Benchmade pinnacle/lock

Jul 20, 1999
There is a gun/knife show in town today. While browising a knife case I spotted a folder I thought was a Sabenza. It turned out to be a Benchmade Pinnacle.(I think) Everyone is always talking about the Sabenza's lock, but I don't recall seeing anything about the Pinnacle's lock. Was wondering why. They look very similar to me. Is the Pinnacle's one of those that can be accidently closed while using? Except for the price tag it looks like a Sabenza to me.Thanks.
Everyone refers to a "Sebenza-style" lock because this was the first folder (at least popularly known) to use a thick liner-lock mechanism as its scales, without any additional scale material. People also call this an integral lock. Benchmade simply copied this, and has now applied their own name, "Mono-Lock" in an attempt to differentiate their mechanism from the one they copied (without formal agreement, as far as I know). They have actually modified the mechanism in newer Pinnacle models, so that it has a narrower locking bar that requires less factory work to keep from "sticking" - now the lock looks less like Reeve's but almost exactly like that on the Columbia River Knife & Tool S-2, another Reeve-inspired integral lock that looks substantially less like the Sebenza.

James Mattis, our fine moderator and owner of Chai Cutlery, has some fabulous digital pics comparing the Pinnacle and Sebenza on his site, along with a few shots of the S-2 as well:

The really cool thing about all these locks is that the tighter you grip 'em the greater the lock strength.

Some people are of the "keep fingers totally out of the path of the blade closure" school of folder safety, if I recall right James Mattis has mentioned being of this mind. The Sebenza and clones in my personal opinion are the wrong folders to own if that's your thing because you end up with less resulting lock strength.

The only "linerlock variant" I've ever seen that I liked better than the Sebenza-type lock was on the Ryan Biohazard and that's a handmade fairly high end ($350) megafolder. There was a recent thread on it, see that for details.

Jim March