Is It Worth It to Customize a Benchmade?

Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
864
I've bought three knives from Benchmade's custom shop over the years: a full-size Griptilian, a Mini Crooked River, and a Mini Griptilian which I purchased as a gift. They all were great knives that had perfect quality. So as far as the knife options and quality, I can wholeheartedly recommend their custom shop.

Now on to the question regarding price and worth. To me, when I consider whether something is "worth it" financially I don't think in terms of just the purchase price. I think of it in terms of overall cost of its lifespan and/or time period it will be in my life, such as maintenance, insurance, storing it, space it takes up, etc. Knives are pretty much the same across the board with these factors regardless of the knife you get, although Benchmade having such a good warranty gives an additional boost in this area, so those are effectively a moot point for this specific purchase decision. Most importantly when evaluating the financial cost of an item, i think of its cost per use. If I spend $300 on something and I use it for 300 days, then it was $1 per daily use. If I buy something that is $100 but only use it for 50 days, then the cost is $2 per daily use. Thus the $300 item is a better financial choice than the $100 item, assuming I have the discretionary funds to spend in the first place.

Now, this is the point that gets interesting on this forum and with people in this hobby. Would you rather have 50 knives that are cheaper price individually but that don't completely meet your needs/wants or would you rather have 10 more expensive (potentially--they don't have to actually be more expensive) knives that are your absolute favorites that meet your needs/wants? To me I'm going with the smaller favorites list every day of the week. Luckily for me in this particular area, the favorite currently is one single knife that isn't expensive. Thus I'm at roughly 8.6 cents per daily use cost of my current knife ($114.75/1,335 days) which makes it far and away the best financial knife purchase I've made. Back to your scenario, if there was a custom shop Benchmade that would be a favorite that I'd want to carry/use all the time, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase another knife through the custom shop again. Only you can ascertain if it would be worth it to you though.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
648
I've bought three knives from Benchmade's custom shop over the years: a full-size Griptilian, a Mini Crooked River, and a Mini Griptilian which I purchased as a gift. They all were great knives that had perfect quality. So as far as the knife options and quality, I can wholeheartedly recommend their custom shop.

Now on to the question regarding price and worth. To me, when I consider whether something is "worth it" financially I don't think in terms of just the purchase price. I think of it in terms of overall cost of its lifespan and/or time period it will be in my life, such as maintenance, insurance, storing it, space it takes up, etc. Knives are pretty much the same across the board with these factors regardless of the knife you get, although Benchmade having such a good warranty gives an additional boost in this area, so those are effectively a moot point for this specific purchase decision. Most importantly when evaluating the financial cost of an item, i think of its cost per use. If I spend $300 on something and I use it for 300 days, then it was $1 per daily use. If I buy something that is $100 but only use it for 50 days, then the cost is $2 per daily use. Thus the $300 item is a better financial choice than the $100 item, assuming I have the discretionary funds to spend in the first place.

Now, this is the point that gets interesting on this forum and with people in this hobby. Would you rather have 50 knives that are cheaper price individually but that don't completely meet your needs/wants or would you rather have 10 more expensive (potentially--they don't have to actually be more expensive) knives that are your absolute favorites that meet your needs/wants? To me I'm going with the smaller favorites list every day of the week. Luckily for me in this particular area, the favorite currently is one single knife that isn't expensive. Thus I'm at roughly 8.6 cents per daily use cost of my current knife ($114.75/1,335 days) which makes it far and away the best financial knife purchase I've made. Back to your scenario, if there was a custom shop Benchmade that would be a favorite that I'd want to carry/use all the time, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase another knife through the custom shop again. Only you can ascertain if it would be worth it to you though.

I tend to subscribe to this mindset as well. I have a custom order in right now with Benchmade for a fullsize crooked river. Overall I am paying $300+ for a production knife from a production knife company and many on here will say that for that price I can can get into the midtech realm. For me and my purposes, I do not sell very many of my knives and I use all of them. Being able to go back to benchmade (a company that I have no worry about being around in 20 years) to get service work done on my knife is a huge plus. This knife will be used, touched up, used again, and eventually passed on to a new generation. Having the peace of mind that even though this will be a large expenditure of money for a production knife, it will be well used and cared for with the support of a company that isnt going anywhere anytime soon is a big selling point.
 
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BMCGear

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Messages
6,216
Custom Shop Knives I've ordered new:
1. Benchmade 550 Griptilian - M4/FRN
- This knife was a train wreck of an order. It took them forever to get it made and when I would call no one seemed to be able to find my order. When I got the knife the edge was bad ground super unsymmetrical and the knife had what I thought was lock rock. What it turned out to be was the liners shifting because the FRN's molds were a little large. Called BM and their solution was to send it back in and they quoted me a 3 - 6 hour turn around. I ended up selling it with full disclosure at a loss.
2. Benchmade Crooked River - I liked the CR but hated the orange accents. So I ordered a 20cv/Black Bolster/Tan handles model. Got the knife and it was a good example but it just didn't click. I blamed it on the black bolster. Sold it for a major loss.
3. Benchmade Crooked River - I decided to get a custom CR in M4 thinking it would be the ticket and I ordered a different combo than my last one thinking this is why I didn't connect with it but I just wasn't a fan of this one either.
4. Benchmade 550 Griptilian - M4/G10 - bought this one and kept it the longest. This was an excellent knife and the only reason that I sold it was it was on the thicker side of geometry and I prefer longer knives. I wasn't big on the handle color I chose and I really dislike that BM won't sell you an uncoated blade. I hate the coating.

I've bought off the secondary:
1. Custom Shop 550 - 20cv/G10
2. Custom Shop Bugout - M4/FRN
3. Custom Shop Crooked River

These were bought in between at really good deals to try out and not lose money.

With all of that being said - is it worth it? I can only speak for me - no. One of the major reasons for this is Benchmade is not a high end knife. They just don't have the fit, finish, and that "something special" that you feel when you pick the knife up. At least for me. If it does for you that's awesome but I realized that I kept trying to make BM something that it wasn't. I like that they're US made and I like the designs overall but If i'm gonna drop 300 plus on a knife I really do expect more than what BM can offer in fit, finish, and heat treat. They are a good production knife but no longer a good value and FULL MSRP is outrageous.
 

whp

Joined
Apr 26, 2009
Messages
3,420
Custom Shop Knives I've ordered new:
1. Benchmade 550 Griptilian - M4/FRN
- This knife was a train wreck of an order. It took them forever to get it made and when I would call no one seemed to be able to find my order. When I got the knife the edge was bad ground super unsymmetrical and the knife had what I thought was lock rock. What it turned out to be was the liners shifting because the FRN's molds were a little large. Called BM and their solution was to send it back in and they quoted me a 3 - 6 hour turn around. I ended up selling it with full disclosure at a loss.
2. Benchmade Crooked River - I liked the CR but hated the orange accents. So I ordered a 20cv/Black Bolster/Tan handles model. Got the knife and it was a good example but it just didn't click. I blamed it on the black bolster. Sold it for a major loss.
3. Benchmade Crooked River - I decided to get a custom CR in M4 thinking it would be the ticket and I ordered a different combo than my last one thinking this is why I didn't connect with it but I just wasn't a fan of this one either.
4. Benchmade 550 Griptilian - M4/G10 - bought this one and kept it the longest. This was an excellent knife and the only reason that I sold it was it was on the thicker side of geometry and I prefer longer knives. I wasn't big on the handle color I chose and I really dislike that BM won't sell you an uncoated blade. I hate the coating.

I've bought off the secondary:
1. Custom Shop 550 - 20cv/G10
2. Custom Shop Bugout - M4/FRN
3. Custom Shop Crooked River

These were bought in between at really good deals to try out and not lose money.

With all of that being said - is it worth it? I can only speak for me - no. One of the major reasons for this is Benchmade is not a high end knife. They just don't have the fit, finish, and that "something special" that you feel when you pick the knife up. At least for me. If it does for you that's awesome but I realized that I kept trying to make BM something that it wasn't. I like that they're US made and I like the designs overall but If i'm gonna drop 300 plus on a knife I really do expect more than what BM can offer in fit, finish, and heat treat. They are a good production knife but no longer a good value and FULL MSRP is outrageous.

Have to agree. Benchmade lost its position as a good value knife company the year the Griptilian went from a market price of 65.00 to 105.00. In one year. With their MAP policy, they needed to step up their their QC. They didn't t.
 

jfk1110

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
5,710
This is really beautiful. Who made it? I am assuming it is Micarta, correct?

Keyman makes his own scales for his Benchmade knives!! He has some incredible specimens and his work is fantastic! I don't know if he's offering his services out except for a select few occasions!!
 

Chuck_Nunface

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
861
Short answer: No.

Long Answer: No, because you pay for your customized options on top of an already inflated MSRP.
 
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