Benchmade’s Harley Davidson Knives


by Greg Quinn

photography by Greg Quinn & Jeff Quinn

September 22nd, 2008




Benchmade has been designing and making high quality knives for many years, and Gunblast has been using Benchmade products for several years now without failure.  While not the only knives we use and enjoy, Benchmade products utilized by the boys at Gunblast are high-quality cutting tools that we use and abuse and that serves the purpose for which they were intended. Most are made in America.  They have a lifetime sharpening service.  And, Benchmade has a great group of cutlery designers that do a super job of creating great designs that are expertly made into high-quality cutlery products by Benchmade’s manufacturing staff.  Benchmade seems to do a much better job than most high-quality knife manufacturers of designing and manufacturing products that meet market demands, and delivering these products to the market at attractive price points.  That said, when new Benchmade products come to for test and evaluation, we expect them to be of high quality, well made, attractive, and products that will meet the needs of the consumers who make dollar decisions based upon our recommendations and reviews.

The latest Benchmade product reviewed, and subject of this test, did not disappoint.  In concert with Harley Davidson, Benchmade has created a Harley series of knives.  The first in the series, and as tested here, was the 13100 HD Hardtail knife.

The Harley Davidson Hardtail features the excellent AXIS locking system of Benchmade.  With a side-placement knob instead of a liner-lock release, the AXIS system is strong and easy to use, especially with gloved hands.  We haven’t yet had an AXIS locking system on a Benchmade fail us.

The HD Hardtail also is manufactured of high grade steel, and like all US-made Benchmade’s is manufactured to .00005” NASA tolerances.  It is a high-quality knife, and worthy of the Benchmade logo.

Enough about the knife quality; it’s a Benchmade and the quality is apparent throughout.  The design perfectly encompasses the passion that is Harley Davidson.  Harley Davidson is more passionate about the creation of high-quality motorcycles that evoke unique feelings than anyone in the two-wheeled vehicle business.  A Harley is more than a motorcycle.  A Harley is an image, and according to many, a lifestyle.  My brother Jeff, for example, could easily be the “poster child” for Harley Davidson.  Jeff has been riding Harleys for many years, and when outfitted with his skull cap helmet, his cut-off t-shirt and black rider boots, and with his braided long gray beard blowing above his ears as he speeds down the highway on his black HD Road Glide bike, Jeff represents a personification of the image that is Harley Davidson.  Tough, cool, loud, big, black, chrome, and fast.

So, when the Benchmade HD Hardtail came in, it was obvious that Jeff would be the one to carry it long-term.  It goes with his Harley image.  While a knife is but a tool to Jeff, and some of the beauty in cutlery is lost on him, he was as thrilled about the HD Hardtail as I have ever seen him about a knife.  That it itself says a lot.

The HD Hardtail is black and highly polished stainless steel.  It has a skull inscription.  Its handle is black and works well, even with gloved or wet hands.  The AXIS lock release can be moved easily with gloved hands.  The smooth lines of the blade are reminiscent of the flowing chrome lines of a Harley side-pipe.  It is sharp, strong, looks great, and works well.  And, is keeping with the image that is Harley Davidson.

Benchmade has done a great job with this first in a series of Harley Davidson knives.  The HD Hardtail is a great knife.  Especially if you like Harley Davidson motorcycles, or own one.  It’s a fact that most bikers carry a pocketknife.  I can therefore make this recommendation: if you are a Harley rider, and carry a knife anyway, I recommend you pick up one of these Benchmade HD Hardtail knives.  It will serve you well as a knife, plus perhaps equally important, will evoke the Harley Davidson mystique even as you draw your blade.  You most likely own a dozen Harley T-shirts, HD belt, HD boots, and a Harley decal on your skull cap.  Why not own a high-quality knife that says Harley Davidson as well?

Greg Quinn






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