Five of the Best Benchmade Folding Knives

Benchmade is known for their high quality knives that do not disappoint. At this point in time, you can get almost any style of knife from Benchmade; however, this was not always the case. When this company started they were making balisong, or butterfly, knives and that is how they became known as a company. Because of this, their logo is a butterfly. They still have fantastic butterfly knives, but they also have fantastic knives of every style. Today I have put together a list of the five most popular, best rated, and most liked knives that they have produced.

 

The 940 Osborne:

Benchmade 940BK Osborne
Benchmade 940BK Osborne

This Benchmade knife is one of the best options that you can get. Many people consider this the best Benchmade knife around. To design this knife, Benchmade co-designed it with Warren Osborne, who is an expert when it comes to everything cutlery. This knife is similar to the Griptilian, but it is smaller and lighter. The Osborne has a blade length of 3.4 inches and only weighs 2.9 ounces. This knife was first designed with S30V stainless steel, which holds an edge for a long period of time and is easy to sharpen, but to give you exactly what you want you can get the Osborne in Benchmade’s variety of steels. The tanto blade is a plain edged knife. The Osborne sports an anodized aluminum handle. This is how the knife is so light, but you don’t have to sacrifice any of the sturdiness for the lost weight. To help with sturdiness and durability, the handle boasts stainless steel liners. The Osborne has a dual thumb stud which makes this an ambidextrous opening knife. Plus, it has Benchmade’s Axis locking system and a reversible pocket clip. This knife can be modified for any of its users. As an added bonus, this knife is made in the United States of America.  You can find a full selection of Benchmade Osborne knives here at BladeOps.

Pros of the 940 Osborne knife:

  • This knife is extremely light because of the anodized aluminum handle.
  • The original S30V stainless steel knife is sharp and durable.
  • The blade is easy to sharpen.
  • If you don’t want the original steel, you can personalize this knife and get a variety of different steels.
  • This is originally a straight edged knife, but you can get it in a combo edge.
  • Stainless steel liners add durability to the handle.
  • Ambidextrous knife.
  • Made in the USA!

Cons of the 940 Osborne Knife:

  • Some people like a heftier knife for their everyday carry.
  • The included pocket clip can feel a little large and not sleek.

 

The Griptilian:

Benchmade 550-1 Griptilian
Benchmade 550-1 Griptilian

Like previously mentioned, the Griptilian knife is very similar to the 940 Osborne, the biggest difference between the two is that the Griptilian is just a little bit larger. Just like the 940 Osborne, this is one of Benchmade’s most popular knives. This knife only weighs 3.25 ounces, which is the perfect weight for an everyday carry knife. It isn’t too light and it definitely isn’t too heavy. The blade is 3.45 inches long made out of 154CM stainless steel. This steel holds an extremely sharp edge. Plus, you can get this blade in a straight edge or a combo edge, giving each user their personal favorite. What truly sets this knife apart from the others is the handle, which is a glass-filled nylon with stainless steel liners. The stainless steel liners offer extra durability. The handle is textured providing a very secure grip, making it perfect for heavier duty tasks. This knife features the Axis lock system, which securely locks the blade in an open position, which is another reason that it is such a good option for heavy duty jobs. This knife is an ambidextrous knife because you can open it from either side and switch out the pocket clip. You can also get a mini version of the Griptilian if you love the knife but don’t need it to stand up to such big tasks. All of the Griptilian knife options are made in the USA and you can get yours here.

Pros of the Griptilian knife:

  • This is an ambidextrous knife.
  • The 154CM stainless steel holds a crazy sharp edge.
  • Can get the blade in straight edge or combo edge.
  • The handle is super durable.
  • Only weighs 3.25 ounces—perfect for EDC.
  • This knife can stand up to the heavier duty tasks that it is faced with.
  • You can also get a mini version of the Griptilian.
  • Made in the USA!

Cons of the Griptilian knife:

  • The texture on the handle is rougher than it needs to be and can tend to scratch up your hand.

 

The 275 Adamas:

Benchmade 275BKSN Adamas
Benchmade 275BKSN Adamas

While many users of this knife as their everyday carry, but it can definitely be considered as a tactical blade. The blade on this knife is made out of D-2 steel. The blade is thick, yet flat, and extremely sharp. This knife has been known for holding its edge for crazy long periods of time. The blade features a drop point silhouette. A very unique aspect of this knife is the handle. It is made out of G-10, but it has three holes drilled into it. These holes are there to reduce the weight of the handle, but you keep the strength and durability of the G-10 material. The three holes also give you great grip. Along with the holes, the chunky-ness of the handle also help with grip. Because of how chunky this knife is, this is a great option for people with bigger hands, or if you have to wear gloves during your tasks. Another fantastic feature of this knife is that it comes with a reversible pocket clip. Because of how the pocket clip is designed into the handle, your blade will always be tip up while using the pocket clip.  The full line of Adamas Folders can be found here.

Pros of the 275 Adamas knife:

  • This knife has a chunkier design, making it perfect if you have to wear gloves while using this knife.
  • Is an ideal option for everyday carry or your tactical knife.
  • The blade is crazy sharp.
  • Three holes drilled into the G-10 handle, making the knife lighter, but you don’t have to sacrifice the sturdiness of the G-10.
  • Reversible pocket clip.

Cons of the 275 Adamas knife:

  • The handle is very chunky, which makes it a poor fit if you have smaller hands.
  • This is a bigger option for an everyday carry knife.

 

The 810 Contego:

This knife gets its name because Contego is the Latin word for “shield” or “protect”. The knife was designed after those two words. You can get this blade in black or gray and Benchmade has made different styles of this specific blade. Some of the styles are a combo edge, a coated blade, or a combo and coated blade. So really, you can get exactly what your heart desires. The blade is a reverse tanto style that is 3.98 inches long of CPM-M4 steel. This is actually a pretty large knife, when it is open it is 9.28 inches long and weighs 5.92 ounces. The knife can be opened with either hand, because of the ambidextrous thumb stud. The handle also sports a carbide glass-breaker, which makes this a great knife to always have on you. It can really get you out of any situation. The handle, like many Benchmade knives, uses the Axis locking system, which is a very sturdy locking system. The handle is actually very thin, measuring in at barely over half an inch, which takes away some of the weight and space that this knife would take up.

Benchmade 810BK Contego
Benchmade 810BK Contego

Pros of the 810 Contego knife:

  • The CPM-M4 steel is very durable and you can get it in black or gray.
  • Benchmade has released multiple versions of the blade, so you can pick all your favorite aspects for your blade.
  • The knife is ambidextrous, because of how the knife opens.
  • Sports a carbide glass-breaker.
  • The knife is a very large knife, but not heavy because of the thin handle.
  • Sports the Axis locking system.

Cons of the 810 Contego knife:

  • Some people don’t like how large the knife is, especially for everyday carry.
  • Because of how large it is, it can be hard to use for longer periods of time.

 

The 915 Triage:

Benchmade 915 Triage
Benchmade 915 Triage

The 915 Triage is much more than a knife, in fact, it is a superior safety tool. This knife was designed for emergency responders, but I believe that this is also a fantastic everyday carry knife. This knife is a beefier knife, measuring in at an overall length of 8.2 inches and weighing 5.1 inches. The blade is 3.5 inches long of N680 stainless steel. Benchmade then heat treated the steel, because this process adds toughness and lets the steel keep the edge for much longer. Plus, by doing this heat treatment, it makes the steel easier to sharpen when needed. The handle is made out of G-10, which you can get in black or safety orange, and also sports stainless steel liners. The liners add some weight to the knife, but it mostly adds durability and strength. The G-10 handle doesn’t look like anything special, but extreme texture has been added to the handle to give you fantastic grip. The handle is larger than some other handles, giving you a better grip, even during stressful or high intensity situations. The knife features a deep carry pocket clip, which lets it sink lower into your pocket, but you will still be able to grab it easily when needed. This pocket clip is reversible, so you can carry it ambidextrously. So far, this seems like a stellar knife, but we haven’t even gone over the extra features on this knife. The 915 Triage has a safety cutter that folds out of the handle with a hook on the end. Plus, on the butt of the handle, there is a built in carbide glass breaker.  Find the full line of Benchmade Triage knives here.

Pros of the 915 Triage knife:

  • The steel on this blade is heat treated to add toughness, edge holding abilities, and makes the blade easier to sharpen.
  • You can get this knife in black or safety orange.
  • The stainless steel liners in the handle add weight and durability.
  • The extreme texture on the handle and the larger handle size give you great grip.
  • Ambidextrous knife.
  • Features a safety cutter and a glass breaker.
  • Fantastic for emergency responders.
  • Has Benchmade’s Axis locking system.

Cons of the 915 Triage knife:

  • If you are looking for a simple knife, this does have a lot of extras.
  • The knife doesn’t look like anything special when you first see it—it has a very simple design.
  • The knife is one of your larger knife options, some might not like it for an everyday carry knife.
  • The larger handle size is not ideal for people with smaller hands.
  • This is not a good knife for intricate detail work.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade first hit the market back in 1979, they were solely producing high end butterfly knives and their company name was Bali-Song. These knives were a hit and Bali-Song became popular. They changed their name and started producing other styles of knives and Benchmade was born. Even though they were once known for their butterfly knives, they are now known for all of their knives. Benchmade is a trusted brand that people can rely on. Each of their knives is carefully thought out and designed to give you everything that you need. With so many fantastic knives to choose from, it is hard to know which one would work best for you. I made this list of the five most popular, well-known, most liked or best rated knives. The five best include: the 940 Osborne, the Griptilian, the 275 Adamas, the 810 Contego, and the 915 Triage. These knives all are great options, but each vary from the other. Some are made for safety purposes, some are designed to be tactical, some are ideal for everyday carry knives. I’m hoping that these descriptions and the pros and cons of each of these options help narrow down which knife you want and which Benchmade knife will work best for you. Truly, almost any Benchmade knife is going to be a reliable knife.

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Benchmade Precipice OTF Knife Review

Heckler and Koch is the leading brand of firearms today. A while back, they decided to expand their product lines and start building knives. However, they knew to get the best knives they could imagine, they needed to collaborate with a knife company. Heckler and Koch joined forces with Benchmade to produce knives that were quality, yet affordable. They were designed to be used by first responders, police, military personnel, and any other person who needs a good every day knife.

The deal between the two was that Benchmade was to build them and would retain any rights to the designs after the collaboration ended. Heckler and Koch, or H&K, would put their brand name on the knife to expand the target audience. Recently, Benchmade decided to cut off the collaboration with H&K and focus on their own knife lines. The H&K knives have been huge hits though, so Benchmade decided to upgrade a few of the favorites to give us spectacular knives.

One of these knives that has been a huge hit is the H&K Epidemic. Benchmade renamed this knife the PRECIPICE. They kept the same basic design, but upgraded the blade steel, the handle design, and the trigger button. They have created an amazing knife.

Benchmade 4700 Precipice
Benchmade 4700 Precipice

 

The Blade:

 

The Epidemic’s blade was made out of D2 steel. This is an adequate steel that gets the job done. It is a cheaper and softer steel, which keeps the overall knife cost down. However, if you are looking for a high quality knife, you would not be looking at one made with D2. Benchmade’s focus with upgrading this specific knife is to give the audience a high quality, long lasting, superior knife. So they switched out the steel. They chose to use CPM-S30V steel. This is a premium steel, that is more expensive. Because of this extra cost, the PRECIPICE is going to be more expensive than the Epidemic was. But with the extra cost comes extra durability, strength, and toughness. S30V steel is a full stainless steel, which gives it higher resistance to rust and corrosion. Another benefit of having a fully stainless steel blade is that this blade is going to require less time and maintenance to keep it in good shape. This steel is stronger and tougher, making it less prone to breaking, even if you throw harder tasks at it. S30V is a harder steel to sharpen than the D2 steel was, but it will also hold a better edge for longer periods of time than the D2 steel would have. S30V steel was designed and produced by Crucible and it was actually designed to be specifically used in knives. This fact means that you are getting one of the most superior blade steels on the market today. Dollar for dollar, this steel is seen as one of the best blade steels with the perfect balance between edge retention or durability, hardness, and toughness. This steel is going to ensure you have a fantastic blade on your knife.

 

The shape that this blade sports is spear point style. Knife Depot explained this shape best when they said, “This blade is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of this blade shape rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade.” The Benchmade PRECIPICE is a double edged blade, which means that both edges of the blade are sharpened. If it was a single edged blade, only one side of the blade would be sharpened. Spear points are exceptional if you are trying to pierce or stab something. Spear points are very similar to needle point blades, however, spear points have a much stronger tip than a needle point tip would give you. The tip on this blade is lowered, so you have great control over it and can do delicate work with the tip. A spear point blade shape has a relatively small belly, but you can use it for some simple cutting or slicing. However, if you are looking for a knife to mainly use for slicing, this should not be your go to blade. This shape has a great balance between being able to stab and being able to slice. This shape maintains the strength that a drop point shape has, but it has a much sharper tip than a drop point. While you don’t have the belly that you would find on a drop point, you do have adequate slicing abilities.

 

 

The Handle:

 

The handle on this knife is made out of T6-6061 anodized billet aluminum. Anodizing an aluminum works to add color. In the PRECIPICE, they have anodized it to be black. Another big reason to anodize an aluminum is to add hardness and protection. When anodized properly, aluminum is an extremely durable material, especially for your knife handle. A big benefit to having an aluminum material is that it is a very light material. This gives you the look of a heavier material, instead of a cheaper plastic-y look, but it doesn’t weigh your knife down. This specific type of aluminum has extreme strength behind it. Unfortunately, this can be a very slippery material, especially in wet situations. To prevent this being too slippery, the aluminum is often texturized to give you a little bit of a better grip. The Epidemic had deep cuts across the palm of the handle to add grip. On the PRECIPICE, Benchmade got rid of these gashes to provide your knife with a much sleeker looking handle. To help with the grip on this sleeker handle, they switched up the shape of the handle very slightly. The aluminum has been cut with more exaggerated corners, providing a different ergonomic feel. Another drawback to having an aluminum handle is that it is a cold material. If you are working or living in a very cold environment, aluminum might not be the best material for your knife handle. It can feel like it is biting into your skin when it is freezing outside.

 

 

The Pocket Clip:

 

This knife comes with a deep carry, reversible pocket clip. This knife has been drilled so that the pocket clip can be carried for either right or left handed carry. However, this knife has only been drilled to be carried tip down. This is also a deep carry pocket clip, so the clip is longer. This means that your knife will fit deeply, snugly, and securely in your pocket. A deep carry clip makes it easier to conceal in your pocket, since none of the knife actually sticks out.

 

 

The Mechanism:

 

The PRECIPICE is a double action out the front knife. An out the front knife, or an OTF, is a knife that opens and closes through a hole on one end of the handle. This is different than the average knife, where the blade folds in and out of one of the sides. This is an automatic knife. So like always, make sure you know your local laws before you purchase and carry this knife. Automatic knives, or switchblades, are not legal in many states or areas. This is a double action automatic knife, so this means that the trigger will open and close the blade. A single action trigger would just open the blade. The HK Epidemic’s trigger was a red, plastic-y looking trigger. Benchmade decided to keep the look sleek, so they switched this trigger out. It is now a gray trigger.

 

 

The Specs:

 

The blade on the PRECIPICE is 3.45 inches long. The blade on this knife is 0.124 inches thick. When the knife is opened, it is 8.23 inches long. But, when it is closed, it is 4.78 inches long. This is a long knife when opened, but because the handle is made out of aluminum, it keeps the knife relatively light; the knife weighs in at 3.31 ounces. The handle is 0.47 inches thick. This is a great size for an everyday carry knife. This knife also has the size to back itself if you are using it for a tactical or survival knife. This knife feels like it can do it all.

 

Pros of the Benchmade Precipice:

  • This knife has a rich history.
  • Upgraded the steel from D2 to S30V steel.
  • The steel is stronger, more durable, and more resistant to corrosion and rust.
  • The edge on this steel is better and will last longer than the D2 steel would have.
  • Because of the upgraded steel, this knife can survive more extreme environments, harder tasks, and can be a tactical knife or a survival knife.
  • The spear point shape will provide you with excellent piercing ability.
  • The spear point shape still has strength behind it—in fact, it is almost as strong as a drop point shape.
  • The tip is lowered and strong, so you can do delicate work with it.
  • The anodized aluminum handle is strong, resistant to corrosion, and durable.
  • The handle has a much sleeker look than the Epidemic did.
  • The pocket clip is a deep carry pocket clip.
  • The pocket clip is a reversible clip, so you can carry it ambidextrously.
  • The knife is a double action knife, so the trigger does all the work for you.
  • Benchmade upgraded the trigger, so it has a classier, more conservative look to it.
  • This is an automatic knife, so it opens very quickly.

 

Cons of the Benchmade Precipice:

  • S30V steel is more expensive and harder to sharpen—both things that are worth it, but they are slight drawbacks.
  • The spear point does not provide a belly, meaning that slicing is going to be a trickier task. The shape can give adequate slicing ability, but nothing like a drop point.
  • Can only carry this knife with the tip down.
  • This is an automatic knife, so it is not going to be legal in all areas of the country.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

I’m drawn to knives with rich histories, because you know that the final version is going to be a truly spectacular knife. This knife started out as a good quality knife that used good materials to produce a knife that was affordable. When Benchmade decided to focus on their own blades and upgrade this knife, they wanted to take the same design and provide their audience with an exceptional knife. They upgraded their materials which is what gives you a superior knife. When they looked at the popular design, they decided that the first thing they needed to upgrade was the steel. By choosing a better steel, this new knife can now take on harder tasks, take harder beatings, keep its edge for longer, and because of its increased rust and corrosion resistance properties—this blade needs less maintenance. Benchmade kept the shape of the blade, a spear point, because a spear point keeps most of the strength that a drop point offers, but it provides the user with a much sharper point, allowing you to stab or pierce. Benchmade decided to keep the same aluminum handle, but they did change up how the handle looks. They got rid of the deep grooves in the Epidemic’s handle and gave us a much sleeker look. The pocket clip remained the same: a deep carry reversible pocket clip. And Benchmade also kept the double action mechanism the same as the Epidemic was.

This knife started off with a good, reliable, trusty design. The Epidemic was a popular knife for a reason. So with the new, upgraded knife, the PRECIPICE, you know that all of your wildest dreams can come true. When Benchmade decided to upgrade this knife, they created a masterpiece. The Epidemic was a good knife, and many of you might have owned and loved it. But the PRECIPICE is a fantastic knife.

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A Brief History of Benchmade Knives

Benchmade Knives
Benchmade Knives

The Benchmade company started in California in 1979 and was known as Bali-Song. This all began when company founder Les de Asis wanted a knife that had a higher quality than the ones he used as a kid. His goal was to use the newest materials and manufacturing technologies to replace the poorly made butterfly knives, or Bali-Songs, that were found on the market at that time. As the company’s logo and first name reflected, Benchmade was primarily known for manufacturing butterfly or balisong-style knives. To this day, the company continues to manufacture their patented Bali-Song butterfly knives. His goal became a reality when, after using his high school shop skills, Les went to the local gun store with his prototype. After a pleasant response from the owner asking him to make more, the company began. From this humble beginning, the company went on to become known as the Pacific Cutlery Corporation.

 

-Fact: Bali-Song was the first company in the United States to manufacture the butterfly knife. This claim to fame is one of many that Benchmade can claim.

 

It was during this time that the Pacific Cutlery Corp found themselves in some trouble. Though the company under this name was short-lived, the company reorganized and launched themselves under a new name and with a new knife. Renamed as “Benchmade” the company now had the quality control of a “factory-made” product while maintaining the personalized care of a “handmade” knife. Benchmade had redesigned the knife that started them off in the first place. The Model 68 gave the company just what they needed to boost them into the powerhouse of a company they are in the knife industry today.

 

-Fact: The Benchmade Headquarters is located in Oregon City, Oregon.

 

Benchmade is made up of several different product lines that serve different purposes. Over the years, they have included the Red class, Blue class, Black class, Gold class, Hunt series and H&K knives.

Though no longer in existence, the Red class was primarily made overseas and featured more affordable knives. The most popular knives of this class found their way into the different classes and are still available for purchase.

Benchmade describes their Blue class knives as being “like your best friend.” This class contains typical everyday carry knives. As far as Black class knives go, you will find those equipped onto the belts of the professionals. This professional class is favored by policemen, emergency response teams, and others because of the quality of this class.

Next is the Gold class. This royal class features some of the rarest materials and often come in unique designs. These knives are primarily meant for show and tell. You wouldn’t want to take these beauties into the woods. What you would want to take into the woods is a knife from the Hunt series. According to Benchmade, these knives are “built from advanced materials usually reserved for spaceships and surgical equipment.” These hunting knives are built for durability and reliability while out on the hunt.

Last and certainly not least is the H&K knives. For more than a half-century, Heckler and Koch (H&K) has been a leading designer and manufacturer of military, law enforcement, and civilian firearms. Their commitment to quality, innovation, and safety makes them an industry leader in reliability and technology. Their partnership with Benchmade has been a great asset for both parties.

 

-Fact: Benchmade has produced a unique type of locking and firing mechanism called the AXIS lock. This can be found on several models of knives.

 

Of the several different knife classes by Benchmade, there are many which are notable for their quality, performance, and design. One of such is the Benchmade Infidel. The Infidel is an Out the Front auto that many find favorable. With its unique design, this powerhouse of a knife is a great choice for professionals and for everyday use. Another popular knife is the Griptilian. This model has many variations that give a wide variety of people to enjoy this knife. Similar to the Griptilian is the Barrage, another popular Benchmade product.

 

After many hardworking years by this company, you are within reach of a high-quality product. You cannot go wrong with owning a Benchmade knife. It will last you a lifetime. Here at BladeOps, we always highly recommend getting one of these beauties. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself a Benchmade today.

 

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Benchmade 67 Bali-Song Review

History of the Balisong

The Benchmade history, and their Bali-Song knife, began in 1979 when Les de Asis wanted a knife that had the best quality to replace the cheap balisongs, or butterfly knives, he played with as a kid. Les used his high-school experience to develop and make his dream knife a reality. He created his first balisong in his own garage. From there he took the knife he had created, the model 68 Bali-Song, to a gun store where he was asked to make more of them. From this knife came the famous Benchmade Butterfly Logo that millions recognize everywhere.

A balisong’s peculiarity is its two handles counter-rotating around the tang of the blade. When closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. The balisong knife is the traditional name. There are other names it has. Benchmade has it named Bali-Song (with a hyphen in-between). Another name for the knife is a butterfly knife. It is also referred to as a Batangas knife, after the Province of Batangas, Philippines where it is traditionally made. The balisong was commonly used by the Filipino people for self-defense and as a utility knife. While the meaning of the term balisong is foggy, a popular belief is that it is derived from the Tagalog words “bali” and “sungay” which means broken and horn in English. They were originally made from carved caribou and stag horn. Balisong is also the name of a small area in the Batangas Province, which became famous for crafting these knives.

Benchmade 67 Bali
Benchmade 67 Bali

 

Specs

The Benchmade 67 Bali-Song is another addition to the collection of Benchmade’s balisong archive. Here are the specs for this additional balisong knife.

  • Product Type: Balisong (Butterfly) Knife
  • Overall Length: 9.20″
  • Weight: 6.39 oz.
  • Handle Length: 5.27”
  • Blade Length: 4.25″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.127″
  • Blade Material: D2
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Recurve Tanto
  • Blade Finish: Satin
  • Handle Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Color: Silver
  • Pocket Clip: Not Included
  • Sheath Included
  • Made in USA

 

The Blade

The blade on the Benchmade 67 Bali-Song is not a common blade. There are some common characteristics that it possesses, but for the most part it is a rare blade.

Blade Style

The blade on the 67 Bali-Song is a recurve tanto blade. When talking about this blade, it is best to look at it as two separate blade styles that are mashed together.

Starting with the tanto blade, the tanto is similar to a wharncliff or a drop point, except it has a second diagonal edge and it isn’t as easy to sharpen as the other two blades. It offers a good, strong point that excels at penetration and is less likely to break when penetrating the same material versus a drop point or spear point.

Next is to examine the recurved portion of the blade. Recurved blades offer a great cutting leverage when it comes to draw cuts. Another benefit of a recurve is that it lengthens the cutting edge longer than the actual length of the blade. The design also gives the edge multiple angles to work with. Recurves excel at slicing, whether it’s for food prep or cutting rope. Slicing isn’t the only cutting task that can benefit from a recurve’s contour. Other cuts, such as chopping and slashing, are best done with the use of a recurve blade. That is why you will find recurves on blades used for clearing vegetation, large choppers, and even certain defensive blades.

There are a couple of disadvantages to a recurve edge. Sharpening the blade involves a different technique when compared to sharpening more conventional blades such as a drop point. It can be difficult, and will be frustrating at first. If you are more accustomed to a traditional blade style, the recurve may take a while to adjust to. The ways these blades cut are quite different.

The Recurve Tanto is a sick looking blade. It has a high intimidation factor to it, yet at the same time it is extremely cool looking.

 

Blade Steel

Besides having a great blade style, the Benchmade 67 blade steel is the durable D2 steel.  First developed around the time of World War II, D2 steel is a wear resistant steel used for various rigorous cutting tools such as shears and planers. It contains 1.5% carbon and 11.0 – 12.0% chromium; additionally it is composed of 0.45% manganese, 0.030% max phosphorus, 0.030% max sulfur, 1.0% vanadium, 0.7% molybdenum, and 0.30% silicon. It is a popular knife steel due to its edge retention. One setback the steel has is that when it becomes dull, it is harder to sharpen. Due to its high chromium content it is often considered a semi-stainless steel. D2 is a high carbon tool steel. Compared to a steel like 1095 it is not nearly as tough but it is capable of holding an edge for a long time. D2 is also much more resistant to corrosion than 1095. Being a tool steel, this knife is able to accomplish heavy duty tasks.

Blade Finish

The satin blade surface is covered with small linear strokes that form a uniform pattern. The blade reflects direct light for a nice shine. One benefit to a satin finish is that many minor wear and scratch marks from regular usage go unnoticed. This particular satin finish shines brighter than many other satin finishes. It complements the rest of the knife with its shine. A satin finish is similar to how a blade is sharpened. The surface is repeatedly sanded down for a smooth, reflective finish.

 

The Handle

The handle on the Bali-Song 67 is not similar to any I have felt before. It is confusing because the handles are thin as a pencil but are as heavy as a NHL hockey puck. The majority of the weigh for the entire handle comes from the two balisong handles. This isn’t to say it is a bad thing. The weight is perfect for flipping the knife around, both to simply open it and to perform fancy tricks.

The look that the handle has is phenomenal. The milled out holes in the handle are flawless. They help lighten the weight of the overall knife. Air is able to flow through to keep your hands cool in those high intense situations.

 

Parts of the Balisong Knife

To better understand what a balisong is all about and how to properly use it, it is best to understand some of the basic parts. The balisong’s handle is comprised of is basically two parts; one fixed handle in one hand and one that rotates on an axis. The axis of butterfly knives is usually made of a rivet or from hex screw. The following covers more detail about the knife components.

Bite handle

The bite handle is the handle that closes on the sharp edge of the blade. It will cut the user if this handle is being held when they go to close it. Stereotypically located on the bite handle is the latch for the knife.

Latch

The standard locking system on a balisong knife is the latch. This holds the knife in a stationary position, whether if the blade is open or closed. The latch typically is found on the bite handle. Some latches are spring loaded for a quicker release. The Benchmade 67 has a traditional latch on it.

Pivot joint

A pivot joint is a pin about which the tang, the blade, and the handles rotate about. On all balisong knives, there are two pivot joints. A regular folder knife has one pivot joint. The two pivot joints allow the knife to open in its unique “flipping” way.

Safe handle

The safe handle is the handle that that closes on the non-sharpened edge (swedge) of the blade. Generally speaking, this is the handle that does not have the latch attached to it.

Swedge

The swedge is the unsharpened spine of the blade. Some balisongs are also sharpened on this side of the blade to make it into a double edged blade.

These are but a few of all the parts that go into a balisong, but these are the key parts of the knife. Knowing these will help with operating the knife.

 

How to Open

Opening the Benchmade 67 Bali-Song is quite simple, and fun! Below is a step-by-step guide to help lead those who do not know how to open the knife:

  1. Start by holding the closed knife in your dominate hand.
  2. Unlock the knife. Do this by moving the latch that is being held stationary to disengage the blade.
  3. Grab the safe handle on the knife (you don’t want to cut yourself with the blade).
  4. Flip open the handle over your hand exposing the blade.
  5. Rotate loosely in front of your hand 180 degrees.
  6. Flip the blade against back of hand
  7. Flip back and grab rest of handle

This is just a simple list of steps on how to open the knife. There are several different ways to open up the knife. Once you play around with the knife for a while, it becomes easier to open. And given time, you could probably start performing tricks.

Now how to close the knife. It is very similar to how the knife is opened. You could almost take the same steps and just go through them backwards. Here are the steps on how to close the knife:

  1. Again, start with holding the open knife in your dominate hand.
  2. Unlock the knife if you locked it into the opening position. Unlike opening the knife, the lock has to be manually disengaged. A squeeze on the handle will not unlock it.
  3. Flip over the handle that normally conceals the blade edge when closed.
  4. Rotate the knife loosely in your hand, around the front side of your hand, 180 degrees
  5. Flip the same handle against the back of your hand. Your hand will be in-between both of the handles at this point.
  6. Flip it back over your hand and grab the rest of the handle.

It will take time getting used to, but operating the Bali-Song 67 can be done. It is different than opening a traditional folder, or auto knife. However with some practice, these knives can open much more quickly than the fastest of autos.

 

Why get a Bali-Song

Why would anyone want to get a knife like the Benchmade 67 Bali-Song? There are many different laws and regulations, and the populous reputation that connote a negative feeling to them. One reason is that they are so much fun to play around with. Secondly, they are a safe knife once opened. Unless a pin breaks or some other freak accident, they will not close on your hand. Another reason to get one is the fact that they can be opened one handed faster than many spring assisted knives. They are also slim, lightweight, and easy to carry. It is very difficult to open one accidentally when locked, including in a pocket. They are often stronger and more secure because of their two pins. Another benefit to having a butterfly knife is for their use with those that wear gloves when working. Such as yard work or working in the shop. This is because they are large and easy to operate with gloved hands.

Some other benefits of the owning a balisong include:

  1. The shocking appearance it gives off. The balisong is impressive when revealed and wielded in a dramatic fashion. With all the tricks that can be done with a balisong, the action alone can plant fear in any opponent’s mind. Helpful for those dark alley ways at night.
  2. The Bali-Song has one of the strongest locking mechanisms. There is little chance of it opening up accidentally. It can be used with no fear of the blade bending onto the hand or even closing on the hand of those that use the knife.
  3. Balisongs typically can give you a long reach. This is more so true than folders that have to be more bulky and clunky to reach the same length. Having a long knife can be useful in any number of ways.
  4. The handles of the balisong can provide to be a blunt impact self-defense tool without the blade ever being deployed.

With any knife, there are limitations to them. Some of those limitations include:

  1. Balisongs have a greater need for space when deploying than many other knives.
  2. They are not as discrete as other knives, especially when opening. They are most definitely a flashy knife.
  3. There is much practice required to effectively open a balisong. Those that struggle with fine motor skills in their hands may have a difficult time trying to use this knife.
  4. There are the obvious legal issues that many places have. I’m not even going to go there for various reasons. The biggest takeaway from this point though is that it is all one big hassle to deal with. Nobody has time for that.

 

Field Test

For a better understanding of how the 67 Bali-Song actually works, below are the results of several tests to assess the strength and ability to work as a knife. Normally, these tests are conducted by cutting different materials such as paper, cardboard, rope/paracord, and plastic. (These are common items that are cut from a day to day basis, and test the capability of the knife.) In addition to those, to test the strength of the tanto, a piercing test was conducted.

Piercing- The piercing test was only conducted on cardboard (no one or anything was harmed in the testing of this knife). With an initial thrust, the blade was stopped at the thickest point of the blade, meaning only a quarter of the entire blade went into the cardboard. After a couple of more tries, the entire blade was able to pass through the box. If you can give enough thrust to pass the tanto portion of the blade, the thin recurve portion of the blade will pass through without touching the cardboard. Basically, if you give it enough thrust, the rest will follow.

Paper- Cutting though the paper was a breeze. Envelopes stand no chance against the Benchmade 67 Bali-Song.

Cardboard- It was simple to cut through the cardboard, especially when doing so in a sawing motion. The recurve blade is created just for that reason. A rocking back and forth motion was able to slice through the cardboard with ease.

Plastic-

All types of synthetic material were able to be cut; from tape to shopping bags, and from thicker bottles to heavy packaging plastics. The 67 Bali-Song was easily able to cut through them all.

Rope-

Clean as a whistle! The cut was easy to make and no threads went uncut. It almost took one sweeping motion to cut right on through. Benchmade has always been good at providing a good blade to cut with. One that is sharp, durable, and always ready to work for you.

Conclusion

The Bali-Song 67 from Benchmade is a hit. Flipping these knives around is a lot of fun. The recurve tanto introduced me to a whole new world of possibilities for this blade style. I might have to ditch my drop point for a while and see if the recurve is better. This knife would make a great addition to any knife collection.

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Benchmade 10 Year Anniversary Infidel Knife Review

The Benchmade 10 Year Anniversary Infidel

 

For over three decades, Benchmade has been producing exceptional knives. Benchmade began by a man named Les, who wanted a butterfly knife that used higher quality materials, while using the newer technology to create a great knife. He had taken a shop class in high school, so he put those skills to use and blueprinted his dream butterfly knife. He later met Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever Bali-Song prototype. Les himself finished it in his home garage and promptly took it to a local gun shop and asked if they could produce 100 more. For the first few years, this company focused on only making butterfly knives. Within the next seven years, they expanded their products to encompass fixed blades and the traditional folding knives.

The Infidel is one of the knives that Benchmade has produced. And to celebrate the Infidel’s 10th birthday, Benchmade decided to revamp this blade. This celebration is a great opportunity for you to get your hands on an exceptional knife that will help you throughout your life–the 10th Anniversary Infidel OTF Auto.

BEN3300BK-1701
10 Year Anniversary Infidel OTF Auto Knife. BEN3300BK-1701

 

The Blade:

 

The originally Infidel rocked D2 steel, which is a good steel. D2 is a semi-stainless steel, because it provides you a good amount of resistance to corrosion, but it isn’t quite completely stainless. D2 is also not as tough as many of the steels that you are going to come across and is actually very hard to sharpen. In almost every single case, you will need a master sharpener to actually get a fine edge on a D2 blade. However, this steel is very hard and holds an edge pretty well because of that fact. To really celebrate this knife, Benchmade decided to upgrade the steel into CPM S30V premium stainless steel. This new steel really gives us something to celebrate. CPM S30V steel is made by Crucible and they designed this steel to be especially for knives. CPM S30V steel is mainly used for high end premium pocket knives or expensive kitchen cutlery. That gives you an idea of how great this steel is and how great your knife will be, now that it has this newer steel option. Crucible added vanadium carbides to help bring extreme amounts of hardness to the steel. Usually, when you get a crazy hard steel, it will lack on toughness, because the harder a steel is, the more brittle it will be. That is not the case with S30V steel. In fact, this steel is considered to be the perfect balance between hardness and toughness. The Infidel’s blade will be able to take on the toughest of tasks and you will not need to be worrying about whether it can take it or not, because it can. S30V steel has exceptional edge retention and resists rust very well. These two characteristics help cut down on maintenance. And, your blade will come out of the box razor sharp. Plus, you won’t be counting down the days until you need to sharpen your blade again, because it stays sharp for longer than you’ll believe. The steel on this blade has been finished with a black color.

The blade on the Infidel is a double edged dagger shape. This has also been called a needle point blade. This blade shape has been designed around it’s point. Its main purpose is to be able to stab or pierce. It is built by 2 symmetrical sharpened blades that taper to a very thin sharp point. The Infidel has been designed to be a tactical knife, which is a knife that is to be used in extreme situations. One of these extreme situations is that this knife can be used as a great fighting knife. And because of the two sharpened edges, this knife excels at fighting in close combat scenarios. Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to this type of knife shape. First of all, the tip on this knife is very thin, it is going to be more prone to breaking, especially if you are using it on harder targets. Another one of the drawbacks is that there is absolutely no belly. This means that slicing is not going to be easy at all; it will actually be a challenge. A dagger point blade is going to be found the most on military and tactical knives. Since it is a flat grind, the blade might seem duller than it actually is sometimes and with the flat grind. To keep the edge razor sharp, you are going to have to take off a little extra steel while grinding it. Because of this, you will lose some of the durability that the blade once had.

 

 

The Handle:

 

The handle on this knife has been carved out of 6061-T6 billet aluminum. A piece of billet aluminum just means that the entire handle has been carved out of a single piece of aluminum. This benefits you because there are going to be no weak spots where two pieces of aluminum have been welded together. The 6061-T6 alloy is one of the most common aluminum alloys used today and it has incredible tensile strength. Aluminum has a low density, especially for metal, so while it provides you with a hefty feel, it is actually an extremely light material. Aluminum can be very slippery, unless it has been properly texturized. To help provide you with better grip, Benchmade has added grooves going down the center of the handle on the palm side. The first Infidel had its handle finished by an anodization process. This is one of the most common finishers for an aluminum handle. The original Infidel’s handle was black. This is where the handle gets switched up for this version. Instead of an anodized handle, they decided to dip the handle. This means that there is a coating instead of a chemical change. And instead of being black, like the first one was, this version is bright silver.

 

 

The Pocket Clip:

 

The knife is outfitted with a deep carry, tip down pocket clip. I prefer having a deep carry pocket clip because of two reasons. First of all, I feel like my knife is more secure in my pocket when it is carried this way. The knife lies further down in my pocket, so I know that in my everyday movements, I am not going to lose my knife. There is almost no way that it is going to slip out of my pocket. The second reason that I love having a deep carry pocket clip is because you can conceal your knife more easily. This especially comes in handy for my tactical knives, which this is. The handle has been drilled so that you can carry your knife tip down.

 

 

The Mechanism:

 

The Infidel 10 Year Anniversary Knife is an automatic knife. It has a double action, out the front mechanism. Like always, automatic knives are not legal in every state or area. Make sure that you know your local knife laws before purchasing and especially before carrying this knife. An out the front knife is also known as a sliding knife or a telescoping knife. Basically, it is a pocket knife that has the blade open and close through a hole in one end of the handle, instead of folding out of the side of the handle. There are two different types of automatic OTF knives: single action and double action. The Infidel 10 Year Anniversary knife is a double action OTF knife. This means that when you slide the button forward, the blade will be ejected automatically. And, when you slide the knife backwards, the blade will retract automatically. If it were a single action, the knife would only eject automatically, so having this be a double action is a bonus. The trigger on the original Infidel was silver, contrasting against the black handle. On the Infidel 10 Year Anniversary knife, the trigger is black, contrasting against the silver handle.

 

 

Extras:

 

This knife comes with a Commemorative Challenge Coin. On the front of this coin, there is the shape of the Infidel in the center. On the top, it reads “10th ANNIVERSARY”. On the bottom it reads, “THE INFIDEL”. On the left side, there is an engraved “2007” and on the right, “2017”. The back of this coin features the Benchmade Butterfly logo in the center. The top of the coin reads, “BENCHMADE KNIFE CO. The bottom of the coin reads, “USA PROUD”.

 

 

Limited Edition:

 

This version of the Infidel is a limited edition knife that has been individually numbered for 2017 only. Get it while you can. You won’t regret it.

 

 

The Specs:

 

The blade on this knife measures at 3.91 inches long, with a thickness of 0.118 inches. When the knife is open, it measures in at 8.91 inches long, with a closed length of an even 5 inches long. The handle on the Infidel is 0.59 inches thick. The knife weighs 4.90 ounces. This is a rather large knife that is going to get the job done when you are utilizing it.

 

 

The Pros of the Infidel 10 Year Anniversary Knife:

 

  • Benchmade upgraded the steel, so now it is a fully stainless steel blade, instead of semi-stainless.
  • The new choice of steel is easier to sharpen and holds a fantastic edge.
  • The steel is very hard and still very tough, which is not an easy combination to come by.
  • The steel resists corrosion very well.
  • This knife comes razor sharp.
  • The double edged dagger shape helps the Infidel excel at being a self-defense knife.
  • The point is super sharp and thin, so it will work great at stabbing your target.
  • The handle has been made out of billet aluminum, so there will be no weak spots where two pieces have been welded together.
  • Aluminum gives you a good, hefty feel, but is actually very light.
  • There are grooves running down the center of the handle to help with your grip on the knife.
  • Has a double action OTF mechanism.
  • Comes with a deep carry pocket clip.
  • Comes with an Infidel Challenge Coin.
  • This is a limited edition knife which makes it a fantastic knife for your collection.

 

 

The Cons of the Infidel 10 Year Anniversary Knife:

 

  • Because of the upgraded steel, the cost is going to be higher.
  • The new steel choice is easier to sharpen than D2, but still not easy to sharpen.
  • A dagger point has no belly, so you aren’t going to be able to slice.
  • A dagger point has a weak tip, which is prone to breaking when stabbing harder targets.
  • While the dagger point excels at one thing, it can really only do that one thing—this is not a versatile knife.
  • The pocket clip is not reversible, so it is not an ambidextrous knife.
  • The pocket clip has only been drilled to carry your knife tip down.
  • The aluminum handle is going to be cold if you live in a cold environment.
  • Because the handle has been dipped instead of anodized, it is going to be more prone to scratches and those scratches showing up.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

The Infidel has been around for 10 years now. During that decade, it has earned a fantastic reputation of being a reliable and trusty tactical knife. To celebrate the Infidel turning 10 years old, Benchmade created a limited edition revamped version. This version looks sleeker and uses higher quality materials. They started off by switching out the steel used on this knife. They chose to make it out of CPM S30V premium stainless steel. This steel is tougher, harder, and maintains an edge better than the previous steel choice. Plus, it’s fully stainless steel, which does cut down on some maintenance time. They kept the double edged dagger shape, because that is as good as it could get. They kept the handle material as billet aluminum, but decided to switch up the finish and color. They did a bright dip in a silver, instead of anodizing the aluminum to be black. They kept the pocket clip and double action OTF. They will include an Infidel Challenge Coin when you purchase this knife. This is a limited edition knife, so run, don’t walk to get your own.

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Benchmade Valet Titanium Gold Class Knife Review

Benchmade started over 30 years ago, and like any good story, it did not start off as the knife dynasty that it is today. In 1979, Les de Asis wanted a knife that used the newest materials and manufacturing technology to create a fantastic butterfly knife. Every butterfly knife that he had previously owned and played with was not a high quality knife. Les had been to a high school shop class, so he blueprinted what his dream knife would be. Eventually, he met Victor Anselmo who helped him work to grind this first ever prototype of a Benchmade knife. Les finished the very first knife in his garage. Les was proud of this new knife, so he took it to a local gun store and asked the owner if he could build 100 more. This was the birth of Bali-Song, the first company that would later transform into Benchmade.

By the time that Benchmade came to be Benchmade, they were producing knives other than the traditional Bali-song style that they had begun with. Les chose the name Benchmade because there were “handmade knives” and “factory-made knives”. The knives that this company was producing was different than both of these. The factory would make the precision parts, but the products were finished by hand.

While Benchmade is known to have the top butterfly knives, their other knives have the same high quality and attention to detail. Recently, the Valet has been revamped and reborn in an exclusive, limited unlimited, Titanium Gold Class knife.  The limited, unlimited designation means it will be produced to demand for all of 2017, after the end of the year, no more units will be produced.

Benchmade Valet
Benchmade Gold Class Valet

 

The Blade:

 

The steel on this blade is made out of Ladder Pattern Damasteel. This type of steel is often compared to Damascus steel, but there are differences between them. Damasteel is also the name of the company that produces this steel; they are located in Sweden and have a history of forging Damascus steel. The process to create Damasteel is a patented manufacturing method. The blade starts out with a billet, which is one single piece of solid steel. They actually create their own billet with a very unique process. They pour stainless steel into a tall tower, while the liquid passes through a nozzle, it is dispersed into droplets with blasts of gas. By the time that the droplets get to the bottom of the tower, they will have solidified into a powder. After the powder is collected, it is compacted with a cold press which allows for the subsequent HIP at high temperature and high pressure. After this whole process is done, there is a solid piece of steel with the perfect structure left over. Each pattern on a Damasteel blade is handmade by Damasteel’s blacksmiths. They take special care to guarantee the highest quality and perfect receptiveness of this pattern. Damasteel is a true work of art. Damascus steel is famous for the strength, durability, and artistry that it possesses. However, Damasteel is a more quality option if you want a high performing, stainless quality to it. Another difference between Damascus and Damasteel is the patterns. Damasteel goes through the HIP process, creating a totally different set of patterns. Damasteel is a fantastic steel option with a great aesthetic that you aren’t going to be able to find anywhere else.

The shape of this blade is a drop point style. A drop point style blade is one of the best shapes for an all-purpose knife. This style of knife can stand up to almost anything and is one of the most popular blade shapes on the market today. The back, or unsharpened, edge of the blade runs from the handle to the tip in a slow curve, which creates a lowered point. Having this lowered point allows you to have more control when using the tip, so you will be able to do delicate work. The lowered tip also adds strength to the point. The tip on this blade shape is also stronger than a clip point, but a clip point shape would be sharper. Because this shape has such a strong tip, you can use this knife for heavy duty, tactical, or survival use. Another excellent characteristic of a drop point style is that it sports a large belly—making it perfect for slicing. While it seems like there are no drawbacks to this shape of a blade, there is one: it has a pretty broad tip, so it is not going to excel at piercing or stabbing. Some people consider this to be a pro though, because you can work with it and not worry about nicking any sensitive areas, especially when skinning something. A drop point blade shape gives you great balance, control, and strength. This is truly one of the most versatile knife shapes, which is why it is such a great option for your everyday carry knife of choice. This is a blade that will be able to do it all.

 

 

The Handle:

 

The handle is made out of billet anodized titanium. This means that the titanium was carved out of only one piece. Titanium is a lightweight metal, but it is heavier than aluminum. However, it is so much stronger than aluminum, so the extra weight is definitely worth it. Titanium has the highest corrosion resistance out of any metal. Something that is unique to titanium is that it actually has a warm feel to it. This means that if you are working in cold environments often, the metal isn’t going to bite into your hand like aluminum would. The titanium on this handle has been anodized. One of the most obvious benefits of anodizing the titanium is that it adds color the material. On this specific handle, a blue violet color has been added. The anodizing creates this color naturally, so you don’t have to worry about a dye running off or it bleeding. Because it is natural, the titanium is able to retain its high corrosion resistance and its ability to withstand high temperature environments. Unfortunately, titanium does have its drawbacks. First of all, this is a relatively expensive material. The cost of this knife will be higher than a knife without a titanium handle. Most people think that the extra cost is worth it, but if you are on a strict budget for purchasing your knife, this might not be the best option for you. Another drawback to titanium is that it is prone to scratches. While the anodizing does help prevent some scratches because it adds strength and durability, it cannot protect the handle from all of its scratches. And, because of the color, these scratches will show up. One last thing to keep in mind is that even though the titanium has the highest corrosion resistance out of the metals, it is not going to be completely stainless. This handle will still need maintenance.

The liners on this handle are stainless steel, with a Diamond Like Coating. The stainless steel liners are a great addition because they will need a little less maintenance. Especially after they have a Diamond Like Coating, to add strength and durability.

 

 

The Mechanism:

This knife sports the Benchmade AXIS lock. This locking mechanism was introduced in 1988. This system works by using a small, hardened spring loaded bar that moves back and forth in a slot that has been etched into both of the stainless steel liners. This bar is positioned towards the butt of the blade and it extends onto both sides of the knife, crossing the liners. This locking mechanism was innovative and allows for an ambidextrous operation. There is a common weak link found in many folders and the AXIS locking system works to strengthen this link. The AXIS locking mechanism increases the safety and integrity of a folding lock up mechanism.

 

 

The Pocket Clip:

 

The pocket clip on this knife is a deep carry, reversible, tip up clip. Its reversible, so you can carry it left or right handedly. But, the knife has only been drilled to carry it tip up. It’s a deep carry pocket clip, so you know that this knife will be secure in your pocket. A deep carry clip also helps you conceal your knife better than a regular clip. The pocket clip has also been treated with a Diamond Like Coating. This coating helps protect the steel and adds strength to it.

 

 

The Extras:

 

The Benchmade Valet Titanium Gold Class knife has a few extras on it. For starters, it has a Damasteel back spacer. Second, it sports a matching anodized titanium thumb stud that sits near the rear of the blade.

 

 

Pros of the Benchmade Valet Titanium Gold Class:

 

  • Benchmade is a fantastic company with an excellent reputation.
  • The steel is made out of Damasteel—a unique steel.
  • The blade is made out of a single piece of titanium, so there are no weak spots on it.
  • Damasteel is strong, durable, and a true masterpiece.
  • Damasteel is a work of art, with a unique pattern that you will only be able to find on Damasteel.
  • The drop point blade shape is one of the most versatile blade shapes.
  • The lowered tip gives you better control and a stronger tip.
  • The drop point shape sports a big belly with ample cutting room, so you have plenty of room for slicing.
  • The handle is made out of a single piece of titanium, so there are no weak spots in it.
  • Titanium is a lightweight material, but extremely strong.
  • Titanium has the highest corrosion resistance out of the metals.
  • Titanium actually feels warm to the touch, so you can have this knife with you in cold environments and not have to worry about it biting into your skin.
  • The handle has been anodized to add a blue violet color.
  • Sports the AXIS lock.
  • Comes with a reversible, deep carry pocket clip.

 

 

Cons of the Benchmade Valet Titanium Gold Class:

 

  • Because Damasteel is such a time consuming, skill needed task, this is going to be a more expensive blade.
  • The drop point blade has a broad tip, so it is not going to excel at stabbing or piercing.
  • Titanium is prone to scratches.
  • Titanium is a more expensive material, so the cost of the knife is going to be upped because of this.
  • The pocket clip has only been drilled to carry it tip up.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

Benchmade has a great reputation for creating excellent knives. Even though they started out making solely butterfly knives, when they branched out to creating regular folding knives, they promptly created some of the best. They recently made a limited addition of the Valet. This is the Valet Titanium Gold Class edition.

To create such a fantastic knife, they started out with some of the best knife steel that there is. They chose the Damasteel, which is similar to Damascus except purer and perfect. Another difference between the two, is that Damasteel will have different patterns than a Damascus steel. For this knife, they chose a Ladder Pattern Damasteel. To finish off the perfect blade, Benchmade decided to carve it into a drop point shape. This is one of the most versatile shapes that can stand up to almost anything. This is such a beautiful blade, so it might pain some people to use it as their everyday knife, but this knife has been designed as the perfect everyday carry knife. To carry on with this perfect knife, they chose the handle to be made out of anodized titanium. The anodization process on this particular knife created a blue violet color. The anodization process will also limit the amount of scratches that the titanium will develop, even though titanium has been prone to scratching. They also added a deep carry, reversible, tip up pocket clip. As a cherry on top, they incorporated a Damasteel back spacer and an anodized titanium thumb stud that matches the color of the handle.

Benchmade Knives chose to use the highest quality materials to create a perfect special edition knife. With the anodization process and the Damasteel pattern, this knife looks like a piece of art.

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Benchmade Gold Class 707-161 Sequel Knife — Quick Review

There are a nearly infinite number of amazing knives on the market.  Every week, I find at least one or two more knives that I think would be nice to add to my collection.  Just last week the most recent Benchmade Gold Class hit the shelves and this special knife is impressive.

Benchmade Gold Class Sequel Knife, 707-161
Benchmade Gold Class Sequel Knife, 707-161

Like each Gold Class, the knife is based on an existing knife being produced by Benchmade but then tricked out with all the bells and whistles you can imagine.  As Benchmade says on their website,

Benchmade builds knives for the most demanding customers, from special operations forces to elite backcountry hunters, and building for the best requires the best raw materials. We select premium blade steels and pair them with aerospace-grade handle materials to create premium-grade knives and tools that provide great value for our customer.

Add to the unique design elements the fact that a very limited number of these are produced and suddenly you have an instant collectible classic every time.  The 707-161 is based on the Benchmade Sequel knife.  This spectacular Gold Class edition boasts a 3-D machined titanium handle, a custom titanium pocket clip, and heat colored hardware.   The blade is super premium CPM-S90V stainless steel with a two tone finish–mostly dark acid washed with bright polish flats.  The most eye catching feature is the copper niobium inlays.  These inlays are taken from large copper cables that were built interspersed with NbTi (Niobium Titanium) filaments which were used in massive particle accelerators such as the Tevatron accelerator used at the Fermi National Accelerator Lab which resides just east of Batavia, Illinois.  Cut, insert and then polished to a beautiful shine, this inlay adds just the right amount of amazing to an already incredible knife.

The 707 Sequel AXIS folder is a McHenry & Williams design.  Built based on the earlier 705 model, the 707 is just slightly wider and significantly thinner than the 705.  This makes, at least in my estimation, for a better grip on the handle.  The blade is also slightly wider, which I prefer, and boasts more belly than the 7o5.  A larger belly improves the blade’s ability to slice because the larger curve continually changes the angle of the blade to the material being cut as you pull the blade through the material.  This increases the efficiency of your cut because the blade stays in contact with the material being cut for more of the cutting stroke.

Additionally, the 707 Sequel AXIS folder boasts the incredible Benchmade AXIS system.  If you have never used a knife with the AXIS system, you will quickly come to love it.  Benchmade describes the AXIS system as,

A patented Benchmade exclusive, AXIS® has been turning heads and winning fans ever since its introduction. A 100 percent ambidextrous design, AXIS® gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega-style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS® bar itself. Available in manual, AXIS® Assist or Auto AXIS® configurations.

To me, the biggest draws of the AXIS system are first, that it is truly ambidextrous which not only makes it nice for our lefty friends but also makes it nice for rightys that find themselves suddenly needing their right hand to hold something in place while their left hand does the work, and second, that the AXIS is one of the most secure systems on the market to keep the blade locked open when using it increasing your safety and security.

The new Gold Class 707-161 is definitely a centerpiece addition to any fine collection.  Check it out here on our website, you will be glad you did.
SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Blade Length: 2.95″
  • Overall Length: 6.75″
  • Blade Material: CPM-S90V
  • Blade Finish: Dark Acid Wash / Bright Polish
  • Handle Length: 3.8″
  • Handle Material: 6AL-4V Titanium / Copper Niobium
  • Weight: 2.6 oz.
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Types of Steel

When considering a knife to purchase, one of the biggest determining factors what knife to get boils down to what blade steel the knife utilizes. There are an unlimited amount of uses for a knife, but different steels specialize in different areas of work. Occasionally there are some outliers that are very different. However, the assortment of blade steel can basically be categorized into three separate groups: Stainless steel, Carbon steel, and Tool steel.

 

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a steel alloy that contains a minimum of 10.5% to 13% chromium. Be aware that the term “stainless” isn’t fully accurate. Any steel alloy will show some corrosion over long exposure to the elements, especially in corrosive environments including saline environments; such as coastal areas where regular exposure to sea salt is common and areas where de-icing salts are common during winter. Of the different types of steel, stainless steel requires the least amount of care. Though it still needs regular maintenance, it isn’t as intense as carbon steel or even tool steel.

Some of the best uses for a stainless steel are for everyday carry situations, and for those situations where the knife will be exposed to the elements. It can handle events such as hunting and fishing, deep sea diving, and cooking.

Listed here are several common stainless steels that are ranked in overall quality from least to greatest: 8Cr13MoV, AUS-8, 154CM, CPM 154, CPM S30V, CPM S35VN, and Elmax.

 

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is a popular choice for rough use knives. Carbon steel tends to be much tougher and much more durable, and easier to sharpen than stainless steel. They lack the chromium content of stainless steel, making them susceptible to corrosion. The carbon content of carbon steel is in the range of 0.12–2.0%. It does well in rough-handling situations that call for a tough, durable blade. Its lack of chromium makes it more susceptible to rust unless it’s oiled or coated.

One of the best uses for a carbon steel blade is for survival situations because of its rough use and ability to be sharpened easily.

The most popular carbon knife steel is 1095 High Carbon Steel.

 

Tool Steel

Tool steel incorporates tungsten, molybdenum, and other elements for hard-working, durable tools. Typically semi-stainless, tool steels contains anywhere between 10% and 13% chromium and 0.5% to 1.5% carbon. It is a good combination between the two other steels. Tool steels are used for cutting, pressing, extruding, and coining of metals and other materials. Their use is essential due to their resistance to abrasion.

Tool steel is best used, as the name suggests, as a tool. Garden and yard work, industrial use, and other heavy duty projects would all benefit from the use of a tool steel bladed knife.

D2 is one of the well-known steels that handles quite well as a blade steel.

 

Top Items

Here are some popular knives that feature the different blade steels above.

Knives to Consider
Steel Type Product Overall Length Blade Length Handle Length Weight
Stainless Steel
Aus-8 Boker Kalashnikov 74 7.50″ 4.25″ 3.25″ 3.60 oz.
S30V Spyderco Para-Military 2 8.30″ 4.82″ 3.43″ 3.75 oz.
Elmax Microtech Ultratech 8.30″ 4.84″ 3.46″ 3.30 oz.
Carbon
1095 Carbon TOPS Knives

Wild Pig Hunter

13.00″ 7.56″ 5.44″ 14.20 oz.
Tool
D2 Benchmade Infidel 8.96″ 5.00″ 3.96″ 5.00 oz.

 

There are literally hundreds of other knives available to choose from that have these different steel types. Dig around to see what you find. If you like it, get it. Many people say that a knife is much more than the blade and its steel. This is true, but if you have a poor steel that will not fit your needs, then what is the point of having the knife? Use this simple guide to help pick out your next knife.

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Benchmade Protagonist Fixed Blade Knife Review

Benchmade Protagonist Knife
Benchmade Protagonist 167 and 169 Fixed Blade Knives

Among the work of Benchmade’s in-house designers, a family of two new fixed-blade knives stand out as exemplars of what the company’s Black Class series of knives strives to accomplish. This product line fulfills the needs of active duty military, first responders, law enforcement, and enthusiasts whose active lifestyle requires a knife with the ability to double as both a tactical blade and an outdoor companion.

 

New for 2016, the Benchmade Protagonist family incorporates models 167 and 169, designated for the good guys: Law enforcement and military personnel. For civilian users, the Protagonist family fits in with needs of the user who’s active outdoors, perhaps in a professional capacity, perhaps purely for enjoyment. These two new Protagonist knives offer strong fixed blades, comfortable grippy handles, and the flexible convenience of built-in compatibility with the MOLLE attachment system.

Blade Profile

The Benchmade Protagonist family includes two blade profiles, each represented by a separate model number. Model 167 features a tanto-point blade, and model 169 uses a drop-point shape. Other than their profiles, these two models offer identical functionality, including full-tang fixed blades.

 

Benchmade’s Model 167 Protagonist uses a tanto-point blade shape with an angled point like a chisel, forming a secondary edge at an angle of between 60 and 80 degrees relative to the rest of the primary cutting edge. This angled point offers great strength as a piercing tool that can tolerate interaction with hard materials. Because the tanto-point blade features a flat cutting edge, the lack of curve, or belly, limits the knife’s usefulness as a general utility tool for slicing.

 

Benchmade’s Model 169 Protagonist relies on a drop-point style blade shape, so named because its spine drops toward the tip in a convex curve, placing the point below the level of the spine. The drop point ranks among the most popular blade profiles on the market, along with the clip point style. Unlike the tanto-point of model 167, the drop-point incorporates a curved cutting edge with enough belly to make the knife a capable slicing tool. The relatively broad blade tip sacrifices piercing utility for strength. This blade style offers all-purpose usefulness because of the high degree of control the user can exert over the knife, particularly over its point.

 

On both Benchmade Protagonist models 167 and 169, jimping grooves machined into a gentle thumb rise that leads out of the handle give the spine of the blade a place for the thumb or fingers to develop greater gripping pressure when you hold these knives in a conventional position. Both blade shapes incorporate a swage near the spine to reduce blade thickness.

 

Each of the two basic models in the Benchmade Protagonist family comes either with a plain blade edge or with a set of serrations on the left side occupying just under half the width of the blade. The presence of the letter “S” in the model number indicates the inclusion of serrations on the cutting edge. Models 167SBK and 169SBK include serrations, also known as rip teeth, to facilitate the completion of chores that involve cutting through fibrous materials. From rope, paracord, and string to wood, rip teeth increase the blade surface available to the material and function like a series of tiny individual blades. The area between serrations compresses the material, enabling the user to bear down on a knife and cut material that otherwise might fray instead.

 

Benchmade’s LifeSharp limited warranty enables any purchaser of its genuine products to send a knife back to the company’s Oregon headquarters for assessment, refurbishment, and resharpening, although the sharpening service does not cover the serrated portions of blades.

Blade Finish

Both the Benchmade Protagonist models 167 and 169 feature black blades with a Cerakote coating. The result is a dramatic reduction in glare and overall visibility, rendering the Benchmade Protagonist knives virtually invisible in low light because of their lack of reflective glare. The presence of the letter “B” in the full model numbers of these knives indicates the black coating applied to their blades. Unlike some Benchmade knife models and families, the Protagonist does not come with the option of a satin finished blade.

 

To identify and personalize your Benchmade Protagonist knife, choose Benchmade’s optional lasermarking service and add text, graphics, or both to the blade. The cost of this service varies depending on what you want to engrave. You can opt for lasermarking at the time you purchase your knife, or return the product to Benchmade at a later date to add your message. The process makes the personalization a permanent part of the blade, and uses the same type of laser that applies the Benchmade logo and other identifying marks during the manufacturing process.

Blade Steel

Benchmade selected 154 CM stainless steel with a hardness of 50 to 61 HRC for the blades of the Benchmade Protagonist family. This high-carbon steel is a U.S.-made product of Crucible Industries of Syracuse, New York, a pioneer in high-quality steels for various industries, including automotive parts, toolings, bushings, valve parts, and bearings. 154 CM represents a refinement upon the classic 440C alloy, offering greater hardness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance that 440C does.

 

The alloy chemistry for 154 CM incorporates 1.05% carbon, 14% chromium, 0.50% manganese, 4.00% molybdenum, and 0.30% silicon, with a hardness of 58 to 61 HRC. Carbon, chromium, manganese, and silicon promote hardness, which measures resistance to impact using a diamond-tipped test instrument driven into samples of a material. To express the resulting assessment, manufacturers rely on the Rockwell Hardness Scales, specifically the C scale for knife steels, which use arbitrary numeric designations. Hardness trades off with toughness, the measurement of damage resistance to phenomena such as chipping and breakage. Additionally, knife steels’ specifications include assessments of wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and edge retention.

 

Wear resistance represents the ability to withstand two types of wear: Abrasion, which results from the friction generated by contact with a rough surface; and adhesion, in which bits of material transfer as a result of contact between surfaces. Wear resistance typically correlates with hardness. Carbon, manganese, and molybdenum contribute to increased wear resistance.

 

Corrosion resistance consists of the ability to minimize, avoid, or delay the oxidation response to liquid, salt, or other forces and substances that come in contact with a steel in its environment. Despite the label “stainless steel,” no steel alloy actually can avoid displaying the results of oxidation completely, but some steels offer better resistance than others. Specific minimum levels of chromium content qualify a steel as stainless steel.

 

Edge retention measures how well a blade holds its sharp edge in active use. Despite its obvious relevance to knife performance and its objective-sounding name, this assessment actually relies on subjective judgments. Corrosion resistance and edge retention exist on a continuum on which one drops when the other increases, just as hardness and toughness interact. Molybdenum contributes to edge retention.

Handle Materials

EMS Group, a Swiss-headquartered multinational company that operates 26 production locations in 16 countries, manufactures the polyamide material used as the basis of the handle fabrication for the Benchmade Protagonist family. Better known as nylon, polyamides include substances that can substitute for metal. EMS Group’s Grivory product provides a highly strong, stiff engineering plastic that resists humidity, moisture, and chemicals. Grivory retains its shape and surface appearance without warping, despite exposure to the environment. Grivory GV is a lightweight metal substitute with mechanical and thermal properties that match the specifications of some metal alloys, including the aluminum often used in knife handles.

 

Benchmade states that the form of Grivory it uses contains at least 50% fiberglass, which matches up with the specifications for Grivory GV-H. Suitable for injection molding or extrusion, Grivory GV-H is a heat stabilized amorphous polythalamide that can create parts to precise tolerances. In the handles of the Benchmade Protagonist family, olive drab Grivory matches up with black Versaflex for a contrasting two-color handle scale design.

 

Versaflex is a thermoplastic elastomer that can be overmolded onto a substrate such as a rigid plastic. It enhances grip for a softer, more comfortable knife-handling experience that increases ergonomics and reduces hand stress. Versaflex resists oil and abrasion, developing a tough bond on nylon grips. To apply Versaflex, the typical manufacturing process relies on injection molding. Most commonly, the process begins when a part is placed into a mold so Versaflex can be injected over it. Alternatively, multiple material molding uses special equipment that allows for the injection of more than one material during a single production process. The overmold adds a soft surface that gives the knife handle a rubbery feel.

Handle Design

The handle scales on the Benchmade 167 and 169 Protagonist family attach with only two Torx screws, one near each end of the handle. A forefinger groove in the handle belly continues in one flowing curve into the shape of the front choil milled into the blade itself immediately past the handle. The gently curved handle belly accommodates the remaining fingers. At the butt of the handle, a small projection incorporates the lanyard hole. At the front of the handle scales, the machined slope of the handle design transitions between the two colors and materials used in manufacturing.

Sheath and Mounting Hardware

As fixed-blade knives, neither member of the Benchmade Protagonist family includes a pocket clip. The 167 and 169 Protagonist both include a MOLLE-compatible sheath and a MALICE clip, and can accept optional Tek-Lok hardware.

 

The Benchmade Protagonist family sheath design includes the slots and grommet-reinforced attachment holes necessary for MOLLE/PALS attachment. The sheath itself is injection molded in black with two removable components, including a ballistic nylon belt loop and a locking strap.

 

MOLLE, or Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment, provides an attachment system used to incorporate equipment and storage sheaths onto gear manufactured with PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) webbing. This system of horizontal rows of webbing provides a base on which to strap or clip compatible items. Sewn on at one-inch intervals, the PALS webbing holds items in place without the need to fasten them onto a belt or clip them in a pocket. MOLLE provides an ideal way to attach a knife sheath to the pack or vest that’s part of your tactical gear. MOLLE attachment products started out as armed forces equipment provided to NATO and comparable gear supplied to law enforcement.

 

Tactical Tailor’s MALICE clips resemble fat, wide cable ties. They snap lock onto PALS webbing and disconnect with a tool such as a screwdriver or knife. Using these clips enables you to avoid the time-consuming complexities that result when you must unmount an item from a belt using conventional slide-on loops, in which case you also must remove every item that precedes the one you want to reposition. Fabricated from injection molded plastic that offers advanced resistance to temperature extremes and corrosion, the clips come in two sizes. Long MALICE clips fit across three rows of PALS webbing, whereas the short version span two channels. You also can use a MALICE clip to attach a piece of gear in belt-loop style. The Benchmade 167 and 169 Protagonist each include one long MALICE clip.

 

The Benchmade Protagonist family also accommodates the Blade-Tech Tek-Lok belt loop mounting system designed for sheaths and holsters. This optional attachment product can enable you to carry the Benchmade 167 or 169 either vertically or horizontally. This locking piece of hardware fits belts from 1.25 inches up to 2.25 inches wide, and includes the posts, screws, and sound-silencing spacers necessary for attachment. Molded press handles on the sides of the Tek-Lok unlock the belt mount, which uses a lock bar for security.

Knife Dimensions and Weight

Both the Benchmade 167 Protagonist and the Benchmade 169 Protagonist share critical dimensions and other equivalent specifications. The knives measure 9.12 inches long overall, with a blade length of 4.54 inches, a handle thickness of 0.54 inches, and a weight of 4.23 ounces.

Other Observations

If you’re a member of the armed forces, a law enforcement officer or other first responder, or an outdoor enthusiast who needs a rugged, dependable knife with the handle comfort to accommodate long periods of use, either of the two knives in the Benchmade Protagonist family will meet your needs. Depending on the types of chores and tasks you need a knife to fulfil, choose either the tanto-point or the drop-point blade profile.

 

 

 

167 Protagonist

 

169 Protagonist

 

Weight 4.23 oz. 4.23 oz.
Overall length 9.12″ 9.12″
Closed length N/A N/A
Blade length 4.54″ 4.54″
Blade thickness 0.124″ 0.124″
Handle length 4.58″ 4.58″
Handle thickness 0.54″ 0.54″
Handle material Grivory with Versaflex overmold Grivory with Versaflex overmold
Handle color Two tone black and olive Two tone black and olive
Blade material 154 CM stainless steel 154 CM stainless steel
Blade hardness 58-61 HRC 58-61 HRC
Blade style Tanto-point Drop-point
Blade grind Flat Flat
Blade finish Black (167BK and 167SBK) Black (169BK and 169SBK)
Blade edge type Plain (167BK) or serrated (167SBK) Plain (169BK) or serrated (169SBK)
Pocket clip N/A N/A
Opener Fixed blade Fixed blade
Sheath material Black injection molded with tension screw, ballistic nylon removable belt loop, and removable locking strap Black injection molded with tension screw, ballistic nylon removable belt loop and removable locking strap
Benchmade product class Black Black
User Right-handed or left-handed Right-handed or left-handed
Best use Outdoor, tactical Outdoor, tactical
Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices 167BK and 167SBK: $155 169BK and 169SBK: $155
Extras Large MALICE clip included Large MALICE clip included
Options Compatible with Tek-Lok attachment system Compatible with Tek-Lok attachment system
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