Axis lock test

Oct 3, 1998
Yesterday I did a test on the Axis that I learned from Bob Taylor (saw him do it at SHOT last year with one of his Rolling Locks).

I put on the kevlar gloves, opened the Axis lock, put the pivot down across the edge of a table. One hand on blade spine, one on handle back. Then I jump up slightly and come down with as much weight as I can on my arms, so all of my weight and more is going across the lock. The Axis lock didn't creak, move, budge, or otherwise show any sign that it noticed I was there. Going to continue testing the lock!
A friend of mine almost cut his index finger of with an axis lock! No, the lock did not fail, but he cut bread with his knife and placed the thumb on the side of the handle (above the lock, the axis was new to him, before he used only linerlocks!, when cutting he must have accidentaly unlocked it and the knife closed....
I think it happened, because you have to draw the lock bar only abot 4 mm back.
Did anybody also have had bad experience with this knife?

Markus Blattner

Question on the spring that keeps the lock engaged: Can it weaken with use and/or from corrosion?

Greg: That is indeed the question! I don't know yet. My plan right now is to not clean my Axis lock for a while, let the whole mechanism get really grungy, and maybe find a way to simulate some snorkeling, then see how the springs seem to be handling it. I think this is a "time will tell" kind of thing, mostly.

Markus: that's the first I've heard of someone doing this, thanks for the datapoint. Someone else had been hypothesizing that that might happen...

That must have been some pretty tough bread. Funny, one guy can beat the crap out of a knife with fighting sticks, slam it into wooden training target about a thousand times and generally abuse the thing, daring it to fail with no bad results, and then somebody hears of somebody who almost amputates a finger cutting bread. Knives really are dangerous things.


I am sure the lock springs on the Axis will fatigue eventually. There are two of them though, so if one goes, you have a backup until you can get it replaced. I think if I was hard on the thing, day in and day out, I might send it in for new springs on a preventive maintenance schedule, once a year or so.


How are you? It must be several years since I last saw you at IWA. Will you be there this year? We will be in the American Pavillion.

I have never heard of this type of unlocking before. When I cut my sandwich in half during lunch today, I tried to unlock the axis knife and the pressure of the knife being used kept the blade open anyway. I didn't try much more because I couldn't figure out how your friend did it.

Of course, I remember biting into some bread crust in Germany that tested the very integrity of my jaw! Of course, when I visited Wien, it seems like we only ate pastries! And the coffee...awesome! ; )

Touch base when you have time. Look forward to hearing from you.

Les de Asis

[This message has been edited by Les de Asis (edited 25 February 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Les de Asis (edited 25 February 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Les de Asis (edited 25 February 1999).]
Sorry, Double post!

Markus Blattner

[This message has been edited by markusblattner (edited 26 February 1999).]
Has anyone tried to see if a strike on the butt of an open axis lock could possibly make it release? I would assume that the springs are strong enough to keep this from happening, and that the slide probably does not have enough mass, but it would be interesting to see. I know that this isn't a test that emulates things that would happen in normal carry or use, but neither is the spine whack.

Just A thought...I should get one and test it myself...


"Will Dremel for Food!!"
"No, it's a Vaquero Grande in my pocket, but I am happy to see you!"
MegaFolderians Unite!!
Dyslexics Untie!

Feel free to keep posting test suggestions, I'll try 'em as I see 'em (assuming I don't forget when I get home). I'll try your suggest tonight Yekim, but based on the spring strength I'd say there's roughly 0% chance it'll fail. Still, tests can surprise you!

All new frontiers require history to refine. I think that Joe is right and the new concept will require time, and time + effort will mature it.

Benchmade (as well as all manufacturers) is fortunate that this astute, mature, honest group will share experience and opinion to accelerate evolution of ideas.

I found your post extremely interesting, as I am the one who has been speculating about precisely this sort of accident. I saw this as a possible problem in a single, somewhat perfunctory, inspection of the knife. This is one of the reasons I haven't bought one yet. I still might. It's gonna be hard for me to get used to never putting my thumb on the side of the handle, though.

Does anyone like the "hammer" grip (if that's what you call the grip where you squeeze the handle hard with your thumb on the side)? I think the Axis Lock could be potentially dangerous anytime you use it to cut through something thick and fairly tough, where you have to use an energetic sawing motion, if you let your thumb rest anywhere near the release button. American-style sandwich bread probably won't do it. I'll bet a thick cardboard box would. A thick block of cheese probably would too, because it's sticky enough to hold the blade as you move the knife back and forth (all the pressure is not directed downward.)

It's nice to be right once in a while, but not when it means someone has to get hurt. I hope your friend's injury heals quickly and completely.

David Rock
As an Axis lock owner, I can't figure out how the guy made it unlock while cutting bread (NOTE: I'm not saying it didn't happen, just that I can't figure out how). I have tried to make the thing fold up intentionally while holding it in a bread-cutting grip, and my best approximation of the hammer grip. Maybe I just have weak thumbs, but I could not get the locking stud to move back at all. I have to rotate the knife around so I can get the tip of my thumb on the locking stud to get it to unlock.

The amount I paid for the 710 is the most I've ever paid for a folder, and as far as the lock is concerned, I don't regret it one bit.

I still have to get the blade edge straightened out (not the best, from the factory). OBTW, Joe, my last question on this...the sharpmaker that you recommended... is that the model 203 or the 204? I just ordered the 204, and apparently it has a new angle for the sticks (still has the old angle, too). I'm just wondering which angle you use.

The spine whack test came from my furtile psychedelic mind. It is the most strenuous thing that I could imagine expecting from the lock. In a defensive situation, it was the worst abuse I could imagine. It taught me something too: if I am ever faced with a folding knife, and I have a stick, the knife blade is going to be my primary target, unless it is an Axis lock.

The Axis grows on me more and more as I carry it. It's really got some wonderful features that you appreciate more with use. It cuts like you won't believe, the ergonomics are amazing. I also love how secure I feel about the lock, since like the others here I haven't been able to unlock the thing even when purposely trying to simulate moving my thumb on the knife handles. Gonna keep trying though.

Evin, I use the old Sharpmaker. If I had the new sharpmaker, what I would do is this. Use the lower (15-degree or whatever) angle to do the thinning strokes I told you about. You do *not* need to take this bevel all the way to the very edge and raise a burr. Then use the higher (20-degree or whatever) angle sticks to do the actual sharpening strokes, raising a burr, etc.

Since I had the old model, I simulate the 15-degree angle by tilting the blade spine towards the sticks, and imprecise exercise at best.

Well all, I was going to sell my Axis that was just returned to me on Wed. via BM Com. Started looking at it yesterday morning when I got up to take my daughter to a soccer tournament(indoor). Decided to keep it. Still haven't figured out how to sharpen it to my liking yet. I was going to get the sharpmaker but figured why the heck should I have to do that. So at it again I went with the Lansky. Interesting thing is it is starting to work. The bevels are a perfect 25 deg on this blade that they reinstalled.
I am keeping the recurve just like it was when I recieved it and after using a coarse diamnond, a med. diamond, and then fine and ultra fine hones it is starting to come around. What I have found is like Joe is suggesting about the bevels. But what I do is keep the cantle at 25 and then when I am about done, that is when the blade starts to grab my thumb skin, I up the angle to 30. it will now shave hair somewhat but it does slice rather well. It is not hair poppin like my C16 but trust me it is alot better than the first blade that was in there. I did notice though that the blade when it is closed it rather off to one side almost touching the liners to the right. Doesn't touch them yet but it is close. As for the fit and finish outside of the weird angle when closed it is definetly custom quality. When using my Lanksy I use very light strokes too. I don't bear down at all. Keep following the contours lightly and seems to be working. Will keep you guys posted.
Yesterday, I received the Sharpmaker that I had ordered, and immediately went to work on the blade of the 710. I had already managed to thin out the edge pretty well with narrow stones that I already had. If any recall the BM quality control thread, I had been pretty disappointed with the edge as it came from the factory.

Well, after about 20 minutes on the Sharpmaker, I got and edge that I am satisfied with, and is MUCH better than the edge that came on it. It will shave pretty well now (NO, it isn't "hair-poppin' sharp" now, but I think that is my errant sharpening techniques), and it will bite better than it did.

Incidentally, the reason that the sharpener had been held up was because I liked the 710 design so much that I ordered a second one. The new one came in, and the edge on it was MUCH better than the one on the original. Go figure...BM quality control.

I know this thread is about the Axis but at a recent show I thought I also saw a Sebenza type knife being produced by Benchmade. Did that one make it to production or was it just a proto that I saw.Does it have a name? Finest lock I have ever used is on my Sebenza but with the Benchmade at one hundred and change you could get three for the price of one sebenza.

I have yet to experience any difficulty of any type with the Axis. It has done everything I've asked of it.

I must admit, though, that I will NEVER stress this particular knife at all; it is first production run, #1 of 1000, (black combo edge). I doubt seriously that I will EVER have the heart to abuse this. I think maybe that I'll put it back in the box, and leave it there.