Iconic design, high quality performance and a staunch fan following-these are the words that instantly come to my mind when I talk about Benchmade. The product I’m going to review in this segment is much more than an over-hyped EDC knife. Benchmade Infidel is the ideal synthesis of the company’s legendary design and adroit craftsmanship. The product was squarely aimed at professional survivalists, law enforcement and military personnel who need an attacking knife to keep the hostile opponents at bay. This typical OTF (Out-the-front) knife can effortlessly switch from a plain dagger to a robust self-defense tool on demand.
Benchmade Infidel is an umbrella label for a number of different editions such as Infidel 3300, Infidel Mini-Inf 3350 along with a limited edition “Gold Class”. The first Infidel knife was launched back in 2006, and created a huge buzz overnight. The niche of OTF knives is largely restricted to a limited circle of customers due to the legal restrictions imposed on these combating weapons. If you’re planning to buy one, make sure you check out the terms and regulations of your state to avoid any legal charge.
All the models under Infidel series offer double-action mechanism aiding an automatic two-way mechanism. The exquisite price tag of the knife clearly implies that the product is solely targeted towards the elite section of law enforcement and military personnel. If you’re an enthusiastic collector, Benchmade Infidel certainly deserves a place in your stash. Enough of beating about the bush, so without further ado, I’d straight jump to the qualities that make Infidel knives one of the top-rated OTF gears of all time.
Features of Benchmade Infidel
Blade Material, Design and Performance
Let’s start with the foundation of any utility tool, the material used for the construction. The U.S based business tycoon Benchmade has left no stone unturned in hand-picking the best quality materials in the design of the chassis and the blade. Normally the blade is made from a unique D2 steel moulded into a double edge spear-pointed blade sporting a matte satin finish and a flat grind. The standard OTF 3300 model allows you to choose between a BK1 tactical black-coated and a dual plain edge plain blade. The carbon steel used in this model isn’t fundamentally stain resistant but does reserve extraordinary toughness and durability to effectively stand the test of time.
You can be assured that the knife isn’t going to lose its edge anytime soon. But it will be time for resharpening the D2 blade, an uninitiated is going to have a tough time. I don’t mean to scare anyone away but unless you’re an expert, the struggle is going to be real. Apart from that, the quality of the blade is something hard to find these days. The spear point design is ruthless stabber and slicer, with a thickness of 0.118 inches, it can perforate the toughest surface within a blink of the eye accompanied by an astonishing resistance, to say the least.
Knife Size and Weight
Size and weight hold utter importance in deciding the functionality and credibility of any knife. You shouldn’t expect a feather-light, humble design from a rugged OTF strategically sculpted to intimidate a potential threat. To ensure the knife doesn’t feel tiring after a prolonged period of rigorous action, they have constrained the blade length within 3.9” mounted atop a neat 4.8” handle. The overall length of the knife is 8.9” and weight doesn’t exceed beyond 5.0 ounces. The blade to handle ratio is pitch-perfect .for the extensively trained army men and outdoorsmen, using this knife will be a walk in the park.
Locking system plays an integral role as a major safety element of a machine primarily designed to cause severe damage a hostile entity. The double lock action implemented in this OTF knife is a specimen of Benchmade’s superior engineering acumen. It is accompanied by a pair of notches on both sides of the front deployment slot to make flicking the blade easy for both left and right hand users.
The rock solid three point retention system allows minimal to zero blade play and keeps the blade secured at its position while in use. Retracting the blade back into the handle is also pretty fuss free. All you need to do is triggering the switch and the blade quickly folds back to the handle. To test the strength of the lock, I unraveled and retracted the blade again and again, not even for once I was disappointed. The spring is strong beyond imagination and contributes big time behind the insane cutting prowess of the blade.
The Benchmade Infidel opts for a black anodized, machined 6061 T-6 aluminum handle equipped with a removable pocket lip. The handle structure is ideal for an OTF, offering a firm and comfortable grip, something you need badly while dealing with a worst case scenario. The handle is 4.8” in length and 0.59” in thickness, rightly balanced with the dimension of the blade. The handle in finished with mirror cutouts on either side for easy handling by both left and right hand. It also helps the knife to set in your palm tightly so that it doesn’t slip off under any circumstance.
In addition to that, the OTF also has a removable pocket clip hard-wired on the back side for the ease of mobility like a pocket knife. In spite of being a fairly large knife, it doesn’t feel like a burden in your jeans pocket. In a nutshell, Benchmade Infidel provides a much sought after balance of comfort and functionality. While the handle permits excellent grip, the blade effectively essays its role as an aggressive weapon.
Despite of being showered with overwhelming responses from all over the globe, Infidel isn’t totally free of flaws. A few customers have reported that the one-hand deployment switch doesn’t perform as smoothly as advertised. But then, a minor manufacturing defect like this can never outperform the ingenious build quality, novelty and stupendous features of a masterpiece like Benchmade Infidel. If you’re lucky enough to chance upon their limited edition “Gold Class” series, dare not to miss the opportunity to grab one.