Oct 3, 1998
I've been playing with my scanner again. Here's a link to a 1024w wallpaper size picture of a new Microtech DA SOCOM, an EDI Genesis, and a Benchmade AFCK.


And a view from above (actually upside-down on the flat-bed scanner:

The EDI Genesis is frequently compared and contrasted to the Benchmade AFCK. I think the Microtech design may be a closer match. The AFCK has a spydie-hole, which which you can do a drop-handle opening. The AFCK also has a deep finger cut-out by way of a guard, while the Genesis and the SOCOM both have tapered handles, flared at top and bottom at the front. The AFCK handle drops considerably below the blade, while the other two are straight enough in the open position that you can set them down, open, on a flat surface and not have the edge of the blade touch the flat surface.

I hadn't handled a lot of "tanto" SOCOMs before, so I was surprised to see how they did the separate surface at the front end of the blade. It isn't a bevel, like most geo-tanto points, but a shallow plunge cut.


Now I have a question. Note the continuous curve of the edge on the Genesis, versus the 2/3 curve on the SOCOM, changing at a slight angle to a straight edge at the point. The two blades seem to occupy about the same space, with the points in the same place relative to the handle. The SOCOM front bevel is not "reinforced" - if anything the other way around with that little plunge cut.

Would anything you were cutting be able to tell the difference between the two? Or does the Microtech blade do the same work as the Genesis blade, but with a greater show of CNC grinding prowess in all the additional surfaces?

The Microtech DA is a dream of a machine, by the way. Schnick!
It should be, of course, since it's more expensive than the other two knives combined. And it makes arm hair jump out of the way at its approach. The other two are merely very sharp. A little use should equalize.

And I think it's street-legal under Section 653K of the CA Penal Code, but I haven't decided whether I want to test that theory on the street.

Each of the three knives will open in the same two different ways - a thumb-push or a politically incorrect gravity flip. The AFCK has a third way to open it - the aforementioned Spydie-handle-drop. The DA SOCOM also has a third way - that button that releases a spring. Maybe that's intended as an optional liner lock safety, to make the blade resist folding up on your finger. (It passed a "whack" test, by the way.)

About it being street-legal out here (aside from nagging federal questions, of course), here's the code section:

653k. Every person who possesses in the passenger's or driver's area of any motor vehicle in any public place or place open to the public, carries upon his or her person, and every person who sells, offers for sale, exposes for sale, loans, transfers, or gives to any other person a switchblade knife having a blade two or more inches in length is guilty of a misdemeanor.

For the purposes of this section, "switchblade knife" means a knife having the appearance of a pocketknife and includes a spring-blade knife, snap-blade knife, gravity knife or any other similar type knife, the blade or blades of which are two or more inches long and which can be released automatically by a flick of a button, pressure on the handle, flip of the wrist or
other mechanical device, or is released by the weight of the blade or by any type of mechanism whatsoever. "Switchblade knife" does not include a knife that is designed to open with one hand utilizing thumb pressure applied solely to the blade of the knife or a thumb stud attached to the blade.
(my emphasis added)

The thumb stud or thumb hole are what keep all three of these knives, and a bunch of others, from being evil gravity knives under that statute, even though they can be flipped open, so the same reasoning should mean that the DA SOCOM is not a "switchblade" for purposes of the CA statute.

Your mileage may vary, of course.

AKTI Member # SA00001

[This message has been edited by James Mattis (edited 23 July 1999).]

[This message has been edited by James Mattis (edited 23 July 1999).]
Some lovely pictures, as usual. It's odd, but my memory had reversed the direction of the plunge-cut on the Tanto SOCOM so that it gave a reinforced point and thinner primary egde. The true setup is really senseless - as you say, just a gratuitous show of computer machining, like the "false edge" that thickens towards the tip! Not damning "aesthetic" features, just that we should see them for what they are.

I wouldn't try that interpretation of the CA laws if I were you - seems like the sort of wordplay that might get the entire one-hander ammendment reversed (the only pro-knife law victory that I am aware of, so let's not lose it!). Maybe folks will excuse "gravity knives" that also have a "friendly" one-handed opening method, but I doubt they'd excuse "switchblades." They're the "evil knives," remember? Every villain on TV or in the movies has some cheesy 4" Italian auto - just the "snick" suffices for character development of some antagonists

That SOCOM really is a fine piece to put away in a colloection somewhere. But for the money I'd rather get a less-known maker to do my own design (or do it myself). or I could buy the AFCK and the Genesis and have two knives that have substantial bellies and locks that don't fail regularly - one for me and one for a friend!

-Drew Gleason
Little Bear Knives

[This message has been edited by Corduroy (edited 23 July 1999).]
James Mattis doesn't know it, but he is the individual who got me started collecting knives. I first saw a BM 9000 on his site.

That lead to a half a dozen more Bencmhades until I discovered the Demons of Vero Beach. Kind of like moving from marijuana to cocaine. Man I like those knives.

And now, I am buying custom folders. Figuring out how to get my hands on a production Combat Talon. Looking for a
Battle Mistress.

In retrospect, I wish he hadn't made such a great web site.....NOT (as the kids would say)...

So, chaicutlery.com....Thanks for the addiction! And my very best wishes.

PS, brilliant legal interpretation... tell me when you have won!

Dances with lemmings