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Mini Socom, Pinnacle, Random Task, M2 Mini AFCK????

Oct 3, 1998
I bought a M2 mini AFCK for work (electronics field tech for major hotel/casino). The quality wasn't great so I sent it back. I am undecided as to try to get a better model or get something else. I want something relatively small, and tough. Anyone have experience with toughness of Mini Socom, Pinnacle (not out yet, I know), Random Task (same story)? I have a custom on order and don't want to spring for a small sebenza.
Dex-- Any suggestions?
Thanks- Danny
I've seen and handled a Mini Socom, and everything about it is mechanically correct and precise, but I wouldn't want to smutz up inventory by actually finding out how tough it is.

The Kershaw Random Task is "Soon, soon!" but not out there yet. I just got some Mini Tasks, of which three are, IMHO really good knives (I like the way that torsion bar thingamajig holds the blade closed better than a ball bearing, and the polished G10 has a very interesting look about it), but two went back to Kershaw for glitches.

For a proven workhorse of a small liner lock that is relatively economical check out the Benchmade Leopard Cub. It's been on the market for a while now, and the bugs are worked out. The handle is comfortable, and the blade is a flat-ground pure cutting tool.

And you probably can't go far wrong with a Spyderco Delica.

- James Mattis


Thanks for posting. To be honest with you, any of those knives should hold up to anything you can throw in their path, as they are designs that are executed very well. Though I do have to say that the forthcoming Ransom Task sure looks to be THE ultimate utility knife! I also agree with James with the Leopard Cub - nice size (and I love flat grinds too!), and indeed a very solid feeling knife because of the aluminum handles. Not ot mention, it is probably the least expensive of those knives you listed. I would strongly recommend that you place the Cub on your list of knives to look at. Hope this info helps!
Why do you feel the random task will be
the "ultimate utility knife?"

I have a mini task. It is very well made, however the polished handle is slippery when hands are wet/bllody/etc.

The "speed-safe" mechanism adds no enhancement as far as utility is concerned.
A conventional liner lock is just as easy to open and just as fast manually, just not as cool.

The blades on both "Task" models are poorly
shaped for many slicing and food prep chores.
They will make good box cutters/package openers. IMHO the reason they went with those shapes, instead of Kens usual, very functional shapes, is that if the blade opens accidentally in the pocket, those hollow ground "pseudo-wharncliffe" nosed blades will be the safest to the user. (I also prefer flat grind for utility)

The mechanism also seems like it will beat the liner lock to death after a few thousand flicks, but that is conjecture and remains to be seen.

Last but not least, the knife isnt ambidextrous. Duh, Kershaw.

I guess for me, and Genesis,AFCK, or Military
(In that order)still have the Tasks beat for "utility". The "Tasks" are the NICEST production knives as far as fit in finish in their price range, and the mechanism is cool.
I just dont see whats "better" about it, except for James' comment on it holding the blade in better than a ball detent.
FYI, the tasks have 2 ball detents-neither one engaged on the 2 I handled.
For a Mini-AFCK sized working knife, I would toss the Round Eye Knife and Tool Pioneer into the discussion. It should be stronger than any of the others on your list. Perfect strong little working folder for when grind symetry and polish don't mean much.

By the way, what was wrong with your M-2 Mini AFCK?

I have both those knives (Mini in M2, and Clip Point Pioneer.)

The Mini is one sharp knife and I love it.
The Pioneer is stout and strong, and I would rely on it for my hardest chores.

The only area I disagree with you on is that the REKAT is much heavier than the Mini AFCK, due to the stoutness of the construction.

Not a cosmetically well finished knife, but able to take a beating without worry.

I'm happy to have both in my collection.

I'm a bit puzzled too, about why you didn't like your Mini-AFCK ? I was blase about it until I traded for one...then I turned into a true believer. I consider the mini to be one of my top 5 utility folders, along with(as James mentioned), the Leopard Cub,
Boye lockback, Delica, Mini-Dyad and Mini-Reflex. Oops, more than 5. So shoot me.
My .02,Brian.

Thanks for posting. I have always favored sheepsfoot blades on the stockman pattern pocket knives. The flat cutting edge is very easy to maintain, and there is a little bit of a point present to facilitate fine cutting and scoring.

I agree with you in that the Speed Safe adds no enhancement to the utility factor, but it is something that has never before been used in a production knife, and definitely adds to the "neat-o" factor of the knife ("toy factor"). Finally, the names of these two new Kershaws reflect what these knives are engineered for - general utility tasks!
Here is some more of the story. I wanted a tough pocket knife for work. I wanted different blade material than my other knives. I wanted a pocket clip, opening hole, smallish blade. I chose an AFCK in M2 steel. I paid $129.00 plus shipping. I like the knife a lot. I didn't like the open back. Oh well. One of the clip screws was stripped. I called Benchmade and they sent three new screws and a clip. I bought a 2-56 tap for $11.00. One of the allen headed screws holding the scales together had the head stripped. I wanted to take the knife apart and sand the edges of the liners as I thought they were a little rough for such an expensive knife, but I couldn't take it apart. The detent holding it closed was a little weak. The blade wobbled a little when locked open, even after adjusting the pivot screw. I decided to send it back to Benchmade. That cost $10.00 for shipping. At this point the total was about $153.00. They seemed to have fixed it, but they sharpened it. Probably on a belt sander. They oversharpened it. Near the base of the blade it had a step in it. Almost a choil. It appeared to be at least a sixteenth of an inch. I was very disappointed. I called Northwest Cutlery (where I bought it). They said they would do whatever I wanted. I said I wanted to send it to them and have them look at it. Another $5.00. At this point I was pretty sure I was going to ask for a different knife. Up to about $158.00 invested. I should have doubled it and bought a small Sebenza. Although the M2 blade should be stronger. Leslie sent me an email saying they agreed the sharpening job was inferior and Benchmade was going to replace the blade and send it to me. I am now waiting for it. Kudos to Northwest Cutlery!!!

Bad luck to get one with so many problems. If you prefer smaller knives, get your money back and try out the Round Eye Pioneer. That should be a tough little sucker, almost as tough as the Baby Sebenza, for about the same price as the M-2 Mini AFCK. The Pinnacle should be one tough mother, but who knows what they will be like until we see them, and who knows when they will be available.
Have you tried the MOD Hornet? It's well-made, sturdy and has a 3" blade.

The MOD Hornet does look like a nice knife. Probably too nice for work. I have been unable to find a good picture of the Pioneer on the net and there are 0 knife stores in nortern Nevada.
Check here for a photo of the REKAT models:


I have a Black T swept point Pioneer for sale/trade if you are interested. Give me an email!