Benchmade Quality Complaints


Gold Member
Oct 5, 1998
I read a lot about BM's quality not being very good. Since my grandparents are dealers, I have sold and handled almost all of the BM's that come through the door. I have never found one that is of unacceptable quality. Yes, I have had 1 or 2 875 Sentinels that were hard to disengage the liner lock on, and a few others that needed the pivot pin loosened on but nothing major. My question is, are most of your quality complaints with the knife before or after they've seen much use? I just can't see many BM's comming in brand new that are of bad quality. (Unless someone is messin' with them before they are sent out.)

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- Intelligent men, unfortunately, learn from fools, more often than fools learn from intelligent men.

[This message has been edited by Jackyl (edited 26 April 1999).]
Like many makers, Benchmade had initial difficulties with the liner lock. Like many small companies, Benchmade had some rough edges (and dull ones too) initally. But, they have stressed quality in recent years and I have just never seen a problem. I hear a lot of people say, "They used to have some quality issues." The key word there is used to, past tense.

Is there out there someone who has just unwrapped their brand new Benchmade and found a problem? Probably. But, that is very much the exception.

Benchmade has a lifetime warranty, so if you do run into a problem, they will fix it.

Unofficial Benchmade shill
When Benchmade first introduced their G-10 handled knives (the AFCK and the CQC-7), there was a marked decline in quality from their old aluminum models. I know this because I hung around with several knife salesmen and would help them in disassembling Benchmades and adjusting liner height, doing minor filing, and generally tuning the knives so they would be acceptable for sale. This was contrary to Benchmade's warranty and wishes, but the products as they arrived were not acceptable. It did not mean that these were bad knives (I have an AFCK from this period, but I chose it form among 12 or so), but they were highly variable in performance unlike the always-smooth action I had seen in earlier Benchmades.

The reason for this quality control issue seems to have been the growing pains of a small company and the ehormous demand that these knives (especially the CQC-7) inspired. Benchmade was doing everything they could to fill a massive demand for their knives, and understandably quality suffered. From what I have heard on this forum, it seems that these issues have been largely resolved. As Jackyl says, they "used to" have trouble, but that doesn't mean they do now.


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
When I have seen the posts about BM's qc I have always asked where, or who these knives were bought from. I never received an answer. I think the second part of your post might be very telling. Alot of the knives might be seconds, or returns that are sold at a discount.
This is not meant to bash Benchmade. I understand that lemons probably slip out of all manufacturers warehouses at one time or another. However, I had an 830SBT that was an absolute POS, flimsy zytel, poor tolerances, badly ground edge. The next two hand-picked 830's from BM customer service were exactly the same. They didn't try to fix them, they just kept sending me new ones. To their credit, eventually they allowed me to upgrade to an AFCK that I like very much.

I think BM makes some excellent knives and I'll buy more in the future, but I'll look at them more closely first, which is the smart thing to do with any knife maker.

I don't know about the others, but I was talking about adjusting brand new, in-the-box Benchmades which had come from the factory with locks in a poor or non-working condition.

There's a well-known dealer on this forum who has said that he used to be a frequent customer of BM's customer service dept., but no longer is. He's found BM quality took a dip but has since then improved substantially.

I must be *really* lucky -- I must own 6 or 7 BMs, and don't have a single complaint about their out-of-box quality. Same with my Spydercos, and I have at least 10 of them.

I received my AFCK in M2 about a month ago.

First off: I love it!

BUT: a few minor points. The liners had rough spots so I had to sand them down a little, one of the screws on the clip has a split head, the finish on the inch near the tip has worn away already and there were a couple of flat spots on the edge which had to be ironed out. Most importantly, though, the ball bearing detent seems to have little or no effect on the secure closing of the blade. I can open the blade with a snap of the wrist, without even touching the blade and there it no 'grabbing' action on closing. The only knife of this type that I have to compare this with is my Spyderco C15S, which has a much more secure closure despite having a much 'looser' opening action. On close inspection, it appears possible that the ball bearing doesn't fully seat in the detent (the liner moves across slightly, but not completely. I bought it from AG Russell, but to be fair to them I haven't contacted or considered returning it to them or Benchmade as it would involve foreign shipping and possible problems with import taxes. I will only return it if I feel the closing problem becomes unworkable as at the moment I don't feel that my safety is compromised.

In conclusion, I am most impressed but a little disappointed with the overall quality of the knife.
I only have one BM but it's about as perfect as it could be. It's a mini-AFCK. I've used it and played with it for eleven months now and it's still nice and tight.


I've owned several Benchmades many of them had some sort of problems. The blades on a couple of mini-AFCK's I've had ALL hit the spacer when closed, causing little nicks in the spacer. The small Ascent I had did the same thing. I was willing to live with these minor problems. My Sentinel had a thumb stud that wouldn't stay tight. Yeah, yeah - I know, a little Loc-Tite would cure this, but shouldn't that be something the factory does?

The most appalling problems I've seen deal with side-to-side blade play when in the closed position - especially on AFCK's amd mini-AFCK's. Heck, every so often at a show, I'll pick a dealer at random and ask to see a NIB AFCK of some sort/configuration. Invariably, there is so much blade play that when I open it, the blade rubs one of the liners. Completely unacceptable - especially with the black coated blades. I returned one that I bought and exchanged it for the Sentinel.

I purchased a Pinnacle when they first came out. After a few hours of playing around with it, the integral lock began sticking to the blade tang every time I opened it. It was so tight that two hands were required to unlock it. I tried several lubricants; all to no avail. That knife was returned to the dealer.

OTOH, I have several Leopard Cubs that seem to be flawless. My AXIS is also of great quality.

So, what's the point??? My experience with BM quality has been *very* hit or miss.

db - the knives I purchased were very obviously new. If you'd like to know the dealers where I purchased these knives, send me an e-mail. I'd be glad to tell you.


Deo Vindice

I have several CQC7's, AFCK's, Stryker's, a Senitnel and not one of them is of poor quality. They are all well made knives. As for the liner lock being hard to dissengage, I like that since it makes it harder to accidentally dissengage it.
Heck, I forgot to mention a problem that has been on virtually EVERY one of my Benchmades. NO TWO EDGE BEVELS ARE THE SAME! Poor, poor edge grinding. Atrocious. Even on my beloved AXIS, the bevel on one side is *at least* twice as wide as the one on the other side. And... I have yet to get a BM that was hair poppin' sharp right out of the box. BM needs to take lessons from Spyderco in this regard.


Deo Vindice

I feel kind of bad for sharing my experience with BM. I'm generally not in favor of threads devoted to complaints about a particular company or maker. The bottom line for me is that BM, in the end, stood by their product and did me right. Although I was somewhat disillusioned in the process sometimes that's how life is (my life anyway

Hello all.

Well I only own two, I purchase them from different Web dealer. No problems with any,
an Ascent and Pinnacle.
How many knife manufacturers can you name that try as hard as Benchmade to produce a quality product? Probably fewer than the fingers on your hands.

One can usually find "less than perfection" in a factory knife. Heck, one can usually find "less than perfection" in a custom knife. Quality kives are labor intensive. More so than a modern watch. Labor mean people. Pobody's Nerfect! Perhaps as you seek the "imperfections", you should balance by also seeking the successes.
Well, try as I might, I have seen no imperfections on my Spydercos. I don't doubt that some slip through Quality Control, but I'm batting a thousand so far. Military, Wegner Jr., Goddard Jr., Baby Goddard, and the Native. (And a carbon fiber Dragonfly on the way...) All lock up as intended, all came from the factory with even edge bevels, none have any sort of blade play, all were right there with my Sebenza for sharpness out of the box. Hard to beat that record of success.

I did not intent to bash BM either, however posters did ask for real world examples of poor BM quality control. I will continue to buy Benchmades; I just hope my success level begins to trend upward (to Spydie's level


Deo Vindice

And... Sal - truth be known, I was not a big Spyderco fan when I first started collecting knives a few months back. However, you, your crew, your designs, your level of customer service, and of course - your knives - are winning me over at a pretty good clip.


Deo Vindice

Hello, here's my complete list of BM's I have ever owned, with the associated problems:

1. Brend Talon 2: no problems, but i'm still damn sad that I sold it...
2. Leopard: No problems, but sent it to BM after I stripped a pocket screw hole.
3. mini AFCK...very early in the run, no problems.
4. problems, hell, this knife is still's one of my favorites.
5. 970 plain problems.
6. 970 black-t'd combo edge...would open and wouldn't unlock...
7. Stryker...edge grinds weren't even, lock hit opposite liner.
8. side wasn't ground, and the secondary tanto edge had mis aligned grind lines.
9. Stryker Black-T combo and wouldn't close, tanto point edge grinds were faulty, lock would hit opposit liner.
10. Eclipse...poor lock, blade hit the bottom of te handle, clip thread inserts fell out.
11. Sentinel..blade hit spacer, edge grinds were very uneven.
12. Axis Lock..perfect, except could have come sharper..

Unfortunately, I have not had as many problems with other manufacturers, and others haven't had as many problems as I have...All thngs being equal, maybe I have bad luck? Oh well, I like my axis, and won't condemn BM, as things seem to be turning around...