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My Visit to Benchmade

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by TheBleedingEdge, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. TheBleedingEdge

    TheBleedingEdge

    795
    Apr 14, 2010
    [​IMG]

    So good friend ShankMasterFlex and I recently got back from a road trip from Los Angeles, California to Vancouver, British Columbia. On our return trip, we passed through Oregon City and paid a stop at the Benchmade facility.

    We went there just to peruse the selection of rare and discontinued models at the corporate store. The staff was very friendly and they chatted with us in spite of the fact that it was a slow Friday and everyone was ready to head home to get an early start on the weekend.

    [​IMG]

    During the conversation we mentioned that we were from California. Out of the blue, they called up the facility director and he came to the front, greeted us, handed us some guest passes and safety glasses and proceeded to give us a tour of the factory!

    The tour began with the engineering department, where we saw some upcoming Griptillians fully modeled by a 3D printer. We were also let in on the upcoming release of a couple of models: a Gold Class 580 Barrage with aluminium bolsters and G-10 handles (we actually got to handle a prototype - it was DAMN nice), and a manual-opening version of the 8600 Bedlam.

    The tour continued with an overview of the production floor. We saw the laser cutters, the stacks-upon-stacks of metal tiles from which the initial blade profiles are laser-cut, the different grinding and beveling stations, and the assembly floor where all of the parts come together. Towards the rear of the facility we got to see the area where all of the Gold Class models are created and assembled by highly-skilled knife craftsmen, and they even showed us their in-house collection of Gold Class knives.

    To one side of the facility, still under development, was the section reserved for production of Benchmade's new acquisition, Lone Wolf knives. It looks like Benchmade will be keeping the Lone Wolf brand alive, although to what degree remains to be seen.

    Obviously, we couldn't take pictures of the production floor, but I did take plenty of pictures of the store for your viewing pleasure. All in all, the visit turned out better than we had expected.

    Enjoy the knife porn fellas:

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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  2. HKBM45

    HKBM45

    247
    May 29, 2008
    Very cool. Thanks for posting this
     
  3. c.joe

    c.joe

    646
    Apr 6, 2010
    Nice pictures! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun. I'm so jealous you got a tour of the production areas.

    I'm surprised ShankMasterFlex even laid a foot into Benchmade's headquarters hahaha :)
     
  4. banana-clip

    banana-clip

    Jun 7, 2007
    Awesome pics..would love to take a tour of their factory
     
  5. RevDevil

    RevDevil Super Evil Supermod Staff Member Super Mod

    Nov 9, 2009
    Gotta love the store pics. Thanks for sharing.
     
  6. The Mastiff

    The Mastiff

    Apr 21, 2006
    All those for sale, or was it a museum as well. There was a great selection there!
     
  7. Neat, thanks for sharing. I am interested in the manual opening Bedlam.
     
  8. proguide

    proguide

    Mar 26, 2004
    Man i want a couple of those AFCK's
     
  9. twid

    twid

    603
    Apr 7, 2009
    Thanks for sharing your experience and pictures!
     
  10. JUST1MOR

    JUST1MOR

    Oct 19, 2010
    Man, I have got to get packed up & move to the west coast !!! Thanks for posting the great shots, pretty cool way to start the week-end . . . .
     
  11. GIRLYmann

    GIRLYmann

    Nov 7, 2005
    what a lucky bunch of tourist you guyz are!

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  12. Hammer27

    Hammer27

    Sep 17, 2006
    Did the manual Bedlam have thumbstuds?
     
  13. Chocula

    Chocula

    655
    Sep 8, 2005
    Thanks for the pics! Now I want to go on a road trip and visit the spyderco, benchmade, and kershaw factories.
     
  14. ibute21

    ibute21 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 26, 2010
    If what you say is true about a gold class barrage is true, I just came and I'm getting on that preorder list.
     
  15. jackman2

    jackman2

    588
    Feb 3, 2010
    wait.... you just what?!
     
  16. BP Green

    BP Green

    Oct 23, 2010
    Awesome post! Thank you for the virtual tour. BM is my favorite brand; I'm jealous!
     
  17. J.Davey

    J.Davey

    Feb 10, 2004
    A manual Bedlam. Awesome. I've been hoping they'd come out with a manual version of this knife!:thumbup:
     
  18. Manix07

    Manix07

    135
    Jan 5, 2007
    Thanks for posting these! I recently did a very similar road trip, but all my friends are hardcore non-knife types (go figure) so there was no way I could convince the group to take a side trip to check out the BM facility...BTW wasn't Oregon awesone?! Can't figure out what I loved more: the women, $1.00 happy hour pints, or complete knife freedom :)
     
  19. TheBleedingEdge

    TheBleedingEdge

    795
    Apr 14, 2010
    I think it was a little of both. But every knife there was definitely for sale. I very nearly picked up two or eight. :) Those AFCKs in the picture, for instance, were all first production 002/500.

    Unfortunately, we didn't get to see a prototype of the manual Bedlam, only a date for the announcement: November 24, just in time for SHOT show. Apparently the first batch is going to to be made for the King of Jordan to give to his personal guard (with his personal seal and everything).

    Based on what I know about Benchmade, I'm sure the manual version will have thumb studs, and a few other minor cosmetic differences to differentiate it from the auto.

    The prototype we held looked like a classic satin 580. The bolster really gave the design a nice three-colour contrast, and the G-10 was smooth yet grippy. And as you might imagine, it was even heavier than a regular Valox 580.

    I laughed my ass off when I saw this picture. This pretty much captures my internal reaction when I walked into the store and then the production facility.

    All over the production floor there were unsealed crates filled with orders of knives freshly assembled and ready to be shipped out - Nimarvuses and Griptillians in this case.
     
  20. vicious00machete

    vicious00machete

    31
    May 31, 2010
    Exactly what I've been waiting for
    If the price will be right , and I will get it for sure
     

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