BM330 letdown

Aug 15, 2000
Finally got my hands on a BM330 after many months of dawdling but turned out to be a disappointment. Sure looked different in the pictures *sigh*

Summary: the BM330 is a small 2.3" bladed liner lock with a titanium frame & liners. It has a strange feature of having G10 scales which cover only 3/4 of the handle, so that the exposed frame looks like bolsters. Lengths are 4" closed and 7" open, and the knife is very slim. The weight of the knife is just 1.4 ounces.

The bad: the exposed frame section at the pivot is very thin, making it difficult to get a good grip on the knife (and I have small hands to boot). This is made worse by the marked thickness difference between the exposed frame and the much thicker G10 covered portion of the handle. Several different holds later, I'm convinced I can't find a grip that's even halfway comfortable. And to cap it off, the exposed frame has sharp edges which bite your hand as well.

A couple of test cuts on cardboard gave new meaning to the word discomfort, and I just wonder - did anybody at Benchmade even try using it during the design stage? If I had to change the design, i would extend the G10 scales all the way to the pivot area.

It may just be bad luck, but my example had a really sloppy lock that didn't even engage halfway. A light rap on the blade spine knocked the lock loose. I was tempted to try to remedy this by disassembling the thing and increasing the arch of the liner (yeah, voids the warranty) before I found out that the frame was riveted together.

Since it would cost me something like $20-$30 at the cheapest shipping rate to send it back to Oregon, I guess I'm stuck with this $65 letdown. If you are looking for a slim, lightweight gent's folder, I would recommend the CRKT Mirage Titanium which is of similar size and weight but with much friendlier handling characteristics.


"Praise not the day until evening has come;a sword until it is tried; ice until it has been crossed; beer until it has been drunk" - Viking proverb
That's a real bummer. I've had a BM330 for almost two years, and it has never let me down. It locks up solid and has stayed very easy to sharpen. Since I carry mine in my Dockers at work (mainly office tasks), I don't get too worried about ergonomics. For its size and weight, I think it is a great gentleman's folder.

Post on the Benchmade forum, or call BM. If your knife has a defect (lock doesn't engage), Benchmade will probably pay for the shipping.
I looked at the 330 last week and didn't like it at all.

The BM330 is not riveted together. The scales can be taken off to reveal two screws that hold the frame together. The stop pin on the back of the knife just looks like a rivet. I've taken mine apart and anodized the titanium and replaced the scales with cocobolo.

Jeff Jenness

[This message has been edited by jeffj (edited 10-23-2000).]
*Duh* Thanks for the info Jeff.

I went back after reading your post and managed to get the knife apart. After some work with a file (and multiple reassembly to test the fit) it now locks up tight. The back of the blade was slightly overlong and shaving some metal of the back did the trick. I also smoothed out the edges of the frame and am finally beginning to like this knife a little.

BTW Jeff, did you cover the whole handle with the new scales or did you keep it to the size of the original G10? I would think full frame scales would do much to improve the handling. How about some pics of the knife?


"Praise not the day until evening has come;a sword until it is tried; ice until it has been crossed; beer until it has been drunk" - Viking proverb

[This message has been edited by redvenom (edited 10-24-2000).]

The scales remain the same size. This project took me only a couple of hours, but I had fun doing it. Here is the final product.



[This message has been edited by jeffj (edited 10-24-2000).]
Actually the BM330 is quite a fine knife. It is small enough to fit on a credit card (transversely), yet boasts a frame lock, and a well ground blade, with an excellent blade: frame ratio. Just think; if you get a custom Ernie Emerson CQC6, the frame is 1 and 1/4" longer, but the CQC6 blade is only 7/8" longer! The original BM330 scales are in keeping with its' dedication to small size, yet aftermarket scales will improve handling.

Regarding disassembly, this is one of the hardest knives to get apart. Until you realize that they put green Loc-Tite on the screws (at least they used to; it's been a while since I took one apart). This is supposed to be the permanent Loc-Tite, and it is easy to strip the small allen screws. Unless you know the trick, which is to touch a hot soldering iron to the screw for a second before you unscrew it; this softens the Loc-Tite.

Here is a pic of a BM330 with after market cocobolo scales. These could easily be made longer, but you would have to relieve the inner surface covering the frame lock to insure that it would be able to open enough to release the blade.


Thanks for the pics guys. I bought the knife for the very attractive blade and the fact that very few knives are made so small with ATS34 and Titanium. I still find the very thin frame section uncomfortable and the tiny thumb stud a bit of a challenge to get the knife open. Or mabye its just that I've been spoilt by the small Sebenza I usually carry

I'll probably stick it in the office to use as a very stylish (and costly) letter opener or give it away as a gift.


"Praise not the day until evening has come;a sword until it is tried; ice until it has been crossed; beer until it has been drunk" - Viking proverb

[This message has been edited by redvenom (edited 10-24-2000).]