Oct 27, 1998
It seems that I can get a Microtech Soccom or an Emerson Commander for about $200US. Which do you think would be the best buy and why? I'm after a top quality 3.5 to 4 inch blade to replace my BM975st for law enforcement work, but it's main use would be for utility work. I carry the 975st every day and fortunately haven't had to use it in anger yet, so I'm after a knife that wouldn't let me down as well as being a great utility blade.
This reply is from a BIG fan of the Emerson Commander so take it with a grain of salt...

Basically I think you will need to decide which type of edge you like best: the Commander features the chisel ground edge which is a Emerson trademark; the Soccom offers the hollow ground blade edge.

If utility work is your primary need, you may consider giving the edge
to the partially serrated blade of the Soccom. Serrations add some heavy cutting muscle; however, in practical matters, the Emerson "wave" design seems to work equally well. Let me add that wider belly of the Commander gives it a real advantage on heavy work. In practice, I've found the chisel ground and the Wave design are a winning combination on everything from thick hemp rope to nylon cords, balistic cloth, package boxes, etc.

Some fans of hollow ground contend it offers more percise cutting. That may be true. I tend to switch over to my EDI Genesis for work requiring a finer touch but always use the Commander for the heavy work.

As a tactical knife: I think only the fully auto Microtecks could beat the Commander. The knife incorporates a hook design on the back of the blade that allows it to snap open right out of your pocket in a quick draw situation. An added plus is its beefly blade and handle which offers a really solid grip.
(I know I'm selling Soccom short here but I'm sure some Microteck fans will arrive shortly)
Another tactical point, the Emerson "wave" gives it a vicious cut in a slashing attack on practice dummies I've used.

Bottom line is they are both good knives. I think the decision is cost and which edge design you prefer. Final note: I'm soon going to order my SECOND Commander !!!!
Good Luck


[This message has been edited by Blade (edited 23 November 1998).]

[This message has been edited by Blade (edited 23 November 1998).]
And I'm a major Microtech fan, so here's the pepper...

The production SOCOMs are actually flat ground. Sometimes Microtech will use a hollow grind on pre-production knives, but I'm not sure if this was true of the early SOCOMs.

The blades for both the Commander and the SOCOM are made from 1/8 inch ATS-34/154CM stock. Since flat grinding removes more material than chisel grinding, I would expect that the Commander's blade is somewhat stronger.

On the other hand, because it's not chisel ground the SOCOM tends to cut in a straight line and can be used in either hand. The clip point blade profile also has a nicer tip for fine work as well as better penetration. The Commander's blade profile has a lot of belly and should be a great slicer.

Regarding grip shape, both knives feel good in my average sized hand. The thumb rest of the SOCOM provides a little extra leverage for heavy cutting, and it's comfortable to "choke up" on the blade with the index finger riding on top for better control. The finger cutout on the Commander feels like it would help prevent your hand from sliding up on the blade during a heavy stab.

As you might have guessed, I would lean towards the SOCOM for every day use. The Commander is certainly a fine knife also, and may be better suited for self-defense. I would suggest finding a good cutlery shop and handling both knives for yourself.


[This message has been edited by mjswan (edited 23 November 1998).]
I thought the Commander was a flat V grind and SOCOMs are hollow grind? Or am I losing my mind?

[This message has been edited by SB (edited 23 November 1998).]
Sorry, SB's right: the Commander is a flat V grind blade. I tend to refer to the entire class of V grinds as chisel grind blades which is the class they belong in. However to be precise, the Commander's blade is 3.75 inches of ATS-34 steel at .125 inch thickness and is flat ground putting the sharp edge on the back (right side as knife is held blade foreward) and a bevel on the left which I referred to as the chisel edge. Technically that design is a flat V, not a chisel design.


[This message has been edited by Blade (edited 23 November 1998).]
The current production clip point SOCOM is *not* hollow ground. If you lay a straight edge from knife edge to spine, there are no gaps. It's as flat as can be...


And another reason to get the SOCOM, it's cheaper! Cause i'm selling one for 155$.
check the for sale section.

(i know, shameless ad) :O