BM Eclipse

Aug 10, 1999
I am thinking about getting the BM Eclipse but am wondering if I should shell out the extra money and move up to the AFCK or mini AFCK.
It depends on what you would be doing w/ the extra $20.00 or $30.00 or so (approx) you would pay for the AFCK- (or more if you go for the tricked out Kasper special). I had an Eclipse w/ a black blade & opening hole & it served me very, very well for a good while before I retired it. The "new" name is "Ascent" (due to copyright hassles) & There is also the drop point version w/ the opening stud & the "AFCK" type version w/ opening hole. Of course, when I had to choose, the AFCK beckoned to be from the corner of the table, but my decision was based purely on the fact that I couldn't afford the AFCK at that time. Don't know if that helped- I think I just confused myself a little... I still want an AFCK...

Runs With Scissors
AKTI# A000107
If I were just looking for the best value for a utility knife with no thoughts about defensive capability, I would go for the Ascent. The Ascent has the tip up pocket clip position option and is about the handiest one-handed folder I have carried. There are things I don't like about the 830, but it is hard to find a better knife for the money. The M-2 AFCK is one of my all-time favorite folders, but if you are not concerned with retention, you don't need the extra handle size and strength.

I personally like the Endura '98 better than the Ascents. The handle is a better design, and the blade should be about equal.

Having had both, I would say front the extra $$$ and get the AFCK. IMHO the Ascent/Eclipse is a POS.

The only limitation is lack of imagination.

Romans 10:9-10

"Military" Fans Unite!!

"It depends."

Gotta hate that answer. The ascent will be lighter to carry, cheaper to buy.

Both the ascent and the AFCK have had some failure problems with the lock, but there are many good samples too. You should try both lock styles to see if your grip and usage is likely to cause failures for you.

IMO, the AFCK is more "adjustable" and easier for me to tinker with because I can't remove and replace the locking bar pivot pin in the Ascent.

I prefer the thumb hole on the ascent line to that of the AFCK line, especially if you are getting a coated blade.

If you want to move up to M2 steel, you have to buy the AFCK.

You have more blade size options in the Ascent.

I prefer my full size AFCK to any of my Ascents or my mini AFCK. I prefer my small Ascent to my mini AFCK.

I like the new full flat grind and drop point blade you can get in the Ascent series, but I don't own any of them yet. I wish that series had kept the thumb hole with the full flat grind and I'd have bought one in every size!

But in the small knife category, I prefer the 705 mini Axis to either the small Ascent or mini AFCK. Now if the 705 only had the Spydie hole, it might be perfect.

This may sound odd, but I'm an AFCK-lover and an Ascent-hater.

I find the handle shape of the AFCK very comfortable, enjoy the smooth action and easy one-handed closing of the liner-lock, like the ability to disassemble and clean or modify the knife, and just enjoy its overall balance and feel. Even as a devoted Spyderco fan, I rate it as my favorite folder (4+ years of carrying one may have something to do with this). My only gripe is that the ATS-34 is brittle and difficult to sharpen, a gripe fixed by teh M-2 version (though I must then put up with a coating).

Now take the Ascent. The larger finger-groove destroys the grip for me, and I have yet to meet someone with a 1.5" wide finger. The Zytel handle cannot be disassembled and throws the weight uncomfortably far forward, so the knife feels ready to tip out of your hand. The lockback cannot be closed as easily one-handed, has a rougher action, and on those I have seen (early specimens) has up-and-down play and unlocks easily with pressure on the spine. I cannot consider this knife in the same class as similarly-priced Zytel knives from Spyderco or even Cold Steel.

I'd obviously recommend the AFCK if you can afford it. If you want to stay in the Ascent's price range, look at Spyderco's Endura and Goddard Liteweight, which have better locks, better ergonomics (a personal issue, of course), and are easier to sharpen. The only advantage the Benchmade has over these two is tip-down carry, and if that's a premium you might look at the slightly smaller Calypso Jr. Liteweight which will be out very shortly in excellent VG-10 steel.

It's my opinion that Benchmade has a ways to go before they become a serious player in the Zytel knife market.

I would defintly upgrade to an AFCK. I've only owned an Ascent and an AFCK. I must say the AFCK is WAY better then the Ascent. The Ascent isnt that great of a knife in fact.

Of the two knives you mentioned, you should definitely go with the AFCK. I have owned both and much prefer the AFCK. I should qualify that by saying, I owned an Ascent 830 for about a day and then returned it. The lock was awful, I don't know if it was just the one I had or if this is a common problem. Based on a number of the posts I've seen on the Ascents I would say it is probably common though. The lock did not hold the blade closed or open very well for that matter. In the closed position the tip of the knife blade could travel approximately 3/4" before it met any resistance from the lock, not encouraging for a POCKET knife. In the open position there was up-down blade wobble, not encouraging for a knife you will be holding in your HAND. Either go with the AFCK or if money is the issue go with the Spyderco Endura, as several others have suggested. In fact, in my own personal tastes I prefer the Endura to the AFCK regardless of cost.

I went ahead an took everyone's advice and ordered the AFCK w/ plain edge. Took me for ever to press the send button. Kind of like the guy in the E*TRADE commercial. I wish I had never found BladeForums. I'm all ready planning my next purchase. Looks like I'll have to get a second job :)