For those of us in US police service, we can use force for only two reasons: defense and control. The control function is one of government with us as the agent, versus the offender. The defense function is personal; we have to defend ourselves to retain the capacity to control violent offenders.

benchmade.gifThere are many ways to use force and a number of implements to help us deliver force. Sometimes it’s important to use something that is unobtrusive to deliver force. Sometimes, we are not in uniform and have to conceal force implements.

Years ago, Takayuki Kubota developed a tubular device used to focus energy on pressure points by depressing or by strikes. It could also be used to trap an earlobe or to do a wrist drag. Called a “Kubotan,” it’s no nightstick but it’s very handy.

The Benchmade 1100 Pen Series can be used along those lines as well. The body is CNC machined 6061-T6 aluminum, as is the cap and pen grip. The pen is charcoal anodized for appearance and to minimize wear. The components are non-reflective. 

Fisher Pen Company makes the ink cartridges for Benchmade; after all, the pen has to be able to write. The cap is secured over the pen tip or the striking tip by an internal O-ring fitting. The stainless pocket clip is BP-1 coated. 

Handling the Benchmade 1100 Pen, it doesn’t feel heavier than any of a number of pens you could buy at the office supply store. The knurling isn’t sharp and won’t cause undue wear on clothing. The point at the end of the body is a bit sharp. It doesn’t need to be that sharp to use it for pressure point manipulation or strikes. It’s not necessarily a disadvantage, though it could raise concerns for security personnel. 

While you’re looking at the Benchmade 1100 Pen, take a glance at their Limited Edition Snody-designed HK-Class AXIS-lock folder. The one I have is their 14250SBK-702. This is a modified Tanto point on a 3.4-inch-long, wide blade with a combination serrated and plain edge. The blade is made of 154CM stainless, hardened to 58 to 61 HRc. Quick opening is accomplished with ambidextrous thumb studs. The blade is 0.15 of an inch thick. The package, with machined G10 scales, weighs in at 5.3 ounces. The knife’s overall length is just over 8 inches. Closed, the HK is 4.5 inches long. 

The AXIS locking mechanism is widely known for strength and smooth operation. A removable and reversible black metal pocket clip lets the user choose left- or right-side clip mounting. The HK-Snody folder I have has the “Sand” color G10 scales. It’s made in the USA. If your tastes run to aggressive tactical folders in limited run editions, the HK is for you. I think it’s a great knife.

While we’re on the subject of Benchmade Knives, we’ll look at an Osborne design. The 950 Rift is another folder, also with an AXIS lock, also with one-hand opening and an ambidextrous design. The scales are heavily milled G10, good for gripping the knife.

The 950 is also made with a blade of the American premium 154CM stainless steel formed in a reverse Tanto style. The edge of the 3.67-inch blade is part serrated. Double-thick steel liners reinforce this just-under-5-ounce folder. The 950 Rift is built Benchmade tough. 

BlackHawk got together with noted fighting expert Kelly McCann to build the Crucible knife. A pricey, high-quality folder, the cost was out of the reach of service people in military and police circles. In an effort to get a good hard-use battle knife to the people who need it most, Blackhawk has made some changes and announced the Crucible II.

By going to AUS-8A stainless in the broad spear-point blade and using a flat black PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) coating, they were able to reduce the price level of the Crucible. The design of the knife is the same. The liner lock mechanism is flush ground and strong. The G10 scales are textured for grip and the handle shape is made to allow a secure grip and to protect the hand. 

The Crucible II is made with plain or partly serrated edge. A four-position clip allows the user to select right- or left-side carry, tip up or down. The clip and pivot screws are Phillips-style for ease of disassembly and maintenance. According to BlackHawk, the Crucible II was member tested and is recommended by the National Tactical Officers’ Association.

The Super Tac from Streamlight issues up to 30,000 peak beam candlepower. The C4 LED is three times brighter than the super high-flux LED. This gives a 135 lumens output for a runtime of up to 3.5 hours. The body is made of machined aluminum.

With a length of just over 6.5 inches and a weight of around 7 ounces, the Super Tac runs on a pair of CR123A 3-volt lithium batteries. Along with the light and batteries, a nylon holster is included.

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For those of us in US police service, we can use force for only…