Axis Locking system any good?

Oct 2, 1999
Has anyone had the chance to use Benchmade's new Axis Lock system (Model 710)? I currently have a Benchmade AFCK 812 (liner lock) and would like to hear any and all comments on the new locking system. Thanks for your input.

I have nothing but praise for the axis lock system. So far, I value it far far above a liner lock. The lock is very reliable, even in response to the normal things which often cause auto-disengagement in liner locks, like torquing and white knuckling and spine pressure. It's very strong. Spring pressure holds the blade in, so it's safer with the clip mounted tip-up than a liner lock would be. Looks like it has room to wear also. Two thumbs up so far!

I concur.
An absolute keeper as far as locking systems go.
I had problems with a too hard blade on my Axis, but a solution has been found and I'm cool with it again.THE only problem I've ever encountered with the 710.
The Axis lock is, IMO, the second strongest locking mechanism out there next to the rolling lock by REKAT.
I trust them so much a Carnivour rides in my right pocket and an Axis in the left.
You can't go wrong with these two.

If it's stupid but works, then it isn't stupid.

As said above, the axis lock is definitely a strong lock. In addition, it is very resistant to dirt, dust, and other small debris. The axis lock is one of the forerunners in the race to replace the liner lock.
Ditto here. The Axis is a great lock that is steps ahead of the liner lock® Simple and easy to operate, yet a real strong lock. What more could one ask for in a hard use folder?

Dexter Ewing
Knife Reviews Moderator
AKTI Member # A000005


I did an extensive review of the Axis-lock a couple months back. You can find it by clicking here:

Now that I've had more time to spend with this knife, let me say that I really love it. If the Axis springs continue to hold up well (they are my major concern with this knife), this knife may be one of the best deals in a moderately high priced production piece.

I've noticed no wear in my Axis Lock mechanism. Lockup has not improved or diminished; the knife originally came with a very slight vertical up/down wiggle in the blade when it was locked open. It's still there, but it hasn't worsened. The handle is extremely comfortable, although it would be even better if there was some way to include a cutout in the handle for the index finger.

I've had no chipping problems with my knife, but it usually doesn't see action harder than cardboard, paper, pencils, and fruits/sandwiches. With this light usuage, edge retention is very good. I also have noticed no problems with corrosion, and I own the satin finish, non-coated blade.

You'll notice a bunch of minor gripes in my review, but considering the whole package, I think the Axis is a hell of a deal. As always though, try to handle one before you buy.

Hi everyone, I've been lurking for quite some time but finally decided to post--I was just wondering if anyone else noticed an increase in side to side play with their Axis 710's? At first I thought perhaps it was the infamous plastic spacers used in the AFCK, but my Stryker, over a year older than the Axis, doesn't have anywhere near as much play. I mean, the lock up of the Axis is super solid, and there is *no* vertical play, but I get about an 1/8th of an inch laterally when I grab the tip and wiggle--is this normal, or should I send it back to Benchmade?
-Vikram Kirby
Lateral play - Get a Torx driver and fiddle with the pivot screw. When you figure out where Just Right is, back out the screw apd apply a droplet of medium strength thread locker, and set it back to Just Right again.

AKTI Member # SA00001
Okay, thanks James. I'll certainly try that. Incidentally, does anyone know if the new Axis folder (the Pardue model) is also using the steel liners, as opposed to titanium? What about the new Elishewitz Axis-lock?

Elishewitz Axis-lock??? Are there any preliminary pictures out?

Best Regards, ToddO
Not that I've seen, but I was hoping maybe someone more in the loop (i.e. the distributor/retail chain) could fill us in (if any details are out yet).
The Axis Lock is the first folder I've ever owned that I truly felt completely safe with. I have absolutely no fears that the blade is going to fold up on me.

Between the 710 and 705 I have 4 of them.

Knowledge without understanding is knowledge wasted.
Understanding without knowledge is a rare gift - but not an impossibility.
For the impossible is always possible through faith. - Bathroom graffiti, gas station, Grey, TN, Dec, 1988

AKTI Member #A000831
This is going to sound a bit odd, but my 710 has restored my faith in Benchmade as a maker of quality folders. I came across mine for a very reasonable price (Thanks Kelly Yates!). There was lateral blade play but the blade was very loose in the pivot. A quarter twist of said pivot and everything was *perfect*. I haven't tried to "whack the spine" yet but from what I've read it will pass 100% of the time. Besides the lock itself I really like the blade. I think it looks great with the slight recurve and the small swedge on top - very sexy.

As for the Pardue Axis-Lock, it doesn't have liners in the traditional sense. Benchmade is using their modular Axis-Lock system, so stainless quasi-liners are inlaid into the Al handles. This modular system seems to have enough steel to keep the lock super strong and give them places to anchor to the scales but does away with all of the extra (unnecessary?) stainless that probably adds weight and cost of materials. Not sure why stainless over Ti though. I think the stainless is stronger in this application, or maybe it's just cheaper to produce.

I haven't handled the REKAT Carnivoure yet but with basically the same type of lock, same handle length, same steel and a shorter blade, I think I'd go with the 710 and save $30 or $40....

If you search for the word "Ares" in the 1 year general discussion forum you should find a thread about the Elishewitz Axis.
It is going to be based on his Ares model and might have different available colors of
G10. Sounds cool!!!
Hey Jon -

I'm glad you like that 710. I like the pivot loose for a quick thumb flick. (I think I cought that habit from Shaded Dude.
) That big blade just flies out of there! My 720 Axis is even slicker if that's possible. I've had some quality problems with some BM liner lock models, but the Axis models that I've seen have all been very well constructed. Take care.

AKTI Member #A000289

Deo Vindice

Why am I always stuck playing devil's advocate?

OK, before I give my story, let me start by saying that I think the 710 is a "new classic," on par with the AFCK. I saw a marked decline in their QC with the advent of the G-10 handled knives, but the 710/705 (and the 3500 on the auto front) have me convinced they're back on track.

I've been concerned since I first saw the Axis-lock that pressure to one stud and not the other would set the post at an angle and cause it to bind. These fears were confirmed in a recent 705 Beth acquired (which we still love), which jams up about 1 in 10 openings. The locking bar gets stuck at a slight angle and the blade opens and closes freely, not locking or being held shut. It can be cleared manually and I bet it will improve with time, but there is no warning and one might easily not even notice that the lock wasn't engaged.

Probably a 1-in-1000 thing, right? Yeah, probably, but it does occur. Since folks get all upset about the unreliability and break0in period on liner-locks, I figured it's worth mentioning that the same can happen in the Axis.

My real concern with the Axis is a matter of long-term durability. The lock is operated by two omega springs - it only needs one, but we see that uneven pressure might increase the risk of binding. These springs are stored in milled cavities under each scale. The cavities are narrow and the openings to them are small. Benchmade has thoughtfully added an extra opening to each on the inside of the knife, but this doesn't entirely fix my concern: that any dirt, grime, corrosive gunk, or other knife scuz that falls into the lock will accumulate in these cavities and cannot be completely cleaned out without disassembling the knife.

Doesn't bother me too much, I disassemble and clean my Benchmades pretty regularly. But what about folks who respect Benchmade's warranty agreement? Their springs are now living in an accumulation of potentially corrosive crud. The springs are thin and to the best of my knowledge are spring-hardened steel, not exactly corrosion resistant. Only seems like a matter of time before they go...

This may be idle speculation, but time will tell. It's the sort of concern that will only bear out through years of field use; I doubt Benchmade would catch something like this in the usual knife tests of cutting performance and lock strength.

I dunno, I'm still impressed with the axis system, but it's something to think about. I can't stand to see a one-sided thread

Since I don’t yet own an Axis lock I have been reluctant to comment, but my concern has always been the reliability of a lock that depends on a hidden spring mechanism. I never saw the Axis or the Rolling Lock as all that big an improvement over the “button lock” on many automatic knives and pieces like the Speedtech Synergy. They they’re much stronger than those earlier locks, but my main concern is reliability, not brute strength.

The Synergy has my vote for the New Classic, with real innovations in construction and design. The Axis is the best of the G-10 “Tactical/Utility” crowd, and a worthy successor to the AFCK.

San Francisco, CA

I ordered a BM 710 BT Friday from Roger at Knife Works. Nice guy Great price. I should have it by Wednesday. I hope they come out with more blade choices. I understand the lock has two springs and works fine with just one.


[This message has been edited by RGRAY (edited 09 October 1999).]