Issue 13 Firearm-Branded Knives Patrick Vuong 0 COMMENT Unusual Suspects Peanut butter and jelly. Phones and Wi-Fi. Kate Upton and sports bras. There are some things that are really good solo, but are even better when paired with a natural complement. The same holds true with knives and firearms. In that vein, we take a closer look at firearm-branded knives this issue. While some are licensed products, others are the end result of collaborations between knifemakers and gun manufacturers. Call it brand loyalty, call it recognizing a mark of quality, or call it striking a yin-yang balance in one’s tactical toolbox. And even if you’re not particularly keen on any of the firearm brands represented here, you might find out that one of their knives could fulfill your everyday carry (EDC) needs. Make: CampCo Model: UZI EVN Stone Wash I OAL: 6.5 inches Blade Length: 2.75 inches Blade Material: 420 stainless steel Weight: 3 ounces MSRP: $20 URL: www.uzi.com Make: Wilson Combat Model: Extreme Lite Carry OAL: 7.5 inches Blade Length: 3.5 inches Blade Material: N690C stainless steel Weight: 3.8 ounce MSRP: $145 URL: www.shopwilsoncombat.com Make: Kershaw Knives Model: Daniel Defense Folding Knife OAL: 7.625 inches Blade Length: 3.5 inches Blade Material: 14C28N stainless steel Weight: 4.2 ounce MSRP: $99 URL: www.danieldefense.com Make: Browning Black Label Model: Pandemonium Folder OAL: 7.75 inches Blade Length: 3.5 inches Blade Material: 440 stainless steel Weight: 4.8 ounces MSRP: $33 URL: www.browning.com Make: Taylor Brands Model: Smith & Wesson Black Ops OAL: 7.75 inches Blade Length: 3.25 inches Blade Material: 4034 stainless steel Weight: 4.8 ounces MSRP: $59 URL: www.taylorbrandsllc.com Make: Boker Plus Model: KAL 10T OAL: 8.13 inches Blade Length: 3.5 inches Blade Material: 440C stainless steel Weight: 6 ounces MSRP: $57 URL: www.boker.de/us Make: Benchmade Knife Company Model: HK AXIS OAL: 8.34 inches Blade Length: 3.69 inches Blade Material: D2 tool steel Weight: 4.96 ounces MSRP: $155 URL: www.hk-knives.com Interrogating the Unusual Suspects CampCo UZI EVN Stone Wash I 411: This UZI-branded folder won’t win any awards, but its small price tag and lightweight frame make it decent for thrashing on boxes, ropes, or fruit. Pros: G-10 handle on a $20 knife? Who knew? It’s comfortable and has plenty of texture to maintain a solid grip. Looking for a petite EDC knife? This one’s the smallest and lightest of this bunch. The spring-assisted opening is smooth and quick Cons: The stonewashed finish can’t hide the fact that the blade itself is made of 420 stainless steel — more commonly found in your kitchen utensils Though the flipper and thumb-stud are ambidextrous, the pocket clip can only be positioned on the right side Wilson Combat Extreme Lite Carry 411: What you can expect from this knife are the same qualities you’ll get from one of Wilson Combat’s famed 1911s: smart engineering, lasting durability, and (most importantly) results. Made in Italy by Fox Knives, this is a medium-sized EDC of outstanding caliber (no pun intended). Also available with a black G-10 handle or a cocobolo hardwood handle with a stonewash-finished blade (latter model is $155). Pros: The blade’s N690C stainless steel is similar to VG-10: razor sharp, easy to sharpen, and holds an edge well. It also has a black diamond-like-carbon (DLC) finish. G-10 handle feels fantastic in hand and has a unique MultiCam-inspired pattern Pocket clip allows for right- and left-handed carry Comes with a skull-decorated bundle of paracord Lightweight and easy to manipulate Cons: Would be nice to see options for semi-serrated edges, too The price…though you do get what you pay for Kershaw Daniel Defense Folding Knife 411: Daniel Defense is known for building stellar AR-pattern rifles in Georgia. Kershaw Knives crafts award-winning pocketknives in its Oregon facility. Together they’ve reimagined the popular Shallot, giving it a distinctive blade, more aggressive serrations, and an overall aesthetic that matches Daniel Defense’s firearms. Naturally, it’s made in the USA. Pros: The 14C28N blade takes a fine edge and its Daniel Defense-designed shape makes it great for slicing, sawing, and piercing The 410-stainless-steel handle (with tungsten DLC coating, like the blade) is relatively slim and easy to pocket, carry, and draw The flipper is unobtrusive and smoothly actuates the SpeedSafe assisted opening Cons: Some might not like the lack of thumb-studs The frame-lock and right-sided pocket clip essentially preclude left-handers Browning Black Label Pandemonium Folder 411: For decades, Browning has produced knives to complement its shotguns, rifles, and Hi-Powers. Now it’s enlisted notable knifemaker Russ Kommer to help develop its line of Black Label tactical knives. Pandemonium offers good bang for your buck (pun totally intended), as it balances cost with a smart design, an ergonomic handle, and a beefy blade. Available with coyote tan with a titanium-coated blade for $43. Pros: Textured G-10 scales and finger grooves provide a sturdy grip The four-way adjustable pocket clip means both lefties and righties can carry with the tip up or down An ideal EDC for those on a budget Cons: The finger grooves are fairly aggressive, which might cause hotspots or blisters after hard or prolonged use To keep the folder affordable, the blade is made of 440 stainless steel, which is not horrible but not top quality either Taylor Brands Smith & Wesson Black Ops 411: Taylor Brands is licensed to produce S&W-inspired knives, including the Black Ops. Most notable is its MAGIC system, which features a lever on the back of the handle to initiate the assisted opening. Similar to the gas piston-versus-direct impingement comparison in ARs, the MAGIC lever feels different than a traditional flipper found on a blade’s spine, but seems just as effective. Available in drop-point plain edge or with black and red handle. Pros: Manual safety provides additional security Both lever and ambidextrous thumb-studs quickly activate the assisted opening We like it when companies take artistic risks on handle designs. This one’s made of rippled yet smooth aluminum Cons: The cool-looking handle isn’t as comfortable as it appears — the groove for our index finger is too big, resulting in our middle finger resting half in the same grove and half on the hump The blade is made of 4034 stainless, a rust-resistant but low-performing steel Right-sided pocket clip isn’t adjustable Boker Plus KAL 10T 411: Created as a part of a tribute series to Mikhail Kalashnikov, the KAL 10 T features a burly aluminum handle inspired by the modernized AK-47 and a 440C-stainless-steel blade with a thumb-hole shaped like a 7.62x39mm round. If Boker wanted a complete tribute, it should have added wood furniture, dodgy ergos, and mediocre accuracy. Just sayin’. Pros: The solid 440C blade is plenty sharp, good at holding an edge and resisting rust, and semi-serrated for tearing through rope or more fibrous materials Good quality construction that suggests it can take a beating — despite being made in China If you have big paws, this knife’s got the heft and girth you might be looking for Cons: If you’re looking for a low-profile EDC, keep looking There’s no pocket clip (though it does come with a nylon sheath) The ammo-shaped thumb-hole is a nice visual touch, but is so slim that it’s hard to actuate Benchmade HK AXIS 411: The HK AXIS is just one of many in a line of cool tools licensed by Heckler & Koch to Oregon-based Benchmade. As you would expect when two premium companies collaborate, the HK AXIS is a high-value production knife that is easy to use, can take a licking, and looks elegant in its simplicity. It’s made in the USA and available with a partially serrated edge. Pros: Its namesake locking mechanism is a breeze to manipulate for both righties and lefties Thumb-studs and pocket clip are also ambidextrous You’ll never slip with these textured G-10 scales Clip-point blade is made of laser-sharp D2 tool steel Cons: Conversely, D2 is tough as nails and holds an edge…but it’s not for the lazy knife owner. It will rust in humid and wet conditions if you don’t care for it. Like an HK rifle, you’re gonna have to pay more. With an MSRP of $155, the HK AXIS is the most expensive of this group.