Best Benchmade Knives in 2018

Benchmade Knives reviewsA couple of days ago I was talking with my friend about hunting, and he was lamenting that while his knives were good in their job, they didn’t look nearly as good as cutlery knives, or even Swiss knives.

That got me thinking – are all hunting knives, and utility knives in general, bad looking?

Then I remembered the iconic butterfly logo of a certain knife maker, and the answer came to me in the form of the best benchmade knives- no, there are stylish, sleek-looking knives out there that look stunning, and work like a charm too.

 

Benchmade Company’s butterfly logo is not just a logo, it is a promise of quality, integrity, and most importantly – innovation. Using non-traditional materials and a state-of-the-art production facility, the company has been producing quality knives since its inception in 1979.

 

Since setting up factories in Oregon in the 90s, Benchmade has revolutionized the American knife industry with custom knives. If you’re looking for the top Bench made knife for you, our list is a good place to start.

 

Best Benchmade Knives Review in 2018:

 

Benchmade Griptilian 551

 

A classic Benchmade model, the Griptilian 551 comes with a stainless steel 154CM blade and a nylon knife handle that is glass-filled.

Designed for everyday carry (EDC in short), it boasts the Axis Lock system Benchmade is famous for, meaning it can be opened one-handedly by either hand.

PROS

√ Axis Lock

√ Comfortable grip

√ Lightweight design

√ Can handle both everyday and outdoor use

√ LifeSharp Service for after-sales sharpening and repair

√ Lifetime warranty

CONS

× The handle can feel a little hollow

× The blade snaps close a little too fast

 

Benchmade 940 Knife

Benchmade940 Knife comes with a non-traditional Reverse Tanto design. This flipper knife may be quite light at only 82 grams, but the edges are incredibly sharp and durable.

The anti-corrosion blade is well complemented by an aluminum handle, a tip-up clip, and of course Benchmade’s patented Axis Lock.

PROS

 Very light (82 grams/ 2.9 ounces)

√ Reverse Tanto type blade

 Blade length 3.4”

 Aluminum handle

√ Axis Lock

√ LifeSharp Service

√ Lifetime warranty

CONS

× High price point can be a deterrent for some

× The overall build is quite lightweight and not suitable for heavy use

 

 

Benchmade Contego 810 Knife

 

Contego stands for ‘shield’ in Latin, and the build and design of this beautiful knife from Benchmade holds up that name. You get the tough M4 steel for the blade, while a G10 handle makes sure your grip is always strong under any weather – come rain or heat.

The reverse tanto style blade is designed for tactical use in mind, and with a glass breaker and large form factor, this can be a lifesaver for you.

PROS

√ M4 steel blade

√ Carbide Glass Breaker

√ Reverse tanto blade

√ G10 handle

√ Axis Lock

√ Ambidextrous use

√ LifeSharp Service

√ Lifetime warranty

CONS

× A bit heavy to carry around

× The blade can catch rust faster than many other blades

 

 

Benchmade Crooked River 15080

A classic from Benchmade, the Crooked River 15080 is a pretty well-balanced knife with sharp edges and rust-resistant material. Its CPM-S30V steel can serve superbly in outdoor conditions, while you get all the other premium Benchmade features like Axis Lock and lifetime warranty as well.

PROS

 CPM-S30V steel blade

√ Axis Lock

√ Designed for ambidextrous and single-handed use

√ Pocket knife with clip

√ Clip-point styled blade offers great precision

√ LifeSharp Service

√ Lifetime warranty

CONS

× G10 grip can be a bit slippery

× Handle is abit too long compared to blade

 

Benchmade – Barrage 581 Knife, Drop-Point

 

If you’re looking for an ultra-sharp dagger style knife that bears the trusted Benchmade brand, then the Barrage should be your number one pick. Its highly durable, corrosion-resistant blade is made out of high-grade M390 steel, complemented by an expertly crafted G10 handle. You also get the cutting edge AXIS Assist feature, which is an upgrade over the famed Axis Lock design from Benchmade.

PROS

Premium M390 steel blade is ultra-sharp, wear and rust resistant

Durable G10 handle

√ AXIS Assist feature

√ Drop-point design

√ Intended for everyday carry

√ LifeSharp Service

√ Lifetime warranty

CONS

× Not the sharpest knife out of the box

× A lack of thumb rest makes the grip slippery

 

Benchmade – Adamas 275 Knife, Plain Drop-Point

 

If you’re one of those guys who doesn’t want to bother with sharpening their knives more than once a year, then the Adamas is a perfect fit for you. It’s legendary D2 steel blade hold sharpness for a tremendous period of time and can withstand the outdoor elements all too well. This tactical knife also comes equipped with the G10 handle, Axis Lock, ambidextrous usability, and a patented Cordura sheath.

PROS

√ D2 steel blade

√ Holds sharpness for a long time

√ G10 handle

√ Tactical design

√ Axis Lock

√ Cordura sheath

LifeSharp Service

√ Lifetime warranty

CONS

× Thumb holder needs a bit more grip

× Can be a bit heavy for everyday carry

× The blade can be quite hard to pull out

 

Benchmade – 531 Knife, Drop-Point

 

Even though Benchmade makes some pretty impressive knives, not all of them are intended for everyday carry. For your EDC needs, the 531 can be a pretty smart choice. It comes with the best of both worlds – 154CM steel and G10 handle with a very lightweight yet durable design. This utility knife with a drop-point blade ensures precision, whereas the usual Axis Lock feature guarantees smooth operation every time.

PROS

√ 154CM steel blade

G10 handle

√ Holds sharpness quite well

√ Designed for everyday carry

LifeSharp Service

√ Lifetime warranty

CONS

× A bit pricey given its specifications

× The handle material feels a little cheap

 

Benchmade – Ti Monolock 761 Knife, Drop-Point

 

If you’re looking for a Benchmade that comes with extraordinary cutting prowess in an absolutely lightweight build, then give the Ti Monolock a try. Its excellent strength-weight ratio makes sure you get great cutting power from an M390 steel blade every time. The blade is the centerpiece for the knife – it is wear and corrosion-resistant, made in a drop-point design, and provides smooth action too.

PROS

 M390 steel blade

Great cutting performance

Titanium handle

Ambidextrous use

√ Axis Lock

√ LifeSharp Service

√ Lifetime warranty

CONS

× The handle is a bit too thin for comfortable use

× The blade can come loose after regular use

 

Benchmade – Mini Griptilian 556 Knife

 

Another great everyday carry knife from Benchmade, the Mini Griptilian is the mini version to the Griptilian 551 Knife. Though it’s smaller compared to its big brother, Mini Griptilian’s 154CM steel blade offers just the same reliable Benchmade performance. The blade is rust-resistant, holds sharpness over quite a period of time, and designed for regular, day-to-day use.

PROS

√ 154CM steel blade

√ Nylon handle with glass-filled materials

√ Designed for everyday use

√ Axis Lock

√ LifeSharp Service

√ Lifetime warranty

CONS

×Handle is quite hard, not suitable for use over long periods of time

× Blade not very sharp out-of-the-box

 

Benchmade – North Fork 15031 Knife, Drop-Point

 

The North Fork is a unique knife in every sense of the term. Unlike most of the Benchmademodelsthat are either for everyday carry or tactical use, this one was designed with a sole purpose in mind – hunting. The recurved drop-point blade of this best Benchmade knife for hunting is made out of CPM-S30V steel that offers razor sharp edges and protection from the elements. A stabilized handle made out of wood complements the tool, while you get excellent features like Axis Lock and ambidextrous use from Benchmade as well.

PROS

√ CPM-S30V recurved steel blade designed for hunting

Stabilized handle made out of wood provides a  comfortable grip

√ knife for self-defense

√ Axis Lock

√ LifeSharp Service

√ Lifetime warranty

CONS

× Blade not spring loaded

× The blade lock is not very smooth

 

Types of Benchmade Knives

Benchmade’s knives are 100% USA-made folding knives. The company is a pioneer in offering high-speed steel blades like CPM M4 and M2 in handheld knives. If you’re not familiar with high-speed steel – it is the same material that is used in power saws and drill bits.

Other insanely durable steels used by Benchmade include D2, S30V, N680, and 154CM. For the handles, materials such as G10 gives its knives a durable yet comfortable grip.

 

As for knife categories, Benchmade sells three types of folder knives. These custom knives are:

  • Blue Class: Nicknamed Recreation Class, These are designed for pretty much anyone with everyday use in mind.
  • Black Class: Made with professionals in mind, these knives can withstand a tremendous amount of use. These are used by professionals like law enforcement, military, and rescue workers. The best Benchmade survival knife (s) are usually of this category.
  • Gold Class: Limited edition knives for collectors only.

 

Another category of knives – the Red Class – were discontinued in 2010.

 

These knives can be either with automatic or assisted locking mechanism.

 

2 Best Benchmade Knife 2018 – My Recommendation

 

Benchmade 531 Knife

The 531 from Benchmade is perhaps the best Benchmade knife for EDC with a lightweight design and some impressive features. It comes with a 154CM steel blade and G10 handle, along with classic Benchmade features like Axis Lock, LifeSharp Service, and Lifetime warranty.

 

 

Benchmade Triage 915 Knife

A true Benchmade classic, the Triage is a great knife with probably the toughest blade out there. Designed with saltwater use in mind, it can withstand pretty much any weather, and deliver consistently reliable performance thanks to its sheepsfoot style blade made out of N680 steel.

 

What to Consider When Buying A Bench-made knife?

  • New or Used?

Should you buy a new knife or used one from one of the second-hand dealers? Even though the used ones are cheaper, we suggest going for new ones because used knives often do not have the proper thickness or proportions. A new Benchmade, on the other hand, is perfectly configured by the company.

 

  • Purpose of Use

Why do you want to buy a Benchmade? Is it for everyday use, or do you want it to handle cutting and chopping too for backcountry trips? If you have casual use in mind, a Blue Class knife will do. For heavy use, you should opt for a Black Class knife.

 

  • Weight

Not all Benchmade are made equal. Some come with high-grade blades and weighs more, while others come with quality lightweight cutting edges. For example, in everyday use, a heavy knife can prove to be impractical, but in the wild, it can be a perfect tool for survival.

 

  • Blade

Blade length, just like weight, is a crucial factor in choosing your knife. Most of the Blue Class knives come with smaller blades, while some of the Black Class ones, like the 741 Onslaught with its 4.25” blade can be humongous. Think about which would be comfortable in the pocket as well as your hand before you buy a knife.

 

  • Price

Price is perhaps one of the biggest issues when it comes to Benchmade knives. Since these knives are geared more towards the premium market, they naturally cost more than your average knives.

 

Benefits of Using a Benchmade

So, what sets the bench made knife apart from the other brands in the market? As a knife enthusiast myself, I can think of a hundred reasons, to which most people will agree. Among those, here are five:

 

Quality

There’s a saying that if a knife has passed Benchmade’s doors, it is already better than most other knives in the market. While it is a little over-the-top, the truth is that Benchmade has made such a name for itself, the name alone guarantees quality craftsmanship and performance, whether it’s a serrated or fixed blade knife.

Lifetime Warranty

A crowd-pleasing factor for Benchmade, a lifetime warranty not only shows the faith the company has in its own products but in case of rare manufacturing faults, you’re guaranteed to get a replacement.

 

Axis Lock

If I had to choose a single feature behind Benchmade’s popularity, it would be the patented Axis Lock feature. This locking mechanism makes sure you can use your knife with right hand OR left hand, and the locking system is ultra-strong.

While some other manufacturers like Spyderco, Kershaw, Boker, and Schrade have the same locks, they are nowhere as good as the Benchmade automatic knife.

 

Blade Collection

Very few companies as many varieties and as much quality as Benchmade. You can get blades made out of materials anywhere from lightweight steel to very strong high-speed steels.

 

Customer Service

Another wonderful thing about Benchmade is that they actually care about their customer after selling the knives. You can get pretty much any support related to your knife, while the after-market sharpening service – LifeSharp – is very customer-friendly as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Should I specifically buy an everyday carry knife or can I buy any knife and carry it for my everyday use?

While you technically can buy any knife and carry it everywhere, they might be too bulky to carry or too complicated for regular use. EDC knives from Benchmade, on the other hand, come in a lightweight design and easy to use features.

If you’re looking for the high-quality Benchmade knife for EDC, we definitely suggest buying EDC knives specifically.

What do I get under Benchmade’s warranty service?

You’ll be given either a refund or a replacement product if there’s a manufacturing fault. If your blade or handle breaks, it might be a different case based on the model of your knife. Make sure to know which parts are covered under warranty before you buy a knife.

 

What is the Benchmade knife?

There is no set answer to this question – it depends on what you’re looking for in your knife. If you want an EDC knife, then the 531 might be the best knife for you. If it’s an outdoor knife you want, then the best knife for hunting would be North Fork, and for the best Benchmade knife for self-defense, pretty much any tactical folding knife would do. And the list goes on and on.

 

How to sharpen Benchmade knife? Do I use a sharpener or what?

While you can do that by yourself or from a local craftsman, the best way to get your knife sharpened would be using Benchmade’s own LifeSharp service. They provide great customer care, and your knife blade will be as good as new.

 

How to clean Benchmade knife?

The best way to keep a folding knife operational in any weather is to cover it with a coat of grease or oil. Any household greasing agent or lubricant will do the trick, though you might have your own preference. To clean it after using, you can use hot water, household detergent, and a toothbrush. Dry it out with a soft cloth or hair dryer.

 

As for our recommendations for the top quality Benchmade knife, the 531 from Benchmade is our pick for EDC knives. Its lightweight design is well complemented with a 154CM steel blade and G10 handle. Classic Benchmade features like Axis Lock, LifeSharp Service, and Lifetime warranty make this, perhaps, the best Benchmade pocket knife.

 

Regarding the debate for the best Bench made knife, it is hard to beat the Triage 915. Designed with saltwater use in mind, itsN680 steel blade can withstand pretty much any weather and deliver reliable performance.

 

Final Words

If you want reliable performance and value for your money from your knife, buying a Benchmade is probably the best decision in that direction. You’ll not only get a best Benchmade knife, but great after sales service and a lifetime warranty too. Pick pretty much any model from our list based on your liking, and you will definitely get to love your latest knife.

Patricia
 

Hi this is Patricia Smith! I am a 30 year old mom blessed with two Beautiful children! I love cooking & this blog is a small effort of mine to guide others on a healthy cooking habit.

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