Presented by: Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpeners
The KnifeNews Dealers’ Choice Awards recognize extraordinary achievement in the production knife world. KnifeNews turned to knife dealers to determine the winners. With hundreds of new production knives passing through their hands and many hours spent interacting with end-users, dealers have the most comprehensive and informed perspective. 21 of North America’s top dealers cast their votes in 10 different categories to choose the best of the best in 2016.
We are pleased to announce that the Benchmade 490 Amicus is the winner of the KnifeNews Dealers’ Choice Award for Best New Assisted-Opening Folder 2016. Votes cast by dealers indicated that other great new blades in this category include the Kershaw Fatback, the ProTech TR-5 Lerch, and the SOG Sideswipe.
According to Derrick Lau at Benchmade, the 490 Amicus gave the company a chance to wow its fans in an entirely unexpected product category. “We dived headfirst into assisted flippers with the 490 – and I think we really nailed it.” With a sleek silhouette, top-flight features, and a sophisticated personality the 490 is an impressive gentleman’s folder that fits right in with the company’s high-end offerings.
Lau says that the 490 Amicus was directly inspired by the popular Emissary assisted series. Like the blades in that product line, the 490 houses an Axis Assist opening mechanism in a lightweight aluminium chassis. But unlike the Emissary, thumb studs can’t be found on the 490 blade, making the flipper the sole method of deployment.
Consistent with a 2016 industry trend, the 490’s low profile flipper tab vanishes when the knife is in the open position. The aluminium handle was given a faceted, three-dimensional design. With an ample and EDC friendly 3.2″ blade, the 490 is still the smallest folder Benchmade released in 2016. The premium package is topped off with S90V steel, which boasts superior edge retention.
Going forward, the 490 Amicus will be known only by its number. It shared the name ‘Amicus’ with another new-for-2016 knife, so in 2017 expect Benchmade to call the knife the 490. Lau says they went over every detail of this high-end assisted knife to get it just right. “The 490 was one of those knives we knew was going to be special.” This is Benchmade’s second KnifeNews Dealers’ Choice Award, having already won the Best Knife Upgrade 2016 for the G-10 Griptilian.
Visit KnifeNews.com tomorrow when we’ll announce the winner of the KnifeNews Dealers’ Choice Award for Best New Value Folder 2016.
Best New Assisted-Opening Folder:
Top 4 Contenders
Benchmade 490 Amicus (WINNER)
Wednesday, November 16th
Knife featured in image: Benchmade 490 Amicus