The Greg Thompson design, Benchmade SOCP 178 dagger was designed to meet a very specific purpose. This purpose was to be the backup knife to someone who carries a firearm as a primary weapon. Usually, starting out with a specific purpose in mind when designing a weapon tends to produce a very useful weapon. Often times trying to produce a weapon or tool to meet too many uses can dull down its actual usefulness in any specific area. The model we received from Benchmade excels at its intended purpose with one major design flaw.
The overall design of this CQB tool is excellent. The slim sheath covering the majority of the weapon makes for an extremely modular package. The retention is good, access is fast, integrated ribbing holds it in place, and it comes with a built in clip. It fits well between MOLLE attachment loops and the integral clip holds it securely in place. The fact the majority of the weapon is covered by the sheath, yet the grip does not have to be re-adjusted after unholstering due to indexing via index finger loop, is rare and highly beneficial in edged weapons. Benchmade has also added some ridges along the top of the index finger loop for added control, a nice touch. Another benefit from this unit’s design that may have not been intentional is the high level of concealability. Because the sheathed SOCP dagger is not immediately recognizable as a knife, and the sheath is easy to attach to a number of places, it makes for a great concealed carry as well. I’ve found it to be a nice fit for IWB appendix carry. The SOCP is also lightweight and relatively small.
The limiting factor of the SOCP dagger we received is that only half the blade is sharpened, while the other half the blade features a false edge. This greatly reduces its usefulness as a weapon. The part of this knife that’s sharpened is already close to the minimum length of a blade to be useful in a fight, and the design itself means the blade will be used almost entirely in a reverse grip fighting style. In this reverse grip fighting style, when using a knife of this type, three major cutting movements can be used: abductive slashing movements, adductive slashing movements, and stabbing movements. Abductive slashing movements are where the weapon hand is moving away from the body as the slash occurs, and adductive slashing movements are where the weapon hand is moving towards the body as the cutting occurs. By sharpening this blade only on one side, the user has to choose between only one of these movements, and has to position his/her knife in the sheath accordingly upon initial setup. This greatly limits the users’ ability to fight. We plan on sharpening the other side of our blade for this very reason. The only thing that didn’t hold up on this knife was the little rubber piece on the end of the sheath’s clip. This was a nice touch, but it fell off after carrying the knife only a few times.
We recommend this knife to anyone who wants a small fixed blade to carry as a backup to their primary weapon or even as a concealed carry. We highly recommend buying the package that includes a training knife and training with it BEFORE you carry the live blade. We also recommend using the training knife in your weak hand while you train with your pistol.
Lightweight, easy access, excellent sheath, concealable, trainer available.
Sharpened only on one side of blade.
Eight out of ten bones.
Blade Length: 3.22"
Blade Thickness: 0.195"
Blade Material: 440C
Blade Hardness: 58-60HRC
Blade Style: Skeletonized Dagger
Pocket Clip: Sheath Mounted
Lock Mechanism: Fixed
Overall Length: 7.25"
Sheath Material: Injected Molded w/ Clip