So, you’ve done your research on do you really need a dive knife, and you’ve made the decision to invest in a dive knife, but now you’re not sure where to keep it safe during a dive. The funny thing is that even though dive knives are carried as a safety precaution, attaching them wrongly actually has a few risks associated with it.
How a dive knife is carried is very important in making sure it doesn’t get caught anywhere and does not pierce through any gear or even skin. On top of that, the dive knife should always be within easy reach in case of emergencies.
Where Should you Store your Dive Knife?
Curious about what the best placement of a dive knife is? Read on to find out all the pros and cons of each possible storing place during your dive.
The Traditional Spot: Leg or Ankle
The most traditional place to keep a dive knife during dives is by your leg or ankle. The dive knife sheath is then attached to a band that fastens around the ankle or leg.
Attaching the dive knife perpendicular to your leg gives the smoothest lines. In other words, the dive knife protrudes the least when it follows the lines of your body.
Strapping your dive knife to your ankle keeps your body as slim as possible during the dive. The disadvantage of this lower placement is that the knife might be more difficult to reach.
Carrying the dive knife on a band by your ankle means that you need to pull your leg up to your chest to be able to reach it. When you are diving in shallow waters, in caves and wrecks or any other cramped underwater space, this can pose a problem.
Keeping the dive knife higher up on your leg does make it easier to reach but in reality, doesn’t make that much difference compared to carrying it on the ankle. The true difference lies in how much it protrudes.
If you decide to carry the dive knife on the leg or ankle, then keep it on the side opposite your dominant hand. This is likely to give you better control of your movements with the dive knife.
The Designed Placement: On Your BCD
The next logical placement is inside one of the pockets or attachments on your BCD. Some manufacturers have designed a specific pocket or attachment just for dive knives, making the placement an easy choice.
However, where this spot might differ per BCD. If you are switching BCDs then you might need to train yourself out of the habit of reaching for the dive knife in its former usual placement.
Also, not all BCD designs have a dive knife pocket or attachment. This is not a nightmare since you can still place the dive knife in a differently shaped pocket or fashion your own attachment with Velcro bands or elastic string.
If your BCD has a specific dive knife placement in its design then it is probably the safest placement for a dive knife. If it does not then consider whether the dive knife is within quick reach and make sure it doesn’t cross any wires where it can get tangled.
The Closest Placement: Low-Pressure Inflator
A very popular placement for dive knives is attached to the low-pressure inflator. This is a popular spot because it is the easiest place to reach during a dive.
Even though the low-pressure inflator is the easiest place to reach, it is not the safest. Attaching the dive knife to the low-pressure inflator can get it tangled making it more difficult to pry loose.
Other risks with this spot are associated with a lack of visibility. Since the low-pressure inflator lies so close to your face, it is difficult to see.
In other words, taking the dive knife out of the sheath and putting it back in is done by touch alone. Pulling it out is less difficult but placing it back in the sheath probably takes two steady hands.
Certain dive knives also have a sharp tip. These type of dive knives are even riskier to store attached to your low-pressure inflator.
Dive Knife Placement Summary
The three most popular placement for a dive knife is either on the leg or ankle, in a pocket or attachment of the BCD or attached to the low-pressure inflator. Each of these spots has its pros and safety risks.
In the end, it is a personal preference. Just remember to always handle the dive knife with care.