moment. This allows me to easily conceal a Cold Steel Laredo bowie with a 10 1/4″ blade and I am little at 5′ 8″ tall. There are huge psychological advantages to carrying giant blades. For some reason, people just don’t think you’ll shoot if you pull a gun. But flip out a bowie? People think you’re crazy and they just scatter. By the way, I’ve got a Hittsatsu folder, it’s fantastic.

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  2. Good stuff boss – how comfortable is it getting in and out of vehicles?

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  3. But flip out a bowie? People think you’re crazy and they just scatter.

    LOL – you are off the chain man

    By the way, I’ve got a Hittsatsu folder, it’s fantastic.

    I keep hearing good stuff about the Hittsatsu folder, it looks bad ass – I love anything CRKT

    how comfortable is it getting in and out of vehicles?

    No prob, I don’t even notice I am wearing it

    ~James G

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  4. LOL – you are off the chain manI keep hearing good stuff about the Hittsatsu folder, it looks bad ass – I love anything CRKTNo prob, I don’t even notice I am wearing it ~James G  (Quote This Comment)

    The folder is “assisted opening” but it really is a lot more. When you push the round thumb stud thing, the blade opens up every bit as fast as a switchblade. And it’s the sharpest knife I have ever seen. I am real careful with it. I’m thinking about getting the fixed blade like yours.

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  5. The Hissatsu is a fine fixed blade, especially for the price. My issue with and CRKT fixed blade and that of many other production companies is their shitty factory sheaths. They may be serviceable carry options but not deployment options.

    James, i do applaud you for carry something based on your specific need, IE the fixed blade. For me, the primary position of carry would depend on what my most common position would be. What i mean is that if i was going to be seated a lot i would definitely go for something more cross draw appendix carry or on a mercharness.

    Against the sage wisdom of “knife fighters’ I seldom feel under armed with a folder. What a folder has going for it is that you can usually palm it without exposing it. You can used the closed folder to hammer the collar bones, face, head, and hands. And if you need to open it there is still that option. Let me know if you need a new sheath for that mini K-bar and the Hissatsu. I have a student who makes incredible stuff.- George

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    1. George, I recently acquired 2 Hissatsu fixed blade knives, on ebay, used…but not abused. Both have the KYDEX sheath, but neither has the belt clip. I have been unable to locate the clips, sooooo.
      1) Do you know where I might find a pair of clips??.

      2) Does that student of yours, that you mentioned, have the ability to build a multi-position adjustable sheath??

      Thnx, Jimbob

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  6. Necessity is the mother of innovation James. And it looks like you are pretty innovative. Great concealment job. And also at practicing the draw. I can’t even count how many guys I know have come up with the “best concealment place ever” and then you ask them to draw and employ their gun or knife or baton or whatever and then it takes them 5 minutes just to get the damn thing out.

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    1. The fixed blade I carry is just a smith & wesson H.R.T., the one that the cutting edge is perfectly straight and the other side of the blade is hawk bill like, any way, ergenomicly it fits great in the hand in standard or reverse grip with some kind of poly fiber scales on the handle that are removable (torx) to shed some weight. As for deployment, there is a great removable clip on the sheath, but with the clip on, for righties it is easily stuffed into the pants with the clip only on the pants with a belt over the outside of the clip. In this fashion the knife and sheath will be upside down with the knife handle at a 45 degree angle above the belt pointing to the right side. With everything relatively upside down it exposes the thumb-blade release from the sheath, very comfortable doing anything from sitting, standing, working, even sleeping on your stomach! All that might sound complicated but it’s not, it draws in a blink, one handed, just guide your thumb up against your pants, under your shirt to the handle & thumb release.

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  7. Let me know if you need a new sheath for that mini K-bar and the Hissatsu. I have a student who makes incredible stuff.- George

    Sure I still need a proper ankle rig for the KA-BAR, email me the info – thanks

    You can used the closed folder to hammer the collar bones, face, head, and hands.

    I pack a pair of brass knuckles for that – but great points on using a folder as an impact weapon, most people overlook (and therefore never train) that option in folders

    For me, the primary position of carry would depend on what my most common position would be. What i mean is that if i was going to be seated a lot i would definitely go for something more cross draw appendix carry or on a mercharness.

    That is exactly the reason why I carry it on my strong side – I figured the only time I would use it (given my circumstances) would be if a small group (max 3 guys) tried to kidnap me by overpowering me and forcing me in a vehicle (an identified concern where I am) while I am walking alone (standing position)

    I also have a Fox 40 rape whistle

    ~James G

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  8. Necessity is the mother of innovation James. And it looks like you are pretty innovative. Great concealment job.

    I know a million different ways to make a homemade concealment rig out of common stuff around the house due to a misspent youth

    And also at practicing the draw. I can’t even count how many guys I know have come up with the “best concealment place ever” and then you ask them to draw and employ their gun or knife or baton or whatever and then it takes them 5 minutes just to get the damn thing out.

    Well, not wanting to get beheaded on Al Jazeera is a pretty good motivator to train

    ~James G

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  9. Hey in relation to rubbing why not try using sports tape to tape some light cotton to the area it rubs, has to be cooler than a whole t-shirt

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  10. The Hissatsu is intended for use only by trained law enforcement and military tactical team professionals. Enormous power in a light, flat package makes for easy carry with many options for placement on tactical gear.

    lol

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    1. I can’t quite get with the whole “for military & law enfarcement ONLY”. I mean cmmon I’m a straight up red-neck from Holly MI., & now living in downtown Chicago, I’ve had a Buck knife on my side literally since I was 7 yrs. old, out in the woods. Since, I have practiced “MUCH” knife fighting, skinning, gutting, none professional! But I’m sure I could weild this HISSATSU with ease (after a little practice drawing that style). After living here in Chi-Town it goes without saying, I’ve been in some dicey situations, and in this no gun allowed city I ALWAYS have a blade not always as big as I’d like, but I’ve had a CRKT M-21 deep bellied fixed-folder wich is superb if I may have to take it to somone, stem to sturnem. Only in self defence of course, wich can be semi often round heea! -MAC B.

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  11. Interesting article. I’d find such a long blade a bit too long, but it sounds like you have no trouble wielding that kind of length. Salute! As for your need to wear a t-shirt underneath, are you wearing just regular cotton? I’ve found when deployed in million degree heat that wearing one of 5.11’s tight tactical t-shirts – or whatever they call them these days – actually makes me feel cooler (temperature-wise, that is) even though it adds an extra layer.

    Oh, and yes, the right folder can be an awesome weapon while still closed. But as already mentioned, you need to practice just as much as with any other weapon.

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  12. Hey in relation to rubbing why not try using sports tape to tape some light cotton to the area it rubs, has to be cooler than a whole t-shirt

    No Golden Conex here in the suck dude – I would have to order it from the states and I keep forgetting (but I did think about that)

    The Hissatsu is intended for use only by trained law enforcement and military tactical team professionals. Enormous power in a light, flat package makes for easy carry with many options for placement on tactical gear.

    I have no idea what CRKT was thinking when they wrote that product description – fucking cheesy as hell, all they needed was erupting volcanoes in the background to complete that stupid description

    Someone told me there was some sort of history behind that knife so that’s why they try and play it off like ninjas use it or something

    Hey in relation to rubbing why not try using sports tape to tape some light cotton to the area it rubs, has to be cooler than a whole t-shirt

    That only works when you are wearing a button-up style shirt – not when you wear a golf shirt and T combo (that is hotter)

    ~James G

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  13. James… glad to see you posted this on the site. I was going to fb you to see if you wanted the folder. I had a buddy of mine make a run to his CRKT rep and he was able to coerce her (in an interesting way) into giving him a few things which included the folder version. If you have an AFO/APO or PO BOX… I’ll gladly send it to you bro. Hey.. I only wore gloves in the picture cause I thought it would look “tactical” hahaha. Blame 5.11 for ALL my issues haha.

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  14. @ Jay:

    Wow, thanks man – message inbound to your Facebook bro

    Tell your boy thanks for “taking one” for the team – lol

    ~James G

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  15. James – Is there any other way to mount that belt clip, as in, are you able to mount it to either side of the knife sheath right side up or upside down?

    I’d really like to be able to conceal a fixed blade knife for self defense but I have been unable to find a knife/sheath combo to fit the bill……

    If you are able to mount that belt clip pretty much anyway you want, then this is perfect for what I have been looking for.

    Also, did you see my post in the My Folder is Cheaper Than Yours entry about disabling the AutoLAWKS feature on the CRKT M16 series of knives? Just wondering if you were able to try it/see if it worked out for you…….email me if you need any other info.

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  16. Excellent article, excellent choices. One hint, though you may have tried it.I have used plain old Dr. Scholl’s “Moleskin Plus”, self adhesive foam padding in friction causing surfaces. It won’t stop rubbing, if that is your problem but as for just plain pressure, it will eliminated hot spots from the surface next to your skin. I have used it for holster paddles, where the rivets made pressure points, and used it once on a deeply checkered knife handle when the knife had to be carried ‘duct taped’ to my skin under one arm. Long story there, but worked like a charm and the moleskin prevented any serious chafing or rubbing on my ribcage.
    Oh, and RE an earlier comment, my situation was not one requiring a fast deployment, only the ability to avoid any suspicious bulges or odd gaits when entering a tightly controlled zone and needing a suitable tool for any defensive uses while inside that area,
    Great article, keep ‘em coming. There is probably a very large audience interested in methods of clandestine / concealed carry of various weapons in controlled. hostile or unpredictable locations.

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  17. Nice article James – if you think the text on CRKT’s website is funny, you should’ve seen one of the print ads for the Hissatsu back when Bugei was making it. It went something to the effect of “You’ve never been in the shit and yer a poser – how dare you even consider buying this knife. If you’re not a HSLD BTDT ninja warrior you can fuck off and stop reading this – the only way you’ll get this knife is if an operator kills you with it.” It is to date, the most unintentionally hilarious advert I’ve ever seen – I wish I’d kept a clipping.

    ~Alex S

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  18. I am intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to tour newsletter. Honestly screw Iraq. Hop over to the stan. With that said you should do an article about what to do and how to prepare(paperwork, training, being diplomatic with office monkey’s) for switching companies and A.O. Regardless your posts are always entertaining and informative.

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  19. If only I could get a sheath like that for my cold Steel Tanto I have had since 1990 ,I think ! I have the leather one that came with it and bought a Spec Ops one at the PX in Iraq`..

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  20. For IWB carry against bare skin, try moleskin. The big flat Dr. Scholl’s sheets are perfect to cut to fit and already have an adhesive back. Sometimes the Kydex or Zytel (whatever) needs to be lightly sanded and a little supplemental glue applied if necessary. Very comfy.
    Cheers.

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    1. Apologies, missed Julian’s note above. Must have been running late because I was a little ‘tardy’.

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  21. FYI, your Jedi mind tricks are working – after I read this article, I bought a “Desert Tan” Hissatsu the very next day off of GunBroker. Why tan, you ask? Simple – it was about $10 cheaper than the CDI Black versions were. Also, I was kinda thinking that the tan grip and sheath might be more discreet if my shirt happened to ride up accidentally – although since I would be flashing a black Glock and/or magazine pouches at the same time, it’s probably not gonna matter…;)

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  22. You mean you didnt opt for the ultimate “operator” knife?
    http://www.crkt.com/Hisshou-Fixed-Blade-KydexSheath

    I do like this knife but I have a hard time getting over the price tag. Of course my colleagues would also laugh at me if I came around with this thing strapped to my hip.

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  23. I found this article while Google searching for something else. I wanted to say that I think the article is wonderful. Thanks for sharing your experience. Knife laws are slowly changing here in the U.S. One day it may be possible to carry like that for self protection in the states.

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  24. Just came across this article because James Williams shared a link to it on Facebook.

    The nice thing about the Hissatsu is that CRKT makes a training blade for it.

    Have you seen the appendix carry kydex sheath Raven Concealment makes for it? Let’s you carry it kinda sorta samurai-ish:
    https://m.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151337225691895.1073741825.278810156894&type=3&_rdr

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  25. For a long time I carried, and on accession continue to carry, a Spyderco-Schempp “Rock” in a Survival Sheath Systems back sheath (see image).

    It’s super comfy and, although the Rock isn’t necessarily big in terms of knives, it’s able to accommodate VERY large knives (I’ve seen a Cold Steel “Natchez Bowie” being carried in one). http://www.survivalsheath.com/sheaths/index.htm

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  26. Currently, I carry two Spyderco “Street Bowies” in custom IWB kydex sheaths a friend made for me, one on each hip (image below shows left side only for reference).

    I like the option of having the ability to draw a knife with my off-hand if necessary (heaven forbid!) and, although not as large as my Spyderco Rock, the Street bowie accommodates various grips better and very comfortably.

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