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Benchmade Knives


Benchmade Knife Company, Inc. set-up shop in Clackamas, Oregon in 1990 (originally founded in California in 1988). The initial knives primarily consisted of the Bali-Song® knives, using a combination of outside vendors and inside processing to build finished products. And like most companies, starting out meant scarce money and big plans, using second hand equipment and limited resources. Soon, a natural born fortitude and an undying passion to make it right and make it Benchmade, prospered into significant growth. As the product line grew so did the in-house capabilities. We began to acquire new machines and technologies including the first of several lasers, making Benchmade the first knife manufacturer to have such equipment in-house. Open minds and positive attitudes would lead to several more industry firsts over the course of the next several years. This was only the beginning of Benchmade's breaking of new ground in the manufactured knife markets by using non-traditional materials and modern manufacturing methods in not only building knives better but, inevitably building better knives. The Designer Series was first introduced in 1991 with several custom designs being manufactured. By tapping into the custom knife makers' knowledge and combining it with our manufacturing expertise we were more readily able to offer more contemporary knife designs and innovations to the knife users. Consecutive years of aggressive growth led to the next logical step in 1996 when Benchmade moved into its own 35,000 sq. ft. facility. A contemporary styled building complete with all of the modern equipment and amenities necessary to manufacture what has become recognized as a higher standard of specialty cutlery. Today, Benchmade Knife Company, Inc. manufactures knives for a loyal and ever growing following of knife users. As we move into the 21st century we are poised for even more exciting opportunities, innovations and ongoing total world-class quality. Here at Benchmade we employ a simple philosophy- "Make it cool, make it solid, make it happen and definitely make it Benchmade." Blades
When it comes to knives, there are many different blade styles, finishes, coatings and configurations. Determinations of each can be based on applicable tool function as well as the overall knife design. Below are descriptions of Benchmade's current offerings. Further questions are welcome at [email protected].

This refers to the cutting edge itself, and we currently offer two primary edge configurations. PLAIN EDGE, which is the traditional straight ground cutting edge. This edge is the most common used in knives due in part to its relative ease of resharpening and overall blade utility. COMBOEDGE™ is the Benchmade term for a blade which is mostly plain edge, but also has a partially serrated edge. This blade enhancement is beneficial to the knife user who has a need for cutting fibrous materials such as rope or webbing on a regular basis. The serration provides a scalpel sharp cutting surface while increasing the cutting edge length in a shorter distance. Benchmade has also created a hook blade in the Rescue Hook models, which is designed to readily cut fibrous materials like a serrated edge, but without the exposed blade edge.

Blade finishes refers to the surface treatment of the blade, which can be anything from the way in which the steel is processed, to a multitude of blade coatings which are applied to the blade itself. We use a variety of finish methods to "dress" our blades. The two most common terms used to describe Benchmade blade finishes are SATIN, POLISHED, BEAD BLAST, BT, or BC1.

SATIN FINISH- creates a low-luster sheen to the blade steel surface. Several common forms of satin finish include:

STONEWASH- the blade surface is refined using abrasive tumbling media or "stones" that leave a pronounced random "scratch pattern" on the blade. This finish tends to mask any scratches that may occur with use. Examples- Model 805, 813 SCOTCHBRITE- this finish softly blends the grinding lines on the blade leaving a pleasant "grained" or "brushed" look. Typically the graining pattern goes from spine to edge. Examples- Model 190, 4530 TUMBLED or VIBED- similar to a stonewash finish; this finish leaves the blades bright and smooth with a faint random scratch pattern. Examples- Griptilians, Bali-Songs

BURNISHED- usually applied using non-abrasive media, whether by hand or in vibratory equipment. This finish refines the blade surface without much of a discernable graining or scratch pattern. Examples- Model 770, 941 HAND RUBBED- a finish typically done only by custom knife makers, it is similar to a scotchbrite finish with the main exception being that the graining goes from tang to tip.

POLISHED FINISH- can be defined as any highly-reflective or glossy finish that refines and smoothes the metal surface. This finish aids in corrosion resistance as microscopic peaks and valleys of the blade surface are smoothed out leaving less surface area exposed.

BEAD BLAST FINISH- can be defined as any non-reflective finish applied to the metal surface by bead blasting or sand blasting the blade with any of a variety of media. The intent is to roughen the surface for anti-glare. The trade off is it tends to be more susceptible to corrosion due to the increased surface area exposed. This finish is also commonly referred to as a "military finish".

BT2™ BLADE COATING- Our own proprietary blade coating is a polymer offering excellent corrosion resistance, which exceeds the ASTM-117 specification for saltwater corrosion resistance. The black surface will scratch and scuff with use, but its anti-corrosion properties will continue to protect the steel. Its high lubricity also improves knife function. BC1 BLADE COATING- BC1 is a boron carbide coating process. It offers an extremely hard, thin ceramic surface layer to the blade, and it is applied in a vacuum chamber. Its extreme hardness and excellent adhesion provide wear resistance and lubricity while creating an attractive visual distinction in the process.

When it comes to blade steels, Benchmade not only selects premium grades for their natural qualities, but we also have perfected our own proprietary custom heat treat process which maximizes each steel's edge toughness and cutting performance. 154CM- An American made premium grade stainless steel originally developed for turbine blades in jet engines. The predecessor to ATS-34, which has now seen a strong resurgence in the knife market. Good corrosion resistance with excellent toughness and edge quality.
S30V- An American made and developed premium grade stainless steel created especially for knives. It is a powder made steel with uniform structure and clean steel properties. As a blade it offers excellent corrosion resistance and excellent edge qualities. D2- An air-hardened tool steel, which offers good corrosion resistance and excellent mileage in wear resistance. A good choice for hard use environments. 440C- A high-chromium stainless steel with an excellent balance of good hardness and excellent corrosion resistance. 440C takes a nice edge and comes back fairly easy as well. An excellent value priced steel for its performance.
M2- A very tough, tool grade high-speed steel used primarily as a cutting steel in the industrial area. It offers excellent strength and wear resistance. Due to its make up, it is highly susceptible to corrosion, so we always apply our BT2® coating for corrosion resistance. An excellent choice for hard use environments.
N690- An Austrian made stainless steel, which is comparable to 440C in performance and value. Keen edge qualities with excellent corrosion resistance.
AUS8- A high-carbon, low chromium stainless steel, which offers a good balance of toughness, edge sharpness and corrosion resistance.
H1- A high-chromium stainless steel, which offers maximum corrosion resistance in both salt water and fresh water-100-percent corrosion resistant. The tradeoff in performance is good edge quality with good edge toughness, so we use it in wet environment rescue or emergency tool applications.
DAMASCUS- A specially forged, layered steel makeup of a variety of steels. It offers excellent toughness and edge quality. For finishing, the surface layers or lines are exposed through an acid etch, which creates a very unique visual effect. Used in special applications due to its inherent high cost and artistic nature.

Over the years we have developed a "special recipe" for heat-treating our blade steels. This process maximizes the steels' molecular structure for a custom toughness and Benchmade superior performance. All steels may be created equally, but that is where it stops when it comes to making a Benchmade.
LifeSharp Service
There's never a dull moment with a Benchmade... That's right! We will gladly re-sharpen your Benchmade knife to a factory razor sharp edge (service does not apply to any serrated portion of the blade).
If you prefer us to sharpen your blade, or if you may have neglected to maintain your edge for a while, simply ship your knife to us. We'll not only sharpen it, but we will also inspect the knife for any warranted repairs and "tune" the knife for optimum performance. Simply ship the knife to the Benchmade address, postage paid and insured.
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