New Benchmade 496 Vector Flipper Revealed

Benchmade has just revealed a new knife, the 496 Vector. This Axis Lock flipper expands on the general lines of the 495 Vector with new materials and the company’s first compound grind.

The 496 comes with a blade length nearly identical to its predecessor: 3.6 inches long. However, the blade shape itself is a departure: an almost tanto-like drop point with a headlining feature in the form of a compound grind. The 496’s flat ground tip is thicker than the mildly recurved hollow ground main edge; a swedge on top makes this new Vector’s blade one of, it not the, most complicated grind Benchmade has implemented on a knife.

Like the first Vector, the 496 is an Axis Assist flipper. One of Benchmade’s less common setups, an Axis Assist is just what it sounds like: an ambidextrous Axis Lock paired with a spring-assisted opening mechanism. Just as we’ve seen with other Axis Assist models, a secondary safety toggle is located on the spine of the knife.

Interesting material choices can be seen all over the 496. Steel enthusiasts will be happy to see 20CV steel in place of the S30V seen on the first Vector model. And while the handle design itself echoes that of the first Vector, instead of full G-10 scales Benchmade emulated the Crooked River‘s style with an aluminum bolster and G-10 scales beneath; these are available in one color for now: green, with a thin “pinstripe” layer of white G-10 beneath. The 496 Vector weighs just a tad more than its predecessor: 4.5 ounces here compared to 4.11 oz. on the 465.

The 496 Vector is slated to be available next month, on September 20th. Benchmade has set the MSRP at $325.

Knife in Featured Image: Benchmade 496 Vector