Five of the Best Benchmade Folding Knives

Benchmade is known for their high quality knives that do not disappoint. At this point in time, you can get almost any style of knife from Benchmade; however, this was not always the case. When this company started they were making balisong, or butterfly, knives and that is how they became known as a company. Because of this, their logo is a butterfly. They still have fantastic butterfly knives, but they also have fantastic knives of every style. Today I have put together a list of the five most popular, best rated, and most liked knives that they have produced.

 

The 940 Osborne:

Benchmade 940BK Osborne
Benchmade 940BK Osborne

This Benchmade knife is one of the best options that you can get. Many people consider this the best Benchmade knife around. To design this knife, Benchmade co-designed it with Warren Osborne, who is an expert when it comes to everything cutlery. This knife is similar to the Griptilian, but it is smaller and lighter. The Osborne has a blade length of 3.4 inches and only weighs 2.9 ounces. This knife was first designed with S30V stainless steel, which holds an edge for a long period of time and is easy to sharpen, but to give you exactly what you want you can get the Osborne in Benchmade’s variety of steels. The tanto blade is a plain edged knife. The Osborne sports an anodized aluminum handle. This is how the knife is so light, but you don’t have to sacrifice any of the sturdiness for the lost weight. To help with sturdiness and durability, the handle boasts stainless steel liners. The Osborne has a dual thumb stud which makes this an ambidextrous opening knife. Plus, it has Benchmade’s Axis locking system and a reversible pocket clip. This knife can be modified for any of its users. As an added bonus, this knife is made in the United States of America.  You can find a full selection of Benchmade Osborne knives here at BladeOps.

Pros of the 940 Osborne knife:

  • This knife is extremely light because of the anodized aluminum handle.
  • The original S30V stainless steel knife is sharp and durable.
  • The blade is easy to sharpen.
  • If you don’t want the original steel, you can personalize this knife and get a variety of different steels.
  • This is originally a straight edged knife, but you can get it in a combo edge.
  • Stainless steel liners add durability to the handle.
  • Ambidextrous knife.
  • Made in the USA!

Cons of the 940 Osborne Knife:

  • Some people like a heftier knife for their everyday carry.
  • The included pocket clip can feel a little large and not sleek.

 

The Griptilian:

Benchmade 550-1 Griptilian
Benchmade 550-1 Griptilian

Like previously mentioned, the Griptilian knife is very similar to the 940 Osborne, the biggest difference between the two is that the Griptilian is just a little bit larger. Just like the 940 Osborne, this is one of Benchmade’s most popular knives. This knife only weighs 3.25 ounces, which is the perfect weight for an everyday carry knife. It isn’t too light and it definitely isn’t too heavy. The blade is 3.45 inches long made out of 154CM stainless steel. This steel holds an extremely sharp edge. Plus, you can get this blade in a straight edge or a combo edge, giving each user their personal favorite. What truly sets this knife apart from the others is the handle, which is a glass-filled nylon with stainless steel liners. The stainless steel liners offer extra durability. The handle is textured providing a very secure grip, making it perfect for heavier duty tasks. This knife features the Axis lock system, which securely locks the blade in an open position, which is another reason that it is such a good option for heavy duty jobs. This knife is an ambidextrous knife because you can open it from either side and switch out the pocket clip. You can also get a mini version of the Griptilian if you love the knife but don’t need it to stand up to such big tasks. All of the Griptilian knife options are made in the USA and you can get yours here.

Pros of the Griptilian knife:

  • This is an ambidextrous knife.
  • The 154CM stainless steel holds a crazy sharp edge.
  • Can get the blade in straight edge or combo edge.
  • The handle is super durable.
  • Only weighs 3.25 ounces—perfect for EDC.
  • This knife can stand up to the heavier duty tasks that it is faced with.
  • You can also get a mini version of the Griptilian.
  • Made in the USA!

Cons of the Griptilian knife:

  • The texture on the handle is rougher than it needs to be and can tend to scratch up your hand.

 

The 275 Adamas:

Benchmade 275BKSN Adamas
Benchmade 275BKSN Adamas

While many users of this knife as their everyday carry, but it can definitely be considered as a tactical blade. The blade on this knife is made out of D-2 steel. The blade is thick, yet flat, and extremely sharp. This knife has been known for holding its edge for crazy long periods of time. The blade features a drop point silhouette. A very unique aspect of this knife is the handle. It is made out of G-10, but it has three holes drilled into it. These holes are there to reduce the weight of the handle, but you keep the strength and durability of the G-10 material. The three holes also give you great grip. Along with the holes, the chunky-ness of the handle also help with grip. Because of how chunky this knife is, this is a great option for people with bigger hands, or if you have to wear gloves during your tasks. Another fantastic feature of this knife is that it comes with a reversible pocket clip. Because of how the pocket clip is designed into the handle, your blade will always be tip up while using the pocket clip.  The full line of Adamas Folders can be found here.

Pros of the 275 Adamas knife:

  • This knife has a chunkier design, making it perfect if you have to wear gloves while using this knife.
  • Is an ideal option for everyday carry or your tactical knife.
  • The blade is crazy sharp.
  • Three holes drilled into the G-10 handle, making the knife lighter, but you don’t have to sacrifice the sturdiness of the G-10.
  • Reversible pocket clip.

Cons of the 275 Adamas knife:

  • The handle is very chunky, which makes it a poor fit if you have smaller hands.
  • This is a bigger option for an everyday carry knife.

 

The 810 Contego:

This knife gets its name because Contego is the Latin word for “shield” or “protect”. The knife was designed after those two words. You can get this blade in black or gray and Benchmade has made different styles of this specific blade. Some of the styles are a combo edge, a coated blade, or a combo and coated blade. So really, you can get exactly what your heart desires. The blade is a reverse tanto style that is 3.98 inches long of CPM-M4 steel. This is actually a pretty large knife, when it is open it is 9.28 inches long and weighs 5.92 ounces. The knife can be opened with either hand, because of the ambidextrous thumb stud. The handle also sports a carbide glass-breaker, which makes this a great knife to always have on you. It can really get you out of any situation. The handle, like many Benchmade knives, uses the Axis locking system, which is a very sturdy locking system. The handle is actually very thin, measuring in at barely over half an inch, which takes away some of the weight and space that this knife would take up.

Benchmade 810BK Contego
Benchmade 810BK Contego

Pros of the 810 Contego knife:

  • The CPM-M4 steel is very durable and you can get it in black or gray.
  • Benchmade has released multiple versions of the blade, so you can pick all your favorite aspects for your blade.
  • The knife is ambidextrous, because of how the knife opens.
  • Sports a carbide glass-breaker.
  • The knife is a very large knife, but not heavy because of the thin handle.
  • Sports the Axis locking system.

Cons of the 810 Contego knife:

  • Some people don’t like how large the knife is, especially for everyday carry.
  • Because of how large it is, it can be hard to use for longer periods of time.

 

The 915 Triage:

Benchmade 915 Triage
Benchmade 915 Triage

The 915 Triage is much more than a knife, in fact, it is a superior safety tool. This knife was designed for emergency responders, but I believe that this is also a fantastic everyday carry knife. This knife is a beefier knife, measuring in at an overall length of 8.2 inches and weighing 5.1 inches. The blade is 3.5 inches long of N680 stainless steel. Benchmade then heat treated the steel, because this process adds toughness and lets the steel keep the edge for much longer. Plus, by doing this heat treatment, it makes the steel easier to sharpen when needed. The handle is made out of G-10, which you can get in black or safety orange, and also sports stainless steel liners. The liners add some weight to the knife, but it mostly adds durability and strength. The G-10 handle doesn’t look like anything special, but extreme texture has been added to the handle to give you fantastic grip. The handle is larger than some other handles, giving you a better grip, even during stressful or high intensity situations. The knife features a deep carry pocket clip, which lets it sink lower into your pocket, but you will still be able to grab it easily when needed. This pocket clip is reversible, so you can carry it ambidextrously. So far, this seems like a stellar knife, but we haven’t even gone over the extra features on this knife. The 915 Triage has a safety cutter that folds out of the handle with a hook on the end. Plus, on the butt of the handle, there is a built in carbide glass breaker.  Find the full line of Benchmade Triage knives here.

Pros of the 915 Triage knife:

  • The steel on this blade is heat treated to add toughness, edge holding abilities, and makes the blade easier to sharpen.
  • You can get this knife in black or safety orange.
  • The stainless steel liners in the handle add weight and durability.
  • The extreme texture on the handle and the larger handle size give you great grip.
  • Ambidextrous knife.
  • Features a safety cutter and a glass breaker.
  • Fantastic for emergency responders.
  • Has Benchmade’s Axis locking system.

Cons of the 915 Triage knife:

  • If you are looking for a simple knife, this does have a lot of extras.
  • The knife doesn’t look like anything special when you first see it—it has a very simple design.
  • The knife is one of your larger knife options, some might not like it for an everyday carry knife.
  • The larger handle size is not ideal for people with smaller hands.
  • This is not a good knife for intricate detail work.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade first hit the market back in 1979, they were solely producing high end butterfly knives and their company name was Bali-Song. These knives were a hit and Bali-Song became popular. They changed their name and started producing other styles of knives and Benchmade was born. Even though they were once known for their butterfly knives, they are now known for all of their knives. Benchmade is a trusted brand that people can rely on. Each of their knives is carefully thought out and designed to give you everything that you need. With so many fantastic knives to choose from, it is hard to know which one would work best for you. I made this list of the five most popular, well-known, most liked or best rated knives. The five best include: the 940 Osborne, the Griptilian, the 275 Adamas, the 810 Contego, and the 915 Triage. These knives all are great options, but each vary from the other. Some are made for safety purposes, some are designed to be tactical, some are ideal for everyday carry knives. I’m hoping that these descriptions and the pros and cons of each of these options help narrow down which knife you want and which Benchmade knife will work best for you. Truly, almost any Benchmade knife is going to be a reliable knife.

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A Brief History of Benchmade Knives

Benchmade Knives
Benchmade Knives

The Benchmade company started in California in 1979 and was known as Bali-Song. This all began when company founder Les de Asis wanted a knife that had a higher quality than the ones he used as a kid. His goal was to use the newest materials and manufacturing technologies to replace the poorly made butterfly knives, or Bali-Songs, that were found on the market at that time. As the company’s logo and first name reflected, Benchmade was primarily known for manufacturing butterfly or balisong-style knives. To this day, the company continues to manufacture their patented Bali-Song butterfly knives. His goal became a reality when, after using his high school shop skills, Les went to the local gun store with his prototype. After a pleasant response from the owner asking him to make more, the company began. From this humble beginning, the company went on to become known as the Pacific Cutlery Corporation.

 

-Fact: Bali-Song was the first company in the United States to manufacture the butterfly knife. This claim to fame is one of many that Benchmade can claim.

 

It was during this time that the Pacific Cutlery Corp found themselves in some trouble. Though the company under this name was short-lived, the company reorganized and launched themselves under a new name and with a new knife. Renamed as “Benchmade” the company now had the quality control of a “factory-made” product while maintaining the personalized care of a “handmade” knife. Benchmade had redesigned the knife that started them off in the first place. The Model 68 gave the company just what they needed to boost them into the powerhouse of a company they are in the knife industry today.

 

-Fact: The Benchmade Headquarters is located in Oregon City, Oregon.

 

Benchmade is made up of several different product lines that serve different purposes. Over the years, they have included the Red class, Blue class, Black class, Gold class, Hunt series and H&K knives.

Though no longer in existence, the Red class was primarily made overseas and featured more affordable knives. The most popular knives of this class found their way into the different classes and are still available for purchase.

Benchmade describes their Blue class knives as being “like your best friend.” This class contains typical everyday carry knives. As far as Black class knives go, you will find those equipped onto the belts of the professionals. This professional class is favored by policemen, emergency response teams, and others because of the quality of this class.

Next is the Gold class. This royal class features some of the rarest materials and often come in unique designs. These knives are primarily meant for show and tell. You wouldn’t want to take these beauties into the woods. What you would want to take into the woods is a knife from the Hunt series. According to Benchmade, these knives are “built from advanced materials usually reserved for spaceships and surgical equipment.” These hunting knives are built for durability and reliability while out on the hunt.

Last and certainly not least is the H&K knives. For more than a half-century, Heckler and Koch (H&K) has been a leading designer and manufacturer of military, law enforcement, and civilian firearms. Their commitment to quality, innovation, and safety makes them an industry leader in reliability and technology. Their partnership with Benchmade has been a great asset for both parties.

 

-Fact: Benchmade has produced a unique type of locking and firing mechanism called the AXIS lock. This can be found on several models of knives.

 

Of the several different knife classes by Benchmade, there are many which are notable for their quality, performance, and design. One of such is the Benchmade Infidel. The Infidel is an Out the Front auto that many find favorable. With its unique design, this powerhouse of a knife is a great choice for professionals and for everyday use. Another popular knife is the Griptilian. This model has many variations that give a wide variety of people to enjoy this knife. Similar to the Griptilian is the Barrage, another popular Benchmade product.

 

After many hardworking years by this company, you are within reach of a high-quality product. You cannot go wrong with owning a Benchmade knife. It will last you a lifetime. Here at BladeOps, we always highly recommend getting one of these beauties. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself a Benchmade today.

 

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Benchmade Valet Titanium Gold Class Knife Review

Benchmade started over 30 years ago, and like any good story, it did not start off as the knife dynasty that it is today. In 1979, Les de Asis wanted a knife that used the newest materials and manufacturing technology to create a fantastic butterfly knife. Every butterfly knife that he had previously owned and played with was not a high quality knife. Les had been to a high school shop class, so he blueprinted what his dream knife would be. Eventually, he met Victor Anselmo who helped him work to grind this first ever prototype of a Benchmade knife. Les finished the very first knife in his garage. Les was proud of this new knife, so he took it to a local gun store and asked the owner if he could build 100 more. This was the birth of Bali-Song, the first company that would later transform into Benchmade.

By the time that Benchmade came to be Benchmade, they were producing knives other than the traditional Bali-song style that they had begun with. Les chose the name Benchmade because there were “handmade knives” and “factory-made knives”. The knives that this company was producing was different than both of these. The factory would make the precision parts, but the products were finished by hand.

While Benchmade is known to have the top butterfly knives, their other knives have the same high quality and attention to detail. Recently, the Valet has been revamped and reborn in an exclusive, limited unlimited, Titanium Gold Class knife.  The limited, unlimited designation means it will be produced to demand for all of 2017, after the end of the year, no more units will be produced.

Benchmade Valet
Benchmade Gold Class Valet

 

The Blade:

 

The steel on this blade is made out of Ladder Pattern Damasteel. This type of steel is often compared to Damascus steel, but there are differences between them. Damasteel is also the name of the company that produces this steel; they are located in Sweden and have a history of forging Damascus steel. The process to create Damasteel is a patented manufacturing method. The blade starts out with a billet, which is one single piece of solid steel. They actually create their own billet with a very unique process. They pour stainless steel into a tall tower, while the liquid passes through a nozzle, it is dispersed into droplets with blasts of gas. By the time that the droplets get to the bottom of the tower, they will have solidified into a powder. After the powder is collected, it is compacted with a cold press which allows for the subsequent HIP at high temperature and high pressure. After this whole process is done, there is a solid piece of steel with the perfect structure left over. Each pattern on a Damasteel blade is handmade by Damasteel’s blacksmiths. They take special care to guarantee the highest quality and perfect receptiveness of this pattern. Damasteel is a true work of art. Damascus steel is famous for the strength, durability, and artistry that it possesses. However, Damasteel is a more quality option if you want a high performing, stainless quality to it. Another difference between Damascus and Damasteel is the patterns. Damasteel goes through the HIP process, creating a totally different set of patterns. Damasteel is a fantastic steel option with a great aesthetic that you aren’t going to be able to find anywhere else.

The shape of this blade is a drop point style. A drop point style blade is one of the best shapes for an all-purpose knife. This style of knife can stand up to almost anything and is one of the most popular blade shapes on the market today. The back, or unsharpened, edge of the blade runs from the handle to the tip in a slow curve, which creates a lowered point. Having this lowered point allows you to have more control when using the tip, so you will be able to do delicate work. The lowered tip also adds strength to the point. The tip on this blade shape is also stronger than a clip point, but a clip point shape would be sharper. Because this shape has such a strong tip, you can use this knife for heavy duty, tactical, or survival use. Another excellent characteristic of a drop point style is that it sports a large belly—making it perfect for slicing. While it seems like there are no drawbacks to this shape of a blade, there is one: it has a pretty broad tip, so it is not going to excel at piercing or stabbing. Some people consider this to be a pro though, because you can work with it and not worry about nicking any sensitive areas, especially when skinning something. A drop point blade shape gives you great balance, control, and strength. This is truly one of the most versatile knife shapes, which is why it is such a great option for your everyday carry knife of choice. This is a blade that will be able to do it all.

 

 

The Handle:

 

The handle is made out of billet anodized titanium. This means that the titanium was carved out of only one piece. Titanium is a lightweight metal, but it is heavier than aluminum. However, it is so much stronger than aluminum, so the extra weight is definitely worth it. Titanium has the highest corrosion resistance out of any metal. Something that is unique to titanium is that it actually has a warm feel to it. This means that if you are working in cold environments often, the metal isn’t going to bite into your hand like aluminum would. The titanium on this handle has been anodized. One of the most obvious benefits of anodizing the titanium is that it adds color the material. On this specific handle, a blue violet color has been added. The anodizing creates this color naturally, so you don’t have to worry about a dye running off or it bleeding. Because it is natural, the titanium is able to retain its high corrosion resistance and its ability to withstand high temperature environments. Unfortunately, titanium does have its drawbacks. First of all, this is a relatively expensive material. The cost of this knife will be higher than a knife without a titanium handle. Most people think that the extra cost is worth it, but if you are on a strict budget for purchasing your knife, this might not be the best option for you. Another drawback to titanium is that it is prone to scratches. While the anodizing does help prevent some scratches because it adds strength and durability, it cannot protect the handle from all of its scratches. And, because of the color, these scratches will show up. One last thing to keep in mind is that even though the titanium has the highest corrosion resistance out of the metals, it is not going to be completely stainless. This handle will still need maintenance.

The liners on this handle are stainless steel, with a Diamond Like Coating. The stainless steel liners are a great addition because they will need a little less maintenance. Especially after they have a Diamond Like Coating, to add strength and durability.

 

 

The Mechanism:

This knife sports the Benchmade AXIS lock. This locking mechanism was introduced in 1988. This system works by using a small, hardened spring loaded bar that moves back and forth in a slot that has been etched into both of the stainless steel liners. This bar is positioned towards the butt of the blade and it extends onto both sides of the knife, crossing the liners. This locking mechanism was innovative and allows for an ambidextrous operation. There is a common weak link found in many folders and the AXIS locking system works to strengthen this link. The AXIS locking mechanism increases the safety and integrity of a folding lock up mechanism.

 

 

The Pocket Clip:

 

The pocket clip on this knife is a deep carry, reversible, tip up clip. Its reversible, so you can carry it left or right handedly. But, the knife has only been drilled to carry it tip up. It’s a deep carry pocket clip, so you know that this knife will be secure in your pocket. A deep carry clip also helps you conceal your knife better than a regular clip. The pocket clip has also been treated with a Diamond Like Coating. This coating helps protect the steel and adds strength to it.

 

 

The Extras:

 

The Benchmade Valet Titanium Gold Class knife has a few extras on it. For starters, it has a Damasteel back spacer. Second, it sports a matching anodized titanium thumb stud that sits near the rear of the blade.

 

 

Pros of the Benchmade Valet Titanium Gold Class:

 

  • Benchmade is a fantastic company with an excellent reputation.
  • The steel is made out of Damasteel—a unique steel.
  • The blade is made out of a single piece of titanium, so there are no weak spots on it.
  • Damasteel is strong, durable, and a true masterpiece.
  • Damasteel is a work of art, with a unique pattern that you will only be able to find on Damasteel.
  • The drop point blade shape is one of the most versatile blade shapes.
  • The lowered tip gives you better control and a stronger tip.
  • The drop point shape sports a big belly with ample cutting room, so you have plenty of room for slicing.
  • The handle is made out of a single piece of titanium, so there are no weak spots in it.
  • Titanium is a lightweight material, but extremely strong.
  • Titanium has the highest corrosion resistance out of the metals.
  • Titanium actually feels warm to the touch, so you can have this knife with you in cold environments and not have to worry about it biting into your skin.
  • The handle has been anodized to add a blue violet color.
  • Sports the AXIS lock.
  • Comes with a reversible, deep carry pocket clip.

 

 

Cons of the Benchmade Valet Titanium Gold Class:

 

  • Because Damasteel is such a time consuming, skill needed task, this is going to be a more expensive blade.
  • The drop point blade has a broad tip, so it is not going to excel at stabbing or piercing.
  • Titanium is prone to scratches.
  • Titanium is a more expensive material, so the cost of the knife is going to be upped because of this.
  • The pocket clip has only been drilled to carry it tip up.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

Benchmade has a great reputation for creating excellent knives. Even though they started out making solely butterfly knives, when they branched out to creating regular folding knives, they promptly created some of the best. They recently made a limited addition of the Valet. This is the Valet Titanium Gold Class edition.

To create such a fantastic knife, they started out with some of the best knife steel that there is. They chose the Damasteel, which is similar to Damascus except purer and perfect. Another difference between the two, is that Damasteel will have different patterns than a Damascus steel. For this knife, they chose a Ladder Pattern Damasteel. To finish off the perfect blade, Benchmade decided to carve it into a drop point shape. This is one of the most versatile shapes that can stand up to almost anything. This is such a beautiful blade, so it might pain some people to use it as their everyday knife, but this knife has been designed as the perfect everyday carry knife. To carry on with this perfect knife, they chose the handle to be made out of anodized titanium. The anodization process on this particular knife created a blue violet color. The anodization process will also limit the amount of scratches that the titanium will develop, even though titanium has been prone to scratching. They also added a deep carry, reversible, tip up pocket clip. As a cherry on top, they incorporated a Damasteel back spacer and an anodized titanium thumb stud that matches the color of the handle.

Benchmade Knives chose to use the highest quality materials to create a perfect special edition knife. With the anodization process and the Damasteel pattern, this knife looks like a piece of art.

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Types of Steel

When considering a knife to purchase, one of the biggest determining factors what knife to get boils down to what blade steel the knife utilizes. There are an unlimited amount of uses for a knife, but different steels specialize in different areas of work. Occasionally there are some outliers that are very different. However, the assortment of blade steel can basically be categorized into three separate groups: Stainless steel, Carbon steel, and Tool steel.

 

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a steel alloy that contains a minimum of 10.5% to 13% chromium. Be aware that the term “stainless” isn’t fully accurate. Any steel alloy will show some corrosion over long exposure to the elements, especially in corrosive environments including saline environments; such as coastal areas where regular exposure to sea salt is common and areas where de-icing salts are common during winter. Of the different types of steel, stainless steel requires the least amount of care. Though it still needs regular maintenance, it isn’t as intense as carbon steel or even tool steel.

Some of the best uses for a stainless steel are for everyday carry situations, and for those situations where the knife will be exposed to the elements. It can handle events such as hunting and fishing, deep sea diving, and cooking.

Listed here are several common stainless steels that are ranked in overall quality from least to greatest: 8Cr13MoV, AUS-8, 154CM, CPM 154, CPM S30V, CPM S35VN, and Elmax.

 

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is a popular choice for rough use knives. Carbon steel tends to be much tougher and much more durable, and easier to sharpen than stainless steel. They lack the chromium content of stainless steel, making them susceptible to corrosion. The carbon content of carbon steel is in the range of 0.12–2.0%. It does well in rough-handling situations that call for a tough, durable blade. Its lack of chromium makes it more susceptible to rust unless it’s oiled or coated.

One of the best uses for a carbon steel blade is for survival situations because of its rough use and ability to be sharpened easily.

The most popular carbon knife steel is 1095 High Carbon Steel.

 

Tool Steel

Tool steel incorporates tungsten, molybdenum, and other elements for hard-working, durable tools. Typically semi-stainless, tool steels contains anywhere between 10% and 13% chromium and 0.5% to 1.5% carbon. It is a good combination between the two other steels. Tool steels are used for cutting, pressing, extruding, and coining of metals and other materials. Their use is essential due to their resistance to abrasion.

Tool steel is best used, as the name suggests, as a tool. Garden and yard work, industrial use, and other heavy duty projects would all benefit from the use of a tool steel bladed knife.

D2 is one of the well-known steels that handles quite well as a blade steel.

 

Top Items

Here are some popular knives that feature the different blade steels above.

Knives to Consider
Steel Type Product Overall Length Blade Length Handle Length Weight
Stainless Steel
Aus-8 Boker Kalashnikov 74 7.50″ 4.25″ 3.25″ 3.60 oz.
S30V Spyderco Para-Military 2 8.30″ 4.82″ 3.43″ 3.75 oz.
Elmax Microtech Ultratech 8.30″ 4.84″ 3.46″ 3.30 oz.
Carbon
1095 Carbon TOPS Knives

Wild Pig Hunter

13.00″ 7.56″ 5.44″ 14.20 oz.
Tool
D2 Benchmade Infidel 8.96″ 5.00″ 3.96″ 5.00 oz.

 

There are literally hundreds of other knives available to choose from that have these different steel types. Dig around to see what you find. If you like it, get it. Many people say that a knife is much more than the blade and its steel. This is true, but if you have a poor steel that will not fit your needs, then what is the point of having the knife? Use this simple guide to help pick out your next knife.

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Benchmade 2551 Mini Reflex II Knife Review

Benchmade 2551
Benchmade 2551 Mini Reflex II Knife

The Benchmade Mini-Reflex II introduces a new, improved, and updated edition of the enduringly popular Benchmade Mini-Reflex, Benchmade’s best selling automatic knife. Within the Benchmade Black Series, aimed at professional and those who treat a knife as a serious investment in everyday utility, the Mini-Reflex II can excel at tactical tasks as well as serving as an everyday carry.

 

Blade Profile

 

The Benchmade Mini-Reflex II continues the subtle drop-point blade profile of the original Mini-Reflex. The name “drop-point” signifies the curve that runs, or drops, along the spine of the knife toward its point. The convex curve of the cutting edge of the blade strengthens it at the same time that it produces the belly that expands the amount of cutting surface. With a tip that runs thicker than that of a comparable clipped-point or slant-point blade, the drop-point offers more strength at the expense of reduced piercing capability. The single flat-ground edge makes quick work of both push- and draw-action cutting and carving tasks.

 

Benchmade offers two variations on the blade profile of the Mini-Reflex II. Model 2551 uses a straightforward drop-point shape. Model 2551S includes a series of serrations placed on the left side of the blade behind its belly and just in front of the handle. This placement near the handle increases your ability to bear down and apply leverage when you use the blade. Also called rip teeth, these serrations come in handy when you tackle chores that involve sawing or cutting through fibrous materials such as wood, paracord, or rope.

 

Blade Finishes

 

When it comes to blade finishes, the Benchmade Mini-Reflex II offers two choices that constitute separate models. Model 2551 includes no blade coating, whereas model 2551BK sports a black coating. This finish reduces glare off the knife and can be a critical consideration in some usage settings.

 

In addition to models of the Mini-Reflex II with a blade coating, Benchmade also offers model 2551S, with an uncoated serrated blade, and model 2551SBK, with a serrated and black coated blade. All told, the Mini-Reflex II comes in four model choices.

 

Both the coated and the satin-finished versions display the knife’s model number on the left side of the blade directly below the distinctive Benchmade butterfly logo, with the 154 CM blade steel identified on the opposite side of the knife. The Benchmade Mini-Reflex II ships sharpened and ready to use. Thanks to its outstanding edge retention, you may find yourself able to set your whetstone aside for longer periods of time between sharpenings. Keep in mind that Benchmade’s LifeSharp warranty qualifies every purchaser of a Mini-Reflex II (and all Benchmade knives, for that matter) to ship the knife back to Benchmade for a complete reconditioning that also includes a fresh factory-quality sharpening. The LifeSharp service does not apply to the serrated portion of Mini-Reflex II models 2551S and 2551SBK. You’ll find the warranty information inside the box in which the Mini-Reflex II ships from Benchmade.

 

Blade Steel

 

The Benchmade Mini-Reflex II uses the same American-made steel as its predecessor, the Mini-Reflex. Crucible Industries’ 154 CM stainless steel qualifies as a high-carbon alloy with more than enough chromium to add hardness and tensile strength along with corrosion resistance. Manganese also promotes hardness and tensile strength, adding wear resistance at the same time. Molybdenum helps the Mini-Reflex II demonstrate excellent edge retention and high-temperature strength. Silicon adds to the blade’s hardness and gives it resistance to pitting.

 

Even stainless steel blades, including those with high degrees of corrosion resistance, can fall afoul of the ill effects of exposure to moisture in your environment. Benchmade ships the Mini-Reflex II with a coating of oil, enclosed in a plastic bag inside a microfiber pouch with a quick-opening bead on its drawstring. These protections help guard against the potentially corrosive effects of humidity. Drying your knife immediately after any task that gets it wet, and oiling the blade lightly on a periodic basis, can help protect the Mini-Reflex II from any hint of corrosion.

 

Handle Materials

 

Like other Benchmade products that feature the design creativity of master Alabama knife maker Mel Pardue, the Benchmade Mini-Reflex II features a handle crafted from black anodized 6061-T6 billet aluminum, the same material incorporated in the handle of its predecessor, the Mini-Reflex. The handle wears beautifully because unlike paint, its finish becomes an actual part of the aluminum itself in the course of the electrochemical process that converts the surface of handle parts into an integral layer of aluminum oxide. At the same time, the matte surface of the anodized aluminum helps increase grip on the handle and prevent slippage with wet hands. Unlike the handle finishes on other knife brands, Benchmade’s finish avoids the chalky feel that makes a knife uncomfortable under the fingers, without any hint of the surface slickness that could make the Mini-Reflex II difficult to grip.

 

Unalloyed aluminum offers the lightness you want in a knife blade handle, but the metal runs too soft for heavy use. The 6061-T6 aluminum alloy in the Benchmade Mini-Reflex II handle exhibits strength, toughness, and corrosion resistance thanks to its magnesium and silicon content. Benchmade machines the handle parts for the Mini-Reflex II out of billets of aircraft grade aluminum alloy. Unlike casting processes, machine fabrication gives these parts their crisp lines and precision surfaces.

 

Handle Design

 

At 4.16 inches long, the handle of the Mini-Reflex II incorporates a forefinger groove into which your index finger naturally slips when you hold the knife with the blade facing forward. At the same time, grooves on the sides of the handle increase grip and leverage regardless of the position in which you wield the knife. Front and rear quillons help hold your hand in place and prevent it from sliding off the blade, either to the front, with the attendant risk of injury, or to the rear. These curved quillons also bracket the hand friendly shape of the underside of the handle, which many users point to as an emphatic plus of the design. Of course, if you reverse your grip to place the blade into a downward striking position, the forefinger groove now becomes the location for your little finger and your forefinger stops next to the rear quillon. The finger grooves also provide a safety feature during field use, helping protect your hands from cuts caused by your own blade and the prospect of fluid transfer into those cuts. This consideration holds special importance for law enforcement personnel who find themselves tasked with extracting an injured stranger from a vehicle.

 

If you’re accustomed to hearing Mini-Reflex owners talk about how well the knife favors and fits into the hand, expect to hear the same kudos from owners of the new Mini-Reflex II. Both men and women emphasize this design advantage, which underscores the knife’s suitability for people with hands of virtually all sizes. Because your forefinger fits into a single-digit depression and the remainder of your fingers float between the forefinger groove and the rear quillon, the Mini-Reflex II provides comfortable, secure service for a wide range of users. With the blade closed and the knife held in a reversed position, the end of the handle can serve as an impact tool in some situations. To carry the Mini-Reflex II outside a pocket, Benchmade incorporates a hole near the end of the handle through which to string a lanyard. You also can insert a dummy cord through the hole to make the knife easier to find and harder to lose.

 

Benchmade doesn’t machine the pattern of notches, crosscuts, or cross hatching known as jimping on the spine of the Mini-Reflex II or on the back of its blade. Not to be confused with filework, which adds decorative patterns to blade or handle and can require an artist’s touch to design and apply, jimping aims solely at the practical objective of increasing grip and leverage. In the case of the Mini-Reflex II, the balance and grip of the knife itself eliminates the need for other design features to make the knife feel secure in the hand and eliminate slippage. If you’re accustomed to blades with thumb wraps, you probably won’t miss that feature on the Mini-Reflex II because of its outstanding balance and feel.

 

If you’re right handed, the Mini-Reflex II makes an easy choice as a tactical knife with EDC characteristics or vice versa, provided, of course, that you either live in a state that allows you to use and carry an automatic knife, or you’re an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces or law enforcement with appropriate identification credentials. Some states allow you to carry an automatic knife if you’re also licensed to carry a concealed weapon. Check your state’s laws, and any applicable local regulations, to determine whether the Mini-Reflex II makes a good fit for you.

 

Knife Dimensions and Weight

 

Updating and improving the Mini-Reflex to produce the new Mini-Reflex II resulted in slight changes to the dimensional and weight specifications of the knife. Overall length increased by three one-hundredths of an inch in the Mini-Reflex II, from 7.32 inches to 7.35 inches. At 4.17 inches, the closed length measures one one-hundredth of an inch greater on the Mini-Reflex II. The blade length and handle thickness also increased by one one-hundredth of an inch to 3.17 inches and 0.48 inches respectively. At the same time, the overall weight of the knife decreased by 0.12 ounces, from 2.70 ounces in the Mini-Reflex to 2.58 ounces in the Mini-Reflex II.

 

Updated Push-Button Automatic Package

 

Benchmade has introduced an improved spring-loaded push-button automatic blade deployment package for 2016, and the Mini-Reflex II becomes a beneficiary of this updated mechanism. Even the previous design showed no signs of blade movement in the open position, and the Mini-Reflex II continues that unyielding ability to lock tightly open. The blade deployment mechanism triggers the blade instantaneously, at a speed in excess of 15 miles per hour.

 

Because the design of the Benchmade Mini-Reflex II places the pivot screw and the automatic blade deployment button close together, plan on engaging in some blade-action practice if you’ll need to open the knife quickly without looking at it. Some users of the Mini-Reflex have pointed out that because of the small diemnsions of the knife handle, even experienced knife owners could mistake the screw for the button in a stressful environment without proper illumination, or in a situation in which you must wear gloves, either to protect your hands or to avoid contaminating work materials. If you carry the knife with you consistently and use it as your everyday carry, you can train your hand to identify the control button purely by feel.

 

Removable Pocket Clip

 

The Benchmade Mini-Reflex II features the same black-finished steel pocket clip found on the Mini-Reflex. The clip attaches to the handle of the Mini-Reflex II with three Torx screws and holds the knife in a tip-up position. Some Mini-Reflex owners have observed that the recurve on the end of the clip placed limits on how they could carry the knife. Attached to a right-hand pocket, the clip could become caught on a driver’s side seatbelt and impede quick access for use. Likewise, if they carried the Mini-Reflex in a pocket, the clip could scratch the face of a smartphone or other objects made of less hardy materials than the steel clip itself. These problems typify belt clip use in general, however, and aren’t unique to Benchmade’s design.

 

Because the painted finish on the standard clip doesn’t offer the same degree of wear resistance as the anodized finish on the aluminum handle itself, some Mini-Reflex purchasers obtained a replacement clip from Benchmade, designed with an oxidized finish that resists chipping and fading. This replacement part ships at no charge as part of the company’s LifeSharp warranty.

 

Safety Mechanism

 

The Benchmade Mini-Reflex II incorporates a spine-mounted spring-loaded safety lock that holds the blade either securely open or securely closed. It features jimping grooves to simplify its use, requires significant pressure to engage or disengage, and operates with a ratcheting action that makes a clearly audible clicking sound. In response to the conscious action involved in activating or deactivating the safety lock on the Mini-Reflex, some knife owners preferred not to use the feature because the lock became an impediment to rapid deployment. If you work in law enforcement, public safety, or the armed forces, you may find that these considerations cause you to think twice about engaging the safety, even if you carry the Mini-Reflex II in your pocket.

 

Other Observations

 

In a tactical role, you may find the length of the Mini-Reflex II’s blade too short for some defensive uses, limiting the reach of sweeping or thrusting motions. As an everyday carry, the Mini-Reflex II may offer more blade length than you need in the types of controlled uses and movements that typify EDC use. Before you choose this knife for either or both of these roles, correlate the blade measurements with your expectations and your experience with other knives. Chances are that you’ll find it to be a high-quality, beautifully made, efficient compromise between the limits and extremes of other blade profiles, sizes, and types.

 

 

 

2550

 

2551

 

Weight 2.70 oz. 2.58 oz.
Overall length 7.32″ 7.35″
Closed length 4.16″ 4.17″
Blade length 3.16″ 3.17″
Blade thickness 0.098″ 0.097″
Handle length 4.16″ 4.17″
Handle thickness 0.47″ 0.48″
Handle material Anodized 6061-T6 billet aluminum Anodized 6061-T6 billet aluminum
Handle color Black Black
Blade material 154 CM stainless steel 155 CM stainless steel
Blade hardness 58-61 RC 58-61 RC
Blade style Drop-point Drop-point
Blade grind Flat Flat
Blade finish Satin (2550 and 2550S) or Black (2550BK and 2550SBK) Satin (2551 and 2551S) or Black (2551BK and 2551SBK)
Blade edge type Plain (2550 and 2550BK) or serrated (2550S and 2550SBK) Plain (2551 and 2551BK) or serrated (2551S and 2551SBK)
Pocket clip Black, removable, tip-up Black, removable, tip-up
Lock mechanism Auto open with safety Auto open with safety
Opener Push button automatic Push button automatic with larger button
Lock type Plunge lock Plunge lock
Sheath material Sheath sold separately Sheath sold separately
Benchmark product class Black Class Black Class
User Right handed Right handed
Best use EDC, tactical, law enforcement EDC, tactical, law enforcement
Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices 2550 and 2550S: $200 2550BK and 2550SBK: $215 2551 and 2551S: $210 2550BK and 2550SBK: $225
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Benchmade 484-1 Quick Review

Benchmade 484-1            Made in the USA

With the Benchmade Nakamura, the saying “you get what you pay for” has never been truer. The quality of manufacturing, materials and construction are all completely top-notch. Featuring gorgeous carbon fiber handles for lightweight strength, S90V blade steel for optimal resistance to wear and electric blue barrel spacers and pivot pin for a pop of color, this knife strikes the perfect balance of strong performance and detail in design.  All this care and attention to detail make this knife not only functionally flawless, but also pleasing to the eye and to the touch. For an EDC tactical folder like this, where details can make all the difference, these special touches make an already great knife truly exceptional. Carrying this knife every day for a year will cost less than $0.75/day, and will continue to perform year after year. The very definition of good value, grab the Benchmade Nakamura 484-1 today to know you are carrying only the very best from Benchmade in performance, functionality and design.  Pick it up on our website here.

Benchmade 484-1
Benchmade 484-1
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Benchmade Automatic APB Knife Review

Benchmade APB Auto Knife
Benchmade 6800BK APB Auto Knife

Benchmade continues to produce industry leading knives with the serious attention to detail that sets them apart from much of the competition.  The newest knife in their lineup is the APB or Ambidextrous Push Button knife.  This knife redefines the trigger on an automatic knife making it equally easy to reach from the right or left side–because cutting tasks don’t always come from the same side of life.

For the past seven years, the Auto AXIS mechanism has been a key component of many ambidextrous automatic knives from Benchmade.  This year, they unveiled their newest push button system, the APB.  There are two knives available with the APB system.  One is the 6800 series called the Auto APB and the other is the APB Assist and is the 665 series.

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Buy the Benchmade Auto APB Knife Now

The APB mechanism on the auto knife consists of a bar which spans between the two handle scales.  Riding on top of the bar and extending to the other side of each handle scale is a push button. One push button for each side. When pressed, the push buttons are guided along the bar and a ramped edge slides under the blade release.  This pushes the release up and releases the blade.  At this point, the spring takes over and snaps the blade out.  Either button or both buttons can be pressed to fire the blade.  This results in a true ambidextrous knife.

The blade on the Auto APB is a drop point style made from 154CM stainless steel.  At 3.52″ long and .124″ thick, this blade delivers heavy cutting strength, high durability and great corrosion resistance.  The choice of steel, while of critical importance to a knife blade, is not the only component that delivers maximum cutting performance.  Of nearly equal importance are the angle of the actual edge, in other words, your sharpening profile, as well as the shape of the blade.  Some factors to take into consideration are toughness, rust resistance, ability to take and hold an edge, toothiness and the actual process of manufacture.

Let’s take each of these factors into account as we review the Auto APB.  The blade is 154CM which is hardened to a 58-61 on the Rockwell Hardness chart.   154CM is an American made premium grade stainless steel which was originally developed for heavy industrial jobs.   It was developed by Cucible Industries (previously known as Crucible Materials Corporation) and is a modified martensitic stainless steel type 440C which has molybdenum added.  A martensistic stainless steel is one of the three main types of stainless steels which includes Austenitic, Ferritic and Martensitic.  The martensitic stainless steels are carbon steels usually tempered and hardened which delivers good hardness and high toughness.  The primary characteristic is a “body centered tetragonal martensite microstructure” originally observed by the German microscopist Adolf Martens.

154CM is composed of the following elements:

  • Carbon 1.05%
  • Chromium 14.00%
  • Silicon  0.30%
  • Molybdenum 4.00%
  • Manganese 0.50%

How does 154CM and specifically the Auto APB blade rank on the factors that make a great blade steel.  When producing a knife, the maker always makes a trade off between toughness and strength.  The tougher a blade is the more likely it will take impact without chipping or cracking.  As a knife maker increases the hardness of a steel, the toughness will decrease.  The actual process of heat treating helps determine the ultimate toughness of a blade.  With a HRC of between 58-61, the Auto APB boasts a blade that delivers a tough blade that isn’t so hard that it will be subject to lots of micro chipping.  And this takes us to the next factor–the edge.

The Auto APB blade will take and hold a superior edge.  Becuase it is relatively tough, the 154CM blade takes a nice, sharp edge.  It holds an edge well.  It is a bit tough to sharpen.  This doesn’t mean difficult, it just means you will spend a few more minutes putting an edge on the blade than you would a softer, less tough steel like a 440C or AUS 8 blade.  With the right sharpening equipment, this isn’t hard at all.  For instance, the Wicked Edge systems will make quick work of putting a great edge on a 154CM blade.  With practice, any of the Lansky systems would do a good job as well.

Toothiness is the characteristic you get on a cutting edge based on the sharpening.  Some blades seem to be more “toothy” than others.  Blade steels with a higher content of carbides generally will have more micro serrations or toothiness than blades with lower carbide content.  What you will find is that “toothy” blades hold their edge longer.  On the other hande, blades with lower carbide content can often be sharpened to a more razor-sharp edge.  A bit of a trade-off and 154CM falls between blades steels like AUS 8, with a lower carbide content, and S30V, with a higher carbide content.

Stain resistance or corrosion resistance is the next factor to take into consideration.  While 154CM is very high on toughness and edge retention, it scores a bit lower on the stain resistant chart.  This means that if you take poor care of your blade, it will pick up colorations and even some corrosion.  But that shouldn’t be a big issue for most of us, because we take proper care of our tools.  All this means is that if you get your blade wet, wipe it dry.  And maybe treat it to a light coat of blade oil once a month or so–depending on where you live.  If you live in a hot a humid area, this is really important.  If you live in a desert like I do, it isn’t quite as critical.

Next up is the blade shape.  The Auto APB features a drop point blade which means the blade slopes on the spine from the handle down to the tip of the blade.  This curve allows spine to continue as close as possible to the tip–which means you have more blade thickness and strength close to the tip.  This gives the drop point a serious strength advantage over many other blade designs.

NOTE:  Ever find yourself confused as to what is a clip point and what is a drop point?  A quick visual test will tell you which is which.  The curve on a drop point blade is always convex–meaning it curves outward like a hump as opposed to a clip point which is concave.

The tip of a drop point blade is lower than the back of the handle.  This delivers more control and precision to you as you make fine cuts.  As I mentioned earlier, the broad tip is also thicker, which means you have a tougher blade than most clip point knives.  The trade off is that it isn’t as ideal for piercing cuts.   The biggest advantage of a drop point blade is the large belly area that is ideal for slicing cuts.  Generally considered the all around, all purpose blade shape, the drop point allows you to perform a wide variety of cuts without sacrificing performance.  Unless you have some very specific reason to carry a different blade shape, in my mind the drop point is the best all around knife blade you can carry.  Which makes it ideal for the Benchmade 6800 Auto APB knife.

On to the handle.  The handle is built from two, black anodized, 6061 T6 billet aluminum scales atop full stainless steel liners for maximum strength.  6061 T6 aluminum is incredibly strong yet lightweight.  It is used in many hard use applications such as commercial aircrafts, AR15 uppers and many bicycle components including frames.  This tough and durable material delivers corrosion resistance as well.

The stainless steel liners allow the Auto APB to maintain maximum strength.  The handle shape is a classic knife profile with a generous finger groove followed by a slightly tapering bellied inside edge that allows your fingers to get a rock solid grip on the handle when held in the traditional, forward grip.  It even does well in a reverse grip.  The open frame has an insert near the butt end on the spine with large jimping grooves that give your palm a nice grip point.  The front edge of the spine has matching grooves on the liners where the meet up with the blade and the grooves actually continue out onto the blade for about 1/2″ which gives your thumb a perfect control point for close up, precision cuts.

There along the top of the spine you will find the slide safety.  The safety has matching jimping grooves and to activate you depress it slightly and slide it forward.  It slides up to the APB bar and rests between the two handle scales.  In this position, you cannot depress either of the ambidextrous trigger buttons which means the lock can either lock the blade closed or open.  This handy and secure lock keeps you in control of the blade at all times.  At the butt of the handle is a carbide glass breaker and a tip up, right/left reversible pocket clip.

The entire knife weighs in at just 6.28 ounces which means it can be carried comfortably as an EDC knife.  It also will perform admirably in urban tactical or combat situations.

The knife comes in four variations–satin or black finished blade with or without serrations.  This tough, heavy duty tactical knife is certain to satisfy your tactical needs for decades.  With proper care, the 6800 will last a lifetime.  And with the new APB trigger system, it is certain to deliver high performance, ambidextrous functionality every day.

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Blade Length: 3.52
  • Blade Thickness: 0.124
  • Handle Thickness: 0.630
  • Blade Material: 154CM Stainless Steel
  • Blade Hardness: 58-61 HRC
  • Blade Style: Drop Point
  • Weight: 6.28 oz.
  • Pocket Clip: Black, Reversible, Tip-Up
  • Lock Mechanism: Auto APB
  • Overall Length: 8.64
  • Closed Length: 5.12″
  • Sheath Material: Sold Separately
  • Class: Black
  • Made in the USA

As an Authorized Premium Plus dealer we care the entire line of Benchmade Knives.  Follow this link to see our full line of in stock Benchmade Knives.

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Benchmade Adamas Folder Knife Review — Video Review

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

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Two Kinds of People, by M.R.

Benchmade Presidio
Benchmade Presidio

There Are 2 Kinds of People in the World

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

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

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

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

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