Edged Awesomeness: Benchmade Axis Flipper

When TTAK’s publisher Robert Farago joined Dan Zimmerman and Nick Leghorn at the NRA convention earlier this month, he must have remembered that I stayed behind to slave over a hot keyboard. I know this because the UPS Fairy just dropped off this smokin’ hot Benchmade Axis Flipper at my doorstep the other day. You can just see “TTAK” laser-etched into the right side of the blade above. And on the other side . . .

Image Courtesy Chris Dumm for The Truth About Knives

Is that Farago a great guy, or what?

Stay tuned for a full review in a few weeks, but I’m willing to bet important body parts that this will be one badass blade. Its 154CM steel came from the factory so sharp that I cut myself even before I got the box open.* And it’s got my name etched into it, which is a completely useless kind of cool, but cool nonetheless.

* Sad but true story: Just home from the airport and thus temporarily knife-less, I attacked the box with a door key and sawed deeply into my left thumb. As Rick Perry might say, “Shit, that hurts!” “Oops?”


  1. Mark Davis says:

    “Just home from the airport and thus temporarily knifeless”. Excuse me? Sorry, but coming from a knife writer, that is bullshit.

    When I get home from the airport, I have access to the knife that traveled with me in my checked baggage, plus the two or three knives that I keep in my car. And then there’s three or four other folders sitting on the kitchen counter, awaiting their turn in the edc rotation. But you had to use a KEY to open the package?? Time to raise your game, Chris.

    On a more positive note, I’m looking forward to hearing more about the new Benchmade. I’m a big fan of ’em, especially those with the axis lock.

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      I was so eager to open it I was like Ralphie on Christmas morning. I attacked the box on my front porch before I even went inside. My bad.

      1. Mark Davis says:

        I understand. I suffer from the “Christmas morning syndrome” too. I withdraw my previous rant.

        1. Chris Dumm says:

          No sweat! I’m just lucky I had my keys in my hand; without them I would have torn the box open with my teeth.

  2. DP.Science says:

    Is that a machined G10 handle? Either way, that’s gorgeous. Gonna have to have one. I suppose I’ll re-route my ammo budget which is no big deal since I can’t find any ammo anyhow.

  3. Out_Fang_Thief says:

    Chris, if you know someone at Benchmade, willing to be honest with you, ask them from which small Italian knife maker they got the idea for the scales. Sadly, it seems like these scales are a rip-off of an Italian custom knife maker that I found one day(and was sure that I had bookmarked for future patronage) but I cannot track down. Most everything they made was sold out, and rightly so. Those folding knives were approaching art. Expensive, but not completely out of reason. Their knives were like nothing I’ve ever seen anywhere, that is, until now. It would be profoundly disappointing to see that Benchmade was copying the style and design of another, albeit largely unknown, custom knife maker. It’s harsh to say it, but it seems that way to me. If you do find the knife maker I’m talking about, you’ll know it almost immediately, just by the unique design of the scales. Drool-inducing, scale-fondling(if you’re into that) knives.

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      I will keep an eye out for anything Italian and obscure that looks like this Axis flipper. Benchmade has thus far been a knifemaker of integrity, and I would be immensely disappointed if this design were appropriated without permission.

      1. Out_Fang_Thief says:

        Found it…or them. The knife maker is not Italian, but their name seems to be Italian. They are actually a French company called Bastinelli. The link to their press page is below. It’s all in French(duh?) but it’s the images that do all of the talking. Scroll down the page and check out the scales. Since most all of these knives are sold out, it would seem to indicate that they had the idea long before Benchmade. Distinctive, n’est pas? The look of chipped flint is what stood out when I first saw them. Coincidence? You be the judge.

        I noticed on the way to reply here, there is yet another Benchmade knife (on 5/29/13 page one) that also sports the same distinctive, chipped flint look on their scales. Hmm?
        Is this just some industry-wide, accepted practice, to lift the design innovations of other companies? Or just other less well-known, and relatively obscure foreign knife makers? I call it a foul, at the very least. But a shameless rip-off seems to be more accurate.

        1. Chris Dumm says:

          That page is getting a 404 error, so I can’t see exactly which knife you were referring to. I’ve looked at other Bastinelli blades, but I don’t see much of a resemblance. His blade shapes are much wilder than Benchmade designs, and the look and feel of chiseled or faceted G10 grips are all the rage across the industry right now.

  4. Gapp says:

    A more expensive, better version of a Enlan EL04! Almost identical blades and the scales have the same relieving and only a slightly different shape in the front grip.
    Better blade steel (154cm compared to 8cr13mov) and a flipper…I love my EL04 as a cheap knife so I can imagine this is a pretty solid knife.

  5. Derek says:

    The Axis locking system is effin sweet. One handed open and close, ambidextrous, smooth as oiled glass, and still manages to have absolutely no wiggle once locked open. My Griptillian was easily worth the $90 I spent on it.

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Edged Awesomeness: Benchmade Axis Flipper

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