One of the most frequently asked questions we get at ACSD headquarters is “which is most impact resistant, your hardwood canes or the aircraft grade aluminum (ACG) Robaina Raven?” A variation of the question is “which is most effective for self defense?”
My response to the latter is always the same: “whichever you hit ‘em with first!”
In other words, both hardwood canes and ACG (Robaina Raven) are formidable impact tools in the hands of a trained practitioner. Which do you prefer to get shot with a shotgun or 44 magnum?
That being said, the real question is, if you’re forced to face someone with an impact tool such as a baseball bat, lead pipe etc., which is most likely to give first, hardwoods or the Raven? We have the answer for one simple reason…WE TEST AND TEST AND TEST….
For starters, “customized” hardwood canes by definition will have at least some material shaved off. We try to limit this in our customized hardwood models which is why we stick to three basic hardwood canes: The Robaina Heavy (our training cane), Triple Gripper, and Octagonal Triple Gripper.
The more you “customize” and shave hardwoods, the less impact resistance they become. The hardest wood for our models is hickory and specifically hickory heart. The most impact resistant and heaviest of the hardwood models is the Robaina Heavy which does not have any work on the shaft and is purposely a heavier cane designed to develop speed/power for our Powershot template. The smooth shaft and softer horn make it less than optimal for anything that gets past your powershot range and/or grappling where a quick release response is critical.
The drawback to hardwood canes is they can and will crack under repeated duress.
If your hardwood cane cracks under fire, you have 1-2 powershots left before your hardwood cane is rendered useless so you better make them count.
The Robaina Raven DOES NOT crack under duress. Instead, it bends. You can still get off multiple shots with a bent cane especially if you know how to use the horn. The new Raven Horn was designed specifically with this in mind. (See New Raven Video Post).
The ACSD method promotes limiting the need to “bang” toe to toe against impact tools regardless of cane model used. However, if durability/effectiveness in the midst of combat is your concern, the new Robaina Raven is more effective than hardwood canes.