Based out of Oregon City, USA, Benchmade has truly made a name for itself when it comes to crafting small and insanely efficient knives. If you’re looking to get yourself the best Benchmade knife, there’s a chance you’ll be ruined for any other knife brands, especially when it comes to EDC knives.
But what is it that makes Benchmade different from other makers of small knives? Despite being expensive, many people flock to buy Benchmade knives. Quality is just one of the many factors, another one is LifeSharp. LifeSharp service from Benchmade means whenever you need to sharpen, hone, or fix your Benchmade knives, you just send them to their factory and they fix it for you.
You can also get any modifications made and they will only charge for the accessory, not the fixing. For this reason, even though the price seems exorbitant, I consider that buying Benchmade is actually a money-saving move. Naturally, a question arises: what is the best Benchmade knife? Come, let’s take a look at the latest Benchmade knives that I think are quite impressive.
Top 10 Best Benchmade Knife Reviews in 2023
Benchmade Bugout 535 EDC Knife
The first thing you need to know about this EDC knife is that it is an amazing knife if you just want to drop it in a pocket and forget about it. It’s extremely lightweight for a knife this capable, and due to the axis locking mechanism, it’s very user friendly as well. This Benchmade EDC is made of CPM-s30v American steel, which is quite impressive in a foldable pocket knife.
Usually, pocket-friendly knives make use of less sturdy steel, but that is not so in this knife. The deep carry clip also makes it an ideal choice. However, the winning point that makes this knife the best Benchmade knife for everyday use is the exceptional handle. The Grivory handle is essentially as good as polymer, plus it doesn’t get slippery even when wet.
It’s fully ambidextrous and grippy but isn’t too abrasive on the palm. However, a lot of customers thought calling it “Bugout” is a bit of a stretch, since a true Bugout knife would ideally be more capable. It would need to be a fixed blade, and be more of a Survival knife type. Despite that, I feel that this is quite a good Benchmade EDC.
- Very grip-friendly, ambidextrous Grivory handle
- Drop point blade made of premium sturdy steel
- Extremely lightweight knife
- Axis-locking mechanism for safety
- Lanyard hold on the handle for portability
- Good quality deep carry clip
- Not suitable for heavy-duty work
Benchmade 940 EDC Folding Knife
I greatly appreciate that this slim and functional knife features a Tanto point blade. Because often I need to use my EDC for piercing or prying, and this sturdy, capable tip means I can do that without worrying about the tip snapping off. The satin-finished 6061-T6 aluminum handle is also something I’m quite fond of.
It’s ambidextrous, anodized, and feels very luxurious in the grip. However, it’s not textured so you might not get as much grip as you’d expect from other EDC knives. It’s astonishingly functional for a knife this size, and it comes hair-splitting sharp out of the box. For steller cutting, piercing, and prying tasks, this is the best Benchmade knife you can hope to find.
Looking through the reviews, I found that the customers absolutely love the manual opening action and that the blade was perfectly centered. It’s quite rare in a folded knife, you’d notice. However, some users did complain that the axis locking mechanism on this model wasn’t as good as expected, though a little tinkering usually takes care of that.
- Simple and yet beautiful design
- Tanto tip on the blade is very sturdy and functional
- Sturdy 6061-T6 aluminum handle
- Perfectly centered for a folded knife
- The blade doesn’t wobble even a little
- Comes quite sharp out of the box
- Axis lock might need a little adjustment
Benchmade North Fork Knife
Despite the manufacturer recommending this knife for hunting purposes, I actually consider this the best Benchmade knife for EDC due to its superb edge retention and sharpness as it comes out of the box. The manual axis lock can also be released one-handedly. The attribute that dubs it a hunting knife is the modified drop point blade. However, it’s also very functional when you use this as your daily carry knife.
Though the blade itself is short, the cutting edge is quite long, so it’s going to be useful in a lot of situations. The Dymondwood handle on the North Fork is a thing of beauty. It’s textured and large enough to get a comfortable grip. However, make sure you don’t go swimming with this in your pocket as the handle will expand and be unusable for a while.
- The blade has great edge retention and rust resistance
- Sturdy Dymondwood handle
- Modified drop point blade
- The opening action is comfortable and one-handed
- The handle is enough to get a comfortable grip
- The cutting edge is fairly long
- Clip screws tend to loosen
- Wood handle tends to fade in color
Benchmade Barrage 583 Tanto Blade Knife
Another Tanto blade knife, this Benchmade blade is for those who love a matte, understated dark knife for EDC usage. The knife makes use of an assisted opening mechanism that you can access with just one hand, any hand. It’s an ambidextrous knife. The razor-sharp, partially serrated blade is 3.6 inches, perfect for daily utility work.
It’s made from 154cm stainless steel that gives it excellent edge retention. Due to the straight edge, it will be easier for you when you do need to sharpen the Barrage. Moreover, the Tanto profile is great for piercing, and so that makes it the best Benchmade knife for self-defense in this list. However, I’d suggest you stay cautious about prying, as that may snap the tip.
Aside from the blade, the handle is another thing that demands attention. It’s grippy and made of Valox, and though that gives this knife a sort of “cheap” feeling, it actually keeps the weight of the knife down. As a result, you need to thank the handle for this knife’s superb portability.
To get the most out of the Barrage 583, I’d suggest you break it in properly. Use oil to lubricate the opening mechanism and play with it for a few hours. You’d be amazed at how this knife would start to feel like an extension of your arm.
- Valox handle keeps the knife lightweight
- The smooth assisted opening mechanism
- Superb edge retention
- Sharp Tanto tip
- Partially serrated cutting edge
- Comes with a reversible pocket clip
- A little expensive
Benchmade Griptilian 551 Knife
The Griprilian is easily the best selling Benchmade knife for EDC usage- and the majority of Benchmade users would agree with me on this. Imagine every little task you would expect an EDC knife to do, write it down if you need to. You’ll find that the Griptilian can do every single one of them.
The knife’s drop-point utility blade is made from s30v steel, which is as sharp as you can get nowadays, and a lot of great Benchmade knives make use of this material. The knife also does not need frequent sharpening at all and resists rust and corrosion like a champion. If there’s anything better than the blade on this knife, it’s the glass-filled nylon handle.
The very first look convinces you that this knife would not slip from your grip. It’s lightweight and might feel flimsy at first. But prolonged use would tell you how durable and efficient it really is. If I had to mention one downside to this blade, it’s the assisted opening thumb stud. It’s a bit harsh on the hand. However, if you’re wearing work gloves, that problem vanishes.
- Immensely sharp s30v stainless steel blade
- Utility drop point on the blade is useful for any and all EDC work
- The textured handle offers excellent grip
- Resists rust and corrosion better than most blades
- The assisted opening lock may be a little stiff at first
Benchmade Crooked River EDC Knife
Most knives of such models are very compact so that you could easily carry them around while camping and hiking. However, this is the biggest Benchmade folder and has a long clip point blade that will suit not only EDC tasks but also tasks during hunting and camping.
As a result, customers have reported this to be the best Benchmade knife for backpacking because it has a comfortable grip and is easy to sharpen with an ordinary knife sharpener. A little oiling also makes sure the axis locking joint is smooth as butter.
Moreover, users have said that the blade does not rust or corrode even if kept wet and used in rainy or humid weather conditions. However, the wooden handle might start to look a bit beaten up. It’s also a little prone to chipping.
- Insanely sharp blade
- Easy to maintain
- Pocket-sized hunting knife
- Easily folds and unfolds whenever needed
- The wooden handle tends to chip off in shards
Benchmade Grizzly Creek Knife
If you’re a fan of Benchmade’s assisted opening and stunning wood handles, this is it for you. While this boasts a Dymondwood handle and a tough drop point blade with a serrated spine, the shining point of this knife is the folding gut hook that comes along. The CPM-s30v stainless steel blade is built like a tank, and it can take care of skinning your hunt very easily.
It’s also rust and corrosion resistant to a great degree, and it retains a razor-sharp edge even after heavy duty. No wonder users call it the best Benchmade knife for hunting. Another thing that contributes to making this knife a prime choice for hunting is the gut hook that folds into the handle.
It’s not only suitable for hunting but also tackles utility tasks and performs well as a cord cutter. The opening notch and serrated thumb-rest are very efficient. Lastly, let’s take a look at the Dymondwood handle. It’s more durable and weather-resistant than a regular wooden handle, and it also provides great grip and adds to the visual appeal of the knife as a whole.
- Comes equipped with a handy tip-up pocket clip
- Stainless steel drop point blade is tough as nails
- Easy to deploy gut hook offers versatile use
- Weather-resistant Dymondwood handle
- Qualifies as a gravity knife which might be illegal in some states
Benchmade Puukko Fixed Bushcraft Knife
While folded EDC knives by Benchmade are definitely prime quality and are loved by most users, their fixed blade knives are nothing to scoff at. This Scandinavian inspired Puukko knife is a small, light, and nifty tool despite being fixed and needing a sheath. It might remind you of Morakniv or Mora knives with the roundish handle and stubby blade.
cpm3v is the steel used to craft the plain drop point blade. The full tang construction makes sure that the blade is more durable and steadier than folded knives. At 60-62 HRC, these knives stay sharp for a long time, however, they also tend to be a little brittle, and difficult to sharpen later on.
The handle is rubberized Santoprene, and the texture wraps around the entirety of it. No matter how hard you’re going with the knife, it won’t slip even if your hand is wet with water, sweat, or blood. The handle also has a lanyard hole at one end.
Lastly, I certainly cannot go without mentioning the beautiful leather dangler loop sheath that comes with this knife. As a bonus, the sheath also has a space to hold a Ferro rod, which will definitely help when you’re out camping. All in all, this is the best affordable Benchmade knife if a fixed blade is what you’re after.
- Sturdy drop point blade made of cpm3v Crucible tool steel
- Full tang knife
- Rubberized Santoprene-made textured handle
- Comes with a leather sheath
- The edge itself doesn’t come with a Scandi grind
Benchmade Mini Griptilian Sheepsfoot knife
As I’ve already waxed poetic about the Griptilian, you know that’s one of the best EDC knives from the house of Benchmade. However, some find the full-sized Griptilian a little intimidating. They would find the Mini Griptilian more comfortable and compact. The knife is of a Sheepsfoot blade, and it’s quite useful in daily utility works. More importantly, it’s great for a bit of carving work.
The surgically sharp blade comes perfectly centered. It has a wide belly, so you can tackle heavier utility tasks without worries. Moreover, while some might scorn the Spydie hole, it’s a good replacement for the thumb stud. What is a Spydie hole, you ask? Spyderco folding knives tend to come with a thumb hole in the spine instead of a thumb stud to open the blade, and that’s called a Spydie hole.
Since this Benchmade knife’s thumbhole has the same purpose, we’re also calling it a Spydie hole. While this bit might seem an unoriginal move on the designer’s part, there’s no doubt that it works well. I personally prefer the thumb hole over the harsher thumb stud.
This Mini Griptilian also has the same impressive handle as the full-sized Griptilian. While this one has a slightly shorter handle and will make your pinky finger dangle free, it’s expected for such a small knife. All things considered, this is the best Benchmade pocket knife I’ve come across.
- High-quality CPM-s30v stainless steel
- Well centered Sheepsfoot blade with a large belly
- Comes surgically sharp out of the box
- The Spydie hole on the spine is more comfortable than a thumb stud
- The joint will need oiling for smooth operation
Benchmade Freek Drop-Point Blade
I can’t make a list of great Benchmade knives and skip on the Freek knife, can I? There are a couple of really good versions of the Freek. However, this one is my favorite since this is the so-called “Super Freek”, due to the upgraded CPM-M4 steel and handle material. The blade might seem unassuming and simple, with its plain edge and drop point, however, there’s little it can’t do.
You would be hard-pressed to find a good EDC of this level that can perform utility tasks this well. It also comes super sharp out of the box, boasting a full flat grind. Moreover, if you’re a fan of the G10 handle, you’ll love this. It has a base G10 layer and a gray and black layered and milled G10 layer on top. When it comes to the handle’s ergonomics, this knife beats all the rest.
While you might be thinking this will be your next EDC of choice, I’m thinking this would make a great gift! The price is quite reasonable for a Benchmade, and the performance coupled with a modern aesthetic look makes it the best Benchmade knife for giving to someone who loves knives.
- CPM-M4 super steel retains sharpness for a long time
- The G10 handle is light yet durable
- There’s a lanyard hole on the handle for versatile carry
- Axis lock mechanism is built really well
- The steel hardness is 62-64HRC which makes it hard to sharpen
- The blade is also not as rust resistant as s30v steel knives
How to Choose the Best Benchmade Knife for All Purposes?
While I’ve tried to point out which knife in this list is good for which set of tasks, I’m going to break things down a little bit more. Take a look at the specific factors you need to consider before choosing the best Benchmade knife for yourself.
From my selection, you’ve seen how Benchmade tends to make either straight, plain edged EDC knives or ones with a partial serration. Straight edges are great for versatile utility work. They are also easy to put an edge on.
On the other hand, serrated knives stay sharp for longer but are notoriously tough to re-sharpen. If you need serrated knives for tasks like rope cutting or some light sawing that can’t be accomplished by a straight edge, consider a partially serrated EDC.
Plain finish, satin finish, matte finish, coated finish, Damascus: there isn’t a shortage in types of knife finishes. If you’re worried about nicks and dings showing up, a plain or brushed finish would be good for you. Personally, I prefer a subtle matte or black coated blade, even though they tend to get scratched quite easily. I like the low visibility these EDC blades offer.
While pondering this, your knife’s intended use is a good place to start. Need to do some piercing? Pick a Tanto tip, but remember it’s not good for prying. Slicing? Pick a clip point. Drop point blades are great for regular utility work, and if you don’t need any piercing power, go for a Sheepsfoot tip.
Folding vs Fixed
Despite preferring folding knives when it comes to Benchmade, I sure do appreciate their fixed blades. If it’s an understated EDC you’re looking for, pick one of their lighter, folded pocket knives. However, if you don’t want the hassle of opening a knife, no matter how smooth the action is, you can go for a sheathed fixed blade knife. This will also give you the advantage of a stronger knife.
Again, what is it that you’ll do with this Benchmade? Are you going to wiggle, rock, and twist the blade often to get your job done? Pick something with a slightly lower HRC rating. This will give you more flexibility but lower edge retention. They’re easier to sharpen, though.
On the other hand, if you want a hard steel knife that you wouldn’t twist or rock too much, you can pick a higher HRC. Keep in mind that a higher HRC also means a more brittle knife, and it’s going to be a nightmare to sharpen.
Never underestimate a good handle, since a sturdy, ergonomic, and grippy handle can make the knife so much better. Benchmade invests a lot in making their handles good, and you can pick any one knife and be assured that the handle will be satisfactory. Particularly, if you’re going to swim, camp, or go backpacking, don’t pick wood or Dymondwood handle as moisture will make it unsuitable for a while.
However, if you keep it dry, these beautiful handles remain perfectly serviceable. Some people are quite partial to G10 handles, while some prefer the lightness of glass-filled nylon or Santoprene. Make sure these handles are well-textured, and you’re all set.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Where Are Benchmade Knives Made?
A: The Benchmade Knife Company is behind Benchmade knives. The company is located in Oregon in the US.
Q: What Materials Are Used to Create Benchmade Knives?
A: Great high-quality steel such as 154CM and CPM-s30v are used to create Benchmade knives. This kind of steel gives Benchmade knife blades good strength, long life, and resistance against corrosion. Moreover, gripping a Benchmade knife is comfortable because the handles are made of durable glass-filled nylon and G10.
Q: What Makes Benchmade Knives Special?
A: Their amazing quality is what made Benchmade knives stand apart from other kinds of knives. Compared to cheap knives that become rusted, dull, or broken easily, Benchmade knives are durable and tough. Their edge holds well, and they do not deteriorate or rust for a long time. Opening and closing them is not a hassle because they have an excellent axis lock mechanism.
Q: Does a Benchmade Knife Have a Lifetime Warranty?
A: One of the many advantages of getting a Benchmade knife is its warranty. When you buy it, you will see a document certifying that your purchase comes with a limited lifetime warranty. If you are not happy or you got a defective product, you can avail of a refund. Keep in mind that the warranty is valid when you buy from authorized sellers.
Q: Where Can I Buy a Benchmade Knife?
A: You can purchase it from an authorized seller on Amazon. You can refer to the reviews there to check if the seller is authorized or not.
The best Benchmade knife isn’t the one with the most ratings or reviews, or the one that’s the most pricey. In fact, it could be a knife even outside my list! What’s important is that you pick a knife according to what you need and you like, and you’ll definitely love what you end up buying.