Our testing is already a success!

Oct 2, 1998
Last week I tested several knives against eachother. Just the kind of testing you guys wanted to see. No bias, no BS and I posted ALL the results and not just the ones that passed favorably. This is not normal in the industry as many will test knives but never say who they are testing or if any failed. They only tell about the ones that passed and that is all you ever see.

Well to my surprise the very knife I expected to pass with flying colors failed a simple lock test. Wondering if I had stumbled accross a defective knife I tested 9 more, and they all failed.

Wheels were set in motion and Benchmade heard the test results. Not being a company to hide behind mirrored glass walls and knowing that we where all watching to see what would happen, they responded. Not the usual response that most comanies give like "We will look into it and get back with you" response but an honest open letter response from Les De Asis. Here is the response.

We are aware of this situation. Our engineering staff is looking into these claims.

The Acent series is a hybid of laser cut metal parts and an injection molded handle. We are examining several aspects that may contribute to variation.

I appreciate your concern for our "serious QC problems" and want to assure you that we are committed to making products that inspire the highest user confidence through our diligence and manufacturing competence.

However, the test brings some different physical factors into play and we must be sure that we understand what is happening before we go off on an unproductive tangent.

The Axis Lock and the Pinnacle were developed to help avoid this type of concern. However, there is not a knife I've met that I couldn't destroy with careful focus and intent (or with just a hammer).

It is our intent to make very dependable knives and I don't want to make light of the fact that these knives were designed with one cutting edge (the false edge is not designed to be sharpened) and exhibit excellent characteristics when used as designed. I have even chipped a block of ice with mine with no failure.

This could be as simple as a result of our decision to use a lighter weight spring to make opening easier. I am almost positive that if we used a beefier spring, the knife would be more difficult to unlock due to the enhanced pressure forcing the lock bar into the blade notch.

We'll see....

Thanks for your comments.

Les de Asis
Benchmade Knife Co., Inc.

Well it appears as though they duplicated our test and got the same results on the 840. Some good will come of this and Benchmade will make a better lock in the future. Again to be fair the test is not normally duplicated in the real world as most force on a knife is in excactly the opposite direction of the Barr test.

However in Les's statement he says he has chopped ice with a similar knife as used in our test and this would duplicate the problem if, while picking, any pressure is put on the back spring in the opposite direction.

The great thing is that our testing will actually produce a better knife and brought a potential problem to light.

Here is a link to the thread on Benchmade's forum.

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!

[This message has been edited by Mike Turber (edited 19 February 1999).]

Where's the post with the results, can't find it.

This is a good idea. Keep it up.

I'm impressed with BM's response.

MT does not want to respond to a reported design flaw with the mini socom auto.

Ron Knight

Yeah I'm crazy, but what do you want me to do about it
Wow...results...I like it.

Mike, this is more proof that this site and its members are now a major motivational force in the knife industry. I wish it was this easy to make a difference in the realm of politics
. We must remember that with this influence, there is responsibility.

I try to remember that, as an enthusiast(okay, knife abuser, I am what Chevy would call a "1%er"), my opinions and experiences are quite different than that of the average user. Not everyone shares my opinions or ideas, as evidenced by the continued proliferaton of Gil Hibben's knives and the Pakastani knife industry. I admit I do get a little giddy when I see that a manufacturer is at least reading my comments, and considering my opinions.

I appreciate the forum that you have given us Mike, and even if I am a poor, impoverished, unemployed student on a borrowed Macintosh, it is nice to know that I am being heard.



"No, it's a Vaquero Grande in my pocket, but I am happy to see you!"
MegaFolderians Unite!!
Dremel Junkies Unite!
Dyslexics Untie!

The knife commuity in general would be incomplete and even underinformed without the "1%ers".

What I think is most interesting about all this is how the internet has come to play a most needed pivotal link between manufacturers and customers. My theory is that in the next few years, consumer products producers that don't pay pretty close attention to both the value and speed of internet product reviews are going to be left quite quickly in the dust.

I think it's hilarious that a non-member here would just happen to catch that particular test report on one of the 3 times that he's ever even viewed this site and see fit to ask q's about it on another site on one of only about 4 times he's visited that site resulting in a potential product change. Quirky, but that's how the net is.

What I'm most curious about is why you apparently didn't contact Benchmade yourself with your findings? I sure would have. Oh wait, I did. ;-)

And my wife wonders why I love this place so much

Some Kind Of Wonderfull