Ahead of Benchmade’s 2016 catalog release, details surrounding a number of new knives have emerged. Alongside updates to a few existing models are three striking new flippers and two interesting additions to Benchmade’s ‘Hunt’ line. Benchmade’s new designs tend to be iterative, incremental refinements to a proven formula. This year, Benchmade steps further out of its comfort zone than ever.
Warren Osborne, designer of the popular Benchmade 940, designed the new Proxy, a titanium framelock flipper, a first for the company. Unlike Benchmade’s first flipper; the 300SN, criticized for the inconsistent flipping action of the AXIS lock, the framelock on the new Proxy shouldn’t suffer the same drawback. If you’ve got a Benchmade Flipper on your mind, you may also want to consider a linerlock called the Precinct. Or, if you’re in the market for a new assisted flipper, it would be a mistake not to look at the new Amicus in super premium CPM-S90V.
We can expect to see at least two new mid-size gentleman’s knives this year, a smaller version of the titanium Monolock released early last year and a dressy AXIS lock knife based on a long-discontinued Allen Elishewitz design from the Benchmade archive. Both have tip-up carry – a first on a framelock from Benchmade – and 3.25” drop-point blades.
There are unmistakable new additions to Benchmade’s Hunt line this year: a small fixed blade and lithe new folder. The fixed blade is a ‘cleaver’ design called the Nestucca Cleaver. Based on a traditional Alaskan Native Ulu knife, it has a small overall length for a four-inch blade accomplished by a forward finger hole cut into the blade. Also new is the Crooked River, an AXIS lock folder with a slim profile and classy look in aluminum bolsters and a choice of handle scales.
The Barrage and Mini-Barrage join the Griptilian and Mini-Griptilian in seeing premium steel and milled G-10 handle upgrades. The Griptilian series will also receive attractive blue-liners to offset the grey G-10, while the Barrages will be dressed in a uniform grey. Look for a variety of different finishes and serrated versions to come on all four of these blades.
It’s hard not to be impressed with what Benchmade has in store for 2016.
Knife featured in image: The Benchmade Hunt Nestucca Cleaver