The Greg Thompson design, Benchmade SOCP 178 dagger was intended 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 only 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 relatively 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 keeps the unit from flopping around. The fact that 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 the finger loop, is rare feature that makes for a highly usable edged weapon. 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 necessarily immediately recognizable as a knife, and the sheath is easy to attach in a number of places, it makes for a great concealed carry as well. We’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 (being such a small blade to begin with). The part of this knife that’s sharpened is already close to the minimum length of a blade that can 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. It was a great added feature, but it fell off after carrying the knife only a few times.
The construction of the knife itself is great as we've come to expect from Benchmade. The steel is low quality stainless, but helps keep the knife semi-affordable, and functions relatively well with proper heat treat. It won't hold up to hard use, but is not a hard use blade. It comes sharp enough to carry as a backup, and shouldn't rust, even with minimal maintenance. This knife also features a durable and aesthetically pleasing coating on the majority of the blade.
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, low quality steel.
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
Greg Tambone & Bone Tac Cadre