One to Watch: H&K Feint
Tony Sculimbrene 04.23.15
In the past few years, Benchmade’s product line changes have made it impossible to figure out where stuff is and if it is still being made. This is true even for someone that keeps a close watch on these sort of things. Between the four color classes, the dropping of one color class, the loss of the Harley Davidson license (to Case), the introduction of the Bone Collector line, the dropping of the Bone Collector line, the purchase and integration of Lone Wolf, the dropping of Lone Wolf, and finally the introduction of Benchmade
Munt Hunt, it has been nuts.
Basically all I can say with 100% confidence is that they are still making the Mini Griptillian. In this seven-deck rip shuffle of change, a few things were missed at SHOT Show 2015. One of them has just been released and looks like a pretty darn good chopper fixed blade: the H&K Feint.
The Feint is the final piece in a trio of choppers (the Bolo and Clip Point are in the main Benchmade line). Together they make a nice group–a bolo, a clip point, and drop point. All run basic steels with rubber handles. They all include a sheath (which you would think would be a given, but Busse…). All have a blade length around 9 or 9.5 inches and have steel that’s about .20 inches thick (the Feint is .18 while the Bolo and Clip Point are .20).
The differences are pretty simple–the Feint has a black handle (it’s H&K after all, stealthy, concealed, DEADLY…blah, blah, blah) while the two main line blades have the much more useful orange handle. The Feint runs 440C while the mainline blades have the high carbon steel 1095. All in all, pretty similar–except the Feint is $20 cheaper. Yep, it’s almost exactly the same knife, but just $20 cheaper. I am sure some of the price difference comes from sheath (the mainline blades run leather and the Feint runs nylon), but aside from that there is not much I can see that warrants a $20 difference.
Frankly, I’d prefer the drop point shape to either the clip point or the bolo. I also think the steel choice of 440C is fine for a large chopper. It’s plenty tough and resharpens very easily. At this point I am at a loss to explain why the Feint is so inexpensive.
Also worth noting is the fact that these three knives seem to be free of the “Benchmade Tax” whereby all Benchmade products cost 20% more than products from other companies with similar materials. All three knives are cheaper than similarly sized Bark River knives, and they instead challenge stuff like Ontario, ESEE, and Ka-Bar on their home turf–big choppers. Seen in this light, the Feint is even more unusual. Instead of being towards the higher end of the market, it’s about a buck less than the Ka-Bar BK9, a similarly sized knife.
In the end, I can’t see why someone looking for a chopper wouldn’t at least consider the Feint. It’s got a solid size and shape with decent materials, and for the first time in years, it’s a Benchmade product that is among the cheapest in its class.