By Stephen Dukes
Some product names have earned legendary status and loyal following among the law enforcement and military communities. Two such names are HK (Heckler & Koch) and Benchmade. These companies have teamed up to offer a line of knives under the HK name. I recently received an HK Nitrous Blitz assisted opening knife for field-testing.
When picking up the knife, the first thing I noticed was the weight – it was surprisingly light. Weighing in at just 2.70 ounces, the HK Nitrous Blitz provides a good carry while clipped to or carried inside the pocket, riding virtually unnoticed until it is needed. Using the ambidextrous thumb stud to open the knife brought another surprise. Although I knew the knife was an assisted-opening design, I was surprised by the smoothness and speed of the mechanism. The HK Nitrous Blitz uses a patented assisted-opening system called Nitrous™.
The design is simple, yet exceptionally efficient, consisting of two torsion arms that run the length of the handle liner. When the blade is closed, the torsion arms make contact with the blade tang. As the user opens the blade to beyond a 30-degree angle, the torsion arms take over and finish opening the knife. The Nitrous assisted-opening system gets it right; it is very fast but not harsh or jumpy when it opens.
There is no external safety or blade lock on this knife. The safety is actually built into the system itself. This is the reason the Nitrous does not actuate until the blade is opened beyond a30-degrees. It should also be noted that when the knife is closed, the torsion arms contacting the blade tang provides ample pressure to keep the blade from inadvertently opening. Because the knife doesn’t open immediately after the blade is moved, the user has the option to open the knife manually.
Once open, the blade is held securely in place by a modified locking liner constructed of titanium. To close the knife, you simply push the locking liner clear of the tang and close the blade. Opening and closing the HK Nitrous Blitz is a one handed affair, as long as you use a bit of caution when closing it. You should close the blade slowly and purposefully to avoid pinning your thump between the blade and the tope of the knife handles. This is not a knock on the HK Nitrous Blitz; care must be taken when closing any knife incorporating a locking liner system. This is also one of those self-correction errors, especially when handling a knife that is extremely sharp.
The blade is a modified clip-point design with a recurve and is contructed of American made 154 CM premium-grade stainless steel.
The HK Nitrous Blitz is offered with several different blade options, the knife provided for testing was equipped with a ComboEdge™ blade. This configuration is a typical straight edge from the tip to about the middle of the blade, with the last half being serrated.
Another option included on my sample was a Xylan™ based blade coating called BT2 which increases corrosion resistance and surface lubricity. These qualities aside, BT2 is flat black in color, contrasting with the silver of the knife-edge. The handles are black and constructed from G10, which is made up of layers of fiberglass soaked resin that is highly compressed and then baked. G10 is not affected by temperature changes and is impervious to moisture.
I carried the knife while on and off duty for a couple weeks. I could have conducted all types of tests on it like trying to cut out vehicle B-pillars or dragging it behind my patrol vehicle for a couple of miles; but I didn’t. Instead, I just used it like a knife and it performed that job exceptionally well. The serrations of the ComboEdge™ blade were almost magical at cutting seatbelt material and any rope I could find. I also used the HK Nitrous Blitz to cut open cardboard boxes and several old t-shirts to be used for gun rags. Although it will no longer shave arm hair, it has remained very sharp throughout the testing.
Is it cop proof? Hardly, but I have yet to see anything, knife or otherwise, that is. After all, “If it can be made, we cab break it.” That said, it is a very nice knife exhibiting the type of quality and workmanship that you can count on when you need it. When you see the names HK and Benchmade you can expect a product made with the highest commitment to quality and a “no compromise” attitude when it comes to performance – the HK Nitrous Blitz is no exception.
300 Beavercreek Road
Oregon City, OR 97045