Popehat reports that a British manufacturer is planning to offer "anti-stab" knives, driven by an increase in knife-related crime over the past few years in that relatively gunless land. The manufacturer said he had been inspired by a documentary in which doctors advocated banning traditional knives, the kind with a point on the end, in an effort to prevent stabbings. See "British Medical Experts Say Knives Too Pointy, Call For Ban," Lowering the Bar (May 28, 2005).
The new knives are rounded on the end, and are also notched as shown above. The notch is apparently intended to make it more likely that the knife tip will "snag on clothing and skin" during an attempted stabbing.
For some reason I feel that the "skin-snagging" feature has not been adequately tested. I also feel that it might hurt more than actually being stabbed. I am also concerned that the manufacturer does not appear to claim that these will make stabbings impossible, just "almost impossible." If I'm going to get stabbed, and I'm confident that I am, the last person I want stabbing me is somebody who could only get one of these things but is determined to make it work anyway.
The designer, John Cornock, said the knife will work perfectly well in the kitchen, so long as you are not trying to stab somebody there. "It can never be a totally safe knife," he said, "but the idea is you can't inflict a fatal wound. Nobody could just grab one out of the kitchen drawer and kill someone." Maybe not, but if you feel it necessary to buy a set of these knives in order to kill-proof your home, maybe you should be spending that money on a divorce?
The BBC quoted a doctor at West Middlesex Hospital as saying that the knives were a promising development, and that all products should combine efficiency with the greatest possible degree of safety.
"This is especially true," he said, "of household products which are freely available to the very young and very old, and used by people who may be clumsy, short-tempered, drunk or mentally or physically unwell. Most people fit into one or more of these categories at some time in their lives." Hard to argue with that.