Benchmade Loco Knife Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

Benchmade Loco Knife
Benchmade Loco Knife

The Mechanism:

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

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

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Benchmade Rift Knife Review

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. 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. The first step in the knife making process is laser cutting. Every blade begins as a sheet of steel. In this first step, the laser cuts the steel into blanks, giving the blade its basic profile. The blanks are then hammered out of the sheet by hand. The second step in creating the perfect knife is surface grinding. This is where the blank is ground to its precise width. Benchmade says that their knives have no room for error, and neither does their blank’s thickness. The third step in the process is milling. This is where the blade holes, handles, and grooves are cut on high speed mills. The fourth step is beveling; this is when the blade starts to really take shape. Up to this point, the two sides of the blade are essentially flat. This is because an imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength, and mechanism function. The next two steps are back sanding and finishing. The back sanding is where the back of the blade gets special attention. The finishing is where the blade gets a more refined look. The finishing technician stone washes the blades in a ceramic medium to remove an y burrs and give the blades a clean, polished appearance. The last two steps are assembly and sharpening. Every Benchmade knife is assembled by hand. An assembly technician receives all of the components—blade, liner, handle, hardware—and carefully pieces them together. The very last step is sharpening. It takes longer to master blade sharpening than any other skill. Each blade is sharpened to a targeted 30-degree inclusive angel, 15 degrees on each side. Benchmade considered the knife sharp enough only when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing.

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

At BladeOps, we are celebrating May as Benchmade month. Today’s celebration focuses on the Rift family.

 

The Blade:

The steel that this family uses is 154 CM steel. This is a relatively hard steel which is considered an upgraded version of 440C through the addition of Molybdenum. This addition achieves superior edge holding compared to 440C while retaining similar excellent levels of corrosion resistance despite having less Chromium. This steel has decent toughness good enough for most uses and does hold an edge well. If you have the right equipment, it is not too difficult to sharpen.

With this family of steel, you have two choices of blade finishes. The first option is the satin finish. This finish is one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to find. It is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive material, which is usually a sandpaper. The satin finish does cut down on glares and reflections slightly.

The second finish option that you are presented with is a coated finish. This is a black finish that helps to reduce the reflection and glare while also reducing wear and corrosion. Unfortunately, all coatings can and will be scratched off after continuous heavy use. At that point, the blade will have to be recoated. Quality coatings do add cost to a knife, but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance.

The steel has been carved into a reverse tanto blade style. This style of blade was popularized by Warren Osborne with his designs for Benchmade Knives. This is not a very common shape and does resemble a Spey blade. This type of reverse tanto is an American Tanto blade that is turned upside down so the angular side is on the top, making the knife look like it has a very drastic drop point. The thing about a tanto knife is that it isn’t an all-purpose knife, it is a knife that does one thing and does that one thing extremely well. The tanto blade shape excels at piercing through tough materials. The thick pint of the tanto blade contains a lot of metal near the tip, so it is able to absorb the impact form repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break. One of the drawbacks to this blade shape is that it does not have a belly, because the belly has been sacrificed for a stronger tip. And because it lacks a belly for slicing, it is not useful as a general utility knife. However, because this knife family is actually a reverse tanto style, it does sport a belly. This comes in handy when you are working with your everyday tasks. When you choose a knife that has a tanto point, you will be choosing a knife that is specifically tailored to piercing tough materials.

You also have two options for your edge style. The first option is a plain edge. This is the more traditional edge that is tailored to perform a wider array of tasks. The plain edge excels at push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling. With a plain edge, the edge is easier to sharpen because you don’t have to worry about the teeth, and you can usually get a finer edge on the blade.

The other option that you have is a combo edge. This is where the bottom portion of the edge is a serrated portion and the upper portion is a plain edge. Serrated edges excel at sawing through some of the thicker materials, such as rope or branches. And one of the benefits to choosing a combo edge is that you have the portion of the blade to saw through those thicker materials, but you also have the plain edge to perform the push cuts and do all of the detail work.

Benchmade Rift Knife
Benchmade Rift Knife

The Handle:

You have to options for the handle, but both of them are made out of G 10. G 10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. It has very similar properties to carbon fiber yet can be had for almost a fraction of the cost. The manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The material that results is extremely tough, hard, very lightweight, and strong. In fact, G 10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger, although more brittle, than Micarta. Checkering and other patterns add a texture to the handle, which makes for a solid, comfortable grip. The production process of G 10 can utilize many layers of the same color, or varying different colors to achieve a unique cosmetic look on the G 10 handle. Tactical folders and fixed blades alike benefit from the qualities of G 10, because it is durable and lightweight, non-porous and available in a variety of colors. And while it is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it still has to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process that is used in FRN handles. One of the drawbacks to the G 10 material being the handle is that it does lack elegance.

Your first G 10 option is gray and black. This has a more unique texture design than the other option. The black G 10 option has less intense texturing, and instead has deep grooves down the two sides of the width of your palm.

Both options of the handles provide you with fantastic grip that is going to stay secure in almost any situation. To give you a comfortable grip even after long periods of usage, there is a deep curve where you palm sits.

 

The Mechanism:

You have two different mechanism options. The first option is an automatic opening knife. Automatic knives are also known as switchblades, and switchblades are not legal in all areas of the country. Make sure that you know your local knife laws before you choose this version of the knife. An automatic knife is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade that is contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring when a button, lever, or switch on the handle is activated. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened position. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed positon.

The other mechanism option that you have is a manual opening Rift knife. The opening assist is a thumb stud. The thumb stud is arguably the most common one hand opening feature, and is commonly employed by Benchmade. A thumb stud essentially replaces the nail nick found on more traditional knives. The principle is pretty straightforward—grasp the folded knife, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open. Knives with a thumb stud also usually incorporate a locking mechanism of some sort. If the stud extends through the blade, which means that it protrudes on both sides, the knife can be opened with either hand. And the Rift manual opening knives does have the dual thumb stud, which helps make this knife an ambidextrous knife.

Benchmade Rift Auto
Benchmade Rift Auto

Both versions of the knife do sport locking mechanisms and both of them do sport the AXIS locking mechanism. This is a patented Benchmade exclusive, the 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 b lade. 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 length of the blade on the Rift family is 3.67 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.114 inches. The open length of this knife is 8.27 inches long, and it sports a closed length of 4.60 inches long. The handle thickness on this knife is 0.56 inches. These knives weigh in at 4.8 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America. This knife family was designed to be an everyday knife or a tactical knife.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade is talking about this family of knives, they said, “This glaringly obvious warren Osborne design features a reverse tanto top for toughness, large bellied blade for utility and textured G 10 handle scales for secure grip. Made in the USA.” The 154 CM steel is a hard, durable, stainless steel. You can choose between a satin finish that gives you a very traditional look or you can choose a coated BK1 black tactical coated blade. The bonus about choosing the coated version for your tactical knife is that there are going to be no glares or reflections to give your position away. However, the coating will chip off over time or heavy use. The G 10 handle is durable, strong, tough, and still lightweight. This knife comes with a removable tip up, reversible pocket clip. So help us over here at BladeOps celebrate Benchmade month by picking out your favorite Rift family knife and purchase it today.  Find the AXIS-Lock Folder models here and the Automatic models here.

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Benchmade Proper Knife Review

Benchmade has become the dynasty that they are because for over twenty-five years, Benchmade has been designing and manufacturing world class products or world class customers. When Benchmade was founded, the mission was to create something better; something exceptional. Today, they continue to innovate with the goal of taking performance and reliability to the next level. To exceed what is expected. Whether you are using a Griptilian for every day duties or taking the fight to the enemy with the Infidel, 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 their LifeSharp Lifetime Service and Warranty are the foundation of their commitment to excellence. They live it and breathe it, and they know what you mean when you say: It’s not a knife. It’s my Benchmade.

Benchmade builds knives for the most demanding customers, from special operations forces to elite backcountry hunters, and building for the best requires the best raw materials. Benchmade selects 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 mechanism that Benchmade uses are also some of the best mechanisms. The mechanics of opening and closing a knife are essential to its function. They take into considers like, “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?” Because they know that those are the critical considerations when it comes to the mechanism.

The Benchmade factory employs modern laser cutters and CN C machining centers that offer control and tolerance commonly found in the aerospace industry—often 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.

It was in 1988 that Benchmade 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 have expanded to provide tools for elite tactical operators, first responders, and even collectors, their goal has remained the same: to make the best knives in the world.

This May, BladeOps is celebrating Benchmade month. Today, the knife family that we are focusing on is the Proper Family. This family of steel is a simple yet modern take on a classic gentleman’s knife.

Benchmade Proper Knife
Benchmade Proper Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel. This is a premium steel that was made by US based Crucible. Although the full name of the steel is CPM S30V, it is often referred to as just S30V steel. This steel formula was designed in the US and is typically used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. Crucible brought out the extreme hardness in the steel alloy matrix by adding vanadium carbides. Dollar for dollar, this is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. This is one of the harder balances to find. One of the only drawbacks with this formula of steel is that it is hard to sharpen.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish. This style of finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive material, which is usually sandpaper. The main characteristic that you are going to find with a satin finish is that it showcases the lines of the steel. This finish is one of the more traditional finishes that you are going to find, which makes it the perfect option for a gentleman’s knife.

The steel has been carved into a sheepsfoot blade style. In some cases, you want a knife that is perfect for slicing or cutting without worry about controlling the point. To avoid an accidental stabbing, a sheepsfoot blade is the perfect solution. The main purpose of a sheepsfoot blade is for cutting and slicing while minimizing the chances of anything accidentally being pierced by the point. The design of a sheepsfoot knife includes a straight edged front blade and a dull back spine that curves down to meet the straight edge. The two blades meet at the tip to form a “false point”. The distinctive flat cutting edge is well suited to giving you a supremely clean cut, especially on flat cutting surfaces. Sheepsfoot knives are popular choices among emergency responders who use them to cut seatbelts and other restraints without injuring the victim with a sharp point. They are also popular among sailors who use them to safely cut rigging without the danger of piercing the sails. The only real disadvantage of a sheepsfoot blade is its lack of a sharp point, which also happens to be one of its advantages.

The edge on this knife is a plain edge. The Proper Family of knives have been designed to be everyday knives, so the plain edge is the perfect option for that. Plain edges are more equipped to take on a wider range of tasks. Knives with plain edged blades excel at push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling. Slicing is the task that you are going to be most grateful for when you are performing your everyday tasks. Another benefit about the plain edged blade is that it is easier to sharpen than a serrated blade because it does not sport any of the teeth. And, you can normally get a finer edge on plain edges. One of the last major benefits is that because it does not sport any of the teeth, you can use this knife to do some detail work.

 

The Handle:

There are two different options when it comes to what you can choose for the handle material and color. The first option is a Micarta handle. The Micarta comes in a dark brown handle. Micarta is a popular branded example of phenolic—which refers to different substances made with the organic compound Phenol, which is a type of resin. To make this material, thin layers of linen cloths are soaked in a phenolic resin, producing a product that is lightweight, strong, and looks somewhat dressier than G 10. It was originally introduced as an electrical insulator and easily one of the best plastics out there making knife handles. Unfortunately, Micarta in and of itself has absolutely no surface texture, is very slippery and smooth, and requires quite a bit of hand labor to produce and then carve some sort of texture into the knife. This makes it pricey, which translates to a higher priced knife. Many people will tell you that Micarta can be easily scratched but let me assure you that this is not the case. Micarta is very hard and is not easy to scratch at all.

Benchmade 319 Proper
Benchmade 319 Proper

The second option for a handle material that you are presented with is a G 10 handle. This handle material comes in a dark red color. G 10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. It has very similar properties to carbon fiber, yet can be had for almost a fraction of the cost. The manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The material that results is extremely tough, hard, very lightweight, and strong. In fact, G 10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger, although more brittle, than Micarta. Checkering and other patterns add a texture to the handle, which makes for a solid, comfortable grip. The production process can utilize many layers of the same color, or varying different colors to achieve a unique cosmetic look on the G 10 handle. Tactical folders and fixed blade knives benefit from the qualities of G 10, because it is durable and lightweight, nonporous and available in a variety of colors. While this material is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it still has to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process used in FRN handles. One of the drawbacks to this material is that it does lack elegance.

Both versions of the handle will provide you with a secure grip for your everyday tasks. However, the Micarta handle is not going to give you a super solid grip in wetter situations. There is no pocket clip on the Proper family, but there has been a lanyard hole carved into the butt of the handle. Because there is no pocket clip, a lanyard will be the perfect option to attach easily, while keeping it out of the way, but also keeping it close by for quick grab. A lanyard can also be a fashion statement for your everyday knife. A third reason to attach a lanyard onto your Proper knife is to have it hang out of your pocket. Many people try to keep their everyday carry knife hidden completely deep in their pocket, so having a lanyard hanging out of your pocket will be inconspicuous but easy to draw out when needed.

 

The Mechanism:

The locking mechanism on this family of knives is not actually a true locking mechanism. These knives have what is called a slipjoint locking mechanism. This type of mechanism is most commonly seen in Swiss Army Knives. Typically, knives with this mechanism require two hands to open and close safely. The mechanism is made up of a spring bar and a specially shaped blade. To open the knife, you pull on the blade to overcome the pressure from the spring, snapping the blade into place. To close it, make sure your fingers are out of the way of the sharp edge, and push back down. One of the main advantages of these types of knives is their legality. They’re also nice to carry because they’re simple and easy to use. But, since they don’t have a true lockup, they’re not the best for heavier duty tasks.

The Proper knife family sports a nail nick opening mechanism. This type of mechanism is one of the oldest form of knife opening system that was widely sued in production knives and they still continue to be a popular opening method for high end interframe folders. Nail nicks aren’t commonly used on tactical folders because they are difficult to open one handed. IT is possible to open many nail nick folders one handed fi there is enough blade to grip onto when it is closed by performing a “Spydie Drop”, which is where you hold onto the blade and flick the handle open from it, usually with the help of gravity. The nail nick is exactly what it sounds like, a small divot in the blade that you can get your thumb into and push the blade out of the handle and into place.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 2.86 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 6.71 inches long with a closed length of 3.85 inches long. This knife weighs in at 2.3 ounces. This knife was also made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Proper is one of many new folding models released by Benchmade this year and comes in 2 different handle colors and finishes. Each model embodies the typical classic gentlemen’s knife but this time with ultra-premium and modern materials. The Proper utilizes a slip-joint non-locking mechanism in which the blade is held open by spring pressure on a flat section on the back of the blade’s tang and is deployed with a classic nail nick opening feature. This Blue Class model, the 319, features a dark brown canvas Micarta handle, stainless steel liners, a sheepsfoot style blade in a satin finish and due to the nature of this knife, there is no included pocket clip design. Made in the USA. This is truly a simple yet modern take on a classic gentleman’s knife. So come celebrate Benchmade month this May at BladeOps and pick yours up today.   You can find the Dark Red model here and the Dark Brown Model here.
 

 

 

 

 

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Benchmade HUNT Hidden Canyon Knife Review

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

Benchmade has a mindset of, “for over twenty-five years, Benchmade has been designing and manufacturing world class products for world class customers. When Benchmade was founded, the mission was to create something better; something exceptional. Today, we continue to innovate with the goal of taking performance and reliability to the next level. TO exceed what is expected.” They have a commitment to excellence and as they say, “We live it and breathe it, and we know what you mean when you say: It’s not a knife. It’s my Benchmade.”

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

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

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

Benchmade Hidden Canyon Knife
Benchmade Hidden Canyon Knife

The Handle:

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

The G10 comes in a gray and black combo. This G10 has been designed to look like it is wood. G10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. It has very similar properties to carbon fiber, but you can get it for almost a fraction of the cost. To make this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The resulting material is extremely tough, hard, very lightweight, and also strong. G10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger than Micarta. And while this material is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it still has to be cut and machined into shape, which is not as economical as the injection molding process used in FRN handles. Some people are worried that this material lacks elegance, but that is not an issue when you are in the market for a hunting knife.

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

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

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

 

The Sheath:

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

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

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Benchmade H2O Fixed Blade Knife Review

Benchmade is almost a dynasty at this point, but it took years to get them to this point. Benchmade tells their story like this:

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. Product of his creation, he took this first Bali-Song into a local gun store and the owner asked, “Could you build 100 more?”

In 1980, Les incorporated as Bali-Song, Inc. and rented a small shop in a second story mezzanine in California. The original equipment was purchased form the owner of a manufacturing operation who looking to retire. Utilizing the rudimentary technology available to him at the time, Les began building handmade custom Bali-Songs, along with Jody Sampson, who ground all the blades. The success of these custom Bali’s spurred the creation of the first production Bali-Song: The model 68. Over the next seven years, the company expanded its product offerings into fixed blades and conventional folding knives, 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 introduced 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 piston 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.

 

Over at BladeOps, we are celebrating the month of May as Benchmade month. To celebrate, we are going over all the different knives that we carry and taking a rundown on why they are such an excellent knife. Today, we are going over the H20 Fixed blade family of knives.

 

The Blades:

The blades on this family of knives are made out of N680 steel. This steel contains about 0.20% nitrogen and over 17% chromium making it extremely corrosion resistant. This steel has been designed as an outdoor and rescue knife, so this steel is the perfect option. This formula of steel can even be immersed in salt water without corroding. It can resist rust so easily because during smelting, N680 steel is infused with nitrogen, an elemental gas. The nitrogen interacts with the chromium inside the steel to give the chromium “more space to work with” so to say. This allows the chromium to better defend the iron from reacting with oxygen. If iron reacts with oxygen, rust forms. This steel is a fine grained steel that can take a very fine edge. This is a fairly cheap type of steel but it also has fantastic qualities about it. Unfortunately, because it is a cheaper steel, it will not hold an edge as well as some of the other more expensive steels on the market. On the flipside, this steel does not take a lot of edge to sharpen the blade. The hardness on this steel is a 57-59 HRC.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish. This finish is created by sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. The main characteristics about this blade finish is that it shows off the lines of the blade. This is one of the more traditional blade finishes that you are going to come across.

The blade shape is one of the most unique aspects of the H2O fixed blade family. It is technically called an opposing bevel blade shape. This blade sports a blunt tip. This knife has been designed as a rescue knife and this is when the blunt tip comes in. When you are trying to get into cramped spaces, you don’t want to have to worry about stabbing the person that you are rescuing. This way, you can get as close to the victim as you possibly can, without causing further injuries. On the back of the blade, they have incorporated a hook that is perfect for cutting through straps, webbing, and other pliable materials. This hook is sharp enough to be able to cut through most materials that someone could become stuck in. On the other side of the handle, there is a combo edge. With a combo edge, you truly get the best of both worlds. With a plain edge, you get the more useful applications in basic situations. The plain edge portion of the blade is going to serve a much wider purpose. One of the advantages to the plain edge portion is that they excel at push cutting. This is where a knife is used by applying force forward and pushing the knife edge in. An example of this is wood carving. The next thing that the plain edge excels at is slicing. This is when you use the knife in a back and forth motion, but it isn’t quite a saw.  The benefit to the serrated portion of the blade is that the teeth can cut through the thicker materials. When you are using this knife for a rescue knife or an outdoors knife, the serrated portion is going to come in handy. The serrated edge can easily saw through seat restraints, straps, and webbing.

 

The Handles:

The handles are made out of a rubberized over mold called Santoprene. Santoprene is a thermoplastic elastomer which belongs to a diverse family of rubber like materials that can be processed and recycled within the manufacturing process. Santoprene looks, feels, and behaves like rubber, but due to the PP content, offers simple, flexible part design and manufacturing. It essentially is a high performance elastomer which exhibits the properties of rubber while providing the ease of processing of plastics. It has proven to be a dependable polymer for flexible engineered parts that require long term performance. To put this in layman’s terms, Santoprene handles are a blend of synthetic rubber and polypropylene. This provides added slip resistance while increasing the durability of the knife. You can get this handle in a bright yellow or a muted black.

The handle will provide you with a very secure grip in any situation, including the stressful or wet ones. To keep your grip comfortable for long term use, there is a deep finger groove and a slightly curved palm portion. To protect your fingers form slipping and getting cut, there is a thick finger guard.

The H2O fixed blade family of knives also boasts a lanyard hole. Since this knife is designed to be a rescue and outdoors knife, there are so many reasons to have a lanyard on your knife. For starters, you can secure your knife against loos. This knife has been designed to use in water and you do not want your sharp knife tossing and turning around loose in the water. With a lanyard, you can guarantee that you don’t lose your knife. Another reason to use a lanyard on your knife is for safety while using. If you are using the knife in deep snow or where there is potential for dropping it in water or mud, tie a longer cord to the lanyard. Then tie the cord to your belt or run it through a button hole. That could save you from losing one of your best tools. The third reason to tie a lanyard onto this knife is for greater visibility. If you happen to put your knife down while doing some task, you may lose it or forget where you put it. The easy solution is to get a knife with a high visibility handle, but if you happen to choose a knife that does not have a bright handle, you can tie a piece of fluorescent flagging to the handle of your knife.

 

The Mechanism:

There are so many pros to having a fixed blade, especially for your outdoors or survival knife. For starters, they are strong and big. You can basically get a fixed blade in any size that you are seeking, but one trait that spans across all of the sizes is the pure strength of the blade. The next big benefit to this knife being a fixed blade is that they don’t break. You don’t want your outdoors or rescue knife to fail you in a time of need. They don’t break for a variety of reasons: one is that there are no moving parts on a fixed blade. The second one is that there are really no weak spots in a fixed blade where the blade can snap. The third reason that they fixed blades are such a great option is that they are easier to maintain. You don’t have to worry about the hinge as you do with a folding knife. And, cleaning is going to be super straightforward and simple. Especially since this knife can be submerged in salt water and not corrode. The blade length is also ideal on this knife. With a fixed blade, you can have a much longer blade because it does not have to fit in the handle and they are usually thicker and less prone to snapping. One of the last major reasons that a fixed blade is such a fantastic option is that they are a superior survival tool. A fixed blade offers more versatility for any number of tasks associated with so called survival knives, including but not limited to cutting, digging, first aid, hammering, and sometimes even prying. With the H2O being a fixed blade, you won’t have to worry about it failing.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath is a plastic sheath. This specific sheath is extremely durable. It can be submerged in salt water or exposed to different environments and the sheath will hold up fairly well. On the flip side, it is not much to look at. And with the repeated taking out and putting in of your knife, the sheath will dull the edge of your blade. This plastic molded sheath that features a single push button lock release and PFD compatible clip.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.43 inches long with a thickness of 0.116 inches. The handle thickness on this knife is 0.470 inches. The overall length of this knife is 7.56 inches long. The knife weighs in at 3.1 ounces and the sheath weighs in at 1.10 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Benchmade H2O is a dive knife that doubles and triples as a rescue and outdoors knife. The N680 steel provides you with maximum corrosion resistance, cutting ability, and edge retention. This knife is built with a blunt tip so that you are ready for anything that gets thrown at you without having to worry about piercing the wrong thing. The handle on this model is black Santoprene which is very durable. This knife comes with a plastic molded sheath that features single push button lock release and PFD compatible clip. When Benchmade is talking about this knife they said, “Born from water, the H2O fixed was originally developed for an elite military program. The knife features a blunt tip, opposing bevel for torsional strength and an integrated hook for cutting through straps, webbing, and other pliable materials. Designed and manufactured in the USA with Austrian blade steel.” This knife is an excellent addition to your collection, especially if you are going to be working in the water often. Come celebrate this month of May as Benchmade month and pick up your yellow or black H2O today at BladeOps.

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Benchmade Adamas Folder Knife Review — Video Review

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

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Benchmade H&K Turmoil OTF Knife Review

Benchmade Turmoil
Benchmade Heckler and Koch Turmoil OTF auto knife, 14808

Benchmade has been producing H&K knives for quite some time.  The newest Out the Front automatic from Benchmade in the H&K line is the Turmoil.  Built to the exacting specifications of any Benchmade knife, the Turmoil boasts fast action, quality materials and seriously tight tolerances.

The D2 blade is built for heavy duty applications.  While the Benchmade website describes D2 as, “An air-hardened tool steel, which offers good corrosion resistance and excellent mileage in wear resistance. A good choice for hard use applications,”  I think we need a more in depth discussion of the benefits and properties of D2 tool steel.

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Buy The Benchmade Turmoil

 

Tool steels are both carbon and alloy steels that have been designed specifically for heavy industrial tools.  They excel in this arena because of their hardness, resistance to abrasion, resistance to deformation at high temperatures as well as their ability to hold a cutting edge.  Many tool steels are highly resistant to corrosion as well because of high vanadium and or niobium content.  Most tool steels in general are used in a heat treated state.

Tool steels typically have a carbon content between .7% and 1.5%.  There are several grades of tool steels and each grade delivers different capabilities.  If you want a sharp cutting edge you need a different tool steel than one which is needed for hard impact or a tool steel that is needed to work under high temperatures.  Some of the main categories of tool steels are as follows:

  1. Water hardening types  (W)
  2. Cold working types
    1. Oil Hardening Types (O)
    2. Air Hardening Types (A) and (D)
  3. Shock Resistant Types (S)
  4. High Speed Types (T) and (M)
  5. Hot Working Types (H)
  6. Special Working Types (P), (L), (F)

Within each type or classification there are various grades of alloy and each one is given a numerical designation.  So you may see an A3 tool steel or in the case of the Turmoil knife a D2 tool steel.

D2 tool steel contains between 10% and 13% chromium and retains its hardness up to 425°C.  Most often it is used in industrial applications for dies.  Recently, many knife manufacturers began to use it for their knife blades because it is extremely wear resistant.  Many refer to D grade tool steel as stainless or semi-stainless steels although in actuality they are not stainless.

So we see that D2 tool steel gives your knife a keen edge, extremely high toughness, and wear resistance.  These advantages combine into one fantastic knife blade, that if sharpened correctly will give you an excellent edge that will last for a long time.

The Turmoil 14808 features a drop point, single edge blade.  Although not as “sexy” as a dagger edge, the single edge blade is more practical for an every day carry knife.  The blade measures 3.47″ long which is plenty of cutting edge for nearly every daily cutting chore you are going to run into.

The blade opens fast and lock up is very tight.  It has a sabre grind to the blade which is very similar to a “Scandinavian Grind” but with the addition of a microbevel at the very cutting edge of the blade.  Sometimes a sabre grind is called the V grind.  This style of edge gives you excellent hard cutting strength but will not excel for slicing cuts.  It also gives the blade extremely high strength because the blade is fully thick from the spine to about 1/3 the way down the blade (moving from the spine to the cutting edge).

Benchmade Turmoil Handle
Benchmade Turmoil Handle

The handle on the Turmoil is constructed from 6061 T6 black anodized aircraft aluminum.   6061 aluminum is a precipitation hardening aluminum alloy that contains magnesium and silicon as its main alloy elements.  The T in the name means it is a tempered grade of aluminum.  Specifically, 6061 T6 is solutionized and artificially aged yielding a tensile strength of 42,000 psi and a yield strength of 35,000 psi.  These psi strengths are the minimum acceptable levels and with many batches of 6061 T6 it is even higher.  6061 T6 is a heat treatable aluminum.  This type of aluminum is used in AR-15 upper receivers, bikes and many other hard use applications where a light yet extremely tough and durable material is needed.

The benefits of an aluminum handle then is its strength as well as its durability, corrosion resistance and the fact that it is incredibly lightweight.  These properties make it ideal for an every day carry (EDC) knife.

Typically, and specifically in the case of this knife, the aluminum handle is anodized.  Anodizing gives the  aluminum a color (in this case black) and it also adds another layer of corrosion resistance.  Anodizing also makes the knife handle scratch resistant.

The Turmoil handle is slightly asymmetrical.  The slight “bend” in the middle of the handle is a bit more like a small jag.  It gives your hand a much more comfortable hold and makes the knife more secure in your hand as well.  It adds grip security because your thumb muscle (one guy in our office calls this his “hand chub”) pushes up against the slight angled piece and keeps the handle from slipping when making heavy piercing cuts.  On the other edge, the matching angle is gripped by your fingers and when making pull cuts, your fingers push up against this angled piece and keep the handle from slipping as well.

The OTF mechanism on the Turmoil is a double action.  This means the blade can be opened and closed with the same slide trigger.  The truly ambidextrous slide is asymmetrical and grey anodized.  With serious jimping up the edge of the slide, it makes for easy thumb traction and the trigger isn’t overly difficult to engage.  It does require a minimum amount of pressure which acts as the blade safety.

One of the most common questions we get about Out the Front automatic knives is, “Won’t that fire in my pocket?”  Although it is a remote possibility, kind of in the range of there is a chance that scientists will actually agree on whether Pluto is a planet or not, I have never talked with someone who actually has had this happen.  The trigger on the Turmoil will slide about 1/3″ with increasing resistance.  And as you continue to slide it past this point, the blade engages and fires open rapidly.  This 1/3″ of increasing resistance makes the blade virtually impossible to open accidentally.

The pocket clip is wide and can be switched from right to left for ambidextrous carry.  It is tip down.

The Turmoil is a welcome addition to an already sparkling Heckler & Koch line of Out the Front Automatic knives.  Just a bit smaller in length than the Epidemic, and the same overall length as the Tumult the Turmoil has the addition of several traction lines across the front and back face of the handle for greater grip security.

To me, the Turmoil is the perfect EDC OTF carry knife for urban, urban tactical or combat situations.  It is reliable, built tough, and is extremely operator friendly.  Check out the Turmoil here on our website.

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Blade Length: 3.47″
  • Blade Thickness: .100″
  • Handle Thickness: .470″
  • Blade Material: D2 Tool Steel
  • Blade Hardness: 60-62 HRC
  • Blade Style: Drop Point
  • Weight: 3.43 oz
  • Pocket Clip: Tip Down, Black, Reversible
  • Lock Mechanism: OTF Double Auto
  • Overall Length: 8.10″
  • Closed Length: 4.63″
  • Class: Heckler & Koch
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Benchmade 477 Emissary 3.5 Assist Knife — New Knife Review

Benchmade 477 Emissary
Benchmade 477 Emissary AXIS-Assist knife

The Benchmade 477 is another great addition to the extremely successful Emissary platform.  The newest model, the Emissary 3.5, features the AXIS-Assist locking mechanism with a safety, an S30V stainless steel modified drop point blade, and CNC machined billet alumium handles.

The previous Emissary, model 470-1, also used the AXIS-Assist locking mechanism but it had a slide safety positioned near the AXIS system on the side of the handle.  The 3.5 has the safety positioned on the spine of the handle.  I like the position better for a couple of reasons.  First, it is out of the way of my hand so I am not bumping into it when gripping the knife in a traditional grip.  Second, the safety is actually easier for me to operate on the spine.  Some spine safeties are fidgeting, finicky things that are difficult to slide.  This one is perfect.  Easy to depress and slide with the thumb, it slides smooth in its track and locks up with a nice, quiet click when in place.  I think it is the best spine safety I have ever used.

Benchmade Emissary Knives
Benchmade Emissary Knives

The nearly 3.5″ blade is S30V.  This stainless steel is going to handle every day life with ease.  It will tackle heavy duty cutting jobs with minimal fuss.  It will keep an edge and it will keep you cutting smooth and easy for a very long time.  When it comes time to sharpen the blade, you can do it yourself or send it in to Benchmade through their fantastic LifeSharp program so you don’t have to fuss and bother.  They ship it back to you with a factory edge back on the blade.

The AXIS-Assist system, if you haven’t had the pleasure of using it, opens fast and locks up very tight.  To open the blade, just give either of the ambidextrous thumb studs a push and get the blade started.  The assist takes over and gets the blade open the rest of the way.  To close the blade, just pull the AXIS mechanism towards the butt of the handle.  I do this by grasping the AXIS system with my thumb and forefinger.  You can easily do it with just your thumb if you prefer.  This releases the blade from the open position and you can close it with your other hand.  When the blade is open, or when it is closed, you can slide the safety mechanism into the locked position securing the blade in its current position.  It makes for an ultra secure open blade so you can make your heavy cuts with peace of mind.

The handle is CNC machined aluminum.  It has a deep finger groove for your finger and then a more shallow and wide spot for your other fingers to rest on.  The handle has several wide bevels for a very comfortable grip.  The knife has a deep carry pocket clip that is right/left reversible.  It also has a lanyard hole.

The 477 Emissary 3.5 Assist knife is perfect for those who want a full sized blade in a classic package with all the best of materials and mechanisms.  The knife carries comfortable and unobtrusive in your pocket which makes it perfect for the boardroom warrior.  Check out the Benchmade 477 on our site here.  Let me know what you think of yours down below.

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Benchmade 909SBK Stryker II Knife Review

Benchmade 909SBK Stryker II
Benchmade 909SBK Stryker II — folder knife built for heavy use.

The Benchmade Stryker series just got a new member–and the 909 is definitely a knife to be reckoned with.  A tactical folder built for the real world, the Stryker II features a tanto blade that locks up with the AXIS locking mechanism.  Textured G-10 handle scales provide a comfortable and secure grip.  The reversible (right/left) tip up pocket clip allows for flexible carry options.  And most of all, it performs.

The 154CM stainless steel blade has a black tactical finish on this model.  You can pick it up with a satin finish if you prefer.  Also available with a standard edge instead of the part serrated if that is the direction you lean.  The blade is just over 3 1/2″ which makes it perfect for heavy, every day use applications.  Whether you have some serious work to be done on deployment or just have a couple boxes that need to be opened, this blade will get the job done.  The 154CM stainless steel will give you a great edge that lasts.  It will also be relatively easy to maintain.  You open the knife with the thumb studs.  It locks open with the extremely dependable AXIS locking mechanism.  If you have never used a knife with the AXIS system–you are in for a treat.  Very secure, very simple, and truly ambidextrous.

The handle is built with textured black G10 scales on skeletonized stainless steel liners.  The handle is open construction with just the blade pivot screw, the AXIS lock and two barrel spacers between the two liners.  This reduces weight and has the extra advantage of making the 909 extremely easy to keep clean.  The liners have jimping while the G10 scales do not–which gives a unique jimping pattern that offers texture in the right places while at the same time being low key about it.  The G10 scales are beveled in all the right places for a very comfortable grip.  A lanyard hole offers alternate carry.

This instant classic folder knife is perfect for heavy use whether you operate in a tactical world or a world of glass and steel.  Check out the new Benchmade 909 Stryker II knives on our website here.  Let me know what you think down in the comment section.

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Blade Length: 3.57″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.124″
  • Handle Thickness: 0.470″
  • Blade Material: 154CM Stainless Steel
  • Blade Hardness: 58-60HRC
  • Blade Style: Tanto
  • Weight: 4.38oz.
  • Pocket Clip: Reversible, Black, Tip-Up
  • Lock Mechanism: AXIS
  • Overall Length: 8.29″
  • Closed Length: 4.72″
  • Sheath Material: Sold Separately
  • Class: Black
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