Built For Operators: Benchmade Infidel Review

As a knife lover, you are certainly familiar with the Benchmade Infidel, but do you or do you not agree with the hype behind it? As one of the best-selling out the front knives on the market since its original release in 2006, it takes center stage in the collections of knife enthusiasts everywhere. As with every knife, it has its strengths and weaknesses, but this knife is well-known for many reasons. 

Benchmade Infidel Models

There are different Infidel models with their variations in size, blade steels, their blade coatings, and handles materials and colors.  

Size comparison of regular and Mini Infidel models.

The Benchmade Infidel OTF 3300 has a few different models to choose from. The 4-inch double-edge dagger blade comes in satin or black-coated finishes and is available in D2 and S30V steels. You also have your choice of anodized aluminum handle colors, with green, black, and blue models available. 

If you love the tactical toughness of the original Infidel but need something for smaller hands and pockets, the Mini Benchmade Infidel 3350 is just for you. With a 3.1-inch dagger blade and a 4-inch handle, this is a much smaller knife compared to the 3300 Infidel. The Mini Infidel has all the punch of the original, just in a more compact package. The Mini Infidel is available in satin or black-coated blade finishes, but we’re partial to the 3350BK model. 

Pros & Cons

Like every knife, the Benchmade Infidel is not for everyone. The D2 blade steel is often overlooked by knife people since it’s not completely stainless. However, for the purposeful design of the Infidel, it’s an excellent option. D2 is one of the harder and tougher steels out there (especially with Benchmade’s world class heat treatment) which allows it to hold an edge well. With these blades coated, there is immense durability and corrosion resistance. The chisel grind at times makes the blade appear duller than it is. It takes a bit of force to open and close, but it’s also good because it keeps it from going off in your pocket.

People love this knife for many reasons. To start off, there is almost no blade play when deployed. It’s a comfortable size that feels great with an excellent ambidextrous grip in bare or gloved hands. The “crocodile spine” jimping employs your entire palm to keep the Infidel in hand, which is good because this OTF is a heavy hitter. It deploys hard and fast, and it is loud when it is opened and closed which is extremely satisfying. It is also very fidgety, but remember, it is not a toy.  It comes in a MOLLE equipped pouch which usually indicates that it is some serious hardware. This knife in its case is great for the law enforcement, military, or some other jobs where they wear MOLLE. It’s got a deep carry pocket clip that is large and secure with good spring retention. These knives are also made in the USA! 

Primary Uses for the Infidel

The Infidel’s primary use is for self-defense against enemy attackers for those in the law enforcement or the military. Remember the loud opening and closing we mentioned before? That’s the asset in the field, where intimidation is the best-case way to defuse a situation. There are also knife enthusiasts who use them to add value to their collections—after all, this is Benchmade’s first foray into the OTF world and is thus a piece of knife history. This knife can be used as a regular knife to do regular knife things like open boxes, slicing vegetables, and other EDC knife needs, but these are not what the Infidel was designed to take on. A knife is a knife, let it do knife things.  

Blade HQ Exclusive Benchmade Infidel in OD green

What Class is the Benchmade Infidel?

There are three classes of product in the Benchmade world. The first is the Blue Class which is meant for everyday carry knives. The second is the Black class which the Benchmade Infidel falls under and then there is the Gold Class which are the more art-like pieces like the Limited Edition Benchmade Infidel with Damascus steel. 

The Benchmade Infidel, in general, is a Black Class knife. According to Benchmade, this class of knives is made for law enforcement officers, EMTs, the military, and other experienced professionals. Although they are used in equipping the people with these types of jobs, they can still be purchased by those without those job titles.

Benchmade Infidel Alternatives

Benchmade makes high-class knives, and the Benchmade Infidel is one of them. There are also plenty of other options for your OTF knives within the Benchmade brand and outside of it. The following knives are some examples of those knives:

Benchmade Autocrat next to Benchmade Infidel

Benchmade Autocrat D/A OTF – This one is the second Benchmade OTF ever made and it was released in 2019. It is more lightweight than the Infidel thanks to the G-10 handle construction, and with S30V steel instead of the D2 steel, the Autocrat is an EDC while the Infidel is for operators. The Autocrat’s thumb slide is on the side instead of on the front which some may prefer. Other than that, they are similar.

The picture to the left features two Autocrat models with the Infidel (middle) for comparison.

Smitth & Wesson S&P OTF in tan

Smith & Wesson M&P OTF – This knife has a spring assisted single-action opening with a thumb slide, also on the front when compared to the Infidel. The handle is also aluminum, but there are different details on it which add to its uniqueness, like the glass breaker on the end of the M&P.

Boker USB in orange

Boker Plus USB OTF – It has a much larger and wider thumb slide on the front, but also is a smaller knife in general and is CA legal. Put this one on your keychain for a very convenient carry and choose your favorite colorway!

Microtech Ultratech with bayonet blade and black aluminum handle

Microtech Ultratech T/E OTF – Like the Infidel, this knife is a big competitor when it comes to double-action out-the-front knives. The two knives both have aluminum handles that are milled for just the right amount of grip. One main difference between the two knives is the configuration. The Infidel has the most jimping on the face of the handle, which grips the palm of your hand more. The Ultratech’s jimping is focused on the sides of the handle, which come in contact with your fingers. The build quality and warranties of both Microtech OTFs and Benchmade OTFs are top-notch so the biggest determinant will be which in-hand feel you prefer. 

Conclusion

The Benchmade Infidel is a great choice for anyone in the law enforcement, military, or any other type of service, but is also the perfect collector’s item for just about anyone. It deploys and retracts with wicked double-action speed and there are plenty of different models and sizes to choose from. The knife is impressive in power and durability because it is made from high-quality materials. Get the Benchmade Infidel at Blade HQ today! 

Check out our other intriguing reads like our Benchmade 940 Osborne blog or learn more about different ways to open knives with our Types of Pocket Knife Opening Mechanisms blog

And if you want to see the Benchmade Infidel in action, check out this overview video on the Blade HQ Exclusive!

Black Benchmade Infidel model