Benchmade 720 Mel Pardue

Oct 3, 1998
I just purchased this folder at a recent local gun & knife show. I had no intentions of buying this knife, or even to handle it. However, for some reason, I asked the person behind the counter to let me handle it. Man, I had no idea, from the pics of this knife, that it would feel this good in my hand!! The pics on the Benchmade website and elsewhere, just do not do this knife justice. It feels as solid as the Rekat Pioneer series.
There is no plastic spacer like on other Benchmade models - the aluminum scales come together nicely. The new drop-in axis module works perfectly. The Benchmade logo is cut into the front (non-clip side) scale and looks great. When I opened the knife for the first time, it just had a really solid click and the blade locked in tight! No movement in any direction.
The blade is another winner. It is a nice clip point that slices like crazy! It sharpens up easily on the Sharpmaker - just make sure to tilt the knife towards the tip to get the appropriate angle on the Sharpmaker. I got the satin finish, plain edge. I really want someone like Joe Talmadge or Steve Harvey to get one of these and give their opinion on the utility usefulness.
The handle fits my hand very well, in the forward and reverse grip. The slight guard seems more than adequate. I performed some moderate stabbing tests into some wet plywood, and there was no chance of my hand slipping up on the blade.
This knife is an excellent size for everyday carry. The clip is reversible for tip-up or down carry.
The fit and finish on this knife, and all the other Benchmades I checked, were excellent. The 720 is in the category of Microtech, for less $$$. IMO, Benchmade leads the pack, as far as high-quality, production knives go. I paid $85 for this one, and now that I know how good it is, I would have paid twice that.

Fresh Scan:


AKTI Member # SA00001
Marco, thanks for your feedback. Are the Al scales textured in any way? Blasted or chaulky? Such as the BM Leopards and Cubs? This would probably be a deciding point if I were to obtain one.

James: as always thanks for the excellent pics.

"To earn a million is easy, a real friend is not."
Nakano - the scales seem to be a bit chalky, but I like the chalky feeling. The overall grip is excellent, even when wet. I also like the looks of the Benchmade logo on the scales.

Hello marco, very nice review. Can you compare it to the 705 and 710? I heard it is harder to flick open and closed (how ever you do it) then the 710 because of the reduced mass. How do you open it? Yes, they made the clip tip-up or down, but not ambedextrous? I don't know why? The 710 is one of my favorite knives. Thanks for the picture James. I will add it into my knife picture collection.


[This message has been edited by RGRAY (edited 30 October 1999).]
I don't notice any difference in opening the 720, as compared to opening the 710. The 710 is obviously ambidextrous, while the 720 is not. The 720 is adjustable for tip up or down carry. I prefer the tip up carry. It is much faster for me.
The pivot adjustment screw ont the 720 protrudes from the scales a bit. In my other Benchmades, I seem to recall the pivot adjustment pin being flush with the scales and not protruding at all, if properly tightened. This may be why Benchmade does not provide the option of ambidextrous carry on the 720. The pivot screw would get in the way of the clip. Anyone else notice this?

I own the 705 and the 710, and the 720 sucks!
Looked at and handled one and my first thought was, "How stupid."

Here BM has licensed a nearly perfect ambidextrous lock and then let Mel Pardue design a right-handed only knife around it. What genius!

The only reason the 720 is not ambidextrous is the scales. As noted above the one side is beveled whereas the clip mounting side is not. For tip up carrying, where there is no material difference between the two sides of the knife, my only guess for the omission of the mounting holes for southpaws is that the clip would cover up the pretty butterfly on the one scale it appears upon. Solution? Put the butterfly on both scales. As it stands the only solution is a machinist to drill and tap the holes for the lefty/offside carrier.

I think the 720 represents either a step backward in thinking for BM or represents a failure by Mel Pardue to think ahead and see that the Axis is a prefectly ambidextrous lock. Either way, I will NEVER buy a 720 until this small but critical oversight is corrected.

Real artists ship--Steve Jobs
Oregon Duck:
I can certainly see where you are coming from. I am left-handed and have had for years had to live with right-handed knives.
Then when the 710 came along I felt it was the ultimate lefty knife. I too was disappointed when I found out the 720 wasn't
completely lefty due to the clip, but to be honest I feel it is a great knife. The clip just means that I have to give it a flip in my hand and I am in business. You can drill and tap holes for the clip for tip-up left handed carry. A tool & die fiend of mine did it and it took only 5 minutes. Granted I now have 2 open sets of holes on the other side and the clip covers up the pretty BM logo, but I've always felt that substance comes before flash.
If the clip placement is what bothers you about the knife then you should consider using a sheath instead.

Clips are part of an evil conspiracy to get us to loose our knives.

James Segura
San Francisco, CA

With all due respect to the southpaws, the BM720 is an excellent knife. I picked one up a couple of weeks ago and it has become my favorite mid-sized knife. It and the BM330 have helped change my view on Benchmade after a couple of unsatisfactory experiences (Mini AFCK and Eclipse). Excellent quality, very easy to open and in the tip down carry mode it fits well into the pocket.
While I understand the objection of Lefties, I think it's the best of the axis series so far. Cosmetically, there are too many butterflies. One on the blade is ok, but another (large) on the handle is overkill.

Looking forward to the Elishewitz version, out of curiosity. As I doubt if I will buy another BM.

Not a slam, I'd just rather stay with a custom.

Ron Knight

Yeah I'm crazy, but what do you want me to do about it
Oregon Duck, if that knife worked without the clip, a horizontal left handed sheath might be the ticket, clips get in the way no matter which side they seem to be on, and the 720 looks to be a good canidate for a horizontal sheath, just the right shape to keep it cam locked into the leather.


My mind is made up,
So don't confuse me with the facts!

Gillett PA
Darn it, Gary, you have been reading my mind. I got a 720 this week and have been wondering how I should carry it and have had the same thought.

I'll be in touch

James Segura
San Francisco, CA

I for one think that the BM720 by Pardue is one excellent knife for the money! I have had mine for several weeks now and thoroughly enjoy all aspects about it. Well the large butterfly on the scale is a little too over the top for me but otherwise it is a darn good knife. Very smooth opening/closing and wonderfully sharp. Haven't really decided whether to go tip or tip down but I'm a righty and the ambi issue is really a non issue to my way of thinking. I can open and close mine quite easily with either hand. Good knife and a good price........

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit. A way of life.
Hey are wrong about the 720 not having beveled edges on both sides. You might want to "relook" at that issue. Mine has both sides beveled.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit. A way of life.
I recently got a Cutlery Shoppe catalog in the mail. I noticed the 720's in there has an oval circle around BM and butterfly in the handle. Not that it matters... but my 720bt doesn't have the oval thingy encasing the emblem. I really enjoy my knife. I wish they would make one in auto along with the mini stryker.
Ah, didn't realize there was a 720 thread already, I posted my own yesterday. You can read more there, but the bottom line is, I love the 720. It really elegantly fits my needs for a folder this size.

- The handle is very comfortable in use
- The entire knife is small and comfortable enough that I completely forget I'm wearing it. I typically wear it on my waistband at my right kidney. With my Axis 710, I can feel the knife, especially if I sit or bend. With the Pardue, it just disappears until I need it.
- Good blade shape. Wouldn't mind if the tip was dropped a tad more
- Fit and finish was *excellent*. 0 complaints on this one. No blade play, action is smooth, handles are well-finished.
- Axis lock astoundingly reliable, and continues to please.

This knife is a serious winner for the mid-blade-size class.