Fairbairn Sykes

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Collecting Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knives

Fairbairn Sykes is a knife that has double edges. It comes with a grip made is foil. The weapon was developed by Eric Anthony Sykes and William Ewart Fairbairn (thus the name) in Shanghai, China before the Second World War. However, it was during the War when the knife was actually used by British commandos, which included the SAS, as well as the No. 2 Commando.

The Fairbairn Sykes fighting knife is often mistaken to the stiletto because of the usual comparison. However, this is misleading because the latter is used for stabbing. It also has a narrower and a longer blade that has a triangular shape.

Collectors opt to have the Fairbairn Sykes knife because of its commando associations and the sleek lines. Producers of knives continue to manufacture the model because of this very purpose. Also, theFairbairn Sykes knife has a symbolic affiliation to the British Commandos and has taken part in the commandos memorial that was held at the Westminster Abbey. The Fairbairn Sykes knife bears the insignia of Dutch Commando Corps. This was founded in the United Kingdom also during the Second World War.

The difference between the Fairbairn Sykes knife and the US Marine Corps’ Ka-Bar is that the latter’s main purpose is to serve as a utility tool whereas the former was specifically designed for combat as well as surprise attack. This is why the knife has a slender blade in order for it to penetrate through a person’s ribcage. Also, the handle has a grip that is precise making the double edge integral to the design of the knife.

Collecting Fairbairn Sykes Knives

In movies and in games, whenever there close-quarter fighting, the deadliest possible weapon is the knife. When selecting which knife to use, one must know two factors that are very important in doing so. These are keenness and balance. The hilt must easily fit the hand of the user. The blade should not be too heavy because this will have the tendency to drag down the hilt from the user’s fingers. It is very important that the blade has a stabbing point which is sharp and cutting edges that are good because once an artery has been torn, it does not stop bleeding. This will result to the cut man to quickly die after he loses consciousness.

These are the very reasons why the Fairbairn Sykes knife is such a hit to knife collectors. It was based on the Shanghai knife but was made longer in order for the user to easily cut his opponent without extending his reach too much. The first pattern of these knives had 6.5 inches blade. The second pattern had 7 inches blade and a rounded ball with a cross guard as well as a knurled pattern grip and a rounded ball. Overtime, the Fairbairn Sykes is exactly what it is we know it today – its look and its features.

The particular length of the blade of the Fairbairn Sykes allow it to penetrate the person’s body after it passes through a thick clothing with an average of three inches. This feature has been anticipated during the war. But now, after years of production, the typical Fairbairn Sykes knife can now penetrate garments that are 7.5 inches thick.

Named after its designers, William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric Anthony Sykes, the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife was developed in Shanghai before World War II. Its fame as a fitting fighting knife for the war began when it was issued to the British commandos during the war. This knife is very symbolic to the British commando. In Westminster Abbey the queen actually placed a Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife in solid gold to commemorate their spirit in battle.
The design for the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife was conceived solely for surprise attacks and fighting. As a double-edged knife, it can easily penetrate a ribcage through its slender blade. Its foil grip has a lot of variations making it possible to be held in different ways.
The Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife was first produced in 1941 by Wilkinson Ltd after its designers went to their factory for their idea of a fighting knife. Produced in a number of different patterns, the first knives had a blade of 6.5 inch with a flat area. The second pattern knives have longer blades which were almost 7 inches with width of 2 inches and stamped “England”. Third pattern knives had blade lengths similar to the second but their handles included a ring grip. It is continually produced up to the present and is available in various designs as to the size of the blade and its handle.
The Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife has influenced design and production of fighting knives from its introduction. It is also of interest to many collectors.


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