Eickhorn Combat Knives


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.

Recondo IV

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).

Desert Command II

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.

10 thoughts on “Eickhorn Combat Knives

  1. I don’t like them, the handle looks too big. It would be easier if the numbers matched on the different models.

  2. Cool blog! Why does everyone bash the Americans though? In my experience everything in the US is three times cheaper than Europe, and better quality. You might be right about combat knives, but you can get a custom hunting knife in the US for $150, that’d cost £250 in the UK. Great piece about the Krays, they never seemed as big time as their legend. No offense intended, as I say, cool blog, but also quite a strange blog.

  3. I agree for the most part, however, “combat knives” these days, while not necessarily deigned for utility are definitely used more in a utility role than that of a combat role. Depending on your location, ROE and operational requirements the large majority of knife usage is utility based, hence the boys in the sandbox at the moment getting more use out of multi-tools than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I own a few Eickhorn models, love them and would use them but they probably wouldn’t see much “close” action.

  4. @rob I know this is a bit off subject, but in the state of Tennessee here in the US, we can carry any knife (provided it is not a switchblade) if the blade has a length of less than four inches. I have had miserable experiences in the past with folding knives collapsing at the absolute worst time, and have vowed to be kinder to my fingers in the future. Would you have any recommendations on either a sheath knife with a blade four inches or less, or on a folding type whose lock won’t give out. What type of steel should I look for in a knife? Most of what I have bought in the past (except for the glock field knife) couldn’t hold an edge worth a damn.

    On a different note, here in Tennessee, we can carry expandable batons and/or clubs if we receive proper training. Over in Sicily, is there a martial tradition with impact weapons? Are items such as coshes, blackjacks and saps common?

    Many thanks

    • Wyatt — I don’t know what price range you’re looking at. If you’re willing to part with just shy of $500, Extrema Ratio’s shrapnel is the knife you want. From a military POV it’s a backup knife but as ER point out, it can also be worn inconspiciously under an amarni jacket. But there are lots of decent cheaper knives of that size. Will you be carrying for defence or is this going to be a feild knife?

  5. @rob I would be carrying strictly for defense. I like both my glock and Ka-bar as field knives, but both have blades far in excess of the legal limit, and the KA-bar is a bit heavy to move quickly. The knife I am looking for would only see flesh (hopefully never). As such, I would like to bring it to a thin razors edge, and hopefully never have to use it.

    $500 is a bit much, though not unsurmountable. Is there anything comparable in your opinion in the $200-300 range?
    Sincerest thanks

  6. Wyatt

    Two knives both just under $200:

    FOX N.E.R.O. 49° Capricorno, this is great tactical knife. It’s the offical knife of the 49° Capricorno. Easy to carry and easy to kill with. The blade is 100mm length and 5mm thick — so it’s legal — it’s also made out of Austrian N690Co cobalt vanadium which is the best steel you can get for a tactical knife. It’s got a G10 handle which is again what you want and it only costs US$193.07. Why they charge that extra 7 cents is beyond me. It’s an excellent defensive knife.

    Another great tactical knife with a 89mm blade is the Pohl Force is the Pohl Force Charlie One Survival knife. The blade is made from D2 steel, which too be honest I’m not that keen on because it rusts like a bastard but it’s a hard steel that retains an edge.

  7. @rob

    Thank you for all of your advice. The ER Shrapnel is also in my price range, I found it online for $209.95 USD. I will give all three careful consideration. Again, my sincerest thanks.

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