Predator Wristblades: All Variants of Yautja Knives
The wristblades are the Predator's main melee weapon and are often used in close quarters battle with humans and Xenomorphs. The wristblades, also called gauntlet knives, come in different shapes and sizes including one-bladed and three-bladed variants, some even offering ranged offensive capabilities. Almost all Yautja are known to wear wristblades, starting with the Young Bloods and ending with the Predator King.
The most common Predator wristblades are two-bladed and extend outwards from the gauntlet on the right arm. They don't fully retract to the gauntlet as the tips are still visible. The blades are razor-sharp and made from an unknown lightweight substance. In addition to fighting enemies in melee combat, they are useful for extracting the skulls and spines from humans, neatly ripping through the bones of the ribcage. The City Hunter used the most common type of wristblades, without any extra gimmicks that are featured in other types in this list.
Seemingly the Jungle Hunter used the regular two-bladed wristblades in the first Predator movie. However, these wristblades had a prehensile function not seen anywhere else in the Predator lore. In addition to expanding outwards from the gauntlet, the distance between the two blades expanded as well, allowing the Yautja to grapple his enemies. The Jungle Hunter grabbed Dutch by the neck with this function, but did not actually draw any blood. The first Predator's wristblades were also special in a way that he heated them up with the laser point of his mask, making them glow red.
The Predators use extra-long wristblades to fight especially dangerous foes, like the Xenomorphs. First seen used by the three Young Blood Yautja in Alien vs. Predator, these two-bladed wristblades extend multiple times. Surprisingly, these variants were not acid-resistant and started melting when Celtic Predator cut through the tail of the Grid Alien. This might be due to the lightweight and disposable design of the blades, or the purpose of giving an extra challenge to the Young Bloods. These long blades were not only used by Young Bloods but Elites and Elders as well.
Reverse Direction Wristblades
The extra-long wristblades that Celtic Predator used came with a special feature of reversing direction. He used this to cut through the tail of the Grid Alien, although this caused more harm than good. The blades started to melt and Grid used his cut tail as an acid sprayer. This over-engineered feature does seem a bit obsolete, as the blades are sharp on both sides, and reversing their direction does not give that much. It is unknown if the blades of the other Yautja had the same functionality or if it was something specific to Celtic Predator.
The Feral Predator featured in Predator: Prey wears yet again a new type of wristblades, which are curved. These are one of the earliest types of wristblades from the Predator lore as Feral hunts on Earth during the 18th century. The blades are also seemingly more blunt than usual, perhaps designed more as tools and as defensive weapons of the Yautja. In one of the fights with French trappers, the Predator blocks a hatchet with his wristblades, knocks it out of the attacker's hand, catches it, and proceeds to slaughter the man with his own weapon. Although possibly a prototype weapon, the blades still retract from the arm gauntlet as usual.
Some Predators attach an additional arm-blade to their gauntlet to enhance their melee fighting power. The scimitar is a single blade that is even longer than the Xenomorph fighting wristblades. It does not retract fully but gives a big melee advantage to the wearer. Chopper Predator was one such Yautja who wore the scimitar but it did not help him in the first encounter with a Xenomorph, who impaled him with a tail. For extra overkill, a Predator can wear blades on both hands in addition to the wristblades, as seen on some Hot Toys figures of the Young Blood Predators.
Another variant of the wristblades is a single-bladed one, used by the Super Predators from Predators. This is an elegant and simple version of the blade that is good for stabbing but less useful for trophy taking. It is similar to the scimitar but shorter and recedes into the gauntlet. Falconer Predator used the single-bladed wristblade in a duel with samurai sword-wielding Hanzo (a kidnapped Yakuza warrior) on the Game Preserve Planet. The duel had no winner as both fighters were stabbed to death, but Hanzo lived a few seconds longer.
If there are one-bladed and two-bladed wristblades, there must of course be three-bladed wristblades as well. This Wolverine-like variant looks great but probably gets stuck more easily and is less useful for extracting spines. Unlike Wolverine, they don't expand or retract individually. Ahab, one of the most successful Predators ever, wore three-bladed wristblades in the Life and Death series, although he is known to use two-bladed ones as well. Another three-blade wielder was Stoneheart, a big brainwashed Bad Blood from Predator: Concrete Jungle. However, Stoneheart wore the three blades on his knuckles and they were smaller than usual.
The Elite Predator clan from Aliens vs. Predator 2010 wore wristblades on both of their arms. The clan was focused on hunting the Xenomorphs (nicknamed Serpents) and their Young Bloods received expert training in melee combat. The dual-armed wristblades were also part of the game mechanic of blocking the attacks of Xenomorphs by crossing the wristblades together. The individual Predators who wore this configuration were Dark, Spartan, Wolf (not to be confused with Wolf from the movie, who wore dual shoulder cannons), and Claw (one of the Young Bloods).
Some Predator wristblade variants offer limited ranged capabilities as well, enabling them to so shoot off the blades in a one-time attack. However, this will leave the Yautja without any wristblades, as the blades will not return like the disc or shuriken. The blades would then have to be replenished at a Predator ship or a drop pod. Scar Predator used the wristblade launcher to shoot the blades at the Antarctica Queen, damaging her neck. It is unknown if all the three Young Blood Predators had this capability, or it was only Scar's wristblades.
The two Predators introduced in The Predator overcome the problem of the blades not returning after launching in different ways. The Assassin Predator had a wristblade harpoon, launching a blade attached to a razor-sharp wire. The wire then decapitated a squad of human soldiers who drove through the wire with a jeep. The blade could then be retracted back to the gauntlet with the help of the wire. It is worth mentioning that the Aliens vs. Predator Classic video game was first to introduce a grappling hook (also launched from the gauntlet) for the Predator, allowing him to access difficult-to-reach locations in the bonus levels.
Fugitive Predator's Wristblades
The Fugitive Predator had one the most fanciful wrist gauntlet and wristblades in the Predator series. The blades could retract into the gauntlet fully, without leaving the tips of the blades out. This could keep the Predator from hurting himself accidentally. Like Scar, Fugitive was able to launch his blades as a ranged attack. However, his gauntlet replenished the blades, allowing it to shoot multiple times, but probably not indefinitely. The blades broke easily on contact with the Assassin Predator, hinting at their disposable design.
The Lasershot Predator took the multiple wristblade variants even further by cutting off his left hand and replacing it with a cybernetic arm with an attachable bladed claw. In this crazed setup, each finger was the size of a wristblade that could possibly be retracted into the mechanical fingers. Lasershot was a Bad Blood who steered away from the Yautja code with his experimentations. His bio-surgery led him to join the Rogue Space Tribe together with Spiked Tail and Armored Lost Predators. However, Lasershot was the only known Predator with the bladed-claw setup.
Bionic Wristblade Arm
Having a bionic arm with a single wristblade permanently attached is another way for the Yautja to wear the blade. The Bionic Predator from Predator: Hunting Grounds lost an arm and a leg in combat and replaced them with cybernetic limbs. He understandably did not just take a regular robotic arm but went with a more lethal approach. This single blade was partly retractable and had several sharp tips on the other end of it as well, which is not seen in other wristblade types. He was able to strike with the blade by hitting his elbow at a target, and not worry about wounding his own robotic arm.
Finally, there is the wristblade knife from Predator: Hunting Grounds. Named "Dutch's knife", it is a combination of a knife handle attached to a single blade of the regular wristblades. Dutch Schaefer most likely extracted the wristblade from a fallen Predator he encountered after the incident in Val Verde from the first movie. The knife has some engravings on it, possibly marking the number of Yautja kills that Dutch has made. The wristblade knife allows to block melee attacks from Predators and can be customized with different colors. Although a Predator would not use it, it would make for a nice trophy to be reclaimed from Dutch.
Want to know more about the Predator lore? Check out the lists about the Predator self destructs and all the Predator clans.