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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Benchmade 119 Arvensis Fixed Blade Knife Review

Thanks to Benchmade’s tradition of pairing up with world renowned custom designers to offer production knives that uphold traditions of innovation and material excellence, the company has brought many popular product models to market bearing names familiar to those who study the work of artists and artisans in the field of knife making. The 2016 Benchmade lineup is no exception.

 

Benchmade 119 Arvensis
Benchmade 119 Arvensis

Custom knife maker Shane Sibert of Gladstone, Oregon, became involved in the art and business of designing knives after spending time at the Benchmade shop as a teenager. His knife making career began in 1994 and became his full-time profession 10 years later. Most of his designs represent fixed-blade models.

 

Benchmade’s 2015 lineup incorporates six examples of Shane Sibert’s work, including the Blue Class 757 Vicar clip-point liner lock, the Blue Class 162 Bushcrafter and 162-1 Bushcrafter EOD drop-point fixed blades, the Black Class 275/2750 Adamas family drop-point manual and automatic AXIS locks, and the Black Class 375 Adamas drop-point fixed-blade family with serrated spines.

 

The Benchmade Blue Class supports the needs of recreational users who want reliable, durable everyday carry knives suitable for work and play. The Benchmade Black Class aims at fulfilling the expectations of professional users, from armed forces personnel to police officers and other first responders. These knives and tools also meet with approval from recreational users who subject their tools to the kinds of heavy use that typify professional implementation.

 

With the Benchmade 119 Arvensis, new for 2016 and positioned within the Benchmade Black Class, the company introduces a Shane Sibert design meant for tactical, outdoor, and survival use. Arvensis, a Latin adjective that means “in the fields,” also appears as part of the scientific names of various plants and birds, which makes a highly suitable appellation for a knife that will see plenty of use in the great outdoors. The 119 Arvensis represents a fixed blade with heavy duty reliability, poised to stand up to the challenges of surviving in the wilderness or in the line of fire.

 

Blade Profile

With a clip-point or slant-point profile, the Benchmade 119 Arvensis displays a blade shape that represents a variant of the normal or straightback profile. A clip-point knife handles in a manner reminiscent of a drop-point blade, but the thinned area at the clipped part of the spine yields a weaker point than a drop-point blade offers. The flat clip point of the Benchmade 119 Arvensis forms a diagonal that stretches across roughly half the front-to-back dimension of the spine of the blade. The swage on the clipped area of the Benchmade 119 Arvensis creates a false edge.

 

The Benchmade 119 Arvensis incorporates a full-tang blade that projects at full thickness beyond the butt of the knife handle to provide a persuader (sometimes known as a talon or skull crusher) that offers an additional striking surface. The persuader features unsharpened serrations that increase the knife’s ability to chop, pound, or strike when you hold it in a reversed grip. The shape of the persuader constitutes a direct extension of the geometry of the butt of the knife handle.

 

Benchmade offers the 119 Arvensis in versions with a plain edge or one that also includes a series of serrations, or rip teeth, on the left side of the blade just in front of the handle. Rip teeth make quick work of tasks that involve cutting rope, string, paracord, or other fibrous materials. Look for the letter “S” in the model number to identify the versions of the 119 Arvensis that include serrations. Models 119S and 119SBK incorporate this feature on blades with different finishes.

 

On the cutting edge of the blade of the Benchmade 119 Arvensis, you’ll find a choil positioned in front of the front quillon of the handle and just behind the blade’s serrations (if you opt for a version of the knife that includes them), or the beginning of the sharpened edge of the blade if you choose a version of the 119 without serrations.

 

Blade Finish

The Benchmade 119 Arvensis comes with either a satin-finished blade or one with a black coating. Look for the letters “BK” in the model number, designating the coated version. Models 119BK and 119SBK incorporate this feature on blades with plain and partially serrated edges respectively.

 

To personalize and identify your knife, Benchmade’s optional lasermarking service can add text, graphics, or both to the blade of the 119 Arvensis. This service also can be applied to the handles of some Benchmade knives, but not to the 119 Arvensis because of the materials and surface texturing used in its contruction. Benchmade adds its butterfly logo, patent numbers, custom designers’ names, and steel alloy designations to its blades with the same laser engraving process used to apply customers’ text and graphics. The laser leaves a distinctively contrasting area on coated or uncoated steel as a permanent part of the blade surface.

 

Blade Steel

For the full-tang blade of the 119 Arvensis, Benchmade chose U.S.-made 154 CM stainless steel from New York’s Crucible Industries. The modern-day Crucible Industries traces its history back to 19th-century England and forward to a 13-company merger among crucible steel companies at the beginning of the 20th century. Crucible’s involvement in the production of knife steels began at the turn of the 21st century, and drew on the company’s history in producing alloys for use in the automotive industry as well as in more exotic applications, including the implantable artificial heart designed by Robert Jarvik.

 

For Benchmade, Crucible provides a 154 CM alloy that incorporates enough carbon (1.05%) to qualify the result as a high-carbon steel. At between 58 and 61 HRC on the Rockwell Hardness Scale, 154 CM can take a pounding without sustaining damage. The alloy’s 14% chromium content qualifies it as a true corrosion-resistant stainless steel, and means the alloy offers additional hardness beyond what carbon confers. 154 CM owes its edge retention to 4.0% molybdenum, which also contributes to high-temperature strength. With 0.50% manganese, 154 CM exhibits hardness, tensile strength, and additional wear resistance. At the same time, 0.30% silicon promotes hardness and helps protect against pitting. 154 CM sees close comparisons to 440C, a long-popular stainless steel alloy with 3.5% more chromium and no molybdenum. In that comparison, 154 CM wins the edge retention crown thanks to its addition of molybdenum, and holds its own in the corrosion resistance department despite its lesser chromium component.

 

Heat treatment spells the difference between a stainless steel with a well-regarded name and a knife blade that lives up to the performance characteristics of that alloy. Benchmade’s carefully developed secret heat treatment recipes enable the company to produce blades that offer the toughness, hardness, and edge retention you expect.

 

Despite its excellent edge retention, even 154 CM requires periodic sharpening, although the Benchmade 119 Arvensis may not need this kind of attention for a long time after you acquire it, even in heavy use. If you want to return your 119 Arvensis, or any Benchmade knife, to its factory sharpness, take advantage of Benchmade’s LifeSharp warranty. Ship your knife back to Benchmade and let the technical specialists in the company’s Oregon headquarters sharpen it for you, with the exception of the serrated portions of any blades that include rip teeth.

 

Handle Materials

An ideal knife handle offers light weight, keeps its shape regardless of environmental temperature, resists humidity, moisture, and chemicals, and provides overall strength and durability. For the 119 Arvensis, Benchmade selected G10, an industrial-grade laminate composited from layers of continuously woven glass fabric soaked in epoxy resin. After placing the fiberglass/resin mixture in a mold and subjecting it to high pressure to make it take its working form, the composite undergoes a baking process that gives it its final hardness and strength. This same composite material forms the basis for many printed circuit boards and other electrochemical components, in part thanks to its moisture resistance.

 

Handle Design

The handle of the Benchmade 119 Arvensis incorporates large, nearly symmetrical front quillons to protect your hand from sliding forward onto the cutting surface of the blade. At the butt of the blade, an asymmetrical rear quillon assists in maintaining grip and in facilitating the use of the knife in a reversed position. The belly of the handle features a long, smooth curve that accommodates the width of four fingers. The handle includes a molded in checkerboard texture that helps increase and support your hand’s grip. At the top and bottom edges of the handle, smoothly machined edges keep your hand from developing fatiguing hot spots if you work with the knife for long periods of time.

 

Tube pins made of flared titanium fasten the handle scales to the full blade tang, and give the side of the knife handle its distinctively punctuated appearance. Inserted into the handle under heavy pressure, these titanium tubing fasteners provide lightweight strength through a material with corrosion resistance. They keep the handle scales from separating away from the blade tang under heavy lateral forces. You also can use the tube pin holes as lanyard holes and lashing points.

 

Knife Dimensions and Weight

The Benchmade 119 Arvensis measures 11.72 inches overall, with a blade length of 6.44 inches and a handle length of 5.28 inches. The handle measures 0.75 inches thick; the blade, 0.193 inches.

 

Sheath Material and Configuration

Benchmade fabricates the sheath for the 119 Arvensis from Boltaron PVC/acrylic material. Boltaron offers superior resistance to cracking in cold environments, outdoing even Kydex in that regard, and displays a high degree of imperviousness to impact force and abrasion. This fire retardant, rigid, thermally formed plastic comes from the manufacturer in sheet form. Although Benchmade chose an appropriate basic black for the sheath of the 119 Arvensis, Boltaron makes this thermoplastic in an unlimited range of colors, patterns, and metallic surfaces, with 16 standard textures as well as custom options. Along with knife and gun sheaths, Boltaron’s implementations include components for aircraft, rail car, and mass transit interiors.

 

With the sheath of the 119 Arvensis, Benchmade introduces what it quite rightly describes as an innovative attachment system. When you attach a belt-mounted sheath using slots through which you thread your belt, you can’t simply attach and reposition the order of your gear. Instead, you must slide each item off your belt until you reach the one tool sheath you want to remove. The sheath of the Benchmade 119 Arvensis solves that problem.

 

The Boltaron sheath attaches with two Chicago screw posts to a patented AMSPRO Belt Mounting Clip made in the U.S. by American Sportsmen’s Products of Hubbard, Oregon. The clip, which comes with the sheath, incorporates a locking gate that fits over any belt up to 2.25 inches wide. The gate slides over the back of the belt and locks in place. When you press on the two releases positioned at the bottom of the clip lock and pull up a tab, the mounting clip opens so you can remove the case to which it’s attached without having to remove any other gear from the belt first. To adjust the height at which the sheath and the Benchmade 119 Arvensis sit, simply adjust the position of the Chicago screw posts.

 

To mount the AMSPRO Belt Mounting Clip and the attached Boltaron sheath to MOLLE straps, secure the clip to PALS webbing the same way you would lock the clip onto your belt.

 

The repositionable Chicago screw posts can attach to either face of the sheath, making the combination suitable for right- or left-hand use. Depending on how you orient the Belt Mounting Clip, you can attach clip, sheath, and knife horizontally or upside down. To secure the knife in a variety of carry positions, the AMSPRO Belt Mounting Clip includes a reversible tension strap. The AMSPRO Belt Mounting Clip measures 3.25 inches long by 1.5 inches wide.

 

The sheath incorporates a quick-release snap closure. Slots and grommet-reinforced holes around the perimeter of the sheath accept lanyards and lashings for extra stability and alternate attachment points.

 

Other Observations

Shane Sibert intended the Benchmade 119 Arvensis to feel light in the hand despite its imposing size. Achieving that kind of balance requires careful attention to the location of the center of gravity of the knife, placing weight either toward the front to facilitate cuts that require assisted pressure, or farther back to keep the knife comfortable in lengthy use.

 

Benchmade and Shane Sibert kept the design and appearance of the 119 Arvensis simple and straightforward. The modern, clean lines, uncluttered handle, and the distinctive look-through appearance of the flared titanium tube pins that secure the handle scales all add up to a big, bold statement in a knife that can save the day wherever it you take it.

 

Like its smaller cousins, the 162 Bushcrafter and 162-1 Bushcrafter EOD, which debuted in 2015, the Benchmade 119 Arvensis is meant to appeal to those who want to experience the outdoors without carrying an extensive set of tools. Its heavy duty design gives it the rugged ability to withstand abuse out in the wild, in survival situations, or in tactical scenarios. If you were waiting for a bigger version of the Benchmade Bushcrafter knives, the 119 Arvensis may be just what you hoped for. With the addition of the AMSPRO Belt Mounting Clip, the Benchmade 119 Arvensis gives you what you want in terms of carry options, too.

 

 

 

119 Arvensis

 

Weight 11.74 oz.
Overall length 11.72″
Closed length N/A
Blade length 6.44″
Blade thickness 0.193″
Handle length 5.28″
Handle thickness 0.75″
Handle material Black contoured G10 with surface texture
Handle color Black
Blade material U.S.-made 154 CM stainless steel, Crucible Industries
Blade hardness 58-61 HRC
Blade style Clip-point
Blade grind Flat
Blade finish Satin (119 and 119S) or black (119BK and 119SBK)
Blade edge type Plain (119 and 119BK) or serrated (119S and 119SBK)
Clip AMSPRO Belt Mounting Clip
Lock mechanism N/A, fixed blade
Sheath material Black Boltaron
Benchmade product class Black Class
User Right handed or left handed
Best use Tactical, outdoor, survival
Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices 119 and 119S: $200; 119BK and 119SBK: $215
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Benchmade 320 Precinct Knife Review

Benchmade collaborates with a roster of leading names in the design profession to produce knives that present fresh perspectives in materials and mechanisms. These knives feature the best of Benchmade’s manufacturing processes, quality control, and marketplace presence, giving custom designers access to a wider customer base and enabling Benchmade to offer new design ideas in a production package.

 

In 2011, Benchmade partnered with three designers whose initial work for the company debuted at the SHOT Show in January of that same year, including Butch Ball, Paul W. Poehlmann, and Bill Harsey, Jr. Of these three designers, Butch Ball remains associated with Benchmade.

 

Currently based in Floyd, Virginia, Butch Ball became fascinated with the design and production of knives when he was still in his youth. In 1990, while he was living in Florida and working in a machine shop, Mr. Ball began creating knives himself based on his own designs. After relocating to Virginia, Mr. Ball built his own workshop and resumed the craft of knife building in 2001. His custom work features exotic decorative materials including pearl and abalone. His work include folders, flippers, fixed blades, and tactical blades, with one-of-a-kind blades as well as limited editions. For Benchmade, Mr. Ball’s first collaborative design resulted in a push-button clipped-point knife that could serve either as a fixed blade or as a dagger. Along with knives, he also loves American bulldogs.

 

Benchmade reserves the designation Black Class for a series of knives dedicated to meeting the demanding needs of armed forces personnel, law enforcement, public safety, and civilians interested in a no-compromise blade for tactical or everyday carry use. The company’s Blue Class provides EDC knives for work, hobbyist use, and recreation. Within both classes, some blades represent the design work of Benchmade’s own in-house personnel, whereas other products result from the company’s partnership with noted custom designers.

 

Benchmade 320 Flipper
Benchmade 320 Precinct Flipper Knife

In Benchmade’s 2015 product lineup, Mr. Ball’s work consisted of the Blue Class 300 Axis Flipper, an AXIS-Lock drop-point knife with a textured G10 handle and 154 CM stainless steel blade. For 2016, Benchmade’s Black Class includes the Butch Ball designed 320 Precinct, also built as a flipper suitable for tactical use or as an everyday carry.

 

Blade Profile

With compact dimensions and a light overall weight, the Benchmade 320 Precinct incorporates a blade with a drop-point profile. The spine of the blade curves downward toward the tip in a convex shape that adds strength. Because this blade shape includes a belly, or curve, along the cutting edge, it effectively offers more cutting surface and greater cutting capabilities than it would with a flatter-edged shape.

 

When you deploy the blade of the Benchmade 320 Precinct, jimping grooves on the subtle thumb rise located on the spine of the blade next to the end of the handle offer traction without digging into your fingers. The blade includes an ample curved back extension that triggers the opening mechanism. This extension arcs in a shape that matches the curve of the forefinger groove on the handle. Jimping grooves run from the pointed forward tip of the back extension almost all the way around the curve that nestles into the forefinger groove.

 

The Benchmade 320 Precinct comes either with a plain flat ground edge or with a set of rip teeth, or serrations, occupying roughly half the length of the open blade. These serrations offer additional cutting power to handle fibrous materials, including rope, string, paracord, and wood. Look for the letter “S” in the model number to indicate the serrated option. Models 320S and 320SBK include serrations.

 

Blade Finish

Choose your Benchmade 320 Precinct with either of two blade finishes. The standard satin finish shows off the sheen of uncoated stainless steel. With a black coating, the blade reflects less light and, as a result, may offer a slight stealth advantage in a tactical situation. The designation “BK” at the end of the model number indicates a black coated finish. Models 320BK and 320SBK include black coated blades.

 

Benchmade 320 Knife
Benchmade 320 Precinct Knife2

Blade Steel

Benchmade crafts the blade for the 320 Precinct from 154 CM stainless steel, an American-made premium-grade alloy produced by Crucible Industries of New York. With roots in 19th-century England as well as in the United States, Crucible produces a roster of super steels along with more than noteworthy but less exotic stainless steels such as 154 CM, which is widely used in knife production. Along with 1.05% carbon, this high-carbon alloy’s formula includes 14.0% chromium for tensile strength and hardness as well as for corrosion resistance; 0.50% manganese for hardness, tensile strength, and wear resistance; 4.0% molybdenum for high-temperature strength and edge retention; and 0.3% silicon for hardness and protection against pitting. 154 CM’s hardness measures 58 to 61 HRC on the Rockwell Hardness Scale.

 

154 CM constitutes an upgraded version of 440C, another popular stainless steel, with better edge retention than 440C can offer thanks to the addition of molybdenum, and equivalent corrosion resistance despite containing 3.5% less chromium than 440C.

 

Many aspects of 154 CM’s performance depend on heat treatment. Benchmade has developed proprietary heat treatment recipes for each of the steel alloys it uses, enabling each metal to develop the molecular structure that produces the desired toughness and other attributes. With 154 CM, the outcome of Benchmade’s process displays good hardness and edge retention.

 

If keeping a fully sharp edge on your Benchmade 320 Precinct challenges the extent of your sharpening skills and tools, remember that Benchmade offers a lifetime sharpening service as a part of its LifeSharp warranty. Simply ship your knife prepaid and insured to Benchmade’s Oregon headquarters, along with proof of purchase and your original bill of sale, and Benchmade’s technical specialists will disassemble, clean, refurbish, and sharpen your knife. Note that the sharpening service does not cover the serrated portions of knife blades.

 

Handle Materials

Introduced in the 1950s, G10 consists of an extremely durable industrial-grade fiberglass laminate composite that assumes its final form through molding and heat exposure. To create it, the manufacturer soaks continuously woven glass fabric in an epoxy resin and forms the combination into its final shape in a mold exposed to heavy pressure. After baking, the resulting part exhibits a high degree of hardness and strength in a material that’s also very light in weight. During the molding process, G10 can be formed with checkered texturing that gives gripping surfaces the ability to develop additional friction in the hand, making a G10 knife handle easy to grab and hold. G10 also maintains a resistance to water, humidity, and liquids, and keeps its form in changing environmental conditions. Because of its virtual imperviousness to water, G10 provides the substrate on which many printed circuit boards are built. G10 can be machined to tight tolerances for use in electrochemical manufacturing. The black coloration used in the handle for the Benchmade 320 Precinct represents G10’s most common appearance.

 

For a tactical folding knife such as the Benchmade 320 Precinct, G10 makes an ideal choice as a handle material because of its strength, durability, dimensional stability, environmental and chemical resistance, light weight, and its ability to assume any desired form during the molding process. Despite its decades of availability, G10’s performance characteristics make it a forward-thinking choice for the new 320 Precinct.

 

Handle Design

The Benchmade 320 Precinct incorporates an ergonomic finger relief handle with a forefinger groove into which your index finger naturally positions itself as you grasp the knife. The belly, or curved bottom edge, of the handle, suits the curves of the fingers whether you hold the knife conventionally or reverse your grip. Instead of grooves for the individual fingers past the index finger, the belly of the Benchmade 320 Precinct handle provides a shared curve for the remaining digits. This enables the knife to suit a variety of hand sizes without positioning the fingers awkwardly and uncomfortably or forcing the pinky finger off the handle. A front quillon protects the hand from sliding forward off the handle onto the blade when you use the knife in a stabbing motion or bear down hard to apply considerable force. The quillon’s effect is magnified by the back extension of the blade that extends below the quillon and shares the same curvature.

 

The handle of the Benchmade 320 Precinct features a textured surface on both outer edges of the scales, but not on the spine or finger edge. This subtle checkering improves your grip without introducing hot spots that consistently rub at and irritate your hand. A mere three Torx screws secure the knife together, further reducing the feel of hardware under your fingers.

 

In a handle fabricated from G10, the introduction of surface texture requires no complex machining or milling, as the checkering becomes an integral, permanent part of the surface of the material when it is molded. The edges of the Benchmade 320 Precinct’s handle include smooth machined curves that introduce subtle chamfering. The handle design features an open look that shows off the contrast between textured and machined surfaces.

 

If you prefer to carry your knife on a lanyard or paracord, or to attach a dummy cord to make it more difficult to misplace, take advantage of the lanyard hole positioned near the end of the handle on the Benchmade 320 Precinct.

 

Pocket Clip

The Benchmade 320 Precinct offers you the option of carrying it either in a right- or a left-hand pocket, thanks to its reversible tip-up deep-carry steel clip. The black painted pocket clip fastens with Torx screws, as does the rest of the knife’s construction.

 

Liners and Locking Mechanism

Benchmade uses 410SS stainless steel for the liners of the 320 Precinct’s handle. This low-carbon alloy features a high percentage of chromium. Its chemical composition promotes hardness, tensile strength, and corrosion and wear resistance. Depending on how it’s fabricated, 410SS can incorporate 0.080% to 0.150% carbon, 11.50% to 13.50% chromium, up to 1.0% manganese, up to 1.0% phosphorus, up to 1.0% silicon, and up to 0.030% sulfur. This basic stainless steel excels in the fabrication of parts that must withstand high stress. Its typical applications include fasteners, turbine blades, kitchen utensils, and valve parts, as well as knife handles. The liner lock in the Benchmade 320 Precinct must be able to endure repeated movement back and forth during the processes of opening and closing the knife, which validates the choice of a stainless steel capable of tolerating high stress as the material for the liners.

 

Liner lock knives operate similarly to the mechanisms employed on monolock designs, except that the handle liner, not the handle itself, serves as the lock that holds the blade open. On a monolock knife, the lock is an integral component of the handle itself. A slot or cut in one handle scale enables part of the scale to engage behind the tang of the blade and prevent it from closing.

 

To disengage the liner lock on the Benchmade 320 Precinct so you can close the blade, press the lock toward the left side of the handle with the edge of your thumb until the lock becomes truly parallel with the interior of the handle. The deployment mechanism uses thrust bearing washers. Despite the smooth action and speedy movement of its blade, the Benchmade 320 Precinct qualifies as a fully manual action knife.

 

Knife Dimensions and Weight

The Benchmade 320 Precinct weighs in at a mere 3.42 ounces. Open, the knife measures 7.78 inches long; closed, it measures 4.48 inches. The blade runs 3.30 inches long and 0.124 inches thick. The handle measures 4.48 inches long and 0.48 inches thick. Although either right-handed or left-handed users can operate liner lock designs, and the Benchmade 320 Precinct includes a reversible deep-carry pocket clip, the location of the liner lock favors a right-handed person.

 

Other Observations

With a high-performance stainless steel blade and a high-tech handle made of fiberglass laminate composite, the Benchmade 320 Precinct provides the sleek good looks, light weight, and smoothly operating blade deployment that make this knife an easy choice as an everyday carry with tactical applications. Especially if you prefer a manually operated blade, this new offering from Benchmade’s Blue Class may suit your needs and lifestyle as an everyday carry with the good looks of a custom design at a production-knife price. If you’ve wanted a custom knife but couldn’t justify the expense, the Benchmade 320 Precinct offers you the best of both worlds.

 

 

 

320 Precinct

 

Weight 3.42 oz.
Overall length 7.78″
Closed length 4.48″
Blade length 3.30″
Blade thickness 0.124″
Handle length 4.48″
Handle thickness 0.48″
Handle material Black textured G10 with 410SS stainless steel liner
Handle color Black
Blade material U.S.-made 154 CM stainless steel, Crucible Industries
Blade hardness 58-61 HRC
Blade style Drop-point
Blade grind Flat
Blade finish Satin (320 and 320S) or black (320BK and 320SBK)
Blade edge type Plain (320 and 320BK) or serrated (320S and 320SBK)
Pocket clip Steel, reversible, tip-up deep-carry
Lock mechanism Liner lock
Sheath material Sheath sold separately
Benchmade product class Blue Class
User Right handed
Best use EDC, tactical
Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices 320 and 320S: $140 320BK and 320SBK: $155
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Benchmade Gold Class Stryker II Knife

Just in is the newest Benchmade Gold Class offering–the 908-151 AXIS Stryker II knife.  This knife features a Chad Nichols Starfire Damascus blade.  The pattern on this Damascus is stellar.  The blade is hand convexed and polished .

Benchmade Styker II
Benchmade Styker II Gold Class Knife

The knife also boasts hand blended lightning strike carbon fiber scales.  The pivot ring and backspacer are matched to the handle.

This knife will instantly take center stage in any fine collection.  It uses the patented AXIS lock mechanism that also has blue anodized titanium accents.  Only 200 pieces were made and each bears the serial number on the back of the blade.

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Blade Length: 3.57″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.124″
  • Handle Thickness: 0.545″
  • Blade Material: CHad Nichols Starfire Damascus premium steel
  • Blade Style: Drop Point, Plain Edge
  • Weight: 5.52 oz.
  • Pocket Clip: Titanium
  • Lock Mechanism: AXIS
  • Overall Length: 8.29″
  • Closed Length: 4.87″
  • Class: Gold
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Benchmade Adamas Folder Knife Review — Video Review

The Benchmade Adamas line of folders continues to stand out from the crowd.  Get one of these heavy duty folders that will last a lifetime here on our website.

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Benchmade HK Turmoil OTF Knife Review — Video Review

Check out the fantastic new OTF knife addition to the HK line from Benchmade.

If you want to know more, read our review on the Turmoil from a couple days ago here.

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Two Kinds of People, by M.R.

Benchmade Presidio
Benchmade Presidio

There Are 2 Kinds of People in the World

“The world is divided into two types of people: those who love to talk, and those who hate to listen.” – James Thorpe

“There are two kinds of people in the world, those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig.” – Clint Eastwood, 1966, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”

“There are two kinds of people in the world…Those who last — and those who fade.” –Dan Pink

6 years ago, my brother-in-law gifted me a knife. That gesture drew a line of delineation between all my days before that to all the days since. Now, I pick up 4 things in the morning. Keys, wallet, phone, and knife. My EDC is a Benchmade Presidio. I say there are 2 kinds of people in the world: Those who carry a knife, and those who don’t.

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