There is a great Archer joke where he pulls a switchblade, and Mallory asks, “Since when do you carry a switchblade?” He says it’s a long story, and it cuts away to him looking at a switchblade at a knife shop and saying, “Neat.” I feel like that’s the story of most knives I own. I am not necessarily a knife nerd. I’m into knives more than the average person, but I also like big silly knives like the Cold Steel bowies. Sometimes, the neat factor crosses over with an actual handy, well-made, and genuinely good knife. That’s how I ended up with the Benchmade Infidel.
The Infidel isn’t Benhcmade’s first or even most modern automatic knife, but it’s their most famous. The Infidel comes in standard and Mini sizes, and now it comes in a wide variety of colors. Black can be so boring, so why not go with something like crater blue? The new colors include the aforementioned crater blue, woodland green, and flat dark earth. The coloring is actually anodizing, so it’s not just cerakote or another coating material.
Inside the Infidel
The Benchmade Infidel features a nice long 3.91-inch blade, and it has an overall length of 8.91 inches. If I’m mathing right the length of the knife with the blade closed is five inches total. It’s also .59 inches thick. The blade design is a dual-edged dagger, and the handle encourages that fencing-style grip you’d expect from a dagger. I like to play Inigo Montoya with the Infidel, and it feels natural.
Of course, you aren’t stuck with a fencing grip. In fact, the handle is great for a hammer-style grip, as well as a more precise thumb-driven grip. Let’s be honest: I don’t ever expect to use my knife in a self-defense encounter, especially since I have a gun! For me, the Infidel is a really cool EDC knife, and it works really well in that role.
With that in mind, I’m not concerned about fighting grips as much as I’m concerned about how easy the knife is to handle when opening letters, peeling oranges, or sharpening marshmallow sticks for making smores.
Benchmade uses a double-action automatic design. This means the blade opens and closes via the press of a tab. It’s quick and easy, and the blade practically flies out of the knife. If there was a race for the fastest OTF, I might argue that the Infidel would win it.
A pocket clip sits at the bottom for tip-down carry. It can’t be moved, so it’s something you’ll need to deal with. Tip-down carry makes a lot of sense with an OTF knife. It sets the knife naturally in your hand to access the button and deploy the blade.
The Infidel In Action
The Infidel has been assigned pocket duty. My state allows you to carry automatic knives but does require a concealed carry permit to do so. It’s odd since we are a Constitutional carry state for firearms. Either way, I’m covered and carrying the Infidel daily. As mentioned, I’m no John Wick, so it’s a basic EDC knife for me.
An EDC knife that tends to draw lots of attention when I put it in action. The Infidel has a certain cool factor to it that’s hard to ignore. Plus, it’s not a brighter, more vibrant color, and it gets attention. Knife nerds seem to really like it, and admittedly, the button is more or less a fidget toy for grown men. The responsive action and smooth activation are a delight to play with.
In my use, the blade proved to be super sharp from the factory. I also got two of them with the dagger design so I could go longer without sharpening the blade theoretically. I can’t place my thumb on the blade to guide the knife, but the handle’s curves give me more than enough control.
Benchmade uses CPM-S30V stainless steel for the blade, and it’s tough to knock. The steel is tough and corrosion-resistant, and it holds a good edge. Sharpening it to a honed edge isn’t always easy, but it’s doable. Personally, I’ll leave it to professionals with a knife this expensive. The good edge makes it easy to chop through my daily routine, from opening Amazon packages and my kid’s toys to popping zip ties and even skinning game. (Although I am careful to clean the blade thoroughly after cleaning an animal.)
Admittedly, it’s a big knife for daily carry, so the Benchmade Infidel Mini might have been a better choice, but I still appreciate the big blade. It’s a hefty knife, but I don’t notice carrying it. The automatic aspect of the knife makes it really handy. In a situation where I only have one hand to open the knife, being able to press the button and get that schwick is a godsend.
Sure, most folders have modern ways to open with a single hand. Nubs, disks, and more have made lots of knives easy to open one-handed. However, when my attention is being poured into what’s in front of me, being able to press a button and know the blade is fully opened and locked in place gives me a different piece of mind.
I really think the Infidel shines for a high-end daily carry knife. It’s very well made with high-quality materials, has an awesome action I can open without looking at it, and plus, it comes in blue, what else could I want?