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I own, or have owned, every knife you mention. The Military is as strong as any of them, including the Emerson Commander, which many claim to be as good as his customs. I'll betcha the Military will last longer than a Stryker in the field. The blades will snap before the handles and I'm sure CPM-440V is a stronger steel than ATS-34. Just an opinion though, kinda like yours. OTOH, watch out for those Titanium liners. They wear much quicker than those made of steel! BTW, half a Prozac will probably do just fine.


Rage, actually the spine wacks have already been done by me and many others and the military has already been proven to hold up better than all the BM's except the axis lock. Check the reviews.

Again your wrong about what blade will snap. The charpy value on the 440V is higher and this coupled with a thicker blade, proves you wrong, again.

Your blade will fail long before your handle does so the last argument is irrelevant. But the Military is stiffer non the less.

I just read you last post. Maybe you should stick to the full prescription. Are you from KnifeForums, by chance? 10 deep breaths, soothing, peaceful thoughts, AAAAHHHHHHHH....

RAGE...Just use the knife and get back to us in a couple years!!!

Maybe I split the difference in this discussion. I carry daily while in uniform a BT2 Stryker on my strong side which I do not cut anything with (social interaction tool of last resort) and a new model Military on my weak side. I love both knives for different reasons. The Stryker is tough, has great penetration and slashes nicely. The Military stays sharp longer, has great working belly and with the combo edge allows me to do fine work with the tip and cuts hard material like a mini-chainsaw with the serrations. Disposed of two wounded geese with the military the last two days and it did a dynamite job as a hunting knife for game cleaning - something the Stryker lacks the ability to do with finesse due to lack of belly.

I guess I'm saying: I carry both every day and find that they complement each other wonderfully for my needs: utility and backup weapon.

My .02,

I'm wondering if someone could elaborate for me the changes that the Military has undergone since its initial release. I haven't held one since then, and based on those old impressions I've been startled at its popularity in this crowd.

I was "friendly" with Pioneer Valley Knife and Tool when the first Militaries arrived: ATS-34 only, no black blades. The knives were immediately the subject of every ridicule from the (then) highly knowledgeable staff.

The G-10-only scales not only seemd cheap, but they could be flexed by squeezing or even bending the knife, in the latter case disengaging the lock in the process. The little locking bar, when it worked, usually engaged at the very base of the locking face. The giant blade hole made sense if one had gloves on, but was way too big any other time (how often do you wear gloves?) and was un-chamfered so it bit your hand unpleasantly. The clip was held by two screws and had the place for the third unprofessionally ground off AFTER the blackening process, to clear the pivot screw. Also, the back and front of the blade had huge, sharp notches that bit worse than the blade hole. Even the thin teflon washers on either side of the blade were poorly cut, often assymmetrical or in at least one case missing.

I helped out the staff in disassembling each of the Militaries and filing the locks and generally "tuning" them to a sellable state. In the process, we found that the tiny little plastic spacer was easily broken and the G-10 screw-holes easily stripped (a fact that we already knew well from so many early G-10 Benchmades). These knives were a disaster that we sadly attributed to poor design and poorer American workmanship. At least I was not among those that had to cheerfully sell them to customers over the phone.

Now, I am not saying that all Miltaries are bad (nor all American workmanship, for that matter), but I would like to know what has changed to make these knives so popular. I freely admit that the handle design is very good (reminds me a lot of my Civilian), and I love the deep belly and flat grind of the blade for its utility. But the knives I saw were awful and I admit I never looked at later ones after the experience.

The way I see it, I want a full-sized multi-purpose folder with a bladehole because I think that's faster than any thumbstud. This used to mean either an AFCK or a Police model (I have both, but far prefer the AFCK), and I have long been looking for another "contender." When it first came out, the Military disappointed me in not being such a knife. Is it now?

I must have mistaken some of you for "adults". I now see that many of you seem a bit childish. I don't need to be categorized with rage. All I said was that my Military DID FLEX A HELL OF A LOT MORE THAN MY STRYKER. (Think about it, the Military's 1 nested liner is only secured by G10, while BM's liners are solid construction. Try this...strip the G10 from the Military. What do you have? A useless blade. Now...strip the G10 from the Stryker...what do you have now? The knife is still 1 piece that is usable yet uncomfortable.) Now I don't care what any of you think about the Military or the Stryker. I didn't ask for a review. Now, I'm no one to judge anyone here, but I feel that rage could be a bit more polite and rational. At the same time, some (not all) of you "Military Men" make it real hard to respect your thoughts. Who cares about the d@mn flexing. They are both excellent knifes for different purposes, and they are lifetime guarenteed. All I can say is that the Military wasn't for me, and it did flex while none of my BM's do. In my case, this is a fact and I am NOT wrong. I don't appreciate being attacked any more than the rest of you do. Therefore, I don't expect to be criticized for this post. If you don't like BM's, don't buy them, if you don't like the Military, don't buy them either. It's very, very simple. The Military wasn't for me, so I traded it for a Stryker. I didn't post any rediculuous comments here when I did it either. Yeah, I can bitch about both knives. The Military has only one liner. The Stryker has 4 weave G10. The Military's liner is steel. The Stryker blade is ATS34 (and now M2.) The Military's lock is too easy to disengage without gloves when white-knuckling the handle. What is the point of picking apart 2 wonderfully made knives. Yeah...I want the perfect, flawless, universal knife as well...but it will never exist, PERIOD. -AR

[This message has been edited by Jackyl (edited 19 April 1999).]
rage -- thanks for your opinion. some like the Stryker, some like the Military, and some like 'em both ... but please when stating what you deem as fact, cite data ... and no need to shout, as we read each others posts clearly ... have a nice day!

remember, we all have a point!

Rage - You really should check some facts before expounding on opinions. Stainless steel is almost twice as strong as titanium per thickness (.6 = 1.) Two titanium liners of equal thickeness to one steel liner are very close. When we break 'em, the Military is stronger than both the AFCK and the SOCOM. You may prefer the AFCK and I respect that opinion. Benchmade makes good products. your comments are more on design "opinions". We believe (and have tested) that the Military will compare favorably with any folder out there, production or custom. ATS-34 is not even in the same test field as 440V in edge retention or overall strength. We all try to make good knives. Some are diffeent in different areas. I don't think that Spyderco or Benchmade would make a "bad" knfe, certainly not intentionally. More thought, more test, We all learn.
I don't know about Rage, but I'm not trolling. I would really appreciate a response, especially from Mr. Glesser. I feel that the first release of the Military was well below what I have come to expect from a Spyderco knife, for the reasons I elaborated. I would like to know A) are my criticisms valid, and B) what changes have been made to fix them. As I said, I would love to see another production knife in the rare full-sized, blade-hole defense/utility class. Could I have overlooked the Military because of a poor initial batch?


(I would also count the full-sized Goddard and the Calypso in this group, though both seem too light-weight to compete with the AFCK and Police.)
I can not fathom why one would compare the Military and the Stryker. The Military is sharp and will actually cut things with the superior flat grind, the fat wedge on the stryker looks like it is just for stabbing people. They are two radically different designs. When Sal Glesser gets around to it, he states he is releasing a knife called the Starmate, which looks to be similar to the stryker in blade design, those two are fair to be compared. Besides, how can the Stryker compare with the Hole?

By veiwing the posts,this must be a tactical thread. Ha Ha.
The Stryker is not made for stabbing. BM took a popular design, and modified it for utility use. It cuts just as well as the Military. Actually, the hole can't compair with the Stryker. Who would want the Spyde hole on a Stryker or an Axis lock. That would be just plain ugly. The thumb stud / disk is just as easy to operate. -AR
Sal :

When we break 'em, the Military is stronger than both the AFCK and the SOCOM

Stronger in what way? Lateral blade strength? Handle Strength? Point strength? Pivot mechanism durability?

Which AFCK are you talking about, the ATS-34 one or the M2. Surely you are not saying that the 440V CPM blade on the Military is stronger than the M2 AFCK?

Well...I sure can't see it being handle strength. How could that 6 weave G10 be stronger than 4 weave G10 and 2 Ti liners??? I don't buy it. That would kinda mean that those 2 additional weaves are stronger than Ti. Nope...don't think so. -AR
Don't forget the Military has one liner that is stainless. Keep it apples to apples.

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!

Cliff, given equal size I'm sure the 440V is only slightly tougher than ATS and I'm not sure it's tougher than M-2 at all. But, when you compare 0.156 inch thickness to 0.12 inch thickness, it's like comparing a 1/4 inch blade to a 3/16 inch blade. Sure, the 3/16 can be sturdy, but everything else being equal the 1/4 inch is that much stronger.

also, it's not just the G-10 that makes the Military's handles so stiff it's the spacers and pins that add to the overall stiffness.

When you compare the Military in stiffness to the large BM's like AFCK and CQC7, it is much stiffer. The stryker is not of the same size as any of the above, being somewhat shorter and, thus, giving the impression that it's stiffer, because it is stiffer than the other BM's. I had two military's an older one and the latest. I hated the older one because I always thought it was weak since it did flex more than the new ones and because of the fact that it did not have liners, which I always thought were necessary. I beat the livin crap out of that old one for over a year and a half. This included using it as a throwing knife a few times. I used it as a small axe. I used it to dig bullets out of logs, etc. It looked like it had been through hell and back and then I gave it away after I made it ugly. My hate for it never allowed me to realize that it took all that punishment without failure. I even went so far as to email Spyderco and tell them how dissapointed I was in the Military(still not seeing it for the tool it was). They kindly responded and even called me. After several discussions and examples I was convinced that they really are producing an excellent product.

I believe BM also produces an excellent product, as does Microtech and MOD, EDI. In fact my postings above were to show them the other side of the coin so to speak. I like my BM's and think that the stryker is possibly the best of the BM's, but I like my Spyderco's because they always produce a thicker blade than the competition, except for Microtech, who also makes their large folder at 5/32 inch thickness.
I couldn't have said it better myself Mike...though I do prefer oranges.

[This message has been edited by Jackyl (edited 20 April 1999).]
Corduroy - A) valid. The original Military left much to be desired. My apologies to the ELU. Long story as to why. Once the problems were discovered, the refinment process began and is still continueing.

B) There were more than 10 improvements made last year and we're still going. We believe the design is worth the effort. Next refinement is to add a Rolling lock. Should have proto by Blade Show. I'm sorry that your initial impression was poor. But probably accurate. We appreciate those ELU that let us know about the problems and trusted in our desire to always improve.

In terms of strength Micarta is not competitive with G10.

Cliff - We have done horizontal and vertical handle and lock strength tests. Only on the ATS version. Have not yet had a chance to test the M2 version.

Please keep in mind that we are comparing fine points at the upper end of the range. I believe the AFCK to be an excellent knife and very well made. (I was involved in the refinment of the design).

To say that one of the designs is "good" and the other "bad" is immature and narrow minded. These designs are two of the best the industry has to offer. I commend Benchmade and Spyderco for the continual improvement.

As far as steel goes; According to the numbers, and our tests concur, CPM440V will outperform ATS in edge holding, shear strength and to a smaller degree, corrosion resistance.

According to the numbers, CPM440V should outperform M2 in edge retention and corrosion resistance. We'll know more when we conclude our tests.

I think that the fact that companies like Spyderco and Benchmade will venture into such "exotica" as 440V and M2 is worth some kudus. Certainly not worth a "near flame". Each of us have our opinions, that is what makes the forum great. Some "opinions" are testable. That's how we learn.

Jackyl - the 6 ply (higher compression) G10 picks up 20% in strength over the 4 ply in each scale. That's why we pay the extra bucks for in. For your own reassurance, you should break some of this stuff for yourself. These are not secrets. We'll be happy to break and graph the break on anything you need to test.

Rage, I respect and admire your dedication to benchmade. We are not enemies, we are all knife nuts seeking a greater truth and sharing personal likes and dislikes.
Thank you Sal...I appreciate the info. I really like the G10 in my Rookie. It looks and feels more rugged than the 4 weave. I'd be very interested in a Military with a rolling lock I think. That would eliminate the steel liner wouldn't it? After all...how hard is it to destroy either the AFCK, Stryker, or the Military under normal conditions anyway. Pretty darn hard I'm guessing. -AR