Benchmade Boost Spring Assist Knife Review

For over thirty years, Benchmade has been creating a fantastic reputation for themselves and for the excellent knives that they design and produce. This knife company has gone by a few different names, but by the time that they started calling themselves Benchmade, they had a unique way of producing knives. Les de Asis, the owner and creator of Benchmade, has said that there are handmade knives and there are factory made knives. He feels like his are unique because their knives lie in the middle of that spectrum. The intricate pieces are made by a machine in a factory, but each knife gets finished by hand. This is what a Benchmade knife is. And that is where the company’s name comes from.

Recently, Benchmade decided to really buckle down and focus on their own lines of knives. They have revamped a few of their older knives to make them a little bit higher quality. Benchmade has also released a couple of brand new knives. One of these knives that is brand new is the Benchmade 590 Boost.

The Blade:

Benchmade has been focusing on creating high quality knives for over three decades. One of the easiest ways to ensure that your knife is high quality is to use a high quality steel on the blade. The blade is the part of the knife that is being utilized the most, taking the hardest beating, and yet is still pretty fragile. Benchmade chose to make this blade out of CPM S30V premium stainless steel. This steel was designed and produced by Crucible, which is a United States based company. When they designed this new type of steel, they designed it specifically to be used on knives. By doing so, they could create a steel that has all of the characteristics that the knife communities have been searching for. One of the biggest features that sets CPM S30V stainless steel apart is the perfect balance between hardness and toughness. Often times, when a steel is extremely hard, it is not tough because the harder the steel is, the more brittle that the steel is going to be. The harder the steel gets, the less flexibility it has, and the more prone to breaking or snapping. But, Crucible has added Vanadium Carbides to the steel to add extreme hardness without sacrificing the toughness of the steel. Because the steel is so hard, it is able to hold a great edge for long periods of time. It is also a fully stainless steel, that has high corrosion resistance properties. Because of these last two characteristics, the maintenance is reduced by a decent amount. However, keep in mind that even though it is fully stainless steel, you do have to care for the steel. Any steel is going to rust if left in the wrong conditions. Make sure to oil your blade every so often, don’t leave it in wet, damp, or humid environments, and make sure that it has breathing room when you store it. There is really only one drawback to using this steel: it is difficult to sharpen. Not difficult in a way that requires a professional sharpener, but difficult in a way that most beginners are going to have a tough time doing it themselves. It has been known to beat up grinders too. A huge bonus about using CPM S30V steel is that Crucible has actually created a slightly better version in the last few years, so CPM S30V steel is not going to be as expensive as it once was. This blade sports a plain edge grind.

Benchmade designed the Boost with everyday use in mind. So they chose to grind the blade into a drop point shape. This shape is created by taking the unsharpened edge, or back, of the blade and having it curve slowly from the handle to the tip. The drop point name comes because the curve creates a lowered, or dropped, point on the knife. There are a handful of benefits that come from having this lowered tip. One of the advantages that is most appreciated in the knife communities is that the lowered tip is broader than it would be if it weren’t lowered. The broad tip is stronger and more durable, thus being able to take on heavier duty cutting tasks. A drawback to having such a broad tip is that this knife is not going to be able to stab or pierce things very well. Another advantage to having a lowered tip is that you have more control over your blade and tip in general. This comes in handy when you are trying to perform detail work, or you have to be careful about not nicking the material that you are working with. One of the biggest reasons that this shape is so perfect for everyday carry knives is that it has a large belly with ample length for slicing things. Having a blade that can slice easily is a big need for your everyday carry needs, because you will most likely be performing tasks like slicing open a box, letter, or cutting things up.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of dark gray Grivory with a black over mold made out of Versaflex. Grivory is an interesting material. Basically, it’s a type of plastic resin that has been chemically altered to produce a very strong new plastic material. Some people describe it as a “form of fiber glass reinforced nylon”. This material has been used to replace metals in applications that require high temperature resistance. It has other great properties, such as higher chemical resistance, higher strength especially at extreme temperature, higher warpage resistance, and a higher resistance to absorbing moisture. Grivory is very similar to FRN, which is a little bit of a more popular and common material. To help add grip and dimension, Benchmade put a black over mold of Versaflex, to cover the handle. The dark gray and black materials create a very class look. Benchmade has this to say about the Boost’s handles, “Dual durometer handles greatly increase grip performance while maintaining strength on this fast-action assist.”

 

The Pocket Clip:

The Boost comes with a reversible, tip up, deep carry pocket clip. This pocket clip is black, to match the Versaflex over mold on the handle. The handle has been drilled to attach the pocket clip to carry it either left or right handedly, helping to make this an ambidextrous knife. The clip can only be attached to carry your knife tip up. Plus, it is a deep carry pocket clip, which many people prefer to a regular pocket clip because your knife is more snug and more easily concealed inside of your pocket. All in all, Benchmade has perfected the pocket clip.

Benchmade 590 Boost Knife
Benchmade 590 Boost Knife

The Mechanism:

The Benchmade Boost is an assisted opening style of knife. This means that it is a folding knife that has an internal mechanism to finish the opening of the blade once the user has partially opened it. It also uses the AXIS locking mechanism. This mechanism was introduced to the world in 1988. Benchmade bought the rights to this style of lock and renamed it the AXIS lock. It works by using a small, hardened spring loaded bar that moves back and forth in a slot made into both steel liners. This mechanism is completely ambidextrous, so that along with the reversible pocket clip, makes this knife completely ambidextrous. This knife also has an integrated safety, so you can prevent the blade from accidently opening while in your pocket.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.70 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.120 inches. When the Boost is open, it measures in at 8.52 inches long, with a closed length of 4.83 inches long. The handle on this knife is 0.70 inches thick. This knife has a total weight of 4.59 ounces.

 

The Pros of the Benchmade Boost:

  • The steel chosen for the knife is one of the highest qualities steels offered.
  • The steel is extremely hard and tough, a combination hard to find.
  • The steel has great edge retention.
  • The steel has high resistance to corrosion.
  • Because the steel company has released a newer version of the steel, it is not as expensive as it once would have been.
  • The drop point blade shape is one of the most versatile blade shapes out there.
  • The lowered tip helps you control your blade better while performing delicate work.
  • The lowered tip is broader, so it is more durable and can perform harder tasks than a thinner point would be able to.
  • The drop point shape features a large belly, perfect for slicing.
  • The handle material has many great qualities to it, such as resistance to absorbing too much moisture and higher strength.
  • Benchmade has added a Versaflex over mold to add grip and style.
  • Pocket clip has been drilled to carry left or right handedly.
  • Uses the AXIS lock.
  • This knife is completely ambidextrous.
  • This knife has an integrated safety mechanism.

 

The Cons of the Benchmade Boost:

  • The CPM S30V steel is tricky to sharpen, so a beginner is going to struggle with it slightly.
  • The drop point blade shape is not made for stabbing or piercing, because it is too broad.
  • The pocket clip has only been drilled to carry your knife tip up.

 

Conclusion:

Benchmade has been creating exceptional knives for over thirty years. These knives are very popular in the knife communities because they use high quality materials and each knife gets finished by hand, so you know that your knife is as perfect as it can be. Benchmade has recently decided to focus on their lines of knives and to really create masterpieces with them. When they decided to start focusing on their own lines of knives, they revamped a few of the older ones to give them higher quality materials that will help them last longer and be able to take on harder tasks. They also have recently released a couple of brand new knives. One of these is the Boost. To make the Boost into a masterpiece, Benchmade tired extra hard to pay attention to all of the little details.

Benchmade chose to design this knife into a perfect everyday carry knife. To create that, they started out with a durable, reliable, low maintenance steel: CPM S30V steel. This steel has a great balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. This balance is a balance that is hard to nail and one that you won’t find on too many other steel types. This steel makes a great everyday knife steel because you don’t have to be worried about what tasks it can and cannot perform and you don’t have to be too worried about maintenance. Sharpening it is not going to be a daily or weekly need, and you won’t have to worry too much about rust or corrosion.

Next, they chose the perfect everyday carry blade shape: the drop point. This shape is strong, durable, and has a great belly for slicing. Again, this is going to be the ideal shape for your everyday needs, because you don’t want to be worried about your knife breaking or snapping and most people need to be able to slice with their everyday knife.

For the handle, they chose Grivory with a Versaflex over mold. Grivory is strong and does not absorb moisture easily.

The pocket clip is reversible, so you can feel as comfortable as you can, not needing to carry your knife on the wrong side. With the AXIS lock, the knife is completely ambidextrous, which is a quality not found on many knives.

Many of the Benchmade knives become very popular because of how high quality they are. The Boost is going to be just the same. This knife has truly been designed to be the perfect everyday carry knife. It will be a great addition to your knife collection and you will know that your knife has you covered for any task.  You can find your new Benchmade Boost knife here on our website.

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Favorite New SOG Assist Knife of 2014–Trident Elite TF-102

SOG Trident Elite TF-102
SOG Trident Elite TF-102–Assist Knife with hardcase black TiNi finished blade

SOG has come out with several new knives in 2014.  My favorite new assist knife from SOG is the Trident Elite series.  The Trident has been around for several years.  In fact, a couple of years ago we carried an exclusive model the TF12 with camo handle and a black tanto blade.  I really like the Trident series–always have.  I especially like the new Trident Elite knives for a couple of reasons.

The first thing you notice about the Trident Elite is the handle.  Built of the same glass filled nylon, the handle is lightweight–yet incredibly strong.  But the new models have a rubber inlay in three locations on both sides of the handle.  This adds a layer of grip security and comfort that is surprisingly good.  The handle inlays have a texture pattern that feels similar to a basketball.  I like the feel and the extra anti-slip protection it adds.

The second major change with the new Trident Elite is the addition of a glass breaker on the front of the handle.  That’s right–on the front.  When the blade is open, the glass breaker just sits alongside the blade.  When the blade is closed, it is ready for action.

The third thing I love about the new Trident is the deep carry clip that SOG has switched over to using on their new model knives.  This new clip is curved and wide.  It has much better strength to hold onto your pants pocket but it also feels better.  I would think it will wear better also because it has no sharp corners.

The next change is the jimping on the spine.  It goes nearly two thirds of the length of the blade.  At first glance, I thought it was an appearance thing.  But then I realized it allows you to get a really good grip with your thumb even if you have to choke way up on the knife.  You can put your thumb about halfway or even more down the length of the blade and still keep great control over the blade–even when making strong slicing style cuts.  The jimping is slightly rounded for comfort.

The Trident Elite also has the newest generation of SOG’s Assisted Technology.  I have to admit, the old system seemed pretty good to me.  The new system is even better.  Just a bit faster, it also feels more solid.

Overall, I think the new Trident Elite is sure to be a huge hit.  It will especially appeal to those looking for a mid to large pocket folder with assist capability who want their knife to be lightweight yet strong and to have a definite tactical feel to them.  Every Trident also has the strap cutter slot on the spine that uses the blade as a strap cutter when it is closed.  Perfect for every day use, emergencies, as well as a tactical deployment knife.  The Trident Elite by SOG is a great new addition to their spectacular line of knives.  Find yours here.  And let me know what you think below.

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Benchmade Mini Barrage AXIS Assist with M390 Blade

Benchmade Mini Barrage
Benchmade Mini Barrage with M390 Super Steel blade

The Benchmade Barrage series has been incredibly popular.  Built with the AXIS-Assist system, these knives open fast when you get the blade started with the thumb stud.  Just released is the Mini Barrage knife with an M390 Super Steel blade.  M390, according to the Benchmade website, is, “A high performance blade steel with superior cutting ability and wear resistance due to its high concentration of vanadium and chromium carbides. Its unique powder metallurgical process also promotes a uniform carbide distribution and clean steel properties, making M390 a popular steel used in surgical cutting instruments and in applications requiring a high finish. As a blade material it offers excellent corrosion resistance due to its high concentration of Chromium.”  In layman’s terms–M390 is a fantastic steel with incredible wear resistance.  You will dig it.  Check out the new Benchmade Mini Barrage on our website and get the newest installment in the Barrage line of knives.

Check out the video below for a video review:

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Benchmade Volli AXIS Assist Knives

Benchmade Volli Knife
Benchmade Volli Knife, AXIS Assist

The newest Benchmade AXIS-Assist knives are in stock at BladeOps.  The Volli features the extremely dependable and incredibly popular AXIS assist locking mechanism.  The drop point blade comes with a plain edge or combo edge and you can get a satin finish or black-coated blade.  The blade opens smooth with the dual thumb studs.  Built of S30V stainless steel, the blade features a classic drop point style that is perfect for everyday cutting and heavy use.

The handle is contoured as well as textured black G-10.  It feels incredibly comfortable in your hand.  I especially like the slight, slanted groove that gives your forefinger a nice comfortable channel to lie in whether you grip the knife in a thumb/forefinger pinch style or the more aggressive monkey fist style.  Stainless steel liners add strength and rigidity to the G-10 handle scales for a solid, everyday heavy use attitude.

On the spine of the blade is a locking mechanism that will keep the AXIS system from operating so you can lock the blade in the open or closed position.  Comes with a reversible (right or left) tip up split arrow pocket clip.  Check out the Benchmade Volli on our site–and get one today.

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HTM Madd Maxx Spring Assist Knives

HTM Madd Maxx Spring Assist Knife
HTM Madd Maxx Spring Assist Knife, 4″, DLC black finish

HTM Darrel Ralph Madd Maxx spring assist knives have landed at BladeOps.  These high quality spring assist knives are available in six different configurations–3 sizes and two different color and finish schemes.  The sizes are 3″, 4″ and a whopping 5.5″.  You can get it with a black blade and black handle or with a non glare finish on the blade and handle.

These fast opening spring assist knives are built to perform.  They have titanium handles with a carbon fiber insert for looks and grip.  They also have S35VN stainless steel blades.  Add in some superb performance and you have some great knives.  Check them out on our site here.

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SOG SlimJim Assist Knife — Review

SOG Slim Jim Assist Knife
SOG Slim Jim Assist Knife–measuring in at 3/16″ thick

I’ve never been, but people keep telling me that over in France you can purchase this knife called a Douk-Douk.  An extremely thin knife with a classic gunstock style handle built from a single piece of metal folded in half to create a channel for the blade to sit in when the knife isn’t in use, the Douk-Douk has been used by French Army for decades and by the French Foreign Legions. There is a similar knife made in Germany called the Mercator 55.  Each of them hold the blade in place with a pin through the blade and the handle piece.

So along comes SOG and creates a similar knife but gives it a major upgrade.  The SlimJim series by SOG feature handles built from a single piece of stainless steel folded into two layers with a thin space between.  Inside this space, rests the AUS 8 blade.  You can pick the knife up with a stainless or black hardcase finish and this year, 2013, the tanto blade shape will be available sometime during 2nd quarter.  On the spine of the blade rests a small protrusion that after a few moments of inspection reveals itself to be the spine lock.  But here is the most amazing thing about this thin knife–it uses the SOG Assisted Technology.  This assist knife opens lightning fast when you flick either of the thumb studs.  Without the deep carry pocket clip, the SlimJim measures just 3/16″ of an inch thick.  Even with the pocket clip it still only is 3/8″ thick.

You might be inclined to think the knife isn’t very tough because it is so thin.  You would be wrong.  This tough brute can handle everything I throw at it.  And it carries the SOG limited lifetime warranty so it is fully backed by SOG for life.  If you haven’t seen one of these beauties–check out the full line of SOG SlimJim knives on our site.  You will be glad you did.

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