Push daggers speak to me of power. No pretty pass cuts or fancy foil grips, just gritty jabs and slashing blows thrown in a clench. Boxing with a blade.
Benchmade Knife Company’s 175 Adamas CBK Push Dagger was made with input from customers of the law enforcement sort. This is a purely defensive knife. CBK stands for concealed backup knife. And there you have it: all business.
With full tang construction of 440C stainless steel and a chisel ground blade, this knife was purpose-built for toughness. The 2.5” blade is double-edged, spear point in shape, and given a Rockwell Hardness of 58-60. Blade and handle are subdued with Benchmade’s BK1 matte black finish for corrosion and scratch resistance. CBK’s grip is covered in a rough vinyl coating which gives it a tackiness, even when wet.
A good knife with a bad sheath stays in the locker. Fortunately, the CBK has a well thought out kydex/thermoplastic sheath. There are six hollow rivets on the sides and two 1” slots. These allow for multiple ways to mount or hang the knife. A black spring steel belt clip bolts to the sheath’s back and fits up to 2” belts.
The push dagger’s attributes call for a different grip and style from a “normal” knife when used defensively. While some palm the knife with the tang exiting between the middle and ring fingers, I prefer to hold it higher with the handle protruding between my index and middle fingers. For more stability, I place my thumb on the top of the grip.
When held in this way, the point of the dagger aligns with the long bones of the arm in a straight thrust, just like the first and second knuckles of the fist do in a straight punch. In a life-threatening situation, jabs and shots to the body have a whole new meaning when delivered with a push dagger.
By way of practice, one way to safely work on your power and technique with push dagger strikes is to find an analogous training dummy. I have found that a Comtech Stinger provides a respectable stand-in.
The Stinger is a polymer defense device designed by Master-at-Arms James Keating. This small martial implement is held like a push dagger. The force of a punch is focused into the “point’ of the Stinger. Full power hits can be delivered on to a heavy bag to simulate the use of a push dagger. Throw the bag on the floor and ground fight.
Though the CBK can be clipped to your underbelt and worn beneath the duty gunbelt, I do not recommend this, as I have also said before about the KA-BAR TDI. An Austin, TX officer nearly lost his life to a suspect who grabbed the exposed handle to the officer’s TDI and stabbed him in the neck. Food for thought.
I recently received a new pair of 5.11 A.T.A.C. 8” side zip boots. These are my favorite duty boots. The Benchmade CBK fit in the integral knife sheath pocket on the boot. To ensure the sheath does not come out with the blade, I made a small hole in the nylon and bolted the top corner of the sheath to the upper. That’s not going anywhere!
The CBK conceals well in this manner. Although the handle has plenty of surface to grab, it does not print underneath the uniform pants. I have worn the knife on my boot for several weeks and I rather like the set-up.
Benchmade Knife Company’s Adamas line of knives, which are designed by custom knifemaker Shane Sibert, honor our fighting heroes. A portion of the proceeds for the Adamas knives will be donated to the Ranger Assistance Foundation.
It is obvious from the attention to detail and ruggedness of both the CBK and sheath that there was an air of seriousness paid in bringing this blade to the law enforcement market. The Benchmade 175 CBK can be found for less than a hundred dollars and is worth every penny.
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