Benchmade HK Turmoil OTF Knife Review — Video Review

Check out the fantastic new OTF knife addition to the HK line from Benchmade.

If you want to know more, read our review on the Turmoil from a couple days ago here.

Benchmade H&K Turmoil OTF Knife Review

Benchmade Turmoil
Benchmade Heckler and Koch Turmoil OTF auto knife, 14808

Benchmade has been producing H&K knives for quite some time.  The newest Out the Front automatic from Benchmade in the H&K line is the Turmoil.  Built to the exacting specifications of any Benchmade knife, the Turmoil boasts fast action, quality materials and seriously tight tolerances.

The D2 blade is built for heavy duty applications.  While the Benchmade website describes D2 as, “An air-hardened tool steel, which offers good corrosion resistance and excellent mileage in wear resistance. A good choice for hard use applications,”  I think we need a more in depth discussion of the benefits and properties of D2 tool steel.

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Tool steels are both carbon and alloy steels that have been designed specifically for heavy industrial tools.  They excel in this arena because of their hardness, resistance to abrasion, resistance to deformation at high temperatures as well as their ability to hold a cutting edge.  Many tool steels are highly resistant to corrosion as well because of high vanadium and or niobium content.  Most tool steels in general are used in a heat treated state.

Tool steels typically have a carbon content between .7% and 1.5%.  There are several grades of tool steels and each grade delivers different capabilities.  If you want a sharp cutting edge you need a different tool steel than one which is needed for hard impact or a tool steel that is needed to work under high temperatures.  Some of the main categories of tool steels are as follows:

  1. Water hardening types  (W)
  2. Cold working types
    1. Oil Hardening Types (O)
    2. Air Hardening Types (A) and (D)
  3. Shock Resistant Types (S)
  4. High Speed Types (T) and (M)
  5. Hot Working Types (H)
  6. Special Working Types (P), (L), (F)

Within each type or classification there are various grades of alloy and each one is given a numerical designation.  So you may see an A3 tool steel or in the case of the Turmoil knife a D2 tool steel.

D2 tool steel contains between 10% and 13% chromium and retains its hardness up to 425°C.  Most often it is used in industrial applications for dies.  Recently, many knife manufacturers began to use it for their knife blades because it is extremely wear resistant.  Many refer to D grade tool steel as stainless or semi-stainless steels although in actuality they are not stainless.

So we see that D2 tool steel gives your knife a keen edge, extremely high toughness, and wear resistance.  These advantages combine into one fantastic knife blade, that if sharpened correctly will give you an excellent edge that will last for a long time.

The Turmoil 14808 features a drop point, single edge blade.  Although not as “sexy” as a dagger edge, the single edge blade is more practical for an every day carry knife.  The blade measures 3.47″ long which is plenty of cutting edge for nearly every daily cutting chore you are going to run into.

The blade opens fast and lock up is very tight.  It has a sabre grind to the blade which is very similar to a “Scandinavian Grind” but with the addition of a microbevel at the very cutting edge of the blade.  Sometimes a sabre grind is called the V grind.  This style of edge gives you excellent hard cutting strength but will not excel for slicing cuts.  It also gives the blade extremely high strength because the blade is fully thick from the spine to about 1/3 the way down the blade (moving from the spine to the cutting edge).

Benchmade Turmoil Handle
Benchmade Turmoil Handle

The handle on the Turmoil is constructed from 6061 T6 black anodized aircraft aluminum.   6061 aluminum is a precipitation hardening aluminum alloy that contains magnesium and silicon as its main alloy elements.  The T in the name means it is a tempered grade of aluminum.  Specifically, 6061 T6 is solutionized and artificially aged yielding a tensile strength of 42,000 psi and a yield strength of 35,000 psi.  These psi strengths are the minimum acceptable levels and with many batches of 6061 T6 it is even higher.  6061 T6 is a heat treatable aluminum.  This type of aluminum is used in AR-15 upper receivers, bikes and many other hard use applications where a light yet extremely tough and durable material is needed.

The benefits of an aluminum handle then is its strength as well as its durability, corrosion resistance and the fact that it is incredibly lightweight.  These properties make it ideal for an every day carry (EDC) knife.

Typically, and specifically in the case of this knife, the aluminum handle is anodized.  Anodizing gives the  aluminum a color (in this case black) and it also adds another layer of corrosion resistance.  Anodizing also makes the knife handle scratch resistant.

The Turmoil handle is slightly asymmetrical.  The slight “bend” in the middle of the handle is a bit more like a small jag.  It gives your hand a much more comfortable hold and makes the knife more secure in your hand as well.  It adds grip security because your thumb muscle (one guy in our office calls this his “hand chub”) pushes up against the slight angled piece and keeps the handle from slipping when making heavy piercing cuts.  On the other edge, the matching angle is gripped by your fingers and when making pull cuts, your fingers push up against this angled piece and keep the handle from slipping as well.

The OTF mechanism on the Turmoil is a double action.  This means the blade can be opened and closed with the same slide trigger.  The truly ambidextrous slide is asymmetrical and grey anodized.  With serious jimping up the edge of the slide, it makes for easy thumb traction and the trigger isn’t overly difficult to engage.  It does require a minimum amount of pressure which acts as the blade safety.

One of the most common questions we get about Out the Front automatic knives is, “Won’t that fire in my pocket?”  Although it is a remote possibility, kind of in the range of there is a chance that scientists will actually agree on whether Pluto is a planet or not, I have never talked with someone who actually has had this happen.  The trigger on the Turmoil will slide about 1/3″ with increasing resistance.  And as you continue to slide it past this point, the blade engages and fires open rapidly.  This 1/3″ of increasing resistance makes the blade virtually impossible to open accidentally.

The pocket clip is wide and can be switched from right to left for ambidextrous carry.  It is tip down.

The Turmoil is a welcome addition to an already sparkling Heckler & Koch line of Out the Front Automatic knives.  Just a bit smaller in length than the Epidemic, and the same overall length as the Tumult the Turmoil has the addition of several traction lines across the front and back face of the handle for greater grip security.

To me, the Turmoil is the perfect EDC OTF carry knife for urban, urban tactical or combat situations.  It is reliable, built tough, and is extremely operator friendly.  Check out the Turmoil here on our website.


  • Blade Length: 3.47″
  • Blade Thickness: .100″
  • Handle Thickness: .470″
  • Blade Material: D2 Tool Steel
  • Blade Hardness: 60-62 HRC
  • Blade Style: Drop Point
  • Weight: 3.43 oz
  • Pocket Clip: Tip Down, Black, Reversible
  • Lock Mechanism: OTF Double Auto
  • Overall Length: 8.10″
  • Closed Length: 4.63″
  • Class: Heckler & Koch