The Benchmade Knife Company was founded in 1987 by Les deAsis who was dedicated to making knives in the United States. He placed a premium on accessibility, quality, and rapport with his clientele. He wanted to provide the world with the finest products. Furthermore, he has not wavered, and the company continues to invest heavily in research and development, customer service, and ethical business practices. After a short look at the history, you find the best Benchmade Pocket Knives made in the USA.
The History of Benchmade Knives
Benchmade began as a modest store that was rented out in a mezzanine on the second floor of a building in California. This is where the company’s creator, Les de Asis, founded his business under the name Bali-Song®, Inc.
Actually, Les bought the original machinery from the proprietor of a manufacturing enterprise who was getting ready to retire and sell up his business.
Together with Jody Samson, who was responsible for grinding all the blades, he started handcrafting personalized Bali-Songs with the minimal technology that was accessible to him at the time. Bali-Songs are a popular sort of butterfly knife that originated in the Philippines.
The enormous popularity of these bespoke Balis served as the impetus for the development of the very first production Bali-Song, which was designated as Model 68.
After 8 years, Bali-Song, Inc. changed its name to Pacific Cutlery Corp., reflecting the company’s expansion into fixed blades and more traditional folding knives.
In 1987, Les presented a new company and a new version of the Model 68. This time, he had the vision to produce in the United States, and he committed himself to product availability, quality, and customer relationships in an even more robust manner. He was aware that the company required a fresh moniker. Although terms such as “Handmade” and “factory-made” were suitable for describing the knives, the term “Benchmade” was the one that most accurately conveyed the excellence of Les’s work. He was in the process of constructing a business that manufactured precision parts but still utilized the time-honored American practice of hand-assembling the final products. In point of fact, it was a “bench” business, and Les desired the name to emphasize the union of production manufacturing and personalized artisan work. This remark encapsulates the place that Benchmade holds in the industry to this very day.
Benchmade began producing knives in Clackamas, Oregon, in 1990 after moving from California. The company was now at the American knife production epicenter. Benchmade was the first firm to possess and use a high-power laser cutter, allowing it to work with hard-to-stamp steels. In 1996 the company moved to Oregon City, Oregon, where the company remains to this day.
The Benchmade LifeSharp Service
Each and every Benchmade Knife is made in the United States of America and comes with a limited lifetime warranty as well as LifeSharp Service.
You will not have to pay anything to use the LifeSharp service that Benchmark offers. Send your Benchmade to the factory using the shipping method of your choice, and they will clean, oil, adjust, and re-sharpen your Benchmade knife at no additional cost to you. When they are finished servicing your knife, they will send it back to you at no additional cost.
The best Benchmade Knives Made in the USA
Benchmade 551 Griptilian Plain Drop-Point
The “Benchmade Griptilian” is a product that has been on the market for a good number of years. It was created in collaboration with Pardue Design. The reputation of this knife typically precedes it, and among everyday carry (EDC) knives, many people consider it to be among the very best available.
One Blade made of 154CM Steel
Because of the 58-61 HRC range of the 154CM steel, the blade comes out of the factory with an unbelievably sharp edge. And with moderate use, it keeps that edge for several months. This is not in the least owing to the hardness of the steel. In addition, Benchmade continues to provide a lifetime sharpening service for all of its customers.
The safety system that is built into AXIS is currently one of the best that can be found. And because the thumb studs are located on both sides of the Griptilian, persons who are left-handed are able to utilize it at any time without encountering any difficulties.
The loud click that occurs when opening the blade is a good assurance that the blade is truly tight. However, because this noise is so loud, it may get rather unpleasant while you are out hunting.
The Handle made from Noryl GTX
The handle is constructed out of a glass-reinforced polymer known as “Noryl GTX,” and it has a surface that is beautifully textured. Even after prolonged and strenuous use, the knife fits the hand in a way that is natural, secure, and comfortable.
The handle gives the impression of being incredibly long-lasting while still being thin enough so that the knife does not take up too much room in the pocket.
The Pocket Clip
The fact that the pocket clip is strong and can be attached on either side is another feature that is of great use to left-handed people. Due to the presence of a hole at the very tip of the Griptilian’s handle, it is possible for you to wear the knife on your wrist using a carrying strap if you so want.
Although a separate sheath is not included with the knife, Benchmade does provide a selection of sheaths that are appropriate. In addition, instructions for maintaining the knife’s sharpness and lubrication are included in the packing.
If you are searching for a knife that is practical enough for everyday use, the Benchmade Griptilian is an excellent choice that you cannot go wrong with.
Benchmade 940 Osborne
You can easily bring the Benchmade 940 Osborne with you wherever you go because it is a comfortable size and one of the best medium-sized pocket knives currently available. The stainless steel S30V blade has a length of 3.4 inch (ca. 9 cm), comes to a point that is shaped like a reverse Tanto, and weighs just about 2.9 oz (ca. 110 g). Because it only measures 4.47 inch (11.35 cm) when it is closed, the Osborne is not quite a large knife. In my opinion, it is almost the ideal size for a pocket knife that can be taken outside and used for tasks ranging from very small to very large.
It is equipped with the superior “AXIS-Lock mechanism,” just like the Griptilian. The anodized aluminum handle is so durable that it can withstand even the most trying circumstances without being damaged. The grip on the knife is likewise of the highest caliber; in fact, it nearly seems like an organic extension of your own hand when you are using it.
The Osborne 940’s price tag is the only potential disadvantage it possesses. When it comes to knives, however, there is no way to go past this type if you place a significant emphasis on purchasing those of a high grade.
Benchmade 535BK-2 Bugout
The Bugout, also known as the 535, is a knife that is created by Benchmade and features a small blade made of steel, a handle made of durable polymer, and the company’s unique AXIS lock mechanism. Examining the knife in greater depth reveals the meticulous attention to detail that was paid when adjusting each component of this recipe with the goal of increasing its lightness.
The blade was the first and most important thing that needed to be fixed. The design team at Benchmade was aware that the use of an exotic steel would result in a reduction in overall weight, but would also result in an increase in price. Instead, they continued to rely on the CPM S30V that has become the company’s new backbone. The black drop-point blade of the Bugout measures 3.24 inches in length, which is only slightly shorter than the popular Griptilian series produced by the firm; therefore, this is not the cause of the weight savings.
The revelation is made clear when one examines the spine: the thickness of the spine has been reduced to just 0.09 inches (2.29mm). Additionally, the black anodized aluminum thumb studs are shorter than those on other Benchmade knives, and their length is proportional to the narrow width of the handle. The weight of the blade is cut even further by eliminating even more steel during the finishing process, which results in a high primary grind line and a noticeable swedge.
The lock housing on the Benchmade Bugout is a feature that cannot be found on any other knife. In the handle of each and every AXIS-lock knife, there are two metal plates that serve the purpose of securing the lock bar, springs, pivot washers, and stop pin in place. Other knives designed by Benchmade include this lock housing into metal liners that run the length of the handle. These liners provide a strong construction as well as mounting places for handle scales. However, the Bugout does not have full-length metal lining.
The metal framework that is contained within the handle of the Bugout extends from the stop pin and pivot point to a pair of screws located close to the handle’s center. The remaining portion of the handle is made out of Grivory, which is a form of fiberglass-reinforced nylon. Due to its exceptional hardness, Grivory is marketed as a “metal replacement” polymer. Even though it is a lightweight material to begin with, Benchmade minimized the amount of material utilized in the construction of the knife.
A big lanyard hole was cut into the end of the handle, and pockets were machined out of the inside of the handle all the way along its length. Only 0.42 inches may be measured throughout the entirety of the handle’s thickness.
In order to reduce the clip’s overall weight and make it easier to carry, it has been slotted and cut to a length of 1.6 inches. When Benchmade stated that they used every chance to lower the weight of this knife, they were serious about making that claim.
The finished product is a folding knife with a total length of 7.46 inches and an astonishingly low weight of 1.85 ounces. The vast majority of other folding knives of a similar size weigh twice or even three times as much as that. The Bugout is without a doubt one of the lightest folders available on the market today, especially considering its size.
Benchmade 537GY-1 Bailout
There are two different versions of The Bailout to choose from. Either a handle made of aluminum with a M4 blade that has been coated, or a handle made of FRN that has a 3V blade and is priced more affordably.
The Bailout that we tested was the more expensive version of the knife, the one with the CPM-M4 coated Tanto blade. With the exception of the blade steel composition, the CPM-M4 and CPM-3V blade options for the Bailout are exactly the same as one another, which means that all of the technical data will be applicable to each of the versions. This blade features a flat ground Tanto blade profile of 3.4 inches, and it maintains a small profile while having a blade stock thickness of just 0.09 inches. It encourages use and inspires confidence.
The CPM-M4 steel composition is exceptionally hard, maintains an excellent cutting edge for a long time, and takes a very fine edge after being sharpened. This design for a practical blade is very well-rounded, with a strengthened tip in addition to a robust steel composition and a thin blade overall.
There is a very slight curve that runs from the heel of the blade all the way up to the secondary edge, and the belly of the blade is not fully flat. Because of this, it is possible to cut on a flat surface with the belly, although the ability is not particularly strong. There are some tantos that have a primary edge that is fully flat throughout its length, allowing very little to no leeway for that piece of the blade to cut through material, such as rope while it is laid out on a workbench. When the secondary edge is incorporated into the blade, the primary edge is brought to a stop somewhere close to the tip of the blade. The point at where the primary and secondary edges meet is a crucial one, or at the very least, it serves a purpose that is not entirely coincidental with its selection.
Because the two edges meet closer to the tip of the knife rather than further away, the user is provided with a primary edge that is longer and thinner behind the edge. This primary edge is designed to accommodate the vast bulk of the use that the majority of pocket knives will experience during normal use.
When you have a secondary edge that is short, you are left with a piece of the blade that is thicker. This gives you more safety when you are piercing different materials, and it allows you to use the secondary edge’s smaller edge for scraping.
Although the Bailout and the Bugout have a number of striking parallels, the Bailout comes with a number of tangible improvements to its entire package. To begin, the handles are made of 6061-T6 aluminum, which not only gives them excellent durability and strength but also ensures that they remain stiff even when subjected to more rigorous use. The 940, the Bugout, and a few other Benchmade models all use the cartridge liner form of construction, and now Benchmade is employing it again. This contributes to the handle scales’ already impressive levels of stiffness and strength. This also helps to keep the weight down, which enables the featherweight folder to come in at 2.7 ounces (ca. 102 g) only.
A feature known as the pommel may be found at the other end of the knife, at the base of the handle. This feature was absent from the Bugout.
This little piece of metal has not one, not two, but three distinct features: a pommel for “hammering,” or hitting on things; a glass breaker; and a hole for a lanyard.
Benchmade 490 Arcane
The Benchmade Arcane is an excellent choice for a pocket knife that can be utilized on a daily basis. Slender, lightweight, made of high-quality steel, simple to open with the flipper even with one hand thanks to an opening help, and ergonomically designed.
The blade is composed of CPM S90V steel that has been heat treated to a hardness of 59-61 HRC. When you utilize the flipper, the opening assistance causes the blade to immediately launch itself out of the handle of the knife. The Axis lock has a supplementary lock attached to it as well. You may use this to prevent the blade from opening or shutting on its own without your permission.
Aluminum with a 7075-T6 finish is used to make the handles, and they have a black anodization. The two screws that are located on the rear are hidden from view on the presentation side. This provides the presenting side with an appearance that is clean and uncluttered. The knife has been given rounded edges so that it may be held more easily in the hand. According to personal preference, the pocket clip can be fastened with the pointed end pointing up on either the left or the right.
The Benchmade Arcane conceals its formidable capabilities under a deceptively unassuming exterior. However, a person who is passionate about knives will value inventiveness and attention to detail!
Here are the technical details: Blade Length: 3.20 inch (8.1 cm), Open Length: 7.72 inch (19.6 cm), Closed Length: 4.52 inch (11.45 cm)and the weight is only 2.88oz. (82g).
Benchmade – 535BK-4 Bugout
The well-known Bugout has been given a stylish makeover in the form of the Benchmade Bugout 535BK-4 Aluminum, Cerakote M390. The original Bugout knife was intended to be used in practical situations. For the weight-conscious hiker who considers every gram to be important. This premium version of the Bugout is still very lightweight at just 70 grams, much like its standard-issue predecessor. Designed for the fan who wants the very best there is to offer.
The handle scales of the Bugout 535BK-4 are made of aluminum and have a sunburst design. The stonewashed finish on the handle of the knife gives it a contemporary and “rough” appearance. In addition to that, it makes scratches less obvious. The blade is constructed out of high-quality M390 steel that has been coated in a matte black Cerakote finish by Benchmade. This high-quality steel has an exceptional ability to retain its sharpness. The dark-colored thumb studs and standoffs provide an attractive contrast to the silver grip and black blade of the knife.
The Axislock locking system was, of course, included in this particular model of the Bugout that was manufactured. The knife comes with a deep-carry pocket clip that is short and deep. This allows you to effortlessly transport the knife in the internal pocket of your jacket or in the pocket of your jeans. The clip may, of course, be affixed to either side of the handle, making the knife usable by anyone who holds it with either their left or right hand.
Benchmade – 945 Mini Osborne
The Benchmade 940 Osborne is a stunning pocket knife with a design that is both simple and sophisticated. It is clear that a significant amount of focus and care has been put into the design. The green aluminum handle is set off by the spacer made of ribbed titanium that has been anodized pink. This creates a subtle contrast with the color of the handle. The handle has a more abrasive texture than is typical for aluminum. Because of this, the knife has an excellent grip. Additionally, the blade design is rather attractive, particularly because of the reverse tanto-style tip. Because of its low weight, the knife is quite convenient to carry along. It comes with a pocket clip that can be connected to either the right or left side of the knife, giving you the option to carry it either way.
However, this attention to detail was not simply focused on the design. The blade opens up quite easily, and similar to a good number of other Benchmade knives, it has a locking mechanism called an Axis Lock. S30V steel was used in the construction of the blade. This knife is versatile enough to be utilized in both ordinary settings and more demanding jobs. This is the ideal everyday carry (EDC) knife. The blade is 2.92 inch (7.42 cm) long, closed the whole knife is 3.85 inch (ca. 10 cm) long. The knife is very light, with only 2 ounces (ca. 76 g).
The Osborne design is named after Warren Osborne. He is a knife maker for Benchmade and is responsible for the creation of several of their knife designs.
Benchmade Weekender 317
This sturdy slipjoint pocket knife is equipped with Micarta handle scales on the Benchmade Weekender 317 model. Designed for relaxing weekend excursions in natural settings. The Weekender features everything a camper might need, including two blades and a bottle opener, all in one convenient package. Ranging from the preparation of meals to the cutting of wood to cracking open a cool beverage beside the campfire.
Traditional pocket knives that have two blades served as an inspiration for the design of this item. This is because, traditionally, just one blade was used for any cutting task that may be considered “dirty.” For instance, the act of opening parcels. And that the second blade is used for cutting chores such as food preparation, where it is necessary to have a “clean” blade available. Or that you use the large blade for heavy cutting work and the little blade for fine cutting work, and that you maintain the small blade sharp.
When developing the Weekender, Benchmade had the idea of taking it on the road in mind. To be more specific, the knife has a slip joint lock installed in it. This prevents the lock from entirely securing the blade, as is the case with several other types of locks. Because of this, you are allowed to carry a pocket knife with a slip joint mechanism in many state’s in the US, where bigger blades or blades you could lock are illegal. That goes for almost all countries around Europe as well. If you go and travel over there.
Extremely convenient for a pocket knife that is designed for use on weekend excursions. Each of the blades is wrought from CPM S30V steel. This type of powder steel is known for its durability and ability to maintain its sharpness over time. You can open the blades with either hand by using the nick in the blade.
Micarta is used in the construction of the handle. A fashionable material that may be seen on a variety of Benchmade’s high-end knives. A great contrast is provided by the gold-colored decorations that are located around the hinge bolts. The slot on the rear of the handle provides access to the bottle opener, which is placed on the other side of the handle. A detent ball is used to keep the bottle opener in its open position while it is not in use.
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