7 Best Benchmade Knives of 2020

If you’re looking to buy a high-grade knife, you’ve landed in the right place, because today’s article is about the best Benchmade knives. 

If you’re asking yourself what’s up with Benchmade, well, the answer is very straightforward: as a knife aficionado, I consider Benchmade to be one of the best companies in the business; since 1979, they radically revolutionized knife making, and I’m not mincing words here. 

Now, if you’re wondering how Benchmade managed to become an international and widely recognized knife brand, the answer is the company’s obsession to detail, and the fact that they use high-quality materials and workmanship (they pioneered laser cutting technology by the way, and steels too hard to stamp) hence they’ve established a big presence in the market. 

Best Benchmade Knives of 2020

1. Benchmade Bugout 535 Knife

benchmade bugout

Benchmade Bugout 535 Knife

The Benchmade Bugout 535 is the perfect choice for an EDC as it offers strength and versatility in drop-point blade design and a plain edge. The knife has a satin finish and a blue handle, and, very important in my view, it’s made in the USA. The blade is built from CPM-S30V steel, which offers resistance to corrosion and first-rate edge retention. Overall the Bugout is the best Benchmade knife for edc.

The grivory handle is molded from glass-filled nylon, it’s tough and grippy, while the axis locking mechanism provides a smooth open and easy close, plus safe operation. 

PROS

  • Lightweight ambidextrous design
  • Well designed, looks and feels high-quality
  • Well designed, looks and feels high-quality
  • Grippy Grivory handle, 7.46 inches overall length, weighs a mere 1.85 ounces

CONS

  • Very thin blade and no liners (kind of flimsy for heavy-duty tasks)

2. Benchmade Griptilian 551 Knife

The Griptilian is an iconic knife, making for Benchmark’s golden-standard when it comes to multi-purpose folders. The 551 offers a ton of versatility, the blade is made from CPM-S30V steel, weighs 3,88 ounces, and has a blade length of 3.45’’ (8.07” total). The glass-filled nylon handle is ergonomically designed and everything revolves around usability and versatility. 

The full-size drop-point blade is optimized for EDC, and the knife features a smooth operating punch, being very sharp out of the box.

PROS

  • Relatively light and portable for its size
  • Perfectly centered blade, hair-splitting sharp
  • Full-size blade and handle with great ergonomics
  • Smooth open/close operation, feels robust and well-made

CONS

  • This large foldable knife is not for everyone

3. Benchmade 940 Osborne Knife

The Benchmade 940 is the perfect EDC if you’re obsessed with pocket knives. The 940 is basically that “one blade to rule them all”, having all the basic requirements for an EDC, and, on top of that, premium build quality and one of the most popular designs in Benchmade’s portfolio.

The knife weighs 2.90 ounces, has a 3.4’’ blade and 7.86’’ overall length, and, most importantly, the special treatment of the high-end S30V stainless steel offers out-of-this-world blade retention.

PROS

  • Crazy sharp S30V steel blade
  • Very comfortable and easy to carry
  • AXIS lock mechanism, ambidextrous design
  • I love the reverse-tanto flat grind blade design and the smooth anodized aluminum in the handle

CONS

  • Kind of expensive

4. Benchmade Barrage 580 Knife

My next pick is the Barrage 580, a knife designed by Warren Osborne, and due to its drop point style blade, it makes for a highly controllable, strong and comfortable EDC, which offers all-around versatility. To make it really simple for my readers, the Barrage 580 is a jack-of-all-trades knife, with a blade made of premium grade 154CM stainless steel.

The Barrage 580 is an assisted-opening knife featuring an internal spring mechanism and has a balanced and sturdy construction, with a comfy and grippy handle, and a reversible carry clip.

PROS

  • Easy to open and to close due to the AXIS system
  • Very sharp out of the box, looks and feels premium
  • Symmetrical performance, assisted opening, Valox handle
  • Impeccable workmanship, 8.35″ overall length, 3.6″ blade length

CONS

  • None really

5. Benchmade Crooked River Knife

Here comes a folding knife that I own and love, the Crooked River respectively. Even if it’s expensive, this Benchmade knife is built specifically for outdoor enthusiasts and/or hunters. The Crooked River has a G10 handle and a blade made of high-strength CPM-S30V, which features first-rate corrosion resistance and edge retention.

Smooth opening and safety are taken care of by the AXIS mechanism, while the ergonomic and ultra-durable handle is a match made in heaven for heavy-duty jobs.

PROS

  • Razor sharp
  • Big, strong and basically immortal
  • This is a hunter’s wet dream come true
  • Ideal for a survival kit, high-end materials, immaculate workmanship

CONS

  • Difficult to sharpen on your own

6. Benchmade Adamas 275 Knife

If you’re looking for a badass tactical folder, the Adamas 275 has your name on you. This baby has it all, including a hefty price tag: over the top toughness, oozes “cool-factor”, comes with an awesome design, weighs a gargantuan 7.7 oz, and it’s over-engineered to the point of ridiculousness. Bigger, better, more, this is the Adamas 275 knife in a nutshell. 

The knife has stainless steel liners, a 4.06 mm (.160 inches) thick blade made of high-strength D2 steel and it generally feels like a fixed blade. Yes, folks, it’s that tough.

PROS

  • Insanely cool design, built like a tank
  • Functionally fantastic, can chop trees
  • Ideal for outdoors/survival use, scary sharp
  • Perfectly balanced/centered blade, feels lively in the hand

CONS

  • Not very practical for EDC

7. Benchmade Infidel Knife

Benchmade Infidel Knife

Last but not least, we have the Benchmade Infidel, the most expensive of the bunch. This is another big folding knife, weighing a bit under 5 oz and featuring a 3.9’’ blade made of D2 tool steel, and an overall length of 8.9’’ (5’’ closed). This knife is aimed at law enforcement and the military, featuring a dagger-like blade design that deploys swiftly and safely.

The fully automatic deployment mechanism works great via a double-action system for a 2-way movement by using a single button, and D2 can literally cut through steel.

PROS

  • Excellent for EDC
  • Comes with glass breaker, compact size, slim profile, perfectly balanced
  • Coated finish, anodized aluminum handle, double-edge spear-point blade design
  • Comes with glass breaker, compact size, slim profile, perfectly balanced

CONS

  • High-end design comes at high-end prices

Other Honorable Mentions

If you want a more “high-end” feel, you can take a look at the Anthem 781, which is a great (yet insanely expensive) all-purpose folding knife, offering an exceptional ergonomic experience.

Or, why not, check out the Nakamura 484, another personal favorite, a beautiful knife that makes for the perfect all-rounder at an affordable price.

Benchmade Pocket Knife Buying Guide:

Here’s what to look for when buying a Benchmade knife: first, there’s the price issue, but don’t worry, even the cheapest Benchmade knives are built to last, and they’re dependable and sturdy. Then, size comes into play, and here you must follow the state/local laws in regard to legal blade length if you’re looking for an EDC or your personal preference. 

Finally, you must choose a blade shape/type, but then again, Benchmade offers a wide variety of high-quality knives, with all kinds of designs and blade shapes: tanto, drop point, spear point, reverse tanto, clip point and more. 

Serrated vs plain edge may be an issue to some, but as the general rule of thumb, plain edge knives are best at performing push cuts, while serrated edges are better for hard cutting and sawing. If you’re not sure what to look for, the best of both worlds would be a half-serrated blade knife variety.

Even the cheapest Benchmade knife is made with an obsessive attention to detail and using the best steel possible, not to mention flawless workmanship. In my opinion, if you’re looking for a high-grade pocket knife, Benchmade is running with the best, and the company’s quality control is legendary. 

On top of that, Benchmade offers a lifetime warranty for all their products, and the patented spring-operated AXIS locking mechanism, invented by Jason Williams and Bill McHenry is also one of the most efficient and solid out there.

Benchmade knives arrive in different classes: the Blue Class, Black and Gold Class

Each of those can be used for both collection purposes and everyday tasks. 

However, the Gold Class is special in that it makes for a limited edition, and that’s more desirable for collectors.

The Blue Class is the “blue-collar” type of knife, i.e. the ideal EDC knife for everyday tasks, but don’t worry about durability, craftsmanship, or quality, as they’re top-notch, as usual. 

Finally, the Black Class knives are “tactical” tools designed for the military and law enforcement, but obviously, they’re all available to the general public as well.

Regardless of what you’re in for, rest assured as all Benchmade knives are crazy sharp out of the box, and the steel/build quality is arguably the best in the industry, regardless of the price tag. The company uses M390 steel, as well as 154CM and D2 tool steel in their products, i.e. the best for the best.

Moreover, Benchmade produces its knives entirely in the USA, and this is kind of rare nowadays, with globalization and all that. Benchmade’s line-up includes some of the best EDC knives in the world, like the Griptilian 940, which is a no-nonsense trustworthy tool for everyday purposes, or, if you want something between EDC and tactical, the Adamas 275 comes to mind.

Bottom line, whether you’re looking for a fixed blade or a folding knife, Benchmade has something for every budget.

FAQs

Does Benchmade Offers Warranty

Yes, all Benchmade pocket knives carry a full/limited lifetime warranty if purchased from an authorized retailer and you don’t modify the knife in any way, shape or form. Moreover, the LifeSharp service is offered on all Benchmade knives, i.e. you can send your knife back to the company when you want it sharpened and they’ll do it for free.

Where are the Benchmade knives made?

All Benchmade Knives are proudly made in the USA, Oregon City more precisely.