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CKC S.W.A.T. Knife Review

One the greatest delights in any given work day is receiving a package completely without notice or expectation. That's how the S.W.A.T. Clip knife from Colonial Knife Company arrived. I hadn't been expecting it; hadn't even heard from a representative at the company. It just showed up in my mailbox one day and I got to try it out. The first thing I noticed, before I even got the knife unpacked, was the Colonial Lifetime Warranty posted right on the side of the box: If any Colonial Knife fails to perform properly in normal use due to a defect in material and workmanship. Colonial will repair or replace it free of charge.

I can't say that the knife I unpacked was pretty. Then again, pretty is as pretty does. All black, with rough textured grip slabs and allen-screw hardware, the closed knife measures approximately 4.5" long. There are two controls on the side: a push-button to release the partially serrated blade (an all plain edge model is available) and a slide lock that prevents the push-button release from being pushed accidentally. On the opposite side (although it's reversible) is the clip, a simple, sturdy item secured by one screw, but kept from pivoting by a bent end that is embedded into a grip hole.

Upon unlocking and pushing that release, the spring-pushed partially serrated blade locks open quickly. The same button is pushed to unlock it so that you can fold it closed into the locked-shut position. The spearpoint blade measures just shy of 3" with about 2.75" of it being cutting edge. About 1" of that is serrated.

On the opposite end is a manually opened cutting hook ideal for parachute cord, seat belts, nylon webbing, etc. Although it's not a polished edge, the cutting hook has a wide mouth (about 1") and is deep (about 1/2" by 1/4" in the cutting "U"). I think if I was airborne, or was carrying this knife with me jumping out of a plane, I'd prefer the cutting hook to be the automatic blade, but what is the percentage of military / law enforcement who would have this knife that are airborne? I think it does make sense to have the primary blade be automatic and the cutting hook to be manual.

Now, having identified the particulars of the knife and recognizing that pretty is as pretty does, I did my usual: I took the knife out back, rummaged through my shed for stuff to cut up and started testing out the blade. I pulled out my usual assortment of string, twine, fishing line, 1" nylon strap and some 1/2" kern mantel rope I found. First I tested the primary blade's cutting ability and didn't find any disappointments. There have been a few hot days lately so my hands got pretty sweaty as I was cutting the various items and I paid attention for any slippage in the grip. I didn't experience any. After testing the primary blade I tested the cutting-hook and only ran into a challenge when I tried to get the 1/2" kern mantel rope into the 1/2" x 1/4" cutting "U". It didn't fit well but I managed to pull through it anyway. As deep as the mouth is on the cutting hook, the actual "U" shaped cutting edge is only 1/4" wide (and a 1/2" deep). Fitting 1/2" wide rope into a 1/4" wide cutting "U" took some pull... and the hook cut as it went. At any rate, I managed to pull through the rope without the knife coming out of my hand and without having to make multiple passes.

The one thing I did learn that surprised me in my research and testing is this: on the side of the box the website for Colonial Knife Company is listed as exactly that: However, no such website exists. Instead, a search found me which is the website of Colonial Cutlery International, Inc., the parent company of Colonial Knife Company. The knife I received for testing is the M-724, which is listed as the Military Auto Knife online, but the site says that the S.W.A.T. knife is the M-728 with an MSRP of $69.99. Another quick search resulted in finding several dealers that have them for less so do your homework before you buy.

Stay safe!

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About The Author:

Lt. Frank Borelli (ret) is the Editor In Chief for, and has over 29 years of military and civilian law enforcement experience. An instructor since 1989 and having delivered training across the country, he stays active in police work, training, and writing. Frank has had four non-fiction and two fiction books published along with two research papers of specific interest to the law enforcement and/or military communities. All can be found / purchased on his Author Page on linked above. If you have any comments or questions, you can contact him via email to