This post is part of our Rambo Giveaway, scroll down to the end of the article or click here for details on how to win a signature-edition Rambo knife.

If you’re like me, you’ve undoubtedly wondered just what makes the quintessential knife warrior. That’s why we’ve taken the liberty of unscientifically analyzing all the great knife warriors throughout cinema history. In each of these knife-wielding heroes and villains, we managed to find five undeniable traits that helped them become great knife fighters. So, here are the five characteristics that make the ultimate knife warrior through the lens of cinema.

1. Insanity (ex. Die Hard With a Vengeance)

Let’s face it. It’s impossible to name a knife warrior from the movies who is completely sane and even-keeled. Everyone who wields a knife seems to have a few screws loose, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. To be an expert with a knife and fearlessly wield it, you can’t have the capacity to think too hard about its ramifications. The perfect example of insanity with a knife is Sam Phillips in Die Hard With a Vengeance. She mercilessly does ballet while slicing people in her path to death. Pretty crazy.

2. Experience in the art of battle (ex. Rambo)

It’s not usually good enough to merely be skilled at knife fighting, but a true knife warrior needs to have seen some prior action, particularly in war. Veterans not getting the respect or medical attention they deserve is a common theme in many movies and is seen most clearly in the first Rambo. John Rambo is a Vietnam vet who is pushed too far by a small town cop. It’s his time experience seeing too much war that pushed him over the edge. Here’s a little tease of Rambo’s knife.

3. Being badass (ex. Rebel Without a Cause)

It’s very difficult to quantify or even qualify what makes someone badass, but if there’s one figure in cinema history that embodies the trait, it’s James Dean. In the 1955 classic Rebel Without a Cause, we see James Dean play an emotionally disturbed teenager who wants to keep to himself, but is punked by gang members who don’t know what they’re messing with. Although the iconic knife fight seems tame compared to modern standards, it shows how Dean is too badass to fight, then too badass to back down and, finally, too badass to lose. A gritty knife warrior.

4. Fearlessness (ex. Under Siege)

Another common trait of someone who wields a knife in a movie is fearlessness. You basically can’t have any fear while holding a knife, especially in a fight. A good example of this is Steven Seagal in Under Siege. You might think it’s just bad acting, but I think Steven Seagal’s emotionless, dry face is due to his lack of fear. Here’s a sample of him fighting Tommy Lee Jones at the end of the movie.

5. Having an overwhelming grudge (ex. Kill Bill)

For anyone who says one of the criteria for being a knife warrior is manhood, you’re completely wrong. Instead, you just need a good grudge against someone. Take Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, for example. She definitely portrays all of the other elements and, of course, has a grudge that will not be quelled until everyone who wronged her is dead. Take a look at this epic knife battle.

Want to win a badass 9.5 inch Rambo survival knife?

If so, tell us how Rambo should dominate the following scenario by writing in the comment section below and you could win either a signature edition Rambo knife or a scorpion pocket blade.

Rambo is hanging from his feet while being lashed with a razor-sharp swatch by a chain-smoking soldier.  In addition to disposing of the soldier who is torturing him, Rambo must paddle across a moat full of crocodiles, scale a 16-foot electric fence, kill ten guards, release POWs, perform minor surgery upon the wounded, subdue a wild boar and flag down a helicopter for his escape.

In his possession is his trusty survival knife, a scorpion pocket knife with real scorpions encased in the blade, a lighter, some rope, bubble gum, an 8-ounce Budweiser can, a pair of brass knuckles, a Taser, a Glock, a dart gun and a grenade.  If he can only bring three of these items with him, which ones should he bring and how should he use them to finish his mission.  Enter your answer in the comment section below before 10/18 and you’ll be eligible to win either a Rambo survival knife or a scorpion pocket blade!


Timothy Martinez Jr. is the community director for Knife Depot and the editor of The Cutting Edge. If you have any questions or ideas for The Cutting Edge, you can contact him at
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