If you talk to cops around the world, you may find differences in the laws they enforce and maybe the procedures they follow. But when it comes down to the actual day-to-day work on the street, things really aren’t all that much different. That fact was reaffirmed for me when I had the chance to correspond with Juergen “Sohny” Sohnemann, a German police officer in the state of Hesse and the current director of the Coordinating Office for Special Response Training (the German equivalent of SWAT).

Like cops everywhere, Sohny had a good idea of what type of tool he wanted for work, and he took his idea for a distinctly German police knife to custom knifemaker Ulrich “Uli” Hennicke in the town of Asendorf, located a little south of Hamburg. In addition to wanting to make a knife suitable for police work, Sohny was hoping that the sales of such a knife could help benefit the families of officers killed in the line of duty.

German Police Knife
Ulrich was immediately on board with the idea and set about designing a knife with Sohny. Ulrich has been making knives since 1996, starting with stock-removal models and then moving on to hand-forging. He makes a broad range of fixed-blade and folding knives as well as hand-forged kitchen knives. Ulrich and Sohny started with a Spyderco Police model as their reference point and proceeded to design a knife that kept the Police’s basic features while maintaining Ulrich’s distinctive style. They named the finished knife the Ulize, a hybrid of Ulrich’s nickname, “Uli,” and the German word for police, polizei. Ulrich presented the finished prototype to Sal Glesser of Spyderco at the IWA trade show in Germany, and because of positive public response to the prototype, the Ulize went into production in 2012.

The Ulize is roughly the size of a Spyderco Police model, featuring a 4.11-inch blade and a 9.55-inch overall length. The 3mm-thick VG-10 blade is slim and sleek with a keen drop-point and a recurved hollow-ground edge. Handles are of textured, peel-ply G10 over skeletonized, stainless steel liners and a stainless steel backspacer. The 5.44-inch-long handle is contoured for a comfortable grip and provides plenty of space for even a large or gloved hand. A mid-position back lock is fitted as well as a four-position pocket clip that allows for either tip-up or tip-down carry in both right- and left-handed configurations. It opens via Spyderco’s classic opening hole, and a set of jimping adorns the rear of the hole along the blade’s spine to act as a thumb ramp. The combination of opening hole, four-way clip and back lock ensures that the Ulize is entirely ambidextrous for all of you lefties, or for folks who carry their knives on their support-hand side…

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