Tools of the trade: knives

I previously posted about the original Leatherman Wave I’ve had since 1999. Now is other knives I carry.

Left: Benchmade 3320 “The Pagan”
Right: Smith & Wesson assisted OTF.

Both are great knives. As you can probably tell from the photo the S&W has more handle wear as I’ve had it longer.

The Benchmade is full-automatic with a single button and a pocket clip etched with the text “The Pagan” on the back. There’s a single thumb switch that extends and retracts the blade.

The S&W is semi-automatic. There’s a pocket clip with text warning “Caution: blade ejects” and an arrow pointing toward the other end. The silver point is a glass breaker punch. Near it is the safety switch that locks the blade release. The release is the large thumb switch at the other end. The small lug in the slot along the left side is how you manually retract the blade. Be sure to keep this clear when releasing the blade or it will not fully extend and will fail to lock. The remaining lug at the blade-end is the blade lock release lever. When pressed the blade will slightly retract and not relock when that lever is released.

The S&W mechanism is more finicky. Unless it’s very clean it won’t lock when extending unless held point-down when releasing the blade. I don’t consider this a huge problem, particularly for an OTF that has a MSRP under $70 and can be found for less than $45. I would be more critical of the Benchmade if that were the case with a nearly $500 MSRP. It, however, has performed flawlessly so far.

The Benchmade is a bit lighter. Both are under 200 grams. My preference is the Benchmade but I won’t say no to the S&W.