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
The Spartan Blades Enyo is a knife designed for deep concealment, and at this it excels. It’s small, light, simple, elegant, and just enough to get the job done. If the blade was any shorter its combat effectiveness would be questionable, but it’s not. It’s basically a 2.6” scalpel that comes extremely sharp from factory. It stabs and slashes just about as well as any blade of that size could. This is a knife not specifically designed for bushcraft or use as a field knife but the gently sweeping blade would cut through small tasks like butter if you could justify using it for camp tasks. The grip is relatively sure for its size with practice, and was obviously designed for two specific methods of forehand purchase. Both involve guiding the blade with the thumb atop in one of two available thumb rest positions.
However, it’s not a knife you haphazardly pull from its sheath and swing around without worrying about loss or self-harm. It’s difficult to balance a sure grip with a large enough blade to be martially effective when designing a concealed carry fixed blade, and this is the main design flaw in the Spartan Blades Enyo. It is still a knife that can be used in a fight safely and effectively, but requires a lot of practice to get used to using the grip that is awkward at best (especially for those with large hands). The fit and finish is good, but it started to rust heavily after eight months of use, even after constant cleaning and oiling. It’s coated in an FDE PVD coating, one of the best available coatings in the industry today in a color that allows both knife and sheath to blend in relatively well with nature and many skin tones (although it seems cool factor was the first priority here). The only better coating for this purpose is the Cerakote we use on our blades. The kydex sheath is as excellent as it can be, without having a point of retention designed into the knife itself. This becomes a major issue though. Not having a good internal retention point for the kydex sheath, means the blade will become too loose over time. When the blade becomes loose in the sheath it can fall out, this being a neck knife, it could potentially end up seriously injuring the user. If you tighten the blade in the sheath, it can at times be difficult or impossible to get out, rendering the knife useless.
We found it strange that this knife began to rust given its listed steel falls under the category of stainless. However, edge retention and hardness was good so the blade had at least a decent heat treat. The grind was well done, a good representation of fine craftsmanship, and the knife was well made overall.
There is an incredibly large number of ways that this knife can be carried. In fact, with a knife this small and well designed the carry possibilities are limited only by the operator’s imagination. Our opinion is that this is a great neck knife, and it comes with everything needed to be carried in this manner. The dog tag type chain is perfect for this application as its strong enough to keep the sheath in place but will break before choking the user if tangled or used against oneself in a fight. It also come with a loop that we found to be a great way to set the knife up in IWB cross-draw. This knife is not one you would want to rely on as a primary weapon in a high threat environment. It’s a tool that can be carried almost anywhere, and the benefit comes in having it as a backup or when you can’t have a primary. If the time comes when you need a backup knife you’ll be glad you had it. Next to the Bone Tactical C.A.N.K, this is the best neck knife and small concealed carry fixed blade we have come across. We recommend this knife for professional use as a back-up knife or for vigilant individuals as a concealed carry knife.
Small size, light weight, and excellent sheath make it very concealable. Fit and finish is superb.
Small cutting edge, not an extremely secure grip, the sheath, designed as an afterthought, is dangerous.
Eight out of Ten Bones.
Knife Name: Enyo
Overall Length: 6 1/4"
Blade Length: 2 11/16"
Blade Thickness: 3/16"
Blade Steel: CPM S35VN
Blade Hardness: 59-60 HRC
Blade Style: Fixed Drop Point - this design allows for strength of the blade tip by placing it in line with the users hand while keeping the upward curve of the cutting edge.
Coating: SpartaCoat - PVD - Tungsten DLC (Black) or ZrN (Flat Dark Earth)
Sheath: Kydex (Black) or (Coyote) to match blade finish respectively.
Weight: 0.176 LBS (Knife)
Greg Tambone & Bone Tac Cadre