Benchmade has been producing knives for over thirty years now. Les, the creator of Benchmade, had a long road ahead of him when he first became interested in designing a new butterfly knife that used high quality materials and the newer technology available to him. He wanted to design this new knife because all of the butterfly knives that he had played with as a child were cheap. He used his high school shop class skills and abilities to come up with a blueprint of the very first porotype. He later met Victor Anselmo who helped him grind this knife. Les then went on to finish his knife in his garage. Les went to a local gun store and asked if they could build him 100 more. This company was named Bali-Song, Inc. This company focused solely on butterfly knives, so as he went on to expand his products to include fixed blades and folding knives, Les switched the name to Pacific Cutlery Corporation. Unfortunately, this company had problems controlling the quality, price, and delivery and ended up filing for bankruptcy around 1987. A year later, Les reintroduced a new company and named it Benchmade. The name and company stuck and has since been developing an astonishing reputation for exceptional, groundbreaking knives. Benchmade has recently introduced a line of new knives, one of them being the Anthem.
The blade on the Anthem is made out of CPM 20CV premium stainless steel. This steel is actually considered a super steel because it has such high properties and high levels of performance. This type of steel is designed by Crucible, which is a company that has created many innovative steels. This is a Powder Metallurgy tool steel, which means that you get a combination of impressive wear resistance (Crucible says that it has five times the wear resistance of 440C, a trusted stainless steel) and edge retention. Another reason that you get such great wear resistance is because Crucible has added Vanadium Carbides to the steel. Not only that, but because of the added chromium to the steel, it is extremely resistant to corrosion. This steel requires very little maintenance. This steel offers toughness at levels equal to 440C, which is a time tested stainless steel. Unfortunately, this steel is pretty tricky to sharpen, and will probably require a professional sharpener. The steel on this knife has been finished to a classic silver color. Near the unsharpened, or back edge of the blade, near the handle, there is the classic Benchmade butterfly logo stamped onto the blade. The edge has been ground into a plain edge.
The blade on the Anthem is ground into a drop point shape. This is the perfect shape because Benchmade has designed the Anthem to be an everyday carry knife. The drop point shape is one of the most versatile knife shapes on the market. The shape of this knife is created by having the back of the blade slowly curve until it creates a tip. The shape gets its name because this curve makes the point lowered, or dropped. There are a few benefits to having the point on your knife lowered. First of all, the lowered point gives you greater control over your cuts and movements. This allows you to perform detail or delicate work. Hunters especially love this shape of knife because it allows them to cut confidently without need to worry about nicking the organs or damaging the meats. My favorite benefit to the drop point shape is that the tip is more broad than many blade tips. Having a broader tip creates a stronger tip. You can perform heavier duty tasks without having to worry about your blade snapping, breaking, or chipping. Having the broad tip on the Anthem will allow you to go about performing your tasks every day without the worry of wondering whether or not your blade will be able to take it. Another huge advantage to the drop point blade shape is that it has a large belly with plenty of cutting length, making this the ideal blade shape for slicing things. Many everyday tasks include slicing open boxes, slicing open letters, or slicing other materials. Having this length and belly on your knife is a key element to having the perfect everyday knife. This blade is going to benefit your life every single time you use it.
One of my favorite things about the Benchmade Anthem is the handle. It has a unique, fresh look to it that I have never seen before. It has been made out of a single piece billet titanium. Titanium is a great material because it is very lightweight, yet very strong and durable. It is heavier than aluminum, so you are going to notice it in your pocket more than an aluminum handle knife, but titanium offers so much more strength. The extra weight is definitely worth strength that it provides. Titanium actually offers the best corrosion resistance out of any metal. Titanium has an interesting and unique characteristic to it because it actually feels warm to touch. This means that if you are living in a cold environment or commonly working with your knife in the winter, your handle will not bite into your hand like an aluminum handle would. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to having a titanium knife handle. It is one of the more expensive metals to machine, so it is going to cost you a little more. Secondly, titanium is prone to scratches, especially compared to other stainless steels. The last drawback to having a titanium handle is that unless it is properly texturized, it can be a slick knife to hold. To combat the slipperiness, Benchmade has carved a chevron pattern into the handle. This will provide you with adequate texture to complete all of the tasks that you need this knife to.
One of the most common ways to finish a titanium handle is to anodize it. This anodization process does a couple of things. For starters, it helps to add durability and strength to the material. This helps to prevent some of the scratches that titanium is going to be prone to. The second biggest thing that titanium does is provide it with an attractive color. The Anthem has been anodized to have a weathered bronze color.
The Pocket Clip:
The Anthem has an included reversible tip up titanium pocket clip. The handle on the Anthem has been drilled to attach your pocket clip to either carry it right or left handedly, something that helps make this knife ambidextrous. The handle has only been drilled to carry your knife tip up. The pocket clip is kept in place by three silver screws. The pocket clip on this knife has a chevron pattern and weathered bronze color to match the knife’s handle.
The locking mechanism that the Anthem sports is Benchmade’s patented AXIS lock. Doughritter.com said it best when they explained it. “Basically, this lock is made out of a spring loaded bar that rides in a fore and aft slot cut out of both liners and side plates, going completely across the slot that the blade folds in and out of off. It engages a ramped notch cut into the tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. The knife tang is thus wedged solidly between a stop bar and this AXIS lock bar.” There are many advantages to this locking mechanism. One is that because the locking bar goes through both side plates, the knife is completely ambidextrous. This locking mechanism is also easy to use and is quickly learned. Lastly, when you are closing your knife, you do not have to put your fingers in harm’s way, because they do not have to go near the blade.
The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.112 inches thick. When the Anthem is opened, it measures at 8.06 inches. When the knife is closed, it is 4.56 inches long. The handle on this knife has a thickness of 0.43 inches. The Anthem weighs 3.66 ounces.
The Pros of the Benchmade Anthem:
- The steel choice gives you great edge retention and wear and corrosion resistance.
- The steel requires very little maintenance to maintain its high quality properties.
- Very versatile drop point shape.
- Lowered point gives you better control over your cuts.
- Lowered point is broad, thus strong and durable.
- The drop point shape provides you with a big belly, perfect for your slicing needs.
- The titanium handle is strong and durable.
- The titanium will actually feel warm to the touch, making it great for cold weather.
- The titanium handle has been finished with a unique weathered bronze look.
- The titanium is actually a light material, so it gives you a hefty feel without actually weighing you down.
- Benchmade has carved a chevron pattern into the handle to provide you with great grip.
- The matching pocket clip is reversible, helping make the knife ambidextrous.
- The AXIS locking mechanism is easy to use and completely ambidextrous.
The Cons of the Benchmade Anthem:
- The steel on this blade is tricky to sharpen, probably requiring a professional sharpener.
- The broad tip on the drop point style does not excel at stabbing or piercing.
- The titanium handle does not provide you with the grip that you would find on a different material handle.
- The titanium is prone to scratches.
- The pocket clip is only drilled to carry it tip up.
Benchmade has been creating fantastic knives for over three decades now. While they started their business designing solely butterfly knives, they quickly branched out to design and produce fixed blades and regular folding knives. Recently, Benchmade has decided to focus on their own product lines, so they cut ties with any collaborations that they had been doing. Benchmade spruced up a few of their old knives and released them. They also designed brand new knives. One of these brand new knives that they have just released is the Benchmade Anthem.
To perfect this knife, they started out with a premium stainless steel choice: CPM 20CV. This steel is tough, durable, has excellent edge retention, and is very resistant to wear and corrosion. This is a great steel to choose for an everyday knife because it requires less maintenance and provides you with the strength need to complete your daily tasks. To finish off the perfect blade, they decided to go with the drop point shape. They chose this shape because it is very versatile, it is strong, durable, and easily controlled. It also sports a large belly that makes slicing a breeze. With this blade, all of your everyday tasks will be easily accomplished.
To create a great handle to go with the great blade, they chose to make it out of a single piece billet titanium. This material feels warm to the touch. It is also strong, durable, and the most resistant to corrosion out of any metals. To combat one of the biggest problems with titanium handles, the lack of grip, Benchmade carved in a chevron pattern. To finish off the handle, they anodized it to have a weathered bronze color to it. This color is unique and modern. The handle creates a very elegant feel to the knife, while steel remaining masculine.
Benchmade added a reversible pocket clip to match the handle, completing the whole look. The AXIS locking mechanism is the cherry on top of the handle, because it makes the knife completely ambidextrous and easy to use.
Benchmade has a fantastic reputation because they complete each and every one of their knives by hand. This means that every knife will have the attention to detail that your knife needs to last a lifetime. The Anthem is a knife that has been designed to be your everyday companion, helping you to complete your daily tasks with ease. This knife will be trusty, durable, and treat you well.