Benchmade 417 Fact Knife Review

Benchmade 417 Fact

The Benchmade Knife Company is a knife manufacturer run by Roberta and Les de Asis in Oregon City. Its products are geared toward many niche markets, such as outdoor sporting cutlery, rescue, law-enforcement, martial-arts, and military. The company has collaborated with a number of custom knife makers since its inception.

Benchmade started in California in 1979 as Bali-Song, changing its name in 1988 to the Pacific Cutlery corporation. IN 1990 the company moved to Clackamas, Oregon. In 1996, the company moved Oregon City. Benchmade became known primarily as a manufacturer of butterfly, or balisong style knives, which it continues to manufacture. The se knives have been so identified with the company that Benchmade has registered Bali-Song as a trademark and logo. Benchmade’s original Bali-Song design by Jody Sampson was awarded Bale Magazine’s Knife of the Year Award in 1979.

Blade steel such as 154CM, D2, CPM S30V steel, CPM S9V, CPM 20Cv, N680 and M390 are used on many models. Benchmade is one of the few manufacturers to have offered high speed M2 and CPM M4 tool steel sin a production knife.

Benchmade receives a significant amount of revenue from selling restricted-sales knives to the military and law enforcement. Benchmade produces a diverse selection of “auto,” or switch blade knives, along with a range of hunting, fishing, utility, and miscellaneous knives; however, balisong’s remain a core product.

Benchmade has three different lases when it comes to their knives. The first class is the Blue Class, also knowns as the Recreation class. This type of Benchmade knife is made for typical use by the everyday person. The next class is the Black class, also known as the Professional class. This type of Benchmade knife is made for military, law enforcement, and public safety workers. They are knives for more challenging work. The last class is the Gold Class, also known as the Collector Class. This, as the name suggests, is made for collectors and are limited edition.

Benchmade has a patent on the locking mechanism used in most of the switchblades they produce. Benchmade additionally holds an exclusive license on use of the McHenry/Williams AXIS Lock, which is a strong, spring operated locking mechanism used in both automatic and manual action modes.

Benchmade has a long tradition of incorporating knife design from noted custom cutlery makers into their production models. These include Jody Sampson, Ernest Emerson, Allen Elishewitz, Mel Pardue, Bill McHenry, Mike Snody, Jason Williams, Warren Osborne, and Bob Lum. Several production Benchmade models based on the work of these designers have become influential within the industry.


The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel, which has been hardened to 58-60 HRC. This steel was designed by US based steel company, Crucible Industries. They designed this steel specifically for knife blades, with high-end kitchen cutlery and expensive pocket knives in mind specifically. Because of this, you can expect the highest qualities from your steel, and qualities that will make every day and tactical knife absolutely phenomenal. Crucible has added in Vanadium Carbides to this steel, which helps to bring out extreme hardness of the blade. This steel is also designed to resist rusting and corrosion effortlessly, so maintenance time with be much lower than a blade with another type of steel. This type of steel has been designed to have the perfect balance between hardness, toughness, and edge resistance. This combination is a hard balance to achieve, because the harder that the steel is, the less tough it is going to be. The extreme hardness of this steel help maintain the fine edge for long periods of time. However, the big drawback to this steel is that because of the extreme hardness, it is going to be harder to work with, especially sharpening it.

The blade has been finished with a stain finish, which is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with increasing levels of a fine abrasive. The most common abrasive that is used is a very fine sandpaper. As a key, the finer the sandpaper and the more even the lines, the cleaner the satin finish is going to look. Because this is a Benchmade knife, you can expect a very clean looking satin finish. The satin finish is one of the more traditional finishes that you are going to find, which creates a very classic look on this knife.

This is a spear point blade style, which is similar to the needle-point blade, because they are both good for piercing. However, the needle point and the spear point blade are different because the spear point does have a stronger tip and it does contain a slight belly that can be used for some slicing tasks. The spear point style blade has a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. The spear point blade is different than the needle point blade because the needle point has a very sharp but weak point, while a spear point knife has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. The spear point blade also has a lowered point that is easier to control which makes it good for fine tip work. Spear points are more versatile because they have a small belly hat can be used for some cutting and some slicing. But, if you are trying to compare this belly with that of a drop point or a clip point, it is going to seem extremely strong. The spear point is considered a hybrid design because it has a good balance between piercing and slicing ability, while also combining the sharp point of a dagger with the strength of a drop point blade, plus, it does have its small belly.


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 piece of aluminum. This ensures that there are no weaker spots where the handle has been welded together. Aluminum is a low density metal that gives you a nice, hefty feel without actually weighting the knife down. This is a major benefit as a knife user, because you want to feel like there is the weight to back you up, but you don’t want to feel like the knife is weighing you down. The most common type of aluminum used today is the T6-6061 alloy, which gives incredible tensile strength. This name just means that it is made out of 6061 aluminum alloy and has been T6 tempered. When an aluminum handle is properly texturized it can give you a reasonably secure grip that is also going to be comfortable to use for extended periods of time. However, aluminum does have very high conductive properties, so if you were planning on using this knife during the winter, it is going to feel like it is biting into your hand. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to the stronger and more expensive Titanium, which is usually used on premium knives. The overall perks to having an aluminum handle is that it is going to be strong, light, durable, and resistant to corrosion. Unfortunately, it is also going to be susceptible to scratches and dings, it can be a little bit slippery, and it will be cold to hold in many environments.

Aluminum is often anodized to provide texture, strength, durability, as well as color. The Benchmade Fact has been anodized black, which is sleek and simple, matching well with the satin blade. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that corners the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosive resistant anodic oxide finish. Aluminum is ideally suited to anodizing. Anodizing is accomplished by immersing the aluminum into an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electric current through the medium. A cathode is mounted to the inside of the anodizing tank the aluminum acts as an anode, so that oxygen ions are released form the electrolyte to combine with the aluminum atoms the surface of the handle. According to, “Anodizing is, therefore, a matter of highly controlled oxidation—the enhancement of a naturally occurring phenomenon.”

The handle has grooves carved across the width of the handle spanning form the tip to the butt. This adds plenty of texture that you will never have to doubt this Benchmade knife when you need it most. There is a large finger guard, which will protect your finger in case of slipping. The handle has been skeletonized to cut down on weight and add a little bit extra texture. There are two shallow and elongated finger grooves that span the length of the knife on the belly of the handle. The spine of the handle is completely straight.


Benchmade 417 Fact
Benchmade 417 Fact

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a deep carry clip, which means that it will be easier to conceal deeply in your pocket. This comes in handy when you are choosing to use the Fact as a tactical knife, because you do not want people knowing that you have a knife. This deep carry pocket clip will be an advantage when you are using it as an everyday carry knife, because it will be kept snugly inside your pocket as you go about your day to day activities. This is only a tip up pocket clip, but it is reversible for either left or right hand carry, which does make this knife a little bit more ambidextrous than it would be.


The Mechanism:

This is a manual knife that has been equipped with the Benchmade AXIS lock and a thumb stud to help assist you in opening it. The AXIS lock is a Benchmade exclusive, this is a 100 percent ambidextrous design that 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. The lock engages a ramped tang portion of the knife 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 wedges solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS bar itself.

The thumb stud is one of the most common one handed opening mechanisms and is very simple to sue. The only drawback is that it does put your hand in the way of the blade during opening. Keep this in mind and use caution as you get used to his opening mechanism.


The Specs:

This knife has a blade that measures in at 3.95 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.110 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.77 inches long, with a handle thickness of 0.48 inches. The overall length of this knife measures in at 8.72 inches long. This Benchmade knife weighs in at 3.24 ounces.



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 is strong, durable, and very corrosion resistant. It maintains its edge, so the maintenance on this knife is very low. The satin finish is the most common blade finish, giving you a very classic look. The blade has been carved into a spear point blade, which is a great hybrid design. The blade is going to be low maintenance, durable, and able to take on your day to day tasks, while also using this for your everyday knife. The handle is made out of aluminum, which is durable, strong, and corrosion resistant. The handle has been intensely textured so that you don’t have to worry about slippage. The AXIS lock helps to make this knife fully ambidextrous. You can pick up this brand new knife today at BladeOps.

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