Benchmade 470-1 Osborne Emissary Knife Review

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, they continue to innovate with the goal of taking performance and reliability to the next level. To exceed what is expected. Whether you are using a Griptilian for every day duties or taking the fight to the enemy with the Infidel, 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 LifeSharp Lifetime Service and 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. Benchmade builds knives for the most demanding customers, from special operations forces to elite backcountry hunters, and building for the best requires the best raw materials. They select premium blade steels and pair them with aerospace-grade handle materials to create premium grade knives and tools that provide great value for their customers. The mechanics of opening and closing a knife are essential to its function. Is it easy to actuate? Can it be opened with one hand? Is it ambidextrous? Will it absolutely not fail when you need it the most? These are critical considerations when it comes to the mechanism. The Benchmade factory employs modern laser cutters and CNC machining centers that offer control and tolerances commonly found in the aerospace industry—often to tolerances half the width of a human hair. Their commitment to modern machining techniques and rigid quality control has allowed Benchmade to bridge the gap between custom and manufactured. When they were choosing a name for themselves, they realized that there was “handmade” and “factory made”, but it was “Benchmade” that described the quality of their product. Les, the owner, was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s 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.

From Design Engineers to Finisher’s, Benchmade’s team is filled with hard working, passionate individuals committed to producing some of the highest quality products in the world. And that is why they are such a successful company.

Over here at BladeOps, we love Benchmade. We consider ourselves some of Benchmade’s biggest fans. To show our appreciation for the hard work that goes into all of their reliable tools, we chose to celebrate this May as Benchmade month. Today, we are going over the 470.1 knife, which is, of course, a fantastic knife.


The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel. This is a premium grade steel. This steel is made by US based Crucible, and has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was designed in the US and is typically sued for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of vanadium carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. Dollar for dollar, this is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. Which is actually a combination that proves tricky to accomplish. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that it does prove tricky to sharpen. S30V has a slightly better looking brother in S35VN which is distinctly similar but easier for manufacturers to work with thanks to niobium. But still, S30V is pretty common these days.

The 470.1 knife has a satin finish on the blade. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. The abrasive material that is most commonly used is a sandpaper. The key characteristics that this finish creates is showing the bevels of the blade. The second key characteristic is that it the finish showcases the lines of the blade very well. This is one of the more traditional blade finishes that you are going to come across and is a pretty medium finish in terms of how reflective it is. There are more reflective finishes around, but there are also more matte finishes that you are going to be able to find. The satin finish does work to reduce wear and corrosion slightly.

This knife has been carved into a drop point blade style. This is the perfect blade shape if you are looking for a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to anything, and it is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. The 470.1 has been designed as an everyday knife and this blade shape makes for a fantastic everyday blade shape. To form the silhouette of the blade, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, creating a lowered point. This lowered point provides more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy sue, drop point blades also make a great option on tactical and survival knives. Because the point on a drop point blade is easily controllable, they do make for a popular option on hunting knives. One of the bigger reasons that this blade shape makes for such a great everyday knife blade shape is because the drop point style features a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. And slicing is one of the most common things that you are going to need to do during your everyday tasks. The only real disadvantage that a drop point blade has is its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point. However, it is this broad tip that provides point strength that is not found on clip point knives. By choosing the 470.1, you are choosing a knife that is going to be able to take on almost any task, whether it is the expected that you are going to be encountering during your everyday life, or the unexpected things that also pop up during your everyday life.

Because this knife has been designed as an everyday knife, Benchmade chose to carve it with a plain edge. Plain blades are one continuous sharp edge and are far more traditional. They serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is what most of us think of when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. Another great advantage to this style of edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through some ropes, though with other ropes, particularly ones made of plastics or other synthetic materials, the blade may simply slip instead of cut. A plain edge cuts cleanly.


The Handle:

The handle is made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum. This is the most common type of aluminum that is used today and it has tremendous tensile strength. Aluminum, which is usually anodized for color, hardness, and protection, is a very durable material for knife handles. It’s a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. When properly texturized, an aluminum handle can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. On the downside, if you use your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortably cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium which tends to be found on the more premium knives.

The handle has been carved into a comfortable shape that fits perfectly into your hand for extended use. While there is a finger groove, it is more like a finger dent that extends onto the handle of the knife. The butt of the handle is flat.

Benchmade Emissary Knife
Benchmade Emissary Knife

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a deep carry pocket clip. The handle on this knife has been carved to attach the pocket clip tip up, but it is a reversible pocket clip, which does lend to making this knife more ambidextrous friendly.


The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife that uses a thumb stud to help you assist when opening the knife. This is one of the most common one hand opening feature and is employed by many different knife manufacturers, especially Benchmade. A thumb stud essentially replaces the nail nick found on more traditional knives. The principle is pretty straightforward—grasp the folded knife, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to swing the bale through its arc until the blade is fully open. Knives with a thumb stud usually incorporate a locking mechanism of some sort.

The locking mechanism that the 470.1 sports is the AXIS Assist. This locking 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 positon once the user pushes it beyond a certain point manually. The AXIS lock also has the added benefit of “suck back”, which encourages the blade to stay in the closed position. AXIS Assist knives also feature integrated safety lock systems.


The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.090 inches. The overall length of this opened knife is 6.9 inches long and it sports a closed length of 3.9 inches long. The handle thickness on this knife is 0.45 inches. This knife weighs in at 2.2 ounces. This knife also was made in the United States of America.


The Designer:

This knife was designed by Warren Osborne. Being raise in the farming and ranching industry taught Warren early on what great utility a quality knife can offer. How a knife feels in the hand over extended us, blade design and edge configurations, and the types of materials used are all mandatory considerations of an Osborne design.



When Benchmade talks about this knife they say, “Anodized machined aluminum handles and the patented AXIS assist mechanism make this Warren Osborne knife a fantastic choice of ever day carry or as a trail companion.” The Benchmade 470-1 Emissary is an Osborne designed AXIS Assisted knife.  This knife features a modified drop point blade with a plain edge. The drop point blade shape is the perfect style of blade for your favorite everyday carry knife. This is because it sports a large belly that is going to make slicing a breeze, which also means that it is going to make most tasks a breeze. The S30V premium stainless steel blade is built to perform. This steel has the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness, which is a hard balance to find. When that balance is achieved, you should jump at any opportunity to use it.  Simple to open, the Emissary has a slide lock in a convenient position for one handed use if the need arises.  The blade has ambidextrous thumb studs for both handed users.  The Emissary also features a CNC machined billet high strength aluminum alloy handle that is comfortable to hold and use. The aluminum handle is durable and reliable; it can stand up to almost any challenge that you throw at it. The Emissary also sports a reversible tip up pocket clip.  This knife is built for those who want to carry quality.

We are hoping that you love Benchmade like we do and we invite you to celebrate Benchmade month with us by picking up your 470.1 Emissary or any other Emissary model at BladeOps.