Benchmade Torrent Spring Assist Knife Review

Benchmade has a rich history that dates 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. Benchmade really began when Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives. He used his high school shop skills and blueprinted his dream knife. He assembled and finished his first Bali-Song in his own garage. When it came time to pick a name for the company he recognized that 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 had 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 positon in the market—even to this day. 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.

For over 25 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 flight to the enemy with the Infidel, their 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 their LlifeSharp Lifetime Service Warranty are the foundation of their commitment to excellence. They live it and breathe it, and they know what you mean when you say: It’s not a knife. It’s my Benchmade.

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 sue the bets materials and equipment. They make world class knives for world class users through an eight step process. The process starts at laser cutting, then moves to surface grinding and blade and handle milling, the next step is beveling, then on to back sanding and finishing. To finish the whole process off the knives they move to assembly and sharpening.

May is Benchmade month at BladeOps. To celebrate, we care going over different knives every day and today is the Benchmade Torrent Family of knives. With this family of knives, you have a wide variety of options to choose from with the different characteristics of the knives.

 

The Blade:

The blade has been carved out of 154CM steel. This is a high end steel that is relatively hard. This steel formula is considered an upgraded version of 440C through the addition of Molybdenum. This addition achieves superior edge holding compared to 440C while retaining similar excellent levels of corrosion resistance despite having less Chromium. This steel has decent toughness that is good enough for most uses and holds an edge well. 154CM steel is not too difficult to sharpen when you have the right equipment. You will find a lot of quality pocket knives that use this type of steel.

There are two different finishes that you can choose form in this family of knives. The first is the satin finish and the second is the coated finish. The satin finish is created by sanding the blade in one direction with increasing degrees of a fine abrasive, which is normally a sandpaper. The satin finish really shows the bevels of the blade, showcase the lines of the knife, while also reducing its reflective glare. The finer the abrasive and the more even the lines; the cleaner the satin finish blade looks. This is one of the more traditional blade finishes that you are going to find.

The second option of a finish is the coated finish. This is a black finish that reduces the reflection and glare while reducing wear and corrosion. However, all coating finish can and will be scratched off after continuous heavy use. At that point, the blade has to be refinished. A quality coating can add cost to the knife but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance. The coating finish can also prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust.

The blade shape on this family of knives is a drop point blade shape. This is a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to anything. A drop point blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes in use today and the most recognizable knife that features a drop point is the hunting knife, although it is used on many other types of knives as well. To form the blade shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, creating a lowered point. This lowered point provides roe control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blades are popular on tactical and survival knives. And because the point on a drop point blade is easily controllable, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidently nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. One of the reason that a drop point blade shape is so versatile is because they feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. Drop point blades really only have one disadvantage and it is that the drop point blade is its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point. When you choose a knife like the Torrent that sports a drop point, you will be choosing great all-purpose blade that can be used in man situations, whether they are expected or unexpected.

With the Torrent Family, you are also presented with two different blade edges. You can choose from a plain edge and a serrated edge. The plain edge is going to excel at push cuts, slicing, skinning and peeling. The plain edge is going to be the easiest to sharpen out of the two options. The serrated edge is going to be ideal if you are going to be working with thicker materials. The teeth of the serrated edge is going to be ideal for sawing through those thicker and tougher materials. But, the teeth make for a much more uneven cut. The cuts of a serrated edge tend to be a jagged cut.

Benchmade 890BK Torrent
Benchmade 890BK Torrent Assist Knife

The Handle:

The handle on this family of knives has been made out of G10. G10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. It has very similar properties, although slightly inferior, to carbon fiber yet can be had for almost a fraction of the cost. The manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks tem 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. And 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 G10 is designed to look like wood, but it is black. There has been enough grip added that you will have a secure hold on it in most circumstances. On the bottom of the handle, there is a lanyard hole. This lanyard hole is very useful to tie on a piece of rope, leather, or some other line through to form a retention method. This also comes in handy for taking your knife out of your pocket. Since the Torrent family of knives is designed to be an everyday carry type of knife, the lanyard will really only come in handy to keep your knife close, have an easy withdrawal, and to add a little bit of personal style to your blade.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is a deep carry pocket clip that has been designed to attach tip down.

 

The Mechanism:

This family of knives is a manual opening knife that uses a thumb stud to assist in your opening. The thumb stud is arguably one of the most common one handed opening feature. 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 opened.

This knife also features a liner locking mechanism.

This knife features a liner locking mechanism. Liner locks are one of the more common mechanisms seen on folding knives. This mechanism’s characteristic component is a side spring bar located on the same side as sharp edge of the blade, “lining” the inside of the handle. When the knife is closed, the spring bar is held under tension. When fully opened, that tension slips the bar inward to make contact with the butt of the blade, keeping it firmly in place and preventing it from closing. To disengage a liner lock, you have to use your thumb to push the spring bar down towards the pocket clip so that it clears contact form the butt of the blade. This lets you sue your index finger to push the blade just enough so that it keeps the bar pushed down so you can remove your thumb form the blade path, then continue to safely close the knife. Liner locks are beneficial in that they allow a knife to have two true handle side, unlike a frame lock. You can close the knife with one hand without switching grip, ideal for when you need both hands on the job. You’ll find liner lock in both entry level and high end knives. It’s a lock type that appeals to both knife newbies and enthusiast alike. If you’ll be using your knife for heavy duty tasks, you should know that liner locks typically aren’t as robust as other locking systems. They’re still plenty strong, but because they’re typically made form a thinner piece of metal, they’re more prone to wearing out compared to a beefy frame lock.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.60 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.100 inches. The overall length of this knife is 8.2 inches long with a closed length of 4.60 inches long. The handle on this knife is 0.60 inches. The Torrent family weighs in at 3.5 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

The Steigerwalt design knife has a 154CM stainless steel drop point blade with a plain edge or combo edge and a satin or coated finish. The blade locks open with the modified locking liner. The modified drop point blade is simple to open, just push the thumb stud opener to get the blade started and the spring takes over and snaps the blade open nice and fast. The black G10 handles are comfortable to hold and look fantastic. The Torrent comes with a tip down pocket clip. It has a lanyard hole at the base of the handle. This family of knives will make you rethink what you want from your everyday carry knife. Celebrate Benchmade month and come pick up your Torrent today.

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Benchmade Freek Folder Knife Review

Benchmade was started because Les de Asis want to revamp the butterfly knives that he was used to playing with as a kid. He wanted butterfly knives to be made out of the latest materials and with the latest manufacturing technology. Les had taken a high school shop class, so he put those skills to work and blueprinted his dream knife. Later on in his life, he met Victor Anselmo, who helped him grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Butterfly prototype. Les finished this first knife in his own garage. Taking this prototype to a local gun store and asked the owner if he would build 100 more.

When Les started his first business, Bali-Song, Inc., he would build handmade custom butterfly knives, with Jody Sampson grinding the blades. These knives were wildly popular, evolving into the Bali-Song: The model 68. Throughout the next seven years, this company branched out and began design and producing fixed blades and regular folding knives. They also changed their name into Pacific Cutlery Corporation. Eventually this company filed for bankruptcy, but a year later Les introduced a new company: Benchmade.

Les chose this name because while there is “handmade” and “factory-made”, but he felt like his were in between these two groups. There were machines to make all of the parts, but Benchmade’s knives are put together by hand assembly. To this day, they keep up the Benchmade quality, so you know that each of your knives are getting attention. This is one of the key factors in why they are so great. Today, we will be talking about the Benchmade Freek.

The Blade:

The blade on this knife has been fashioned out of CPM S30V premium stainless steel. This steel was designed by Crucible to be specifically for knives, and not just knives, but for high end premium pocket knives and pricey kitchen cutlery. This means that this steel is going to offer all of the characteristics that you want out of your blade. For starters, this steel has fantastic edge retention. It also has high rust and corrosion resistance properties. Crucible added vanadium carbides to the steel, which help to harden the steel. Commonly in knife steels, if you get hardness, you lose toughness. Not with CPM S30V steel. It is surprising how much toughness and hardness that this steel actually has. Many people say that this steel is the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. When this steel first came out, it was definitely one of the most expensive steels that you could get. However, the market has expanded and newer steels have come out, so this price dropped considerably. I’m not saying that it’s a cheap option, but it’s cheaper than it once was. And you still get all of the great qualities that it offers. You can’t go wrong with CPM S30V premium stainless steel. One drawback to this steel is that it has been known to be tough on grinders. If this is going to be a problem for you, try searching for a blade made out of S35VN steel, which gives you all the same great qualities, but is a little bit easier to work with.

Benchmade designed this knife to be an everyday knife and an outdoors knife. The perfect blade shape to fit those two categories is a drop point style, so that is exactly what Benchmade did. Drop points are one of the most versatile knife shapes that you are going to find. They are strong, durable, and can take on almost any task that you happen to throw at it. So what exactly makes this shape so amazing? Let’s start with how it looks. The unsharpened, or back, edge of the blade run straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curve. This slow curve creates a lowered point. Because of the lowered point, you have much more control over your blade as you work with it. With this control, you can do more delicate work and not be worried about piercing whatever material you are working with. Another reason that you don’t have to worry about piercing anything is because the tip is actually more broad than other shapes, so stabbing is harder. Because the tip is broad and the point is lowered, the tip of this knife is going to be very strong. This makes it a perfect blade for an outdoors lover, because you are going to be encountering heavier tasks while camping, hiking, or just being in the great outdoors. This blade shape is also the perfect option for your everyday carry knife, because a drop point style blade has a large belly with lots of room for slicing. With premium steel and a versatile blade shape, you are going to be able to take on any challenge that comes your way, whether it’s expected or completely unexpected.

Benchmade 560 Freek
Benchmade 560 Freek

The Handle:

The handle is made out of warm gray grivory with a black Versaflex over mold. Grivory is a unique material. The scientific definition for grivory is “a subset of thermoplastic synthetic resins in the polyamide family defined as when 55% or more moles of the carboxylic acid portion of the repeating unit in the polymer chain is composed of a combination of terephthalic and isophthalic acids.” That definition might help some of you guys out, but when I read it, I am still just as confused. The simpler version is that Grivory is a form of fiberglass reinforced nylon. It is actually very similar to the FRN that Spyderco has developed. This material has a higher chemical resistance than other plastics and some metals. It also has a higher strength and keeps its stiffness at extreme temperatures. This material also has a higher resistance to warping than most materials that you are going to come across. Plus, Grivory is pretty resistant to absorbing moisture. Because it is less likely to absorb moisture, it is going to require a lot less maintenance. The Grivory on this handle has a black, textured over mold made out of Versaflex to add grip.

 

The Mechanism:

The Freek sports an AXIS lock. The AXIS lock was introduced to the world in 1988, having been designed by Bill McHenry and Jason Williams. Benchmade actually bought the rights of this mechanism and that is when it was named the AXIS lock. This locking mechanism has been patented by Benchmade, so you will only find the AXIS lock on a Benchmade knife. This type of locking system stands out because it is very easy to use with only one hand, and it’s totally ambidextrous. So how does it work? The lock has been made up out of a spring tensioned bar that can slide back and forth on a track that lies inside the handle. These tracks have actually been cut into the handles on the Freek. On the butt end of the blade, there is a flat sport that lets the spring-tensioned bar to lock into place when the knife is opened. To close this style of locking mechanism, you pull the bar back towards the knife and then fold the blade closed. Because this bar is accessible from either side of the knife handle, you can open and close it with either hand easily. There are some drawbacks to having this style of locking mechanism. One of these drawbacks is that there are lots of moving parts involved in the system, so it can be tricky to disassemble if you want to clean or maintain it.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The handle on this knife features a reversible, tip up pocket clip. This means that the knife has been drilled to carry the knife with either your left or right hand. The reversible pocket clip and the AXIS lock means that this knife is completely ambidextrous. However, the Freek has only been drilled to carry your knife tip up.

 

The Pros of the Benchmade Freek:

  • The steel on this knife is a premium stainless steel.
  • The steel on this knife has fantastic corrosion resistance properties.
  • The steel on this knife maintains its edge very well.
  • The steel on this knife has a great balance between hardness and toughness, which is harder to find than you would think.
  • This knife is designed to be an everyday knife and an outdoors knife.
  • The blade shape is drop point, which is one of the most versatile blade styles.
  • The drop point has a great belly, so slicing will be easy for you.
  • The tip is broad and lowered, so you plenty of strength behind it—you’ll be able to do the harder tasks.
  • The Grivory handle is strong, resistant to warping, and pretty resistant to absorbing moisture.
  • The handle has a Versaflex over mold to add texture and grip.
  • Sports an AXIS lock, which is completely ambidextrous.
  • The pocket clip is reversible, so the knife is totally ambidextrous.

 

The Cons of the Benchmade Freek:

  • The steel chosen for this knife has been known to be a little tricky to sharpen.
  • Although it is a premium stainless steel, you still are going to need to maintain your blade and make sure that there is no moisture when storing it.
  • The drop point shape is not great for stabbing or piercing.
  • The pocket clip is only drilled to carry your blade tip up.

 

Conclusion:

Benchmade has been a reliable knife company for many years now. Even though they started out only designing and producing Bali-Song, or Butterfly, knives, they quickly branched out to designing other styles of knives as well. These other styles of knives quickly excelled in the knife community. Benchmade has been around the block a few times and they really do know what they are doing when they design and create new knives.

Something that sets Benchmade apart from their competitors is that their knives are not handmade, nor factory made, but bench made. This means that the parts are made like a factory knife, but then each knife gets special attention while it is being assembled. This means that you can feel confident that your knife has been looked at and approved by a person, not just assembled in a line. Each knife has been finished to perfection.

Benchmade’s knife, the Freek, has been designed perfectly. To start out with their knife, Benchmade chose CPM S30V steel, which is a superior stainless steel that sports the perfect balance between edge retention, toughness, and hardness. This means that the steel will need less maintenance and steel retain its high qualities. To complete the perfect blade, Benchmade decided to pair the superior steel with a versatile blade shape, the drop point. This drop point blade has a great belly for slicing and a broad, lowered tip for strength and control. This means that you can perform heavier duty tasks and not have to worry about your tip breaking, but you can also perform intricate cutting detail while working with this blade. A perfect blade needs a perfect handle, so Benchmade chose to use Grivory as the base of the handle. This material is pretty resistant to warping, high temperatures, and absorbing moisture. But, not only that, but Grivory also is more resistant to chemicals than other materials and Grivory has a higher strength to it than most other materials, including not only plastics, but some metals. As a finishing touch to the handle, Benchmade chose to put a Verflex over mold to add texture and provide you with a more secure grip. To complete the handle, they added an AXIS locking mechanism. This mechanism is completely ambidextrous and reliable. However, it can be hard to dismantle if you are trying to clean or maintain it. To finish off this knife, Benchmade chose to use a reversible, tip up pocket clip. Because the knife has been drilled to carry either left or right handedly, the Freek is one hundred percent ambidextrous. Finding such a perfectly ambidextrous knife is harder than it would seem like.

Benchmade knocked it out of the park with this knife.

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Benchmade Boost Spring Assist Knife Review

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

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

The Blade:

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

Benchmade 590 Boost Knife
Benchmade 590 Boost Knife

The Mechanism:

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

The Pros of the Benchmade Boost:

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

 

The Cons of the Benchmade Boost:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Benchmade Phaeton OTF Knife Review

Heckler and Koch, or H&K, is the leading company of firearms today. They have a rich history that started with turmoil but a dynasty was quickly built. They have been producing many firearms for decades now. While they have the machinery and necessities to build great firearms, they wanted to broaden their supplies. They formed a collaboration with Benchmade because Benchmade has been creating fantastic knife designs for years. With these two leading companies, they created many innovative knives. Their collaboration contract stated that Benchmade could keep the designs that came out of it, but H&K got to put their brand name on it. This would widen their audience but provide an excellent knife. These knives were designed to be high quality, yet affordable knives for first responders, police, military, and the common citizen. These knives have gained a wide following.

Recently this partnership came to a conclusion.  Benchmade doesn’t follow the common quote, “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke”, because the H&K Turmoil definitely wasn’t in need of fixing, but Benchmade decided to improve and upgrade18 it anyways. And I am so pleased that they did. The Turmoil was already an excellent knife that could meet the demands thrown at it. They switched up the blade and the handle and created a masterpiece. This new knife is called the PHAETON.

Benchmade Phaeton OTF Knife
Benchmade Phaeton OTF Knife

The Blade:

The steel of the Turmoil is D2 steel. D2 is a suitable steel. D2 can stand up to tasks. D2 is a semi stainless steel that is hard and tough. D2 is a great steel, especially if money is one of your biggest concerns when searching for a knife. The PHAETON has an upgraded steel of S30V steel. S30V is a premium steel used on high end knives. S30V is a hard and tough knife. It has actually been known to be tough on grinders, which means that it is going to hold a better edge than D2 will and it will hold its edge for longer than D2 would have. S30V steel was produced by Chris Reeve and Crucible Steel, which is a New York based steel manufacturer. This kind of steel as actually specifically produced for use on knives and is most commonly used in high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. This means that it is going to have high corrosion and rust resistant properties, making it an excellent steel for tactical and survival knives, because you never know what environment you are going to be in during these scenarios. This is a hard and tough steel that can definitely take a beating. This is a more expensive steel than the D2 is, so the PHAETON knife is going to be more expensive than the Turmoil is. However, this upgrade is worth every single dollar because S30V offers higher quality characteristics than D2 could ever give you. This new knife will be able to stand up to harder beatings, longer periods between sharpening, and more extreme scenarios than the Turmoil ever could have.

The blade is cut into a drop point shape. This is the most versatile knife shape around. Many people think that a drop point and clip point are very similar, however, a drop point blade is usually thicker, especially near the tip. A drop point blade has a very broad tip, so it isn’t going to be a great knife for piercing and stabbing. But, that is basically the shapes only drawback, so it’s a pretty great shape. But, even though the broad tip does not offer good stabbing abilities, it offers fantastic strength to the tip and knife. Because of this strength, the blade makes for fantastic tactical or survival knife. The shape sports a pretty solid belly, so slicing is going to be an easy task. The easy slicing makes for a great every day carry knife, because much of your typical tasks include quick slicing. This shape is often times found on hunting knives, because the lowered tip gives control, so it is hard to nick any of the organs. This shape is the perfect shape for all purpose knives, hunting knives, tactical knives, survival knives, and everyday carry knives. It can take a beating and can perform almost any task that you throw at it.

The blade on the Turmoil was a good blade, it could take on most tasks and was relatively durable. D2 was a softer steel, so there was more maintenance required. Benchmade kept the fantastic blade shape and upgraded the steel to give you a truly premium blade. This is a blade that is going to take on the tasks that are thrown at it and last you a lifetime.

 

The Handle:

The PHAETON handle is still made out of T6-6061 anodized aluminum. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that works to add color to aluminum. If the process uses higher voltage, the process gives you a darker color. If the process uses lower voltage, the aluminum will result in being a lighter color. Aluminum is commonly anodized to provide color to the aluminum. The PHAETON has been anodized in either a black or dark earth colored handle. Aluminum is also anodized to add for hardness and protection. This is a light knife, but it looks hefty, not cheap or plastic-y. The aluminum will give you the feel of being study without requiring all of the extra weight. This specific kind of aluminum is one of the strongest aluminums that you can purchase. However, if not properly textured, this knife is going to be extremely slippery. On the Turmoil. There were a couple of deep grooves on the top and bottom part of the palm section of the handle. For the PHAETON, Benchmade decided to switch this up and instead do a checkered texture pattern at the portion of the handle nearest to the blade. Aluminum is very resistant to corrosion, so this handle is going to take less maintenance than others. There are a few drawbacks to having an aluminum handle though. For starters, this is going to be a cold material. That means if you are usually working in colder environments, this handle can start to feel like it is biting into your hand. Another drawback is that even when it is properly texturized, it is not going to give you as solid a grip as some of the other knife handle materials. Lastly, while it is a strong material, it is not going to be as strong as a Titanium handle, which would be more expensive.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a double-action out-the-front automatic knife. Like always, this is an automatic knife, or a switchblade. These aren’t legal in all states or areas in the United States. Before purchasing and most definitely before carrying, make sure you know your local laws. An out the front opening knife is a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is different than many knives where the blade folds out from the side of the handle. An automatic OTF knife has a blade that travels within an internal track, but it is released by a spring and button mechanism. A double action just means that the knife opens and closes with the button instead of a single action that just opens with it.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the PHAETON is 3.45 inches long. The blade is 0.112 inches thick. The overall length of this knife is 8.08 inches long, but when it is closed it is 4.63 inches long. The handle on this knife has a thickness of 0.47 inches. While this knife is pretty large, because of the aluminum handle, it only weighs 3.01 ounces.

 

The Extras:

This knife comes with a reversible deep-carry pocket clip. This means that you can carry your knife either left or right handedly. However, this is only a tip down carry. The deep carry means that it is going to be an easy knife to conceal in your pocket. It also means that it is going to be secure and snug in your pocket; you don’t have to worry about the clip slipping off and losing your knife. But, the deep carry also means that it is going to take a smidge longer to draw out of your pocket.

 

Pros of the Benchmade PHAETON:

  • The steel on this knife is extremely durable and will hold a fantastic edge for long periods of time.
  • The steel on this knife is very resistant to rust and corrosion, so it is going to take less maintenance.
  • This is a full stainless steel, instead of the Turmoil’s semi stainless steel.
  • The steel can take a heavier beating than most knives.
  • The shape of the blade is one of the most versatile blades.
  • The tip on the blade is broad, so it is stronger and can take a beating.
  • The tip on the blade is broad and lowered, so it is easily controlled.
  • The blade shape has large amounts of room for slicing.
  • This is a great knife for tactical, survival, and every day carrying.
  • The aluminum is a light material, keeping the weight of the knife down.
  • Can get the handle in black or dark earth color.
  • Aluminum is resistant to corrosion.
  • The handle is strong and tough.
  • Comes with a reversible, deep carry pocket clip—making it an ambidextrous carry knife.
  • Automatic knife, so it is going to open quickly.
  • Double action knife, so it opens and closes with the button.

Cons of the Benchmade PHAETON:

  • The steel is harder to sharpen than a softer steel.
  • Automatic knives aren’t legal in all areas, so this might not be a legal knife for you to carry.
  • This is not a tip up carry pocket knife.

 

Conclusion:

While the Heckler and Koch Turmoil was a great knife, the Benchmade PHAETON is an exceptional knife. What started out as a great design got even greater when Benchmade decided to revamp this knife and make it a higher quality knife. The Turmoil was a good knife, but it was designed to be an affordable knife to reach the biggest group of people. The PHAETON is designed to be the best. Benchmade started by upgrading the steel from D2 to S30V. This makes it stronger, tougher, and more durable. The edge will last longer and the blade is going to be able to take a bigger beating than previously. Benchmade decided to keep the same blade shape, and I’m glad they did, because a drop point is one of the most versatile shapes you can find. The broad tip is strong and is not prone to easy breakage. There is enough room to make slicing a breeze. The whole blade is extremely strong because of the shape. The handle comes in two color options. Benchmade decided to revamp the texturing and changed it from deep grooves to a smaller checkered pattern. This provides you with a more secure grip. The deep carry pocket clip allows you to safely and securely keep your knife in your pocket. While the Turmoil did its job and would have been a good option for your everyday carry knife, the PHAETON is an exceptional knife that can be your tactical, survival, or everyday carry knife choice.  You can find each of the different PHAETON OTF automatic knives available on our site, right here.

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Benchmade 32 Mini Morpho Bali-Song Review

Benchmade has a rich history that dates back over 30 years. Benchmade is the result of many dedicated employees, a never quite demand for excellence, and the de Asis family’s vision and total commitment to culture, service, and innovation. The story of Benchmade truly begins in 1979. It was when Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives that he played with as a kid. He had taken a high school shop class, so he used the skills that he had learned and blueprinted his dream knife before he eventually met Victor Anselmo. It was Victor who helped him grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali Song prototype. He paired the blade with handles that he had sourced from a small machine shop in California. With the two parts, he assembled and finished his first Bali Song in his own garage. He was proud of his creation so he took it to a local gun store and the owner asked if he could build 100 more.

When deciding on a name for this new company, Les realized that there was “handmade” and “factory made”, but 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.

Each of Benchmade’s knives go through a series of different steps. At each of the steps, the materials are carefully measured. During this process they use the bets materials and equipment because they are making world class knives for world class users.

The first step is a laser cutting step because each of the knives begins as a sheet of steel. The second step is a surface grinding which is where the blank is ground to its precise width. The third step is where the blades and handles get milled. This third step is where blade holes, handles, and grooves are cut on high speed mills. The fourth step is beveling which is when the blade really begins to take place. The fifth and six step is back sanding and finishing. Back sanding is where the back of the blade gets special attention and finishing is what gives the blade a more refined look. Finally, the knife goes through assembly and sharpening. All Benchmade knives are assembled by hand. A fun fact is that it takes longer to master blade sharpening than any other skill related to the Benchmade knife building technique.

Now you can see why Benchmade has such quality knives. At BladeOps, we celebrate May as Benchmade month. We will go over the different knives and why they are such a quality knife. Today, we are going to go over the Benchmade 32 Mini Morpho.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Mini Morpho has been carved out of D2 steel. This is considered a high end steel that is commonly referred to as a “semi stainless” steel. This is because it falls just short of the required amount of chromium to quality as full stainless, but it still provides a good amount of resistance to corrosion. On the other hand, D2 is a very hard steel, so while it does hold an edge for long periods of time, it is very tough to sharpen. With this type of steel, you do need to be a master sharpener to get a fine edge on your blade.

The D2 blade has been finished with a satin finish. This finish is created by sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. The key characteristic to this type of finish is how it showcases the lines in the steel so well. This finish provides you with a very traditional look. In terms of how reflective it is, it is a very medium steel. A mirror finish is going to be much more reflective than the satin finish and a matte finish is going to be much less reflective than a satin finish.

The steel has been carved into a drop point style. This is a fantastic blade style if you are looking for a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to anything. A drop point blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. One of the most common places that you are going to find a drop point blade shape on is a hunting knife, but you will also find it on other knives as well. To form the shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. It is this lowered pint that provides you with more control and adds strength to the tip. It is because of that tip strength and the ability for it to hold up to heavy use that makes this style of blade so popular on tactical and survival knives. And because the tip on the drop point blade is easily controllable, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. One of the many reasons why this style of blade is such a versatile option is because of the large belly area that is perfect for slicing. One of the other most popular blade shapes is the clip point blade shape, and it has been confused with a drop point style quite a bit. While they are both very versatile, popular, and have lowered tips, it is the tips that sets them apart from one another. The clip point has a much finer, thinner, and sharper tip. It is this tip that gives you the ability to pierce and stab with your knife, but it is also much weaker and prone to breaking when subjected to the heavier duty tasks. The drop point blade has a much broader point, and because of that, you have exponential strength to the tip. However, because of how broad the tip is, you cannot stab well with it. It is this broad point that is one of the only drawbacks to the drop point style blade. When you choose a knife, such as the 32 Mini Morpho, you are choosing a knife that is going to be able to be used in many different situations, whether they are the expected or unexpected.

The blade on the Mini Morpho has a plain edge. This edge is more traditional and can be sharpened much easier as well as being able to get a much finer edge. The plain edge can also be used for a wider variety of tasks. The plain edge excels at push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling.

Benchmade 32 Mini Morpho
Benchmade 32 Mini Morpho

The Handle:

The handles on the Mini Morpho are made out of G10. G10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. IT has very similar properties, although slightly inferior, to carbon fiber yet it can be had for almost a fraction of the cost. 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 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. To add texture to the handle, checkering and other patterns are added, making for a solid, comfortable grip. The production processes can utilize many layers of the amse color, or varying different colors to achieve a unique cosmetic look on the G10 handle. Tactical folder 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. And 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.

The handles are black, with rough texturing to provide you with a quality grip. The liners are blue anodized and jeweled titanium. Titanium is a great liner material because titanium is lightweight metal alloy and it offers the best corrosion resistance of any metal. While it is a little heavier than aluminum, it is so much stronger. This material is very sturdy and still feels “springy”, which is why it makes such a great material for liner.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is a standard pocket clip that allows you to carry your knife tip up.

 

The Mechanism:

The Mini Morpho is a Bali song, otherwise known as a butterfly knife. This type of knife is something that Benchmade excels at, because once upon a time, butterfly knives were all they had produced. Vance Collver has said that, “A Bali song can be best described as a “folding fixed blade”, as there is typically no mechanism. And with the exception of the modern spring latch, there are no springs incorporated in the design. All other locking folder designs require some sort of spring technology to function. with the Bali song, the handle is essentially just split in half down the middle. Each half is attached to the blade so it can pivot. This allows the tow handle halves to fold around the blade itself, action as a sheath, in a sense.

Collver goes on to explain that the user’s hand is essentially the lock for the split handle, and some type of latch keeps the handle halves from parting, though a latch is not necessary and the user’s grip maintains the position. When the knife is in use, both handles are gripped, which make the lock mechanism as strong as the user’s grip. There are no locks to fail other than letting go. All Bali songs are the same with the two handle halves pivoting at the blade tang, so the mechanism is more a question of what the best example are with this style knife. Darrel Ralph says that the considers the Bali songs one of the world’s strongest folding knives. He describes the pivot as equal parts simple and intricate. “the handles pivot on the blade independently”, he said. “This allows for offset, unique and crazy tricks or flips with the handles and the blade. The secret is to confident and always keep the safe handle—the handle that allows the back of the blade to ricochet of your hand—oriented properly as you flip.

The butterfly knife is also knowns as a fan knife. This type of knife was commonly used by Filipino people, especially those in the Tagalog region, as a self-defense and pocket utility knife. Hollow ground Bali songs were also used as straight razors before conventional razors were available in the Philippine’s. In the hands of a trained user, the knife blade can be brought to bear quickly using one hand. Manipulations, called “flipping”, are performed for art or amusement. You can also buy blunt versions of these knives, which are called “trainers”, to practice tricks without the risk of injury.

This type of knife is now illegal or restricted in many countries, often under the same laws and for the same reasons that switchblades are restricted.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.25 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.100 inches. When the knife is opened, it measures in at 7.35 inches long, and has a closed length of 4.39 inches long. The handle on the Mini Morpho is 0.44 inches thick. The Mini Morpho weighs in at 2.7 ounces.

 

The Conclusion:

When Benchmade describes this knife they call it, “a compact, lightweight Bali-Song with a great modern look and feel. The 32 brings layered style to the classic Bali. Made in the USA.” This knife features semi skeletonized black G 10 handle scales couple with blue anodized and jewel titanium liners, a drop point style blade in a satin finish and reversible titanium pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only, but is eligible for a left or right hand carry option. Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

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Benchmade HUNT Hidden Canyon Knife Review

The Benchmade story began in 1979 when Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology. He wanted this new knife to replace the cheap butterfly, or Bali-song, knives that he had played with when he was a kid. He had taken a high school shop class, so he used the skills that he had learned there to blueprint his dream knife. He later met Victor Anselmo, who helped him grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali-song prototype. Les paired this prototype blade with handles that he had sourced from a small machine shop in California. It was in his own garage that he assembled and finished his first Bali-song. He was proud of his creation and upon taking it into his local gun shop, the owner asked him if he could build 100 more. A year later, Les incorporated as Bali-song, Inc. and rented a small shop in a second story mezzanine in California. He purchased the original equipment form the owner of a manufacturing operation who was looking to retire. He utilized the basic technology that he had access to and began building custom Bali-songs. He built these knives along with Jody Sampson, who ground all the blades. It was the success of these custom Bali’s that spurred the creation of the first production Bali-song: The model 68. Over the next seven years, the company expanded its product offerings into fixed blades and conventional folding knives, and evolved its name from Bali-song, Inc. to Pacific Cutlery Corp. Seven years later, Les reintroduced a new company and new version of the Model 68. The company would now need a new name. He recognized that while there was “handmade” and “factory made”, it was really “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 anted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. Even to this day, it describes Benchmade’s position in the market.

Benchmade has a mindset of, “for over twenty-five 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.” They have a commitment to excellence and as they say, “We live it and breathe it, and we know what you mean when you say: It’s not a knife. It’s my Benchmade.”

You can trust Benchmade knives and I know that you will love Benchmade knives. Over here at BladeOps, we are celebrating May as Benchmade month. Today, we are going over the Hidden Canyon Hunter knife. This is actually a family of knives, meaning that you can choose a variety of different options in the different features of the knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel. This type of steel is made by Crucible, which is a US based company. While the official title of this steel is CPM S30V steel, it is often referred to as just S30V steel. This formula has excellent edge retention and can resist rust effortlessly. This steel was designed in the United states and is typically used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. They can bring the extreme hardness out of the steel alloy matrix because they have added vanadium carbides. 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. This balance is one of the hardest balances to achieve. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that it is very tricky to sharpen. A beginner sharpener will not be able to sharpen this steel formula.

The finish on this steel is a satin finish. This style of blade finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive. This abrasive material is usually a sandpaper. The key characteristic that accompanies this finish is that it showcases the lines in the steel. This blade finish provides you with one of the most traditional looks that you can find in blades. The satin finish does help to cut down on some glares and reflections, but it definitely is not a matte finish.

The steel on this blade has been ground into a drop point blade shape. The drop point blade shape is not only a fantastic all-purpose knife that has incredible strength behind it, it is also one of the best blade styles for a hunting knife. And one of the most common places that you are going to find this blade shape is on hunting knives. To form this blade shape, the back of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. It is this lowered point that is the first reason it is such a great option for hunting knives. The lowered point is easily controllable, which makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. And the lowered point does create a stronger tip. Because of the tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blades are popular on tactical and survival knives. This strength also helps to hold up to any hunting task that you might need to tackle. One of the next reasons that this blade shape is so great on a hunting knife is because drop point style knives feature a large “belly” area that is perfect for slicing. This belly will help skin and peel whatever you need. While there are so many benefits to the drop point blade shape, there is a disadvantage. The drop point has a relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point. When you choose a hunting knife that sports a drop point style blade, you will be equipping yourself with a tool that can assist you in any hunting situation, as well as almost any other situation you encounter.

Because this is a hunting knife, it does sport a plain edge. This is the more traditional edge that you will encounter and it is ideal for hunting. The plain edge excels at push cuts, peeling, skinning, and slicing: all things that you will encounter when you are trying to dress your game.

Benchmade Hidden Canyon Knife
Benchmade Hidden Canyon Knife

The Handle:

There are two different handle options that you can choose from with the Hidden Canyon Hunting knife. You have a G10 option and a Dymondwood option.

The G10 comes in a gray and black combo. This G10 has been designed to look like it is wood. G10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. It has very similar properties to carbon fiber, but you can get it for almost a fraction of the cost. 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 extremely tough, hard, very lightweight, and also strong. G10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger than Micarta. And while this material 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. Some people are worried that this material lacks elegance, but that is not an issue when you are in the market for a hunting knife.

The next option is a Dymondwood handle. And because this material has a base material of wood, it is a dark and light brown. Wood handles have been used since knives came into existence. A good quality wood handle is durable and attractive and wood is a relatively inexpensive material for heavy duty knives. Dymondwood is a type of stabilized wood, which means that the wood has been injected with plastic. To make this material, the manufacturer will inject polymer resin and then compress the material under high pressure to create a very dense and durable material that still exhibits its natural beauty. The Dymondwood material stands up extremely well to long term use and messy environments.

Both handle materials are textured to provide you with plenty of grip during those messy situations. There is a deep finger groove to give you a secure grip and keep your fingers safe. The rest of the handle does mold to your palm so that you can take on those long tasks without becoming uncomfortable.

In both versions of the handle, there is a lanyard hole. This is a fantastic option to secure your knife against loss and to add extra safety while you are using it. However, one of the best purposes to use a lanyard on the Hidden Canyon Hunting knife is to add safety when processing a large animal. When field dressing a large game animal, there comes a time when you’ll reach inside the cavity to cut the esophagus so the intestines can be pulled out. This is a messy, blood situation, which makes the knife handle slippery. A lanyard around your hand or wrist can prevent  your hand form slipping down the handle onto the blade.

 

The Mechanism:

Both versions of the Hidden Canyon Hunting knife are fixed blades. There are so many benefits to using a fixed blade as your hunting knife. For starters, they don’t break. This is because there are no moving parts on a fixed knife. Fixed blades are also easier to maintain, you don’t have to worry about the hinge as you do with a folding knife. And one of the biggest reasons to use a fixed blade for your hunting knife is because cleaning is straightforward and simple. All you have to do is wipe down the knife and you are good to go. When you are constantly using this knife for messy situations, such as dressing game, you are going to want easy clean up. And not only can you use this when you are hunting, but fixed blades makes for a superior survival tool because they can cut, dig, split, hunt, hammer, and even pry.

 

The Sheath:

There are also two different sheaths that you can choose from: a leather sheath and a kydex sheath. The leather is a very traditional option that has great aesthetics. Leather is a well-known material that looks exceptional, feels nice in your hands, and even smells good. Leather is also very quiet when you are putting a knife in and out of the sheath. However, leather is a natural material and will eventually become unusable.

The kydex sheath is a thermoplastic material that’s used to make holsters and other items. The greatest aspect of kydex is its durability. It can even be submerged in salt water without breaking down. But, kydex is unreasonably loud when you are taking out a knife. And, after repeated taking out and putting back a knife, the edge will dull.

 

The Specs:

This knife has a blade length of 2.67 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.140 inches. The overall length of the knife is 6.32 inches long. The handle thickness on these knives is 0.58 inches. The G10 version of the handle weighs in at 3.53 ounces, with a sheath that weighs 1.38 ounces. The Dymondwood handle weighs in at 3.19 ounces and has a sheath that weighs in at 1.06 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

This knife is a compact knife for those who are looking to save space, it is truly about as much knife as you’ll ever need for processing your harvest thanks to the large applied blade radius that excels at skinning and meat removal. This knife is also made in the United States of America. Help us celebrate Benchmade month and pick your favorite version of the Hidden Canyon Hunting knife up today at BladeOps.

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Benchmade 530 Pardue Folding Knife Review

Benchmade has a rich history that dates back to over 30 years. Benchmade is really the product of many dedicated employees, a never quit demand for excellence, and the de Asis family’s precision and total commitment to culture, service, and innovation. This is the story of Benchmade.

It was the year 1979 and the Benchmade adventure was really beginning. Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives that he played with as a kid. Using his high school shop skills, he blueprinted his dream knife before eventually meeting Victor Anselmo. It was Victor who helped to grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali Song prototype. Paired with handles that Les sourced from a small machine shop in California, he assembled and finished his first Bali-Song in his own garage. Proud of his creation, he took this first Bali-Song into a local gun store and the owner asked him if he could build 100 more.

In 1980, Les incorporated as Bali-Song, Inc. and rented a small shop in a second story mezzanine in California. The original equipment was purchased from the owner of a manufacturing operation ho was looking to retire. 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 Bali’s spurred the creation of the first production Bali-Song: The model 68. It was over the next seven years, the company expanded its product offerings into fixed blades and conventional folding knives, and evolving its name form Bali-song, Inc. to Pacific Cutlery Corp.

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. This company now needed a new name.

Les figure that 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 manufacture and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s positon in the market—even to this day.

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.

At BladeOps, we are celebrating May as Benchmade month. To celebrate, we are devoting our blog to Benchmade. Today, we will be going over whey the Benchmade 530 is such a fantastic knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the 530 has been cut out of a sheet of 154CM steel. This steel is a relatively hard steel which is considered an upgraded version of 440C through the addition of molybdenum. This achieves superior edge holding compared to 440C while retaining similar excellent levels of corrosion resistance despite having less Chromium. It has decent toughness good enough for most uses and holds and edge well. It is not too difficult to sharpen if you have the right equipment to do it. You’ll find a lot of quality pocket knives made out of 154CM steel.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the steel in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. This abrasive material is usually a sandpaper or something similar. The key characteristic of this blade finish is how it showcases the lines in the steel. In terms of how reflective this blade finish is, I would say that it is a medium level. A mirror finish is going to be much more reflective than satin, but satin is also nowhere near matte. The satin finish does work to cut down on glares and reflections that you are going to come across. This finish provides you with a very classic look that you aren’t going to find with other finishes.

The 154CM steel has been ground into a spear point blade shape. A spear point blade is very similar to the needle point blade in that it is good for piercing. However, its point is stronger and it does contain a small belly that can be used for slicing.  A spear point is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center of the blades 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. Spear point blades are commonly found on throwing knives. In contrast to the needle point blade which has a very sharp but weak point, a spear point knife has a strong pint that is also sharp enough for piercing. However, a spear point blade is only good for piercing if both edges are sharpened. The lowered point is easily controllable and is useful for fine work. Spear point blades do contain a small belly which can be used for some cutting and slicing applications, however, the belly is relatively small when compared to drop point and clip point knives. A spear point knife is a great choice for the knife enthusiast who is looking for a good balance between piercing and slicing ability. IT combines the sharp point of a dagger with the strength of a drop point blade, while maintaining some of the belly that is used for slicing. Overall, this is a great hybrid blade design that is extremely functional.

The edge on this knife is a plain edge. This is the most traditional edge style when compared to a combo edge or the serrated edge. The plain edge is the easiest to sharpen because it does not sport any of the teeth that make it tricky. The plain edge is also easier to get a finer edge. The plain edge on this knife will excel at push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling, which are the majority of the tasks that you will be looking to complete in a regular day or even when you are in the outdoors, which are the two purposes that this knife has been designed to complete. Some people worry that with the plain edge, you won’t be able to get through the tougher or thicker materials that you would saw through with the combo or serrated edge. While that is mostly true, when you get a plain edge sharp enough, it does have the ability to tackle those other tasks.

Benchmade 530 Folder
Benchmade 530 Folder

The Handle:

The handle on the 530 is made out of black Grivory. Grivory has been called “the proven material for metal replacement”. There is a variety of different formulas of Grivory, depending on what exactly you are looking for. The formula in each version is varied by the semi crystalline polyamides with partially aromatic content. You can range from very stiff, to low warpage, to impact resistance, and even with good flow properties. All Grivory’s are characterized by their high levels of stiffness and strength, the little change in property values after absorption of moisture, the low dampness and water absorption, good dimensional stability and low warpage, good chemical resistance, good surface quality, and efficient and economical production. Grivory is an amorphous nylon copolymer with exceptional dimensional stability. Benchmade uses a formula that has 505 or greater glass fill.

To provide you with phenomenal grip, there are wide rows of grooves that go across the width of the knife in the palm area of the handle. To provide you with a comfortable grip, the handle has been shaped to mold with your hand so that you can use this knife for long periods of time. While there is no finger guard, the top of the handle does flare out of protect your fingers from slipping and getting sliced. The butt of the handle also flares out to give you a solid grip on your knife, even in the toughest of environments.

There has been a lanyard hole drilled into the butt of the knife. While you might not need to use a lanyard if you are using this knife for your everyday knife, attaching a lanyard is a great idea if you are spending most of your time in the outdoors. For starters, the lanyard will help you secure your knife against loss. Another great reason to attach a lanyard onto your knife is so that you can be safer while you are using it. If you are using the knife in deep snow, or where there is the potential for dropping it in water or mud, tie a longer cord to the lanyard. Then tie the cord to your belt or run it through a button hole. This could keep you from losing your knife. Another reason to use a lanyard on your outdoors knife is that it gives you better visibility. If you happen to put your knife down while doing some tasks, you may lose it or forget where you put it. The easy solution is to tie a piece of bright material to your lanyard, giving you a better idea of where you knife is.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a reversible pocket clip, helping to make this an ambidextrous friendly knife. However, the handle has only been drilled to carry your knife tip up.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife that uses a thumb stud to assist you in the opening. The thumb stud is one of the most common one hand opening features. A thumb stud replaces the nail nick which is found on more traditional style knives. You 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.

The 530 sports Benchmade’s 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.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Benchmade 530 is 3.25 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.090 inches. The overall length of this knife is 7.42 inches long with a closed length of 4.17 inches long. The handle thickness on this knife is 0.37 inches. This knife weighs in at a small 1.88 ounces. This knife has been made in the United States of America.

 

The Conclusion:

The 530 Pardue series of folder knives is one of Benchmade’s lightest and one of the slimmest knives they offer–certainly making it the ultimate lightweight carry option. This Blue Class folder utilizes Benchmade’s AXIS system which provides fluid action and a rock sold lockup and is opened with the minimized ambidextrous dual thumb stud design. The handle is of a polymer nature, known as Grivory, which maintains its durability while minimizing the overall weight even with the incorporated stainless steel liners. This model, the 530, features a single edged spear point style blade in a satin finish as well as a pocket clip that is designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for left or right hand carry options. Come celebrate Benchmade month with us and pick up your Benchmade Pardue folding knife today. Happy shopping.

 

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Benchmade HUNT Big Summit 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. While there are “handmade” and “factory made” it was “Benchmade” that describes the quality of this product. The operation 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.

Benchmade’s knives are made of many things: steel, aluminum and titanium, to name a few. But they believe that 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 to make world-class knives for world-class users. They go through a process of laser cutting, surface grinding, blade and handle milling, beveling, back sanding and finishing, and assembly and sharpening to guarantee the best quality knife that you could ask for.

At BladeOps, May is Benchmade month. To celebrate Benchmade month, we are going over a different knife or aspect of Benchmade every single day. Today we chose to go over the Big Summit Lake knife. Let’s begin.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel. This is a premium steel that is made by Crucible. This steel has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was designed in the US and is typically used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of Vanadium Carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. And, this is where the V in the knife comes from. 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. One of the only drawbacks to this type of steel is that it is one of the harder steels to sharpen. Sharpening a blade with this type of steel is not recommended for beginner sharpeners. This steel has a hardness level of 58-60 HRC.

The finish on this steel is a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the steel in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. The key characteristic of this finish is that it works to showcase the lines in the steel expertly. This is one of the most popular blade finishes that is used on the market today and gives you a very classic look. This is a medium finish in terms of how light reflects off of it. While a mirror finish would have the light reflect much more, a satin finish is by no means matte. It also does work to cut down on glares and reflections to a point, but that isn’t what this finishes purpose is.

The Big Summit Lake has been designed to be a perfect hunting knife. To accomplish this, Benchmade had to choose the perfect hunting knife blade shape. They went with the obvious choice of a drop point blade shape. This is a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to anything and the drop point blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. One of the most common places that you will find this blade shape is on a hunting knife, and for good reason. To form the drop point blade shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. This lowered point is the first reason that the drop point style makes for such a great hunting knife. Because the point is lowered, you have much more control over the tip and because of this, it is easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. The lowered tip also creates a broader tip with plenty of strength behind it and that is the second reason that it makes such a good hunting knife blade style. And while the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because of the tip and strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blades are a popular choice on tactical and survival knives. The third reason that a drop point style blade is such a great shape for a hunting knife is because it features a belly area that is perfect for slicing. This large belly will make skinning your game a total breeze. There are almost no drawbacks to having a drop point style blade. The only real disadvantage to the drop point style is its relatively broad tip, which does make it less suitable for piercing, especially when being compared to the clip pint. However, you should keep in mind that it is this broad tip that provides the point strength that is not found on clip point knives. When you choose the Big Summit Lake, you will be preparing yourself for almost any situation that you may encounter, whether it has to do with hunting or not.

Because this knife is designed to be a hunting knife, it does feature a plain edge. This is the more traditional edge that is easier to get a finer edge and easier to sharpen that edge. The plain edge blade will excel at push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling. All of these abilities will come in handy when you are trying to dress your game.

When you are working with your hunting knife, you are bound to run into some pretty messy, or bloody, situations. Because of this, you are going to want as much control over you knife as you can possibly get. Benchmade has added a row of shallow jimping on the area of the blade where it meets the handle. This will provide you with the little bit of extra grip that you desire.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Dymondwood. This is a stabilized wood material. A stabilized wood is when the wood has been injected with plastic. The manufacturer injects polymer resin and then compresses the wood under high pressure to create a very dense and durable material that still exhibits the natural beauty.  Wood has been used as a knife handle since knives came into existence. A good quality wood handle is durable and attractive, making wood a relatively inexpensive material for heavy duty knives. Wood also adds a lot of beauty to a knife, making wood handled knives popular among collectors. Dymondwood is a very similar material to Micarta, G 10 and Carbon fiber, except that the base material is wood, instead of an inorganic substance. Dymondwood is very affordable and is commonly used on budget knives. While Dymondwood does come in a variety of different colors, because wood comes in a variety of different colors, the wood on the Big Summit Lake is a dark brown. The wood handle gives you a natural elegance while remaining natural. It also provides you with a very traditional, yet somewhat rugged look, which is perfect for those tasks needed when you are out hunting.

The handle has a slightly flared butt and a shallow, elongated finger groove. The handle has been carved to fit into your hand comfortably for those bigger projects that you have to work with.

The liners on this knife are made out of stainless steel, which adds strength and durability to this knife. Stainless steel provides excellent resistance to corrosion, but it is not lightweight. Because the entire handle hasn’t been made out of stainless steel, but just the liners, this will add the perfect amount of weight. You will have the heftiness that you crave from a knife, but it definitely won’t be weighing you down.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is made out of stainless steel, which will resist rusting and corroding in most environments. This is a standard pocket clip. The handle has only been drilled to attach the clip to carry your knife tip down on the traditional side of the handle.

Benchmade HUNT Big Summit
Benchmade HUNT Big Summit

The Mechanism:

The Big Summit Lake is a manual opening knife that has a nail nick to assist you in opening. Nail nicks are probably the oldest form of opening system that was widely sued in production knives and they continue to be a popular opening method for high end inter frame folders. Nail nicks aren’t commonly used on tactical folders because they are difficult to open one handed. Normally with nail nick folders you will find that they use a lock back system or slip joints. The Big Summit Lake uses the lock back mechanism. A lock back is sometimes also called a spine lock because it has a metal spin that spans the entire back of the knife handle. Within the handle, the top of the spine and the tang of the blade resembles a hook. When the blade is opened, it pushes the spine out until the notch on the spine and the blade are hooked into place. The two notches exert pressure on one another to keep the blade opened securely. Replacing the blade into the handle of a lock back knife requires pressing on the bottom of the spine until the two notches clear one another. You can find the lock back locking mechanism on may classic American folding knives. Some of the benefits of a lock back locking mechanism is how reliable they are, how strong they are, and how safe they are. The unlock “button” is out of the way of your grip when using the knife, meaning you’re unlikely to accidentally disengage the lock and have it close on you. It also keeps your hands clear of the blades path when closing, which minimizes the risk of cutting yourself. One of the disadvantages to the lock back locking mechanism is that you usually do have to use both hands to close the locking mechanism safely, which can prove to be inconvenient when you need to keep one hand on whatever you’re cutting. And while it is possible to close a knife with a lock back locking mechanism with one hand, it is not easy. You would most likely need to switch grip and take extra care when you are closing the blade.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.77 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.124 inches. When the Big Summit Lake knife is opened, it has an overall length of 8.34 inches long. When it is closed, it has a length of 4.57 inches long. The handle thickness on this knife is 0.57 inches. This knife weighs in at 4.59 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

The Big Summit Lake knife is for the traditionalist. This knife is comfortable, practical, and durable. The blade has been carved out of CPM S30V steel. This is a premium stainless steel that will resist rust effortlessly while maintaining the balance between toughness, hardness, and edge retention. This steel has been finished with a satin finish and then carved into a drop point blade shape. For a hunting knife, the drop point blade shape is the perfect option. It has a tough point that can take on almost any task that you throw at it, while also being very easily controlled to make dressing your game a breeze. The big belly makes slicing quick and easy. The handle on this knife has been made out of Dymondwood which is durable, lightweight, and can stand up to repeated use without losing its quality. The lock back safety mechanism is durable, strong, and easy to use: perfect for your go to hunting knife. Come celebrate May as Benchmade month at BladeOps and pick up your Big Summit Lake knife today.

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Benchmade Volli Knife Review

It was in 1979 that the Benchmade adventure began. Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives, known as Bali-Songs, that he had played with as a kid. Using his high school shop skills, he blueprinted his dream knife before eventually meeting Victor Anselmo, who helped him grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali-Song prototype. Paired with handles that Les sourced from a small machine shop in California, he assembled and finished his first Bali-Song in his own garage. Proud of his creation, he took this first Bali-Song into a local gun store and the owner asked, “Could you build 100 more?”

In 1980, Les incorporated as Bali-Song, Inc. and rented a small shop in a second story mezzanine in California. The original equipment was purchased form the owner of a manufacturing operation who was looking to retire. 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 Bali’s spurred the creation of the first production Bali-Song: The model 68. Over the next seven years, the company expanded its product offerings into fixed blades and conventional folding knives, evolving its name from Bali-son, Inc. to Pacific Cutlery Corp.

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 a “handmade” and “factory made”, it was “Benchmade” that descried the quality of Les’ product. He was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. IN short, it describes Benchmade’s positon in the market—even to this day.

At BladeOps, we are celebrating this May as Benchmade month. To celebrate, we will be going over a different knife or aspect of Benchmade every day this month. Today, we chose to go over the Volli family.

Benchmade Volli
Benchmade Volli

The Blade:

The blade on the Volli’s are made out of CPM S30V steel. This steel is made by Crucible, which is a United States based company. This type of steel is often referred to as S30V steel, instead of CPM S30V steel. This formula 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. 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. One of the only drawbacks to this type of steel is that it is harder to sharpen than many of your other steel options. Most people don’t regard this as too big of an issue, because of all the other advantages that it packs in.

There are two different finishes that you get to choose from when you are purchasing a Volli knife. The first option is a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. The key characteristic of this blade finish is that it showcases the lines of the steel in the blade. This is a very classic blade finish that is pretty medium in terms of how reflective it is. It truly falls right in the middle of the spectrum.

The other finish option that you are presented with is a black, coated finish. The coated finish reduces the reflection and glare while reducing wear and corrosion. However, ALL coatings can and will be scratched off after continuous heavy use, and the blade would have to be re-coated. One of the benefits to a coated finish is that it can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rusting.

The Volli’s have been carved into a drop point blade shape. This blade shape is the perfect option if you are looking for an all-purpose knife that can stand up to virtually anything. This blade shape is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. To form the shape of this blade, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, creating a lowered point. It is this lowered point that provides more control and helps to add strength to the tip. Because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blades are a popular option on tactical and survival knives. And because the point on a drop point blade is easily controllable, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. One of the other reasons that they are so versatile is because they sport a large belly area that provides plenty of length for slicing. Drop point blades have been easily confused with clip point blades and while they are both very popular and great options for an everyday/every use knife, they do have a few key differences. The biggest difference between the two is the tip: a clip point blade shape has a finer, thinner, sharper tip, which provides you with excellent stabbing capabilities. But, this tip is going to be more prone to breaking or snapping when subjected to those heavier tasks. The drop point tip is not thin, which means that you have almost no stabbing capabilities. But, you do have so much strength behind it, that it is usually worth it. When you choose the Volli, you are choosing knife that is a great all-purpose blade that you will be able to use in many situations, whether they are the expected ones or the unexpected.

You do have two options for the edge on the Volli’s as well. The first option is a plain edge. This is the more traditional edge that is perfectly designed for push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling. This version of the edge is going to be easier to sharpen and you will be able to get a finer edge on it.

The second edge option is a serrated edge. This is the edge that you are going to want if you are taking on some of the thicker or tougher materials, such as rope or branches. The teeth that a serrated edge sports are the perfect tool to use to saw through those hard and tough materials. On the flip side, the serrated edge is not as suited for doing a wide variety of tasks and it will be harder to sharpen, because of the teeth.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this family of knives is made out of G 10, which is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. IT has very similar properties to carbon fiber yet 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, G 10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger than Micarta. And while this handle material 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. Some of the drawbacks to this material is that it is brittle and it does lack elegance. Some people feel like it just looks like a lump without personality. G 10 is a great option for tactical folders and fixed blades because it is so durable, lightweight, and non-porous.

The handle scales on the Volli are black and have some deep grooves going across the width of the handle. These grooves are going to provide you with phenomenal grip in almost any environment. To help add comfort to your grip on this handle, there is a finger groove and some other slight grooves that mold perfectly in your palm to provide you with a comfortable grip even after long periods of time.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a standard pocket clip. It is reversible, which helps to make this knife ambidextrous friendly; however, the handle has only been drilled to attach this pocket clip tip up.

 

The Mechanism:

The Volli family is an assisted opening knife that sports a dual thumb stud to help with your assist. The thumb stud is arguably the most common one handed opening feature. The thumb stud essentially replaces the nail nick found on more traditional knives. The concept is pretty straightforward—you grasp the folded knife, then 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. Because it is a dual thumb stud (meaning there is a thumb stud on each side of the blade), this knife can be opened with either hand, which makes it even more ambidextrous friendly.

This knife also features the AXIS-Assist locking mechanism. This mechanism is 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 what Benchmade calls the “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 the Volli knife is 3.26 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.100 inches. The open length of this knife is 7.68 inches long with a closed length of 4.42 inches long. The handle has a thickness of 0.56 inches. This knife weighs in at 4.28 ounces. This knife family has been made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

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.

To follow up with their stellar reputation, Benchmade has once again created a masterpiece. This time, they named it the Volli family. The blade is made out of S30V steel, which is a premium grade steel that resists rusts effortlessly and has the perfect balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. In this family of knives, you have the option to choose between two finishes: the satin finish or the coated finish. The satin finish works to showcase the lines on the steel and provides you with a very classic look. The coated finish completely cuts down on glares and reflections, provides you with a sleek, black look, but will eventually scratch off when subjected to heavy or long term use. The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape, which is the perfect, all-purpose blade shape. This blade shape has a strong point that can endure heavy use and a big belly that makes slicing a breeze. You also have two options when choosing between the edge style: the plain edge or the serrated edge. The plain edge excels at push cuts while the serrated edge excels at sawing through those thicker materials. The handle is made out of durable G 10 and molds perfectly to your hand. The double thumb stud and AXIS Assist locking mechanism help to make this knife a completely ambidextrous knife. Help us celebrate May as Benchmade month and come pick up your favorite Volli today.

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Benchmade Anthem Knife Review

Benchmade has been producing knives for over thirty years now. Les, the creator of Benchmade, had a long road ahead of him when he first became interested in designing a new butterfly knife that used high quality materials and the newer technology available to him. He wanted to design this new knife because all of the butterfly knives that he had played with as a child were cheap. He used his high school shop class skills and abilities to come up with a blueprint of the very first porotype. He later met Victor Anselmo who helped him grind this knife. Les then went on to finish his knife in his garage. Les went to a local gun store and asked if they could build him 100 more. This company was named Bali-Song, Inc. This company focused solely on butterfly knives, so as he went on to expand his products to include fixed blades and folding knives, Les switched the name to Pacific Cutlery Corporation. Unfortunately, this company had problems controlling the quality, price, and delivery and ended up filing for bankruptcy around 1987. A year later, Les reintroduced a new company and named it Benchmade. The name and company stuck and has since been developing an astonishing reputation for exceptional, groundbreaking knives. Benchmade has recently introduced a line of new knives, one of them being the Anthem.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Anthem is made out of CPM 20CV premium stainless steel. This steel is actually considered a super steel because it has such high properties and high levels of performance. This type of steel is designed by Crucible, which is a company that has created many innovative steels. This is a Powder Metallurgy tool steel, which means that you get a combination of impressive wear resistance (Crucible says that it has five times the wear resistance of 440C, a trusted stainless steel) and edge retention. Another reason that you get such great wear resistance is because Crucible has added Vanadium Carbides to the steel. Not only that, but because of the added chromium to the steel, it is extremely resistant to corrosion. This steel requires very little maintenance. This steel offers toughness at levels equal to 440C, which is a time tested stainless steel. Unfortunately, this steel is pretty tricky to sharpen, and will probably require a professional sharpener. The steel on this knife has been finished to a classic silver color. Near the unsharpened, or back edge of the blade, near the handle, there is the classic Benchmade butterfly logo stamped onto the blade. The edge has been ground into a plain edge.

The blade on the Anthem is ground into a drop point shape. This is the perfect shape because Benchmade has designed the Anthem to be an everyday carry knife. The drop point shape is one of the most versatile knife shapes on the market. The shape of this knife is created by having the back of the blade slowly curve until it creates a tip. The shape gets its name because this curve makes the point lowered, or dropped. There are a few benefits to having the point on your knife lowered. First of all, the lowered point gives you greater control over your cuts and movements. This allows you to perform detail or delicate work. Hunters especially love this shape of knife because it allows them to cut confidently without need to worry about nicking the organs or damaging the meats. My favorite benefit to the drop point shape is that the tip is more broad than many blade tips. Having a broader tip creates a stronger tip. You can perform heavier duty tasks without having to worry about your blade snapping, breaking, or chipping. Having the broad tip on the Anthem will allow you to go about performing your tasks every day without the worry of wondering whether or not your blade will be able to take it. Another huge advantage to the drop point blade shape is that it has a large belly with plenty of cutting length, making this the ideal blade shape for slicing things. Many everyday tasks include slicing open boxes, slicing open letters, or slicing other materials. Having this length and belly on your knife is a key element to having the perfect everyday knife. This blade is going to benefit your life every single time you use it.

 

The Handle:

One of my favorite things about the Benchmade Anthem is the handle. It has a unique, fresh look to it that I have never seen before. It has been made out of a single piece billet titanium. Titanium is a great material because it is very lightweight, yet very strong and durable. It is heavier than aluminum, so you are going to notice it in your pocket more than an aluminum handle knife, but titanium offers so much more strength. The extra weight is definitely worth strength that it provides. Titanium actually offers the best corrosion resistance out of any metal. Titanium has an interesting and unique characteristic to it because it actually feels warm to touch. This means that if you are living in a cold environment or commonly working with your knife in the winter, your handle will not bite into your hand like an aluminum handle would. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to having a titanium knife handle. It is one of the more expensive metals to machine, so it is going to cost you a little more. Secondly, titanium is prone to scratches, especially compared to other stainless steels. The last drawback to having a titanium handle is that unless it is properly texturized, it can be a slick knife to hold. To combat the slipperiness, Benchmade has carved a chevron pattern into the handle. This will provide you with adequate texture to complete all of the tasks that you need this knife to.

One of the most common ways to finish a titanium handle is to anodize it. This anodization process does a couple of things. For starters, it helps to add durability and strength to the material. This helps to prevent some of the scratches that titanium is going to be prone to. The second biggest thing that titanium does is provide it with an attractive color. The Anthem has been anodized to have a weathered bronze color.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The Anthem has an included reversible tip up titanium pocket clip. The handle on the Anthem has been drilled to attach your pocket clip to either carry it right or left handedly, something that helps make this knife ambidextrous. The handle has only been drilled to carry your knife tip up. The pocket clip is kept in place by three silver screws. The pocket clip on this knife has a chevron pattern and weathered bronze color to match the knife’s handle.

Benhcmade 781 Anthem
Benhcmade 781 Anthem11

The Mechanism:

The locking mechanism that the Anthem sports is Benchmade’s patented AXIS lock. Doughritter.com said it best when they explained it. “Basically, this lock is made out of a spring loaded bar that rides in a fore and aft slot cut out of both liners and side plates, going completely across the slot that the blade folds in and out of off. It engages a ramped notch cut into the tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. The knife tang is thus wedged solidly between a stop bar and this AXIS lock bar.” There are many advantages to this locking mechanism. One is that because the locking bar goes through both side plates, the knife is completely ambidextrous. This locking mechanism is also easy to use and is quickly learned. Lastly, when you are closing your knife, you do not have to put your fingers in harm’s way, because they do not have to go near the blade.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.112 inches thick. When the Anthem is opened, it measures at 8.06 inches. When the knife is closed, it is 4.56 inches long. The handle on this knife has a thickness of 0.43 inches. The Anthem weighs 3.66 ounces.

 

The Pros of the Benchmade Anthem:

  • The steel choice gives you great edge retention and wear and corrosion resistance.
  • The steel requires very little maintenance to maintain its high quality properties.
  • Very versatile drop point shape.
  • Lowered point gives you better control over your cuts.
  • Lowered point is broad, thus strong and durable.
  • The drop point shape provides you with a big belly, perfect for your slicing needs.
  • The titanium handle is strong and durable.
  • The titanium will actually feel warm to the touch, making it great for cold weather.
  • The titanium handle has been finished with a unique weathered bronze look.
  • The titanium is actually a light material, so it gives you a hefty feel without actually weighing you down.
  • Benchmade has carved a chevron pattern into the handle to provide you with great grip.
  • The matching pocket clip is reversible, helping make the knife ambidextrous.
  • The AXIS locking mechanism is easy to use and completely ambidextrous.

 

The Cons of the Benchmade Anthem:

  • The steel on this blade is tricky to sharpen, probably requiring a professional sharpener.
  • The broad tip on the drop point style does not excel at stabbing or piercing.
  • The titanium handle does not provide you with the grip that you would find on a different material handle.
  • The titanium is prone to scratches.
  • The pocket clip is only drilled to carry it tip up.

 

Conclusion:

Benchmade has been creating fantastic knives for over three decades now. While they started their business designing solely butterfly knives, they quickly branched out to design and produce fixed blades and regular folding knives. Recently, Benchmade has decided to focus on their own product lines, so they cut ties with any collaborations that they had been doing. Benchmade spruced up a few of their old knives and released them. They also designed brand new knives. One of these brand new knives that they have just released is the Benchmade Anthem.

To perfect this knife, they started out with a premium stainless steel choice: CPM 20CV. This steel is tough, durable, has excellent edge retention, and is very resistant to wear and corrosion. This is a great steel to choose for an everyday knife because it requires less maintenance and provides you with the strength need to complete your daily tasks. To finish off the perfect blade, they decided to go with the drop point shape. They chose this shape because it is very versatile, it is strong, durable, and easily controlled. It also sports a large belly that makes slicing a breeze. With this blade, all of your everyday tasks will be easily accomplished.

To create a great handle to go with the great blade, they chose to make it out of a single piece billet titanium. This material feels warm to the touch. It is also strong, durable, and the most resistant to corrosion out of any metals. To combat one of the biggest problems with titanium handles, the lack of grip, Benchmade carved in a chevron pattern. To finish off the handle, they anodized it to have a weathered bronze color to it. This color is unique and modern. The handle creates a very elegant feel to the knife, while steel remaining masculine.

Benchmade added a reversible pocket clip to match the handle, completing the whole look. The AXIS locking mechanism is the cherry on top of the handle, because it makes the knife completely ambidextrous and easy to use.

Benchmade has a fantastic reputation because they complete each and every one of their knives by hand. This means that every knife will have the attention to detail that your knife needs to last a lifetime. The Anthem is a knife that has been designed to be your everyday companion, helping you to complete your daily tasks with ease. This knife will be trusty, durable, and treat you well.

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