Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable: #5 Benchmade 940

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In June, we took a survey to learn which pocket knives our readers believe should never be discontinued. Respondents were asked to name as many or as few pocket knife models as they wanted, and no brands or blades were off-limits. 404 respondents named a total of 268 models and the average respondent named 4.1 pocket knives. 78 out of 404 respondents said the Benchmade 940 should never be discontinued.

The Benchmade 940 is a modern classic that looks and functions like no other knife. The iconic reverse tanto blade shape gives the 940 its distinct profile, and makes it a great all-purpose utility cutter. Slicing is easy both with the belly and with the long run of straight edge, and the tip on this slender blade is reinforced and quite robust. The slim, lightweight handle make the 940 carry like a much smaller knife. One its very best features is the smoothness of its Axis Lock. It wasn’t the first Axis Lock knife but once a 940 is broken in, it has a glassy smooth, lightning-quick action that has to be experienced to be believed.

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When Warren Osborne passed away early this year, the knife community mourned the loss of one of the true greats. The Australian-born Osborne was an adopted son of Texas, and his work greatly influenced the American custom knife scene for well over 30 years. Osborne was a true renaissance man, and his work encompasses everything from art knives to competition-grade cutting tools.

Osborne was a founding member of BladeSports International, an annual cutting competition, and held the BladeSports record for 2×4 speed cutting (2.97 seconds) for two years. This focus on cutting performance informed his collaboration work with Benchmade. Although his designs were always beautiful, they were all designed to be used.

Osborne’s signature style of refinement and utility translated well in the production world. He was behind several other popular Benchmade knives, including the Barrage, the Contego, and the new-for-2016 Proxy flipper. The 940 is a perfect combination of gentlemanly looks and stellar performance, and has been in Benchmade’s production lineup for more than ten years. With three variations released within the last couple of years, it clearly isn’t going anywhere.

The standard 940 has green aluminum scales and an S30V blade. The just-released 940-2 has G-10 scales, a flow-through construction, and S30V blade steel. The 940-1 is a premium model with carbon fiber scales and S90V blade steel. All three versions are available with partial serrations.

Visit KnifeNews tomorrow to find out which model is #4 on our list of the Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable.

Knife featured in image: Benchmade 940BK

#25 Microtech Ultratech 14/404
#24 Emerson CQC-7 15/404
#23 Victorinox Cadet 18/404
#22 Benchmade Adamas 20/404
#21 Zero Tolerance 0562 21/404
#20 Cold Steel Ti-Lite 24/404
#19 Opinel No. 8 25/404 
#18 Zero Tolerance 0350 28/404
#17 Cold Steel Voyager 30/404
#16 Case Trapper 41/404
#15 Ontario RAT Model 1 43/404
#14 Benchmade Mini Griptilian 53/404
#13 Spyderco Manix 2 54/404
#12 CRKT M16 57/404
#11 Kershaw Skyline 58/404
#10 Kershaw Blur 62/404
#09 Cold Steel Recon 1 63/404
#08 Spyderco Endura 4 70/404
#07 Chris Reeve Knives Large Sebenza 21 75/404
#06 Kershaw Leek 76/404
#05 Benchmade 940 78/404
#04 Spyderco Delica 4 79/404
#03 Benchmade Griptilian 81/404
#02 Buck 110 Folding Hunter 90/404
#01 Spyderco Paramilitary 2 94/404