Unlike Benchmade’s Black Class, designed for tactical use among armed services personnel and law enforcement, or the company’s Gold Class, with its luxurious materials and limited-production designs, the Benchmade Blue Class features knives crafted to provide durable, reliable service as everyday carries for people who rely on cutting tools for their work, relaxation, and hobbies. These Blue Class knives use high-quality materials, feature innovative opening mechanisms, and reflect Benchmade’s focus on offering the premium attributes of custom designs in the more cost-effective form of production knives. Just because they’re meant to become a reliable part of your every tool kit doesn’t make these knives ordinary, however, and the Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock is no exception. With the introduction of this new monolock, Benchmade doubles the number of its knives that feature titanium handles and frame lock mechanisms.
Although Benchmade holds a patent for its monolock design, the company isn’t known for making many frame lock knives. In fact, the 761 Ti Monolock, introduced as a new model at the tail end of 2014 and dubbed Benchmade’s flagship folder, represented the sole frame lock design in the company’s entire 2015 catalog. The public reaction to the debut of the 761 Ti Monolock mixed considerable enthusiasm with a small measure of controversy, the former for the knife’s chamfered styling and the latter for the thinness of its blade and frame lock. Some hailed the 761 Ti Monolock as a welcome new direction for Benchmade, whereas others expressed more critical assessments of its likely durability, especially in the heavy duty use to which many people subject an EDC.
Now, with the introduction of the Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock into the company’s lineup, a smaller sibling takes its place next to the 761 Ti Monolock. If you’re already familiar with the 761 Ti Monolock, you’ll find the new Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock’s design surpassingly familiar, from its drop-point blade with thumb stud opener to its titanium handle and frame lock. The 761 Ti Monolock’s modern look, its easy-opening blade, and its thoughtful design touches all appear here in the more compact package of the Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock.
Many of Benchmade’s best-known, best-selling designs reflect the company’s tradition of partnering with leading custom designers to produce knives that pair the exclusive features and innovative materials typical of limited editions with the manufacturing capabilities, production quality control, and marketing reach of a big company with a well-established network of dealers. In the case of the Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock, however, the look and the feature set all come directly from Benchmade’s own in-house team. The same home-grown roots hold true for the 761 Ti Monolock, the larger knife that’s the antecedent of and the inspiration for this new design.
The Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock features a drop-point blade shape. In this configuration, the spine of the blade curves down slightly toward the point, in a convex shape that offers greater tip thickness than other designs often selected for EDC use, such as the clipped-point. Single edged, with a relatively generous belly curve on the cutting surface of the blade, a drop-point makes a strong choice for users who face a wide variety of cutting chores. Look for this blade profile among hunting knives, tactical blades, and tools designed for chefs. A side-mounted thumb stud opens the blade of the 765 Mini Ti Monolock, which moves smoothly and swiftly on thrust bearing washers. You may feel compelled to compare the blade deployment on the 765 Mini Ti Monolock to the responsiveness of an automatic mechanism.
You’ll find a plain cutting edge on the Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock, unless you opt for Model 765S, which includes serrations, or rip teeth, on the left side of the blade. Three groups of teeth occupy just under half the cutting edge of the model 765S Mini Ti Monolock, giving it an extra advantage when you’re faced with rope, paracord, wood, or other fibrous materials to cut.
The Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock’s drop-point blade features a satin finish, reducing reflective glare without adding an overall coating. To personalize your knife, opt for Benchmade’s lasermarking service, which can add a commemorative message or symbolically important graphics to the blade or handle of most Benchmade designs at an additional charge. You can select this option when you purchase your Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock or add it later.
Remember that Benchmade’s LifeSharp warranty service can restore the factory sharpness to your knife if and when it loses its edge. Ship your product back to Benchmade’s Oregon headquarters, and a dedicated team of technical specialists will disassemble, clean, and refurbish your knife, as well as sharpening it to its original performance. Note that the LifeSharp service does not apply to the serrated portions of Benchmade blades.
Two of Europe’s leading steel companies, Austria’s Bohler and Sweden’s Uddeholm, merged to form Bohler-Uddeholm. This European steel producer created M390 using third generation powder metal technology. The result is a super steel with superior corrosion resistance, hardness, and wear resistance. Bohler refers to M390 as “Microclean” in reference to its ability to achieve a true mirror finish in applications that require it. Frequently used in creating surgical blades, M390 can be somewhat difficult to sharpen, although other steels far outdistance the challenges it presents. This high-carbon stainless steel alloy incorporates 1.9% carbon, 20.0% chromium, 0.3% manganese, 1.0% molybdenum, 0.6% phosphorus, 0.6% tungsten, 4.0% vanadium. Thanks to the addition of vanadium, M390 measures 60 to 62 HRC on the Rockwell Hardness Scale. The high chromium content well exceeds the threshold for stainless steel and points to M390’s excellent corrosion resistance. Chromium also increases tensile strength and hardness. Molybdenum contributes to edge retention, as well as high-temperature strength, while tungsten boosts wear resistance, especially in combination with chromium and molybdenum.
Like its bigger sibling, the Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock features a sandblasted, oiled handle that’s milled from 6AL-4V billet titanium. The finish gives the handle a textured feel under the hand, similar in tactile qualities to the sensation of touching a powdercoated surface.
Benchmade chose 6AL-4V, a Grade 5 titanium alloy, for the strength-to-weight ratio this lightweight exotic material offers, as well as for titanium’s corrosion resistance in exposure to the natural environment or to production chemicals. Titanium weighs 60% more than aluminum but offers twice as much strength. It’s 45% lighter than low-carbon steels, with greater strength, and can be used for surgical implants because the human body doesn’t reject it. This versatile metal owes the start of its prominence in today’s industrial use to the boom in titanium production during the 1950s, as aircraft and aerospace manufacturing emerged in importance and titanium became useful in structural components, hydraulics, and engine components for aircraft, rockets, and spacecraft.
Titanium alloys fall into three major categories, including alpha, alpha plus beta, and beta, depending on the types of elements added to these alloys as stabilizers. As the name of this particular alloy shows, its formula incorporates 6% aluminum (an alpha stabilizer) and 4% vanadium (a beta stabilizer), making 6AL-4V an alpha plus beta alloy. Unlike alpha-phase titanium, which demonstrates strength, and beta-phase titanium, which can be made extremely thin because of its ductile qualities, alpha-beta-phase titanium combines both strength and ductility. 6AL-4V exceeds the strength of pure titanium, and offers the same stiffness and thermal properties as the pure substance. This particular alloy accounts for more than half the titanium used in production, thanks to its high strength, light weight, corrosion resistance, and suitability for use in multiple types of production methods. It can be rolled, forged, pressed, drawn, extruded, or milled, and it also demonstrates increases in strength after suitable heat treatment. Benchmade machines the handles for the 765 Mini Ti Monolock from billet titanium alloy rather than casting them, which contributes to the smooth lines of the chamfered design.
You can sum up the hallmarks of the handle design on the Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock in one word: Precise. From the crisply rendered chamfering inside the lanyard hole to the chamfered milling on the gripping surfaces of the handle, both scales feature a look that’s long on clean lines and easy in the hand. Benchmade uses billet titanium and sophisticated 3D milling to produce these parts, which renders them in the modern design that also characterize the 761 Ti Monolock. The final finish owes its character to sandblasting, giving the handle a relatively non-reflective character consistent with its natural color.
The basis of a monolock or frame lock design renders the lock bar as an integral part of the handle itself. When the Benchmade 761 Ti Monolock debuted, some reviewers thought it used too thin a lock bar for the sturdy, enduring service that should characterize an EDC knife, but the mechanism has proven itself in the year since the 761 came on the market. Like the 761, the Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock incorporates an adjustable stop pin to customize how far the blade opens. The entire body of the knife holds together with a minimal collection of hardware, including only three Torx screws along with the blade pivot. Inside the open design, scalloped standoffs add to the distinctive look of the 765 Mini Ti Monolock, which adds a custom look to a production knife.
On the spine of the blade just inside the handle, jimping grooves set flush with the back of the handle and align with the jimping grooves on the inside of the open design. The geometric symmetry of this functional feature enhances the appearance of the knife.
The Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock features a sandblasted, oiled titanium pocket clip attached with two Torx screws. Like its bigger sibling, the 761 Ti Monolock, the new 765 features a clip that covers the blade pivot. Unlike the 761, however, the Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock includes a reversible tip-up or tip-down pocket clip, a feature that some reviewers criticized the 761 for failing to include.
Knife Dimensions and Weight
The dimensional differences between the Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock and the 761 Ti Monolock define the principal distinctions between these two closely related products. At 7.46 inches long open and 4.22 inches long closed, the 765 Mini Ti Monolock runs 1.14 inches shorter open and 0.65 inches shorter closed than its larger relative. Its blade runs 3.24 inches long, 0.49 inches shorter than the 761 Ti Monolock. It weighs in at 3.16 ounces, or 1.2 ounces less than the 761 Ti Monolock. The two knives feature almost identical blade thicknesses, at 0.115 inches for the 765 Mini Ti Monolock and 0.12 inches for the 761 Ti Monolock. Likewise, their handle thicknesses also match up closely, at 0.41 inches for the 765 Mini Ti Monolock and 0.42 inches for the 761 Ti Monolock. These sets of similarities point to the functional equivalence of the knives’ monolock mechanisms.
If you’re looking for a compact folding knife with a precision milled titanium handle and a smooth, quick opening blade action, the Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock may be just the ticket to become your next everyday carry. This new Benchmade design packs the same level of precision and performance that you’ve seen or heard about in the 761 Ti Monolock, but in a smaller size with the flexibility of a tip-up or tip-down pocket clip. With two blade finish options, including either a plain edge or the convenience of left-side serrations, the Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock pairs the good looks of precision millwork with the high performance of thrust bearing washers on a frame lock knife. Of course, a monolock with a thumb stud doesn’t lend itself to ambidextrous use, so if you’re not right handed, you may want to look elsewhere for an EDC.
Shipped stowed away inside a protective layer of plastic within a microfiber storage bag tucked into Benchmade’s trademark Blue Class box, the 765 Mini Ti Monolock is the only frame lock knife among Benchmade’s new introductions for 2016. Reviewers found much to like in the looks, feel, and performance of the 761 Ti Monolock when it came on the market for 2015, and the the new 765 Mini Ti Monolock looks ready to repeat that noteworthy introduction.
|765 Mini Ti Monolock
|761 Ti Monolock
|Weight||3.16 oz.||4.26 oz.|
|Handle material||Machined and sand-blasted 6AL-4V billet titanium with thrust bearing washers||Machined and sand-blasted 6AL-4V billet titanium with thrust bearing washers|
|Blade material||Bohler M390 Microclean super premium stainless steel||Bohler M390 Microclean super premium stainless steel|
|Blade hardness||60-62 RC||60-62 RC|
|Blade edge type||Plain (765) or serrated (765S)||Plain (761) or serrated (761S)|
|Pocket clip||Titanium, tip-up or tip-down||Titanium, tip-down|
|Sheath material||Sheath sold separately||Sheath sold separately|
|Benchmade product class||Blue Class||Blue Class|
|User||Right handed||Right handed|
|Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices||765 and 765S: $355||761 and 761S: $390|