Americans might not be familiar with the Eickhorn KM2000 but it’s the official combat knife of the German Bundeswehr (armed forces). The Kommando Spezialkräfte are also issued the Böker A-F boot dagger but the main German combat knife is the Eickhorn KM2000. Eickhorn’s a German owned company, their knives are German made and designed in close cooperation with the Bundeswehr. As you can see it’s got modern tanto blade, which is controversial. As far as I’m aware, Germany is the only country in NATO that issues the KM2000. To be honest, I hate it.
But Eickhorn has significantly improved the knife in the later models in the KM series. I don’t like the KM4000, which is another modern tanto — Eickhorn really have to stop making them, it’s gone beyond the joke now — but I do like the KM3000 and KM5000. And I was going to buy them but then I saw the Desert Command II, which is the KM3000 in desert cammo, and the Recondo IV, which is the KM5000 in NATO green. The Desert Command I is the KM2000 BW and the Recondo III is the KM4000. Personally, I would have called the Desert Command II, the Desert Command III because it’s a KM3000 and the Recondo IV, the Recondo V — but I suppose that would be to simple and Eickhorn want to keep us on our toes.
The Recondo IV comes in serrated or plain edge. I went for the straight edge. Like the KM5000, it’s 30.2 cm (11.9 inches) long, and has a 5 mm (o.2 inches) thick and 17.2 cm (6.8 inches) long blade. The blades CNC-hollow ground 55Si7 carbon steel (HRC 51-53), which ain’t as good as the Böhler N695 that the KM2000 is made out of, but it’s still good enough to handle extreme conditions, where you can’t clean and lube it everyday. It retains an edge well and is durable etc. etc… if good knife made by a company that makes combat knives to kill with, not to go camping with. I love the KM series fiberglass reinforced Polyamid handle and crossguard. It might not look pretty but it’s a functional grip that gives good control over the knife. Retails at Euro 149 ($191).
The Desert Command II (KM3000) is a less aggressive design than the Recondo IV (KM5000) and like all the KM series is 30.2 cm (11.9 inches) long, with a 5 mm (o.2 inches) thick and 17.2 cm (6.8 inches) long blade and fiberglass reinforced Polyamid handle and crossguard but it’s got a Böhler N695 blade, which makes it a steal at Euro 135 ($173). It also comes with a straight or serrated edge. I went with the serrated edge on this one.
I bought both, but a lot of people won’t want to do that, and if I was to choose one over the other, I would go for the Recondo IV — I prefer the dagger blade — but the Desert Command II is still a good knife to open up someone with. Lets be honest, that’s what it’s all about.