Switchblade Knives That Are Issued by the U.S. Military
Switchblade knives have historically been associated with thugs and gangs. However, such "automatic knives" actually have a legitimate place in the military world and in the law enforcement community.
One typically doesn't think of a switchblade being a military knife. But, for a soldier in combat or a law enforcement officer responding to an emergency, numerous scenarios can arise in which the ability to deploy a sturdy blade with one hand can literally be a life saver.
Benchmade Knife Co., based in Oregon, is a noteworthy manufacturer because its precision-made switchblade knives are actually issued by the United States Military.
The Benchmade AFO 9050 / 9053 (Armed Forces Only) is a field-proven tool that is serving troops throughout all branches of the American armed forces. The AFO provides for effortless, single-hand deployment of a highly capable and sturdy blade. The premium blade steel takes an edge well and maintains it even through genuine usage. A secure safety toggle is easily actuated for locking the blade in either the open or closed position. The 9053 AFO's machined aluminum handle securely fills the operator's hand and allows for a very tight grip.
An ambidextrous (movable) steel carry-clip facilitates carrying the knife and having it with you when needed. The Benchmade AFO comes with a hooded, ballistic nylon sheath for those who prefer belt or strapped/lashed carry over carrying the knife via the clip.
This Benchmade automatic knife is incredibly well-built. The AFO 9053 is in fact a bit thick. But, it simply looks, feels, and operates like a military-grade piece of equipment. It is no wonder at all why the U.S. Military has chosen to issue the Benchmade AFO to U.S. Soldiers, Marines, and Sailors.
Benchmade's 5000 Auto Axis and 9100 Auto Stryker are also approved for issue by the U.S. Military. Because the 5000 is a lot newer than the 9053, it is not found in circulation with troops to the extent of the AFO 9053. However, its ingenious Auto Axis mechanism and patented grip scale style are causing it to gain ground on the AFO. The 5000 has a much more balanced feel than the AFO because it's grip is not overly thick like that of the AFO 9050 / 9053.
The Benchmade 9100 Auto Stryker is very thin and compact when compared to either the 9053 or the 5000. The Auto Stryker's relative compactness makes it the perfect fit for a law enforcement officer. Soldiers wearing BDU trousers are more able to find a space for the full-size AFO 9053 or 5000 Auto Axis. However, the 9100 is really a much better fit for a police officer's pants pockets. Benchmade actually did a limited production run of 250 Auto Stryker 9100s that were marked with the words "Police Special".