Benchmade 275 Adamas Voted Best Knife Upgrade 2021

Presented by: Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpeners

The 275-1 Benchmade Adamas is the KnifeNews Readers’ Choice for Best Knife Upgrade 2021! This fine-tuned folder family found fans and fought its way to first among first-rate fellows like the Buck Knives Paradigm, Cold Steel 3V fixed blades, Kizer Begleiter 2.0, and Spyderco Salt 2 in LC200N.

With nearly a decade as an active product in Benchmade’s lineup, the Shane Sibert-designed Adamas folder was a bonafide classic in its field, and maybe the definitive Black Class model. Its intimidating dimensions, resilient materials, and the strongest version of the Axis Lock ever put into the production made it a favorite amongst hardcore users. But the pace of the knife industry, with its constant push for better steel and lighter weight, make even long-lived classics look a little long in the tooth eventually.

So when Benchmade kicked off 2021 with the updated Adamas (alongside the revised fixed blade, which already won a 2021 RCA), we were glad to see the beast getting a face lift. But whenever a beloved knife is changed, whether those changes are big or small, there’s a little anxiety for those who loved the original: will the changes push the knife too far away from what it was, and lose something in the process?

Thankfully, that is not the case with the 2021 Adamas. It’s clear at a glance that Sibert’s design has been left more or less as is. The same imposing drop point blade is here, running to the same 3.82-inch length; but the D2 steel on the original is gone, and in its place is CPM-CruWear – a massive performance upgrade no matter which way you slice it. CruWear has quickly become a key element of Benchmade’s hard use products, and it is a perfect fit for the Adamas design.

Looking at the handle Benchmade, perhaps inspired by its success with on lightweight hard use knives like the Bailout, found a way to shave more than an ounce off the original design’s weight, thanks to some very subtle alterations. Moreover, the scales have been given more contouring to make the formidable folder more comfortable to hold. The sensible slimming hasn’t affected the Adamas’ strength, however – at 6.45 ounces this thing is still a tank, and it still houses one of the most robust Axis Locks in the lineup. All of these changes come together in a remaster that emphasizes the best parts of the original, while making it feel fresh and stay competitive in an ever-changing industry. Here’s looking forward to the Adamas 3 in 2031!

Alas, all good things must come to an end. Tomorrow we conclude the 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards with your choice for Best Overall New for 2021 Lineup!


Monday, January 3rdBest New Tactical Fixed Blade (WINNER: Benchmade 375 Adamas)

Tuesday, January 4thBest New EDC Fixed Blade (WINNER: LionSteel H2)

Wednesday, January 5thBest New Outdoors Fixed Blade (WINNER: TOPS Bestia)

Thursday, January 6thBest New Kitchen/Culinary Knife (WINNER: Benchmade Station Knife)

Friday, January 7th: Best New Slipjoint/Non-Locking Knife (WINNER: Tactile Knife Co. Bexar)

Monday, January 10thBest New High-End Knife (MSRP of $300 or more) (WINNER: Monterey Bay Knives Sea Otter)

Tuesday, January 11thBest New Value Folder (MSRP of $100 or less) (WINNER: Civivi Lumi)

Wednesday, January 12thBest New Folder (WINNER: Demko Knives AD20.5)

Thursday, January 13th: Best Knife Upgrade (WINNER: Benchmade 275 Adamas)

Friday, January 14thBest Overall Lineup (WINNER: We Knife Co. + Civivi)

Knife in Featured Image: Benchmade 275-1 Adamas