For years, Smith and Wesson has been making firearms—but what many people don’t know is that their name is also attached to a line of knives as well. The Smith and Wesson SWMP5LS M&P (for Military and Police) is one of them, and while it has a few minor flaws it’s an excellent knife for the money.
S&W started making knives back in 1974, and would later outsource knife production to Taylor Cutlery where it remains to this day. While they have a broad spectrum of knives, they tend to cater mostly to the military and police crowd although civilians can purchase them as well. This knife is no different; the blade itself is 4034 stainless steel with an anodized black finish and the S&W logo in white, while the handle is olive green with black rubber ridges on it. Made out of 6061 aircraft aluminum, the butt of the knife also has a small glass breaker set into the handle in case of emergency.
This knife weighs in at 7.2 ounces, which provides some nice heft if you ever need to use the glass breaker. The steel and aluminum are proven commodities, so there’s no problem on that score; the knife also comes with S&W’s MAGIC system, which stands for Multipurpose Assisted Generational Innovative Cutlery. Essentially it’s a spring assist that opens the blade quickly, but not quickly enough to draw attention from your local law enforcement official. It also has a slide lock to keep the blade from opening in your pocket, which is an absolute necessity with this type of knife.
This blade appears to be one of the most popular offerings in the S&W line; most people gave it between four and five stars on Amazon.com. One reviewer who gave it five stars wrote, “If I ever needed a knife to defend myself this is the one I would want. It opens very fast with the assist. It has a glass breaker on the end, and is probably the most sturdy knife I have ever owned.” Others concurred, with many saying it was the best knife they had ever owned and that it was built to last.
There are a few minor problems with the knife; one is with the belt clip itself, which seems to want to back out the screws holding it in place. It isn’t a widespread problem, but it does occur. The second problem is the safety, since some reviewers had it fail while the knife was in their pocket. The safety itself is one of the few things on the knife not made of metal, and a small minority of reviewers had the safety break off the knife—meaning it can’t be folded up and put in one’s pocket. The people whose safety broke off didn’t get rid of the knives, but they were unhappy that the knife they enjoyed in so many ways was done in by a small plastic part. Perhaps the company can fix that next time.
The Smith and Wesson SWMP5LS M&P is quite a nice package. It is made in China, but the S&W knives have a good reputation for quality, otherwise so many police and military personnel wouldn’t use them. Smith and Wesson also has a limited lifetime warranty on their knives— it’s warranted to the original purchaser, for as long as he or she lives, against defects in materials, manufacture of assembly. They’ll either repair it or replace it if there was something they did wrong during manufacturing, and if the item is discontinued they’ll replace it with its equivalent.
For what this knife can do, you won’t find better at this price point. You could certainly move up and pay much more, but the truth is that most people don’t put the kind of stress on their knives that require hundreds of dollars to be spent. It’s an excellent knife made from excellent materials, and considering that you can pick one up for under $40 on Amazon it’s definitely worth looking at for purchase.