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BlackHawk Blades and Tools

Written by Kevin Davis

Every cop has a pocket clip knife, or it sure seems that way. Go to a training seminar or school with officers from multiple jurisdictions, and it’s easier to count how many don’t have knives than those who do. But sadly, many officers carry folders and fixed blades that were not designed for the rigors of police work and won’t stand up to a serious task.

Let me put it this way, if you bought your daily carry knife at a flea market, get rid of it before you get hurt. You want to carry a blade that is specifically designed and engineered for serious work without breaking your bank. Although a custom-made $250 folder can handle the abuse, do you want to beat up an expensive blade or possibly lose it in some backyard? BLACKHAWK! is the company whose name has come to mean solid design engineered to save lives. And it has brought its high standards and quality workmanship to cutlery and breaching tools.

Battle Blades

Michael Janich is BlackHawk’s edged weapon division man in charge and is well known throughout the martial arts community. A Filipino martial artist, Janich has produced several books and videos on the use of and the defense against edged weapons. Previously employed by Paladin Press® where he oversaw some of the best armed and unarmed video productions, Janich brings an experienced eye to BlackHawk’s product line. With Janich’s input, the BlackHawk line has improved tremendously.

A few years ago, BlackHawk bought the Masters of Defense (MOD) line of high-quality knives. The line featured blades designed by some of the country’s top martial artists. Although many of the designs interested me, they were rather pricey and out of reach for most LE personnel.

Although these MOD knives are still available, BlackHawk has recently added to its line lower-cost versions of these same designs. I’ve been carrying some of these new knives over the past few months and can report that all are solidly built and ready for any serious self-defense or cutting chore that a police officer might encounter.

The Pointman is based on the MOD Trident, and at 7.8 inches with a 3.4-inch blade, the liner locked design is a stout folder. It has never dulled while opening countless boxes of ammunition and other daily cutting chores. The Hornet II is a slightly smaller knife at 7.2 inches overall with a 3.1-inch blade. I was really enamored with the Crucible II, a folder based on a design by former Marine and close combat specialist Kelly McCann.

All three of these knife designs are available in both plain and partially serrated blades. The G10 handles provide a positive gripping surface, and the pocket clips on all knives are adjustable for tip up or down, right or left side pocket carry. All of these knives will give you top performance and still leave some coins in your piggy bank.

BlackHawk has produced a couple of lower cost but high-quality knives in the BHB40 and BHB41. These two knives incorporate options usually only available on higher priced knives. The BHB40 is a Tanto blade design that’s 8.85 inches overall with a 3.75-inch blade. The BHB41 has a 2.95-inch blade and is 6.95 inches long. Both have nylon grips, are available in plain and partially serrated blade designs and have adjustable pocket clips.

The low-cost Hawk Hook is a neat little folding safety tool with many options despite its diminutive size. Featuring a recessed hooked edge to cut cords or safety belts; a straight edge with a partially serrated blade; a flat screw driver pry tip (no more breaking off the tip of your folder); a bottle opener; wire stripper; and a glass breaker all in one small package. The overall length is only 3.25 inches). Small enough to be carried clipped a shirt pocket, the Hawk Hook is the answer to most everyday law enforcement cutting needs. It offers options to the law enforcement officer other than just cutting.

In the small defensive neck knife category, BlackHawk has fielded the new XSF Punch Dagger, which comes with an injection-molded sheath complete with neck chain. This small (3.85-inch blade) push dagger can be carried unobtrusively for backup. In an emergency, the XSF can be grabbed in the fist for decisive stabbing power.

If you need something larger and stouter, BlackHawk has several fixed blade designs. As a Filipino martial artist, I appreciated the new Tatang design, which can be used in traditional slashing / stabbing mode, as well as for trapping, back cuts and butt strikes. More suitable for a tactical officer’s cutting needs, the Tatang is a larger knife (13.50 inches overall) that is designed for extreme use primarily as a fighter but can also be used for any large cutting tasks just like any sheath knife.

Dynamic Entry Tools

BlackHawk added to its line of breaching equipment this year with a couple of designs that can be used for patrol’s response to active shooters. The Breaching Sledge and Super Breaching Sledge could be easily carried in a patrol vehicle and used by uniformed officers to breach both outward- and inward-opening doors. The 22.5-inch, 11.5-pound Breaching Sledge features a large blunt faced sledge and a duckbill wedge that can be used like a standard Halligan tool.

Both designs can be used to hack open wooden recessed doors with the wedge end in addition to the tradition sledgehammer role. The Super Breaching Sledge is larger (32 inches long, 12 pounds) and both tools are designed with non-slip grips that are non-electrical conducting.

The metallurgy in both tools resists spalling if one sledge is used to hammer the other into place or if the sledge is driven into a jamb area with a battering ram. BlackHawk offers nylon carrying bags with straps that allow both tools to be carried slung across an officer’s shoulder. These breaching tools are well designed to provide an officer with substantial breaching force.

The Mini Break-N-Rake was specifically designed in conjunction with a British law enforcement agency to provide officers with a glass-breaking and raking capability in small confines. Only 25 inches in length, the Mini Break-N-Rake is small enough to work in narrow hallways but offers extreme performance against glass with its case hardened point and hook with which to grab drapes or blinds.

The Mini Break-N-Rake is perfect for close-in work on glass windows and is a superior design for breaching side windows on vehicles versus smaller less sure glass-breaking devices. The Mini Brake-N-Rake features a fiberglass non-slip D-handle and a front grip stop to prevent the forward hand from slipping into the glass.

Looking for a knife for patrol or SWAT? Look no further than BlackHawk blades. With superior designs that are economically priced, BlackHawk’s knife line is worth checking out. If bigger tools are necessary, the Dynamic Entry line-up, including the new Breaching Sledge, Super Breaching Sledge, and the Mini Brake-N-Rake, provides street or tactical police personnel with great designs capable of some serious breaching. BlackHawk products are indeed up to the task of saving lives!

Kevin R. Davis is a full-time officer with 25 years of experience. Assigned to the Training Bureau, he is a former team leader and lead instructor for his agency’s SWAT team. Visit his Web site at www.advancedtacticalconcepts.com. He welcomes your comments at kd1@advancedtacticalconcepts.com.

Published in Tactical Response, Nov/Dec 2008

Rating : Not Yet Rated


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