Benchmade was founded back in 1979 by Roberta and Les de Asis in California. They gear their products towards many niche markets such as Law-Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Martial-Arts, Sporting Cutlery, and Military. Over the years, Benchmade has collaborated with numerous custom Knife makers to create some pretty amazing Knives.
Blade steels so as 154CM, D2, CPM S30V steel, CPMS90V, CPM20CV, N680, and M390 are used on many types. Benchmade is one of the few corporations to have offered high-speed M2 and CPM M4 tool steels in a production knife.
The History Of Benchmade
Back in 1979 Benchmade got its start known as Bali-Song and in 1988 they changed their name to Pacific Cutlery Corporation. In 1990 Benchmade moved the company from California to Clackamas, Oregon. Back in the early days, Benchmade was known primarily for their Bali-Song style knives “Butterfly Knife” in which they continue to make to this day. Benchmade has been so well identified with the Bali-Song that they registered “Bali-Song’ as a trademark. Back in 1979, Jody Samson was awarded Blade Magazine’s Knife of the Year for the original Bali-Songs design. They employ around 150 people right here in the United States. Benchmade has been growing at a tremendous rate over the past several years and not just the facility itself but the variety of Knives it produces as well.
The Products Of Benchmade
Benchmade produces a wide range of Switchblade Knives, along with a variety of hunting, fishing, utility and miscellaneous Knives. However, Balisongs remain the core product. Benchmade has acquired a patent on the locking mechanism used in most of the Switchblades they produce, and they hold an additional license for the use of McHenry / Williams “AXIS Lock.” It’s active; spring operated locking mechanism that is utilized in both manual action and automatic models. Benchmade receives a substantial amount of their revenue from selling restricted-sales Knives to law enforcement and the military. Benchmade has collaborated with custom knife makers such as Jody Samson, Bob Lum, Mike Snody, Bill McHenry, Ernest Emerson, Allen Elishewitz, Warren Osborne, and Jason Williams on several production Benchmade models based on the work of these designers.
Some of the Benchmade knife models are…
- Benchmade HK
- Benchmade Griptilian
- Benchmade Contego
- Benchmade 556 Mini Griptilian
- Benchmade BKC
- Bedlam Axis
Benchmade Blade Steel
When it comes to blade steels, Benchmade not only selects premium grades for their natural qualities, but they also have perfected their own proprietary custom heat treat process which maximizes each steel’s edge toughness and cutting performance.
M390, CPM-M4, CPM-S30V, CPM-S90V, 154CM, D2, N680, N680, DAMASCUS
Overall Length – 8.07″
Blade Length – 3.45″
Closed Length – 4.62″
Weight – 3.82 oz
Handle – Noryl GTX
Steel – 154CM
Benchmade Axis Flipper 300-1
Overall Length – 7.15″
Blade Length – 3.18″
Closed Length – 4.10″
Weight – 4.85 oz
Handle – G-10
Steel – 154CM
Benchmade 860 Bedlam
Overall Length – 9.71”
Blade Length – 3.95”
Closed Length – 5.76”
Weight – 7.10 oz
Handle – G-10
Steel – 154CM
Benchmade 810 Contego
Benchmade 2750 Adamas Auto
THE TACTICAL KNIFE: BENCHMADE FOLDING KNIFE
In the world of knives, the Benchmade Knife Company is known for making some of the best tactical knives around. Their products are used by everyone from the average Joe who needs to cut open the occasional box, to the Law Enforcement officers and Emergency Medical personnel, to our men and women in the military operations.
For more than twenty years Benchmade has been producing and innovating with new designs and quality materials every year. Originally known for their butterfly knives, also known as the “balisong,” their product line now includes an extensive array of both tactical folders, fixed blade knives, and automatics. Of course, the butterfly is still produced in several versions, and the company logo even includes the outline of a butterfly which is etched onto every blade.
I mean exactly how scary and fearful does a knife with a picture of a butterfly on it make you? The views on the tactical folding knife vary among people. Some think of them as dangerous weapons, and there are some cities and even countries that are seeking to ban carrying or using them at all.
I own a few tactical knives, and I also have some plain old hunting knives. I collect both fixed blades and folders, and I also have several of the type of knife that I like to call the “Grandpa folder” because my Grandfather was the first to gift one to me. I tend to use and carry a tactical folding knife more often than these other types for several reasons. I find that they are useful for day to day tasks and are quick to put into action.
As far as the tactical folders I own, I consider those made by Benchmade Knife Company to be my favorites. Before someone gets huffy, while there are knife regulations in almost every state, I do not carry anything that is illegal. Here in Tennessee, the switchblade style of knife known as an automatic is not allowed for carrying. Since knives are often considered weapons, it is a must to know the laws in your state or even in your town or city.
While I do not agree with restrictions and find that most are unreasonable merely because they are poorly enforced and don’t prevent crime, I am mentioning this to avoid anyone from running afoul of the law. I am not sure the severity of penalties for breaking these laws, and frankly, I don’t want to find out. I do not consider my knives weapons, as I use them as tools.
A good sturdy tactical folding knife like a Benchmade or various other brands is rugged enough to stand up to all sorts of day to day uses. I believe most people who carry knives probably use them more to open boxes and envelopes more than anything else. I can easily say that mine have seen several tours of pocket duty in their careers, but I love getting packages so I can put them to use slicing the tape.
Yes, I know, simple pleasures, but maybe it’s a guy thing. I love tools, and I enjoy using them for what they were made to do. The Benchmade knife is situated near the high end of the blade market. They are not custom, though, so the prices are still reasonable for what you are getting. And what you are getting is a combination of cutting-edge engineering (no pun intended), the highest quality materials, and a lifetime warranty.
Benchmade will even give your blade a new factory sharpening job if you send it to them, no matter if you are the original owner or not. They stand behind their products like no other.
Benchmade Knife Company History:
The company got its start in the state of California as Pacific Cutlery Corporation, but thanks to increasingly goofy and restrictive laws regarding knives, they ended up moving to the state of Oregon in 1990. Oregon’s knife laws were much more reasonable, and that is where Benchmade Knife company headquarters is to this day. Last year (2009) could be dubbed the year of the Benchmade Knife because the company was the recipient of two different awards. The first was a Manufacturer of the Year granted by the Portland Business Journal and was given primarily for the company’s environmentally friendly production practices. The second award came from the Shooting Academy For Excellence and was the highest honor of Knife of the Year for the model 585 Mini-Barrage folder. If you are looking for a great knife that will last a lifetime and stand up to whatever you throw at it, and you can keep yourself out of the bargain bin (and let’s face it, you should really never trust a bargain bin knife), then do yourself a favor and pick up a Benchmade Knife as your next camping folding knife thrown in your pocket or toolbox. You’ll be glad you did.