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The Complete Guide to Benchmade Everyday and Folding Knives

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We explore every single Benchmade option you’d want to carry around on the daily.

a person holding a benchmade knifeBenchmade

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The task of choosing a favorite knife is almost entirely subjective. There’s certainly something to be said for materials, use cases and build quality, but at the end of the day, you just know your favorite when you see it, or hold it. It’s undeniable.

If you’re invested in the world of knives and everyday carry, you’ll be familiar with Benchmade; the brand has graced enough “best of” lists and forums to be inescapable.

But while you might have a single favorite Benchmade knife, have you ever looked the brand’s entire catalog? It’s a doozy. We decided to do the hard work for you and gather each and every EDC-oriented knife on Benchmade’s, well, bench for you to peruse at will.

There will be plenty of familiar blades on this list, but hopefully some new ones too. And hey, if you make it to the end, you may just find a new favorite.

Looking for more recommendations? Check out all our knives and EDC coverage here.


Benchmade Adamas

Benchmade Adamas

One of Benchmade’s most legendary tactical folders, the Adamas is a hard-use blade designed to stand up to the toughest wear and tear (the kind a survivalist or even a soldier might need). While it’s a bit beefy for most EDC loadouts, there’s no denying its gravitas and overall quality.

Specs

Blade Length 3.78 inches
Blade Steel CPM Cru-Wear
Handle Material G10
Locking Mechanism Axis
Total Length 8.89 inches

Pros

  • Incredibly tough folder
  • Rich history and pedigree

Cons

  • A bit large for EDC

Designed by Shane Sibert, this tactical-focused cutting tool was made to be as tough as possible while cutting down on carry weight without sacrificing cutting power or durability — hence the skeletonized handle. And it gets double points, as a purchase of this knife benefits the Ranger Assistance Foundation.

Editor’s Note: Benchmade’s Adamas also comes in a mini version that’s about an inch shorter overall. And it comes in a fixed-blade version for those who want a true outdoor knife that could survive the apocalypse.


Benchmade Bailout

benchmade bailout knifeBlade HQ

Benchmade Bailout

A close cousin to the iconic Bugout, the Bailout differs in significant ways while still retaining just about everything that makes its relative such a great knife. Two notable differences: The blade shape is a tanto instead of a drop point, and the butt of the handle features a bail that doubles as a lanyard attachment point and glass breaker.

Specs

Blade Length 3.38 inches
Blade Steel CPM M4
Handle Material Aluminum
Locking Mechanism Axis
Total Length 8.07 inches

Pros

  • Tanto blade shape better for some outdoor/tactical use
  • Bail great for lanyard attachment

Cons

  • Tanto blade is harder to sharpen than other shapes

While it has a more tactical edge to its styling than the Bugout, the two knives are more similar than they are different. And that’s a very good thing, as it means the Bailout is also extremely lightweight while still being remarkably durable and reliable. If you like the Bugout but want something with slightly more aggressive styling, this is your best bet.


Benchmade Barrage

Benchmade

Benchmade Barrage

An exercise in utility and durability, the Barrage was the first Benchmade knife to feature the Axis Assist mechanism — pair that with its 154CM stainless steel blade and Valox handle, and you’ve got yourself a high-end workhorse.

Specs

Blade Length 3.6 inches
Blade Material 154Cm stainless steel
Handle Material Valox
Locking Mechanism Axis Assist
Total Length 8.45 inches

Pros

  • Durable materials
  • Great action

Cons

  • May be over-built for average daily user
  • Expensive

Consider the Barrage that friend of yours that’s prepared for anything: tough as nails, not flashy, made for whatever life throws at them. The beauty of the Barrage lies in its versatility: it features a one-handed, ambidextrous opening design and combines hard-working 154Cm steel with a Valox handle. What’s Valox, you ask? It’s a proprietary thermoplastic composite with glass reinforcement that’s as light as it is strong. The entire Barrage weighs in at 4.51 ounces, but when you consider it boasts a 3.6-inch blade, that starts to sound pretty light.

Editor’s Note: The Barrage is available in a Mini version, which retails for $190 ($30 less than its full-size counterpart) and features all of the same materials and mechanisms.


Benchmade Bugout

Benchmade Bugout AXIS Lock Knife Black CF-Elite (3.24" Black) 535BK-2Blade HQ

Benchmade Bugout

One of Benchmade’s most popular models, the Bugout has made it onto thousands of “EDC essentials” lists since its launch in 2017. That’s thanks to its utility, practicality and portability. 

Specs

Blade Length 3.24 inches
Blade Steel CPM S30V
Handle Material Grivory
Locking Mechanism Axis lock
Total Length 7.46 inches

Pros

  • Comes in a variety of materials and finishes
  • Part of Benchmade’s customization program
  • Lightweight and strong

Cons

  • Price hikes have alienated some of its base
  • Grivory handle can feel cheap

The Bugout has captured the hearts and minds of the EDC community since its release seven years ago — the standard Grivory handle and Cpm-S30V make it a no-nonsense choice for anyone looking for an everyday folder. Fans of the Bugout have griped about its price increases in the past few years, but with its ability to be customized, its staying power in the EDC landscape and its utilitarian construction, we think it’s worth the investment. 

Editor’s Note: The Bugout is also available in a Mini version, which features a 2.82 inch blade and is 6.49 inches total length. 


Benchmade Crooked River

Benchmade

Benchmade Crooked River

Whereas most of Benchmade’s knives are decidedly modern feeling, the Crooked River harkens back to classic hunting-inspired designs, courtesy of its clip-point blade and wood handle. Materially speaking, however, it’s still very much a modern knife crafted to the high standards that are part and parcel of the brand.

Specs

Blade Length 4.00 inches
Blade Steel CPM S30V
Handle Material Dymondwood
Locking Mechanism Axis
Total Length 9.30 inches

Pros

  • Modern-meets-classic styling
  • Premium materials

Cons

  • Folding mechanism can get jammed up outdoors

While a folding outdoor knife is not for everyone, there’s certainly something to be said for the convenience of one that can stand up to the kind of hard usage required by hunting and bushcraft contexts. The Crooked River is one such knife, precision machined from high-end materials made for rigorous tasks — like dressing game in the field.

Editor’s Note: The Crooked River also comes in a Mini variety that, while materially identical, is shorter with a 3.4-inch blade, measuring up at 7.89 inches in total.


Benchmade Freek

Benchmade 560BK-1 - Freek 560-1, EDC Folding Knife, Drop-Point Blade, Manual Open, Axis Locking Mechanism, Made in USA, Coated, Straight, Gray/BlackAmazon

Benchmade Freek 560-1 EDC Folding Knife

The name may be a little funny, but the Freek’s quality is no joke. The gray-and-black layered G10 handle is milled to provide excellent grip and style, while the anodized aluminum barrel spacers bring an additional pop of color. The high-strength CPM-M4 blade is, of course, designed for hard use.

Specs

Blade Length 3.6 inches
Blade Material CPM S90V
Handle Material Carbon fiber
Locking Mechanism Axis lock
Total Length 8.46 inches

Pros

  • Lightweight and strong
  • Excellent handfeel

Cons

  • Action is stiff
  • May feel redundant if you already have a Bugout

The Freek has been compared to its popular cousin the Bugout — and although there’s reason to see why that might be, there are some key differences between the two. For starters, the Freek is larger than the Bugout; it maintains the same nimble personality, but if you don’t want as much knife to work with, keep that in mind. The Freek also features a deep-carry pocket clip where the Bugout does not. The Freek’s action is a little stiff on first use, but it’ll only get better with time — and use.

Editor’s Note: The Freek also comes in Super Freek ($280) and Mini Freek ($270-340) versions, each with options for carbon fiber or G10 handles.


Benchmade Full Immunity

benchmade 290bk full immunity knifeBenchmade

Benchmade Full Immunity

Presumably inspired by the brand’s Bugout and Bailout success stories, the Immunity — which comes in Full and Partial varieties (which differ only in dimensions) — is another lightweight, extra tough little folder. Where it distinguishes itself? It’s made to be concealable and has an aggressive Wharncliffe blade.

Specs

Blade Length 2.49 inches
Blade Steel CPM M4
Handle Material Aluminum
Locking Mechanism Axis
Total Length 5.94 inches

Pros

  • Blade shape good for cutting and stabbing tasks
  • Tough-as-nails construction

Cons

  • Pretty aggressive styling for EDC

It’s easy to love the options when it comes to the Immunity, as the Full measures up at just under six inches and the Partial at under five and a half. There’s also a trio of available colorways for both options, making this one of the more varied of Benchmade’s offerings, stylistically speaking.

Editor’s Note: There is also an automatic version of the Full Immunity, which comes in the same trio of colorways.


Benchmade Griptilian

Benchmade

Benchmade Griptilian

One reviewer of the Griptilian put it best: this is a “rugged knife at a reasonable price.” The Griptilian doesn’t feature super steel or premium handle materials, but it’s built to get the job done. The drop-point blade is great for finer tasks as well as general use, and the sub-$150 price doesn’t hurt either.

Specs

Blade Length 3.45 inches
Blade Material CPM S30V
Handle Material Glass-filled nylon
Locking Mechanism Axis lock
Total Length 8.07 inches

Pros

  • Sturdy and robust
  • Everyday workhorse

Cons

  • Expensive for a “toss around” knife
  • A little on the heavy side

The Griptilian wasn’t created to grace lists of luxury knives — this is a workhorse, through and through. The Griptilian features a CPM-S30V blade and a glass-filled nylon handle with stainless steel liners. The Griptilian comes in either a drop point or sheepsfoot configuration — both suited for tough tasks. The blade is slightly longer than the average folder, and the Axis lock provides enough power and force to cut through everyday, outdoor and tactical tasks. 

Editor’s Note: The Griptilian is also available in a Mini version, which features 2.91 inch blade and is ten bucks cheaper than its full-sized counterpart.


Benchmade Grizzly Creek

Benchmade Grizzly Creek

Made for the field, the newest version of the powerful Grizzly Creek features a non-recurved CPM-S30V blade for easier sharpening and upkeep, plus orange accents that help increase visibility in varying lighting conditions.

Specs

Blade Length 3.49 inches
Blade Material CPM-S30V
Handle Material Stabilized wood
Locking Mechanism Axis lock
Total Length 7.81 inches

Pros

  • Key visual updates have made it more useful in the field
  • Ergonomics leave nothing to be desired

Cons

  • Not really made for everyday use
  • On the heavy side

While the Grizzly Creek has received some notable updates, it retains the same useful features that have made it an icon in its field: the signature folding gut hook is still present, as well as the classic ergonomics and the classic style. Although the Grizzly Creek is positioned as being an ideal folder for hunters, it can hold its own in everyday life, as well.


Benchmade Narrows

Benchmade Narrows

Luxury, thy name is Narrows. As one of the brand’s pricier options, the Narrows has a lot to boast about: Its titanium handle is the slimmest Benchmade has ever built — just .28 inches thick — and its super steel M390 blade is about as premium as they come. Yes, this knife costs over $500, but the materials and action more than justify the high price tag.

Specs

Blade Length 3.34 inches
Blade Material M390 super premium stainless steel
Handle Material 6Al-4V Titanium
Locking Mechanism Axis lock
Total Length 8.02 inches

Pros

  • Insane build quality and materials
  • Elegant and useful

Cons

  • Price is prohibitive
  • More of a “safe queen” than an everyday piece

There are pricey Benchmade knives, and then there’s the Narrows: this titanium/super steel folder is an exercise in elegance and taste, with plenty of utility thrown in the mix. This ultralight wonder features the slimmest handle frame the brand has ever produced and a modified Axis locking mechanism that forgoes steel liners and omega springs, and subs in a new lock stud and torsion spring assembly to cut weight. If you’re looking for an ultralight folder that will probably spend more time dressing up your desk than dressing game, the Narrows should be at the top of your list.


Benchmade 940 Osborne

a benchmade knifeBenchmade

Benchmade 940 Osborne

Although it’s overshadowed by some of its more popular siblings, the 940 Osborne has a cult following of its own for good reason: Once you experience the world-class ergonomics, precision action and pleasing aesthetics, it’s hard to reach for anything else. Designed by the legendary Warren Osborne, this knife continues to be a classic for those in the know.

Specs

Blade Length 3.4 inches
Blade Material CPM S30V
Handle Material 6061-T6 Billet Aluminum
Locking Mechansim Axis lock
Total Length 7.87 inches

Pros

  • Legendary design from a legendary designer
  • High-end materials and construction

Cons

  • Very expensive for casual usage

Once you go Osborne, you never go back. At least, that’s what one of our editors thinks. The 940 Osborne is powerful without being overdone, sleek without becoming weak and looks damn good — especially when you throw it in the Customizer tool and give it a carbon fiber handle, like we did.

Editor’s Note: The 940 Osborne also comes in a Mini version, the 945 Osborne, which retails for $230. Both the 940 and 945 Osborne are available for customization using Benchmade’s online tool.


Benchmade Presidio II

Benchmade Presidio II

One of Benchmade’s more “tactical” EDC knife designs, the Presidio has been redesigned into an even more lightweight and capable folder. Still, its lightness does not come at the price of durability or capability, and if you’re looking for a hard-use folder with a military-inspired edge, this might be it.

Specs

Blade Length 3.72 inches
Blade Steel CPM S30V
Handle Material Polymer
Locking Mechanism Axis
Total Length 8.72 inches

Pros

  • Ultralight, ultra-tough handle
  • Good blend of EDC and tactical styling

Cons

  • Not as stylistically refined as other Benchmade knives

A longtime member of the brand’s lineup, the Presidio II is a stalwart that’s beloved by industry fans and professionals alike. While it lacks some of the refinement of Benchmade’s more modern knives, it makes up for it with grit and capability. It’s not traditionally pretty, but it gets the job done when you need it.

Editor’s Note: The Presidio is also available in a smaller Mini version, which has a 3.2-inch blade and a total length of 7.48 inches. Furthermore, it’s available in an automatic version (in black and coyote), which differs only in regards to its deployment.


Benchmade Redoubt

Benchmade Redoubt knifeBenchmade

Benchmade Redoubt

Designed to toe the line between everyday carry use and more emergency-focused tasks, the Redoubt is a tough-as-nails folder perfect for when you’re “your own first responder,” as the brand puts it. And while it works great for EDC utility purposes, it’s also reliable as a self-defense option.

Specs

Blade Length 3.55 inches
Blade Steel CPM D2
Handle Material Grivory
Locking Mechanism Axis
Total Length 8.29 inches

Pros

  • Excellent, grippy handle
  • Tough-looking but still discreet overall

Cons

  • A little aggressive for EDC

With a unique in-house milled handle — which almost gives hand grenade vibes — and a workhorse steel drop-point blade, the Redoubt was clearly made to be used day in and day out. Those who want one solid knife they can rely on for a lifetime of tough cutting tasks, big and small, can have no doubts about the Redoubt.


Benchmade Taggedout

CARBON FIBER knifeBenchmade

Benchmade TaggedOut Carbon Fiber

Taking cues from the popular Bugout, this TaggedOut treatment includes carbon fiber handles and (like the Redemption) CPM-MagnaCut steel, which blends strength, edge retention and corrosion resistance — and comes to life in a blaze orange 3.48-inch clip-point blade.

Specs

Blade Length 3.5 inches
Blade Material CPM-S45VN or Magnacut
Handle Material G10 or Carbon Fiber
Locking Mechanism Axis lock
Total Length 8.13 inches

Pros

  • Ideal weight and balance
  • Blade steel is up for any job

Cons

  • Lowest-end version still costs $300
  • Colorways may be too flashy for some

The Taggedout blurs the line between hunt and everyday carry — and while the G10 version with CPM-S45VN didn’t necessarily do the trick for Benchmade fans right off the bat (there was grumbling the materials felt cheap for the price) the carbon fiber/MagnaCut combo seems to have done the trick. A bright orange thumbstud and spacers add visibility (and flair), and it’s hard to argue with super steel.


Benchmade Triage

Benchmade Triage

While anyone can buy the Triage, it was designed specifically for public safety workers and first responders, which should give you a better idea as to both its overall quality and intended use case. Regardless, it’s an exceptional, rock-solid cutting tool you can depend upon time and time again.

Specs

Blade Length 3.48 inches
Blade Steel CPM S30V
Handle Material G10
Locking Mechanism Axis
Total Length 8.33 inches

Pros

  • Integrated seatbelt cutter for emergency rescue
  • Designed with first responders in mind

Cons

  • More suited to first response work than EDC

There are two basic versions of the Triage to be aware of: the standard edition with its drop-point, partially serrated blade, and a tipless version, which is better suited to first responder usage (especially paramedics and firefighters and the like). They both also have an additional integrated seatbelt cutter, perfectly suited to rescue ops.

Editor’s Note: The Triage also comes in an automatic version for those situations in which every last second might make a difference.


Benchmade Vector

Benchmade Vector

It’s not common for Benchmade to offer a knife in only one variety, but it does happen. Case in point: the Vector. Combining a flipper deployment with the brand’s Axis Assist mechanism, it’s one of the quickest non-auto knives in the brand’s lineup. And while it’s pricey, it has the build to back it up.

Specs

Blade Length 3.60 inches
Blade Steel CPM S30V
Handle Material G10
Locking Mechanism Axis
Total Length 8.42 inches

Pros

  • Unique spear-point blade
  • Pleasing, ergonomic shape

Cons

  • No additional blade, handle or color options

Interestingly, the Vector was actually modeled in part after the brand’s (discontinued) Arcane, albeit with some noteworthy improvements to the overall design (like a textured handle that looks and performs better). It also has a spear-point blade (as opposed to a drop point) but retains the stellar ergonomics of its sibling.

A brief history of Benchmade

Founded by native Californian Les De Asis back in 1979, Benchmade was originally called Bali-Song — and that’s what the brand made: a single butterfly knife designed by Jody Samson (his first-ever design). Upon its debut, that knife was good enough to win Blade Magazine’s Knife of the Year.

In the 1980s, Bali-Song changed its name to Pacific Cutlery Corporation and then, finally, to Benchmade in 1988. Shortly thereafter, the company moved to Clackamas, Oregon and then to Oregon City, Oregon — where the company is headquartered to this day and where all its knives are made. (Yes, Benchmade knives, with the exception of some discontinued models from early in the brand’s history, are all manufactured in the USA.)

Today, Benchmade is one of the most widely respected and beloved brands in the entire everyday carry, outdoor and tactical industries. And while Les De Asis sadly passed in 2020, the company is still helmed by the De Asis family, first by Roberta, his wife, and then their son Jon, who is still the president and CEO to this day. For a much more in-depth look at Benchmade’s history, we highly recommend checking out the brand-produced video here.

Why we’re not including automatic knives

Automatic knives are a fairly large part of Benchmade’s business — by our count, there are 15 models to choose from on the site right now (not counting mini versions or material variants). So why aren’t we including them in this guide? Simple: Automatic knives, more than any other type of everyday carry knife, come with some potentially heavy legal implications.

While not entirely outlawed in most places, there are numerous states with restrictions regarding the sale of automatic knives, as well as laws regarding the how and where of carrying one. In fact, according to the American Knife & Tool Institute, at least 17 states have some measure of restrictions. Some of these outlaw the sale of automatic knives, others limit the public’s ability to carry them, and some encapsulate both (New Mexico, Minnesota, Delaware and Connecticut all have bans on the sale and carrying of auto knives).

And that’s just on the statewide level. Municipalities may have their own localized restrictions — New York City, for instance, has notoriously stricter knife laws than the rest of New York state. While this may also apply to other knife styles, lengths and other factors, it’s a lot more common for there to be restrictions on automatic knives (sometimes referred to as switchblades, gravity knives, OTFs, etc.). Therefore, we’ve opted to steer clear in this EDC-focused guide.

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