Beyond designing and manufacturing pistols of legendary ruggedness and durability used by military and police forces all over the world, Glock also designs and manufactures two knives: the Glock Field Knife 78 and Survival Knife 81. Produced with input from the Austrian Army, the Glock knives—not surprisingly—bear a remarkable resemblance to their pistol cousins. Both the Field Knife 78 and Survival Knife 81 are comprised of carbon-steel blades and polymer handles—the same durable polymer that Glock offers in its 21 pistol models. The only difference between the Field Knife 78 and Survival Knife 81 is that the blade of the Survival Knife 81 comes with a saw back and weighs just few ounces less than the Field Knife 78. Other than that, both knives are physically identical, and both come with a super-tough yet very functional polymer sheath. These tools are profoundly simple and engineered for ruggedness and usefulness.
The Field Knife 78 and Survival Knife 81 both feature 6.5-inch carbon-steel, clip-point blades. A clip-point blade, similar to a drop-point blade, has a “false edge” toward the point opposite the blade. As such, the blade tapers to a point, making it more capable of piercing. Carbon steel is one of the hardest steels, and therefore one of the strongest and most durable. Sometimes carbon steel is referred to as “spring steel,” as its properties allow it to flex under abusive conditions and yet retain its shape, strength and functionality. The blade, 0.19 inches wide, is also coated in black phosphate, which helps protect it against corrosion and reduces glare, decreasing the potential for giving away the user’s position to an enemy.
The sheath’s most unique design feature is the reinforced, flexible retention tab that securely holds the knife in place, regardless of whether the knife is inserted with the blade to the front or back.
The back of the Field Knife 78 blade is straight and flat. The back of the Survival Knife 81 bears a 4-inch saw—alternating sharp ridges and points that will shred and tear whatever it is applied to. Glock knives come with a factory edge that is razor sharp. Their functionality, however, goes well beyond just cutting. These are robust tools that can and have been used to hack, split, chisel and pry.
Separating the blade and the handle is a carbon-steel crossguard. One side of the crossguard extends 0.75 inches below the blade, offering protection for a user’s hand. The other side of the crossguard extends 0.44 inches above the blade and curves toward the front of the blade, offering a mechanism for prying. With its strong construction and the leverage afforded by its location between the blade and handle, the crossguard pry is a formidable tool, able to handle the most demanding jobs—from prying supply cans open to bending metal. Its most popular use, however, might be the noble task of opening bottles.
Made of the same polymer found in its pistols, the handles of the Glock Field Knife 78 and Survival Knife 81 are 4.75 inches in length. The rounded handles vary in circumference from front to back, but the widest point in the middle measures 3.63 inches. All Glock knives have opposing indentations in the handle near the crossguard to accommodate the sheath’s retention tab, no matter which way it is inserted into the sheath. In addition, the polymer of the handle is textured and offers five indented rings to aid in purchase. The ends of each handle also provide two opposing 0.16-inch holes, perhaps for affixing a ring as a means of attaching a lanyard or, a user can drill through the holes using a 0.16-inch drill bit to allow for a lanyard to pass right through the handle. The end of the handle features a plastic plug, which, when removed, reveals a 1.5-inch-deep metal socket with the same previously mentioned holes machined into it. While the plastic plug is very durable, it could only take limited abuse such as that caused by using it as a pommel or hitting it with a hammer when using the knife as a chisel. Of interest, the metal socket and the forward-curved portion of the crossguard could work in conjunction so that the knife could serve as a bayonet on an assault rifle.