Make sure to check out Hoffner Knives.
I was introduced to Brian Hoffner and his knives at SHOT 2016. He’s an extremely friendly guy with a great personality. Hoffner has an impressive 30+ year background training law enforcement agencies across the country specializing in weapons and tactics. I can assure you he is the “real-deal.” Through the years of training police officers and civilians at his personal training facility, he saw a need to create the most versatile knife for self -defense and I think he nailed it.
At first glance, the Hoffner folder appears to be nothing special. Design wise it’s rather plain looking but that’s also what I like about it. The knife isn’t flashy or gaudy nor was it meant to be. Hoffner himself will tell you this knife says “don’t prosecute me.”
Once you hold the Hoffner it becomes apparent this knife is more than just a tactical folder. There are subtle changes to the grip that are so simple yet effective, I can’t believe it hasn’t been done before (at least none that I know of). The folder is well made and feels great in the hand. The one thing I really like about its appearance is that I’m not afraid to pull it out at a family picnic and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it as a last ditch effort to stop an attacker. The Hoffner folder has been my go to EDC knife for the last 8 weeks and will continue to be a regular in my carry rotation.
The Hoffner folder comes in two different sizes, 2.8 and 3.5 in. blades. I picked up the 3.5 in. model at SHOT show featuring a traditional spear point blade profile with black finish. The knife is well made with full steel liners, hefty stainless frame pins and steel liner lock with detent ball allowing for smooth deployment. The liner lock activates with very positive engagement locking mid-blade giving me confidence the skin on my knuckles won’t get shaved from a faulty lock.
It sports 3.5 in. blade in a spear point profile making it ideal for everyday use and self-defense. Dual thumb studs allow for ambidextrous deployment and is composed of 440C stainless steel. 440C is a high-alloy steel with great corrosion resistance thanks to large amounts of Chromium. Everyone has their favorite knife steel and to each their own, but 440C offers a great balance of corrosion and wear resistance for the everyday user. It is relatively easy to sharpen and holds an edge well. I haven’t been able to get it razor sharp yet, but I’ll admit I am not a pro when it comes to knife sharpening.
The handle is equipped with olive G-10 handle scales with large round cutouts mid-handle. Handles are offered in two different styles, smooth and chiseled grips. Indexing cutouts make transitioning between forward and reverse grip easy. With a little practice, switching grips becomes second nature. The handle boasts aggressive jimping which I found useful in preventing any knife slip. Even when cutting up some vegetables with wet hands, it stayed in place. Hoffner designed the end of the knife for pressure point applications and the top of the knife as a blunt striking object. The pocket clip is reversible, low profile making it snag free and sits deep in the pocket, which I prefer, resting tip-down. And for those who like to decorate your knives, feel free to add a lanyard.
- Overall Length: 8.38″
- Blade Length: 3.5″
- Blade Thickness: 0.11″
- Blade Material: 440C
- Blade Style: Spear Point
- Blade Grind: Hollow
- Finish: Black
- Edge Type: Plain
- Handle Length: 4.875″
- Handle Thickness: 0.46″
- Handle Material: G-10
- Color: Olive
- Frame/Liner: Steel
- Weight: 4.54 oz.
- User: Ambidextrous
- Pocket Clip: Tip-Down
- Knife Type: Manual folder
- Lock Type: Liner Lock
- Brand: Hoffner Knives
- Model: Hoffner Folder CQB/CT
- Price: $50 and up (depending on configuration)
The Hoffner folder was clearly designed with self-defense in mind but has served me well as an everyday carry knife. It’s proven to be a knife up to every task at hand and I don’t mind abusing it more than others given the price point.
Hoffner sought out to create the ultimate self-defense tool with his folding knife. The modified handle shape makes the user to grip the knife in such a way that the butt of the knife rests in the palm of your hand. The resulting grip makes the knife feel like an extension of your arm rather than an object you’re holding. The amount of force you can put behind this knife is incredible, it feels solid in the hand. The grip and indexing holes give you 2 extra inches of slashing power without adding it to the blade itself allowing it to stay within legal limits. The indexing holes in the middle of the handle are actually quite useful when switching grip styles. It also provides extra grip strength when using the foil grip. The top of the grips have
The top of the grips have jimping to maximize pain when used as a striking object. This knife has some heft to it and I certainly wouldn’t want to be hit with this. Just for fun, I used the butt end of the knife on some pressure points and it doesn’t take much before it hurts. Hoffner recommends using the angled portion of the butt of the knife to drive up and into the base of an attacker’s nose. It sounded silly until I tried it- minimal pressure caused my eyes to well up. The whole knife is an effective self-defense tool and weapon.
I prefer the spear point smooth blade, but Hoffner also offers a serrated combo edge. The blade has dual thumb studs which is nice not having to worry about how the blade is oriented to operate the knife. The adjustable tension screw and indexing hole make it easy to quick deploy the knife by flicking the wrist. Repeated quick deployment of the knife causes the tension screw to come loose over time, you just have to make sure you tighten it so you don’t lose it one day. I’ve had to tighten mine once so far.
The Hoffner folder has been a great performer over the last two months given my lifestyle. Granted I live in the heart of Houston and don’t get every opportunity to put it through rigorous workouts as other might, but I did give it a good run.
First off, this knife is a joy to carry because the pocket clip is well made. One of my biggest pet peeves on knives are dinky, weak pocket clips that bend after a week- not the clip on the Hoffner folder. It may look small, but it’s stout. Plus it’s reversible, key for us lefties, and slim making it nearly invisible to others. The clip is sturdy and sits deep in the pocket hidden from door frames and countertops that seem to be knife magnets. The clip is not flush with the handle, but it hasn’t come loose. The knife takes up more real estate in my pocket than I’d like, but it’s also a bigger blade than I normally carry. I noticed the olive G-10 scales start to turn slightly blue from being in my jeans- not a big deal and might come off if I cared to clean it.
When I first got the knife it was never incredibly sharp, but still cut very well. I used the knife for various cutting and tasks throughout the last couple months and the edge has held up well. When I replaced the brakes on my truck, I used the knife to separate pads from the calipers. The clip got scraped a bit crawling under the truck, but it didn’t gouge the metal too bad. I’m impressed with how the blade finish held up as well.
I’ve used the tip to tighten screws and dig rocks out of my boots. The tip has held up surprisingly well thanks to the full length swedge and broad spear point design. It stripped CAT-6 cable easy when wiring up a new modem. It can slice steak just fine and obliterates all sorts of packing tape. After 8 weeks of use, I tested the edge retention and performed 83 cuts on cardboard boxes before the blade was extremely dull and started to bind. I chose cardboard because it is known to be very hard on an edge and dulls quickly. After spending 20 minutes on the Spyderco Sharpmaker, I was able to get the blade back to popping hairs off my arm. I could see this knife doing well under hard use situations. Of course you’re not going to be able to hack through a 2’ x 4’ but it will serve well in most realistic scenarios. I had no problems shaving bark off fallen tree limbs. So far I have no complaints about the knife, it has been reliable and solid in every situation. The only thing I can say is the knife is on the heavy side. I would like to see better machining tolerances and quality but it is still above average for other knives in this category.
There are only a few drawbacks I found over the weeks. Because of the unique handle shape, it can be awkward for everyday cutting tasks. Sometimes I prefer a grip closer to the blade where I can get my thumb on the spine for more precise cuts. At times the knife also felt heavy for me to carry. Coming in a 4.54 ounces doesn’t sound like much, but that’s how much an iPhone 6 weighs.
The only other noticeable drawback is the tension screw. While not a deal-breaker, I don’t want to deploy my knife one day and have the blade sticking out of my shoe. Nothing a little Loctite can’t fix.
Hoffner offers a 1 year warranty on all knives guaranteed to be free of manufacturer’s defects. This is about what I expected from a knife in this price range. I also don’t see the knife failing any time in the near future.
After owning the Hoffner folder I would recommend it to my friends as an affordable tactical folder. To me, the knife would be great to throw in my truck or tackle box. It’s beefy enough to handle any job and for the price, why not get a couple.
The Hoffner folder is a unique balance of practical-tactical. It tackles everyday tasks while instilling me with confidence should I need to use it in a fight. I enjoy the unique indexing holes and added blade length in a self-defense situation. Hoffner did a good job maximizing the potential of this simple folder and will remain in my weekly rotation.