Hogue 34002 OTF Knife Review

Hogue Inc. is home to a proud family tradition of American quality and innovation since 1968. Every Hogue product—from handgun grips to long gun stocks to AR components to specialty knives to gear and accessories—is built in the spirt of fine craftsmanship, attention to detail and complete dedication to the legacy of founder Guy Hogue, carried into the next generation by his sons Aaron and Patrick, by Hogue Tool and Machine Company president Jim Burhns, by his grandson Neil, and by each and every employee at Hogue, Inc.

Fit, function, superior performance and world class design are hallmarks of the Hogue name. When you purchase a Hogue product, you’re carrying piece of their family history, designed from the ground up to enhance and improve your sporting experience. Their brightest ideas, the finest materials, and the world’s best manufacturing practices are united under the Hogue name, under the direct supervision of the best and brightest hope they can find to carry the Hogue legacy. They’re proud to be the first choice of law enforcement, handgun manufacturers, competitive shooters, and firearm enthusiasts worldwide for products that reflect their passion, their proud history, and their commitment to bringing you a full range of products designed and manufactured to enhance your sporting experience for years to come.

They call themselves “team Hogue” which includes Jerry Miculek, Max Michel, Lena Miculek, and B.J. Norris. Jerry is a speed shooter and competition shooting instructor, he is also experienced in nearly every type of firearm made. He is renowned as the fastest revolver shooter on the planet, emptying a five-shot revolver in 0.57 seconds, in a group the size of a playing card. Jerry currently holds five world records in exhibition revolver shooting. Max is a legend within the world of competitive shooting. He is the current International Practical Shooting Confederation World Champion. He was born and raised in New Orleans, La, Max began shooting when he was just 5 years old. In 1999 Max joined the famed USAMU’s Action Pistol Team and served in the U.S. Army for 10 years as an Army shooter and trainer. Max is also the current captain of the Team SIG SAUER shooting team. Today, Max is recognized worldwide as a top tier athlete and instructor. Lena began competition shooting at the young age of eight. The daughter of professional shooter Jerry Miculek and semiprofessional shooter Kay Miculek, Lena began her serious journey in 2011 winning 4 high lady revolver events. Since then she has expanded into 3Gun competition with similar results, completely domination the ladies’ tactical ops division. B.J. began shooting competitively in USPSA in late 2000, at age 11 in the Shenandoah Valley of western Virginia. 2005 was the year he really got serious about shooting. That year consisted of hard practice, traveling to almost every USPSA Area Championship, the IPSC World Shoot in Ecuador and his first Steel Challenge. Since then, it has been one Championship after another.


The Blade:

The blade is made out of CPM 154 stainless steel. This high end steel is a relatively hard steel which is considered an upgraded version of 440C through the addition of Molybdenum. This achieves superior edge holding compared to 440C while retaining similar excellent levels of corrosion resistance despite having less Chromium. It has decent toughness good enough for most uses and holds an edge well. This steel is not too difficult to sharpen if you have the right equipment. You will find a lot of quality pocket knives form top manufacturers using this steel for their blades. This is a powder version of the same alloy produced by Crucible Particle Metallurgy. This Particle Metallurgy process makes finer carbide particles resulting in a slightly superior steel that’s tougher and with better edge retention.

The blade on this knife has been finished with a Stonewash finish. With this type of finis, the steel is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed. There is a wide variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion, and the type of finish the lade has before it enters the tumbler. Many people like this type of finish because it hides scratches better than other finishes. Depending on the manufacturer, a stonewash finish can often look satin forma distance. Stonewash also hides fingerprints pretty well, so the blade might not need to be polished as often as others with different finishes. This finish also provides a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. A very positive benefit of stonewashed blades is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime. This finish provides you with a very rugged, well-worn, textured look.

The Hogue 34002 knife has a tanto blade shape. This blade shape is great for when you don’t want an all-purpose knife, but instead you want a knife that does one thing and does that one thing really ell. If you’re looking for a knife that excels at piercing through tough materials, then the tanto blade is what you are looking for. This was originally designed for armor piercing, the tanto blade was popularized by Cold Steel and is similar in style to Japanese long and short swords. The tanto knife has a high point with a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong point that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. The thick point of the tanto blade contains a lot of metal near the tip, so it is able to absorb the impact form repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break. The front edge of the tanto knife meets the back edge at an angel, rather than a curve. As a result, the tanto blade does not have a belly, which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip. Because it lacks a belly from slicing, it is not useful as a general utility knife. However, it’s extremely strong point allows it to be used in tough situations where pricing hard materials is required. By choosing a tanto point, you will be among the few knife lovers who own a blade that is specifically tailored to piercing tough materials. If the situation arises, expected or unexpected, you’ll be ready.

This knife does sport a plain edged blade.


The Handle:

The handle on this OTF knife are made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum. Aluminum is a very durable material for knife handles. It’s a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty eel to the knife without weighing the knife down. The most common type of aluminum used today is the 6061-T6 alloy, which has tremendous tensile strength. When properly texturized, an aluminum handle can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. On the downside, if you use your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortably cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considering inferior to tis stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium which tends to be found on the more premium knives. These handle scales have been anodized gray for hardness and protection of the handles.

The handle has three finger grooves carved out of the sides of the handle for a comfortable, secure grip. The aluminum has a honeycomb pattern etched into the palm portion to provide exceptional grip on the handle during any situation or environment.


The Pocket Clip:

The deep carry pocket clip has been statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle.


The Mechanism:

Hogue 34002 OTF Knife
Hogue 34002 OTF Knife

This is a double action out the front automatic knife. Because it is an automatic knife, it can also be known as a switchblade, a pushbutton knife, or ejector knife. Automatic knives do have strict laws surrounding them in many states and cities, so make sure that you know your local knife laws before purchasing and carrying the 34002 knife. Out the front knives are also known as OTF knives, sliding knives, and even telescoping knives. It is a pocketknife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. Contrast this with the majority of knives, which are either standard folding knives or are fixed blade knives. OTF only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. An automatic OTF knife blade travels within an internal tack or channel 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 o be thicker or longer than a similar size gravity or sliding knife. There are actually two different types of OTF automatic knives: single or double action. Double action OTF knives deploy and retract with a multifunction button and spring design. Despite popular belief and movie magic, double action OTF automatic knives are not powerful enough to open when pressed against an opponent and then pushing the button. Double action sliding autos are only spring powered 10 to 12 millimeters; afterwards, kinetic impetus slides the blade to full open. This is possibly a misbelief based on confusion with the ballistic knife which has a secondary handle tube with a robust coil spring for launching a fixe blade knife. However, some single action autos do have enough power to penetrate a human target.

The trigger to deploy the blade is placed on the side of the knife which gives you easy access to deploy and retract the blade with power.


The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long. The overall length of the Hogue 34002 knife is 8.5 inches long. When the knife is closed, it sports a length of 5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.3 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.


Pros of the Hogue 34002:

  • The steel that is chosen is a high end steel.
  • The steel that is chosen is a hard, tough steel.
  • This steel is easy to sharpen, with the right tools.
  • This steel has fantastic edge retention.
  • The tanto blade shape excels at piercing through tough materials.
  • The tanto blade shape is extremely strong near the tip, because that is where a lot of the metal resides.
  • The stonewash finish hides scratches and smudges—preserving the look of the blade overtime.
  • The stonewash finish is low maintenance.
  • The stonewash finish gives you a well-worn and rugged look to your blade.
  • The aluminum handle is durable and comfortable to use over long periods of time.
  • The aluminum handle has extreme strength and has been anodized to add even more strength, durability, and protection.
  • The pocket clip is a deep carry clip.
  • This knife is made in the USA.
  • This is an automatic knife, so it will open quickly and efficiently.
  • Because it is a double action OTF knife, you can deploy and retract your blade with the trigger.


Cons of the Hogue 34002:

  • This is an automatic knife, so it is not going to be legal in all areas of the US.
  • The tanto blade shape does not excel at anything except piercing through those tough materials.
  • The pocket clip can only be attached tip down on the traditional side of the handle.
  • The aluminum handle is going to be very chilly in the colder months.



Hogue’s new line of tactical double action OTF auto knives represents the same vision of all of their other knife lines by combining the best of old world craftsmanship with a product designed for real-world applications. Hogue initially began in 1968 with the production of handgun grips, long gun stocks and accessories but quickly saw the value in incorporating the same hallmarks to the knife industry. Offered in different blade styles and handle colors, each Allen Elishewitz designed model features honeycomb texturing in addition to shallow finger grooves for plenty of hold and the side-mounted trigger helps to both deploy and retract the blade with plenty of power. This model, the 34002, features grey anodized aircraft aluminum handle scales, a tanto style blade in a stonewash finish and the deep carry pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle.


Benchmade Phaeton OTF Knife Review

Heckler and Koch, or H&K, is the leading company of firearms today. They have a rich history that started with turmoil but a dynasty was quickly built. They have been producing many firearms for decades now. While they have the machinery and necessities to build great firearms, they wanted to broaden their supplies. They formed a collaboration with Benchmade because Benchmade has been creating fantastic knife designs for years. With these two leading companies, they created many innovative knives. Their collaboration contract stated that Benchmade could keep the designs that came out of it, but H&K got to put their brand name on it. This would widen their audience but provide an excellent knife. These knives were designed to be high quality, yet affordable knives for first responders, police, military, and the common citizen. These knives have gained a wide following.

Recently this partnership came to a conclusion.  Benchmade doesn’t follow the common quote, “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke”, because the H&K Turmoil definitely wasn’t in need of fixing, but Benchmade decided to improve and upgrade18 it anyways. And I am so pleased that they did. The Turmoil was already an excellent knife that could meet the demands thrown at it. They switched up the blade and the handle and created a masterpiece. This new knife is called the PHAETON.

Benchmade Phaeton OTF Knife
Benchmade Phaeton OTF Knife

The Blade:

The steel of the Turmoil is D2 steel. D2 is a suitable steel. D2 can stand up to tasks. D2 is a semi stainless steel that is hard and tough. D2 is a great steel, especially if money is one of your biggest concerns when searching for a knife. The PHAETON has an upgraded steel of S30V steel. S30V is a premium steel used on high end knives. S30V is a hard and tough knife. It has actually been known to be tough on grinders, which means that it is going to hold a better edge than D2 will and it will hold its edge for longer than D2 would have. S30V steel was produced by Chris Reeve and Crucible Steel, which is a New York based steel manufacturer. This kind of steel as actually specifically produced for use on knives and is most commonly used in high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. This means that it is going to have high corrosion and rust resistant properties, making it an excellent steel for tactical and survival knives, because you never know what environment you are going to be in during these scenarios. This is a hard and tough steel that can definitely take a beating. This is a more expensive steel than the D2 is, so the PHAETON knife is going to be more expensive than the Turmoil is. However, this upgrade is worth every single dollar because S30V offers higher quality characteristics than D2 could ever give you. This new knife will be able to stand up to harder beatings, longer periods between sharpening, and more extreme scenarios than the Turmoil ever could have.

The blade is cut into a drop point shape. This is the most versatile knife shape around. Many people think that a drop point and clip point are very similar, however, a drop point blade is usually thicker, especially near the tip. A drop point blade has a very broad tip, so it isn’t going to be a great knife for piercing and stabbing. But, that is basically the shapes only drawback, so it’s a pretty great shape. But, even though the broad tip does not offer good stabbing abilities, it offers fantastic strength to the tip and knife. Because of this strength, the blade makes for fantastic tactical or survival knife. The shape sports a pretty solid belly, so slicing is going to be an easy task. The easy slicing makes for a great every day carry knife, because much of your typical tasks include quick slicing. This shape is often times found on hunting knives, because the lowered tip gives control, so it is hard to nick any of the organs. This shape is the perfect shape for all purpose knives, hunting knives, tactical knives, survival knives, and everyday carry knives. It can take a beating and can perform almost any task that you throw at it.

The blade on the Turmoil was a good blade, it could take on most tasks and was relatively durable. D2 was a softer steel, so there was more maintenance required. Benchmade kept the fantastic blade shape and upgraded the steel to give you a truly premium blade. This is a blade that is going to take on the tasks that are thrown at it and last you a lifetime.


The Handle:

The PHAETON handle is still made out of T6-6061 anodized aluminum. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that works to add color to aluminum. If the process uses higher voltage, the process gives you a darker color. If the process uses lower voltage, the aluminum will result in being a lighter color. Aluminum is commonly anodized to provide color to the aluminum. The PHAETON has been anodized in either a black or dark earth colored handle. Aluminum is also anodized to add for hardness and protection. This is a light knife, but it looks hefty, not cheap or plastic-y. The aluminum will give you the feel of being study without requiring all of the extra weight. This specific kind of aluminum is one of the strongest aluminums that you can purchase. However, if not properly textured, this knife is going to be extremely slippery. On the Turmoil. There were a couple of deep grooves on the top and bottom part of the palm section of the handle. For the PHAETON, Benchmade decided to switch this up and instead do a checkered texture pattern at the portion of the handle nearest to the blade. Aluminum is very resistant to corrosion, so this handle is going to take less maintenance than others. There are a few drawbacks to having an aluminum handle though. For starters, this is going to be a cold material. That means if you are usually working in colder environments, this handle can start to feel like it is biting into your hand. Another drawback is that even when it is properly texturized, it is not going to give you as solid a grip as some of the other knife handle materials. Lastly, while it is a strong material, it is not going to be as strong as a Titanium handle, which would be more expensive.


The Mechanism:

This knife is a double-action out-the-front automatic knife. Like always, this is an automatic knife, or a switchblade. These aren’t legal in all states or areas in the United States. Before purchasing and most definitely before carrying, make sure you know your local laws. An out the front opening knife is a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is different than many knives where the blade folds out from the side of the handle. An automatic OTF knife has a blade that travels within an internal track, but it is released by a spring and button mechanism. A double action just means that the knife opens and closes with the button instead of a single action that just opens with it.


The Specs:

The blade on the PHAETON is 3.45 inches long. The blade is 0.112 inches thick. The overall length of this knife is 8.08 inches long, but when it is closed it is 4.63 inches long. The handle on this knife has a thickness of 0.47 inches. While this knife is pretty large, because of the aluminum handle, it only weighs 3.01 ounces.


The Extras:

This knife comes with a reversible deep-carry pocket clip. This means that you can carry your knife either left or right handedly. However, this is only a tip down carry. The deep carry means that it is going to be an easy knife to conceal in your pocket. It also means that it is going to be secure and snug in your pocket; you don’t have to worry about the clip slipping off and losing your knife. But, the deep carry also means that it is going to take a smidge longer to draw out of your pocket.


Pros of the Benchmade PHAETON:

  • The steel on this knife is extremely durable and will hold a fantastic edge for long periods of time.
  • The steel on this knife is very resistant to rust and corrosion, so it is going to take less maintenance.
  • This is a full stainless steel, instead of the Turmoil’s semi stainless steel.
  • The steel can take a heavier beating than most knives.
  • The shape of the blade is one of the most versatile blades.
  • The tip on the blade is broad, so it is stronger and can take a beating.
  • The tip on the blade is broad and lowered, so it is easily controlled.
  • The blade shape has large amounts of room for slicing.
  • This is a great knife for tactical, survival, and every day carrying.
  • The aluminum is a light material, keeping the weight of the knife down.
  • Can get the handle in black or dark earth color.
  • Aluminum is resistant to corrosion.
  • The handle is strong and tough.
  • Comes with a reversible, deep carry pocket clip—making it an ambidextrous carry knife.
  • Automatic knife, so it is going to open quickly.
  • Double action knife, so it opens and closes with the button.

Cons of the Benchmade PHAETON:

  • The steel is harder to sharpen than a softer steel.
  • Automatic knives aren’t legal in all areas, so this might not be a legal knife for you to carry.
  • This is not a tip up carry pocket knife.



While the Heckler and Koch Turmoil was a great knife, the Benchmade PHAETON is an exceptional knife. What started out as a great design got even greater when Benchmade decided to revamp this knife and make it a higher quality knife. The Turmoil was a good knife, but it was designed to be an affordable knife to reach the biggest group of people. The PHAETON is designed to be the best. Benchmade started by upgrading the steel from D2 to S30V. This makes it stronger, tougher, and more durable. The edge will last longer and the blade is going to be able to take a bigger beating than previously. Benchmade decided to keep the same blade shape, and I’m glad they did, because a drop point is one of the most versatile shapes you can find. The broad tip is strong and is not prone to easy breakage. There is enough room to make slicing a breeze. The whole blade is extremely strong because of the shape. The handle comes in two color options. Benchmade decided to revamp the texturing and changed it from deep grooves to a smaller checkered pattern. This provides you with a more secure grip. The deep carry pocket clip allows you to safely and securely keep your knife in your pocket. While the Turmoil did its job and would have been a good option for your everyday carry knife, the PHAETON is an exceptional knife that can be your tactical, survival, or everyday carry knife choice.  You can find each of the different PHAETON OTF automatic knives available on our site, right here.

Mini Out The Front Knives

Green Mini Out The Front Knife
Green Mini Out The Front Knife

Just in are our newest OTF automatic knives.  These mini OTF knives feature nice, tight action.  The blade slides out fast and the action is solid.  Each one measures just over 3″ when closed and they have a blade that is just about 2″ long.  If you have always wanted an OTF knife, these are a perfectly priced.

The blade is 440 stainless steel and will do a good job of small cuts and slices.  Some of the models come with a bead blast blade and others feature a two tone finish.  While the 440 will take a good edge, they will need to be sharpened occasionally to keep them nice and ready for whatever life throws at you.

They do not have a pocket clip, which keeps their thickness profile very small.  They measure just about 5/8″ wide and 3/8″ thick.  Great OTF knife for the price.

Baghdad and My Microtech SCARAB Knife, by W.M.

Location: Camp Victory – Baghdad, Iraq
Year : AUG 2005

Microtech SCARAB OTF Knife
Microtech SCARAB OTF Knife

I remember it as being hot and dusty, but that’s pretty much the definition of an understatement for Baghdad in the summer. Using an old school, wet bulb thermometer, we had recently registered a stunning 132 degrees so it was more than just hot. You know when you’re baking something in the oven and you open the door to check on it. Like a dummy you bend over to get a peek and that first wave of heated air makes you squint your eyes and pinch your face? Yeah, it was that kind of hot, only all day long.
We were assigned as firefighter/paramedics to protect the US military personnel assigned to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Looking back on it now, I think it was the most significant thing that I’ve done in my life. We had a motto that summed it up. Protecting Those Who Protect Peace. It was truly an honor to be the First Responder for those brave men and women as they rested on base in between combat missions.
But with that being said, it was also boring as hell. There’s an old saying in our industry that our days are made up of 99% boredom and 1% pure terror/adrenaline. That pretty much sums up the Iraq experience. From a firefighter’s perspective, our customer (the military) made for pretty good residents so we really didn’t have a lot of structure fires or cats in trees. In 2005 we had a lot of indirect fire coming at us from over the wire, but for the most part, we spent our days trying to keep busy and maintaining our training levels.
The one escape from the boredom, outside of calls to home, was mail-call.
A package or a letter from home was not only a break in the monotony, it was a reminder of why we were doing what we were doing, and why protecting our way of life is so important.

So there I was on that hot and dusty day in August of 2005, sitting in our Heavy Rescue unit outside of the US Army postal center at Camp Victory (adjacent to the Baghdad International Airport / BIAP).
I had small cardboard box in my lap and I was contemplating the irony of the fact that I needed a knife to open my box that contained a knife. I’d searched around on-line and found a really bad-ass OTF knife made by Microtech. I’d been eagerly awaiting its arrival for nearly three weeks and the time had finally come. Using the edge of a fireman’s axe, I sliced the tape from the box and unwrapped my new toy. The knife was everything I’d hoped it to be. Sleek, well made and with a hefty OTF spring that made a satisfying; “CLICK” when it sprang into action. For the next several days I abused that spring religiously. In and Out, In and Out. “Hey wanna see my new knife?” In and Out, In and Out.
As obnoxious as it was, it’s hard to resist the fun of playing around with good OTF knife. Even if it involves multiple band-aids from the self -inflicted “training” along the way.
When I think of good knives that I’ve had in my life, I think of that one and I see it in my head, with the sandy, dust filled light of a Baghdad sunrise in the background.

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.

Lighting Out The Front Knife, by G.W.

This by far is the best everyday carry that I have ever purchased.The extreme practicality of this design is amazing. Simply slide the switch forward, make your cut, slide the switch back, return it to your pocket. As far as practical for tactical, it would not be my first choice. But how often is there the tactical threat? Yet a daily carry to cut open things is a real continous need. I would love to purchase a higher priced OTF when I can. This knife is a “no brainer ” entry level that you will treasure.

Joker OTF Knife

Joker OTF Knife
Joker OTF Knife

The Joker OTF Knife has been a popular out the front knife for over five years.  This single action OTF fires out fast and hard.  The lock up is solid.  And the price is unbeatable.  At under $30.00, this is a well built knife that is going to last for a long time.

Interesting notes about this knife, it was originally designed as a Special Forces combat knife.  It is also a clone of the knife that Heath Ledger used while playing the Joker in one of the Batman movies.