As everyone knows, “Hog” is a nickname for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and in a play on words, “HOG” is the acronym for the Harley-Davidson Owners Group, with chapters worldwide. Now, the knives we’re looking at here aren’t actually put out by the Harley-Davidson Owners Group, but they are knives specified and distributed by Harley-Davidson and by Benchmade. In other words, they are official Harley-Davidson knives. As you’d expect from Harley-Davidson, the materials are top-shelf, the designs are as racy as they are functional, and the workmanship equal to the bikes themselves.
Move Over Buck 110
One look at the Hardtail and you know what’s going on here. There’s probably no knife as much associated with Harleys as the Buck 110 is. For years this original “tactical knife” could be seen on the belts of Harley owners everywhere. So it’s both fitting and with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor that Harley Davidson made the leading knife in this new line a thoroughly modern version of the decades-old 110. The look and profile are pretty much the same, but the blade steel is D2, the body is machined billet aluminum and 420J liners, the lock is Benchmade’s Axis-lock, and the inset scales are G-10. Add a steel pocket clip, and voila, you have the classic 110 tradition in a modern package. Looking at the Hardtail, I am reminded of the difference between old-time football players (and I don’t mean players from the Vince Lombardi era—I mean back when they wore leather helmets) and today’s pigskin athletes (of course, it’s not really pigskin today, either). The old guys (the classic 110, if you haven’t already caught on to the metaphor) possessed true grit and the organic feel that pioneers in an activity have. The modern players come from that tradition, but the game they play is much more precise and scientific, and their athletic performance far outstrips even the best of the founders.