Benchmade says, “Our knives are made of many things: steel, aluminum and titanium, to name a few. But perhaps the most important part of a Benchmade knife is expertise. We carefully measure every part at every step in the process. We use the best materials and equipment.” They then go on to explain how they make their world class knives.
Each of their knives begins as a single sheet of steel. A laser cutting technician programs the laser to cut the steel into blanks, giving the blade its basic profile. The blanks are hammered out of the sheet by hand, and for the first time, the steel begins to look like a knife. The blanks are measured to make sure they meet specifications. Measurements are taken every step of the manufacturing process to guarantee an impeccable knife and streamline production. If a part isn’t “up-to-spec”, it doesn’t become a Benchmade.
Next is surface grinding, which is where the blank is ground to its precise width. A surface grind technician places each blank in its rack by hand (racks vary by the number of blanks they can hold at one time), and each side is ground to its specified thickness. After grinding, the technician checks the thickness of each set of blanks. Tolerances are within the width of a human hair. Benchmade says, “Our knives have no room for error, and neither does a blank’s thickness.”
After that is blade and handle milling. Blade holes, handles and grooves are cut on high-speed mills. For every job (or batch), the blade milling technician programs the mill and measures the blade or handle to make sure it meets our precise tolerances. Blades and handles differ from knife to knife, so the technician gathers a specific set of measuring tools for each job. One of the holes that is cut here is the blade pivot, which is crucial to the folding mechanism. The pivot tolerance is .0005 inches, because the slightest deviation there becomes exponential at the blade’s tip. Handles require the same precision in order to fit the liners and blades properly and ensure a smooth mechanism.
Next is beveling, which is when the blade really begins to take shape. Up to this point, the two sides of the blade are essentially flat. A Blade Beveling Technician bevels the knife blank one side at a time, and one of the most critical tasks here is to make sure the sides match perfectly. Once again, the technician measures the blade to verify that it meets the specified tolerances. An imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength and mechanism function.
The next two steps are back-sanding and finishing. Back-sanding is the portion of the process that gives the back of the blade special attention. Up until this point, the back has mostly remained untouched. Finishing is the part of the process that gives the blade a more refined look.
Last is assembly and sharpening. Each and every Benchmade is assembled by hand. An assembly technician receives all of the components and carefully pieces them together. The technician checks the knife for blade play. The knife is sharp enough when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing. And only then is it truly a Benchmade.
Today we will be talking about the Benchmade Megumi.
This knife falls into the Blue Class, which has the slogan “Day After Day.” Benchmade believes that a Blue Blass knife is going to be your best friend. It can always be with you. They say, “In fact it’s better, because your other friends aren’t made of steel.”
The blade on this knife is made out of S30V premium stainless steel that has been hardened to a 58-60 HRC. This steel is made by Crucible Steel Industries, which is a US based company. This steel was created with high end pocket knives and kitchen cutlery in mind, which means that it is going to have all of the best steel qualities for a blade. Crucible says, “CPM S30V is a martensitic stainless steel designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. Its chemistry has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance. CPM S30V offers substantial improvement in toughness over other high hardness steels such as 440C and D2, and its corrosion resistance is equal to or better than 440C in various environments.” This steel is regarded as having the best balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention in the industry. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that because of its hardness, it does prove to be a little tricky to sharpen. Crucible also explains the CPM process and its benefits, “The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grindability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.”
The blade has been finished with a satin finish, which is one of the most common blade finishes you are going to find in the cutlery industry. This finish is traditional and will always help make your knife look classic. The finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive to show off the fine lines of the steel and also showcase the bevels of the blade. This blade finish is used to slightly reduce glares and reflections while also reducing some of the corrosion that the knife might be susceptible to.
The blade has been carved into a clip point blade shape. The clip point blade shape is a great all-purpose blade that is going to excel at piercing. This blade shape is one of the two most popular blade shapes in the market today. The blade shape is made by having the spine of the knife run straight from the handle and then stop about halfway up the knife. At this point, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks as if it is cut out and is known as the clip. The clip is also where the knife shape got its name. The clip on the Megumi is straight, although on some knives it can be curved. The point that is created is lowered, which gives the user more control when they are using the knife. And, because the tip is so controllable as well as being sharp and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife is going to excel as stabbing. One of the other reasons that a clip point is so versatile is because of the large belly that it has, which will make slicing a breeze. The clip point does have one major disadvantage, which is the narrow tip. Because it is so sharp and narrow, the tip does have a tendency to be weak and is prone to breaking. Overall though, the clip point is very versatile and will equip you to take on a very wide variety of tasks, especially when it comes to your everyday tasks.
The handle is made out of contoured cocobolo wood as well as carbon fiber.
Cocobolo is a tropical hardwood of Central America. When this wood is used in manufacturing, the heartwood is the only section used, which is the center of the wood. The heartwood from a Cocobolo wood is usually an orange or reddish-brown, with darker traces weaving through the wood. This is a very dense wood that can stand up well to repeated handling and even exposure to water. These characteristics make it a great option for a knife handle. While this wood is hard, finely textured, and dense, it is still easily machined. Wood has been used for knife handles since knife handles have been around. This is a very traditional look to a knife, which matches well with a satin blade. Wood is strong, durable, and gives a very traditional look.
Carbon fiber is a material that is made out of thin strands of carbon that are tightly woven together and then set in resin. Carbon fiber is a really strong material that is still lightweight. However, because of all the manual labor that goes into it, it does end up being very expensive. Although carbon fiber is strong, it is not close to being indestructible and does happen to be brittle. This is because all of the carbon fibers are woven together in a single direction. In that specific direction it is extremely strong, but when it is stressed in other directions it will begin to break apart. Plus, because it is brittle, it can crack when it is subjected to sharp impacts. The overall benefits of having carbon fiber in this handle is that it is going to be strong, lightweight, and looks nice. Unfortunately, it is going to raise the cost of the knife because of the cost and it can be brittle.
The handle on this knife is pretty simple, with a curving spine. The belly has a bulging middle, but overall curves slowly from the blade to the butt. There is a lanyard hole on this knife, which is an added bonus.
This is a manual knife. In terms of legality, a manual folding knife is going to be the most legal. If your area allows you to carry knives, a manual folding knife is going to be legal. That being said, always check with your local knife laws because BladeOps is not responsible for any consequences. In terms of efficiency, a manual folding knife is not going to be as efficient as a spring assisted or automatic knife would be.
The knife is equipped with a thumb stud to assist you in opening the knife. The thumb stud is one of the more common opening mechanisms on folding knives, especially when it comes to easy one handed opening mechanisms. The thumb stud replaces the nail nick that is found on more traditional knives. The thumb stud is easy to use and to get the hang of using. However, some people are frustrated because the thumb stud extends out of the blade and they feel like it gets in the way once the knife is opened. Sometimes, the stud will even catch on your pocket and flip the knife open, which is pretty dangerous.
The Megumi is equipped with a Nak-Lok as well as a MIM back spacer. The Nak-Lok is built on the framework of a locking liner but has some updates. The lock uses tensile strengths, as opposed to the compression hold that a locking liner is going to give you. Also, when you are opening a knife, the opening finger shouldn’t cross paths with the blade.
The blade on this knife measures in at 2.48 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.110 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 3.28 inches long with a handle thickness of 0.460 inches. The overall length of this opened knife measures in at 5.76 inches long. This knife weighs in at 1.85 ounces. This knife is going to be a tip up knife, which can be dangerous if it accidently opens in your pocket.
The Benchmade 482 Nakamura designed Megumi Folder features an S30V premium stainless steel clip style blade. The steel is tough, durable, strong, and will maintain an edge for long periods of time. The maintenance time is reduced because of the premium steel used. The blade has been finished satin, which is extremely traditional and goes along with the wood handle well. The clip point is versatile and excels at stabbing, although it is prone to breaking because of the weak tip. The Built with the Nak-Lok® locking mechanism this knife also features a contoured cocobolo wood and carbon fiber handle. The Megumi boasts a MIM back spacer with a lanyard hole. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.