Benchmade Loco Family Knife Review

Benchmade started in 1979 and has since become one of the greatest knife companies around. Their knives are made of many things: steel, aluminum and titanium, to name a few. But perhaps the most important part of a Benchmade knife is expertise. They carefully measure every part at every step in the process. They use the best materials and equipment. They make world class knives for world class users and this is how. Every blade begins as a sheet of steel, so the first step in the process is laser cutting. At this step a laser cutting technician programs the laser to cut the steel into blanks, giving the blade its basic profile. If a part isn’t up-to-spec, it doesn’t become a Benchmade.

The second step is surface grinding. This is where the blank is ground to its precise width. A surface grind technician places each blank in its rack by hand and each side is ground to its specified thickness. Benchmade knives have no room for error, and neither does a blank’s thickness.

The third step in the process is the milling process. This is where blade holes, handles, and grooves are cut on high speed mills. One of the holes that is cut here is the blade pivot, which is crucial to the folding mechanism. The pivot tolerance is .0005 inches, because the slightest deviation there becomes exponential at the blade’s tip.

The fourth step in the process is beveling. This is the step that the blade starts to really take shape. Up to this point, the two sides of the blade are essentially flat. A Blade Beveling Technician bevels the knife blank one side at a time, and one of the most critical tasks here is to make sure the sides match perfectly. An imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength, and mechanism function.

The fifth and sixth step are tied together: the back sanding and the finishing. Back sanding is where the back of the blade gets special attention. The sides of the blade have been beveled and milled, but the back has been relatively untouched since the original laser cutting. The back sanding technician sands the back of the blade until it is smooth. Finishing gives the blade a more refined look. The finishing technician stone washes the blades in a ceramic medium to remove any burrs and gives the blades a clean, polished appearance. When the blade is cleaned up, it is taken to laser marking to receive its one of a kind Benchmade mark.

The seventh and eight steps are the last steps and are also tied together. This time, it is the assembly and sharpening. Every Benchmade knife is assembled by hand, and it’s no surprise that there are more hand operations performed at this point in a knife’s production than at any other stage in the process. A sharpening technician puts a razor edge on the knife using a standing belt sander, and this step takes extraordinary concentration. Each blade is sharpened to a targeted 30-degree inclusive angle, 15 degrees on each side. The knife is sharp enough when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing. And only then is it truly a Benchmade.

Today, for Benchmade Month, we will be going over the Loco family of knives.

Benchmade Loco
Benchmade Loco

The Blade:

The blades on this family of knives is made out of CPM S30V steel. This is a premium formula of steel that is made by US based Crucible. This steel has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was designed in the US and is typically sued for the high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of vanadium carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. Dollar for dollar, this is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. The only drawback to this steel is that it does prove to be pretty tricky to sharpen.

There are two different blade finishes that you get to choose from. The first is the satin finish, which is created by sanding the blade repeatedly in one direction. The key characteristic of this finish is that it shows the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the lines in the steel. This is a traditional finish that provides your knife with a very classic look. While it does work to reduce glares and reflections slightly, there are definitely more matte finishes.

The second finish option that you are presented with is a coated finish. This is a black coating that reduces the reflection and glare while also reducing wear and corrosion. Coating finishes can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings add cost to a knife but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance. However, ALL coatings can be scratched off after continuous heavy use, and the blade will then have to be re-coated.

The blade has been carved into a reverse tanto blade shape. This blade shape was designed by Bob Dozier and it actually resembles a reverse Drop Point style blade. This style of blade has no angular corners, but actually looks something like a Santoku. It does have a markedly different feel than other blade shapes. The point is much lower than the midpoint as with a spear point there are some differences as you would have better tip control than a spear point, but slightly less belly—like a halfway point between a spear point and a Wharncliffe blade. In general, there is no real rule with reverse tantos. Tanto blades have been made for excelling at piercing through tough materials. This was originally designed for armor piercing and was popularized by Cold Steel and is similar in style to Japanese long and short swords. While most tanto’s do not have a large belly, because it is a reverse tanto, there is a small belly that can work to slice a little bit. This family of knives has been designed as an everyday knife and also as a tactical knife. This knife shape makes for a good everyday knife option, because you do have the slight belly with the reversed tanto blade shape. But, it can also be a great tactical knife because the point is strong and sharp.

You have the option between two different edge styles. The first edge option is a plain edge. This is the more traditional edge option that you can go with and provides you with cleaner cuts than with a serrated edge. The plain edge is easier to get a finer edge and is easier to sharpen.

The plain edge excels at push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling.

The second option that you are presented with is a combo edge. This means that a portion of it is serrated and the other half is plain. The serrated portion is perfect for sawing through thicker and tougher materials. However, it will give you more jagged edges when you use it to cut. The benefits of a combo edge is that you have the serrated edges to get through the tougher things, but the plain edge for finer detail work.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Loco family is made out of black G10. G10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. It has very similar properties to carbon fiber, yet it can be had for almost a fraction of the cost. The manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them, and bakes them under pressure. The material that results is extremely tough, hard, very lightweight, and strong. In fact, G10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger, although more brittle than Micarta. Checkering and other patterns add a texture to the handle, which makes for a solid, comfortable grip. The production process can utilize many layers of the same color, or varying different colors to achieve a unique cosmetic look on the g10 handle. Tactical folders and fixed blade knives benefit from the qualities of G10, because it is durable and lightweight, non-porous, and available in a variety of colors. While it is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it still has to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process used in FRN handles.

The handle has a deep finger groove to provide a secure grip, with a slight finger guard to keep your hand safe. After the finger groove, the handle curves until the butt of the handle, where it forms an angle to meet the spine of the handle. There is plenty of texture on the handle to give you a secure grip in most environments. The majority of the hardware on the handle is black, to match the G10. There is also a lanyard hole on the butt of the handle. This will come in handy when you are using the Loco as an everyday knife because it keeps it out of the way, but you have easy access to it. The lanyard will come in handy when you are using it as a tactical knife because with the lanyard, you can draw the knife out and into play quicker.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Loco family is a standard clip that can be attached to the knife tip up.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a manual opening knife that uses a thumb hole to assist you when you are opening your knife. Since the 1980s, the familiar round hole has most often been associated with folding knives from Spyderco. Over the years, numerous other knife makers have adopted or adapted the feature, one of which is Benchmade. There’s good reason for this industrial mimicry—the thumb hole works. Opening a folder equipped with a thumb hole or slot is just like using a thumb stud. By its very design, its ambidextrous. And many knife lovers favor a hole, because unlike a stud, it doesn’t protrude from the blade.

The Loco knives also feature the AXIS locking mechanism. The AXIS lock is a proprietary mechanism you’d only find on Benchmade knives, but due to its ingenuity and popularity among EDCers, its definitely worth knowing about. It’s easy to sue with one hand, but also important, its completely ambidextrous. The lock is made up of a spring tensioned bar that slides back and forth on a track cut into the handles of the knife. The butt of each blade featuring an AXIS lock has a flat spot that allows a spring tensioned bar to lock into place when the knife is opened. To close the knife, you pull the bar towards the back of the knife, using the thumb studs, and fold the blade shut. Right handers and lefties can both appreciate how easy it is to sue this lock, because the bar is accessible form both sides of the knife handle. Because this mechanism has plenty of moving parts involved, it can be difficult to disassemble for cleaning and maintenance.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Loco knives are 3.68 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.160 inches. The overall length of the Loco knife is 8.62 inches long with a closed length of 4.94 inches. The handles on these knives are 0.67 inches thick. This knife weighs in at 6.56 ounces. This knife is made in the US.

 

Conclusion:

Benchmade named the 808 the Loco because it is crazy how overbuilt the knife is. A truly robust tactical knife with the refined style of custom hardware. This knife has a unique styling. This Black Class model utilizes the Benchmade AXIS mechanism and uses an oval shaped cutout in the blade to open it. Even without thumb studs or a flipper function, this large blade opens extremely smooth and closes just the same. The beefy black G10 handle scales, with stainless steel liners, are contoured providing a comfortable ergonomic grip—even for prolonged periods of time. The Loco takes the unique factor to the next level by featuring a reverse tanto style blade that gives exceptional performance thanks to the S30V stainless steel as well as custom hardware fond on both the AXIS lock and pivot pin and even the back spacers. Come celebrate Benchmade month with us today and pick up your favorite version of the Loco knife.

Benchmade 482 Megumi Knife Review

Benchmade says, “Our knives are made of many things: steel, aluminum and titanium, to name a few. But perhaps the most important part of a Benchmade knife is expertise. We carefully measure every part at every step in the process. We use the best materials and equipment.” They then go on to explain how they make their world class knives.

Each of their knives begins as a single sheet of steel. A laser cutting technician programs the laser to cut the steel into blanks, giving the blade its basic profile. The blanks are hammered out of the sheet by hand, and for the first time, the steel begins to look like a knife. The blanks are measured to make sure they meet specifications. Measurements are taken every step of the manufacturing process to guarantee an impeccable knife and streamline production. If a part isn’t “up-to-spec”, it doesn’t become a Benchmade.

Next is surface grinding, which is where the blank is ground to its precise width. A surface grind technician places each blank in its rack by hand (racks vary by the number of blanks they can hold at one time), and each side is ground to its specified thickness. After grinding, the technician checks the thickness of each set of blanks. Tolerances are within the width of a human hair. Benchmade says, “Our knives have no room for error, and neither does a blank’s thickness.”

After that is blade and handle milling. Blade holes, handles and grooves are cut on high-speed mills. For every job (or batch), the blade milling technician programs the mill and measures the blade or handle to make sure it meets our precise tolerances. Blades and handles differ from knife to knife, so the technician gathers a specific set of measuring tools for each job. One of the holes that is cut here is the blade pivot, which is crucial to the folding mechanism. The pivot tolerance is .0005 inches, because the slightest deviation there becomes exponential at the blade’s tip. Handles require the same precision in order to fit the liners and blades properly and ensure a smooth mechanism.

Next is beveling, which is when the blade really begins to take shape.  Up to this point, the two sides of the blade are essentially flat. A Blade Beveling Technician bevels the knife blank one side at a time, and one of the most critical tasks here is to make sure the sides match perfectly. Once again, the technician measures the blade to verify that it meets the specified tolerances. An imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength and mechanism function.

The next two steps are back-sanding and finishing. Back-sanding is the portion of the process that gives the back of the blade special attention. Up until this point, the back has mostly remained untouched. Finishing is the part of the process that gives the blade a more refined look.

Last is assembly and sharpening. Each and every Benchmade is assembled by hand. An assembly technician receives all of the components and carefully pieces them together. The technician checks the knife for blade play. The knife is sharp enough when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing. And only then is it truly a Benchmade.

Today we will be talking about the Benchmade Megumi.

 

The Class:

This knife falls into the Blue Class, which has the slogan “Day After Day.” Benchmade believes that a Blue Blass knife is going to be your best friend. It can always be with you. They say, “In fact it’s better, because your other friends aren’t made of steel.”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of S30V premium stainless steel that has been hardened to a 58-60 HRC. This steel is made by Crucible Steel Industries, which is a US based company. This steel was created with high end pocket knives and kitchen cutlery in mind, which means that it is going to have all of the best steel qualities for a blade. Crucible says, “CPM S30V is a martensitic stainless steel designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. Its chemistry has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance. CPM S30V offers substantial improvement in toughness over other high hardness steels such as 440C and D2, and its corrosion resistance is equal to or better than 440C in various environments.” This steel is regarded as having the best balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention in the industry. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that because of its hardness, it does prove to be a little tricky to sharpen. Crucible also explains the CPM process and its benefits, “The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grindability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.”

The blade has been finished with a satin finish, which is one of the most common blade finishes you are going to find in the cutlery industry. This finish is traditional and will always help make your knife look classic. The finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive to show off the fine lines of the steel and also showcase the bevels of the blade. This blade finish is used to slightly reduce glares and reflections while also reducing some of the corrosion that the knife might be susceptible to.

The blade has been carved into a clip point blade shape. The clip point blade shape is a great all-purpose blade that is going to excel at piercing. This blade shape is one of the two most popular blade shapes in the market today. The blade shape is made by having the spine of the knife run straight from the handle and then stop about halfway up the knife. At this point, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks as if it is cut out and is known as the clip. The clip is also where the knife shape got its name. The clip on the Megumi is straight, although on some knives it can be curved. The point that is created is lowered, which gives the user more control when they are using the knife. And, because the tip is so controllable as well as being sharp and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife is going to excel as stabbing. One of the other reasons that a clip point is so versatile is because of the large belly that it has, which will make slicing a breeze. The clip point does have one major disadvantage, which is the narrow tip. Because it is so sharp and narrow, the tip does have a tendency to be weak and is prone to breaking. Overall though, the clip point is very versatile and will equip you to take on a very wide variety of tasks, especially when it comes to your everyday tasks.

Benchmade 482 Megumi
Benchmade 482 Megumi

The Handle:

The handle is made out of contoured cocobolo wood as well as carbon fiber.

Cocobolo is a tropical hardwood of Central America. When this wood is used in manufacturing, the heartwood is the only section used, which is the center of the wood. The heartwood from a Cocobolo wood is usually an orange or reddish-brown, with darker traces weaving through the wood. This is a very dense wood that can stand up well to repeated handling and even exposure to water. These characteristics make it a great option for a knife handle. While this wood is hard, finely textured, and dense, it is still easily machined. Wood has been used for knife handles since knife handles have been around. This is a very traditional look to a knife, which matches well with a satin blade. Wood is strong, durable, and gives a very traditional look.

Carbon fiber is a material that is made out of thin strands of carbon that are tightly woven together and then set in resin. Carbon fiber is a really strong material that is still lightweight. However, because of all the manual labor that goes into it, it does end up being very expensive. Although carbon fiber is strong, it is not close to being indestructible and does happen to be brittle. This is because all of the carbon fibers are woven together in a single direction. In that specific direction it is extremely strong, but when it is stressed in other directions it will begin to break apart. Plus, because it is brittle, it can crack when it is subjected to sharp impacts. The overall benefits of having carbon fiber in this handle is that it is going to be strong, lightweight, and looks nice. Unfortunately, it is going to raise the cost of the knife because of the cost and it can be brittle.

The handle on this knife is pretty simple, with a curving spine. The belly has a bulging middle, but overall curves slowly from the blade to the butt. There is a lanyard hole on this knife, which is an added bonus.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual knife. In terms of legality, a manual folding knife is going to be the most legal. If your area allows you to carry knives, a manual folding knife is going to be legal. That being said, always check with your local knife laws because BladeOps is not responsible for any consequences. In terms of efficiency, a manual folding knife is not going to be as efficient as a spring assisted or automatic knife would be.

The knife is equipped with a thumb stud to assist you in opening the knife. The thumb stud is one of the more common opening mechanisms on folding knives, especially when it comes to easy one handed opening mechanisms. The thumb stud replaces the nail nick that is found on more traditional knives. The thumb stud is easy to use and to get the hang of using. However, some people are frustrated because the thumb stud extends out of the blade and they feel like it gets in the way once the knife is opened. Sometimes, the stud will even catch on your pocket and flip the knife open, which is pretty dangerous.

The Megumi is equipped with a Nak-Lok as well as a MIM back spacer. The Nak-Lok is built on the framework of a locking liner but has some updates. The lock uses tensile strengths, as opposed to the compression hold that a locking liner is going to give you. Also, when you are opening a knife, the opening finger shouldn’t cross paths with the blade.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 2.48 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.110 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 3.28 inches long with a handle thickness of 0.460 inches. The overall length of this opened knife measures in at 5.76 inches long. This knife weighs in at 1.85 ounces. This knife is going to be a tip up knife, which can be dangerous if it accidently opens in your pocket.

 

Conclusion:

The Benchmade 482 Nakamura designed Megumi Folder features an S30V premium stainless steel clip style blade. The steel is tough, durable, strong, and will maintain an edge for long periods of time. The maintenance time is reduced because of the premium steel used. The blade has been finished satin, which is extremely traditional and goes along with the wood handle well. The clip point is versatile and excels at stabbing, although it is prone to breaking because of the weak tip. The Built with the Nak-Lok® locking mechanism this knife also features a contoured cocobolo wood and carbon fiber handle. The Megumi boasts a MIM back spacer with a lanyard hole. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benchmade 15061 Grizzly Ridge Knife Review

Benchmade says, “For over thirty years, Benchmade has been designing and manufacturing world-class products for world class-customers. When Benchmade was founded, the mission was to create something better; something exceptional. Today, we continue to innovate with the goal of taking performance and reliability to the next level. To exceed what is expected.”

Benchmade has an edge on the industry that stems from a variety of different reasons.

For starters, there are the materials. 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. They only select premium blade steels and pair them with aerospace-grade handle materials to create premium-grade knives and tools that provide value for their customers.

Next is the mechanisms. The mechanics of opening and closing a knife are essential to its function. They ask, “is it easy to actuate? Can it be opened with one hand? Is it ambidextrous? Will it absolutely not fail when you need it the most?” They ask these questions because they know that those are critical considerations when it comes to the mechanism.

The third reason that they have the Benchmade edge is the manufacturing. The Benchmade factory employs modern laser cutters and CNC machining centers that offer control and tolerances commonly found in the aerospace industry—often to tolerances half the width of the human hair. They say, “Our commitment to modern machining techniques and rigid quality control has allowed Benchmade to bridge the gap between custom and manufactured.”

Today, we will be talking about the brand new Benchmade Grizzly Ridge.

 

The Series:

The Grizzly Ridge is in the Benchmade HUNT series. Benchmade says, “Research projects, R&D lab tests and many miles of field research provided the foundation for the design and development of Benchmade HUNT. Built from advanced materials usually reserved for spaceships and surgical equipment, these technologically advanced hunting knives provide refined performance and rugged durability.”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel. This steel is made by US based steel company Crucible Steel Industries. They say, “CPM S30V is a martensitic stainless steel designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. Its chemistry has been specially balance dot promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance.” This means that the steel will be extremely tough, especially when compared to other high hardness steel such as 440C and D2. Plus, it’s corrosion resistance is equal to or better than 440C in various environments. This steel resists rusting and corroding with ease. This quality is ideal in a hunting knife, because you don’t want to deal with maintenance while you are in the field. So while you will need to wipe it down, you won’t have to worry too much about rusting like you would if the steel rusts easily.  And, dollar for dollar, this steel is known for having the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. This is a surprisingly hard balance to maintain because the harder the steel is, the less tough it is going to be. The harder the steel, the better the edge retention. So what is CPM? Crucible says, “The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grind-ability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.” This steel really only has one drawback, which is because of the hardness, it is going to prove hard to sharpen.

The blade has been finished satin, which is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of fine abrasive, which is normally a sandpaper. This is the most traditional blade finish and the most popular blade finish that is used today. The satin finish reduces glares, reflections, and corrosion.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is a great all-purpose knife that is able to stand up to anything. It is also one of the more popular blade shapes that are used in the cutlery industry today; the most common place that you are going to find this style of blade is on hunting knives. The blade shape is formed by having the back edge of the knife run straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow, curving manner, which creates a lowered point. Lowered points give the knife more control and add strength to the tip. It is because of how controllable the drop point blade is that makes it such a good option on hunting knives, such as this one. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. Another feature of the drop point style blade that it makes it exceptional for hunting is the large belly. The belly is going to make slicing a breeze, perfect for field dressing your game. The drop point blade shape does have one major disadvantage, which is the broad tip does reduce your ability to pierce or stab. This shouldn’t be a big deal when it comes to your hunting knife, but if you are looking for a knife that is going to excel at piercing, you should look for a knife with a clip point blade shape.

Of course, like all good hunting knives, the Grizzly Ridge features a plain edge.

 

Benchmade 15061 Grizzly Ridge
Benchmade 15061 Grizzly Ridge

The Handle:

The handle is made out of Grivory with a Versaflex inlay. This material is the proven material for metal replacement. Grivory is used in knives, especially hunting knives, because it has high levels of strength. This ensures that your handle won’t break when you are out in the field and cannot replace your knife. Also, Grivory is not known for absorbing liquids, which is ideal for when the job gets messy, as hunting jobs always do. Grivory also has good chemical resistance, so you don’t need to worry about the acidity of your game’s body fluids to compromise the quality of this handle. The Grivory used on this knife is a tan-gray. All of the components of this knife handle have been outlined in orange to match the Versaflex inlay. The inlay provides plenty of texture so that you don’t have to worry about slipping and injuring yourself.

The spine of the handle is relatively straight, as is the bottom of the handle. Although, the bottom of the handle does have a finger groove and a large finger guard. This guard is perfect for when things get slippery.

On the butt of the handle, a lanyard hole has been carved into it. The lanyard is a huge deal for a hunting knife for a couple of reasons. For starters, it allows you to tie this knife onto your belt loop, your backpack, or just tuck it into your pocket a little deeper. However, if you are in the middle of an extra slippery job and you are worried about how much texture you have, you can wrap the lanyard around the handle to provide a more solid grip. Lastly, if you loop the lanyard around your wrist, you don’t have to worry about losing your knife inside of the game that you are dressing if you do happen to lose grip on it.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a split arrow pocket clip, which means that it is shaped like an arrow and is mostly skeletonize. This helps the clip attach more efficiently to your pocket while also cutting down on weight because of the skeletonized handle. This is a benefit, because when you are out hunting, you don’t want to worry about what is going on with your knife, you want to be able to trust that it is securely attached inside of your pocket. Plus, every ounce counts when you are on a long hunting trip. By skeletonizing the clip, the weight of the entire knife is reduced—just for you. The pocket clip has only been designed to be attached for tip-up carry. The clip is also reversible for either left or right hand carry, which helps to make this knife more ambidextrous.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife that uses a thumb stud as well as Benchmade’s AXIS locking system. Because it is a manual knife, you don’t have to worry about the strict knife laws that are in your area and that surround automatic knives. Of course, always know your local knife laws regardless.

The thumb stud is one of the most common one-hand opening features that you are going to be able to find. It is used by a wide variety of knife manufacturers and designers, including Benchmade. The thumb stud has been designed to replace the nail nick that is found on more traditional knives as well as older folding knives. The concept is very straightforward—you hold the folded knife in one hand, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open. Knives’ with a thumb stud will include a locking mechanism of some sort, in this case, the AXIS mechanism. Some people complain that the thumb stud gets in the way because it does protrude directly out of the blade. Another issue with the thumb stud is that your hand ends up in the path of the blade throughout the opening process, which makes it one of the less safe opening mechanisms. However, this is also one of the easiest opening features that you are going to find; you will be able to figure it out quickly. The pocket clip on this knife is bright orange.

A patented Benchmade exclusive, AXIS has been turning heads and winning fans ever since its introduction. A 100 percent ambidextrous designs, 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. A s a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS bar itself.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.50 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.124 inches. The handle measures in at 4.34 inches long, with a thickness of 0.58 inches. The overall length of the Grizzly Ridge is 7.84 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.77 ounces. This Benchmade knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

Benchmade says, “Based on the highly regarded Grizzly Creek, the Grizzly Ridge brings the comfort and sure grip of a dual durometer handle, a blade designed for all around hunting utility, and unique orange accents.” The Blade steel is very resistant to rusting and corrosion, which means that maintenance is going to be a breeze—perfect for when you are on a long hunting trip and cannot worry about cleaning the blade well. The satin finish is classic. And the drop point blade shape is perfectly designed for hunting knives. The lowered tip allows you to expertly dress your game while the large belly makes slicing a breeze. The handle is durable, strong, low maintenance, and does not absorb liquids—the ideal combination for your new hunting knife. The Versaflex overlays add plenty of texture for when things get messy. The AXIS lock keeps this knife safe to use while also allowing for quick and easy one-hand opening. The thumb stud also lets you open the knife easily with only one-hand. You can pick up this brand new Benchmade knife today at BladeOps and have your new favorite hunting knife—the Grizzly Ridge.

Benchmade Coalition Knife Review

For over thirty years, Benchmade has been designing and manufacturing world-class products for world-class customers. When Benchmade was founded, the mission was to create something better; something exceptional. Today, they continue to innovate with the goal of taking performance and reliability to the next level. They exceed what is expected.

Benchmade says, “Whether you are using a Griptillian for every day duties or taking the fight to the enemy with the Infidel, our knives are built to perform. When you choose to purchase a Benchmade, you do so because you want the best. You demand it. We live it and breathe it, and we know what you mean when you say: It’s not a knife. It’s my Benchmade.”

Benchmade has an edge that other knives don’t. For starters, 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. They select premium blade steels and pair them with aerospace-grad handle materials to create premium-grade knives and tools that provide great value for their customers.

The Benchmade factory employs modern laser cutters and CNC machining centers that offer control and tolerances commonly found in the aerospace industry—often to tolerances half the width of a human hair. Their commitment to modern machining techniques and rigid quality control has allowed Benchmade to bridge the gap between custom and manufactured.

The last edge that they have is the LifeSharp. Benchmade knives are all supported through a team of skilled technicians. Their only function is to ensure your Benchmade is in optimal working condition or your entire life. This service is called LifeSharp. A name that speaks for itself. When you send your knife to the Benchmade LifeSharp team, the knife is completely disassembled and all worn parts are tune or replaced. The knife is then lubricated and reassembled, a sharpener applies a factory edge to the blade and the knife is shipped back to you.

There are many reasons why Benchmade knives are set apart from others. Today we are going to be talking about the new Benchmade Coalition.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of S30V steel. This steel is made by Crucible, which is a steel company that is based in the United States. This premium steel was created and designed specifically for knives, especially for the high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. Because of this, you can expect it to have all of the best qualities that people look for in their knives. This steel has amazing edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. Crucible has added vanadium carbides into the steel which brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. If you look at this steel for cost and quality, S30V steel is viewed as one of the finest knife blade steels. This steel has the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness, which is actually a pretty complicated balance to achieve. There is one major drawback to this steel, which is because of the hardness, it proves to be tricky to sharpen. This shouldn’t veer you away from this steel, because of all the other qualities that you do get out of it. However, if you are a beginner sharpener, I wouldn’t suggest you try to sharpen this blade on your own.

The blade has been finished with a black coating. This is a powder coating, which is applied using the electrostatic principle. This means that the blade is given a negative charge and the powder coat is given a positive charge before being sprayed on. The dry coated parts are baked in an oven, where the powder melts and fuses into a hard, protective finish. Coatings prolong the life of the blade, because they do protect the steel form the harsh environments. The coating reduces rusting and corrosion while also cutting down on glares and reflections. The biggest drawback to a coated blade is that it will scratch off after heavy use or long periods of time. At this point, your blade will have to be re-coated if you wish for the benefits to remain.

The blade on the Coalition has been carved into a drop point blade shape, which is the most popular and commonly found blade shapes in the cutlery industry today. Drop point knives are tough and versatile. This blade shape is formed by having the unsharpened edge of the knife run straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. This lowered point provides more control and adds strength to the tip. And while the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. It is because of this strength and the drop point’s ability to hold up to the heavy use that makes the drop point so capable on tactical or survival knives. Plus, because of the lowered tip, the drop point blade is easily controllable, which helps you perform fine tip or detail work. The biggest reason that this blade is so versatile is because of the large belly areas that makes slicing a breeze. If you are using this knife for an everyday knife, slicing is what you are going to be doing the most of. There is one big drawback to the drop point blade style, which is the broad tip. Because of this tip, it is not as capable for piercing or slicing as the clip point blade style. But you do get so much more strength than in the clip point knife. By choosing the Benchmade Coalition, you are preparing yourself for any task whether it is your everyday tasks or the unexpected situations that seem to pop up often.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 billet aluminum that has been anodized grey. Plus, to add texture and security, there are grippy G10 inlays in the middle.

Aluminum is a very durable material, especially when it comes to knife handles. This material is unique because it is considered a low-density metal, but it still gives you a hefty feel without the weight. This is the ultimate combination, because when it comes to an everyday carry or a tactical knife, like this one, you don’t want to be weighed down, but you don’t want to feel like you have enough weight and heft behind you to really take on the issue.

The most common type of aluminum that is used today is the 6061-T6 alloy, which has the highest tensile strength. Overall, aluminum is strong, light, durable, and very resistant to corrosion. However, it is also cold to hold because of its conductive properties, it can be a little slippery, and it is susceptible to scratches and dings.

A billet aluminum is a solid block of aluminum, which means that the entire handle has been carved out of a solid piece of the aluminum. This means that there are not going to be any weaker spots where two pieces have been welded together.

The aluminum portions of the handle have been anodized a sleek gun-metal grey. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion resistant surface. The process is done by immersing the aluminum into an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electric current though the medium. A cathode is mounted to the inside of the anodizing tank; the aluminum acts as an anode, so that oxygen ions are released from the electrolyte to combine with the aluminum atoms at the surface of the part being anodized. According to anodziign.org, “Anodizing is, therefore, a matter of highly controlled oxidation—the enhancement of a naturally occurring phenomenon.” Aluminum was already a great material for your knife handle, but with the anodized finished, it enters the next level.

The G-10 inlays work to give you the most secure grip on the Coalition that you can possibly have. G-10 is made out of fiberglass and has very similar properties to carbon fiber. However, out of the two materials, G-10 is inferior which mean that you can get it for much less. To create G-10 the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in a resin before compressing them and baking them under pressure. G-10 is very hard, tough, lightweight, and still strong. However, it is a brittle material and it does lack elegance and character.

This knife has a very large finger guard as well as jimping on the spine and the belly of the handle. This knife looks more like a tactical knife than an everyday knife, because of all the sharp edges, but it can be used well for either. The jimping and the G-10 are going to give you a very solid grip so that no matter what environment you are in; you will feel that you have a secure grip on this knife. While the spine and the belly of the handle are very straight, this is still a comfortable knife to hold, even if you are using it for long periods of time.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Benchmade Coalition is a deep carry clip, which means that you can keep it snugly in your pocket if you are using this knife for your everyday carry knife. Or, you can conceal your knife deeper in your pocket if you are choosing to use this new Benchmade knife for your go-to tactical knife. The Coalition is going to excel at either of these options. The clip is reversible, which does help to make this knife ambidextrous. However, it is only designed to be attached tip-up.

All of the hardware on this knife is black, except for the trigger to release the blade.

 

Benchmade Coalition
Benchmade Coalition

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife, which does mean that it is not going to be legal in all states, cities, or areas of the United States. It is your responsibility as the user to know your local knife laws before buying, owning, or carrying this knife. BladeOps is not responsible for consequences if you choose to ignore the local knife laws.

The Coalition is a push button automatic that features an integrated safety mechanism. Because it is an automatic knife, it is going to be easier to bring into play in a tactical situation. And because it is a push button automatic knife, you can easily open it with just one hand. The knife is going to open quickly and efficiently. However, there are a few drawbacks to an automatic knife as well. Because there are so many inner mechanisms, you do have to be very careful when getting this knife near water. If any of the insides begin to rust or corrode, it could compromise the entire opening mechanism. Automatic knives are harder to maintain because they are such a complex knife.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 2.87 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.100 inches. The handle measures in at 3.91 inches long with a thickness of 0.53 inches. When the knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 6.78 inches long. This knife measures in at 2.63 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

This knife combines the strength of aluminum handles and S30V blade steel, with the style and traction of G10 inlays, this push button automatic is a big deal in a small package. The S30V blade is easy to maintain because it resists rust with ease. The drop point blade is tough which allows you to take on any tactical situation, while also providing you a large belly that will come in handy throughout your day-to-day tasks. The aluminum handle is tough and durable while the G-10 inlays give you plenty of texture to have a secure grip on the Coalition. The deep carry pocket clip allows you to more easily conceal your knife. Pick up the Coalition today at BladeOps.

Benchmade Blue Bugout Folder Knife Review

With a rich history dating back over 30 years, Benchmade is the product of many dedicated employees, a never-quit demand for excellence and the de Asis family’s vision and total commitment to culture, service, and innovation. The Benchmade adventure began when Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflects the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives, known as Bali-Songs, he played with as a kid. Using his high-school shop skills, he blueprinted his dream knife before eventually meeting Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali-Song porotype. Paired with handles that Les sourced from a small machine shop in California, he assembled and finished his first Bali-Song into a local gun store and the owner asked, “Could you build 100 more?” In 1987, due to its inability to control quality, price, and delivery, Pacific Cutlery Corp. filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved in 1988, Les reintroduced a new company and new version of the Model 68; This time with a drive to produce product in the US and an even stronger commitment to product availability, quality and customer relationships. The company now needed a new name. While there was “handmade” and “factory-made”, it was “Benchmade” that described the quality of Les’ product. He was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s position in the market—even to this day. With its first ten years of manufacturing experience behind it, and by working with world-class custom knife makers like Mel Pardue and Warren Osborne, Benchmade perfected a business model that involved lending manufacturing processes to custom knife designs; affording a level of innovation and quality to the larger market that was previously unavailable. This eventually led to Bill McHenry and Jason Williams approaching Benchmade with the AXIS lock… and the future of cutlery was born. To this day, Benchmade continues to focus on innovation, customer needs, responsible business ethics and operations to bring the highest quality products to the world’s elite.

Benchmade Blue Bugout Folder Knife
Benchmade Blue Bugout Folder Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife has been carved out of CPM S30V steel. This steel was designed and manufactured by Crucible Industries, which is an American company. They designed this steel alongside Chris Reeve, famous knife designer, specifically for knives. This means that you are going to get all of the qualities that you searching for when you purchase the Benchmade Bugout knife. For starters, this steel is tough, and since it is a stainless steel, maintenance is pretty low key. This steel is going to be able to stand up to a challenge. This steel is known for resisting rust effortlessly, which is why this steel is often found on survival, hunting, and kitchen knives. S30V steel is known for having the perfect balance between edge retention, strength, and toughness. This is actually a hard combination to master because in most cases, the tougher the steel is, the less strong it is and vice versa. Crucible industries really nailed this balance. There is a drawback, and that is the fact that because it is a harder and tougher steel, this blade will be moderately difficult to sharpen. This isn’t a huge issue, unless you are a beginner sharpener—then it can get a little tricky. All in all, this steel gives you some of the best bang for your buck. You get all of the qualities that you could desire and you don’t have to shell out a fortune for it. Especially since Crucible has released an upgraded version of this steel, so S30V’s price has significantly dropped in the last few years.

The Bugout blade has been finished with a satin finish. This is the most popular knife finish you are going to find on knives today; the satin finish gives you a very classic look. The finish is achieved by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. This finish has a luster that falls in between a mirror polished finish, which is very reflective, and a matte finish, which offers no reflections. This finish is designed to show off the bevels and fine lines of the steel. One of the best qualities of this finish is that because it is so traditional it will never go out of style. The Bugout will look sleek for as long as you own it.  The satin finish does work to cut down on glares, reflections, and wear and corrosion slightly. Because of this, the steel does get a bit of a boost for durability.

The blade on this Benchmade knife is a drop point blade shape. This knife has been designed to be the perfect everyday carry blade. From the steel, to the finish, to the blade shape this a classic, tough, and versatile knife. The drop point blade shape is one of the two most popular blade shapes that is in use today. This blade style is tough, versatile, and can take on almost anything. The blade shape gets its name in a very straightforward way—the point of the blade is lowered. The unsharpened edge of the blade runs directly from the handle to the tip of the blade, which creates the lowered point. Drop point and clip point blades are very similar because they are both popular and versatile, but the tips are where they differ. They both do have the lowered tip that makes detail work a breeze, because the lowered quality makes it easy to control. However, the drop point blade has a much broader point than the clip point does. This means that the drop point blade shape is going to excel in tactical and survival knives, because they are durable. The broad tip makes them tough and strong and not likely to break. However, this also means that your stabbing capabilities are diminished quite a bit. The clip point knife shape features a much finer, thinner, and sharper tip. This means that while you do have your stabbing capabilities, your knife blade is much more likely to break or snap off if you try to use it in a more rugged setting. The drop point blade shape is the perfect option for the Bugout because it prepares you for almost any situation you could happen across. The drop point blade is also one of the most versatile knives, perfect for everyday use, because it features such a large belly. A blades belly is what you utilize when you are slicing or performing push cuts, which make up a high majority of cuts that you are going to use throughout your day. If you are in the market for an everyday knife, you should be looking for one with a large belly, which means the Bugout is going to be the perfect option for you.

This knife does sport a combo blade. This means that the upper 2/3 of the blade is a plain edge and the lower third is a serrated edge. The hype surrounding a combo blade is that you get the best of both worlds with it. You can perform your slices and detail work with the upper portion of your blade, but when presented with thicker materials, you also have your saw portion to get through them. The plain edge section is going to give you cleaner cuts; while the serrated portion is going to give you jagged edges. But, because serrated edges are most often used on ropes or branches, you won’t have to worry about the edges being clean. While many knife enthusiasts swear by a combo blade, because they feel prepare for any situation, another big chunk of knife enthusiasts worry that because the blade is smaller, you aren’t getting the best of both worlds. And, because each portion of the blade is even smaller, you aren’t able to effectively use either. Personally, I don’t think that it’s necessarily black and white like that. And, with the Bugout preparing you for most situations, I think the combo edge was the perfect option for this knife.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this Benchmade knife is made out of blue grivory. This material has been replaced as a replacement for metal. Grivory is used because it has high levels of stiffness and strength, it has little change in property values after absorption of moisture, it does not absorb moisture almost at all, and has really good surface quality.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife has been designed for tip up carry only, but it is reversible, meaning that it is eligible for either left or right hand carry. This is a deep carry pocket clip, which is a huge benefit in my kind. Deep carry pocket clips keep the knife much more secure inside of your pocket and you won’t have to worry about it jostling out as you go about your everyday activities. Another one of the perks that comes with a deep carry pocket clip is that it is easier to conceal in your pocket when you are carrying. This pocket clip is black, matching the rest of the hardware on this knife which contrasts nicely with the bright blue handle scales.

 

The Mechanism:

The Benchmade Bugout features an AXIS locking mechanism. This is 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.

This folding knife also features thumb studs to assist you opening the knife. This is arguably the most common one-hand-opening feature and is used by many knife manufacturers. A thumb stud essentially replaces the nail nick found on more traditional knives. The principle is pretty straightforward—you grasp the folded knife, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open. Once the blade is opened, the blade locks into place because of the AXIS locking mechanism.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.24 inches long with the Grivory handle measuring in at 4.22 inches long. The overall length of the Bugout knife when it is opened is 7.46 inches long. This Benchmade knife weighs in at 2.3 ounces, which is the perfect weight for your go to everyday carry blade. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Bugout is the latest installment to the Benchmade Blue Class Line and another notch in the belt for their ultra-lightweight models. Even though the profile is ultra-thin, its abilities remain pronounced with its premium stainless steel blade deployed effortlessly with the AXIS™ mechanism and the nature of the handle keeps moisture off and your grip tight. This Blue Class model, the 535S, features a blue polymer handle, partial stainless steel liners, a drop point style blade, which is partly serrated, in a satin finish and reversible deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for a left or right hand carry option. The combination of the durable steel, the traditional satin finish, and the drop point blade shape mean that you will be ready to take on the world with this knife. This bright blue handle is attractive and gives you a very secure grip on your blade in almost any situation. Pick up your Benchmade Blue Bugout Folder knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

Benchmade 51 Morpho Balisong Butterfly Knife Review

The Benchmade Knife Company is a knife manufacturer run by Roberta and Les de Asis in Oregon. Its products are geared toward many niche markets, such as outdoor sporting cutlery, rescue, law-enforcement, martial-arts, and military. The company has collaborated with a number of custom knife makers since its inception.

Benchmade started in California in 1979 as Bali-Song, changing its name in 1988 to the Pacific Cutlery Corporation. In 1990 the company moved to Clackamas, Oregon. In 1996, the company moved to Oregon City, Oregon. Benchmade became known primarily as a manufacturer of butterfly, or balisong-style knives, which it continues to manufacture. These knives have been so identified with the company that Benchmade has registered “Bali-Song” as a trademark and logo. Benchmade’s original Bali-Song design by Jody Samson was awarded Blade Magazine’s Knife of the Year Award in 1979.

As of February 2009, the company as employing approximately 150 people. Benchmade has had several years of growth and has expanded both the variety of knives it produces and the facility itself.

When Benchmade is talking about their mindset, they say, “For thirty years, Benchmade has been designing and manufacturing world-class products for world-class customers. When Benchmade was founded, the mission was to create something better; something exceptional. Today, we continue to innovate with the goal of taking performance and reliability to the next level. To exceed what is expected. Whether you are using a Griptilian for every day duties or taking the fight to the enemy with the Infidel, our knives are built to perform. When you choose to purchase a Benchmade, you do so because you want the best. You demand it. And programs like our LifeSharp Lifetime Service and Warranty are the foundation of our commitment to excellence. We live it and breathe it, and we know what you mean when you say: It’s not a knife. It’s my Benchmade.”

Today we will be going over the Benchmade 51 Morpho Balisong Butterfly Knife.

Benchmade 51 Morpho Balisong Butterfly Knife
Benchmade 51 Morpho Balisong Butterfly Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of D2 tool steel. This steel has high hardness and pretty high toughness which makes it an excellent choice in cutlery. This steel is not technically a stainless steel, because it falls just short of the chromium content, but it still does have high corrosion resistance. D2 has been around for more than 20 years, which in terms of metallurgy, is an eternity. Because this steel is so popular and has been for such a long period of time, you can expect this steel to be reliable and trustworthy.

This knife comes in two different styles of finishes, there is the coated finish and then there is a satin finish.

The blade has been coated black. Because the coating puts a layer of material in between the D2 steel and the environment, you don’t have to worry about your blade rusting. The coating definitely cuts down on maintenance. Pus, it gives this knife a sleek black look. The coating is a matte black, which cuts down on glares and reflections and matches with the handles of this knife. It also contrasts with the blue that pops up in the handle. The only unfortunate aspect of a blade that has been finished with a coating is that the coating is prone to scratching off after time and heavy use. Which means that if you want your knife to remain in good shape and to still benefit from the coating, the blade will have to be re-coated. Sometimes it is worth it, sometimes it isn’t. But because this is a nicer knife, it will probably be worth it to have it re-coated.

The other option that you have to finish this Benchmade blade with is a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive. The finer the sandpaper and the more even the lines, the cleaner that the blade is going to look. And because Benchmade is all about quality, you better believe that the blade looks very clean. The satin finish is a medium finish in terms of luster, and does work to cut down on rusting and corrosion slightly, although not enough to shirk your maintenance. The satin finish is the most popular finish in the cutlery industry today. The look it creates is a look that will never go out of style.

The blade has been carved into a spear point style. The spear point blade style is similar to the dagger blade, because they are both exceptional for piercing things. But, it differs from the dagger style blade because it’s point is stronger, more like a drop point than a dagger point, and it does have a small belly that you wouldn’t find on a dagger pointed blade. The blade shape is made of a symmetrically pointed blade with a point hat is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. Like mentioned, the spear point blade style differs from the needle point blade because it has a strong point that is sharp enough for piercing. The needle or dagger point blade has a sharper point, but it is also much weaker. This style of blade has been considered a hybrid knife style because it also contains a small belly that will be able to assist you in some cutting and slicing applications. If you were to compare this belly with the belly on a drop or clip point though, it would seem extremely strong. The belly on this knife is there to add an element of versatility, but the knife style was not designed to be an all-purpose blade like a drop point is. The spear point knife is a fantastic choice if you are searching for a blade that has both piercing and slicing ability, as well as a sharp, but strong point, along with a belly. The spear point blade style is the only knife blade shape that is going to offer you such a good balance between all of those things.

 

The Handle:

The handles on this butterfly knife is made out of skeletonized black G-10 handle scales with blue anodized and jeweled titanium liners.

G-10 is what is known as a grade of Garolite hat is a laminate composite that has been made out of fiberglass. This material has very similar properties to carbon fibers, but because it is slightly weaker than carbon fiber, it can be made and bought for a much more inexpensive price. And although it is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it does still have to be cut and machined into shape, which is not as economical as the injection molding process that is used in FRN handles. To make this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The resulting material is hard, tough, strong, and lightweight. Although, this material is known to be brittle. The G-10 on this handle is a matte black that matches the blade perfectly.

The liners of the handles are made out of anodized titanium liners. Titanium is a metal very similar to aluminum, although it is a more durable option than aluminum. IT is also heavier than aluminum, but is considered a lightweight metal alloy. And, although it is heavier, for the extra weight, you get a lot of extra strength. Out of any of the alloy metal handle options, titanium is the one that offers the best rust resistance properties. Strangely enough, titanium has a warm feel to it, so, if you are going to be mainly using your knife in the colder months, this option is a fantastic one. Titanium is considered a premium metal for a knife handle, but it is still prone to scratches, especially when being compared to stainless steel. Titanium is also sturdy, yet still “springy,” which is why you commonly see titanium used as a liner. The titanium on this knife has been anodized bright blue, which contrasts with the black handle.

The G-10 handles have long, oval cut outs going down the length of the handles. This is the portion of the handle that shows off the bright blue liners. All the hardware on this knife is silver, which matches the blade on the 51 version, but contrasts on the 51BK version of the Morpho butterfly knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This Benchmade knife is a butterfly knife, which is commonly known as a Bali-Song knife. This style of knife is a folding knife that has two handles that counter-rotate around the tang so that, when closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. This knife originated in the Philippines, where it was used as a self-defense and pocket utility knife.

You know that you are getting a high quality butterfly knife from Benchmade, because that is a rich portion of their history. In 1979, Les de Assis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives he played with as a kid. He assembled and finished his first Bali-Song in his own garage. The next year, Les incorporated as Bali-Song, Inc. and rented a small shop in California. He utilized the rudimentary technology that was available to him at the time and began building handmade custom Bali-Songs. The success of these custom Balis spurred the creation of the first production Bali-Song: The model 68. Throughout the next couple years, the company changed names a few times, and quickly expanded its product offerings. Although they now don’t only focus on butterfly knives, it was such a rich part of their history that their logo is still the butterfly. At one point, this company focused only on butterfly knives, so they have been around the block a few times. They understand what makes a phenomenal butterfly knife, and once you get using the Morpho, you’ll recognize that knowledge as well.

There are two styles of construction when it comes to butterfly knives, sandwich construction and channel construction. The Morpho is what is known as Sandwich constructed, which means that the knife was assembled in layers that were screwed together. This style of construction allows the pivot pins to be adjusted more tightly without binding. When the knife is closed, the blade rests between the layers.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4.25 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 5 inches long. When the knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 9.25 inches long. This butterfly knife is lightweight, measuring in at 3.3 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America, so you can feel proud to own, carry, and use this butterfly knife.

 

Conclusion:

Benchmade first got their start in 1988 and began with just butterfly knives (hence the logo) before diving head first into automatic, spring assisted, folder, fixed blade and rescue tools arena. Offered in multiple sizes and handle configurations, this lightweight model features a patented liner-sprung spring latch locking mechanism as well as next generation kicker pin technology which provides incredibly smooth action. Take it from us–this could quite possibly be the only balisong you ever need thanks to Benchmade’s incredible tolerances and a semi-custom look without the heavy price tag. This larger Blue Class model, the 51, features semi-skeletonized black G-10 handle scales coupled with blue anodized and jeweled titanium liners, a spear point style blade in a satin finish and the reversible titanium pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for a left or right hand carry option. This is a fantastic Bali-Song knife from a company that you know you can trust when it comes to Bali-Song knives. Pick up the 51 Morpho today at BladeOps.

 

Benchmade 3551 Stimulus Automatic Knife Family Review

The Benchmade Knife Company is a knife manufacturer run by Roberta and Les de Asis in Oregon City, Oregon. Its products are geared toward many niche markets, such as outdoor sporting cutlery, rescue, law-enforcement, martial-arts, and military. The company has collaborated with a number of custom knife makers since its beginning.

Benchmade started in California in 1970 as Bali-Song, changing its name in 1988 to the Pacific Cutlery Corporation. In 1990 the company moved to Clackamas, Oregon. In 1996, the company moved to a 144,000 square foot facility in Oregon City, Oregon. Benchmade became known primarily as a manufacturer of butterfly, or balisong-style knives, which it continues to manufacture. These knives have been so identified with the company that Benchmade has registered “Bali-Song” as a trademark and logo. Benchmade’s original Bali-Song design by Jody Samson was awarded Blade Magazine’s Knife of the Year Award in 1979.

Blade steels such as 154CM, D2, CPM S30V steel, CPM S90V, CPM 20CV, N680, and M390 are used in many models. Benchmade is one of the few manufacturers to have offered high speed M2 and CPM M4 tool steels in a production knife.

Benchmade receives a significant amount of revenue from selling restricted-sales knives to the military and law enforcement. Benchmade produces a diverse selection of “auto,” or switchblade knives, along with a range of hunting, fishing, utility, and miscellaneous knives, however balisongs remain a core product.

Benchmade has three different classes when it comes to their knives. The first class is the Blue Class, also known as the Recreation class. This type of Benchmade knife is made for typical use by the everyday person. The next class is the Black Class, also known as the Professional class. This type of Benchmade knife is made for military, law enforcement, and public safety workers. These are the knives made for more challenging work. The last class is the Gold Class, also known as the Collector class. This class of Benchmade knife is made for collectors and are limited edition.

Benchmade has a patent on the locking mechanism used in most of the switchblades they produce. Benchmade additionally holds an exclusive license on use of the McHenry/Williams AXIS Lock, which is a strong, spring operated locking mechanism that is used in both automatic and manual action models.

Benchmade has a long tradition of incorporating knife design from noted custom cutlery makers into their production models. These include Jody Samson, Ernest Emerson, Allen Elishewitz, Mel Pardue, Bill McHenry, Mike Snody, Jason Williams, Warren Osborne, and Bob Lum. Several production Benchmade models based on the work of these designers have become influential within the industry.

Today we will be going over the Benchmade 3351 Stimulus automatic knife family.

 

The Class:

This family of knives falls under the Benchmade’s Black Class. This is the class that is used by professionals when quality tools can mean the difference between life and death. From law enforcement and public safety to elite military troops, Benchmade feels that their obligation is the same. This is some of the best equipment for the job. The Black Class slogan is “Black Class: No Room for Error.”

 

The Blade:

BladeOps offers three versions of this knife design, and all three have a blade made out of 154CM stainless steel. This steel is a high end steel that is relatively hard. It has been regarded as an upgraded version of 440C; it is the superior steel because of the added Molybdenum, which is used to achieve superior edge holding when being compared to 440C, while also retaining similar levels of corrosion resistance. 154CM has good toughness that can stand up to the majority of tasks. When you have the right sharpening equipment and skill level, this steel isn’t too hard to sharpen.

There are two different finishes that you can choose from in this knife family. The first finish is a traditional satin. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive. The abrasive material that is most commonly used is a sandpaper. The finer the sandpaper is and the more even the lines of the sanding, the cleaner and sleeker the blade will look. This finish is designed to show off the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the fine lines of the steel. In terms of luster, the satin finish falls almost smack in the middle. This finish is also one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to come across, so if you end up choosing this version, you’ll know that your knife will never go out of style. The satin finish does help to slightly reduce corrosion on this blade, but that characteristic is not a noteworthy one of the satin blade finish.

The second blade finish option that you are presented with is a black coating. While most other finishes are actually changing the blade steel, a coating finish is exactly what it sounds like—a layer of finish is applied on top of the steel. This has its benefits; for example, coatings help to provide corrosion resistance because it adds a layer in between the steel and the environment. The coating option is also going to make your blade matte, which will reduce the chance of your blade giving your positon away due to reflections if you are in the field. However, the coating will scratch off eventually, either due to time or hard use. One the coating has been scratched away, you not only miss out on the sleek look that the blade once sported, but the benefits of a coating are also significantly diminished or removed altogether. If you want your blade to stay protected, you would have to have your blade recoated at that time.

The blades on these knives are carved into a spear point blade shape. This blade shape is symmetrical in that it is curved the same on either side of the spine which runs down the center. There is really no secret where this blade style got its name from. The design is often considered as a dagger and is the ultimate choice for a throwing knife. This blade style is often compared to the needle-point blade, because they are both good for piercing. However, the point on the spear point is much stronger and it does have a belly that can be used for some slicing. The spear point knife is a great choice if you are looking for a good balance between piercing and slicing ability. This blade style combines the sharp point of a dagger with the strength of a drop point blade, while still maintain some of the belly that is used for slicing. The spear point blade is considered a fantastic hybrid design that is very useful for a wide variety of different uses.

The Stimulus family of knives also offers the option to choose between either a plain edged blade or a combination blade. The plain edge is going to equip you to take on tasks that require push cuts. A push cut is where you push the blade into the material or object that you are cutting, and then push to continue the process. Some examples of push cuts are shaving, skinning, or peeling an object. The plain edge is going to be easier to sharpen because you don’t have to worry about the teeth. And because there are no teeth, the plain edge is going to give you cleaner cuts and slices than the combination blade would.

The combo blade is where the upper two thirds of the blade is plain and the lower two thirds is serrated. You can still do your fine detail work because of the plain portion, and you are also capable of sawing through some thicker materials with the serrated portion. This style of edge is designed to give you the best of both worlds. The biggest complaint with this style is that the two portions are actually too small to get any work done with either style.

Benchmade 3551 Stimulus Automatic Knife
Benchmade 3551 Stimulus Automatic Knife

The Handle:

The handle on this Benchmade knife is made out of 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is a very corrosion resistant metal as well as being low density (thus lightweight), which are two of the reasons that it is often used in knife handles. 6061-T6 is just the aluminum alloy name, which means that the type of aluminum used is 6061 and it has been T6 tempered. This alloy of aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. Unfortunately, aluminum does have high conductive properties, so if you are going to be using this knife in the winter, you should be prepared for how it will bite into your hand. Aluminum is also prone to scratches and dings.

The handles have been anodized black. Anodizing is used to increase the corrosion resistance of the aluminum handle by forming a layer of oxide on its surface. This process also makes the handle harder, less prone to scratches, and adds a sleek black color to the handle.

While aluminum can be slippery, Benchmade has carved in a couple of deep grooves on the face of the handle to help give you a more secure grip. The ergonomics of this handle also create a comfortable grip. The portion of the handle nearest to the blade flare out slightly for comfort and safety.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on these knives is black to match the anodized handle. It is designed for tip up carry only, which is a drawback. The clip is held in place by three small black screws which match the rest of the hardware on this knife. The only exception is the firing button, which is silver and the safety on the side of the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

The Stimulus family is a family of automatic knives. An automatic knife, or switchblade, is a knife that has a blade that springs out of the handle when a button is pressed. This looks like a regular folding knife, except that there is a firing button on the face of the handle. When this button is pressed, the tension of the spring is released back onto the blade and it flicks open automatically, with no assistance form the user.

Automatic knives do have a strict set of laws that surround them in the United States. They are not legal in all states, cities, or even areas. It is your responsibility, as the user, to know what your local knife laws are. This knife might be illegal to purchase or carry where you are living.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 2.99 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.11 inches long. When this utilitarian knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7.1 inches. This is a lighter knife, making it perfect to have with you at all times—weighing in at 2.7 ounces. This Benchmade knife is made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The best-selling original Benchmade 3550 Mel Pardue automatic knife was slightly modified in 2016–producing the new and improved Benchmade Stimulus auto knife. With increased reliability and improved access to the enlarged firing button, this true utilitarian tool certainly doesn’t sacrifice function for form. This Benchmade black class family has a variety of options to choose from. You can get your spear point style blade in either a satin finish or a black coated one. And you can choose between a straight edge or combination edge. These knives feature symmetrical black anodized 6061-T6 handle scales with an integrated safety on the spine near the location of the firing button. This classic automatic knife aims to please with its American-made 154CM stainless steel and the handle offers a slim profile and ergonomic grip. The pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only. Pick up your favorite version of this well-balanced, versatile Benchmade knife today at BladeOps.

 

Benchmade Mini Barrage Knife Review

Benchmade says, “Our knives are made of many things: steel, aluminum and titanium, to name a few. But perhaps the most important part of a Benchmade knife is expertise. We carefully measure every part at every step in the process. We use the best materials and equipment.”

Every blade begins as a sheet of steel. A laser cutting technician programs the laser to cut the steel into blanks, giving the blade its basic profile. The blanks are hammered out of the sheet by hand, and for the first time, the steel begins to look like a knife. The blanks are measured to make sure they meet specifications. Measurements are taken every step of the manufacturing process to guarantee an impeccable knife and streamline production. If a part isn’t “up-to-spec”, it doesn’t become a Benchmade.

This is where the blank is ground to its precise width. A surface grind technician places each blank in its rack by hand (racks vary by the number of blanks they can hold at one time), and each side is ground to its specified thickness. After grinding, the technician checks the thickness of each set of blanks. Tolerances are within the width of a human hair. They say, “Our knives have no room for error, and neither does a blank’s thickness.”

Blade holes, handles and grooves are cut on high-speed mills. For every job (or batch), the blade milling technician programs the mill and measures the blade or handle to make sure it meets our precise tolerances. Blades and handles differ from knife to knife, so the technician gathers a specific set of measuring tools for each job. One of the holes that is cut here is the blade pivot, which is crucial to the folding mechanism. The pivot tolerance is .0005 inches, because the slightest deviation there becomes exponential at the blade’s tip. Handles require the same precision in order to fit the liners and blades properly and ensure a smooth mechanism.

During milling blade holes, handles and grooves are cut on high-speed mills. For every job (or batch), the blade milling technician programs the mill and measures the blade or handle to make sure it meets our precise tolerances. Blades and handles differ from knife to knife, so the technician gathers a specific set of measuring tools for each job. One of the holes that is cut here is the blade pivot, which is crucial to the folding mechanism. The pivot tolerance is .0005 inches, because the slightest deviation there becomes exponential at the blade’s tip. Handles require the same precision in order to fit the liners and blades properly and ensure a smooth mechanism.

The next step is back sanding. This is where the back of the blade gets special attention. The sides of the blade have been beveled and milled, but the back has been relatively untouched since the original laser cutting. Each blade is attached to a custom fixture that fits the arm of a standing belt sander. The back-sanding technician sands the back of the blade until it is smooth. Every blade is back-sanded like this, one-at-a-time.

Finishing gives the blade a more refined look. The finishing technician stone-washes the blades in a ceramic medium to remove any burrs and give the blades a clean, polished appearance. The medium itself can vary in size and shape depending on the specific finish of the blade. For example, every 300 Axis Flipper blade endures the large stone-wash medium for two hours. When the blade is cleaned up, it is taken to laser marking to receive its one-of-a-kind Benchmade mark.

The last two steps are finishing and sharpening. It is through these steps that a Benchmade really begins to be a Benchmade.

Today we will be discussing a great Benchmade, the Mini-Barrage in grey.

 

The Designer:

The man behind this knife is Warren Osborne. Being raised in the farming and ranching industry taught Warren early on what great utility a quality knife can offer. How a knife feels in the hand over extended use, blade design/edge configurations, and the types of materials used are all mandatory considerations of an Osborne design.

 

The Blade:

The blade is made out of 154CM. This is a high end steel that is relatively hard. It is also usually considered an upgraded version of 440C through the addition of Molybdenum. This means that the steel is going to have extreme edge holding capacities, especially when compared to 440C. Even though it does have less Chromium, it still retains high levels of corrosion resistance. This steel as toughness that will hold up to most uses as well as holding an edge well. When you have the right sharpening equipment, it is not tricky to sharpen.

The finish on this blade is satin. The satin finish is one of the most common blade finishes in the cutlery industry today. The finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive. The finish that results is clean, classic, and helps to cut down on glares, reflections, as well as corrosion. With this blade finish, you will know that your blade will never go out of style.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. The drop point blade shape is a great all-purpose blade shape that is also extremely durable. The back edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow, curving manner, which gives you a lowered point. The lowered point is broad, which means that you are going to be able to better control this knife as well as getting a lot of strength from the tip. This Benchmade Mini-Barrage has been designed as an everyday carry knife as well as an outdoor knife. The strength from this tip is going to give you the qualities that you want in an outdoors knife, because it will be able to stand up to heavy use. Drop point blades also feature a very large belly that makes slicing a breeze. That is the feature of the knife that makes it a great everyday carry knife. The drop point blade only really has one disadvantage, which is its relatively broad tip. The broad tip is going to make it less suitable for piercing than the clip point. You do need to remember that the broadness is going to give you the strength that you want out of a knife though, so the broad tip is an advantage as well as a drawback. By having this knife, you are going to be prepared to take on a wide variety of tasks, whether it is your everyday chores, or whether you are in the outdoors and need a reliable companion.

 

Benchmade Mini Barrage
Benchmade Mini Barrage

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of grey, textured G10. The G10 is a material that has been made out of fiberglass. To make this material, the material manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin. The next step in the process is to compress them and bake them under pressure. Through this process, G10 becomes tough, hard, strong, but still very lightweight. Out of all the fiberglass resin laminates, G-10 is considered to be the toughest of all of them. G10 also has very similar properties to carbon fiber, except that because it is slightly inferior, you can get it for a fraction of the cost. And while it is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it does still have to be cut and machined into shape, which is not as economical as the injection molding process used FRN handles.

G-10 is easily textured, which provides a secure and comfortable grip. Outdoors knives will benefit from the G-10 qualities because it is durable, lightweight, and still non-porous, which significantly cuts down on maintenance. The overall benefits to a G-10 handle is that it is going to be tough, light, and still durable. These are all great qualities for your outdoors knife as well as your everyday carry knife. The biggest disadvantage to a G-10 handle is that it is going to be brittle.

The handle is pretty classic. The belly of the knife has an elongated finger groove that is shallow, but still comfortable. The texture that Benchmade has added to the knife are grooves going across the width of the knife.

An added bonus to this knife is that it sports a lanyard hole on the butt of it.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is not a deep carry pocket clip, which is a little bit of a disadvantage. The clip can only be attached for tip up carry, but it is reversible for either left or right handed carry. Because it is reversible in this way, the knife becomes fully ambidextrous.


The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife. An assisted opening knife is a type of folding knife that uses an internal mechanism to finish the opening of the blade once the user has partially opened it using the thumb stud that is attached to the blade.

The knife has been equipped with thumb stud. This is arguably the most common one-handed opening feature that is used by Benchmade. A thumb stud replaces the nail nick that is found on the more traditional knives. This is a very straightforward mechanism to use. You grasp the folded knife, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud, and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open. A thumb stud is very easy to use, which is its biggest advantage. Some people complain that the stud gets in the way because it does protrude off of the handle. Another issue with the thumb stud is that it does put your finger in close range with the blade when you are opening your knife. There have been plenty of reports of someone slicing their finger when they were using a thumb stud to open their knife.

The knife is also equipped with the AXIS-Assist lock. 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. Easily opened, quickly and with one hand; this evolution of the AXIS® includes a spring that helps to fire the blade into the open position once the user pushes it beyond a certain point manually. The AXIS® lock also has the added benefit of “suck-back,” which encourages the blade to stay in the closed position. AXIS® Assist knives also feature integrated safety lock systems.


The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 2.91 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.100 inches. The handle measures in at 4 inches long with a handle thickness of 0.57 inches. The overall length of this opened knife measures in at 6.91 inches long. The knife weighs in at 3.87 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

The Barrage® is the first to feature the AXIS® Assist. They offer quick, one-handed opening and can be operated equally with either hand. The blade is strong, durable, and very rust resistant. The finish is satin, which is traditional and will never go out of style. It also helps with the corrosion resistance. The drop point blade is tough and all purpose. The light grey handle is very durable and low maintenance. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

 

Benchmade 417 Fact Knife Review

The Benchmade Knife Company is a knife manufacturer run by Roberta and Les de Asis in Oregon City. Its products are geared toward many niche markets, such as outdoor sporting cutlery, rescue, law-enforcement, martial-arts, and military. The company has collaborated with a number of custom knife makers since its inception.

Benchmade started in California in 1979 as Bali-Song, changing its name in 1988 to the Pacific Cutlery corporation. IN 1990 the company moved to Clackamas, Oregon. In 1996, the company moved Oregon City. Benchmade became known primarily as a manufacturer of butterfly, or balisong style knives, which it continues to manufacture. The se knives have been so identified with the company that Benchmade has registered Bali-Song as a trademark and logo. Benchmade’s original Bali-Song design by Jody Sampson was awarded Bale Magazine’s Knife of the Year Award in 1979.

Blade steel such as 154CM, D2, CPM S30V steel, CPM S9V, CPM 20Cv, N680 and M390 are used on many models. Benchmade is one of the few manufacturers to have offered high speed M2 and CPM M4 tool steel sin a production knife.

Benchmade receives a significant amount of revenue from selling restricted-sales knives to the military and law enforcement. Benchmade produces a diverse selection of “auto,” or switch blade knives, along with a range of hunting, fishing, utility, and miscellaneous knives; however, balisong’s remain a core product.

Benchmade has three different lases when it comes to their knives. The first class is the Blue Class, also knowns as the Recreation class. This type of Benchmade knife is made for typical use by the everyday person. The next class is the Black class, also known as the Professional class. This type of Benchmade knife is made for military, law enforcement, and public safety workers. They are knives for more challenging work. The last class is the Gold Class, also known as the Collector Class. This, as the name suggests, is made for collectors and are limited edition.

Benchmade has a patent on the locking mechanism used in most of the switchblades they produce. Benchmade additionally holds an exclusive license on use of the McHenry/Williams AXIS Lock, which is a strong, spring operated locking mechanism used in both automatic and manual action modes.

Benchmade has a long tradition of incorporating knife design from noted custom cutlery makers into their production models. These include Jody Sampson, Ernest Emerson, Allen Elishewitz, Mel Pardue, Bill McHenry, Mike Snody, Jason Williams, Warren Osborne, and Bob Lum. Several production Benchmade models based on the work of these designers have become influential within the industry.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel, which has been hardened to 58-60 HRC. This steel was designed by US based steel company, Crucible Industries. They designed this steel specifically for knife blades, with high-end kitchen cutlery and expensive pocket knives in mind specifically. Because of this, you can expect the highest qualities from your steel, and qualities that will make every day and tactical knife absolutely phenomenal. Crucible has added in Vanadium Carbides to this steel, which helps to bring out extreme hardness of the blade. This steel is also designed to resist rusting and corrosion effortlessly, so maintenance time with be much lower than a blade with another type of steel. This type of steel has been designed to have the perfect balance between hardness, toughness, and edge resistance. This combination is a hard balance to achieve, because the harder that the steel is, the less tough it is going to be. The extreme hardness of this steel help maintain the fine edge for long periods of time. However, the big drawback to this steel is that because of the extreme hardness, it is going to be harder to work with, especially sharpening it.

The blade has been finished with a stain finish, which is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with increasing levels of a fine abrasive. The most common abrasive that is used is a very fine sandpaper. As a key, the finer the sandpaper and the more even the lines, the cleaner the satin finish is going to look. Because this is a Benchmade knife, you can expect a very clean looking satin finish. The satin finish is one of the more traditional finishes that you are going to find, which creates a very classic look on this knife.

This is a spear point blade style, which is similar to the needle-point blade, because they are both good for piercing. However, the needle point and the spear point blade are different because the spear point does have a stronger tip and it does contain a slight belly that can be used for some slicing tasks. The spear point style blade has a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. The spear point blade is different than the needle point blade because the needle point has a very sharp but weak point, while a spear point knife has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. The spear point blade also has a lowered point that is easier to control which makes it good for fine tip work. Spear points are more versatile because they have a small belly hat can be used for some cutting and some slicing. But, if you are trying to compare this belly with that of a drop point or a clip point, it is going to seem extremely strong. The spear point is considered a hybrid design because it has a good balance between piercing and slicing ability, while also combining the sharp point of a dagger with the strength of a drop point blade, plus, it does have its small belly.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of black anodized 6061-T6 Billet Aluminum. Billet aluminum just means that the entire handle is made out of one piece of aluminum. This ensures that there are no weaker spots where the handle has been welded together. Aluminum is a low density metal that gives you a nice, hefty feel without actually weighting the knife down. This is a major benefit as a knife user, because you want to feel like there is the weight to back you up, but you don’t want to feel like the knife is weighing you down. The most common type of aluminum used today is the T6-6061 alloy, which gives incredible tensile strength. This name just means that it is made out of 6061 aluminum alloy and has been T6 tempered. When an aluminum handle is properly texturized it can give you a reasonably secure grip that is also going to be comfortable to use for extended periods of time. However, aluminum does have very high conductive properties, so if you were planning on using this knife during the winter, it is going to feel like it is biting into your hand. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to the stronger and more expensive Titanium, which is usually used on premium knives. The overall perks to having an aluminum handle is that it is going to be strong, light, durable, and resistant to corrosion. Unfortunately, it is also going to be susceptible to scratches and dings, it can be a little bit slippery, and it will be cold to hold in many environments.

Aluminum is often anodized to provide texture, strength, durability, as well as color. The Benchmade Fact has been anodized black, which is sleek and simple, matching well with the satin blade. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that corners the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosive resistant anodic oxide finish. Aluminum is ideally suited to anodizing. Anodizing is accomplished by immersing the aluminum into an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electric current through the medium. A cathode is mounted to the inside of the anodizing tank the aluminum acts as an anode, so that oxygen ions are released form the electrolyte to combine with the aluminum atoms the surface of the handle. According to anodizing.org, “Anodizing is, therefore, a matter of highly controlled oxidation—the enhancement of a naturally occurring phenomenon.”

The handle has grooves carved across the width of the handle spanning form the tip to the butt. This adds plenty of texture that you will never have to doubt this Benchmade knife when you need it most. There is a large finger guard, which will protect your finger in case of slipping. The handle has been skeletonized to cut down on weight and add a little bit extra texture. There are two shallow and elongated finger grooves that span the length of the knife on the belly of the handle. The spine of the handle is completely straight.

 

Benchmade 417 Fact
Benchmade 417 Fact

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a deep carry clip, which means that it will be easier to conceal deeply in your pocket. This comes in handy when you are choosing to use the Fact as a tactical knife, because you do not want people knowing that you have a knife. This deep carry pocket clip will be an advantage when you are using it as an everyday carry knife, because it will be kept snugly inside your pocket as you go about your day to day activities. This is only a tip up pocket clip, but it is reversible for either left or right hand carry, which does make this knife a little bit more ambidextrous than it would be.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual knife that has been equipped with the Benchmade AXIS lock and a thumb stud to help assist you in opening it. The AXIS lock is a Benchmade exclusive, this is a 100 percent ambidextrous design that 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. The lock engages a ramped tang portion of the knife 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 wedges solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS bar itself.

The thumb stud is one of the most common one handed opening mechanisms and is very simple to sue. The only drawback is that it does put your hand in the way of the blade during opening. Keep this in mind and use caution as you get used to his opening mechanism.

 

The Specs:

This knife has a blade that measures in at 3.95 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.110 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.77 inches long, with a handle thickness of 0.48 inches. The overall length of this knife measures in at 8.72 inches long. This Benchmade knife weighs in at 3.24 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

Benchmade says, “This minimalist masterpiece won’t get in your way, but will be there when you need it, and that’s a FACT.” The CPM S30V steel is strong, durable, and very corrosion resistant. It maintains its edge, so the maintenance on this knife is very low. The satin finish is the most common blade finish, giving you a very classic look. The blade has been carved into a spear point blade, which is a great hybrid design. The blade is going to be low maintenance, durable, and able to take on your day to day tasks, while also using this for your everyday knife. The handle is made out of aluminum, which is durable, strong, and corrosion resistant. The handle has been intensely textured so that you don’t have to worry about slippage. The AXIS lock helps to make this knife fully ambidextrous. You can pick up this brand new knife today at BladeOps.

Benchmade 5750BK Mini Auto Presidio II Knife Review

The history of Benchmade dates back over thirty years. The Benchmade that we all love and know is the product of many dedicated employees, a never-quit demand for excellence and the de Asis family’s vision and total commitment to culture, service, and innovation.

The story all began in 1979 when Les de Assis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives he played with as a kid. Using his high-school shop skills, he blueprinted his dream knife before eventually meeting Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali-Song prototype. He finished his new knife in his own garage before taking it to a local gun store where the owner asked if Les could build 100 more.

In 1980, Les incorporated as Bali—Song, Inc. Utilizing the rudimentary technology available to him at the time, Les began building handmade custom Bali Songs, along with Jody Sampson, who ground all the blades. The success of these custom Balis spurred the creation of the first production Bali-Song: The Model 68.

Throughout the next seven years, the company expanded from just butterfly knives to fixe blades and conventional folding knives. The name even changed from Bali-song, Inc. to Pacific Cutlery Corp.

In 1987 Pacific Cutlery Corp filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved. The next year, Les reintroduced a new company and new version of the Model 68; this time with a drive to produce product in the US and an even stronger commitment to product availability, quality, and customer relationships. The new name was Benchmade, because he was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products.

To this day Benchmade continues to focus on innovation, customer needs, responsible business ethics and operations to bring the highest quality products to the world’s elite.

Today we are going to be discussing the Benchmade 5750BK Mini Auto Presidio II.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Mini Auto Presidio II is made out of CPM S30V. This steel is made by the United States based steel company named Crucible. This steel has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. This steel was designed in the US and is typically used for the high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. Because it was specifically designed for cutlery, you can expect all of the best qualities for a knife. Crucible has added in vanadium carbides to the steel, which brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. Dollar for dollar, this steel is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness and toughness. One of the only disadvantages to this steel is that because of the hardness, it is pretty hard to sharpen. This shouldn’t be a huge deterrent, but if you are a beginner sharpener, I would not recommend trying to give this blade a fine edge by yourself.

The blade on this knife has been coated black. There are a couple of major advantages when it comes to a coated blade. The point of a coated blade is to prolong the knife of the steel. The coating prolongs the life of the blade by creating a barrier in between the steel and the environment, which increases the ability to resist rusting or corrosion. The coating also cuts down on reflections and glares, which is key if you are ever in a tactical or survival situation. The coated blade also has a very sleek look, which is purely for aesthetic.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is the most popular blade shape today in the cutlery industry. This blade shape is versatile and tough. The drop point blade shape is formed by having the unsharpened edge of the knife run straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. It is this lowered point that provides more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip pint, it is much stronger. It is also because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use that makes a drop point blade such a great option on a tactical and survival knife. Because of the lowered tip, the drop point blade is easily controllable, which makes it ideal for fine tip work or detail work. One of the reasons that this blade shape is so versatile is because of the large belly area that makes slicing a total breeze. There is one major disadvantage to the drop point blade, which is its relatively broad tip. This broad tip makes the blade less suitable for piercing than the clip point. You do have to remember that it is this broad tip that gives the blade the characteristic strength that you have grown to love in a drop point blade. When you choose this knife, you are preparing yourself for almost any situation, whether it is your everyday day duties or a self-defense situation, this knife has your back.

This knife sports a plain edge, which allows you to take on a wider variety of tasks. The plain edge is easier to sharpen and you can get a finer edge on it. Lastly, the plain edge will give you much cleaner cuts.

 

Benchmade 5750BK Mini Auto Presidio II
Benchmade 5750BK Mini Auto Presidio II

The Handle:

The handle is made out of black anodized 6061-T6 Billet aluminum.

Billet aluminum just means that the entire handle is made out of one piece of aluminum. This guarantees that there are no weaker spots where two pieces of aluminum have been welded together. Billet aluminum is more durable, stronger, and all around better when it comes to the knife world.

Aluminum is a very low-density metal that is often used in knife making because of how corrosion resistant it is. Aluminum is a softer metal, so it is primarily used for knife handles instead of other pieces of the knife. The most common aluminum alloy used is the 6061-T6, which means the type of aluminum is 6061 and it has been T6 tempered. This type of aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. Often times, aluminum is considered to be inferior to titanium aside from its lightness. This is because aluminum is cheaper to machine and produce than Titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. However, when producing complex knives that require a large amount of CNC machining, such as the case with this brand new Benchmade tactical knife, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less, which puts it in the bracket above titanium.

The aluminum has been anodized black. By definition, anodizing is “a process to electrolytically coat a metallic surface with a protective or decorative oxide.” The anodic coating consists of hydrated aluminum oxide and is considered resistant to corrosion and abrasion. Unlike most other finishes, anodizing preserves the natural luster, texture, and beauty of the metal itself. The anodized coating is hard, durable, will never peel, and under normal conditions, will never wear though.

The handle is a pretty typical handle. The spine is curved slightly to fit into your hand better. The bottom of the handle is also curved inwards to give you the most comfortable grip that it can provide. Because of this inward curve, the handle does sport a slight finger guard, which is there to protect your fingers from getting cut in case of slipping when you are using this knife. The butt of the handle is mostly rounded, but does have a slight point to it. Benchmade knows how important grip can be when it comes to a tactical knife, so they have manufactured a series of diagonal grooves across the face of the handle. These grooves create enough texture that you won’t have to worry about the handle slipping out of your hand during use.

A bonus about this knife is that there is a small lanyard hole coved into the top of the butt of the knife. This allows you to keep the knife close by without it getting in the way, gives you a quicker way to pull this knife out of your pocket, and gives you a medium to add a touch of your own style to this sleek knife.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a deep carry pocket that is designed for tip up carry only. However, it is reversible for either right or left hand carry, which helps to make this knife more ambidextrous. Because it is a deep carry knife, you are going to be able to more effectively conceal this knife in your pocket. The Mini Auto Presidio II has been designed as a tactical knife, so concealing it is a big advantage. Plus, the deep carry clip will keep the knife snug in your pocket throughout your day as you move around.

All of the hardware on this knife is black, which creates a very sleek, all-black knife. From the blade, to the handle, to the hardware.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife, or a switchblade. Automatic knives have a strict set of laws surrounding them in the United States, which make them illegal in many states, cities, and areas. It is your responsibility, as the user, to know your local knife laws before buying, owning, or carrying this knife. BladeOps is not responsible for what happens if you do not obey your local laws. Some of the advantages to an automatic knife is that this knife is going to open quickly and efficiently. Plus, because it is a fully automatic knife, you can easily deploy the blade with only one hand. These are all major advantages when it comes to this brand new tactical knife. You are going to be able to bring it into play and open it up quick enough that you will be able to defend yourself quickly. However, there are a few disadvantages to an automatic knife. For starters, they are harder to clean. Because much of the mechanism is internal, to really get everything clean, you have to take apart the knife. Secondly, because the function is fully automatic, if a piece of the mechanism breaks, you are out of luck for the knife to keep working properly.

The locking mechanism on this automatic knife is the Automatic AXIS. 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 postponed 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. When talking about the Automatic AXIS lock, Benchmade says, “Auto AXIS—Strong, reliable, fast, and AXIS lock through and through, this locking mechanism fires the blade open 100% mechanically when the AXIS bar is pulled downwards. Auto AXIS also features integrated safety mechanism and the added safety of ‘suck-back.’”

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.2 inches long, with a thickness that measures in at 0.114 inches. The handle measures in at 4.34 inches long, with a thickness of 0.56 inches. When this knife is opened, it measures in at 7.48 inches long. This Benchmade knife weighs in at 4.133 ounces.  This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

This is a combat legend that received significant ergonomic and performance upgrades. The mini version of the Auto Presidio is faster, better, stronger, and lighter. Come pick up this brand new tactical knife today at BladeOps.