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Knives and Tools

Versatile blades and multi-tools come in handy for everything from vehicle rescue to impromptu gear repairs.

June 24, 2010  |  by Scott Smith - Also by this author

BlackHawk CQD MKI Type E

Knives and pocket tools have become as much a part of the duty uniform as body armor. There are as many styles of knives and tools as there are men and women in uniform. POLICE Magazine asked me to take a look at one item each from several of today's best known manufacturers.


5.11 Tactical

First up on the list is 5.11 Tactical's XPRT. This knife was designed by Mike Vellekamp, who is one of the knife industry's hottest designers. A simple 3.75-inch clip point blade with a recurve edge, the XPRT provides a long and strong cutting edge. Its Crucible CPM S30V blade steel is tough, holds an edge, and sharpens easily. The blade and all hardware are black oxide coated to reduce reflections and enhance corrosion resistance, while the scaled G10 handle is scalloped to give you a solid grip.

5.11 Tactical XPRT

What makes this knife different is how the liner lock and frame protrude from the rear of the knife to give you an impact weapon or glass breaker. 5.11 Tactical's XPRT gives the owner a knife built for duty and field use. With a Price of $149.99 this knife will not break the bank and will serve you for years to come.

Visit 5.11 Tactical Online



Benchmade has been making knives for the kitchen, diving, and duty for more years than I can recall. Over the last couple of years, Benchmade has been building more high quality knives with lower price tags. The H&K Pika II is one of these offerings.

Benchmade H&K Pika II

Using 9Cr13CoMoV this 3.5-inch blade is very corrosion resistant and extremely durable. Its glass-filled polymer handle is virtually indestructible. With a price of $45, this knife is tough and value priced. And the Pika II does not sacrifice Benchmade's quality.

Visit Benchmade Online



Many years ago I obtained a knife from MOD Knives, the CQD MkI. The company was later acquired by BlackHawk and today this knife has been reinvented as the CQD MKI Type E. This updated version retains all of the tough features of its older sibling: blade, locking mechanism, PVD coated AUS8A steel, double locks, recessed seat belt cutter.

BlackHawk CQD MKI Type E

However, the Type E's frame is injection-molded reinforced nylon with stainless steel liners instead of the machined aluminum used in the MkI. The CQD MKI Type E is a large folder and comes with a sheath so you can carry it on your belt or tactical vest. It's an excellent knife and will serve you for years to come.

Visit BlackHawk Online


Columbia River Knife and Tool

Columbia River Knife and Tool has been making high-quality, value-priced knives for many years. This year the company has introduced the ExiTool. While this may not be a fancy, baddest blade on the market; it will make quick work of a seat belt or door window, and supply you with a light so you can find your way out of a wrecked vehicle.

CRKT ExiTool

Designed as an easy-to-carry rescue tool, the ExiTool will not only cut a seat belt or harness, but will also safely go through a long sleeved shirt should you need to put in an IV or find the source of blood coming from an accident victim. And thanks to the LED light located at the cutting end of the ExiTool you can do the cutting in little or no light. Tipping the scale at just over an ounce and a half, the ExiTool will not weigh you down. It can clip to your waistband, and could literally be a life saver should you or someone else become trapped in a vehicle.

Visit CRKT Online


Emerson Knives

If you are a knife person, the mere mention of Emerson evokes thoughts of serious knives for serious and dangerous operations. Ernie Emerson's knives continue to be used by the most elite warriors in military units worldwide. His company's "tactical pink" Mini C-15 SF or SFS is yet another of these knives.

Yes, the knife boasts pink G10 laminate grips and is built to take on the worst the job can dish out.

Emerson Mini C-15

With an overall length of eight inches and a blade length of 3.25 inches it's the perfect size for slicing a sandwich or cutting open a bundle of suspected narcotics. The pink Mini's blade is what Emerson refers to as the Tant-Com, designed to give you the cutting power of a beveled tanto blade yet the cutting edge of a recurve blade. The Mini C-15 was built to be carried and used daily. Fear not if tactical pink is not your style. It can also be had in boring black.

Visit Emerson Knives Online



Gerber has had some of the most innovative pocket tools on the market. Its Octane carries on that tradition. This compact tool offers you needle nose pliers, knife, wire cutter, flat and Philips head screwdrivers, and a bottle opener. All of this comes in a four-ounce, five-inch package, which means you can toss this in your duty bag or clip it to your pocket with the supplied pocket clip.

Gerber Octane

The Octane is roughly the same size as a knife, but packs a lot more useful tools in the same space. It should allow you to repair most things that break on duty. Need to tighten a loose screw or nut, clip a bent wire, or bend a stray wire? This miniature pocket tool from Gerber has you covered.

Visit Gerber Online

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