In the tactical knife industry there are only a few constants, and one of them is Benchmade Knives. I have touted their quality, design and overall knifemaking skill in these pages for years and it is clear to this writer that in the automatic arena, they are the “Gold Standard” to which most others are compared.
Benchmade has been building automatic knives since the early 1990s, when they did a first run of SERE autos for the late Al Mar that morphed into their seminal AFO or “Armed Forces Only” model. Those early coveted knives sparked the tactical automatic knife business and their acceptance by law enforcers and military users gave Benchmade a running jump start into almost 20 years of building tactical auto knives.
This newest Benchmade sold under their licensed “Harley-Davidson” brand is a first. I feel it is one of the best large automatics Benchmade has recently produced, for several ergonomic reasons. First, let’s make one thing clear: Harley Davidson Knives are Benchmade Knives. Benchmade has licensed the Harley-Davidson name for a line of knives and it is apparently a good move for both companies. Benchmade gets some broader distribution and attaches itself to a legendary iconic name and Harley gets some high-quality American-made swag that appeals to their knife-loving customers. This is common in the knife industry and this match seems particularly well paired. Kudos to both parties.