The uncultivated backwoods can be a highly unsafe area but it is exactly where most adventurers are found paving their way to different achievements. To remain safe and stay protected, it is essential to have a strong, sharp, and superior knife. This is where a Benchmade knife can help you.
Designed mostly to help you face an outdoor emergency, knives from Benchmade are popular as tactical or survival tools amongst courageous enthusiasts. Whether it is tactical, camping, or self-defense, you will surely find a tough knife ready for action.
Undeniably, Benchmade is among the most admired brands in the world of knives. The company progressed enormously in just a couple of years once it started its operations.
Today, it is offering a variety of valuable knives due to which it has managed to establish a reputable market presence. The brand offers EDC, pocket, survival, tactical, and military knives.
The design details, great variety, and implementation of only top materials have made Benchmade an impressive and reliable brand. Let’s explore it in detail.
Benchmade is a cutlery brand that is established out of Oregon in the USA. It is recognized for making high-quality tools including knives, suitable for different lifestyles.
The brand is also known for using only premium materials for blades and handles due to which their knives sustain themselves even in performing the demanding tasks. Its manufacturing process for different tools implements CNC machines and laser cutters for ensuring a high level of precision.
Benchmade has designed a shipload of knives during its journey of 30+ years after getting established in 1988. This includes the initial journey as Bali-Song and Pacific Cutlery Corp, the former company names.
After inauguration by Les De Asis in the late ‘70s, the brand was named Balisong. This was because the founder intended to design top-quality Balisong knives. The aim was to implement the latest materials as well as manufacturing techniques to modernize the old design of the knives.
It had cut its teeth by designing butterfly (balisong) knives. Even today, it is making some of the best ones in the market. In 1990, the brand shifted to Oregon where it started manufacturing different types of knives using modern-day techniques.
The former ones are for those who simply want a reliable knife to push in their pocket, while the latter ones that are for facing in the harshest conditions. For the last 25 years, it has managed to set up a solid status for manufacturing some of the most durable knives.
In this period, it has successfully built a committed, loyal customer base. Right now, apart from the diverse knife collection, Benchmade is also admired for its LifeSharp warranty.
Through it, the customers can return the brought knife to a technician for checking that it is in good working condition. This service in which the tool is disassembled and parts are optimized or replaced is free of cost.
Benchmade Knife Categories
Made only in the U.S.A., knives of Benchmade have earned much fame from the adventure seekers and activists who love having a tactical or survival tool in their pocket. Of all the types being produced, the brand is perhaps most popular for EDC knives and has designed some of the magnificent designs for the same.
Benchmade has divided its knives into three classes namely, Black, Blue, and Gold. There was a time when it also had ‘Red Class’ that included knives made overseas but it discontinued them in 2010.
- Gold: Has upscale knives of top quality. Their blades are made up of exotic materials and costly steels. They are limited-edition knives meant chiefly for collectors.
- Blue: Is the brand’s standard class offering usual but high-quality knives. These are the ideal EDC knives with top-notch craftsmanship.
- Black: Is the class offering tactical knives for heavy-duty tasks or extreme situations. Thus, they are chiefly for law enforcement, safety, and military groups. However, a few of them are also ideal for use by the public.
The knives are made up of a fine mix of stainless-steel materials. Their handle materials are also such that you can expect the ultimate grip at the time of holding.
Top 4 of Our Favorite Benchmade Knives
Here are 4 of our favorite Benchmade knives available on Amazon in no particular order.
Benchmade Griptilian 551 Knife: Best Versatile Manual Folder
The Benchmade Griptilian is admired for its multi-purpose design due to the brand’s versatility-on-priority approach. It is designed for outdoor, EDC, and tactical applications. It may not look stylish or sleek but nothing can beat it when it comes to diverse functionality. This is because it is the abode of favorite Benchmade features.
Tough Steel Blade
The 3.45-inch long and fairly thick blade is made using 154CM high-carbon stainless steel that is coated in black and has a hardness level of 58-61 on the Rockwell scale. Such a blade is enormously strong, resistant to corrosion and rust, and ensures edge retention for a long period.
The plain edge is razor-sharp, while the drop-point style takes care of diverse performances. You can use it for carving wood, preparing a stick for firewood, and defending while in combat.
Strong AXIS Lock
The brand’s AXIS lock is manually operated, remarkably strong, and is ambidextrous. It allows opening as well as closing the blade using only one hand while keeping the blade securely tight when in use and when not in use.
Even if much pressure is put on the knife’s spine, there is no need to worry about the failure of this locking mechanism.
The handle is made up of glass-filled nylon that makes it look tough as well as appealing. Thus, it is reliable for even hard tasks. Together with the lightweight design, the handle’s textured grip makes you feel comfortable while using and holding the knife. The grip is firm and there is no risk of slipping even if the hands are wet.
Reversible Pocket Clip
To ensure the ultimate accessibility, there is a lanyard hole and a reversible pocket clip. This means you can easily carry the knife on either side. The clip itself is sturdy and comfortable.
Perks from Benchmade
You buy this knife with a limited lifetime warranty. You can even get it honed and sharpened from the brand itself.
- Superb edge retention
- Easy to carry daily
- Value for money
- One-handed operation
- Available in different colors, blade types, and finishes
- Scratches on polymer handle
Benchmade Bushcrafter 162: Best Versatile Fixed Blade Knife for Survival
This sturdy fixed-blade knife is certainly designed for survival enthusiasts. For them, this 9.15-inch long knife can prove to be an anytime reliable outdoor buddy. Made for simplifying tough jobs, the Bushcrafter’s functionality is commendable for tough jobs and situations, including camping and tactical operations.
You can use the Bushcrafter for feathering sticks, slicing things, breaking a glass window, creating sparks, and cutting a thin wire or an explosive made up of plastic. The workhorse can handle the toughest jobs with great flexibility. The credit goes for this versatility to its salient features.
The 4.4-inch long blade is made up of CPM-S30V stainless steel that is known for ideal edge retention and lasting rust as well as corrosion resistance. On the Rockwell scale, the hardness level is between 58 and 60.
The precise drop-point style delivers strength and versatility. Further, the full tang design also adds strength and reliability, which is much more than what a folding knife ensures.
The handle is made using resin-soaked fiberglass material. This material makes the handle resistant to moisture and stays stable in high or low temperatures. It is also easy to clean this type of handle.
To ensure anytime easy accessibility, the Bushcrafter knife comes with a full-grain leather sheath meant only for vertical carry. This sheath features a pocket and a belt loop. The plastic insert is there to retain the blade firmly inside the sheath. A D-ring suffices to affix this knife to your backpack.
Perks from Benchmade
Apart from a limited lifetime warranty, this knife can be honed and sharpened from the brand itself.
- Modern design
- Great money value
- Great edge features
- Extremely durable
- A bit costly
- Grip issue for small hands
Benchmade – 940-1: Best EDC Reverse Tanto Folder
The 940 knife is an ideal EDC for those who are crazy about pocket knives. It is capable of fulfilling all the basic EDC needs but without a drop-point style. It is one of the premium and popular designs existing in the portfolio of Benchmade. This sleek, slim, and versatile knife is ideal for tactical, camping, survival, and EDC applications.
Reverse Tanto Style
When it comes to buying an EDC knife, it is obvious for most of us to choose a blade with a drop-point shape. This is because this shape is considered as one of the most versatile shapes. Nevertheless, the reverse tanto is as versatile as the drop point when used precisely.
You can achieve the same traits of a drop-point blade with additional control in tensed situations. On the reverse tanto, the leaner spine close to the tip facilitates swifter and more nimble cutting across tight spaces. This makes the Benchmade 940 tool tremendously versatile for woodworking tasks and carpentry that require precision. In short, the knife is ideal for almost any EDC task.
Top Blade Quality
The 3.40-inch long blade is made up of CPM-S30V stainless-steel and is super sharp, resistant to rust, and exceptionally well-balanced.
Strong AXIS Lock
This lock from Benchmade ensures smooth opening as well as a simple closing of the blade. At the same time, it also takes care of a safe and firm blade position. Built for one-handed operation, the manually-operated lock is ambidextrous.
The contoured green handle is made up of aluminum and is anodized well. It ensures a smooth grip, is ambidextrous and it is suitable for any task that needs a blade. It feels cozy to use and hold.
Reversible Pocket Clip
It is easy to keep the knife ready for action due to the reversible clip.
Perks from Benchmade
The knife comes with limited lifetime warranty along with the honing and sharpening offers from the brand.
- Resistance to rust
- Superb edge retention
- Light handle
- Strong lock
- Available in different blade types and finishes
- Value for money
- A bit pricey
Benchmade Fixed Infidel 133 – Best Tactical Fixed Knife from Benchmade
Featuring a slim and lightweight profile but a strong build for performing hard applications, the Infidel fixed-blade knife is ideal for self-defense and military tasks. It is a versatile tool to be put in your backpack, tackle kit, and survival-aid box.
Having a coated black finish, the blade is made up of D2 steel, which contains a high level of carbon and chromium. It is tough enough to cut through steel and other difficult-to-cut items. Being fixed, you can expect excellent stability at work. The spear-point shape makes the knife ideal for stabbing.
The handle is ambidextrous and its grip is pretty smooth. It is made using anodized aluminum, which is reliably durable.
- Solid construction
- Super balanced
- Highly comfortable
- For both left- and right-handed users
- Glass breaker, lanyard hole, and sheath included
- Bulky sheath
- A bit costly
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Benchmade Knife for You
As Benchmade offers a variety of knives, it is worth knowing how to compare them to choose the one that best fulfills your needs. For this, you need to know the buying factors based on which you can compare these knives. Following are these buying factors:
As Benchmade produces a variety of knives with not much difference across them, it is essential to be quite specific about the best knife for your needs. This is only possible once you know the purpose for which you are buying a knife.
For example, if you are an adventurer who hikes or climbs frequently, a tactical knife is reliable. If you are into the military, you need a military knife. Thus, be sure about the purpose before checking the varieties.
Fixed or Folding Blade Style
This is a personal preference. A fixed blade is usually stronger and more durable than a folding one. However, the Benchmade folders, whether manual or automatic, are quite durable.
Typically, the length of the Benchmade blades is between 2.97 and 4.40-inches. A shorter one is reliable for complex or tricky cutting jobs, while a longer one is considered more versatile. You can use a longer blade for almost all types of tasks such as feathering a stick, cutting a rope, and batoning.
Benchmade blades are available in different shapes, of which the following are the most common ones:
- Drop Point: Is a solid and balanced shape having a sharp pointed end. This end is thicker than in the blade with the clip-point shape. Thus, a drop-point blade is more versatile; it is suitable for a variety of cutting jobs.
- Clip Point: Features a clipped-off end due to which the edge is razor-sharp as well as tapered. This shape is reliable for stabbing or piercing, as it is quicker to insert and pull the knife than usual. As this shape is less likely to be as strong as other shapes, it is not recommended for performing heavy-duty jobs.
- Tanto: Features a very strong point and a flat grind due to which it is ideal for cutting hard materials. Here is more on tanto knives.
- Reverse Tanto: Angles sharply down to the blade rather than up to the spine. As the belly is more than a tanto shape, a reverse tanto shape is more suitable as an EDC and tactical tool. Due to an extremely strong tip, this shape is useful for piercing tough materials. It can slice and cut easily and is considered more useful than the tanto.
When it comes to buying the best Benchmade knife, the main focus is on the edge. Most of its knives are made of steels such as 440C, 154CM, CPMS90V, and CPMS30V.
Premium stainless steels such as CPM-S30V provide razor-sharp blades with high resistance to rust, great alignment, and superior retention. However, you need to sharpen them more frequently, as they are softer.
There are two common edge types namely, serrated and plain. A plain edge is extremely versatile, as it can cut a myriad of materials, plastics, and wood. You can expect clean cuts with more control. It is easier to sharpen this edge than a serrated one.
A serrated edge is essential for cutting tough fibrous items such as rope. However, it is not meant for cutting soft items such as a tomato.
Most Benchmade handles are made using wood, glass-filled nylon, or G10 that is a fiberglass laminate.
Both G10 and glass-filled nylon are extremely durable and grippy even in wet situations. They usually feature a textured surface with scales to ensure a better grip. Wood also gives a solid handle. However, the grip is insufficient in wet scenarios.
Do also look at the thickness of the handle, as it varies per application. A lean handle is ideal for hunting, while a thicker one is ideal for combat or tough cutting jobs.
All folding knives from this brand have a secure Axis lock mechanism. It is exclusive to Benchmade. You need to press a thumb stud to open or close the blade smoothly and securely.
Read this article to learn more about pocket knife locking mechanisms.
Benchmade is recognized for its extremely high-quality knives, innovative functional designs, and the use of only the best materials. The knives come sharp out of the box, are durable, are versatile in their uses, and look attractive and tough in appearance. Go for a Benchmade knife if you are planning an adventurous trip or a tactical or rescue mission.
Hi, I am Jay. I am the creator of Knife Guides, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I am a computer engineer by profession, knife aficionado by passion. Here I work with a group of people who’ve always had a passion for knives and blades. Over the years we’ve kind of become experts and decided to share our knowledge and ideas. I am also an avid hiker and enjoy offshore gamefishing.