Benchmade 730S: hmmmmm...(long)

Nov 14, 1998
Hi all-

Saw there was a large thread over on the Blade Discussion forum already, thought I'd post my thoughts on the 730S here for any one who's interested.

I grabbed one of these from (They are worth checking out by the way, great service!) I really liked the look of this one; for me personally- I've had my fill of black G-10 knives for a while. Love it or hate it, the black/purplish handles are a different look. And a welcomed one from my perspective.

The Blade:
The blade itself is an interesting grind, I'm not sure you could call it a spearpoint, but it certainly reminds me of the blade on my Sentinel.(Which I also like, so perhaps I'm biased) If you know the correct name for this blade style, please feel free to post it. Although this one won't see any 'hard' use from me, it certainly appears meaty enough throughout to handle most anything. And as is typical of the Benchmades I own, the ATS-34 blade is sharp, but could be sharper. Incidentally, this one has serrations as do all of the pre-production models. Length of the blade (measuring from tip to middle of the front of the handle) is 3.5". Not bad but seems to be a bit small compared to the 4 3/4" handle. But again, not a problem for my tastes.

Thumbstuds, lock, and action:
I do not like the thumbstuds on this model at all. For me, they are too small, and I don't care for the black. Mr. Elishewitz mentioned he thought BM wanted to match the black in the handle, well maybe- but it doesn't look right. On the plus side, though, they are ambidextrous. The AXIS lock is perfect- if you own other AXIS variants, you'll like this one too. Very, very smooth- and reassuring that it's not going to chop off any fingers. The only thing I noticed when opening and closing the knife repeatedly was the fact that my thumb couldn't get a consistent purchase on the d*mn thumbstuds.

Handle, liners, and pocket clip:
Probably the most interesting part of this knife is the handle. Kind of a 'wood grain' pattern in purple and black G-10. Others have described it as burgundy or magenta; to my eyes it's purple. It looks very nice, but it's not deeply checked- more of a smooth feel- definitely not like the G-10 of the 710/705 series AXIS knives. In the other thread, the "contours" of the handle were receiving a lot of praise. I thought they looked rather contoured as well. Guess what? They really aren't. Don't get me wrong, there are different 'facets' or 'levels' on the side of the handle, just don't expect it to melt into your hand. Look at it from the top (liners facing up) and you'll see what I mean. The slabs are basically flat. The slabs are milled around the lock on both sides to provide a recessed area for the buttons, and towards the rear of the handle there is a milled pattern.(looks like a raised arrow shape)This really doesn't flair out though as it appears in the pictures, rather, the rear section of the handle is milled down around it. Interesting effect, looks cool to me, but the sides remain basically flat. Or maybe more accurate would be to say "not contoured enough to realize any difference." The colored pattern of the handle does a great job of creating contours and curves that just aren't there. Flipping the knife over to inspect the bottom where your fingers would wrap around, you'll notice the shape. Kind of two sloped areas to give your fingers a place to hold onto. My middle finger falls exactly on top of the hump in between the 'sloped' areas. For myself, it feels just slightly unnatural to put two fingers up front and two in the rear. Spreads my hand kind of weird. The handle feels totally solid- no flex at all. The liners (I believe dual Ti) are serrated both at the top of the handle for your thumb to grab when cutting, and also underneath the handle which I like, gives my index finger something to push on. There is also a G-10 backspacer between the liners down the rear 1/2 of the spine, which no doubt helps rigidity and cleaning this one won't be any problem. The pocket clip is black and positions the knife for tip up carry. The clip cannot be switched for tip down carry, but it can be switched to the other side for lefties, a truly ambidextrous knife. Lanyard hole- no extra charge.

Do I like it?
Yeah, I do. I think this is an important step for Benchmade as they begin to "think outside the box." I like the colors alot, as well as the blade shape. The handle isn't nearly as comfortable as I had hoped, (heck any gain in comfort from Mr. Elishewitz's design is lost the first time you squeeze down hard and the pocket clip pokes you), but I think it's a great looking knife regardless. And certainly no less comfortable than any number of high quality knives. The forward-serrated liners are a nice touch on both top and bottom so your hand won't slip, and the AXIS lock is strong and fluid smooth. Overall, I'd recommend it to any one- I just hope Benchmade does something about the thumstuds and wish they wouldn't have "dumbed up" the blade with that huge butterfly logo....

Remember, it's just my opinion-

Great review!...I just received my 730S today.....very striking knife...and to prove that beauty is in the eye of the beholder...I really like the black thumbstud.....ordered mine Friday from the same company mentioned it today!
Nice review. I plan on getting one when the plain flavor comes out.

Dennis Bible
Clip Point, Just got my 730 today from GP. I think it is a great looking knife. Dido on that large butterfly stamp way too big. You did not mentioned the 6 small holes cut out on the liners to reduce weight. It looks great when you are looking into the handle. Hope it not too hard to clean. Probably can flush it out with water. Overall this is a nice knife. Finally not just another black g10 knife. Thanks Benchmade.


I can't find any information on the 730. The link sent me to some information technology company. Where can I view the 730? Any ideas?

I just picked up my 730 from GP Knives. They only have one left if anybody wants one. I think it is the best executed Elishewitz design that Benchmade has ever produced. It is the first Elishewitz I have ever seen where the blade does not hit the spacer. Some people have complained about the handle length vis a vis the blade, but I like it. I prefer a larger handle; it makes a knife easier to manipulate IMHO.
I wanted to like this knife as I had an opportunity at a very sweet price from a friend.

I picked it up and examined it in my hand, worked the action etc.

I already own two versions of the 710 (pre and first production) so I like the Axis lock.

I own an 880, so I like spear point blades and Elishewitz' design.

However, in this case, the knife just didn't feel as good ergonomically as either the 710 or 720. (The 705 isn't my cup of tea sizewise and bladewise)

I'd have liked the Axis lock on the 880 better.

End result: I was impressed enough with the plain edge 720 (Pardue version) to take one with me at the end of my visit. That is one sharp knife, even sharper than my 710 after I thinned it out a bit.

Maybe when a plain edge version is offered with a different color I'll give it another tryout.

As always, YMMV.


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