Carnivor VS. Axis......

Nov 4, 1998
Alrighty Folks...this is one I have been dying to see...the upper class finnesse of the Benchmade, or the brute strength of the Carnivor....I ordered up an Axis last night, but chances are that I will get a Carnie...or more likely a Sifu at a later date. But for now I want to hear about how the Axis and Carnivor stack up against eachother. I have heard tons of good about both (But more about the BM since it has been around longer and there are moe of them), does anyone have both?

Both knives have similar specs, blade length, etc, and both tout a new-fangled lock system. I think both retail for close to the same amount as well. I also know that both are in pretty big demand.

Which has a stronger tip? Which is more useful? Which would you be more inclined to carry and why? Which lock is easier to use, less easy to accidentally close etc? Fill me in....

"Will Dremel for Food!!"
"No, it's a Vaquero Grande in my pocket, but I am happy to see you!"
MegaFolderians Unite!!
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Funny you should ask as I was pondering this earlier tonight and I sit here with both as we speak. These knives beg to be compared and I will break my opinions into categories.

ACTION: Both knives have the same "feel" when opening and closing and it is quite different from a linerlock. I would liken it to the Kershaw Onion. Resistance builds as the knife is opened until you hit a break point where the blade then flows with no resistance until fully opened. For me the AXIS opens a little more quickly and smoothly, almost like an auto. The CARNIVOR is only a few days old though and may not be fully broken in.

STRENGTH: It appears to me as though the AXIS would be a stronger lock mechanism because the locking bar is not notched as on the CARNIVOR. However the benchmade's liners have large areas cut out of them under the scales which would theoretically weaken the whole knife. I have no way of actually measuring the locks to compare the strength but I would say that IMHO the AXIS is a stronger lock while the CARNIVOR is an overall stronger knife.

ERGONOMICS: AXIS is completely ambidextrous as the clip is reversable and the lock release protrudes from both scales while Carnivore is set up only for righties. Also the AXIS feels significantly lighter in my hands. I prefer the handle of the CARNIVOR which for me is more secure and has a more pronounced guard and pinkie catch for combat type use. The AXIS is more flowing and I find that I have a hard time indexing it in my hand.

LOCK SAFETY: I would say that it strictly depends upon the user as to which would accidentally unlock because one's hand shape and preferred grip would make the difference. For me it would be a coin toss as I cannot produce any sort of unlock with either in any grips. Theoretically the plus of being ambidextrous on the AXIS is a minus in one way. It would increase the chance that some part of your hand would produce a lock failure through contact with the release (more surface area to contact).

Overall I would say the winner will be a coin toss depending upon the type of use. I would say the AXIS is a better utility knife and is more comfortable in the pocket for everyday use. As a defense knife I would choose the CARNIVOR over any production knife. Fortunately I am not saddled with these hard decisions as I took the easy way out and bought both! (Carry the AXIS as a lefty and the CARNIVOR righty.)

Long live Bladeforums!


[This message has been edited by Biginboca (edited 09 April 1999).]
One more thing. They both have the same exact taper to the tip when viewed from above the spine. Under a magnifier the CARNIVORE is ever so slightly thinner but the difference is very slight. On another sample the difference may not even be detectable. In other words the answer to your tip strength question is that neither has an edge. IMHO the blades on both are a little thin for my tastes and the tips are definately for cutting and not prying.

[This message has been edited by Biginboca (edited 08 April 1999).]
They are both definitely killer knives!

Big, thanks for the comparison. One important thing you left out of the ergonomics comparison is comfort in real use. Would you mind doing 10 minutes of hard whittling and cutting with each, and then let us know how your hand held up after that work. I can tell you for me, the Axis was one of the most comfortable handles I've tried for extended use -- even my pinky didn't start to feel it.

The Axis's recurved blade should provide better slicing performance than a straight blade like the Carnivore's -- once you thin out the Axis's typically-too-thick edge a bit. But that comes at the price of more difficult sharpening.

The Carnivore's handle feels remarkably secure in the hand. I haven't had the chance to actually try it out. I'll definitely be buying one, too.


Thanks Mr. Big...nice informative post....
And thank you Joe...your continuous raves were some of the reson I took the plunge...(That and I had a little left over from what I had saved for an engagement ring...
)....I am still trying to convince the Fiance that the saying is "Something Something folding, something fixed, something carbon, something ATS..." Actually her something Blue could be a Sentinal...oh well...

I guess one can't really go wrong by buying either one.....or both....

I can't wait to get my Axis...I hope it gets here soon...I am tired of carrying "plastic knives" as much as I love Zytel. it sure don't have any panache...that and everyone around me has BM Emersons....I feel under dressed...

Here's a question: I know REKAT has posted a challenge: Bring a cashier's check for ten grand, as well as the strongest production folder you can find to their shop. They bet that their Rolling Lock can withstand more stress than the Benchmade Axis lock, and they are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Has anyone actually put both knives in a hydraulic press and seen where the failure point is?
Cheers, Yek and Big. I am so excited about these two knives am I posting even though I have absolutely nothing to add. The difference between these two will boil down to personal preferences, as I think it would take a hydraulic press to expose the difference between the two in strength and reliability. It will be little niggles like pocket clip attachment and blade shape that will make up peoples minds one way or the other.

So Biginboca, stab both knives into a board about a half-inch deep and snap them sideways. Then tell us which one still has a point.

I wonder how fair the comparison really is? I mean, the designs on both knives are so different. While I haven't handled the Carnivore (what's the new spelling of it now? Carnivour?), I have handled the Axis. If we strip everything down to just the lock, it's simple yet elegant, and seems adequate for defenseive use.

But the handle on the Axis needs to be reworked if it's going to play a defensive role. That's the one department the Carnivore seems to have the upper hand. I wish I can get mine soon. The anticipation is overwhelming.
I did some cutting tests on cardboard boxes at work today with both knives. The recurve on the AXIS as well as its extra length give it an edge as far as cutting is concerned. I would have to say that the AXIS cuts with the best of them while the CARNIVOR is average, as expexted from its blade geometry. Note that my CARNIVOR exhibits a very slight recurve, not nearly as pronounced as the AXIS. AXIS also proved to be a slightly better penetrator but was very hard to retain on withdrawl as compared to the CARNIVOR. I still prefer the grip of the CARNIVOR even for utility use, for me the AXIS just doesn't seem to fit my hand as well.

Hope this helps with those decisions.

Long live Bladeforums!


Right on! Thanks guys, this is great information for someone like me who lusts after both these knives, but hasn't had the opportunity to handle both. Now, if only we could toss a Sifu into the mix . . .

The beatings will continue until morale improves.
I really like the handle on the Pioneer, and the handle on the Carnivore seems based on the same design concepts. I really find it hard to fault the 710 handle. The Carnivore's may feel more locked-in, but in use, the 710 handle works very well. I find that there are enough contours to hold the hand from slipping up on thrusts very well. Nor does it attack the skin as aggressively as some more cut out handles do. Granted the 710 handle doesn't look as right, but it works.

Upon reviewing this thread I noticed the mention of the REKAT lock challenge. I am only familiar with this from what I have read here and one thing about this really bothers me though.

If REKAT is so confident about their lock why do they require a ten grand check to do the test? There is something about that wager that sounds fishy to me. If I was confident in my product I would be willing to demonstrate its use in comparison at no risk. It sounds to me as if they are trying to intimidate others from testing. Who in their right mind would show up at their shop with a check for ten grand? Who would care enough to take that kind of risk?

Are they hoping no one?

If they are for real why don't they do the test for maybe a gentlemans wager like lunch?
Long live Bladeforums!


[This message has been edited by Biginboca (edited 13 April 1999).]
I have been so busy and the web site hasn't been udated in so long I forgot about that part of the Pocket Hobbit page. We didn't have much to do with the Web site Josh Burbank created the whole thing and we haven't run a printed ad with any challange. It was a concept in response to Cold Steels Challange. My mistake for not keeping up with the Web Site. Your on for the gentelmans bet, show up in Sagle bring your knife and winner buys lunch we will have to eat gut bombs at the gas station since Sagle is a wide spot in the road..
If you wish to check we have given the following companys free knives to destroy. Benchmade, Spyderco, Onterio, Gerber and Cold Steel plus a number of people have done their own test we haven't required a ten thousand dollar check from anyone as of yet. Lynn Thompson will openly admit our Pioneer (last years model) beat any of his knives. Thats a feat in it self
We are working on getting a updated website and that referance is not going to be there.
BTW the Axis lock is a great inovation and and Mc Henery and Williams did a great job.

Bob Taylor

I am the type of person that it is usually disappointed with almost every purchase...but this time I am not at all.....this is one sweeeeet knife!!!...looking at the lock system though, I do not think that it compares to the pure brawn of the rolling lock, but this knife pegs the sophistication scale and had the most "businesslike" blade shape. oh well. I will do a review to save my duckies for a SIFU...

Thanks for the info Bob. Sounds to me like you may safely lay the claim to the strongest lock. I am still curious about how the different locks would test, although purely for academic reasons as I am sure that neither would fail me in my daily routines. To your knowledge has anyone ever run the test of the various locks by any of the companies you mentioned and produced comparitive data? I guess that you have not heard back from those you sent samples to?

By the way I was thinking more along the lines of a balogna and mayonaisse sandwich. Could I just mail it to you? You should have it in about a week. Enjoy!

Long live Bladeforums!


I have to add this, purely for academic reasons...My fiance likes the is hard to get a higher accolade for a knife.

Yek, Did you dremel the AXIS yet. I know you have had it at least a day now!

Long live Bladeforums!


Actually I have had it for about 10 hours now...and there is one thing I might do to it...I think that the detent that holds it closed is a smidgeon too hard to overcome, and I might buzz it a little. Maybe after that I might buff the thumbstud and lock release so they done remove as much skin...

I think I sold a few of them todays as well, a buddy of mine couldn't put it down, but the selling point was when I shaved the edge off of his cheapo CRKT commanderorsomethingorother. I also saw the SIFU pice that Mr. Simonich took....I want one...heck with the Carnie...the Sifu just screams "Make my Day!"