Benchmade 3350BK Mini Infidel OTF Knife Review

Benchmade knives are made of many things: steel, aluminum, and titanium, to name a few. But perhaps the most important part of a Benchmade knife is expertise. They carefully measure every part at every step in the process. They sue the best materials and equipment. They make world-class knives for world class users.

All of their blades begin as a sheet of steel. A laser cutting technicians programs the laser to cut the steel into blanks, giving the blade its basic profile. The blanks are hammered out of the sheet by hand, and for the first time, the steel begins to look like a knife. The blanks are measured to make sure they meet specifications. Measurements are taken every step of the manufacturing process to guarantee an impeccable knife and streamline production. If a part isn’t “up-to-spec”, it doesn’t become a Benchmade. The next step in the process is surface grinding. This is the step where the blank is ground to its precise width. A surface grind technician places each blank in its rack by hand and each side is ground to its specified thickness. After grinding, the technician checks the thickness of each set of blanks. Tolerances are within the width of a human hair. They knives have no room for error, and neither does a blank’s thickness. The third step in the process is milling. Blade holes, handles, and grooves are cut on high speed mills. One of the holes that is cut here is the blade pivot, which is crucial to he folding mechanism. The pivot tolerance is .0005 inches, because the slightest deviation there becomes exponential at the blade’s tip. The fourth step is beveling. Now the blade really starts to take shape. Up to this point, the two sides of the blade are essentially flat. A Blade Beveling Technician bevels the knife blank one side at a time, and one of the most critical tasks here is to make sure the sides match perfectly. An imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength, and mechanism function. Some of the last steps are back sanding and finishing. Back sanding is where the back of the blade gets special attention. The finishing is when the blade gets a more refined look. The finishing technician stone-washes the blades in a ceramic medium to remove any burrs and give the blades a clean, polished appearance. The very last step in the Benchmade process is assembly and sharpening. Every Benchmade knife is assembled by hand, which helps to set them apart. Each blade is sharpened to a targeted 30-degree inclusive angle, 15 degrees on each side. The knife is only sharp enough when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing. At that point, and only at that part, is it truly a Benchmade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of D2 tool steel. This is a high end steel that is often referred to as “semi-stainless” as it falls just short of the require amount of chromium to qualify as full stainless yet it still provides a good amount of resistance to corrosion. On the flip side, D2 steel is much harder than other steels in this category such as 154CM or ATS-34 and as a result holds its edge a litter better. That said, it’s not as tough as many other steels and exponentially tougher to sharpen. In fact, you are probably going to need to be a master-sharpener to get a find edge on D2. This steel has a high hardness and relatively high toughness to make it an excellent choice there and in cutlery.

The blade has been finished with a black coated finish. There are some big

Benchmade Mini Infidel
Benchmade Mini Infidel

benefits to having a coated finish such as it reduces the reflection and glare while reducing wear and corrosion. Also, coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. And while quality coatings do add cost to eh knife, they also provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance. Unfortunately, all coatings will be scratched off after continuous heavy use and the blade will have to be re-coated at that point. The coatings are also prone to chipping and scratching. And, sometimes the coating is painted unevenly, which does cut down on how quality the blade is.

The blade on this Mini Infidel is a dagger point style blade. The dagger style, also known as a needle point blade, is designed to have an excellent point. This is opposite of the sheepsfoot blade, which has no point. A dagger point blade is a double edged blade whose primary purpose is piercing and stabbing. It is composed of 2 symmetrical sharpened blades that taper to a very thin sharp point, which pierces easily into soft targets. The two sharp edges reduce the profile of the knife and let it cut on both sides equally. This makes them a favorite blade design for self-defense in close combat situations. Dagger style blades are popular among military and police personnel because of their ability to be easily concealed and easily withdrawn. However, there are also a handful of disadvantages to the dagger blade design. Because of the geometry of the blade lacks a belly and contains quickly thickening edges, it is not good for slicing or slashing. Also, because the tip is very sharp and thin, it is weak and has a tendency to break when used on hard targets. If you are looking for a good balance between stabbing and cutting, a better choice is the clip point blade. However, if you’re looking for the perfect blade that is designed for piercing, the dagger point is exactly what you’re looking for.

The blade on this knife has a plain edge. In general, the plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge is superior when extreme control, accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge will work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, skinning a deer. It is because all of these tasks involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum. Aluminum is a very low density metal that is used in knife making and it is extremely corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles and sometimes hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. And even though it is a soft and low density metal, it provides you with plenty of heft, without the weight of a stainless steel knife. This is a huge benefit because it has the heft to take on all of the tough tasks, without the weight to make it a hassle to carry with you at all times. Fun fact about aluminum: it is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. 60601-T6 aluminum means that the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. This type of aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. This alloy of aluminum is also used commonly in aircraft, which is why it got the nickname of being aircraft aluminum. This is a nonferrous metal and the most common finish for this steel is anodizing, which is an electrochemical process which adds color the aluminum. This is especially conducive to this coloring process. Depending on eh voltage used in the anodization process, colors can vary. If you have a high voltage, you will get a dark color. If you have a low voltage, you will get a lighter color. The handle on the Mini Infidel is black, so they used a high voltage to provide the color. When aluminum is properly texturized, it can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. On the flip side, if you are planning on using your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle to be extremely cold because of its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considering inferior to its stronger brother Titanium, which is most often used on the higher end knives. One of the other drawbacks to an aluminum handle is that it is susceptible to scratches and dings.

To help with your grip, there is ribbing that goes down the center of the handle. The handle has curves to fit your palm perfectly. In the top center of the handle, there is a light gray lever to deploy the blade. This handle will be comfortable to use even after long periods of time.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip down carry only. It is a dark gray pocket clip that has “Infidel” stamped across the center. Because it is a deep carry clip, it is going to fit comfortably in your pocket without you needing to worry about it jostling out when you go about your daily activates. Another one of the benefits of a deep carry clip is that it is easier to conceal if you are trying to keep your knife out of the public’s eye.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a double action out the front automatic knife. An out the front knife is a pocket knife that has a blade that deploys and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is different than the majority of folding knives that one out of the side of the handle. Out the front only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. Then, out the front knives can be divided into whether it is an automatic or manual knife. An automatic out the front knife blade travels within an internal track in the same manner as a manual slider or gravity knife. But the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclosed within requires a switchblade handle to be thicker or longer than a similar size gravity or sliding knife.

Then, in the division of automatic knives, it can be divided into whether it is double action or single action. This specific knife is a double action out the front knife. This means that the knives deploy and retract with a multifunction button and spring design, whereas single action knives deploy automatically but must be manually cocked or retracted to close.

And despite popular movie magic, double action out the front knives are actually not powerful enough to open when pressed against an opponent and then pushing the button. In all actuality, double action sliding automatics are only spring powered 10 to 12 millimeters and then afterwards, kinetic impetus slides the blade to full open.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.1 inches long, with a handle length of 4 inches long. The overall length of the blade is 7.1 inches long, with the knife weighing in at 3.4 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that is included with this knife is made out of nylon. Nylon is a material that is commonly used in knife sheaths. Just like a leather sheath, nylon is also tough and strong. However, nylon is resistant to rot and mildew. And, they are not as vulnerable to water as leather sheaths would be. Another great aspect is that nylon sheaths aren’t easily scuffed or torn.

 

Conclusion:

The Benchmade 3350BK Mini Infidel double action out the front automatic knife, designed by McHenry & Williams, is a favorite amongst law enforcement and military professionals around the globe and is praised for its rugged construction, solid durability and an “X” factor of pure awesomeness that one can only experience when owning one. The design of the black anodized 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum handle boasts a milled “step” design that transitions seamlessly into the design of the slide trigger. On the black dagger style blade, you will find a blood groove that runs the length of the blade on both sides that further enhances the already aggressive nature of this black class model. Furthermore, the enlarged slide trigger is housed on the broad side of the handle scale allowing for better accessibility, even while wearing gloves. This knife also comes with a MOLLE compatible nylon sheath and malice clip for multiple carry options. You can pick yours up here.

 

Facebooktwitterpinterest
Facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagram