I've got one with the black anodized aluminum handles and its a nice little knife. If I didn't have a large Sebbie it would most likely be my EDC. It was my first experience with the Axis lock and I have to admit its a really smooth and handy opening and locking mechanism. I like the blade size and shape as well.
I'm not crazy about the shape of the handle though. I'd like something a little thicker so I may very well sacrifice the extra half inch or so of the blade and pick up a 942 or a 730.
I've only had mine (710HS - M2 steel) for a couple of weeks. It's definitely a well made, well designed knife. I haven't used one of the other Axis locks but the action on my 710 is very smooth and positive. If the others are better, as some have said, then they must be fantastic. I actually ordered the partially serrated version first & sent it back, only because I decided on a straight blade. The other knife was also finished very well. Neither one had any blade alignment problems.
I haven't done enough cutting to see how well it holds an edge; regardless, everyone says M2 is good at that. It is also fairly easy to sharpen with my Sharpmaker.
Overall, it's a little pricey but worth it.
I have a 710 with ATS-34 blade that is half serrated. It was my EDC for about 6 or 7 months. I really like the knife and mine was perferct out of the box. The blade and handle shape to me are very well done. If I were going to get another one I would go plain edge because it will have plenty of cutting power due to the recurved blade. All in all i think it is a very nice and useful knife. If you are considering getting one I think that you should.
I've been carrying my 710hs since September and overall it's the most useful and versatile knife I own, and the best cutter. Comparing it to other knives I've owned by BM, Spyderco, MT, REKAT, CRKT, I can't find one that does the job better than my 710.
I love the 710! It handles really well in either hammer grip or reverse grip, and I actually have one of the 710 models set up for reverse grip carry. It is a very well made knife with great overall ergonomics, and is aesthetically pleasing (to me). I just purchased a new 710HSSR (M2,combo-edge), and the M2 is a really tough steel! The axis lock is smoothe as silk and strong. There is probably not another lock as well made or executed as the axis. Buy one or three and you'll not be disappointed.
I'm doing a trade for a 710 today. This guy I'm trading with sez this 710 is part of some "limited" run with a 154-CM blade and black-T on the blade with partial serrations. I'll probably end up seeing if I can trade this one for an M-2 bladed, straight edge 710.
I have carried my 710 for almost two years. It just gets better with age. I have other knives that I have carried but I keep going back to the 710. Once I figured out how to sharpen the recurve with out dulling the tip (ala Sharpmaker) I liked it even more. I have the ATS-34 version and the only regret is that I didn't get it in M2.
I have had my 710 plain edge ATS-34 for about 3-4 months and it is just great. It was my first axis lock and I am really impressed. Like Shawn said, it gets better with age. I have heard good things about the M2 steel. The blade can be a bit long for the sheeple.
You will not be disappointed.
I'm with Schmac. I think it is one of the best folders available from anyone, for any price. The narrow, recurved blade is versatile for utility, an excellent cutter when sharpened properly, and an excellent defensive design. The handle is comfortable in any grip. The lock is ultra-reliable. I like the M-2 steel. I bought an aluminum handles model, and an HSS model and swapped the blades so that I would have the Al and HSS in one knife. Like it.
When I got my 50/50 710 I thought my search was over.It has everything I want,strong tip,good blade to handle ratio,tip up carry,smooth fast and strong.
It has become my main work knife and to tell you the truth I could use it for most of my other needs also,but being a knife guy I like to switch around from time to time.
I put the 710 up there amoung the classics like the Buck 110(must be something about 10).When the 710 became my work knife and the LCC my off duty knife,well alot of my other knives got sold these 2 cover most of my daily needs.Ok I also just got a CQC7 that finds its way into the line up time to time.If I had to answer the "if you could use only one folder for a year question" the answer is BM710.
The 710 is one of the all time great folders. This folder is worth all of the praise that it receives here on the forums.
My first one was the ATS-34 plain edge version.
I was so impressed with the knife, I had to have the plain edge M-2 version. I have #355 of 400 of the pre-production run. This is my main utility folder most of the time.
I'll switch it out on occasion with the Mas Ayoob/Spyderco collab folder in VG-10. I like the Ayoob because the radical forward cant of the blade makes it an above average utility/defense folder. While some others may find the design uncomfy, it works great for me.
Anyway, if asked about the 710, I'll always say:
"YES! Get one! Absolutely!"