[Ed. note: This Benchmade Soldat knife review was created nearly 10 years ago. The knife is no longer available for sale. If you are looking for a new knife, please check out our other knife reviews page. This Soldat review will remain here for historical purposes.]
Benchmade Knife Company teamed up with Heckler & Koch to manufacture the Soldat knife. This is a rugged folding knife that is made in the United States and sold at an attractive price point. In my opinion, it is ready for duty.
First production began in March 2011. I received one in May of the same year. I have been carrying it on duty for two months and I am impressed with its features and durability.
Watch my video review to get the full details on this knife.
Transcript from video:
This is Randall with BlueSheepdog.com and today we’re going to be talking about Benchmade’s Heckler & Koch Soldat folding knife. All right, the Benchmade knife ships in a box, and it comes with a nice little synthetic bag.
The design of this knife, it’s a folding knife, with a button lock, ambidextrous pocket clip, and a round opening hole. Now this has a button or plunge lock this is not an automatic opening knife, this is a manually opening folder. The handles are made of a thermoplastic called Grivory. It’s a high-performance thermoplastic and in some industrial uses, it’s used to replace metal.
It’s got a pocket clip on here that mounts on either side of the knife. This is a very light knife, and part of the reason is that the handle doesn’t have any integral liners or anything like that, it’s got some ribbing inside this so the interior of the handles are slightly skeletonized for lightness but they’re also very thick. You can see this knife is about 0.76 inches across or a little more than three-quarters of an inch across, which is a little bit larger than most folding knives across and I think part of that is what gives the knife its strength in the handles.
I think they’ve done away with the liners by making them a little bit thicker and heavier which is something that I like because this knife fills your hand up very nicely. It’s also got very good purchase, you can see that the surface of the knife has some diamond plate or tire-tread pattern on it. It’s got some scalloping here on the top and bottom edges of the handle.
Also, the back spacer has some serrations on it. Then there’s some jimping on the back of the blade itself to provide a little bit of traction for your thumb when you’re cutting. It has a very well thought of handle design. Because there are no integral steel liners for mounting the pocket clip they’ve included some steel inserts that the actual screws screw into so that it doesn’t screw into the thermoplastic itself.
As I said, it’s got a 3.3-inch blade. The blade in this knife is made of N680 steel which is a high corrosion resistant steel that has a little nitrogen-infused into it. Rockwell hardness 57 to 59 on the Rockwell scale.
This is a drop point, the knife also comes with a tanto point. I like the drop point because there’s a lot of belly for cutting and at the same time I like the combo edge. The combo edge gives you a nice edge for cutting fibrous materials like rope, paracord, or seat-belts. I always like having a combo edge on a duty carry knife like this.
The opening hole is a bit oversized on this; it’s just a little bit larger than the average opening size which is nice because if you’re wearing gloves or something else you can get your thumb in there. The opening hole on this knife is not chamfered at all. It’s got a nice squared up edge so when you put your thumb in there, it grabs very tightly right on there and opens right up.
This button lock design, you can see as I open the knife up here, opens up about halfway across the blade to block it from opening. You got your pivot pin and your hardened stop pin on the back. This knife, because the handle is so rigid, locks up very tightly as there is no play in the blade side to side. There is a very, very tight lock up on this knife. Also, you can hear the plunge lock when I close this knife which acts as a detent so when this knife closes, it’s closed very securely so that the blade will not pop open in your pocket. It won’t be jarred open. If you’ve ever had a knife opened partially in your pocket, this is especially with knives that are clip carry with a tip-up design like this, you reach into your pocket to pull this out you can cut yourself, get the knife hung up on your pocket so it won’t come out, tear your pants. Just something you don’t want. Especially on a rough and tumble knife that’s going to be carried on duty like this, you want something that’s going to be secure.
When Benchmade designed this knife, they had a couple of goals in mind. One was that they make a U.S.A. made knife, this knife was made in the U.S.A. with the button lock. They wanted to have it with a little bit lower price point than some of the comparable knives that are out there. This knife has an MSRP of about $70. If you do a bit of internet due diligence, you can find this knife for sale under $50, which I think is a great value, especially in a duty folder. If this thing is going to be carried on duty, use it and abuse, you want to be able to get a good price if you lose it so you can go out and buy another one without a problem.
I’ve been carrying this particular knife on duty for about two months. I’ve been cutting a variety of materials with it. Overall, a very nice package. I really like the way the handle is designed; it’s got a nice shape to it, feels good in the hand. Even though it’s a little bit thicker, it carries well in the pocket. There aren’t very many problems with it. It comes right out. I carry mine on my left side. This is kind of a duty folder for chores, and I try and maintain its sharpness all the time, but if I need a backup weapon this is what it’s also carried for.
Anyway, a quick review of the Benchmade H&K Soldat knife.
Randall is a twenty-three year sworn police officer in a mid-sized Florida police department. He has been an FTO, K9 Handler, Detective, and SWAT Team Leader. He is currently the Midnight Shift K9 Sergeant and department SWAT Coordinator. Perhaps more importantly, Randall is an avid knife collector and maker.