The Casbah™ is a side-opening automatic knife from Benchmade® Knife Company that’s been designed with function and utility in mind. The Casbah has been out for several years now. It’s modeled on the popular HK® Patrol Knife made by Benchmade®, which the Casbah has replaced, but with an upgrade to CPM S30V blade steel. Its light weight makes it an outstanding knife for everyday carry (EDC).

Misconceptions About Auto-Opening Knives

Many misconceptions exist regarding auto-opening (switchblade) knives. Contrary to what many have been led to believe they aren’t illegal in most states.

State and Federal laws against auto-opening knives date back to the 1950s, when the sensationalistic media fueled a public hysteria over “switchblades” as a growing “menace” despite no facts to support this. Many politicians saw this as a political opportunity. Sure sounds familiar.

The Federal Switchblade Act (Public Law 85-623) was passed into law in 1958. It regulates the manufacture and introducing of switchblades into interstate commerce. To quote the American Knife and Tool Institute (AKTI ), a non-profit advocacy group for the knife industry and consumers, “It has NO application to individual consumers, or most merchants who sell knives. It has NO application to laws WITHIN a state.” The ATKI is working to repeal the Federal Switchblade Act altogether.

As of this writing, auto-opening knives are legal for private citizens in 40 states, although some restrictions may apply in specific states. Legislation has been introduced to repeal bans in additional states. Check the AKTI website for specific details of the knife laws in every state and the District of Columbia.

The Benchmade Casbah is an upgraded version of the HK Patrol Knife that Benchmade made for Heckler & Koch. It’s lightweight and has excellent ergonomics. Drop point blade provides maximum utility.

The Benchmade Casbah

Now that we have dispelled some common myths about auto-opening knife laws, let’s take a look at the Benchmade Casbah.

Like its predecessor, the Casbah was designed to be an easy-to-carry duty knife. One of Benchmade’s Black Class models, the Casbah features blue or black textured Grivory® (glass fiber reinforced nylon co-polymer) scales, stainless steel liners, drop-point style blade, and deep carry pocket clip designed for right or left hand tip-up carry.

A drop point blade is a great all-purpose blade. The drop point blade on the Casbah measures 3.4 inches in length and is 0.144-inch thick. The blade is sabre ground. It comes razor sharp out of the box. It’s available with either a plain or partially serrated edge and with a satin finish or durable black Cerakote® ceramic coating. I went with the partially serrated edge and Cerakote blade coating.

Cerakote is proprietary thin-film ceramic coating made by a company called Cerakote. It provides excellent corrosion resistance and lubricity, as well as high chemical resistance. It’s exceptionally hard and wear resistant, which makes it an ideal coating.

The pocket clip. on the Casbah may be mounted for right or left hand tip-up carry. The Casbah also features a large lanyard hole.

The use of CPM S30V stainless steel (58-60 HRC) is a significant upgrade from the D2 tool steel blade of the HK Patrol Knife. S30V is a wear-resistant and corrosion-resistant, high-chromium premium-grade stainless steel also containing molybdenum and vanadium. S30V performs like a high-end tool steel with a corrosion resistance better than 440C. S30V has a very refined grain microstructure that allows it to take a fine consistent edge. It has superior edge retention, better than D2.

The ergonomics of the Casbah are excellent. The handle is comfortable with all grip styles. And the balance of the Casbah is darn near perfect.

The Casbah is easy to grip and secure in the hand. Texturing on the handle, jimping in all the right locations and moderate finger grooves enhance retention and improve control. There’s a large lanyard hole that allows 550 cord.

The Casbah features an oversized, grooved firing button and a front-mounted slide safety. Powerful coil spring rapidly deploys the CPM S30V drop point blade.

The Casbah features a recessed oversized firing button / push-button lock and a front-mounted slide safety that lock the blade in place, open or closed. The opening mechanism employs a powerful coil spring for smooth, fast and reliable blade deployment. The blade opens with authority and locks securely. There’s absolutely no blade play.

The Casbah has an overall length of 7.8 inches when open. Closed length is 4.4 inches. The handle is 0.59-inch thick. The knife weighs only 3.43 ounces. It carries easily in a pocket.

The Casbah is a worthy successor to the HK Patrol Knife.  MSRP of the Casbah is as low as $190.00. Custom lasermarking options are available from Benchmade. The Casbah is made in the USA.  It comes with Benchmade’s Lifetime Warranty and Lifesharp lifetime sharpening.


MODEL: 4400 Casbah
DESIGNER: Benchmade
MECHANISM: Push-button Automatic
ACTION: Side-Opening Automatic
LOCK TYPE Push-button w/ Slide Safety
BLADE LENGTH: 3.40 inches
OPEN LENGTH: 7.80 inches
CLOSED LENGTH: 4.40 inches
WEIGHT: 3.43 ounces
BLADE STYLE/SHAPE: Drop-point, Plain edge or partially serrated
BLADE FINISH: Satin Finish or Black Cerakote
CLIP TYPE: Deep Carry, Reversible Tip-Up
HANDLE MATERIAL: Blue or Black Grivory
TYPE/USE: EDC, Tactical
WARRANTY: Lifetime
MSRP: Starting at $190.00

Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

By Eugene Nielsen

Eugene Nielsen provides intelligence and security consulting services. He has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California. His byline has appeared in numerous national and international journals and magazines.

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