BM Balisong problem :(

Okay, just this morning I noticed that when by BM butterfly knife is fully opened the 2 handle parts don't meet. The closest they come is about a 1/4 of an inch away from each other. Is this normal, should I call Benchmade and ask them for help?

Any advise would be more than helpful.

Jan 18, 1999
How long have you owned it?
Does it latch? I've had mine for a little over a year and my handles don't touch.
I've handled several of the deluxe(model
series 4x)and they all were like that. Which model is it? When I look at mine tonight,
I'll report on how far apart mine are. If
it doesn't latch, or look slightly bent( in the unlatched postion), I would send it in.
Better yet, call them and ask for the specs
from the warranty dept. They have been helpful to me in the past.
I hope I've helped,

[This message has been edited by prigger (edited 22 January 1999).]
Its a 35s and I've owned it for about 5 months. You can latch it when it is closed but not open. The weird part is that its only done this recently. Yesterday I could latch it in the open position just fine.
This is normal. You have to squeeze the two handles together to latch them together. This then holds the latch in place.

A worn out butterfly knife will have just the opposite problem from yours. That is, the handles come together too close when it is latched open and they don't press tightly against the tang pin. When reconditioning an old butterfly the tang pin is usually compressed (by an educated hammer hit, don't do it unless you know how!) to fatten it up and make the knife lock tightly again.

If yours is tempermental being too tight, that is the handles don't easily come together and lock, first inspect it to see if there are any pieces out of place... most BM balisongs have bushings on the hinge pins and shims on either side of the blade. One of these could be defective and causing the misalignment and binding of the handles. If the handles move stiffly, a little drop of oil at the hinge pins might free up the bushings and help the blade seat better. Use it a little and it might straighten itself out and work fine again.

On a good knife, when the blade is locked open the tang pin sits directly in the little notches of the handles and then the handles flex to close the latch with enough force to hold the blade with no play. With a worn out knife (from many hours/days of spinning/flipping, dirt in the hinges, etc) the notches may enlarge, the tang pin can wear down and the hinge pins/bushings/shims wear thin, and start to give excessive blade play, and the opened position can wobble around a lot.

On the other hand some brand new knives need a little wear-in for the notches to be formed until the lockup with the tang pin is good. When locked open, the force on the tang pin is quite high because of the leverage from the latch at the ends of the handles. That is what makes the butterfly such a stable folding knife design.

By the way if you live in CA or MA and send the knife away they may not send it back, depending on how strictly they adhere to legal restrictions.

[This message has been edited by senpai (edited 22 January 1999).]
First, I have edited the above post to include a little more detail since I first wrote it. Second, I must mention that the lockup position of butterflys inherently needs precision because of the very close spacing of the tang pin to the hinge pins. A small change in those dimensions will put the handles out of alignment by a lot. Many cheap butterflies wear out quickly and may have never been in proper alignment even when new. With a Benchmade you expect better quality, but a missing shim or a bent bushing can still throw off the position of the handles noticably. If there is a chance someone was flipping the knife and dropped it hard on a handle and bent a hinge pin, that also might explain the difficulty.
I have three BM balisongs: a 45, 45S, and a 44S. The 44S is the only one that ever sees carry (daily in fact), or any sort of recreational play whatsoever. When in the open position, all three of them have at least approximately 1/8" separation between the handles at the closest point. As long as you CAN get the latch to close (even if it takes a little squeezing), you should be alright, unless of course there is something obviously out of place. As a matter of fact, for anything other than extended utility usage (which I carry other knives for anyway), the only purpose the latch on my 44S serves is to facilitate a quick draw/reverse-grip opening from the horizontal belt sheath.

The latch is quite handy for quickly identifying which handle is the "safe" one when manipulating a butterfly. On the Benchmades hold the handle without the latch to be safe. There are some butterflies out there made the other way, so unless you want to have to change your handling routine don't use those. Any good one-handed routine starts with opening the latch and continues through to closing it at the end. For that reason I don't own any without a latch, even though it can get in the way during a finger twirl.

[This message has been edited by senpai (edited 24 January 1999).]
Okay guys, thanks for all the concern. Thanks for all the info about butterfly knives. I found the problem, it turns out that little stop pin at the base of the knive was bent out of shape, with a pair on needlenose pliers and some sand paper I bet it back to shape and made it look like nothing was wrong in the first place.