Tool Reviews by Tool

Blackhawk Point Man and Hornet II Folding Knives


The Blackhawk Point Man and Hornet II Folding Knives are two, buttery smooth opening midsize folding knives that are excellent candidates for everyday carry. And I do love a good every day carry (EDC) knife. The knives are somewhat similar, both in terms of price and their tactical stylings. Both blades are made from black Teflon-coated AUS8A stainless steel and have a unique edge grind for extra point strength. Nested inside the textured G-10 handles of each are full-sized 420J stainless steel liners. The nested designs make these knives slimmer while still giving you full access to the liner-lock mechanism. Finally, a four-position clip offers versatile carry options for either of these knives as well.

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Blackhawk Point Man and Hornet II Folding Knives

There are a few stand out features I noticed that are common to both of these EDC’s when I first held them in my hand. The shape and texture on the handles offer some of the best grip I’ve ever felt on knives this size. The handles are also thick enough to fill your hand, and the G-10 material really shines for its lightweight properties and grippyness—sweaty palms are just not an issue.

point-man-in-hand

Opening the blade is just about as smooth as you can get—especially given that neither have an assisted-open mechanism. There are bronze bushings at the blade pivot point which allows for smooth action while eliminating any lateral play when open. Opening the knife with either hand is easy thanks to the ambidextrous thumb stud. With the right flick of the wrist, I found that I could snap the blade open on either knife about as fast as I could with an assisted-open model. The liner lock provides positive retention, and I found it easy to disengage when I wanted to close the blade. Both knives also come with a four-position removable pocket clip for both tip up and tip down ambidextrous carry.

Blackhawk Hornet II

hornet-II-held1The Blackhawk! Hornet II was designed by James Keating, an edged-weapons expert well-known within the knife industry. This is the slightly smaller of the two knives in this review, but don’t let its dimensions fool you. It’s a worthy pocket knife that has a unique take on a modified drop point-style blade profile. One of the first things that I noticed about this knife is the thickness of the blade. Thick blades can be both good and bad. On one hand, a thicker blade can make for a tougher knife: on the other hand,, it can also make for a less defined edge due to the steeper edge grind. Somehow the folks at Blackhawk! figured out how to make this blade both stout and nimble, with a fairly fine edge. Out of the box the edge was razor sharp all the way down to the tip. I didn’t have to spend a lot of effort re-grinding the edge when it came time for a sharpening either. The extra blade mass near the tip also goes a long way towards inspiring confidence where you would normally worry about breaking off the tip. (This definitely came in handy in some of the more extreme tests I put this knife through.)

Blackhawk Point Man

point-man-in-hand-clipThe original design of the Blackhawk! Point Man came from James “Patches” Watson who happened to be an original member of SEAL Team Two. After serving three tours in Vietnam, the nickname “Patches” came from his having earned sixteen combat decorations. Suffice it to say, this sailor truly has the know-how to design a folding knife worthy of combat use! The Point Man features a modified spear-point blade that has what appears to be a flat saber-grind. The tip is extra strong due to both the tip and spine geometry. This allows more of the blade thickness to be carried out—almost to the tip. The overall open size of this knife is nearly eight inches long, which makes it a formidable size but still easy enough to carry thanks to its lightweight ergonomic handle design and shape.

Testing and Use

pocket-clip-insidePrior to writing this review, I carried both the Blackhawk! Hornet II and the Point Man extensively for several months. Honestly, the best way to evaluate the real world durability and functionality of products like these is to simply live with them and use them. After this period of extended testing, the only real evidence of use was the wear and tear that the pocket clip started to show where the paint began chipping off. The black PVD (physical vapor deposition) coating on the blades, however, proved to be virtually impenetrable. After cutting many cardboard boxes, slicing and pruning tree branches, and cutting cord and rope, there was no discernible wear on the face of the blade. As far as sharpness, both knives came from the factory with nicely ground fine edges. (Both were plain edge, but a partial-serrated option is available.) Over time, because of my heavy use of these knives, I did have to re-hone them once or twice with a Lansky knife sharpening system. Possibly due to the gradual slope of both the spear point and modified drop point blades, it didn’t take a lot of effort to bring them back to a razor edge. I felt that the edge retention of the Japanese AUS8A stainless steel was more than satisfactory, so you’ll get a lot of use in between sharpening.

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Conclusion

The Blackhawk! Hornet II and the Point Man are two rock-solid folding pocket knives that have super smooth actions and are built for the long haul. I liked the ambidextrous thumb stud, and the ability to change the pocket clip mounting position means these knives will accommodate just about anyone. To some, the Hornet II and Point Man may appear to be just basic pocket knives with no assisted-opening features or other more tactical add-ons. I think that if you pick either up and hold it in your hand (or better yet—carry it around for a while) you’ll find that these knives are truly versatile and dependable cutting tools that have the feel of something much more expensive.

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