What is truly better, SOCOM, or AFCK....

Mar 19, 1999
Hello folks, lets look at some facts about these folders, they are below. By the way, i'm looking at these knives as a fighter first, utility second.

First, the Microtech SOCOM, clip point plain edge.
Positive notes:the socom's are in my opinion the most precisely made folders in the world, the grind lines are perfect, the fit of the leaf lock is perfect, and all parts are precisely made and just fit perfect. The finger notches are great, there all over the socom, a very good grip due to the kraton/rubber inserts, the huge opening stud that also acts as a stop pin, the thickness of the leaf lock is over 1/16 of an inch, and it is stainless, very little wearing due to this stainless lock bar. The clip I think is great on this knife, it leaves the handle about over an inch out of the pocket, this is great when wearing BDU's, plus the socom has many more i probly forgot. Oh, and the blade is of 154cm stainless steel and is 5/32inch thick-as thick as my ka-bars. This knife can be withdrawn and thrown into battery within a second due to the high riding clip-some hate the clip.

Negative notes:well, to tell ya, there is only a couple, the high price for this puppy i think is just right, you are getting what you pay for. The leaf lock is stainless, this is good but then again not good, some stainless lock bars fail the spine whack test, my first socom is 15months old and failed about 70 times, now it stays put, but only about 30-45% of the time when doing the spine whack test. But, i do have a new socom and it i bought 1 month ago, and only failed twice, i've gave it about 20 hard whacks on a formica table and the liner/leaf lock must of molded to the tang, now it is perfect. Ive heard very little people say that they dont like the action of the socom, well, i like it, its quite buttery. The blade tension can not be tightened due to no washers on between the blade and the aluminum handle, if taken apart, u will find the pivot pin is quite small, a little less than 3/16inch, and has a bearing around it and also has a round steel type washer that is recessed into the T-6061 handle, this steel washer is bent and gives the blade a non-stop good action. For me, the assembly screws, and pivot pin is very small, they look strong, but i think they should be made a tad bigger. The clip, many hate the clip, i like it, although i hate wearing the socom with dress pants, it drags big time, knocking into every thing, but when wearing jeans or BDU's, it works great for me. The grind of the clip poin is quite thick at the edge, and i think should have been made a full flat grind. Ok, if i missed any, please tell me.

AFCK, Model 800 plain edge

Positive notes:What can i say about this knife, it needs no introduction, its been around for many years and in my humble opinion, for the money, this knife is the best factory "functioning" liner lock. The blade is of proven ats-34, very good thin edge geometry, the point is way more pointy than the socom clip point, the liners are titanium, and this has double full liners, not a leaflock, sorry, but i prefer 2 full liners. Since the liners are titanium, the lock up is solid, and unfortionatly will wear big time, but in my life time of collecting tactical folders, i never heard anyone say that the AFCK failed the spine whack test, i have 4 afcks, 800sbt-2years old, 800s-1 year old, 800plain-8 months old, and my newest is another 800 plain edge that is only 3 months old, every single one of my afck's always passed, and still passes my spine whack test. The overall finish on all my afcks are good, the opening hole is very fast, the newer models have a more grippy G-10, and have stainless inserts on the opposite side of the assembly screws, this makes a more solid hold for the screws, and will not strip any thing. The handle is very good, great grip, love the recessed liner lock, it makes the knife a little harder to close, but is better as a tactical knife. The pivot pin is way thicker than the socoms, the stop pin is in the ti liners and screwed in by two screws, the afck is much easier to clean because of the open handle, the socom has vents, mostly cosmetics, it looks cool, but i think should be open more for easier cleaning.

Negative notes:well, there are a couple, the liner lock is titanium, this means they will wear and you might have to get them replaced by Benchmades great warranty dept. For me, i think benchmade should have used more notches on the handle, like near the butt of the handle, and more for the thumb before the spine of the blade, like my BM cqc-7 had. The steel is high carbon and will rust if not taken care of, although i didnt have any prob's wit it. The spacer is plastic witch in my opinion "SUCKS", why not use aluminum dammit, the washers are also plastic witch causes minimal blade play even when the tension is fully tightened. The liners are way under 1/16inch, but are ti, and will never fail u. All in all, i think this knife is awesome.

Now, i might have missed alot, but lets look at these both, as a knife fighter myself, i'd pick the AFCK, the blade is faster, sharper, thinner, and has a blade hole, the Socom has a thumb stud, good, but will hang up on things while slashing. For utility, definetly go with the AFCK plain edge, the edge geometry is so much better. Although i prefer the socom for its high riding clip, much faster to take out of the pocket.

No BS, here it is, the SOCOM is the most awesome made folder in the world, buuuuut, i'll take an AFCK as a fighter and a utility any day. And if someone gave me a socom as a present, i'd probly trade it for two AFCK's.

Ok, give me your opinions. Thank you.


Seems to me that if you are in enough knife "fights" to say that your primary use of a knife would be fighting you need something dedicated to that task say a Gerber Mk.II or a shotgun.

If I anticipated being in lots of knifefighting situations unless I was a LEO or a SEAl I'd seriously consider a change of venue as a first order of business.
Rage, IMO the AFCK does not need more "notches" in the handle. It has a great index finger relief, and the G10 is grippy enough so that your hand should not slip. Also IMO the spacer should be G10 or something much more durable than plastic. All in all though, it is a great all around knife.
IMHO, I would pay extra for (instead of Delrin) a carbon fiber, 6061 T6 alum., g-10, or anodized titanium handle spacer on my AFCombatK-bt.

"All of our knives open with one hand, in case you're busy with the other"
If you don't like the spacer, replace it! Just get some 3/16" (0.187") thick micarta or aluminum or whatever, drill the holes using a liner as the guide, sand it down flat the teensiest bit (0.176"), and profile it to the knife. While you're at it, you can make it full-length, add another screw, replace the scales...

Seriously, I think "truly the best" was going a bit far. Yeah, I'd take an AFCK for the faster deployment, more secure lock, better blade shape, better grip (a personal preference), better steel (the M-2 version), and lower price tag. But those are functional concerns. If I were a pure collector interested in buying these knives, putting them in drawers, never opening the boxes let alone the knives, raving about them in a cult-like fashion, and years later selling them for 5x what I payed... then the SOCOM would be "truly the best." An AFCK will only depreciate, especially if you use it. Get the Microtech and lock it away!

-Drew Gleason
Little Bear Knives
Drew while it may be possible to make a spacer in the way you describe, it should come from the factory that way. Some of us are not as talented as you are.
As an aside, the discussion centers around what the best fighter/utility knife would be. Using a MT drops the value just as much as using a BM, actually morebecause you don't have as much invested in a Benchmade.
The MT is no doubt an excellent knife, and in many ways superior to Benchmade. But as a user, I will take the AFCK.
I agree that it should come with a better spacer, just saying that you don't have to throw up your hands and lament. It's really a pretty easy fix, but I agree that users shouldn't have to do that sort of thing. Those Delrin spacers are a real weak point, I've seen them broken in use and broken in disassembly as well. Such a crummy little piece in an otherwise top-grade knife.

I hope my sarcasm was apparent regarding the Microtech. Knives are knives, not investments - use them! I can understand a fancy handmade piece for display only, but I think collecting and putting away factory knives for investment value is missing the point.

Hello people, thanks for the replies, by the way, all my benchmades have been modified, especially my afck's, all of my afck's now have aluminum hubs in the handle, like the genesis's construction, so this makes a hollow/see thru handle, the washers are bronze that i picked up from ACE hardware, i had to cut them to shape and surface grind them to 1/32in thick, and i usually grind off those ridges on the liner for the lock release. I think benchmade should use either aluminum spacers, or hubs, and bronze or copper for there knives, this will make a more solid knife, and i wouldnt mind spending the extra green. Also, by me doing this, the knife is way more solid, the handle flexes really little if not at all.
I couldn't agree more with the spacer statement; I've said it time and again and the masses laugh and laugh wondering how I could concievably break the Delrin spacers. The weak link it is indeed. Oh yeah, where was I. Go to www.halperntitanium.com and check out their sheets of G10 and other fine folder parts. They likely have the right thickness for a custom-cut spacer. If not, I'm sure it wouldn't take that much machining to make it the proper thickness.


Ever notice no other candy tastes quite like Pez? Oh yeah, and the BM Axis rules.

[This message has been edited by Professor (edited 14 July 1999).]
Corduroy, Professor:

I'll be the first to admit that not everybody can make custom spacers, especially myself.

"All of our knives open with one hand, in case you're busy with the other"
Forget about the SOCOM, too much $$$. How does the AFCK compair to the EDI Genesis?
I'm not starting a debate; I just would really like to know.

[This message has been edited by bigtim (edited 14 July 1999).]

There were a lot of threads comparing the Genesis to AFCK, but with the search feature gone AWOL you might want to set the View Topics for a year back and try visual search. It's gonna be painful
, but they are there. Perhaps other forumites can help?

I'm with you; not everyone should have to perform such a procedure. I was lashing out at those a while back who couldn't understand how I could've broken the Delrin spacers and started going so far as to attempt to make me feel dumb about it. Thus I was merely "wronging a wrong," or was I supposed to "right" it, I can never remember. Sorry about the lack of clarification on my part. I do wish, even though ill-fated attemptes can be expensive, that people would try customizing their folders more. Especially the ones that can be disassembled easily. It's a great intro to knifemaking and it's nice to have some custom features on your otherwise standardized knife. Darned company warranties don't help the matter much either.


Ever notice no other candy tastes quite like Pez? Oh yeah, and the BM Axis rules.