In this buying guide, you will find our favorite everyday carry (EDC) Benchmade knives. These are some of the best-made knives in the United States and are currently used by the military and other professionals. Before we get started let’s take a look at the history of Benchmade.
The History of Benchmade
In 1979 Les de Asis wanted a high-quality butterfly knife, so he put his high school shop skills to work and built the first ever Benchmade Bali-Song prototype.
In 1980 he incorporated as Bali-Song and began creating handmade knives in a small shop in California. Along with Jody Sampson, who ground all the blades, they created the first production Bali-Song: The Model 68
From 1980-1987 they expanded their offerings to include standard fixed blades and folding knives and eventually incorporating as the Pacific Cutlery Corp.
Due to issues with quality control, price, and delivery, Pacific Cutlery Corp. filed for bankruptcy.
The company was reintroduced in 1988 with a new mission. To produce a product in the US with a commitment to availability, quality and customer relationships.
The new name of that company was Benchmade. Les wanted the new name to reflect the fact that precision parts they created were hand assembled. The perfect marriage of modern manufacturing and custom building.
In 1990 the company moved to Clackamas, Oregon, the epicenter of knife manufacturing. This is where they started using a high-powered laser cutter that allowed them to work with metals that were too hard to stamp.
During this period Benchmade became the world leader in automatic knife manufacturing and began supplying the military.
In 1996 Benchmade moved to a 144,000 square foot facility in order to meet growing demand for their products. And in 1997 Bill McHenry and Jason Williams approached Benchmade with the AXIS lock and the future was born.
First up on our list is the Benchmade Adamas 275 Plain Drop-Point. A beautiful folding knife and one fo the strongest AXIS knives ever made.
Benchmade Adamas 275 Plain Drop-Point
Made with pride in the USA the Benchmade Adamas 275 Plain Drop-Point Folding Knife ($179) is a perfect everyday carry knife. It’s made with D2 Tool Steel and is one of the strongest AXIS knives ever made. The drop-point blade features ambidextrous thumb-studs and a safe and secure AXIS locking mechanism, guaranteeing the blade will be safely locked away when folded. Perfect for the outdoors and available in both a striking black and sandy brown this is a knife you can always depend on.
Benchmade 531 Axis Knife
Size isn’t always an indicator of strength and that is shown clearly is the Benchmade 531 Axis Knife ($132). While it might be small in stature it offers an incredibly sharp blade perfect for camping and hiking and much more. Styled in a modern black with a strong and secure folding mechanism this mini-knife is very versatile and can be safely carried around in your backpack or pocket without risk. It also comes with its own sharpening block so you’ll be able to keep the blade smooth and sharp.
Benchmade Mini Griptilian 556
Available in three bright colors with a satin finish on the handle the Benchmade Mini Griptilian 556 Knife ($) is a thing of beauty. Made with American steel the drop-point style blade measures just under 3 inches and weighs 75 grams. The smooth handle is made with injection molded GFN, glass filled nylon, which provides a strong and tight grip. It also features the tried and trusted AXIS ambidextrous design and locking mechanism. With stunning style and an innovative design, this knife is sure to be a great choice for anyone looking for a solid everyday carry knife.
Benchmade 810SBK Osborne Contego Knife
The Benchmade 810SBK Osborne Contego Knife ($196) as a stylish and sleek black military knife that’s sure to make a great addition to your everyday carry arsenal or toolkit. Whether it’s for camping, hiking, defense or just everyday use this knife is strong, powerful and built to last. It measures just 6 x 3 x 2 inches and has a lightweight design that weighs less than 9 ounces. Among its impressive specs are an AXIS locking mechanism, ambidextrous thumb-studs and a textured handle for increased grip. It also comes with a reversible deep-carry tip-up pocket clip so you can easily attach it to your pocket or belt.
Benchmade 15080-1 Crooked River
Ideal for hunting but versatile enough for everyday use the Benchmade 15080-1 Crooked River Knife ($179) is a perfect all around blade. With a total weight of just 5.6 ounces, this sleek razor-edged knife is sure to give a clean precise cut through any material. The blade has been professionally crafted from premium stainless steel and is also weather and rust resistant. The knife also features the always reliable AXIS locking mechanism and it even comes with its own storage case.