Finding the Best Benchmade Knife – Buying Guide with Reviews

Benchmadeis synonymous with balisongs, a type of folding knife popular in the Philippines. But the Benchmade Knife Company is also known for its wide range of knives including outdoor sporting cutlery, military and law enforcement-purpose knives, and martial arts knives. With so many choices, you will have a challenging time choosing the best Benchmade knife for yourself, but we make it easier with our top Benchmade knives list.

Aside from its own designs, Benchmade has also collaborated with numerous cutlery makers like Ernest Emerson, Jody Sampson, and Mel Pardue, many of their designs becoming iconic in their own right like the Pardue line. There are also different classes of Benchmade knives, namely the Blue Class, Black Class, and Gold Class, all of which can be used for everyday tasks and for collection purposes.

The Gold Class, however, has limited-edition knives that are more collectibles than every day knives. We love it that the Benchmade blades are sharp out of the box, as well as versatile in their uses, durable in their construction, and beautiful in their appearance. We also liked that their blade steels are among the best in the industry, such as the D2, 154CM, and the M390, while the locking mechanism on their switchblades are truly its own (i.e., patented).

Many of the knives in our list, furthermore, are designed with the AXIS Lock, a spring-operated locking mechanism invented by Bill McHenry and Jason Williams, who also collaborated with the company on many of its models.

5 Best Benchmade Knife - Comparisons


Product Name

Primary Material

Blade Length


Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 556

154CM Stainless Steel




Benchmade - North Fork 15031

CPM-S30V Stainless Steel


Benchmade - Barrage 583 Knife

154CM Stainless Steel


Benchmade - Adamas 275

D2 Stainless Steel


Best Benchmade Knife - Reviews

Here’s our list of the best Benchmade knives that should be part of your collection of everyday knives.

The Mini Griptilian 556 is among the few almost perfectly balanced everyday carry (EDC) knives from its handle to the tip of its blade. When opened, it has a total length of 6.78” and 3.87” when closed so it easily fits into your jean’s back pocket.

Its 2.91” blade has most of its entire exposed edge already sharp out of the box, and its 2.88-oz weight means ease of carrying.

This is a smallish knife with a medium feel, but it isn’t a deal-breaker. The dual steel liners, midsized blade-stock, and strong lock make it a great EDC knife for camping, survival, and everyday tasks. The handle’s textured grip and ergonomic design ensure a firm grip whether you’re using it for cleaning fish or skinning deer. 

Things We Liked:

  • The CPM-20CV blade steel is among the sharpest blades, aside from having better wear resistance. This knife can be used for everyday tasks for several years with regular sharpening.
  • The one-handed ambidextrous deployment method has an old-school feel, but it has also been field-tested to our approval. This knife can be easily flicked open with gentle thumb pressure, while still providing a highly satisfactory in-handle retention. 
  • The blade’s performance is exceptional for its petite size, too. This one can be used for slicing due to its decent curvature and for piercing because of its robust tip. 
  • The knife’s clip keeps it in the pocket so well, thanks to its bow sitting on the grip’s checkered portion. There’s no risk of losing it while it’s in your pocket—although you have to beware as it can also tear holes if you’re not careful. 
  • The locking mechanism, plastic parts, and blade are nearly perfect. Plus this knife has such a beautiful design, you will not hesitate to show it to your family and friends.

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • This can only be used tip up, but it’s a minor issue since its design allows for both left-handed and right-handed use.
  • This has a slightly wider secondary bevel so it isn’t great for push-cutting. 

The 940 knife is one of the classic EDC knives designed by Warren Osborne. The manual opening style is complemented by the AXIS mechanism so it’s easy to open with a flick of the thumb, while the reversible tip-up clip position makes it easy to carry.

The knife measures 7.87” open and 4.47” closed, while its 3.40” blade has a 0.115” thickness; the entire package weighs just 2.44oz. This is a knife designed for both everyday tasks in the home and outdoor tasks so it’s an all-around knife.

The Reverse Tanto-style blade is actually CPM-S30V, a premium stainless steel blade known for its superior edge and corrosion resistance properties. 

Things We Liked:

  • The blade has excellent edge retention property that makes it suitable for a wide range of tasks, even for ones with increased corrosion risks. This has a nearly perfect balance with no play in its blade, which also centers up perfectly. The blade is also very sharp, smooth, and sturdy so cutting through meat and paper are both quick.
  • The purple anodize back spacer and the green anodized aluminum scale make it a true gentleman’s EDC knife that can be carried in your pocket or briefcase. Since it looks more like a decorative knife, there’s no risk of people becoming intimidated by its appearance, although its high functionality says otherwise. Even the satin finish adds to its beautiful style.
  • The length is the right balance between being short enough when closed to be stowed in a pocket, yet long enough for everyday tasks and heavy outdoor jobs.
  • The grip is comfortable even for people with larger hands. The blade opens quickly with a flick of your wrist and then locks securely in place while in use. 

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • There’s no spring or opening assist, a minor issue due to the quick opening and secure locking mentioned above.
  • This knife requires sharpening after a month or so.

The North Fork knife has an organic quality to it from its CPM-S30V blade to its stabilized wood handle. This is a compact knife that measures 6.97” when open and 3.90” when closed, so it can be placed inside a jeans pocket, a suit pocket, or a bag pocket.

The size also means it’s legal to carry in most states as an EDC knife, while its 2.97” blade is long enough to penetrate many materials.

This is an original design by Benchmade made primarily as a folding hunting knife. The recurved blade of this knife complements the well-balanced design, making it suitable for numerous processing tasks in outdoor settings. We tested it in the field and, indeed, it works as well as can be expected from a compact folding hunting knife of its size.

Things We Liked:

  • The CPM-S30V blade is so sharp that it can cut through wood, meat, and rope with a few efficient strokes. Itis also sharp out of the box, as well as with excellent anti-corrosion resistant and sharp edge qualities. This knife can obviously be used for survival and camping purposes, although most use it as an EDC knife in and out of the house.
  • The stabilized wood handle is strong and sturdy, while also providing a firm grip surface. This is also more durable in comparison with natural wood—a must when used in survival situations. The feel in the hand is also just right both in terms of size and length, while its slightly bumpy texture adds to the good grip.
  • The ambidextrous design makes it easy to open and close with just one hand. The AXIS lock, which has an omega-style spring on each liner, ensures safe use of the knife by engaging its tang. The slight pressure from your thumb quickly releases the locking mechanism, too.

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • The blade may have more play than a few people want in an EDC knife.
  • The blade’s slight curve near its base poses a challenge while sharpening.

The Barrage family of Benchmade knives is the first in the company’s product lines with the AXIS Assist feature. The barrage of orders for the Barrage 583 is proof that, indeed, it’s an excellent EDC knife both for everyday use and tactical purposes (e.g., military).

The Tanto-style blade measures 3.60” and weighs 4.51oz, just the right length and weight for stashing in the pocket of your jeans.

Designed by Warren Osborne, the Barrage 583 measures 8.35” when open and 4.75” when closed. It also comes with a standard clip with a reversible tip-up clip position.

Things We Liked:

  • The Tanto-style blade has a fairly thick chiseled point that adds to the knife’s stability, especially when making strong yet shallow cuts using its front end. The 154CM stainless steel blade isn’t just sharp enough to cut through wood, but it’s also tough.
  • The Axis Assist technology provides an excellent opening mechanism, which operates in two ways—hold down the lock near the blade before making a slight flick with your wrist and push down the knob toward its opening position.
  • The blade doesn’t have a wiggle and a play during and after its deployment. There’s even a solid sound when opening the blade. The knife will not deploy while carrying because of the quick safety slider lock, a cool feature for an EDC knife.
  • The handle provides a firm yet comfortable grip, thanks to its textured surface and stainless steel lining. This knife is also ambidextrous, a plus point.
  • The thick clip can be swapped on either side, as well as deep enough so that it will nearly conceal the knife in its entirety. There’s no risk of it poking your hip, either, when you’re sitting down with it in your back pocket.

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • The blade’s knot depth may catch in the pocket.
  • The knife may be too large for carrying in the pocket for petite people. 

The Adamas knives are designed for tactical use and, in fact, a certain percentage of its sales are donated to the Navy SEAL Foundation and to Three Rangers. 

The 275 is a folding knife compatible with MOLLE, and with a reversible tip-up pocket clip and a lanyard hole. The package also includes a Cordura sheath available in black and sand colors. Designed by Shane Sibert, the 275 combines the benefits of a folding knife and a fixed blade thus its prevalent use in outdoor settings.

It isn’t exactly suitable for people who want a lightweight knife for everyday uses at home and in the office. It measures 8.70” when open, and 4.88” when closed.

Things We Liked:

  • The blade is as sharp as can be so it cuts through many materials with little to no resistance. It also comes sharp out of the box so you can use it for tactical situations immediately. The non-serrated blade also makes smooth cuts.
  • The knife comes with its own malice clip and sheath. These accessories are important for people who also carry other tactical tools in the field.
  • The large, heavy blade is complemented by the lighter handle. This allows for firm handling and peace of mind that it’s still in your vest or pocket.

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • The handle may allow for one too many slip-ups.

Final Verdict

So, which one is the best Benchmade knife for you? You have to decide based on your unique needs and wants, such as whether you want an EDC knife or a tactical knife.

You will find, nonetheless, that all of the knives in our list are good for either purposes. 

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David Valle

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!