30 Best Benchmade Knives in 2020 (Ranked by Category)

If you’re a knife enthusiast like many of us here at Marine Approved, you likely already appreciate Benchmade’s outstanding craftsmanship and customer service. Being one of the largest and most successful knife manufacturers in the world, Benchmade has a wide selection of knives across multiple categories.

While that large selection to choose from is great, most of our readers aren’t going to pony up thousands of dollars to buy and test them all. You might be asking yourself, there are so many factors to consider, how could you ever choose just one? Well, that’s what this guide is for, to help you find the best Benchmade knife for your intended uses.

Before we jump into discussing the beautiful pieces of sharp and pointy steel offered by one of our favorite companies, you need to know the pros and cons of each blade shape as well as the steel they are made of. Understanding the shape and the steel of your future blade will be the largest deciding factor of how the blade behaves when used in your specific environment and situations!

You can brush up on your blade shape terminology by visiting the Marine Approved knife blade shapes guide here and you can learn all about the steel used to craft your favorite blades in the Marine Approved knife blade steels guide here.

Throughout the list, I’ll provide my thoughts on our favorite Benchmade knives across several different categories and throughout both fixed and folding knives in those categories if applicable.

We’ve already reviewed many Benchmade knives in other guides, including our favorite EDC knives here, camping knives here, and fixed blade knives here, but we have yet to truly focus on Benchmade alone. In order to compare them all side-by-side, we’ve created this guide encompassing each and every one of our favorites.

A little fun fact before we get started: The Benchmade Butterfly logo originated from the early days of the company when they specialized primarily in the creation of premium grade butterfly (Balisong) knives!

Here Are the Best Benchmade Knives for EDC

1. Benchmade 940 EDC

Benchmade Osborne Axis EDC 940

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Estimated Price: $175

Blade Style: Reverse-Tanto
Blade Composition: CPM-S30V
Handle Composition: Smooth Anodized 6061-T6 Aluminum
Blade Length: 3.40”
Total Length: 7.87”
Total Weight: 2.90 ounces

My Review: Benchmade made things quite easy by aptly naming this bad boy a simple and sweet “EDC”. I think the name probably sums up why it’s in the EDC category but let’s explore what makes this one of the most popular reverse-tanto blades on the market today.

Most people likely end up with a drop-point shaped blade when searching for an EDC and that makes sense, considering the drop-point is one of the most versatile blade shapes, however, the reverse-tanto can be just as versatile and when done correctly, as it is on the EDC 940. You can actually get the same drop-point attributes with further controllability in tight situations. The thinner spine near the tip on the reverse-tanto allows for quicker and more nimble cutting through tight spaces and thus makes this knife extremely versatile for precise tasks like carpentry, woodwork, etc.

Aside from the somewhat unique blade shape approach, Benchmade has managed to offer you a 3.4” blade in a package that weighs less than 3 ounces and yet still manages to offer an excellent grip and a heavy-hitting S30V steel blade. In terms of ease of carrying and usability, this may just be the knife that sits the most comfortably in between those two attributes found on the market today.

2. Benchmade Anthem 781

Benchmade Anthem 781 EDC

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Estimated Price: Around $400 Depending on Availability

Blade Style: Drop-Point
Blade Composition: CPM-20CV
Handle Composition: Anodized Billet Titanium With Triangular Scale Texture
Blade Length: 3.5”
Total Length: 8.06”
Total Weight: 3.66 Ounces

My Review: The Anthem 781, to many, is just a pretty piece of expensive metal and that’s unfortunate because I think this knife is far better than most people realize. Sure, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that a knife consisting of a titanium handle is probably of decent quality but what a lot of people miss is that the chunk of titanium consists entirely of just one single piece. This design reduces how many different parts are used, raises the overall durability of the knife, removes the need for liners and allows for far less hardware and mounting points, and makes for an overall exceptional ergonomic experience.

The Anthem is one of the best general-purpose knives you can buy for under $500. This is by far one of the smoothest and most incredible integral bodied knives we have reviewed thus far. I know carrying a knife this expensive is a bit risky and a little scary but if you gather up the courage to pocket this bad boy, you’ll be itching to deploy it just for the beautiful mechanical sound it makes and how good it feels to use.

The Anthem is incredibly lightweight for its size and toughness and that clip is something seriously special. The clip is textured just like the single-piece body of the Anthem which is a very nice touch, something I’d expect from paying this much but despite the price, it still feels over the top and like they really took notice of the small details. I will mention this about the clip, it isn’t like the standard Benchmade deep carry clips and doesn’t do well on exceptionally thin material like gym shorts but feels great and stays in place snuggly when used on thick materials like jeans or tactical pants. A final note here, most Benchmade clips are not compatible with the Anthem and the Anthem’s clip is not compatible with any other Benchmade knife I’ve reviewed.

The Anthem is super thin despite feeling hefty and strong and this makes for an excellent middle-ground between comfort when carrying and girth when holding the knife, something you usually have to give in on one side or the other.

The action that runs on bearings is not going to be ideal if you’ll be exposing your knife to loads of dust and other debris, but if you aren’t and you’re capable of keeping it relatively clean, the action is insanely smooth. It feels a lot like super high-quality Balisongs with how it flips effortlessly and the sound it makes. Flipping this open with one hand quickly becomes second nature and is, in my opinion, more satisfying than even some of the best assisted-opening knives.

My final thoughts are this: This knife is not worth the money if you’re looking for a tough and durable do-it-all EDC knife. This knife is not made for everyone and is really focused on someone that really appreciates the design and form factor. The price is pretty dang high, you could get value and use out of much lower-priced Benchmade knives, however, the Anthem is one of a kind and truly is a piece of incredible engineering that, if it’s your flavor, is well worth the money. Think of this as a “smiles per gallon” as opposed to a “miles per gallon” type of purchase, it’s a Lambo and not a Honda.

3. Benchmade Griptilian 551

Benchmade Griptilian 551

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Estimated Price: $100

Blade Style: Drop-Point
Blade Composition: CPM-S30V
Handle Composition: Glass-Filled Nylon
Blade Length: 3.45”
Total Length: 8.07”
Total Weight: 3.88 ounces

My Review: The Benchmade Griptilian is one of the most well-known multi-purpose folders in their lineup and this is due to its versatility-first approach. The Griptilian doesn’t exactly exude fashion or style but what it does do is get the job done. The Griptilian is host to many of our favorite Benchmade attributes such as the AXIS lock, allowing tons of pressure to be applied on the spine of the knife without fear of locking mechanism failure.

The Griptilian fits in just about any pocket you slide it into and after just a few minutes, it sits so lightly and comfortably that you may forget it’s even there until of course, you need it! Speaking of sliding into your pocket, you’ll be getting a reversible pocket clip that will allow you to carry it on either side. The clip isn’t exactly what I’d call a deep carry clip, but it is strong, sturdy, and probably one of the most comfortable overall carries in knives of this class. Carrying and utilizing the Griptilian on a daily basis is extremely easy and for that reason, I believe many people would agree, the Griptilian is one of the best values and best overall EDC knives offered by Benchmade today.

A quick last note here, the Griptilian sometimes receives a little hate because it doesn’t have the G10 or carbon fiber handle. Make no mistake, the glass-filled nylon handles found here are excellent and is one of the major reasons why this knife can be offered at such a low price. Glass-filled nylon handles are generally a bit lighter than G10 handles as well as significantly cheaper than carbon fiber, so I believe the handle they chose fits perfectly with the ideology behind the knife, versatility, and usability above all!

If that 3.45” blade is a tad too much and you prefer something a little more compact, you can check out the Benchmade Griptilian Mini 556 here. I have both but usually find myself carrying the Griptilian 551.

4. Benchmade Bugout 535

Benchmade Bugout 535

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Estimated Price: $115

Blade Style: Drop-Point
Blade Composition: CPM-S30V
Handle Composition: Diamond Textured Grivory
Blade Length: 3.24”
Total Length: 7.46”
Total Weight: 1.85 ounces

My Review: The Benchmade Bugout is a classic and has been around for quite some time. It seems like they keep bringing it back with new styles, new grips, new colors, etc and I really like that because the Bugout has a special place in my heart. I know, I’ve put this knife in the EDC section and it certainly works as an excellent EDC, but with how incredibly light it is, I actually really like this knife for what its name suggests – Bugout. Throw it in your truck, keep it in your bugout bag, use it with your survival kit, whatever, this knife is so light and compact that you’ll forget its there until you need it! Due to its lightweight and versatility, this is the top folding knife of our backpacking knives guide here.

The Bugout doesn’t try and do anything fancy. Sure, you’re still getting a very high-end blade consisting of premium CPM-S30V so it certainly is no joke of a knife, but the handles are purpose-built to be grippy and functional while maintaining a light overall package. The Bugout has always come with a nice deep pocket clip which isn’t as deep as some of the other clips they offer but it gets the job done nicely and has no play, something I’ve learned to expect from all Benchmade products.

As I mentioned before, Benchmade has released this knife in tons of different colors and styles and if that 3.24” blade is a little too long for your Bugout loadout, I’d strongly recommend giving the Mini Bugout 533 a look as well which can be found here.

5. Benchmade Foray 698

Benchmade Foray 698

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Estimated Price: $180

Blade Style: Drop-Point
Blade Composition: CPM-20CV
Handle Composition: Slightly Textured G10
Blade Length: 3.22”
Total Length: 7.34”
Total Weight: 3.46 ounces

My Review: The Foray is a “get the job done” well rounded little pocket knife that I think anyone could get some seriously good usage and value out of. CPM-20CV is not a steel Benchmade is known to use but this particular steel offers incredible corrosion resistance while still being close in hardness to the other ultra-premium steels. Another big factor here is that CPM-20CV is slightly easier to sharpen than other premium steels like S30V or M390 which makes this knife a bit easier to maintain for those of you that are new to the premium knife world.

Something I think you’ll notice right out of the box is how strong and sturdy the knife feels while appearing elegant and sleek. Not many knives give off such a premium feel while costing under two Benjamins AND being as rough and tough as the Foray. It’s a full circle EDC get r’ done kind of knife and I’d feel more than comfortable recommending this to pretty much everyone and anyone.

The Foray Gold Class 698-181 with it’s marbled carbon fiber handle and hand-folded Loki Damasteel drop-point is one of the most beautiful pocket knives I’ve yet to lay my eyes on that you can actually buy. Check out the beautifully crafted hand-built Damasteel Foray here.

6. Benchmade Nakamura 484

Benchmade Nakamura 484

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Estimated Price: $160

Blade Style: Drop-Point
Blade Composition: M390
Handle Composition: G10 or Carbon Fiber
Blade Length: 3.08”
Total Length: 7.03”
Total Weight: 3.52 ounces

My Review: The Nakamura is one of my personal favorites as I believe it blends the beautiful craftsmanship Benchmade is capable of with ultimate versatility and toughness. The Nakamura hosts one of the most comfortable grips on any knife from any manufacturer I have tested and the M390 steel really shines through here as an EDC blade because of its well-roundedness. It’s not too much of a hassle to sharpen like some of the other premium steels but it still performs nearly as well in terms of durability, sharpness, and resistance to corrosion.

I will mention that the handle may sometimes catch on your pockets if it’s a real tight fit, due to the ergonomic pistol grip style design, however, I still recommend this as a solid EDC as I believe most people won’t have an issue with deploying the knife and since it’s so light, especially the carbon fiber version, it’s super comfortable and easy to carry. For being a manual opening knife, this thing sure is buttery smooth and that thumb stud is perfectly implemented in a way that allows you to flip open the knife as you pull it from your pocket, making a seamless transition between it’s carried state and its deployed state. It’s so smooth that I can’t help but to open it each and every time I pull it out!

This knife is also available with a little pizazz, offering a carbon fiber handle and beautiful accents. If you’re willing to pony up a little extra cash, and I do recommend this if you can, you can find the stylish carbon fiber version of the Benchmade Nakamura here.

7. Benchmade North Fork 15031-2

Benchmade North Fork

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Estimated Price: $140

Blade Style: Drop-Point
Blade Composition: CPM S30V
Handle Composition: Sealed Wood or Patterned G10
Blade Length: 2.97”
Total Length: 6.97”
Total Weight: 3.41 ounces

My Review: The North Fork is sold as a folding hunting knife and although it certainly fits the bill, I also think many people can benefit from the overall versatility and toughness this knife provides in an EDC role. It checks all the boxes for an excellent EDC knife by utilizing high quality long lasting S30V steel, a drop-point that is technically a bit modified as it has a slight recurve within its belly, and your choice of either a sealed woodgrain finish or the ever so popular G10 handles.

This knife is a tad bit heavier for its size than what I would normally carry, however, the classic design is exactly what a lot of people are searching for in an EDC and as I said, it’s versatility can rival any of the top EDC knives around today. If you’re an avid outdoorsman looking for a knife you can carry to work with you and then head off into the fields after you clock out, this your knife.

8. Benchmade Freek 560-1

Benchmade Freek 560-1

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Estimated Price: $190

Blade Style: Drop-Point
Blade Composition: CPM-M4
Handle Composition: G10
Blade Length: 3.6”
Total Length: 8.46”
Total Weight: 4.3 Ounces

My Review: The Super Freek is well-known by it’s ultra-hard and super tough CPM-M4 steel blades that are certainly not for a beginner knife owner. These blades are insanely hard, much harder than what Benchmade usually uses such as CPM-S30V, 154CM, M390, etc. The hardness gives the blade incredible rigidity and strength but requires a little love and care to keep in tip-top shape.

Normally you might find Benchmade blades coated or uncoated and typically the user will decide which version to buy based on personal preference, but the Freek only has one option and that is a nice matte black Cerakote. This coating has to be applied to these blades because, despite CPM-M4 being ultra-tough, the tool steel has an Achilles heel and that is corrosion.

Of course, blades consisting of M4 Tool steel do hold an edge for a really long time and can endure massive amounts of daily abuse before needing any care but it’s vital that you oil this bad boy up from time to time as CPM-M4 has traded in its protection from corrosion resistance for optimum strength.

The Freek was purpose-built to be a heavily abused EDC style knife. These are among the strongest blades Benchmade makes and so long as you’re up to the task of taking care of them, they will perform excellently and will provide you with best-in-class usage and longevity.

The original Freek, the 560, isn’t available new anymore from what I understand and since the new version, the 560-1, encompasses CPM-M4 steel instead of what was previously used, that’s why this version is dubbed the “Super Freek”, even though it’s not technically called that by Benchmade. Another difference is that the original Freek came equipped with lower quality handles called Versaflex but the Super Freek comes with those G10 handles we all know and love so much.

If you like your Freeks on the small side, check out the Mini Freek found at this link here.

Here Are the Best Folding Self Defense Benchmade Knives

9. Benchmade Contego 810

Benchmade Contego 810

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Estimated Price: $190

Blade Style: Modified Reverse-Tanto
Blade Composition: CPM-M4
Handle Composition: Heavily Cross Textured G10
Blade Length: 3.98”
Total Length: 9.28”
Total Weight: 5.92 ounces

My Review: As with many self-defense situations, sometimes a little deterrence in the form of striking the fear of death in someone’s eyes is all you need and I think that’s what Benchmade was going for when they designed the ominous-looking Contego. Of course, if whipping this terrifying thing out doesn’t scare off your attacker, it is just as easily used in disabling an attacker as it weighs nearly 6 ounces, hosts a very deadly reverse-tanto with a tight point, and is massive, coming in just under 10” when unfolded.

I wouldn’t suggest this as an EDC or as a knife for a beginner but more so something you’d keep under your pillow or in your truck if you’re traveling through a rough neighborhood. This knife doesn’t offer a whole lot of versatility and it wouldn’t exactly be my first choice to go camping with, but if someone’s primary goal was to cause me or my loved ones harm, the Contego is the folding knife I’d look for to defend myself with. The blade shape is specifically designed to cause a lot of damage in one fell swoop. That point is very strong and plenty capable of penetration while the belly has a ton of slashing real-estate along with a very nasty serration near the handle that is open and easily utilized against an assailant. This is one knife that even a Marine wouldn’t stand much chance against.

10. Benchmade Bailout 537

Benchmade Bailout 537

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Estimated Price: $145

Blade Style: Tanto
Blade Composition: CPM-3V
Handle Composition: Grivory
Blade Length: 3.38”
Total Length: 8.07”
Total Weight: 2.05 ounces

My Review: Taking a more stealthy and slimline approach as opposed to the Contego, the Bailout is designed for exactly what its name implies. When you’re in a sticky situation you hadn’t thought you’d end up in, the Bailout with it’s slim and light design sitting comfortably in your pocket is awaiting a quick flip of the wrist to reveal the ever-so-deadly 3.38” Tanto. The Tanto is specifically designed to be extremely lethal as its point is among the strongest of all blade shapes, giving it superior penetration and stabbing capabilities while also hosting a sharp and straight belly for slashing.

If you haven’t heard of Grivory handles before, never fear, I hadn’t either until I came across this knife. Grivory is basically a super hard plastic that Benchmade used for this knife due to its lightness without sacrificing rigidity. The Grivory handles ensure the knife stays close to that ultra-light 2oz mark while still ensuring that the deadly Tanto blade is well supported when utilized.

Benchmade doesn’t use CPM-3V very often as they generally tend to prefer S30V for its overall versatility and exceptional performance across the board, however, the 3V steel provides a slightly harder and more rigid platform for a stronger and more shatter-resistant point while sacrificing a little wear resistance, which is what the Bailout is all about. This knife is made to deploy when you really need it most, as opposed to being abused on the daily, so it makes sense why they swapped out S30V for 3V instead.

This is probably one of the sleekest and lightest self-defense knives on the market today that most people would also find quite handy in a wide array of non-life threatening situations. If you’re like me and you aren’t a huge fan of partially serrated blades, you can find this knife with a plain edge as well and that may save you a couple of extra bucks!

11. Benchmade Barrage 583

Benchmade Barrage 583

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Estimated Price: $135

Blade Style: Tanto
Blade Composition: 154CM
Handle Composition: Valox
Blade Length: 3.6”
Total Length: 8.35”
Total Weight: 4.51 Ounces

My Review: The Barrage is an excellent EDC sized self-defense and general utility knife that sports a very well finished blade that is available with that lovely black Cerakote job Benchmade is known for or, of course, a polished satin finish. The Barrage is also available in either a partially serrated blade or a full plain edge and overall, the Barrage feels a lot like many of the other 3.6” EDC related pocket knives and it comes equipped with the Benchmade AXIS-ASSIST mechanism, meaning it’s perfect for quick one-handed operation.

That is until you get a hold on the Valox handles it comes with. Now, there is some controversy here as many people will cry and whine about how Valox is really just a fancy word for plastic and that it doesn’t encompass that Benchmade solid quality feel. Those people are right when it comes to personal preference and I understand where they’re coming from, I really enjoy many of Benchmade’s premium handles that aren’t plastic-based.

With that said, the Valox handles here are nothing to scoff at and trust me, they are super durable and ultra-strong, possibly just as strong as any other material. Of course, what you’re getting isn’t even a full plastic design. Where the blade meets the handles on the inside is covered by steel liners, ensuring the handles cant bow or bend and eliminating the flex you see in cheaper plastic-based handles. Make no mistake, these Valox handles are seriously high quality and are only going to be found in premium knives with premium price tags. Valox is also a lighter material and easier to work with giving the designers and artists a little more room to add character to the knife’s appearance and ergonomics.

The Barrage family is a set of beautiful knives that are raw and dutiful by nature. The Tanto blades make these appear quite aggressive but in my experience, these knives perform quite well as a daily use blade and can endure quite some abuse. The 154CM isn’t my favorite steel and certainly isn’t the best offered by Benchmade but it does excel in some areas such as being easier to sharpen than some of Benchmade’s favorite steels, like S30V.

I’d argue that this is an excellent knife for someone looking in the premium folding Tanto section. These knives are easier to maintain than many premium level steels while offering ridiculously competitive pricing and an overall fantastic user experience.

Check out the Barrage that went on a diet here at this link.

Here Are the Best Fixed Blade Self Defense Benchmade Knives

12. Benchmade Nimravus 141

Benchmade Nimravus 141

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Estimated Price: $180

Blade Style: Tanto
Blade Composition: 154CM
Handle Composition: Rib Textured 6061-T6 Aluminum
Blade Length: 4.5”
Total Length: 9.45”
Total Weight: 5 ounces

My Review: The Nimravus is host to one of the strongest penetrating points of any blade offered by Benchmade. When you need a blade that is rigid, powerful, and ready to rock and roll when you need it most, the 154CM 4.5” fixed Tanto is the tried and true fighters knife.

It’s not much in terms of versatility, although I suppose it is usable across many applications, however, it’s very clear this knife was designed to perform sustained damage in a combat situation. It’s heavy, it’s long, it’s deadly, it’s the ferocious Nimravus.

By the way, Nimravus is the genus name of a long-extinct ancient saber-toothed cat that was known for its massive and ultra deadly dagger-shaped teeth, certainly a big cat you’d only want to encounter if you had the knife inspired by it’s most lethal attributes.

As a last tidbit here, when you grab yourself the Nimravus you also get a very well made MOLLE compatible sheath.

13. Benchmade Arvensis 119

Benchmade Arvensis 119

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Estimated Price: $182

Blade Style: Clip-Point
Blade Composition: 154CM
Handle Composition: Diamond Textured G10
Blade Length: 6.44”
Total Length: 11.72”
Total Weight: 11.74 ounces

My Review: Oh boy Benchmade does not normally make large blades but when they do, you get something capable of fighting off the Taliban all by yourself. Overstatement? Hold this thing in real life before you judge!

To no one’s surprise, the Arvensis is probably one of the most well balanced 6-7” combat-focused fixed blades on the market that is affordable to the average person, and I’m using affordable loosely, of course. The clip-point blade has origins dating back to the deadly scimitar days so it’s very fitting that Benchmade used this blade shape to design this blade as it really does feel a lot like a modern-day scimitar!

154CM was a tad surprising to me at first, but I think Benchmade is trying to reach a wide audience with this blade without sacrificing its menacing appearance and experience. 154CM is extremely well-rounded, not really excelling in any one category but providing an overall balance between durability, corrosion resistance, edge retention, and sharpening difficulty. The Arvensis is an excellent all-around general use camp knife with a rather ominous feel to it and I think you’ll agree!

14. Benchmade Adamas 375

Benchmade Adamas 375

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Estimated Price: $175

Blade Style: Drop-Point With Saw-Tooth Spine
Blade Composition: D2
Handle Composition: Bare Skeletonized and Slotted
Blade Length: 4.2”
Total Length: 9.03”
Total Weight: 5.6 ounces

My Review: This knife feels like you’d find Rambo pulling it out of his boot after exhausting his arsenal of other weapons for that finishing kill. The Adamas is certainly no knife for a beginner, however, to a trained fighter or someone looking for an ominous way to defend themselves, the Adamas is a strong go-to.

The first thing you might notice is the lack of scales. The handle is simply just an extension of the D2 steel from the blade and although I personally like that, many Adamas owners actually wrap this bad boy up in some nice paracord. The second thing you might notice is the saw teeth on the back of the blade. I won’t lie to you, these aren’t exactly the saw-teeth you’d want for camping or outdoor use, but they will cause wounds that a normal drop-point would never be able to cause, ensuring your assailant is immobilized and you are free to carry on.

This is a very raw and rugged blade that actually surprised me in how utilitarian it is, despite clearly being designed to harm your enemies. The drop-point blade shape at its core is very versatile and poses a lot of use cases, especially for general outdoor activities. Wrapping it all together is a very well built polymer sheath with a snap lock and that coveted Benchmade butterfly stamped on it. This is the last self defense knife on this list, but we have an entire guide dedicated to self defense knives here if you’re interested.

Here Are the Best Benchmade Folding Camping, Hiking, and Hunting Knives

15. Benchmade Turret 980

Benchmade Turret 980

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Estimated Price: $200

Blade Style: Drop-Point
Blade Composition: CPM-S30V
Handle Composition: Textured G10
Blade Length: 3.7”
Total Length: 8.6”
Total Weight: 5.81 ounces

My Review: The Turret has been a Marine Approved favorite since it came out and that’s due to the fact that this knife is an absolute monster no matter how you use it. Yeah, we put it in the camping section because that’s what I actually use it for most, but this is an all-around EDC badass. That S30V steel is found across Benchmade’s lineup because its some of the most versatile and user-friendly steels out there and since this knife hosts a simple drop-point, you can pretty much use it for anything on anything at any time.

This may actually be one of the most well-rounded knives we’ve ever Marine Approved. In torture tests, it outperforms any knife who dares to compete and in comfort, the textured G10 handles are perfect for medium to large size hands. Even when soaking wet, you never feel like you’ll lose grip and the lock is so strong you could support the weight of an average man on it all day without worry.

If you just want one knife and one knife only that exudes quality and is as versatile as it gets, the Benchmade Turret should be at the top of your list. Yes, it is a little expensive coming in at two Benjamins but this is a knife that can do it all and will do it all for many many many years to come.

16. Benchmade Crooked River 15080-2

Benchmade Crooked River

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Estimated Price: $195

Blade Style: Trailing Clip-Point
Blade Composition: CPM-S30V
Handle Composition: Resin Filled Wood Grain
Blade Length: 4”
Total Length: 9.3”
Total Weight: 5.41”

My Review: This knife is hard to use, not because it’s not versatile or strong but because it’s so dang beautiful! In all reality, this knife was designed to be abused and it will withstand constant daily abuse in harsh elements with no problems and that’s why the Crooked River is a solid choice among outdoor sportsmen. I won’t lie, it is a little heavy for those of you forgoing long treks, however, that weight is due to how solid and reliable the crooked river is while providing premium attributes such as that beautifully sealed wood grain handle and its ultra-strong AXIS lock.

This is the knife made for the outdoorsman who wants that classic outdoor knife appeal combined with industry-leading versatility and durability. These knives appear basic and simple but are extremely over-engineered and will serve you well for many years to come. Any outdoor memories you plan to make should include this knife and hey, perhaps those memories can be passed down through generations alongside the knife, as it’ll probably outlast your trekking legs.

If that 4” blade is a tad too much for ya, you can give the 15085-2 Mini Crooked River a look here at this link which sports a 3.4” blade and shaves off about 2 ounces of weight!

Have some money burning a hole in your pockets and you need something that your buddies are sure to gawk at? Check out the beautiful Benchmade 15080BK Crooked River Gold Class.

17. Benchmade Grizzly Creek 15060-2

Benchmade Grizzly Creek

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Estimated Price: $185

Blade Style: Drop-Point / Drop-Point With Gut Hook
Blade Composition: CPM-S30V
Handle Composition: Resin Filled Wood Grain
Blade Length: 3.5”
Total Length: 7.84”
Total Weight: 4.76 ounces

My Review: The Benchmade Grizzly Creek is essentially the folding version of the Benchmade Saddle Mountain series and I’m glad we get to choose between the two or get both if that’s what you’re into. Just like the Saddle Mountain series, you can choose whether or not you’d like to have a gut hook. Of course, if you’re not a hunter or fisherman, the gut hook likely wouldn’t be of much use to you and in terms of actually using a gut hook, I’d personally prefer a fixed blade, but this knife is more than usable in each and every way that the Saddle Mountain is.

Many people choose fixed blades over the folding counterparts because they believe the fixed blade is less prone to failure and is stronger overall and while that was true for a very long time, it’s still true! Okay, I know, that was a lead up to virtually nothing, but nowadays we have the AXIS lock which makes Benchmade’s folding knives exceptionally strong.

Folders still aren’t technically as strong as a full-tang fixed blade but they are plenty strong enough to get the job done without worry. I’d say if you’re torn between the two, don’t let strength be the deciding factor, as I believe this knife will most certainly fit the bill no matter the task.

Both the Grizzly Creek and Saddle Mountain knives consist of S30V steel which is arguably one of the best stainless steels around for skinning due to their incredible tensile strength, ability to hold an edge even after heavy contact with joints and bones, and exceptional resistance to corrosion. I will note, when these do go dull (after ridiculous amounts of use) they can be a bit tricky to sharpen, but as with everything, patience is a virtue and so long as you keep these knives in tip-top shape, they’ll glide right through anything you hunt.

18. Benchmade Grizzly Ridge 15061

Benchmade Grizzly Ridge

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Estimated Price: $190

Blade Style: Drop-Point
|Blade Composition: CPM-S30V
Handle Composition: Dual-Durometer Glass-Filled Nylon
Blade Length: 3.5”
Total Length: 7.84”
Total Weight: 3.77 ounces

My Review: The Grizzly Ridge is essentially the same knife as the Grizzly Creek but with an arguably better handle. The blades are crafted from the same ultra high-quality CPM-S30V and have the same versatile drop-point design but the Ridge encompasses a synthetic handle called a Dual-Durometer handle while the Creek has an old school nylon filled wooden handle. The Ridge’s handle is accented with hunters orange so that if you ever lose your grip and drop it, you won’t lose sight of it in the brush.

I won’t talk too much on this knife as I believe the differences between the two are going to come down to personal preference. Both knives fit the same use case and both knives are of the same exceptional Benchmade quality. I will mention that, under the same exact circumstances, I would expect the Grizzly Creek to last a little longer since it’s handle is a bit more technologically advanced and perhaps a bit less prone to damage, but both knives are pretty equally amazing.

If you’re looking for a hunting/outdoors inspired knife for EDC, I highly recommend this particular knife. It encompasses everything we like to see in an EDC including a versatile drop-point, the super-strong AXIS locking mechanism, a good pocket weight to size ratio, a strong and tight clip, and an overall high-quality build design that should suit you through a variety of different tasks.

Here Are the Best Benchmade Fixed Blade Camping, Hiking, and Hunting Knives

19. Benchmade Bushcrafter 162

Benchmade Bushcrafter 162

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Estimated Price: $200

Blade Style: Drop-Point
Blade Composition: CPM-S30V
Handle Composition: Lightly Textured G10
Blade Length: 4.4”
Total Length: 9.15”
Total Weight: 7.72 ounces

My Review: This knife was designed to get down and dirty outdoors and survive just about any environmental situation. No, it’s not elegant, it’s not stylish, it’s not unique, but it is a solid workhorse that I’d be incredibly surprised if it ever failed you. That S30V steel is exactly the kind of metal I’d want in an outdoor bushcrafting knife and with how solid and well balanced this knife is, it’s worth the 7.72 ounces of additional weight to ensure this goes in the loadout.

The Benchmade Bushcrafter is the perfect knife for someone that doesn’t worry about knicks and dings, the guy/gal that abuses their knife and really puts the craftsmanship to the test. These knives do not require a lot of attention or maintenance, they don’t whimper in the face of harsh elements or heavy usage, and they simply get the job done every single time.

These knives come in two colors, Forest Green or Sand Tan, although if you’re the type of person looking for this kind of knife, I doubt you care much about what color it is. There is a choice you might care about, though, and that’s whether you want a beautifully made custom Benchmade leather sheath or a lightweight and durable Kydex sheath to carry around this beast with.

20. Benchmade Puukko 200

Benchmade Puukko 200

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Estimated Price: $123

Blade Style: Drop-Point
Blade Composition: CPM-3V
Handle Composition:  Diamond Textured Rubber Santoprene
Blade Length: 3.75”
Total Length: 8.25”
Total Weight: 4.51 ounces

My Review: The Puukko 200 is a Scandinavian inspired general use utility knife with a fixed blade consisting of CPM-3V. This particular steel is especially strong in terms of tensile strength which allows this knife to be heavily abused and put through the wringer whether you’re a camper, fisherman, or using the knife to work.

What I really love about the Puukko 200 is its simplicity. Knife manufacturers are always trying to change the game and expand upon existing designs and Benchmade does this often, however, in terms of the Puukko, we get a form factor that really couldn’t be any simpler paired up with some of the finest materials you can craft a knife out of. That handle is a little squishy but you know what it’s good for? It’s good for being used on a fishing boat where your hands and the grips are generally always going to be wet.

The Puukko embodies what I think a lot of purist fix blade enthusiasts truly love. It’s really as versatile as a 3.75” fixed blade can be without gimmicks or excess functionalities that you’ll likely never use anyways.

The very name “Puukko” simply stands for a small Finnish full-tang belt knife that hosts a single elegantly curved edge and a mostly flat spine. Benchmade has taken this idea and, in my opinion, refined it to be as handy and as durable as possible given the current steel and knife technology.

As a last note here, you’ll be getting a beautifully made stitched black leather sheath and you might be surprised when you get it. Upon opening up the Benchmade Butterfly stamped sheath you’ll notice the inside is actually nylon. What?! You’re a simple old school kind of guy and you don’t need no stinkin’ nylon in your leather sheath do ya?

Yeah, you do, because this knife is so sharp and the way its designed will slice right through even thick and tough leather in no time at all. If a leather sheath has any chance of surviving the life of a Benchmade Puukko 200, it has to have some help from nylon.

21. Benchmade Saddle Mountain 15003-2 or 15003-1

Benchmade Saddle Mountain

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Estimated Price: $150

Blade Style: Gut Hook Drop-Point
Blade Composition: CPM-S30V
Handle Composition: Wood Filled Resin or G10
Blade Length: 4.17”
Total Length: 8.73”
Total Weight: 4.7 ounces – 5.13 ounces (Varies depending on options)

My Review: First and foremost, the Saddle Mountain is more of a lineup of knives that just a single knife itself. I personally chose the gut hook version of this knife because I think there are tons of other drop-point fixed blades from Benchmade and the gut hook makes this one stand out. Furthermore, you can find this knife with a wood or G10 handle which actually changes the appearance and feel of the overall knife significantly, so choose wisely.

The 15003-2 comes with a dark brown leather sheath that is of super high quality, however, it doesn’t last long since it’s so good at hugging the blade that the blade actually tears into the leather. The 15003-1 comes with a black molded Kydex style sheath that, in my opinion, would last longer and likely give you a bit more value. Both models are excellent, you’ll just need to choose what fits you the best!

It’s no secret that the Saddle Mountain series was designed to be a hunter’s best friend. The gut hook is exceptionally sharp and perfectly angled so that it slides right through skin and hair like you’re slicing paper. CPM-S30V, a Benchmade favorite stainless steel to use in their premium blades, is more than strong enough to slide right through bones and will hold an edge for many outdoor adventures. No matter which sheath or set of handles you choose, the Saddle Mountain series is sure to be as rough and tough as you are with absolutely no exceptions.

22. Benchmade Altitude 15200

Benchmade Altitude

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Estimated Price: $200

Blade Style: Drop-Point
Blade Composition: CPM-S90V
Handle Composition: Full-Tang handleless with Micro Carbon Scales
Blade Length: 3.08”
Total Length: 7.38”
Total Weight: 1.67 ounces

My Review: This knife isn’t for everybody, that’s for sure, however, if you’re an avid hunter who would rather expend energy on the actual hunt itself as opposed to getting to your stomping grounds, this may be an alternative worth considering. If you didn’t read the spec sheet yet, let me blow your mind with the fact that this knife consists of a 3.08” CPM-S90V blade and it all weighs a whopping 1.67 ounces. Yeah, I didn’t miss the 3 or 4 for that 1, it really does weigh less than 2 ounces.

This thing almost looks like a throwing knife and to be honest, when you first hold it, that’s probably what your first impression would be. Benchmade calls this a hunting knife and yeah, I could understand that, but really, I think this is more of just a flat out awesome design that’s refreshing and unique to the usable and functional fixed blade industry.

All of your hunting buddies probably have the same boring wood grain scales with the same boring blades but you? No, not you, you’ve chosen the Altitude because you have attitude.

Alright, that was cheesy, but the Altitude is a seriously cool knife and as much as it is cool, it’s actually functional. That drop-point is insanely strong due to S90V’s top tier tensile strength and hardness. That exceptionally high hardness level allows this blade to retain its edge even when highly abused for an extremely long time, making this blade very low maintenance and ready to go when you need it most. Strap this baby on with its included Boltaron sheath and you’ll hardly notice it’s there until you spring the Altitude into action.

Oh, and if you have butterfingers and you’re always dropping your knives in the woods, only to take the next 15 minutes kicking leaves looking for your knife, you can grab this baby in some hot hunters orange and ensure you never lose your beloved Benchmade Altitude.

Here Are the Best Tactical Benchmade Knives

23. Benchmade Tactical Triage 917

Benchmade Tactical Triage

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Estimated Price: $200

Blade Style: Drop-Point
Blade Composition: CPM-S30V
Handle Composition: G10
Blade Length: 3.48”
Total Length: 8.33”
Total Weight: 5.28 ounces

My Review: Do I need to explain how Tactical a knife that’s called the Tactical Triage is? Okay, fine, I will, but only because I really enjoy saying the word triage. We’ve talked about super simplistic knives earlier on in this guide and I think I’ve hit home some solid models for those of you who don’t need extra goodies. This is not a knife that fits into that category. Instead, you get ALL the goodies! Glass breaker, rescue hook, lanyard hole, drop-point with three different serrated or fine edge options, super light but durable G10 resin-soaked fiberglass body, and the ever so loved AXIS locking mechanism.

If extra goodies are what you want, the Tactical Triage is worth a look. These knives were developed to be used by first responders and contain the tools you would expect to use to pull someone out of a wrecked vehicle. That rescue hook is mean man, I’m telling you, that thing slices seatbelts so easily it makes you second guess how good seatbelts really are. A lot of glass breakers you find as a kind of “throw in” function on many knives usually feels pretty lame but not this one, I’m absolutely terrified to let it even look at a piece of glass and on top of that, its ultra-tiny and doesn’t get in the way.

Usually, I’d error on the side of an automatic knife to fit the bill of a tactical rescue tool, however, with how easy and buttery smooth Benchmades single-handed opening actions are, I have absolutely no doubt in having this as a manual rescue knife.

24. Benchmade Vector 495

Benchmade Vector 495

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Estimated Price: $195

Blade Style: Spear-Point
Blade Composition: CPM-S30V
Handle Composition: G10
Blade Length: 3.6”
Total Length: 8.42”
Total Weight: 4.11 ounces

My Review: This knife feels a lot like what I’d expect James Bond to flip out of his hidden jacket pocket once he runs out of ammo pewpewing bad guys. It’s sleek and sexy just like an Aston Martin but everso usable and lethal as that V12 is tearing up the road. Benchmade doesn’t make a whole lot of spear-point folders but when they do, they cost an arm and a leg and probably result in a bit of hot temperament come checkbook balancing day with your significant other.

Alright, it’s not that bad. $200 for probably the best spear-point assisted folder consisting of CPM-S30V steel is actually a pretty good deal if you really enjoy this type of thing. It’s not for everyone and it’s not the most versatile thing Benchmade has ever made, but it is beautiful and it’s extremely slim and low profile. The assisted opening mechanism Benchmade uses is on a whole other level from the industry standard and the secondary locking mechanism ensures there is no accidental deployment of that ultra-sharp and ultra lethal spear point.

By the way, these are so slim that when paired with the included deep pocket carry clip they virtually disappear in your pant pockets making them very covert and yet ultra fast to deploy. I’d say a mix of covertness, lethality, and fast deployment make for a pretty solid tactical platform, wouldn’t you?

25. Benchmade Aileron 737

Benchmade Aileron 737

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Estimated Price: $215

Blade Style: Modified Drop-Point
Blade Composition: CPM-S30V
Handle Composition: Ultra Ergo Slotted and Textured G10
Blade Length: 3.45”
Total Length: 8.03”
Total Weight: 4.24 ounces

My Review: Oh boy, when I first saw this monstrosity I was pretty intrigued as to what the heck is going on with that blade, then I realized these were designed for aviation use and all I could think about was all the wack stuff Airmen have said to me. It finally made sense.

This dude Steve Tarani designed the Aileron with a, get this, Tarani Two-handed opening mechanism, that’s meant to ensure no accidental opening while traveling through our lower atmosphere. Of course, there’s more than one way to skin a cat at Benchmade and they went ahead and added in the AXIS opening method as well as an opening hole that acts similarly to a thumb stud. This is definitely not the run of the mill Benchmade experience I’ve known to expect but it is a refreshing design that gives the user plenty of deployability options.

That interesting texture you see near the spine of the blade is simply laser-etched tacticoolness to help you open it up if you do happen to feel like neglecting the giant hole since it was originally designed to be a two-handed manual opener.

I will say this, I do love assisted knives simply for the experience and although this knife is a manual two-handed opener, the blade is super heavy and the opening mechanism is so smooth that it delivers a very unique opening experience I have yet to see replicated by any other knife. It’s hard to explain, but this knife is pretty darn cool for the right person.

26. Benchmade Infidel 133

Benchmade Infidel 133

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Estimated Price: $215

Blade Style: Double-Sided Spear-Point
Blade Composition: D2
Handle Composition: Scale Textured 6061-T6 Aluminum
Blade Length: 4.52”
Total Length: 9.21”
Total Weight: 5.11 ounces

My Review: Before we get started it’s important to note that the Infidel 133 was originally an out the front automatic knife (OTF) whereas the knife I am reviewing is a fixed blade. OTF knives are pretty cool and Benchmade does a fantastic job designing them, however, I think the Infidel shines best as a true fixed blade as the very nature of the blade is based on combat and tactical usage. No OTF is going to be as strong, durable, or as rigid as a solid Benchmade fixed blade.

A note to my readers: These knives are designed to kill people. The Infidel is absolutely not an EDC knife nor is it for the untrained user. These knives are exceptionally dangerous and have very little utility value.

With that said, buy the heck out of this thing. They look about as tactically cool as you can make a knife and the fixed blade variant of the original OTF is solid. I mean seriously solid, as in I would be utterly shocked if you managed to seriously damage this thing. D2 tool steel is specifically engineered to survive a beating and that’s what this blade is capable of doing.

27. Benchmade Bedlam 860

Benchmade Bedlam 860

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Estimated Price: $195

Blade Style:  Trailing-Point / Clip-Point / Scimitar
Blade Composition:  154CM
Handle Composition:  G10 Pistol Grip Style
Blade Length: 4”
Total Length: 9.76”
Total Weight: 7.2 Ounces

My Review: Oh boy the Bedlam is a beaut of a blade but I swear, this is not the knife for everyone! If you don’t already have a nice EDC, check out the loads of fantastic EDC knives we’ve reviewed above from Benchmade. If you already have a solid EDC and you’re looking for something with a little flair and flavor, feast your eyes upon one of the gnarliest blades Benchmade has designed to date.

The Bedlam features a rather massive feeling 4” Scimitar inspired blade packed into an impressively compact package all being tied together with G10 handles and equipped with the coveted AXIS Lock. The Bedlam features two blade finish options, one being a regular satin finish and the other being my personal favorite on this model, the black Cerakote, which matches up nicely to the hardware finish and the black G10 handles.

Now, I’m really glad they chose to go with 154CM steel on this particular blade because for most people, resharpening this in one of the more premium steels like S30V would be a nightmare. The curvature of the blade makes it rather difficult to sharpen those ultra-hard super steels and thus, I think 154CM was the right call here. Now, just under two Benjamins for a 154CM blade does sound a bit pricey, but this blade encompasses a flavor in a pocket knife form factor that you’ll be hard-pressed to rival with anything else on the market today.

Unique Benchmade Knife Designs and Notable Mentions

28. Benchmade Fact 417 – Minimalist

Benchmade Fact 417

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Estimated Price: $190

Blade Style: Spear-Point
Blade Composition: CPM-S30V
Handle Composition: Skeletonized 6061-T6 Billet Aluminum
Blade Length: 3.95”
Total Length: 8.72”
Total Weight: 3.24 ounces

My Review: The Benchmade Fact reminds me of a classy limousine in the knife world. It’s long and slender with a very high-class elegant finish that really exudes craftsmanship without being over-engineered or snarky in appearance. Now, the Fact wouldn’t exactly end up at the forefront of an EDC list or really on any list, however, I’m in love!

The Fact is everything I love about slender pocket knives while still being one lean mean little blade. I’m a huge fan of small slender blades because they tend to lack the tensile strength required for a rugged lifestyle. This is not the case here, though, as the Fact is incredibly strong and since it’s crafted out of billet aluminum with a premium S30V blade, it’ll run right up there with full-size heavy-duty knives.

The Fact won’t be for everyone but something I noticed is that it would fit very well in a purse or handbag due to how slim it is so perhaps this would be a good way to get your girl into carrying a Benchmade! The Fact would be an excellent and easy to carry self-defense knife that has incredible utility value, close to that of a solid EDC knife.

29. Benchmade SOCP Dagger 178

Benchmade SOCP Dagger

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Estimated Price: $115

Blade Style: Ringed Dagger
Blade Composition: 440HC
Handle Composition: Full-Tang Handless Design
Blade Length: 3.22”
Total Length: 7.25”

My Review: Adding a little flavor to the list is the SOCP dagger and trainer combo offered by Benchmade. Typically, I wouldn’t ever recommend something like this to someone new to handling knives but this little kit is an excellent way to introduce a dagger style knife for self-defense. Of course, if you’re already familiar with how to use one, you’ll be ready to rock and roll and strap this puppy on your MOLLE vest!

If you’re looking for a boot knife or MOLLE compatible self-defense or combat weapon, this is the package for you. These are not an EDC style utility knife but more so something to use as a last resort in a sticky situation.

For legal reasons, many of the double-sided versions of this knife come dull. I believe this is due to state by state restrictions on double-edged blades and of course, they can’t hold inventory that fits each and every state’s laws independently. The 440HC steel is not like the typical premium hard to sharpen steels that Benchmade usually uses and can be sharpened relatively easily in a short amount of time. If you don’t have a good sharpener, I recommend you buy one alongside your purchase as you will undoubtedly need one.

I have linked out to the version with only one edge, which is also the serrated version. The double-sided spear-point can be found here and is an excellent option as well, but only if it’s legal where you reside so make sure you check up on that before buying!

If you think that 7.25” total length would be tough to conceal or a bit overkill, you can check out the Benchmade Mini SOCP here.

You can also check out the SOCP Rescue tool at this link here. The Rescue Tool is in the same form factor as the original SOCP dagger but instead of a spear-point blade, you’ll be getting a belt cutter and pry tool.

30. Benchmade Aller 380 – Tiny But Mighty

Benchmade Aller 380

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Estimated Price: $135

Blade Style: Wharncliffe
Blade Composition: CPM-S30V
Handle Composition: Slotted G10
Blade Length: 1.6”
Total Length: 4.48”
Total Weight: 1.8 ounces

My Review: Benchmade seems to love making little one-off designed utility tools and this would be the case for the Aller 380. At first glance, it kind of looks like a silly gimmick, but after closer inspection, you’ll realize how incredibly helpful and handy having this tiny little tool on you can be.

The Aller 380 is a multi-purpose Wharncliffe knife that encompasses a screwdriver, pry tip, micro bit slot, money clip, bottle opener, and of course, that handy slicing Wharncliffe blade. Of course, this thing has virtually 0 self-defense properties and it wouldn’t ever be a knife I’d rely on for camping or survival but it is easy to carry on a keychain so that you always have a tiny suite of tools on hand at all times. Consisting of CPM-S30V steel probably makes this one of the toughest and strongest little mini-tools you could possibly carry.

Lastly, this knife doesn’t come with the typical Benchmade technologies we have come to know and love. There is no AXIS lock or AXIS assisted opening but instead, the blade is held in place via friction from the frame. Unlike cheap friction held blades, this one actually does hold in place quite well and despite having an amazing grip on the blade, it’s very easy to deploy. The Wharncliffe design makes penetration and stabbing virtually impossible which means using this blade around sensitive material and even skin is much safer than a regular blade style.

Are Benchmade Knives Worth the Expensive Price Tag?

In many cases the answer is an unequivocal yes, however, I’d say it really depends on your situation and what you need a knife for. It’s no secret that Benchmade knives come with a premium price tag and have many competitors that also offer fantastic knives but at lower prices.

The price of a Benchmade is primarily based on three things.

First, the designers they employ and the complicated craftsmanship a lot of their knives consist of. For example, the Benchmade Bugout 535-191 Gold Class edition consists of a Damascus steel blade that’s hand folded hundreds of times and a handcrafted carbon fiber handle. Those things take a lot of time and expensive employees to manufacture.

Secondly, all Benchmade knives are American made right here in Oregon City, Oregon. There was a small time period where some of the Benchmade knives were outsourced in other countries but those days are now gone. That good old homegrown quality and attention to detail don’t come cheap and although I don’t know the specifics, the information found here on Glassdoor indicates average wages that far exceed what I’d expect most foreign knife manufacturers to offer their employees. Is it worth it to pay extra for high-quality American made goods? Well, I guess that would be up to you to decide but for me, it’s an obvious no brainer. Not only do I enjoy supporting hard-working people in the US, I think there is a notable difference in customer service, quality assurance, and overall attention to detail.

And lastly, Benchmade has a reputation and that’s it. You’re paying some of that price tag as a royalty for them being well known and well respected within the knife community. Do you want random dudes to smile in awe and quickly ask “Bro, is that a Benchmade?” Maybe you do, maybe you don’t, but that’s the kind of brand recognition Benchmade has earned by delivering exceptional customer loyalty and overall quality. Benchmade is comparable to Bentley in the knife world and a brand like that is simply going to come with a premium for the name.

Benchmade is the kind of knife that follow my favorite mantra “buy once cry once”. Basically, following this means you’re looking out for extremely high quality and durability and you save up or sell something or do whatever you gotta do to get it and then you’re good to go for a very long time without the need to buy another knife anytime soon.

If you want to spend even more money on some of the world’s finest custom blades, check out Benchmade’s Gold Class custom built blades here.

What You Should Know About Benchmade’s Lifesharp Program

So, we talked a bit why you should take special notice of the “buy once cry once” mentality when shopping for a new knife and we mentioned the outstanding craftsmanship, quality, materials, and designs you’ll find in each and every Benchmade knife, but there is one more extremely important key to why the prices seem expensive versus their competitors.

That reason is the Benchmade Lifesharp program. This is one of the best customer care programs any knife company in the market has to offer right now. With the purchase of a Benchmade knife, you have the option to mail in your knife when it gets dull or requires maintenance and Benchmade will have it back to you in less than two weeks looking and performing as if it was brand new.

Lifesharp support will receive your knife and immediately disassemble it for inspection. They will then sharpen the blade back to its original factory specs and then perform a deep clean and shine on each and every part. After that, assembly and accurate alignment take place with all new lube and the knife arrives at your doorstep in two weeks or less.

Of course, this doesn’t exactly cover you if you snap a blade trying to pry open a locker or a knife you’ve ground a divet in using a power grinder, but in the event that sort of thing accidentally happens, you can still send the knife in and they will repair whatever necessary for a relatively fair price.

What this program really is, is a service for those of us too busy or lazy to sit down and properly maintain our knives. Yeah, I know, that sounds lame, but sometimes having a professional do it for you is the way to go, especially when they can use tools and equipment that would cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy and operate.

Many of the Benchmade knives they sell the most are extremely high quality and made with rare or challenging materials and as such, are more than worth the hassle to send in and have serviced to increase their life span and usefulness. Furthermore, some of the metals they use can be especially hard to sharpen on your own.

Check out the Benchmade’s official page for more information on the Lifesharp program here.

Benchmade Technologies

Benchmade is largely more expensive than a lot of other comparable knife options because of their incredible quality and unbeatable technologies they’ve implemented into their knives. Let’s talk about some of the best technologies they’ve designed and implemented over the years.

In 1988, Benchmade rolled out a revolutionary locking mechanism dubbed the Benchmade Axis Lock. While Benchmade still offers knives with regular manual locking mechanisms, they’re rare and usually found on their lower-tier offerings. Many of these use their Monolock feature that’s basically a regular locking mechanism but with the knife liner and the knife handle being made out of the same casting, thus increasing its strength and durability drastically.

The Axis Lock by Benchmade consists of a spring-loaded bar that can move back and forth in it’s designated slot that is between both liners – typically high-quality steel liners. The spring-loaded characteristics are made possible by utilizing two omega springs custom-built in-house at Benchmade that push the locking bar into place when the tang of the blade exceeds their allotted tension. This puts the tang of the blade between the steel stopping pin and the AXIS spring-loaded bar, ensuring it’s fully locked and isn’t able to retract in any manner under any usage without using the thumb button to move the tensioner bar out of the way. These are among the safest and most reliable locking mechanisms found in folding knives on the market thus far.

The Axis Lock comes integrated with three different action flavors: Axis Assist, Axis Automatic, and Axis Dual-Action Automatic. All Axis locks are ambidextrous and most of them are easily used with one-handed operation.

The Axis Assist is a friendly fellow that takes the effort you’ve put into opening the blade and multiplies it tenfold – springing the blade out the rest of the way and making for a quick and easy deployment that is still largely controlled by you. Simply apply pressure to the thumb stud and boom, the blade flips into place almost effortlessly.

The Axis Automatic mechanism is a little more aggressive than the Axis Assist and works by ejecting the blade immediately when the Axis tension bar is pressed. These are the fastest and least requiring effort to open and use a spring to flip the knife out immediately. That spring is always under tension so be extra careful with the button!

The Axis Dual-Action is kind of a blend between the two aforementioned Axis mechanisms. These were actually designed later than the others and were requested by Benchmade enthusiasts. The idea here was to give the users more options and enable both automatic and manual use. The mechanism works by giving you the regular pull-down and open motion of the original Axis Lock but, by pulling the bar just a bit further, the blade springs out instantly.

What about Benchmade knives that don’t have the AXIS features? Well, many of their knives have another feature called the Benchmade Nitrous. These work by pinning two angled torsion bars against the tang of the knife that creates more tension on the blade as it’s closed. When opening, the user simply needs to start opening the blade and at around 30 degrees, the tension bars fling the blade open themselves the rest of the way, kind of like the assist but with more user interaction. This is a great mechanism for those of you who don’t like the feeling of the blade springing out of its handle but more so would rather a bit of control and a bit of automatic spring action.

Something that really sets the Axis mechanisms apart from the rest is how strong they are. Usually, locking mechanisms are good for around 50 to 100lbs of pressure but Benchmade, of course, took things many steps further and now their absolute minimum lock strength on any AXIS equipped knife is 200lbs, with most of their knives exceeding that. If breaking folding knives is a concern of yours, look to Benchmade!

By the way, did you know Benchmade makes fire starters? Check them out our Fire Starters page here.

Your Thoughts:

Let us know what your favorite Benchmade knife is in the comments section below or if you think there is a knife we should add to this list. I would like to hear your thoughts and I’m sure other readers would as well!

Final Note: In loving memory of the Benchmade founder Les De Asis who has made a massive impact on not only the world of knives but always gave back to his community and positivity impacted all those who knew him. If you’d like to show your support to Les De Asis and the Benchmade family, visit this link and find out how you can become a part of the Benchmade community by contributing to his Makerspace memorial contribution fund that is geared towards educating our youth for further exploration, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

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