Benchmade has just unveiled their entire new for 2017 catalog. The 12 product lineup plays to the strength of the company’s iterative design philosophy and its Axis lock platform. The new knives benefit from increased machining prowess and enhanced material quality. It appears that Benchmade converted from its tried and true 154CM to S30V as its go-to steel. The new lineup offers some big surprises, including Benchmade’s first integral knife, a brand new balisong, and carry-overs from the now-discontinued HK line.
The Anthem is the very first integral frame Axis lock knife. Pioneered by Lionsteel, an integral knife is one where the entire handle is made from a single piece of material instead of two fastened together. Benchmade pulled out all the stops for this high end offering, with a 3.5” 20CV steel blade, chevron patterned pocket clip, and luxurious bronze anodization.
Benchmade got its start in the knife business making balisongs. With the new model 87 they channel their own company history with a thoroughly modern design. The 87 has a ball bearing pivot and trendy 4.5” wharncliffe blade to bring some flair to the traditional balisong design. As with the Anthem, the 87’s handles are machined from single billets of titanium.
Fans of the Griptilian should find the Freek right up their alley. This knife takes the classic Grip blade shape, scales it up to 3.6” and modifies it with an exaggerated thumb ramp. The elaborately sculpted Grivory handle and Versaflex inlay make the Freek a little dressier than its name might suggest.
A new entry in the Axis Assist category, the Boost looks to be a simple, effective, large pocket knife. It features the same Grivory/Versaflex handle construction as the Freek, but with a narrower 3.7” blade and a deep carry pocket clip.
5700 Presidio II
Many were surprised when Benchmade discontinued the entire Presidio family last year – it’s now clear why they made the move. The Presidio II is on its way in manual and automatic variants. S30V blade steel replaces 154CM, and the blade length has been scaled up to 3.7”. A redesigned handle improves the ergonomics of the original.
HK Carry-overs and Black Class
As promised, some HK knives will be coming to customers under the Benchmade brand and new names. The HK Patrol is now available with S30V steel as the 4400 Casbah. The Plan D backup fixed blade is coming back as the Azeria.
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The Black Class is further bolstered by the Presidio II (above), the 10 Hook , a new rescue tool, and two new OTF knives slated for release this year. Although it isn’t a direct conversion, the 4600 Phaeton seems to take some design cues from the discontinued HK Tumult. At just 3 oz. with a 3.4” blade, it is a lightweight OTF option. The 4700 Precipice is a similar, slightly burlier OTF with a 3.4” spear point blade. Both new OTFs utilize S30V steel.
Benchmade collectors will want to keep their eye out for couple new special editions. The 485 Valet is getting the premium Gold Class treatment with the 485-171. Blue anodized titanium scales and a Damasteel blade are the highlights here. The 3300-1701 limited edition Infidel is celebrating the OTF knife’s 10th year in production, with a silver dip colorized aluminum chassis and an included commemorative challenge coin.
Knife featured in image: Benchmade 560 Freek