Benchmade Valet Knife Review

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

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

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

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

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

Finally comes back sanding and finishing. Back sanding is where the back of the blade finally gets its special attention. Up until this point, it has remained almost untouched. Last is finishing, which gives the blade a more refined look.

Last is assembly and sharpening. Each Benchmade knife is assembled by hand. An assembly technician receives all of the components — blade, liner, handle, hardware — and carefully pieces them together. The technician checks the knife for blade play (movement from side-to-side and up-and-down), and the result is a knife just waiting to be sharpened. Very last is when the blade gets sharpened. Benchmade says, “The knife is sharp enough when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing. And only then is it truly a Benchmade.”

Today we will be discussing the Benchmade Valet.

The Blade:

             The blade on this knife is made out of M390 steel. This steel is one of the newer super steels that has gained popularity in the past couple of years. This steel was made and designed by Bohler-Uddeholm. They created this steel by using third generation powder metal technology. They developed this steel specifically for knives, especially knives that require high corrosion resistance levels and high hardness which leads to high wear resistance. Bohler-Uddeholm added in chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten, which all work to promote the sharpness of the blade as well as the high edge retention that this steel is known for. This steel is also extremely corrosion resistant because most of the carbides are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, which leaves more “free chromium” to fight corrosion. This steel can be hardened to 60-62 HRC. Something that is unique about this steel is that the manufacturer calls it “Microclean” which means that it can be polished to a complete mirror finish, which is rare. This steel is a little bit complicated to sharpen, but not even as hard as S90V, to put it in perspective.

The blade on this knife has been finished satin, which is the most popular blade finish on the market today. The satin finish is created by the manufacturer repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive, which is normally a sandpaper. As a key, the finer the sandpaper and the more even the lines, the cleaner that the satin finish is going to look. Because this is a Benchmade knife, you can expect a very clean satin finish. The satin finish is used to showcase the fine lines of the steel as well as frame the bevels of the blade. Some of the other benefits to this type of finish is that it is going to cut down on glares, reflections, and even some corrosion. The satin finish gives the knife a very traditional look, which is perfect for this everyday carry blade.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is one of the two most popular blade shapes on the market today. The shape is both versatile as well as tough, which makes it the perfect option for your everyday carry knives. The shape is designed by having the spine of the blade run from the handle to the tip in a slow curve, which creates a lowered point. The lowered point is going to give you more control over your cuts, which allows you to perform fine detail work with this knife. The lowered point is also very broad, which is where the knife gets its high levels of strength from. The strength of this knife is what the drop point is known for and what lets the user really use this knife for almost anything. The broad point is also one of its biggest disadvantages, because it does take away a lot of your stabbing or piercing capabilities. Lastly, the drop point blade shape has a very large belly, which helps to make slicing a breeze. If you are anything like me, you are going to be slicing the most with your everyday carry blade, which is another reason the drop point is such an ideal blade shape for the Valet.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of black G10, which is a synthetic material. This is a laminate composite made out of fiberglass. G10 has very similar properties to carbon fiber, although it is slightly inferior and can be made and purchased for a fraction of the cost. Although it is cheaper to manufacture than carbon fiber, it does still have to be cut and machined into shape, so it is going to be a lot pricier than FRN/Zytel.

To create this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in a resin. The material is then compressed and baked under pressure. This creates a very hard, tough, strong, and still very lightweight material that is perfect for an everyday carry knife. Out of all the fiberglass resin laminates (which includes Micarta, carbon fiber, and FRN), G10 is considered to be the toughest. It is also known as begin stronger than Micarta, but with the extra strength does comes the extra brittleness.

This folding knife is going to benefit from G10 because it is durable and lightweight, so it is going to be able to take a beating throughout its lifetime. It is also lightweight enough that you are not going to notice that it is in your pocket every day. Plus, G10 is non-porous, which helps to reduce maintenance because it is not going to rust or corrode.

Benchmade Valet
Benchmade Valet

The handle on the Valet is pretty simple. The spine of the knife curves slowly from the blade to the butt of the handle. The belly of the knife is pretty much entirely straight, although it does have a very small indent and groove for you to rest your finger in. The handle has enough added texture that you will be able to have a solid grip on this knife. Plus, the handle has been equipped with a lanyard hole.


The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is not a deep carry clip, which can be viewed as a definite drawback to the knife. Especially since this is an everyday carry knife. The clip is also not reversible, which does bother many people. The clip is designed to be attached in tip-up carry only.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife, which means that there is not a mechanism that is inside the knife to help it open. This means that the knife is not going to be as efficient as an automatic or even a spring assisted knife would be. That being said, it is going to be a little bit safer because it is harder to open. This is especially nice because the clip only attaches for tip up carry. Tip up carry can be more dangerous because if the knife accidently opens inside your pocket, it could cut your hand when you reach in your pocket. Because it is a manual knife, you won’t have to worry about this.

The Valet has been equipped with a thumb stud, which is one of the more common blade opening mechanisms available. This is a small barrel that sits on the blade near where the blade begins and the handle ends. The thumb stud replaces the nail nick that is found on older knives as well as more traditional knives. The thumb stud is a fan favorite because it allows you to easily open your knife with just one hand. That being said, some people don’t love how it puts your hand dangerously close to the blade during opening. And, some people complain that the thumb stud gets in the way even once the blade is opened. Overall, more people enjoy the thumb stud than don’t.

The knife has also been equipped with the AXIS locking mechanism. 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 this knife measures in at 2.96 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.099 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 3.73 inches long with a handle thickness of 0.45 inches. When the Valet is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 6.69 inches long. This knife weighs in at a mere 2.18 ounces, which is ideal for your everyday knife, because you aren’t even going to notice it in your pocket. The Valet was made in the United States of America with Austrian blade steel.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade is describing this knife, they say, “A Benchmade designed, AXIS® gent knife, the Valet is comfortable to carry in slacks and ready to get the job done when called upon for bigger tasks.” You can pick up this blade today at BladeOps and have yourself your brand new favorite everyday carry knife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benchmade Mini Loco Knife Review

Benchmade Mini Loco
Benchmade Mini Loco

Benchmade knives are made of many things: steel, aluminum, and titanium, to name a few. But perhaps the most important part of a Benchmade knife is expertise. They carefully measure every part at every step in the process. They use the best materials and equipment. They make world-class knives for world-class users and this is how:

  1. Every blade begins as a sheet of steel. A laser cutting technician programs the laser to cut the steel into blanks, giving the blade its basic profile. The blanks are hammer out of the sheet by hand, and for the first item, the steel begins to look like a knife. The blanks are measure to make to make sure they meet specifications. Measurements are taken every step of the manufacturing process to guarantee an impeccable knife and streamline production. If a part isn’t up-to-spec, it doesn’t become a Benchmade.
  2. The second step is surface grinding. This is where the blank is ground to its precise width. This is the step where a surface grind technician place each blank its rack by hand and each side is ground to its specified thickness. Benchmade says, “Our knives have no room for error, and neither does a blank’s thickness.”
  3. The third step is milling. Blade holes, handles, and grooves are cut on high-speed mills. One of the holes that is cut here is the blade pivot, which his crucial to the folding mechanism. The pivot tolerance is .0005 inches, because the slightest deviation there becomes exponential at the blade’s tip. Handles require the same precision in order to fit the liners and blades properly and ensure a smooth mechanism.
  4. Next is beveling. This is the step where the blade really starts to take shape. A Blade Beveling Technician bevels the knife blank one side at a time, and one of the most critical tasks here is to make sure the sides match perfectly. An imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength, and mechanism function.
  5. Next is back sanding, which is where the back of the blade gets special attention. This is also the step that the blade gets finished. Finishing gives the blade a more refined look. When the blade is cleaned up, it is taken to laser marking to receive its one-of-a-kind Benchmade mark.
  6. Last is assembly and sharpening. Every Benchmade knife is assembled by hand. Then the blade is sharpening. It takes longer to master blade sharpening than any other skill. A sharpening technician puts a razor edge on the knife using a standing belt sander, and this step takes extraordinary concentration. Each blade is sharpened to a targeted 30-degree inclusive angle, 15 degrees on each side. The knife sis sharp enough when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing. Then it is a Benchmade.

Today we are going to be discussing the Benchmade Mini Loco.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel, which is often just known as S30V steel. This steel was designed and created by Crucible Steel, which is based in the United States of America. They designed this steel specifically for knives, with high end pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery in mind. Because of this, you can expect this to be one of the best steels for your blade that you can find. While this premium steel does have excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly, it is actually the vanadium carbides that set it apart from other steels. Crucible added the vanadium because it brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. This steel is known as one of the finest knife blade steels with the perfect balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that because of the hardness, it is tough to sharpen.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish, which is the most common blade finish that you are going to find in the cutlery industry today. The finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive (normally sandpaper). The satin finish is used to show off the bevels of the blade as well as showcasing the fine lines of the steel. This finish is a very traditional one, because it falls pretty much right in the middle of the luster spectrum. Because of the satin finish, the Benchmade Mini Loco is a very classic knife.

The blade has been carved into a reverse tanto blade. While most tanto’s do not have a belly, because of the straight edge, the reverse tanto does. The belly is not large, so don’t expect to be able to sue it for all of your slicing needs, but it is big enough to take on your typical everyday tasks. The point is lowered, because the unsharpened edge mimics the shape of a clip point, with a straight back until about two-thirds the way up the knife, where it slants down to the tip. Because of the lowered tip, you can expect better control, which means that you will be able to perform fine detail or tip work with this blade. However, because the tip is shaper and lowered, it is not going to be as tough as your typical tanto blade. Although it is a reverse tanto, you do still have enough tip strength to pierce through thicker materials.

This blade sports a plain edge, which is easier to sharpen, easier to get a fine edge, and gives you the ability to take on a wider variety of tasks. The plain edge also gives you cleaner cuts because there are no teeth to tear apart the material that you are working with.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of dark grey G10. G10 is a glass based epoxy resin laminate, which is formed by soaked layers of glass cloth in epoxy resin and then compressing them down and heating them until they set. G10 is very similar to Micarta and Carbon Fiber, because they are all resin laminates. However, when it comes to G10, the base material is different than the Micarta and Carbon Fiber. Out of all the fiberglass resin laminates, G10 is consider to be the strongest, although it is going to be brittle.

One of the best aspects of G10 is that checkering and other patterns can easily be added to the material, which help make for a solid, comfortable grip. Tactical folder benefit from the qualities of G-10 because it is a very durable material as well as being very lightweight and non-porous.

Although this material is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it does still have to be cut and machined into shape, which is not as economical as the injection molding process that is used in FRN handles.

Overall, G10 is tough, light and durable. But, it is brittle and it does lack elegance and character.

The handle is pretty simple. It does have a large finger groove, which gives you a comfortable place to rest your fingers as well as improving your grip on the knife. Because of the finger groove, there is also a finger guard, which helps to protect your fingers in case of slipping. The spine of the handle bulges outward while the belly of the handle curves inward, which work to create a comfortable grip in case you have to use it for longer periods of time. To improve texture slightly, there is a raised portion on the palm of the knife. On the butt of the knife, there is a lanyard hole put it. If you choose to attach a lanyard, it can help you withdraw the knife quicker or even just add a touch of your own style to the grey knife.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a deep carry pocket clip. This is a big advantage because this Benchmade knife has been designed to be an everyday knife as well as a tactical knife. The deep carry aspect comes in handy in different ways depending on how you want to use it. As an everyday carry knife, the deep carry clip will keep the knife safe and snug deep in your pocket. This way, you don’t have to worry about it falling out while you move about your day. If you are choosing to use this knife as a tactical tool, the deep carry mechanism will allow you to conceal your knife as much as possible.

The clip is reversible for either right or left handed carry, which helps to make this an ambidextrous knife. However, it can only be attached for tip up carry. The clip as well as most of the hardware on this knife is silver, with more of a stonewashed look. The screws that hold the clip into place are black, just like the rest of the screws on this knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a manual opening knife that utilizes the AXIS mechanism and a thumb hole.

The AXIS lock is a patented Benchmade exclusive that 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. TI 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 thumb hole is extremely common and can be opened with just one hand. Opening a folder equipped with a thumb hole is just like using a thumb stud and by its very design, it is ambidextrous. Plus, unlike a thumb stud, the hole doesn’t protrude from the blade and get caught on anything.

Because this is a manual opening knife, you don’t have to worry about any strict knife laws like you do if it was an automatic knife. Because of the AXIS mechanism, it will still open quickly and efficiently.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Mini Loco measures in at 3.38 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.145 inches. The handle on this tiny knife measures in at 4.38 inches, with a handle thickness of 0.59 inches. When the knife is opened, it measures in at 7.62 inches. This knife weighs in at 4.47 ounces. The Benchmade 818 Mini Loco was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade is talking about this knife, they say, “This overbuilt, premium tactical knife features refined custom hardware. Smaller than its big brother, the 818 is perfect for everyday carry or as a backup knife.” The CPM S30V steel is durable while keeping a sharp edge for long periods of time. The steel has the perfect balance between edge retention, toughness, and hardness, which means that it isn’t going to be brittle like many hard steels. The reverse tanto blade shape gives it the durability of a traditional tanto blade while also providing a small belly that allows you to slice, making this knife a good option for your everyday carry knife. The G 10 handle is durable, but lightweight, which means that you won’t be weighed down when you carry this knife with you every day. Because of the reversible pocket clip and the AXIS mechanism, the 818 Mini Loco becomes a completely ambidextrous knife. This is a great option for right and left handers alike. The thumb hole makes this knife a breeze to open, even if you just have one hand. Whether you use this knife for an EDC or a tactical, you are going to fall in love. Pick up this new Benchmade knife today at BladeOps.

Benchmade 940-1 Osborne Knife Review

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

So what really sets them apart? Well, it starts with the materials. Benchmade builds knives for the most demanding customers, from special operations forces to elite backcountry hunters, and building for the best requires the best raw materials. They 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 next thing that sets them apart is the mechanisms. Benchmade says, “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.”

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

Today we will be talking about the Benchmade 940-1 Osborne everyday knife.

 

The Designer:

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

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of S90Vsteel. This is an ultra-premium steel made by Crucible Industries. When Crucible is describing this knife they say, “It is a martensitic stainless steel to which vanadium and carbon have been added for exceptionally good wear resistance. CPM S90V offers substantial improvements in wear resistance over 440C and D2, and other high chromium steels, with corrosion resistance equal to or better than 440C. CPM S90V’s high vanadium content favors the formation of hard vanadium carbides instead of chromium carbides for wear resistance, leaving more free chromium available to provide corrosion resistance.” Because this stele has extremely high wear and corrosion resistance, it is a better steel than 440C, especially in situations where increased wear is a major concern. And when you are worried about increased corrosion resistance, this steel can even replace D2 or other tool steels. However, this steel does have a high vanadium carbide content, which means that its machinability and grindability is going to be more difficult than steels such as D2 or even 440C. To sharpen this steel, you are going to need the best sharpening equipment.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish, which is one of the most popular blade finishes in the cutlery industry to date. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing degree of a fine abrasive. The most common abrasive that is used is a very fine sandpaper. As a key, the finer the abrasive and the more even the lines, the cleaner the finish is going to look. Because this is a Benchmade knife, you can expect a very clean satin finish. The satin finish is traditional as well as helping to reduce reflections, glares, and even corrosion.

The blade on the 940-1 Osborne has been carved into a Reverse Tanto blade shape. The While the regular tanto has no belly, the reverse tanto has a very slight belly. This belly is going to be almost non-existent when you compare it to a drop or clip point blade, but it will allow you to use this knife as an everyday knife, while a regular tanto would prohibit that. One of the characteristics that the regular tanto as well as the reverse tanto have in common is the extremely strong tip. This is what a tanto knife is designed for. There is excess steel near the tip so that it can withstand being repeatedly pierced through things. And because there is not much of a belly, the tip is broader, instead of fine, which also increases the strength of the tip considerably. This knife has been designed as an everyday carry as well as an outdoors knife. The slight belly is going to allow you to take on a wider variety of tasks, which is ideal for your everyday carry uses. The broad tip is going to give you the strength that you need when you are in the great outdoors. No matter which of these purposes you choose to use the 940-1 for, the reverse tanto was a great addition.

The blade is a plain edge, which equips you to take on a wider variety of chores. The plain edge is also easier to sharpen because you don’t have to worry about the teeth. However, the plain edge is going to get dull more quickly than a serrated edge would. The plain edge gives cleaner cuts as well.

 

The Handle:

             The handle on this knife is made out of dark grey carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is the term that is given to any material that is made by having thin strands of carbon that have been tightly woven together and then set in a resin. Carbon fiber is extremely strong, but also lightweight. This is ideal because you know that you are going to have the heft that you need to take on any task, be it your everyday chores to an extreme adventure outside, but you won’t feel like you are being weighed down. However, because of the labor and time it takes to make carbon fiber, this is a very expensive material.

Even though carbon fiber is strong, it is not an indestructible material and it does suffer from being brittle. This is because all of the strands of carbon have been woven together in one direction. When they are stressed in that specific direction the material is going to remain intact and very strong. However, as soon as they are stressed in other directions, they will begin to break apart. Since this is a brittle material, it can crack if it is subjected to hard or sharp impacts. The overall benefits of a carbon fiber handle is that it is going to be strong, lightweight, and look very nice. The overall disadvantages of having a carbon fiber handle is that it is going to be expensive and a little bit brittle.

The handle on this knife has been woven together in an eye-catching pattern. The weave will also provide the user with a little bit of extra texture. Other than that, the handle is pretty simple. The spine of the handle does bulge out slightly towards the middle, which will give you a more comfortable grip. The belly of the handle is relatively straight, which matches the handle aesthetic nicely. Although the belly of the handle is straight, you will still feel like this is a comfortable handle to hold and use—even if it is for long periods of time. There is a slight fiber groove that does have a little bit of shallow jimping to further provide a more secure grip. There is also a finger guard, which will help protect your fingers in case of slippage.

Benchmade 940-1 Osborne
Benchmade 940-1 Osborne

All of the hardware on this knife is a darker grey, which matches the handle well. Except for the locking mechanisms, which is a bright silver, contrasting nicely with the handle and matching the blade of this knife.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is not a deep carry clip, which is a little bit of a drawback. The handle has only been drilled to attach this clip for tip-up carry. However, it is reversible for either left or right hand carry, which helps to make this knife completely ambidextrous.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife. In terms of legality, having a manual opening knife is a major benefit. It is going to be legal for carry in more states, cities, and areas. Of course, you should always check your local knife laws before purchasing or carrying a knife. In terms of efficiency, the manual opening lock can be a disadvantage. This knife is not going to be as quick or smooth as an automatic knife would.

The blade has been equipped with a thumb stud to help you open the knife. The thumb stud is one of the most common one-handed opening mechanisms. The thumb stud sits on the blade about the position where the blade pivots on the handle. This mechanism is good for a comfortable way to open the knife with only one hand. However, it does put your hand very close to the blade itself. There are plenty of stories of someone trying to open their knife with their thumb stud and slicing themselves in the process. Keep this in mind and always be cautious when you are using the thumb stud.

This knife has always been equipped with an AXIS lock. A patented Benchmade exclusive, AXIS® has been turning heads and winning fans ever since its introduction. A 100 percent ambidextrous design, AXIS® gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega-style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS® bar itself

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.4 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.115 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.47 inches long with a handle thickness of 0.44 inches. When the 940-1 is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7.87 inches long. This knife weighs in at 2.44 ounces. This knife was also made in the United States of America, so you can feel proud to own, carry, and use it.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade is discussing this knife, they say, “Highly regarded as one of the most quintessential EDCs of all time, the 940 and 943 are slim, stylish and after over a decade have performed in just about any situation imaginable.” The S90V steel is durable and extremely wear and corrosion resistant. With the blade made out of this steel, you won’t have to worry too much about maintenance. The satin finish is gives this knife a very traditional look, so you know that your knife won’t go out of style, but it also won’t be too attention-grabbing. The reverse tanto allows this knife to be a perfect option for either an everyday carry knife, or even an outdoors knife. The thumb stud makes for quick, easy, one-handed opening. The AXIS lock and the pocket clip help to make this knife an ambidextrous design. The carbon fiber handle is durable and low maintenance, while still looking nice. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

Benchmade Protagonist Knife Review

Benchmade says, “In 1988, we set out to make the best knives in the world — and that’s exactly what we did. We’ve grown a lot since then, and while we’ve expanded to provide tools for elite tactical operators, first responders and even collectors, our goal remains the same: make the best knives in the world.

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

They say, “Whether you are using a Griptilian® for every day duties or taking the fight to the enemy with the Infidel®, our knives are built to perform. When you choose to purchase a Benchmade, you do so because you want the best. You demand it. And programs like our LifeSharp Lifetime Service and Warranty are the foundation of our commitment to excellence.”

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. Because of this 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. Some of the questions that they ask themselves are: 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.

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

Today we will be discussing the Benchmade Protagonist.

Benchmade Protagonist
Benchmade Protagonist

The Blade:

The blade is made out of 154CM steel, which is one of Benchmade’s favorite steels to use. This steel is made by Crucible Steel Industries, which is a US based steel company. This is a relatively hard steel that is known to be an upgraded version of 440C through the addition of Molybdenum. Molybdenum helps achieve superior edge holding compared to 440C while still retaining similar excellent levels of corrosion resistance despite having less Chromium. This steel also has decent toughness that is good enough for most uses. This is an important characteristic of this knife because the Protagonist has been designed as an outdoor and a tactical knife. The steel also can hold an edge well and is not too difficult to sharpen when you have the correct equipment.

The steel has been finished with a coating. Coatings work to prolong the life of the blade overtime because they create a barrier between the atmosphere and the steel itself. Coatings cut down on wear, corrosion, and eliminate most glares and reflections. The elimination of glares and reflections is an important aspect for the Protagonist, because you will be using it in the field and won’t want your position given away. The biggest drawback to a coated blade is that the coating will scratch off after time or even just hard use. This means that you will lose out on all the benefits until it is recoated. Another disadvantage is that not all coatings are applied evenly, so sometimes there are bubbles are thicker places that mess with your ability to cut as evenly.

The blade has been carved into a tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape has not been designed to be an all-purpose knife. Instead, it has been singed to do one thing and do that one thing extremely well. The tanto blade shape has been designed to excel at piercing through tough materials. This style of knife is similar in style to the Japanese long and short swords and was originally designed for armor piercing. In the 1980s, Cold Steel remade the tanto design and popularized it. The shape of the knife has a high point with a flat grind, which means that you get one of the strongest points you are going to find in the industry. This strong point is ideal for stabbing into hard materials. The thick point of the tanto blade contains a lot of metal near the tip, so it is able to absorb the impact from repeated piecing or hard piecing that most blade shapes cannot. The spine of the tanto and the sharpened edge of the tanto meet at an angle, rather than your traditional curve Because of this, the tanto blade does not have a belly, which is sacrificed to give the user the strongest tip possible. It is because of the lack of belly that makes it not a good option for an all-purpose knife. With the tanto blade, you are going to be prepared to take on any situation that happens to come your way if it means you are stabbing through tougher materials. This ability is absolutely ideal for outdoor as well as tactical knives, so Benchmade really nailed the design when it comes to the Protagonist.

The blade on this knife is a combination edge, which means that the upper 2/3 of it is a plain edge and the lower 1/3 of it is a serrated edge. The idea behind this blade edge is that you get the best of both worlds. You can use the plain edge for all detail work or tasks that need clean cuts. Then you can use the serrated portion on the thicker materials to saw through. While this seems like a really good idea in theory, a big complaint is that the sections of each blade are too small to actually use. Instead of getting the best of both worlds, you don’t get to utilize either portion. When it comes to the combo edge, people either love it or hate it.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of grivory. Grivory is an amorphous nylon copolymer with exceptional dimensional stability. When it comes to Benchmade’s’ Grivory, they have 50% or grater glass fill.

Grivory is durable, tough, strong, resistant to abrasion and bending, as well as being able to resist a lot of chemicals, which is perfect for an outdoor and tactical knife, because you never know what you are going to run into.

The handle is very simple. The spine of the knife curves slightly, but is mostly straight. The belly of the knife has a thick finger guard which is perfect for protecting your fingers. There is a finger groove as well, which gives you a comfortable and secure place to rest your fingers. Other than the finger groove, the belly is pretty straight, but it is still going to be comfortable to hold onto.

The Grivory has been textured to give you a secure grip in almost any situation or environment. When Grivory gets wet, you still have a secure grip on it; it does not lose its texture.

On the butt of the handle, Benchmade has added a lanyard hole. This allows you to keep the knife close by you without it getting in the way.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade knife which has a lot of advantages. Some people prefer folding knives because they are more discrete and easy to conceal. Folding knives are also more convenient and can be easily transported within your pocket. But, there are a lot of advantages when it comes to a fixed blade. The first is that it is going to be strong and big. A fixed blade comes in a wide variety of sizes, but no matter which size it does come in, you get the same strength out of all of them. Plus, the blade is also usually longer on a fixed blade because they do not have to fit inside the handle. This means that you are going to be more capable of taking on the tougher tasks. Plus, the long blade is also thicker than your average folding knife, so you really don’t have to worry about it breaking.

Fixed blades also don’t break easily. This is because there are no moving parts on or inside a fixed blade. This also means that they are easier to maintain because you don’t ah veto worry about drying out the inside pieces or even worrying about the hinge. The best part about fixed blade and its maintenance is that cleaning is much more straightforward and simple. All you have to do is wipe down the blade and handle and oil the blade when needed.

Some of the biggest advantages that you get from the fixed blade for the Protagonist knife is that it is a superior tactical knife. All you have to do is pull the knife out of the sheath and you are ready to go. With a folding knife, you have to pull the knife out of your pocket, open it, and then you are ready to use it. When it comes to a tactical situation, every single second counts.

The other best advantage that you get from this knife being a fixed blade is that it is a super survival tool. A fixed blade offers more versatility for any number of tasks that are associated with so-called survival knives such as cutting, digging, splitting wood, using it as a first aid tool, food preparation, hammering, or even prying if you have no other option.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is made out of Ballistics Nylon. Nylon is a material that tis commonly used in knife sheaths. They are similar to leather, because of how often they are used, and because they are very tough and strong. Something that is different about nylon than leather is that nylon sheaths are resistant to rot and mildew. Plus, they are not as vulnerable to water as leather sheaths are. One of the bigger advantages to a nylon sheath is that they aren’t easily scuffed or torn.

However, like all sheath materials, nylon does have its disadvantages. Nylon does last as leather ones. Also, nylon sheaths get stretched out over time. This means that while your sheath will still work, your knife is not going to fit as snugly. Your knife is not going to be as secure, but nylon sheath is cheaper, so it isn’t a huge bummer to have to buy a new sheath after a while.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4.54 inches long with a blade thickness that measures in at 0.124 inches. The handle on this knife has a thickness of 0.54 inches long. This is a fixed blade, so the overall length of the knife measures in at 9.12 inches long. This is a heavier knife, but not too heavy to be annoying, weighing in at 4.23 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America, so you can be proud to own, carry, and use the Benchmade Protagonist.

 

Conclusion:

When it comes to the Protagonist, Benchmade says, “One for the good guys, the Protagonist was designed with military and law enforcement front of mind. The knife is available in both drop-point and tanto, features 2-color rubberized handles and is easily integrated with a vest, belt or pack.” The blade material is tough, durable, and strong. It is also very resistant to corrosion which cuts down on maintenance time significantly. The blade has been coated, which prolongs the life of the blade by creating a barrier in between eh steel and the environment. The Grivory handle is also extremely durable. The nylon sheath that comes with this knife is very resistant to water and molding. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

 

Benchmade 119 Arvensis 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. This is the story of Benchmade.

The Benchmade adventure began when 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, he played with as a kid. Using his high-school shop skills, he blueprinted his dream knife before eventually meeting Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali-Song® prototype. 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 from 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 Balis 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 evolving its name from 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. The company now needed a new name.

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

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

Today we will be discussing the Benchmade Arvensis.

Benchmade 119 Arvensis
Benchmade 119 Arvensis

The Designer:

The man behind this knife is Shane Sibert. Benchmade says, “Since 1994, Shane Sibert’s goal has been to design and handcraft unique and functional knives that will invoke pride of ownership, while at the same time perform challenging tasks with exceptional ease. He’s established a reputation for making knives constructed to hold up to the rigors of various hostile environments. A life-long avid backpacker and hiker, Sibert draws inspiration from adventurous treks throughout the Pacific Northwest’s vast wilderness and from hobbies that have included Martial Arts and S.C.U.B.A diving.”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knfie is made out of 154CM steel. This is a relatively hard steel that is considered to be an upgraded version of 440C. This is achieved because of the addition of Molybdenum into the material. The Molybdenum helps to give the knfie superior edge holding when compared to 440C, but still allows it to retain similar levels of corrosion resistance even though it does have less chromium in the steel. 154CM steel does have decent toughness that is going to get you through all of your basic tasks and then even some of the extreme tasks. This steel does hold an edge well, which is ideal when you are in the field and don’t have the means to sharpen it. When it does come time to sharpen a blade with this steel, it won’t be too difficult if you have the correct materials to manage that. This steel is made by Crucible Industries, which is a US based steel manufacturer.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish, which is the most common blade finish that you are going to find in the cutlery industry to date. This finish is very traditional and will give the blade a classic look. The finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive. The abrasive that is most commonly used is a sandpaper. As a key, the finer the sandpaper and the more even the liens, the cleaner that the stain finish is going to look. Because this is a Benchmade knife, you can expect the finish to be very clean. The stain finish works to cut down on glares and reflections, which can benefit you in the filed because you don’t want a reflection to give your position away. The satin finish also cuts down slightly on corrosion, which will be an advantage, but I wouldn’t recommend relying on the finish to avoid caring for the blade.

The blade on this knfie is carved into a clip point blade shape. The clip point blade shape is a very versatile blade shape that is most commonly found on the Bowie knfie, although you are going to find it on plenty of other fixed blades, such as the Arvensis. The blade shape is formed by having the spine of the knfie run straight from the handle before stopping about halfway up the knfie. At this point, it will turn and continue to the point of the knfie. This area looks as if it is cut out and is referred to as the clip, which is where this blade shape got its name from. The clip on the Arvensis is straight, although you can find a curved clip on other knives. The clip creates a lowered point, which gives the user more control when they are using the knfie. Because the tip is controllable, sharp and thinner at the spine, a clip point is going to excel at stabbing and piercing. This is because it has less drag during insertion and can be removed more quickly. Clip points also have very large bellies, which help to make slicing an easy task. Slicing is one of the more common things that you will be doing with this knfie, so the big belly is definitely an advantage. Clip points do have one major disadvantage: because the tip is so narrow and sharp, it does have the tendency to be weak and can break pretty easily.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of black contoured G10. G10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made out of fiberglass. This material has very similar properties to carbon fiber, although it is slightly inferior and can be made and bought for a much smaller price. The manufacturer makes this material by taking layers of fiberglass cloth and then soaks them in a resin. The next step in making this material is to compress the layers and then bake them under pressure. The resulting material is tough, hard, lightweight, and extremely strong. Out of all the fiberglass resin laminates, which include carbon fiber and Micarta, G10 is consider to be the toughest of all. It is even considered to be stronger than Micarta, although with that strength comes the brittleness that G10 does have.

The process to make this material makes it easy to add texture to the handle, which helps the user have a very solid and comfortable grip. Tactical folders and fixed blades benefit from the qualities of G10 because it is so durable, very lightweight—so you can have a large knife and not be weighed down—and it is non-porous. The last characteristic is one of the most important to the Arvensis. This knife is not going to absorb any fluids that you happen to come in contact with, which significantly cuts down on maintenance. The overall benefits of a G10 handle is that it is going to be tough, lightweight, and extremely durable. The drawbacks to a G10 handle is that it is going to be brittle and it does lack elegance.

The handle has thick finger guards on both sides, which is important for such a thick blade. The spine of the handle goes straight from the blade to the butt of the handle. The belly of the handle bulges out in the center to provide for a more comfortable grip on the knfie. The butt of the handle has extreme jimping on it. The handle has been slightly skeletonized with three holes cut out going down the length. The last hole can be used as a lanyard hole.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade, which means that there is no mechanism on the knife. The benefits of a fixed blade are plentiful. For starters, the blade can be much longer and thicker than on a folding knfie because the blade does not have to fit inside of the handle. This benefits a tactical knife because the user can inflict more damage. This benefits an outdoor and survival knife because you can take on much larger tasks. A fixed blade is much less likely to break, because of the thickness of the blade. This is huge when you are using this knfie as an outdoor or survival knife, because you do not want to be left high and dry without a weapon. Fixed blades also have much lower maintenance levels, because all you really have to do is wipe down the blade and the handle and then dry them off. The blade is going to need to be oiled occasionally. You don’t have to worry about the hinge like you would with a folding knfie and you don’t have to worry about the spring, like you would with an automatic or spring assisted knife.

A fixed blade is going to be the superior tactical weapon, because all you have to do is remove it from the sheath and you are good to go. It is also going to be the superior survival tool, because you can use it for a lot more than just cutting.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is made out of Bolatron. Bolatron is a material that is often used in knfie sheaths as well as gun holsters. It is a fire retardant thermoplastic alloy that offers outstanding physical properties, which makes it ideal for a knfie sheath. This material can withstand high impact, abrasion, extreme temperatures as well as harsh chemicals. In fact, this material is known to offer greater abrasion resistance than stainless steel. Bolatron.com says that this material is easy to use and difficult to damage, which makes it ideal for a sheath on an outdoor, survival, or tactical knife such as the Arvensis. Because this material is a plastic, the maintenance will be low because all you will have to do is wipe down the sheath. This is a huge advantage for this knife because when you are in the heat of the moment or trying to survive in the great outdoors, you won’t want to be worrying about if your knife sheath can deal with the weather or conditions you are introduced to.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 6.44 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.193 inches. The handle on this knfie has a thickness of 0.75 inches. The overall length of the Arvensis measures in at 11.72 inches long. This knife weighs in at 11.74 ounces, so it is definitely a heavier knife. This knfie was made in the United States of America, so you can feel proud to own, carry, and use it.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade is describing this knfie, they say, “A big, heavy-duty tactical knife that Shane Sibert designed to be well balanced with a “light hand feel”. The Arvensis is an impressive, future-forward fixed blade design with an innovative sheath attachment feature that allows for integration with almost anything.” You can pick up this knfie today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

Benchmade 63 Stainless Bowie Balisong Knife Review

In 1988, they set out to make the best knives in the world—and that’s exactly what they did. They’ve grown a lot since then, and while they’ve expanded to provide tools for elite tactical operators, first responders and even collectors, their goal remains the same: make the best knives in the world.

For thirty years, Benchmade has been designing and manufacturing world-class products for world-class customers. When Benchmade was founded, the mission was to create something better; something exceptional. Today, 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 Griptillian 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 heir LifeSharp Lifetime Service and Warranty are the foundation of their commitment to excellence.

They live it and breath it, and they know what you mean when you say: It’s not a knife. It’s my Benchmade.

They have an edge above other knife companies because they ask themselves a few things to begin with. The first thing they do to create an edge is the materials. They say, “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. We select premium blade steel sand pair them with aerospace-grade handle materials to create premium-grade knives and tools that provide great value for our customers.” The next thing that sets them apart is their mechanism. Benchmade says, “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 last aspect that sets them apart is their manufacturing process. They say, “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. Our commitment to modern machining techniques and rigid quality control has allowed Benchmade to bridge the gap between custom and manufactured.”

Today we will be talking about the Benchmade 63 Stainless Bowie Balisong knife.

Benchmade 63 Stainless Bowie Balisong Knife
Benchmade 63 Stainless Bowie Balisong Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of D2 tool steel. D2 steel is an air hardening, high-carbon, high-chromium tool steel. It has high wear and abrasion resistant properties. It is heat treatable and will offer a hardness in the range of 55-62 HRC, and is machinable in the annealed condition. D2 steel shows little distortion on correct hardening. D2 steel’s high chromium content gives it mild corrosion resisting properties in the hardened condition. This American made steel offers fantastic toughness and edge retention for hard use applications. It is, however, a semi-stainless, so care and maintenance is required.

The blade has been finished satin, which is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. The finer the abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper, and the more even the lines, the cleaner the steel will look. This finish is the most popular and traditional steel that is used in the industry today. In terms of luster, the satin finish is right in the middle. There are a couple of finishes that are more reflective than the statin finish and there are a couple finishes that are more matte than the satin finish.

The blade has been carved into a clip point blade style which is also known as the bowie style blade. The clip point blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today, and makes it a great all-purpose blade. The most common place that you are going to find this blade shape is on a Bowie knife, which is exactly what this butterfly knife is. To form the shape of this knife, the unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight form the handle and stops about halfway up the knife. It then turns and continues to the point of the knife. This “cut-out” area can be straight or curved, but on this Benchmade knife it is curved. This cut-out section is referred to as the clip, which is how the shape got its name. There are a couple of benefits to the clip point style blade. The first is that the point is a lowered tip, which means that you will have more control when you are using the knife. And because the tip is more controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife lends itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. The next major benefit to the clip point blade shape is that it has a large belly that makes slicing a breeze. One of the disadvantages to the clip point blade shape is that it has a narrow tip, which means that it has a tendency to be weak and can break fairly easily. However, by choosing this knife, because of the blade shape, you will be prepared for almost any situation that might come your way.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of stainless steel. Stainless steel provides excellent durability and resistance to corrosion, but it is not very lightweight. One of the other drawbacks is that stainless steel handles can prove to be pretty slippery, so the manufacturer has to incorporate etching or ridges to give the user the require friction. The pros of this material for your handle is that it is going to be strong, durable, and corrosion resistant. The cons is that it will be heavy, and can be slippery.

The two handles flare out towards the butt, where they latch together. Going down the side of this knife, there are six circles carved out of each handle. The handle has also been finished satin, and all of the hardware on this knife is silver, making it an all-silver knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This Benchmade knife is a butterfly knife, also known as a fan knife, and in the Philippines as the balisong. This is a folding pocket knife, but is distinct because it has two handles that counter-rotate around the tang such that, when closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handle.

The balisong was commonly used by Filipino people, especially those in the Tagalog region, as a self-defense and pocket utility knife. A common stereotype is that a Batangueno carries one everywhere he or she goes. 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.

The knife is now illegal or restricted in many countries, often under the same laws and for the same reasons that switchblades are restricted, and in their country of origin, they are no longer as common in urban areas as they were.

While the meaning of the term balisong is not entirely clear, a popular belief is that it derived from the Tagalog words baling sungay, which literally means broken horn These knives were originally made from carved caribou and stag horn. Balisong is also the name of a town in Taal, Batangas province, which became famous for crafting these knives. These knives are also referred to as “fan knives” and “butterfly knives” form the motion and “click clacks” form the sound they make when they are opened and closed.

There are two styles of butterfly knife construction, but this one is a sandwich construction. This means that the knife is assembled in layers that are generally pinned or screwed together. They allow the pivot pins to be adjusted more tightly without binding. When the knife is closed, the blade rests between the layers.

The butterfly knife has a few parts that are not on a typical pocket knife. For starters, there is the bite handle. This is the handle that closes on the sharp edge of the blade, and it will cut the user if they are holding the handle when they go to close it. This is usually the handle that has the latch on it.

Next is the kicker, which is the area on the blade that prevents the sharp edge from touching the inside of the handle and suffering damage. This is sometimes supplanted by an additional tang pin above the pivots.

Then there is the latch, which is the standard locking system, which holds the knife closed. Along with the latch is the latch gate, which is a block inside the channel of the handles stopping the latch form impacting the blade.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this butterfly knife is a nylon sheath. Nylon is a material that is commonly used in knife sheaths. Just like leather, they are tough and strong. Unlike leather though, nylon sheaths are resistant to rot and mildew. They’re also not as vulnerable to water as leather sheaths. Another great aspect is that nylons sheaths are not easily scuffed or torn. But, nylon sheaths don’t last as long as leather ones, and where leather sheaths fit your knife better over time, nylon sheaths get stretched out over time, which means that your knife won’t always fit snugly inside its own sheath.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this butterfly knife measures in at 4.25 inches long. The handle on this Benchmade knife measures in at 4.95 inches. When this knife is opened, it measures in at 9.2 inches long. The knife weighs in at 6.4 ounces, with the sheath weighing in at 0.7 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

The Pros of the Benchmade 63:

  • D2 steel has high corrosion resistance properties.
  • The blade steel offers hard toughness.
  • This blade has high edge retention, which makes it ideal for harder tasks.
  • The satin finish is very traditional and will never go out of style.
  • The clip point blade shape is very versatile and makes this into a great all-purpose knife.
  • The clip point has a thin point that allows you to have high piercing capabilities.
  • The clip point blade also features a large belly that makes slicing a breeze.
  • The blade on this Benchmade knife is going to allow you to take on almost any task that you are faced with.
  • The stainless steel handle is very strong, durable, and resistant to corrosion.
  • The nylon sheath is inexpensive.
  • The nylon sheath is resistant to mildew and rot.
  • The nylon sheath is tough and strong.
  • The nylon sheath is not going to be easily scuffed or torn.

 

The Cons of the Benchmade 63:

  • The clip point has a thin point, which means that it is prone to breaking more than a drop point is.
  • The stainless steel handle does not give you the best grip possible.
  • The stainless handle does add quite a bit of weight to the knife.
  • The nylon sheath is going to stretch out over time, which means that your knife is not going to fit as well.

 

 

Conclusion:

Benchmade first got their start in 1988 and began with just butterfly knives (hence the logo) before diving head first into automatic, spring assisted, folder, fixed blade and rescue tools arena. Offered in multiple sizes and handle configurations, this heftier model features a T-latch lock as well as next generation kicker pin technology which provides incredibly smooth action. Take it from us–this could quite possibly be the only balisong you ever need thanks to Benchmade’s incredible tolerances and a semi-custom look without the heavy price tag. This Blue Class model, the 63, features skeletonized stainless steel handles, a clip point (bowie) style blade in a satin finish and black nylon sheath offers a Velcro closure and contains a belt carry option. Pick up this fantastic butterfly knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

Benchmade Nimravus Knife Review

For more than three decades, Benchmade has been designing and manufacturing world-class products for world-class customers. When they were founded, they had a mission to create something better, not just good, but exceptional. Today, they continue to innovate with the same goal in mind. They also innovate to take performance and reliability to the next level. They want to always be exceeding what is expected.

Benchmade says, “Whether you are using a Griptilian® for every day duties or taking the fight to the enemy with the Infidel®, our knives are built to perform. When you choose to purchase a Benchmade, you do so because you want the best. You demand it. And programs like our LifeSharp Lifetime Service and Warranty are the foundation of our commitment to excellence. We live it and breathe it, and we know what you mean when you say: It’s not a knife. It’s my Benchmade.”

They know that to create a fantastic knife, everything about the process needs to be fantastic. They are building knives for the most demanding demographics of customers. They serve everyone from special operations forces to the elite backcountry hunters. Benchmade knows that building for these groups requires the best raw materials. They select premium blade steels and pair them with aero-space grade handles to create premium-grade knives and tools that provide great value for each and every one of their customers.

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

The next piece of making a fantastic knife is the manufacturing. Benchmade says, “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. Our commitment to modern machining techniques and rigid quality control has allowed Benchmade to bridge the gap between custom and manufactured.”

The last thing that really sets Benchmade apart is their LifeSharp. Benchmade says, “Benchmade knives are all supported through a team of skilled technicians. Their only function is to ensure your Benchmade is in optimal working condition for your entire life. This service is called LifeSharp®. A name that speaks for itself. When you send your knife to the Benchmade LifeSharp team, the knife is completely disassembled and all worn parts are tuned or replaced. The knife is then lubricated and reassembled, a sharpener applies a factory edge to the blade and the knife is shipped back to you. All at no cost to you.”

Today we will be discussing the Benchmade Nimravus.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 154CM steel that has been hardened to a 58-61 HRC. This is generally considered a high end steel that has been made by Crucible Industries. This steel is pretty hard and often compared to 440C, although it is an upgraded version of 440C. Crucible upgraded the steel by adding in Molybdenum, which helps the steel to achieve superior edge holding compared to 440C, without taking away its high levels of corrosion resistance. This steel does have a decent level of toughness, which is going to allow you to take on your basic tasks, plus some. 154CM steel also holds an edge very well. When it does need to be sharpened, it is not too difficult with the right equipment.

The blade on this knife has been coated, which works to prolong the life of the blade. A coating does have a wide variety of benefits, such as it increases the wear resistance of the blade, the corrosion resistance of the blade, and cuts down on glares and reflections which is crucial for this tactical knife. You don’t want a reflection off your blade to give your position away when you are in the field. That being said, coatings usually do scratch off after time or even hard use. Once the coating has scratched off, you are not going to get any of the benefits form the coating until the blade has been re-coated. One of the other drawbacks is that the coating is not going to always be applied as evenly as it could, which creates ridges or divots that can hinder your ability to slice.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a drop point blade shape, which is one of the two most popular blade shapes that you are going to find on the market to date. The blade shape has reason to be so popular—as it is versatile and extremely tough. The blade shape is created by having the spine of the knife curve from the handle to the blade in a slow, curving manner, which gives the shape its lowered point. The lowered point serves to give the user more control over their cuts so that you will be able to perform fine detail work with this knife. The tip on the drop point knife is also very broad, which is where the knife gets its characteristic strength from. The strength of the drop point blade shape is what makes it such a great option on a tactical knife, as it is able to withstand forces that many of the other blade shapes would not be able to. The drop point blade shape has a large belly, which lets you slice with ease. The larger the belly, the easier it is going to be for you to slice. The drop point bade does have one major drawback, which is because of its broad point, you do lose out on some of your piercing or stabbing capabilities. If you are looking solely to stab, I would suggest looking for a knife with a clip point blade. The fact that you do lose out on some of your piercing capabilities is usually ignored because the high amounts of strength overrides the lack of piercing abilities.

This blade is a plain edge, which does let the user take on a wider variety of tasks. The plain edge is also easier to sharpen, because you do not have to worry about the teeth, as you would with a serrated blade. This also means that if you need to sharpen it in the field with a rock, you will probably be able to manage. That being said, because it is a plain edge, you probably will need to sharpen it more often than you would with a serrated blade.


The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is a low density metal that is often used in knife making. This material is very corrosion resistant, which helps to cut down on maintenance. The most common type of aluminum alloy that is used is 6061-T6, which means that the type of aluminum is 6061 and it has been T6 tempered. This alloy also has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. This aluminum alloy is also used in aircraft extensively, which is where it got its nickname of “aircraft aluminum.” Some people view this as a benefit, but it just is what it is, you shouldn’t be tricked by this name of its.

The handle has been anodized black. According to thebalance.com, “Anodizing is a method of increasing the corrosion resistance of a metal part by forming a layer of oxide on its surface. The part that is being treated forms the anode electrode of an electrical circuit. Anodizing increases resistance to corrosion and wear.” The process of creating this protective oxide coating is achieved electrolytically. The aluminum part to be treated is first submerged in an electrolytic solution bath along with a cathode. When a current is passed through the acid solution, hydrogen is released form the cathode and oxygen forms on the surface of an anode. The anodizing process increases the wear resistance, the corrosion resistance, and makes it less prone to scratching, which is a common problem when it comes to aluminum. Overall, the anodizing process adds a sleek, black color to the handle while also prolonging its life.

The handle is pretty simple, with a thick row of jimping on the spine of the handle. The spine is pretty much straight, but does slowly curve towards the butt of the knife. There is a deep finger groove and a thick finger guard on the belly of the handle. Both of these will significantly protect your fingers while giving you a comfortable and secure grip. The belly of the handle does have a slight bulge to it, which helps you grip the knife more securely. As a bonus, this knife does have a lanyard hole, which helps you keep this knife with you at all times.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade knife, which has a variety of benefits that come along with it. Many people do like folding knives more because they are easier to conceal and easier to have with you at all times, because they are smaller. However, I would argue that the benefits of a fixed blade for your tactical knife outweigh the benefits you would get from a folding knife. The first thing that sets a fixed blade knife apart is that the blade and overall knife can be significantly larger. The blade can be much longer because it does not have to fit inside of the handle. And because the blade does not have to fit inside of the handle, it can also be thicker, which helps to make the blade more durable. Going along with that, the entire knife is more durable and less prone to breaking because there are less parts on a fixed blade and no mechanism. You don’t have to worry about a spring, hinge, or even just the inner workings of a fixed blade because there are none of those things. Because there are none of those things, maintenance on a fixed blade is easier too. All you really have to do is wipe down the blade and handle and make sure everything is dry before putting it in its sheath. Lastly, a fixed blade is a superior tactical tool because all you have to do is pull it out of its sheath and it is ready to go.

 

Benchmade Nimravus
Benchmade Nimravus

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is a nylon sheath that is MOLLE Compatible and has been equipped with a MALICE CLIP. Nylon is commonly used in knife sheaths and are often compared to leather sheaths because of how often they are used. Just like leather, nylon is going to be tough as well as strong. Plus, nylon sheaths are resistant to rot and mildew, which you wouldn’t find with a leather sheath. Nylon is not super vulnerable to water as well, which helps with the maintenance of the sheath. The biggest advantage for this specific sheath is that it is MOLLE Compatible. All of that being said, there are also some major drawbacks to having a nylon sheath. The first one is that it is not going to last as long as leather or other synthetic materials. The biggest drawback is that nylon does get stretched out over time, which means that the sheath is not going to give your knife a snug fit for a lifetime.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4.50 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.115 inches. The handle on this knife has a thickness that measures in at 0.58 inches. The Nimravus has an overall length of 9.45 inches long and weighs in at 6.20 ounces. The sheath that comes with this knife weighs in at 5.00 ounces even. This knife was made in the United States of America, so you can feel proud to own, carry, and use it.


Conclusion:

Benchmade says that this is one of their all-time best-selling combat fixed blades. You should find out for yourself by picking up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

 

Benchmade Arcane Spring Assist Flipper Knife Review

Benchmade Arcane Spring Assist Flipper Knife
Benchmade Arcane Spring Assist Flipper Knife

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

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

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

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

Next is beveling which is when the blade starts to take its shape. Before this point, the two sides were pretty much flat. Here, a technician bevels the knife blank one side at a time. An imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength, and mechanism function.

Following is back sanding, which is where the back of the blade gets special attention. Along with back sanding is finishing, which is the step that gives the blade a more refined look.

The second to last step is assembly. Benchmade says, “Every Benchmade knife is assembled by hand, and it’s no surprise that there are more hand operations performed at this point in a knife’s production than at any other stage in the process. An assembly technician receives all of the components — blade, liner, handle, hardware — and carefully pieces them together. The technician checks the knife for blade play (movement from side-to-side and up-and-down), and the result is a knife just waiting to be sharpened.”

The last step is sharpening, and it takes longer to master blade sharpening than any other skill in the process. Once the blade can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing does a knife become a Benchmade.

Today we will be talking about the Benchmade Arcane flipper knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S90V steel. This steel is an ultra-premium steel. It has been said to approach the very peak of wear resistance and edge retention. This steel is designed by Crucible Industries, who are known for having very high quality steels. They are also based in the United States, so you don’t have to be concerned with any shady things that tend to go on in the manufacturing world outside of the US. CPM S90V steel has a very high carbon content, but that isn’t what makes this steel so great. The real secret here is that Crucible has added high quantities of Vanadium. In fact, they have added almost three times the amount of vanadium to this steel that they did to their better known steel S30V. There are a couple of drawbacks though. For starters, this steel is going to be extremely expensive, which significantly raises the cost of the overall knife price. Second, it is extremely hard to sharpen. However, you have to look at the positives, like how it will hold an edge better than almost any other steel and how it can withstand wear and corrosion better than almost any other steel. Overall, when a knife has this steel, you can expect a high quality knife.

The blade has been finished satin, which is one of the more common blade finishes. It is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive. This finish shows off the bevels of the blade as well as the fine lines in the steel. The finish helps to cut down on glares, reflections, and corrosion.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a drop point style blade. This blade shape is one of the more popular one son the market because of how durable and versatile it is. The shape of the blade has a spine that starts at the handle and slowly curves towards the point. This creates a lowered point, which means that you are going to have more control over it. The tip is also very broad, which is where the drop point gets its characteristic strength from. The drop point also has a very large belly, which makes slicing extremely easy. This belly is going to come in handy since this is an everyday knife. The broad point is also a drawback though, because it does take away from many of your piercing capabilities.

 

The Handle:

             The handle on tis knife is made out of 7075-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is a durable material, especially when it comes to knife handles. Aluminum is a low density metal, which means that it is going to give you the hefty feel that you want out of your knife, but it won’t actually weigh you down. The overall pros to an aluminum handle is that it is going to be strong, light, durable, and very resistant to corrosion. The overall drawbacks to an aluminum handle is that it is going to be cold to hold, it can be a little bit slippery, and it is very susceptible to scratches and dings.

The handle on this knife is pretty simple. The spine of the handle curves slowly down towards the butt of the knife. The belly of the handle is where it gets unique. There is a very thick finger guard that will protect your fingers from getting sliced in case you do slip. There is also a pretty deep finger groove. This is going to give you a comfortable place to rest your fingers while also keeping them safe. After the deep finger groove is a shallow and elongated finger groove that extends almost to the butt of the handle. There is one last curve that curves up towards the butt of the handle. As a complete bonus to this knife, there is a lanyard hole, which allows you to keep the knife close to you at all times without it getting in the way. It also allows you to remove it from your pocket a little bit quicker if needed.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a deep carry clip. Since this knife has been designed as an everyday knife, the deep carry is a major advantage. You can put this in your pocket and not worry about going throughout your day because it isn’t going to fall out. The clip on this knife is silver, which contrasts with the handle and matches the blade. While the pocket clip can only be attached for tip up carry, it is reversible for either left or right handed carry. This helps to make the knife fully ambidextrous.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife. This is a type of folding knife that uses an internal mechanism to finish the opening of the blade once the user has partially opened it using a flipper that is attached to the blade. This is a very efficient style of blade because it doesn’t fall under the strict laws of a fully automatic knife. However, it will still open quickly and smoothly because it is partially automatic.

The blade on this knife uses a flipper to help you open the knife. The flipper is a triangular piece of metal that extends off the blade. The flipper is very easy to use. All you have to do is use your flexed finger to manually pull back on the flipper, which will “flip” the blade open and into place. The flipper is often compared with the thumb stud, because they are used on similar knives. The flipper is a little bit trickier to get the hang of at first. However, once you do get the hang of it, it keeps your fingers out of the blade’s path when you are opening and closing the knife. This is the opposite of the thumb stud, which puts your fingers pretty directly into the path of the blade. In most cases, once the knife is opened, the flipper acts as a finger guard. However, on the Arcane, this is not the case. There is already a very thick and long finger guard, so the flipper fits right into that. The last benefit about the flipper is that it doesn’t protrude out of the blade like a thumb stud would, so it doesn’t get in your way when you are trying to use your knife.

The knife has been equipped with Benchmade’s AXIS Assist lock. A patented Benchmade exclusive, AXIS® has been turning heads and winning fans ever since its introduction. A 100 percent ambidextrous design, AXIS® gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega-style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS® bar itself. Then, when Benchmade is talking about the AXIS assist, they say, “Easily opened, quickly and with one hand; this evolution of the AXIS® includes a spring that helps to fire the blade into the open position once the user pushes it beyond a certain point manually. The AXIS® lock also has the added benefit of “suck-back,” which encourages the blade to stay in the closed position. AXIS® Assist knives also feature integrated safety lock systems.”


The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.2 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.090 inches long. The handle measures in at 4.52 inches long with a handle thickness of 0.48 inches long. When the Arcane is open, it measures in at an overall length of 7.72 inches long. This is a lighter weight knife, weighing in at only 2.88 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America, so you can feel proud to own, carry, and use it.

 

Conclusion:

             When Benchmade is discussing this knife they say, “AXIS® Assist… with a flipper. It’s the best of everything in a slim, lightweight, every day carry. Easily operated and carried on either side, the speed and function of AXIS® Assist, the convenience of a flipper.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benchmade 551BKSN-AS Griptilian 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.

In 1979 the Benchmade adventure began when 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, he played with as a kid. Using his high-school shop skills, he blueprinted his dream knife before eventually meeting Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali-Song® prototype. 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?”

Les incorporated as Bali-Song®, Inc. in 1980 and rented a small shop in a second story mezzanine in California. The original equipment was purchased from 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 Balis 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 evolving its name from Bali-song®, Inc. to Pacific Cutlery Corp.

1987 brought a different tune. Due to its inability to control quality, price and delivery, Pacific Cutlery Corp. filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved. In 1988, Les reintroduced a new company and new version of the Model 68; This time with a drive to produce product in the US and an even stronger commitment to product availability, quality and customer relationships. The company now needed a new name.

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

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.

 

The Designer:

The man behind this knife is Mel Pardue. Benchmade says, “The senior team member, Mel has been grinding sparks, making knives and creating a following for 25-plus years. His style has a class and simplicity all its own. The Pardue collaborations offer great utility to the everyday knife user while at the same time presenting an upscale distinction. Less is definitely more with Mel’s designs.”

 

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 154CM stainless steel. This is a high end steel that is made by Crucible Industries. This is a pretty hard steel that is normally viewed as an upgraded version of 440C steel, because of the addition of Molybdenum. The Molybdenum helps the steel achieves superior edge holding, especially when being compared to 440C. However, it also allows the steel to keep its high levels of corrosion resistance even though it has less Chromium in it. The steel is tough enough to stand up to most of your tasks, while also holding its edge well. If you have the correct equipment, the steel is not too hard to sharpen.

The blade has been finished with a coating. The black coating not only looks sleek, but also provides the knife with added wear and corrosion resistance. This is because the coating forms a barrier in between the blade steel and the environment. This protects against any of the elements, including water. The coating on the blade also works to cut down on glares and reflections, which isn’t a huge deal when you are using this knife as your everyday knife, but is a bigger deal when you are using it as our outdoors knife. The drawback that comes with having a coated blade is that when the coating scratches off, it will not provide you with the same benefits that it does when it has the coating on it. This means that the life of the blade will no longer be prolonged and it is prone to rusting and corrosion. Coatings do scratch off after time or with heavy use.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape, which is the most popular blade shape that is on the market to date. The drop point blade is formed by having the spine of the blade extend from the handle to the tip in a slow, curving manner, which creates a lowered point. The lowered point allows the user to have more control over their cuts and slices, which also means that they will be able to perform fine detail work with this knife. The point on this knife is also broad, which is why the drop point blade shape is so durable. This is going to come in handy with your outdoors knife, because you won’t have to worry about whether or not the knife can actually complete the task. This blade shape is also very versatile, mainly because of the large belly that makes slicing a breeze. This characteristic of the drop point knife is going to come in handy the most when you are using this knife as an everyday carry knife. The drop point blade shape does have one major disadvantage: because the tip of the blade is so broad, you do lose out on a lot of your piercing and stabbing capabilities. This should not be a huge issue with this knife, because it is designed as an everyday carry and outdoors knife. Plus, because of the lack of piercing capabilities, you get a lot more strength to the knife, which most people view as the bigger benefit. Overall, the drop point blade shape is tough and versatile, which is a combination that allows you to take on almost any task.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Glass-Filled Nylon, which is the same material is Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon or FRN. This is a thermoplastic material that is really strong, really resistant to bending and abrasion, as well as being almost indestructible.

This material is almost indestructible because of the way that it is designed. Although it is similar to the other fiberglass materials such as G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, GFN has all of its nylon fibers arranged haphazardly throughout the material. This means that it can be stretched or stressed in any direction and not break down. This is different than the other materials, where their fibers are arranged in one direction.

This material is also extremely cheap because it can be injection molded into any shape and textured in the production process. This means that the manufacturer can make these handles at a high volume, which always decreases the cost.

The overall benefits to this knife handle material is that it is strong, touch, requires no maintenance, and does not raise the cost of the knife too much. The overall disadvantages are that it does have less grip than G-10.

Benchmade 551BKSN-AS Griptilian
Benchmade 551BKSN-AS Griptilian

The handle is relatively simple. It has more curves than angles, which will provide a comfortable, and still secure grip to this knife. The spine of the knife curves very slowly from the blade to the butt, which is rounded. There is a long row of jimping right when the handle begins and the blade ends, which will give you more control when you are using this knife. Right before the butt of the handle begins there is another row of jimping which will help with control. The belly of the handle has an elongated finger groove, which is also equipped with jimping. The elongated finger groove creates a finger guard, which will help protect your fingers if you do happen to slip. It also provides a comfortable place for you to rest your fingers and have a solid grip on the knife. The belly bulges out very slightly, which will help with comfort. On the belly of this knife, near the butt, there is a short row of jimping. The middle of this handle has an intensely textured portion that will give the user a more secure grip while they are using this knife. This is especially ideal when you are using this knife as an outdoors knife.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is just a standard pocket clip, which means it won’t fit as deeply into your pocket. This means that the knife will not be as secure in your pocket or as concealed in your pocket. The clip is designed to be attached only tip-up, although it is reversible for either left or right handed carry. Because it is reversible, the knife is almost fully ambidextrous.

The clip is black, which contrasts with the sand colored handle and matches the blade. The clip is kept in place by three black screws, which match the rest of the hardware on this knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife has been equipped with a thumb stud to help the user open the knife. The thumb stud is a small barrel that sits in the place of the nail nick that you can find on more traditional knives. The thumb stud is arguably the most common one handed opening system that you can find today. The thumb stud is extremely easy to use, so the user doesn’t have to really get the hang of it, like they would with a flipper. However, in terms of safety, it is not the safest opening mechanism. It puts your fingers pretty directly into the path of the blade when you are opening the knife, which means the user is more likely to slice themselves on accident.

The knife is also equipped with the AXIS locking mechanism. 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 this knife measures in at 3.45 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.62 inches long. When the knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 8.07 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.2 ounces and was made in the United States of America.

 

What Benchmade has to say about it:

Benchmade Knife Company and AmericanSnipers.org have teamed up to bring you a special edition Griptilian® with custom laser markings of the AmericanSnipers.org logo and iconic AmericanSnipers.org skull. Made in USA.
AmericanSnipers.org is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization comprised of active and retired Law Enforcement and Military snipers who volunteer their time to raise equipment and monetary donations at firearms industry and military event/functions. All funds donated go towards the procurement of requested supplies that will deploy with snipers to help aid them in their missions around the globe.
Benchmade is proud to support this effort by donating a portion of sales from this special edition knife directly to AmericanSnipers.org.

 

Conclusion:

This knife has been designed as a great everyday carry or outdoors knife. You can pick it up today at BladeOps.

 

Benchmade 417 Fact Knife Review

Benchmade 417 Fact
Benchmade 417 Fact

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

The first step in a Benchmade knife’s life is laser cutting. Each of their blades begins as a single sheet of steel. A laser cutting technician programs the laser to cut the steel into blanks giving the blade its basic profile. The blanks are hammered out of the sheet by hand, and for the first time, the steel begins to look like a knife. Of course, the blanks are measured to make sure they meet the tight specifications.

The second step is surface grinding, which is where the blank is ground to its precise width. A surface grind technician places each blank in its rack by hand and each side is ground to its specified thickness. The tolerances that they use are within the width of a human hair because Benchmade believes that their knives have no room for error, which means that the blank’s thickness also has no room for error.

The third step in the process is milling, which is when blade holes, handles, and grooves are cut on high-speed mills. For every knife, the blade milling technician programs the mill and measures the blade or handle to make sure it meets their tolerances. One of the holes that is cut in this step is the blade pivot, which his crucial to the folding mechanism. The pivot tolerance is actually .0005 inches, because even the slightest deviation at this point becomes exponential at the blade’s tip.

The fourth step in the process is beveling. This is the step where the blade actually begins to take shape. Before this step, the blade is flat on each side. It is at this step the bevels are ground into the blade and of course, a Blade Beveling Technician measures the blade to verify that it meets the specified tolerances. This is especially important because an imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength, and mechanism function.

The fifth step is combined with the sixth: Back-sanding and finishing. Back sanding is where the back of the blade gets attention and finishing gives the blade a more refined look.

The seventh and eighth step are also combined: Assembly and sharpening. Each and every Benchmade knife is assembled by hand. An assembly technician receives all of the components—blade, liner, handle, hardware—and pieces them together. Next, is the sharpening, which takes longer to master than any other of the skills listed here. Each of Benchmade’s blades are sharpened to a targeted 30-degree inclusive angle, 15 degrees on each side. The knife is sharp enough when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing. This is when the knife becomes a true Benchmade.

Today we will be discussing the Benchmade 417 Fact.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel. Crucible says, “CPM S30V is a martensitic stainless steel designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. Its chemistry ha been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance. CPM S30V offers substantial improvement in toughness over other high hardness steels such as 440C and D2, and its corrosion resistance is equal to or better than 440C in various environments.” Something that is unique about Crucible is that a lot of their steels are “CPM” steels. The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grind-ability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes. While CPM S30V steel is known for having the ideal balance between toughness, hardness, and edge retention, it is also known as being tricky to work with and sharpen. It is tricky because of the high hardness, so while an experienced blade sharpener will be able to get a very fine edge on this blade, a newer sharpener might want to hold off.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine sandpaper. This finish works to show off the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the fine liens of the steel. This is one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to come across as well as being the most popular blade finish that you are going to find I the cutlery industry today. The satin finish works to cut down on glares and reflections while also cutting down on corrosion.

The blade on the 417 Fact has been carved into a spear point blade style. The spear point blade style has been designed as a hybrid blade shape, which makes it perfect for using as an everyday carry blade as well as a tactical knife. The spear point is similar to the needle point blade because they have both been designed to pierce. However, the spear point has more than just piercing going for it because it is stronger and does contain a slight belly that is useful when going about your day-to-day tasks. The shape of the blade is made up of a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both of the spear point’s edges fall and rise equally, which means that the center of the point is going to be exactly at the middle of the blade. While the spear point blade is sharp enough for piercing, it is also strong enough that you don’t have to worry about it snapping when you do pierce. Plus, the spear pint does contain a belly that can be used for some cutting. However, when the belly is compared to either a drop point or a clip point blade, it is going to look extremely strong and not be as useful as the other two shapes. Overall, this blade shape has a good balance between its piercing and slicing ability. Plus, it combines the sharp point of a dagger with the strength of a drop point blade. Because of the spear point blade shape, the Benchmade Fact is going to be very functional.

 

The Handle:

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

Billet aluminum just means that the entire handle is made out of one single piece of aluminum. This guarantees that there are no weaker spots where two pieces have been molded together. Because it is billet aluminum, the handle is going to be stronger and more durable.

Aluminum is a very durable material, especially when it is used for knife handles. Aluminum is a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty feel without actually weighing the knife down. This is the best of both worlds because you are going to feel like you have the heft behind the knife to actually take on the things that pop up, but you aren’t going to notice the weight in your pocket when you are just going about your business. The most common type of aluminum used today is the 6061-T6 alloy, which does have the highest tensile strength.

When an aluminum handle is texturized properly, it will provide a pretty secure grip that is also going to be comfortable and easy for long periods of use. Unfortunately, aluminum does have high conductive properties, which means if you were planning on using this in the winter, it will feel like it is biting into your palm. Some of the benefits to having an aluminum handle is that it is going to be strong, light, very durable, and very resistant o corrosion. All of these characteristics keep maintenance to a minimum. However, aluminum can be cold to hold, does tend to be slippery, and is susceptible to scratches and dings.

According to Wikipedia, “Anodizing is an electrolytic passivation process used the increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts. The process is called anodizing because the part to be treated forms the anode electrode of an electrical circuit. Anodizing increases resistance to corrosion and wear.” This means that not only does the anodizing give the handle a sleek, black look, it also makes the already durable material even more durable.

The spine of the handle is very straight, while the belly of the handle does have a large finger guard as well as an elongated and shallow finger groove to make your hold a little more comfortable.

The handle has been skeletonized to cut down on weight.

 

The Pocket Clip:

This is a deep carry pocket clip, which is ideal for both an everyday carry knife as well as a tactical knife, exactly what the Fact has been designed as. The deep carry pocket clip will keep your knife securely in your pocket, even if you do move around throughout your day. This comes in handy when you are using the Fact as an everyday carry knife because you don’t have to worry about the knife slipping out of your pocket. In fact, you can just forget that it is even in your pocket—until you need to use it. The deep carry pocket clip will also keep your knife more concealed, which comes in handy when you are using this knife as a tactical tool.

The pocket clip on this knife is designed only to attach tip-up, but it is reversible for either left or right handed carry, which helps to make this an ambidextrous knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife that employs Benchmade’s AXIS lock. Because this is a manual opening knife, you don’t have to worry about the strict laws that surround an automatic opening knife. It will also be easier to maintain, because there is no spring that can break down and ruin your ability to open the knife smoothly.

The AXIS is a patented Benchmade exclusive that 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. Tow 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.

Because of the AXIS mechanism and a reversible pocket clip, the Benchmade Fact proves to be a great option for left or right handed people alike.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.95 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.110 inches. The handle length on the Fact measures in at 4.77 inches long, with a handle thickness of 0.48 inches. When the knife is opened, it measures in at 8.72 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.24 ounces. And of course, like Benchmade knives are, this knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

Benchmade says, “This minimalist masterpiece won’t get in your way, but will be there when you need it, and that’s a FACT.” The CPM S30V steel makes maintenance a breeze and also gives you an incredibly strong blade. The satin finish and the aluminum handle are what give this knife such a classic look. The spear point blade shape is extremely functional; whether you are using this knife for a tactical or an EDC. Pick up this brand new Benchmade knife today at BladeOps.