Benchmade Axis 720 vs REKAT Pioneer II

Jul 1, 2000
Just what it says, real owner experience would be best. Specifically with an eye towards fit/finish, quality control, durability. Seems the search turns up a lot of REKAT QC troubles but also seems like they might be a few people trolling rather than real problems. Thanks.
I think there are some real advantages to choosing the 720. It does have a better level of fit and finish overall, however, Rekat probably will come sharper out of the box. Still the 720 os narrower, rides lower in the pocket, has a black clip, and can be opened ambidextriously. Italso comes with a lanyard hole. The 720 does have one drawback in its aluminum scales. The knife scratches very easily and looks very used from contact with keys etc. I favor the 720 but the Rekat Pioneer with a drop point is a nice knife.
I like my 720; only the frame-lock compares well to the axis lock, IMHO. Its' alum. handle is a little thicker than most BMs and provides a nice grip. OTOH, I bought a Pioneer last fall and returned it the same day because of several QC problems. But I understand that REKAT is attempting to improve their product and will stand behind their guarantee. Even if they do improve their QC, I think their knives may be over-priced - like some of the Emersons. I feel that BM, Spyderco, Kershaw, and CRKT are presently setting the standard for $ value in production tactical/utility folders. But handle a Pioneer and make the call's really a subjective thing.
I have not owned a 720, but I am a big fan of the Pioneer II. Knowing Benchmade and the Axis lock as I do, I would say that the 720 is a fine and extremely strong and reliable knife. The only way that the 720 might no be better than the Pioneer would be in ergonomics. The Pioneer has about the best folder handle out there, but I haven't handled a 720, so I don't know how they would compare.

Having said all that, I am planning on getting an updated Pioneer when they come out in D-2 steel, but I am not planning on getting a 720. Personal preference for G-10 handles over aluminum, the ergonomics of the Pioneer, and a general affinity for ugly knives that work extremely well.
I don't have a BM 720, but I do have a couple of REKATs including a Pioneer. I really like my Pioneer. This is one tough little knife that begs to be tinkered with. The handle ergonomics are not as nice as my Carnivore, but comfortable for a knife of this size. I'm not sure about other peoples problems with their REKATs; Mine have been very good in the QC and fit/finish dept. You may want to add the Carnivore Cub to your list. It is about the same size as the Pioneer and 720, the handle is suppose to fit the hand as nicely as the big Carnivore. When REKAT switches over to D-2 mod. blade steel I will be getting a Carny Cub.
Benchmade makes a good knife and so does REKAT, can't really go wrong with either one.
I haven't had any QC problems with the four Benchmade 720's that have gone through my hands since last year. I have gone through so many because I had the knife bought off of my belt three times at work, a tribute in itself. It is still my favorite Axis Lock knife, but I am eagerly awaiting the 940.

The REKAT Pioneer II is a tough knife and fairly well made, but the blade is more than a little thick and the action is nowhere as smooth as the Benchmade. I like the profile of the drop point a lot, and it is a tool that I am not afraid to work hard with little worry. The thick blade does lend itself to abuse

James Segura
San Francisco, CA