Pinned 3" or 76.2mm Non locking pocket knife blade length or cutting edge ?

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    • 3" or 76.2mm Non locking pocket knife blade length or cutting edge ?

      Recent debate on EM has had me thinking with regard the subject of carrying sub 3" non locking pocket knives. We've since been approached by forum members asking us which they should use as their benchmark.I'm uncomfortable with the possibility that word of law & it's inference can be confused as the consequences may be severe.…nts-and-offensive-weapons
      Section 139, subsection's 2 & 3:
      139 Offence of having article with blade or point in public place.
      (2)Subject to subsection (3) below, this section applies to any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed except a folding pocketknife.
      (3)This section applies to a folding pocketknife if the cutting edge of its blade exceeds 3 inches.

      The above is the correct worded version in law.

      The link I refer to is this one that is updated by the Home office.
      Basic laws on knives. It is illegal to:

      Sell a knife to anyone under 18 (16 to 18 year olds in Scotland can buy cutlery and kitchen knives) unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, eg a Swiss Army knife.

      Carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less

      The 2 examples cited above are potentially confusing. EM would wish to put our thoughts to the 2 versions above for the following reasons.

      1. EM is a Public Forum. Anyone can see what we contribute here !

      2. Police officers on the street could be ignorant of the detail of law on knives but they may argue that Joe Public are pretty ignorant of most of the other laws they have to enforce. In plain terms, we feel it far less likely that casual carry of a non locking pocket knife with a blade of 3" or 76.2mm will get you in trouble than a knife with a cutting edge of 3" or 76.2mm.

      3. I'm not a legal man but in plain terms, I see "Intent", "wording", & "spirit of the law". "Intent "is the purpose of the law introduced f. The "wording" of that law may not be robust & allow for interpretation, this leads to the "spirit of the law" being stretched, be it progress in technology or otherwise.

      The Authorities eventually become aware of this. They may attempt to enforce "Intent" if or when "wording" fails. For example our executive Border & Customs Agency are actively engaging in this thinking with respect to knives imho. Eventually, someone will either test case & fail setting the precedent in law, or they will revisit the knife laws in entirety as is currently underway with the 1968 Firearms act & revisions.

      In light of the above & in keeping with the good intent of this Forum, we suggest that it's better to let others test the law re : blade length versus cutting edge. That's not going to be any of us !
      Most knife makers & manufacturers making UK legal carry non locking pocket knives all do so where their blades do not exceed 76,2mm or 3".
      I see this as reasonable guidance to those having a use for a non lock every day carry pocket knife & within the spirit of the law.

      The scenario of suggesting the cutting edge be no more than 76.2mm could easily be distorted. You could have a blade with 7 x 10mm cutting edges interspersed by 5mm gaps making the 10mm edges into toothed serrations followed by a 5mm pointed tip ! The total length of blade could be 105mm long & even longer !

      The wording of the law may not be your friend in this case. The "intent" is clear in my non legal mind & that you are best to stay within the "spirit of the law" To that end, a non locking pocket knife is one which has a blade of 3" or 76.2mm or less.

      My apologies for the Waffle.
      Bruce will be along shortly to tweak speelings & Grammer jew ot my yewsless browser, poor eyesight & small screen... ;)
      "Ich habe nur befehle befolgt"
    • It's a point of law, so even if plod doesn't get it, and the desk passes it and cps go for it, it should still get raised in court and if every thing else is fine you'd be free to go. This would spoil your day and give you ulcers for a while but thats the way it SHOULD happen as a worse case.

      I keep meaning to write an article on "EDC risk assessment" but basically you need to personally take ownership of your carry and decide for yourself what your comfort levels of carry are?" Paranoid equals 2 inch blade SAK Bliase equals do what thou wilt.
    • Just read back your post and I think I can see the issue.

      The first bit is the actual law.

      The second bit @.GOV is guidance. We get it in environmental law, what the EA want you to do and what you think you should do is different, it's up to you whether you want the argument but .Gov is just that guidance skewed towards government thinking.
    • Think you may be making a mountain out of a molehill here...

      Take a serrated blade, now measure the depth of every single serration and your 3 inch blade magically becomes a 4.5 inch blade ?

      I don't think there is a copper or a lawmaker in the country would hold you to that.

      On the other hand a 5 inch blade with only 3 inches of it actually sharpened would still land you in hot water.

      IMHO a pen knife with a blade slightly shorter than 3 inches is plenty for pen knifey tasks, for harder work a lock or a fixed blade knife renders the whole blade length argument irrelevant, you have a reason, just use the right knife for the task.

      What I really don't get is makers who deliberately push as close to 3 inches as they think they can get away with, just seems a silly risk to be taking to have your knife declared "over 3 inches" and useless for normal daily carry.

    • Tantalus wrote:

      Think you may be making a mountain out of a molehill here...

      On the other hand a 5 inch blade with only 3 inches of it actually sharpened would still land you in hot water.

      Really ?
      I happen to agree & this exact scenario & the 5" blade with 3" cutting edge was recently discussed in another thread here.
      However, you are not reading my thread fully & the word of the law cited mentions the measured cutting edge only, not the blade length !
      "Ich habe nur befehle befolgt"
    • Indeed, being blunt, but otherwise getting to the point, I'd suggest the thrust of government thinking was along the lines of not wishing to easily penetrate body parts deeper than 3" - therefore, in the presumed spirit of this law, a pointy sharp blade over 3" long and regardless of only a 3" cutting edge, will very much/likely land you in serious poo...

      ...anyone who rides a bike and loves nature, can never be poor, we will always be happy, no matter what

      Gunther Muller
    • There is no doubt that, at present, the current law on the statute books in Scotland, and I'm pretty sure England too, is that a folding pocket knife with a cutting edge of 3" or less, is an exception to the general rule re the carrying of knives, and does not require the carrier to provide or have a specific reason for carrying such an item. The statutory exception (at least in Scotland) does not specifically refer to non locking folding pocket knives, rather it merely refers to folding knives, however, courts, both north and south of the border, have handed down identical decisions, upheld on appeal, that a locking folding penknife is to all intents and purposes a fixed blade and, as a result, the only exception, though as stated above, not specified in stature, is a non locking knife with a cutting edge of 3 inches or less.

      With this in mind, I could not agree more that, notwithstanding the wording. "cutting edge", due to the dubiety concerning the exact meaning of these words, how they could be viewed and interpreted, coupled with the general ignorance of the police on all matters knife related, it is always, in my opinion, by far the safest method to adopt to ensure the entire blade length, cutting or not, is no more than 3 inches. I have recently ordered an FF with a half-choil in the blade and have given the maker specific instructions that the blade, together with the half-choil in the blade, be, in total, definitely no more than 3 inches, even though this will leave the actual cutting edge just a little over 2 inches. There is never, ever any point in leaving oneself open to those who are already far too willing to construe matters to suit themselves, and deprive us of carrying any type of penknife at all.

      Pax vobiscum

    • Don't get me started on knife law and how idiots ruin it for all us :cursing: i would just like to carry a tool that has a lock for safety.Plus it rules out so many cool custom knives to edc! In regards to this thread :lol: I lean more towards the cutting edge being no more then 3 inches.Thats the wording under section 139 so I'd go with that.Would I carry a 5 inch blade with a 3 inch cutting edge? Hell no ! But I did make a folder few weeks back with a 3.2 inch blade total cutting edge was 2.9.I was comfortable saying it was UK friendly carry.All that said I know many policeman,and half of them are unsure about that law and would have to phone their skipper in their words :lol: In my office at work they come in and I show them fix blades I'm working on that I've brought to work in my bag to look at and they haven't arrested me yet :rolleyes: in fact I sold a couple to some pcso :D