I got my first handfull of Axis Locks today. I like this knife. A blade that does the sort of things that an AFCK or AFO blade does, a comfortable handle, and a very very smooth action. Silky smooth, slicker than any lockback I've met, but with enough spring tension to keep the blade inside the handle until you want to open it.
The unlocking mechanism is, as others have observed, intuitive. I've shown it to several non-knife people, and they've all figured out how to close it without me explaining it, and without cutting their fingers.
I do have a couple of questions. Unlike the Pinnacle, which offers very few places for dirt to lodge and make itself at home, the Axis Lock has large cutouts in the liner that reduce weight, but would be difficult to clean. It also has a hollow machined into the G10 scale to accomodate the locking mechanism, and I presume that stuff would get in there of you droppedt the knife into a mud puddle. I don't see that it would necessarily jam if that happened, as a liner lock would likely jam if you did that with the knife open, but my question is, "How would you clean the knife if it got really dirty?"
Without disassembling it, that is?
And if, at the risk of having to beg Benchmade's warranty department for mercy, one did attempt to disassemble and reassemble an Axis Lock, what particular perils should one watch out for?