Pinnacle from Benchmade

You all may have discussed it a lot, but I've missed it. Just in and really an amazing item is the Pinnacle from Benchmade. This is the titanium handle inyegral lock a la Sebenza. It is about the size of the large sebenzaand ther construction is similar altho not as close as the Columbia river Frame Lock is. The feel in the hand is , IMHO, better than Reeve's gem and I like the blade geometry better too. The Benchmade blae stock is thinner and the knife is overall noticably thinner. They did a great job on this one. They whip open and release with an easy thumb action. Configured for tip-down carry (unlike sebenza).
I suppose they used the thin blade stock to lower the overall thickness of the knife since there is likely a minimum thickness for the titanium scale that flexes to lock it - this side is thicker on both knives.

I can't say any more about it except they are exquisitely made. None are very sharp out of the box, however.

Here's a scan</P>

<IMG SRC="" WIDTH="486" HEIGHT="86"></P>
Jan 11, 1999
They DO come out fast. However, I handled three different specimens at a store and the lockup varyied quite a bit. Nice blade, comfy grip, good all around size. Like all BM the qualitiy varies from knife to knife. If the lockup is not right, I don't know how it can be adjusted on this piece. I HAVE had good experiences with BM warranty service. In fact I see it as standard prctice with BM. Buy the knife and then send it to (marge?) and let her make it right, and she will. Bm's are usually not sharp out of the box, safety issue I suppose. It IS a nice knife.

Ron Knight

Yeah I'm crazy, but what do you want me to do about it

[This message has been edited by RKnight (edited 27 January 1999).]

[This message has been edited by RKnight (edited 27 January 1999).]
You have got to be kidding(to be polite) There is absolutely no comparison to a SEBENZA. They are not even in the same ballpark..The SEBENZA is so far superior its not even funny...
i think the comparison of the BM pinnacle to the sebenza is a very valid one. i happen to like the ergonomics of the pinnacle much better than those of the sebenza. for the price, i think it is a better deal than a sebenza. now, if chris reeve made a sebenza with the ergonomics of the pinnacle - i would take a bunch of them! as far as comparing the two - i think that the pinnacle and sebenza are very near the "same ballpark". imo, the sebenza is a better knife. however, it costs twice as much, and i do not think that it is twice as good as the pinnacle.

ProEdge --

Can you expound on your opinion? I haven't handled a Pinnacle yet, but I too am curious on how it compares to a Sebenza (and the CRKT integral for that matter). I have a Sebenza on order, so it's of particular interest.

If you can give details on your comparison, I'd appreciate it.

One of the main things that sets the two apart is Benchmades warrenty policy of not allowing you to take the knife apart. And the second Benchmades quality control. The standard policy by Ron of sending a knife back right away would be one time thing for me.

Handle ergonomics are a funny thing, while the above looks to be better than the Sebenza it could easily turn out to be worse. Its highly user dependent.

As for the blades, I would actually prefer a thinner stock. Its not like I would plan on doing any prying with it so unless its really flimsy you just get better cutting ability.

I second Joe's request I would also like to see a workup of the two knives. The only comments I have seen so far in support of Reeve is that the Pinnacle's opening action is not as smooth and that the lockup is not as tight, and that these vary from model to model.

The Pinnacle opens VERY fast and VERY smoothly at least in the ones I've handled(three). Perhaps less tension against the tang from the locking bar which is also thinner. I thought the handle was very natural and comfortable and secure with the notched steel spacers. Might have a problem placing the butt against the palm for thrust. Nothing radical about the blade, a drop point false top edge and recurve edge, a good all around traditional design. Good balance, good all around size.

Ron Knight

Yeah I'm crazy, but what do you want me to do about it

[This message has been edited by RKnight (edited 28 January 1999).]
The BM Pinnacle I had was a disappointment.
The opening of the blade was sticky and jerky where as the Sebenza gives the true meaning 'smooth as silk'. Once in battery the BM had blade play, not much mind you,but it still wobbled.The Sebenza is rock solid..
Now the lock up is what really did it.. The handle portion of the lock did not even cover one Quarter of the blade on the BM, a liner lock has more blade contact. The Sebenza Integral Lock, closes completely over the entire blade,giving a firm secure lock up like a solid piece of steel. The takedown key on the CRK removes 3 screws to totally disassemble the Senbenza, clean, lube and re-assemble in pure, simplicity.
The BG 42 Stainless Steel is excellent for edge retention and of course razor sharp from CRK. You really must have both these knives to appreciate the quality,strentgh,and superior craftmanship of the Sebenza..
Today I received my Pinnacle and I have to say that it one of thegreatest knives I have ever handled. Great ergonomics; absolutely no blade-play, strong lockup (I have hit my workbench with the back of the blade (wearing keflar gloves) several times with all of my strength.), smoooth and fast opening.
I have all of the integral locks (Sebenza, MPF, S-2, Allen Elishewitz M-1..) and must say that this is the most ergonomic knife of those. For me it would be the ideal knife if it had double thumb-studs (That is my only critism on the knife).
I recomend it to anybody!

Is the Pinnacle available in plain edge? The Benchmade site says all initial Pinnacles will be in combo-edge only, but I really prefer plain edges.

The picture above sure looks like a plain edge.

Obviously the Pinnacle I had was purely defective. I made my comparision based on that one BM Pinnacle which must have bi-passed quality control. The Sebenza is still my personnal Favorite..
By lucky coincidence, I just got a Pinnacle to handle. It's in my hot little hands right now. I don't have a Sebenza to compare it to, so I'll just wing it.

Ergonomics on the Pinnacle are very nice, better than I remember the Sebenza being. However, ergonomics are a funny thing, you *really* have to cut with both knives to be sure. Sometimes the knife that seems to have the better ergonomics becomes slippery or uncomfortable with use.

The lock-up is very sure and there is no wobble whatsoever. The lock engages about half the blade, but having banged it around pretty hard I'm feeling pretty sure that's more than enough for safety.

The blade opening action is very smooth, impressively so in fact. But not as smooth as a Sebenza. I like the Pinnacle thumbstud better than the Sebenza's small pointy one.

Cutting performance wise I don't know, but it's hard to believe the Pinnacle will quite be able to match the Sebenza. The thin blade combined with a recurved edge should provide very good performance for the Pinnacle, however.

Overall, the Pinnacle locks up tight, and fit & finish all around is excellent. The Pinnacle isn't quite the knife the Sebenza is, especially when you factor in BG-42 steel and that incredible Sebenza edge geometry, but then the Pinnacle is a lot less expensive. On cursory examination, I think it's well worth the money, and even worthy of direct comparison to the Sebenza. I believe ProEdge examined a non-representative Pinnacle (hopefully it's not me who has the non-representative sample, mine is perfect

When I get my Sebenza, I'm compare the two more directly, and try some cutting tests. That'll separate the contenders from the pretenders.

For a moment, though, forget comparing the Pinnacle to the Sebenza. The Pinnacle's integral lock stays locked until you unlock it. If you were contemplating buying a high-$$ linerlock, definitely at least handle a Pinnacle first.

Hi Brett - yes, the Pinnacles do come in plain. They should be available right now. Get in touch with, er...bug, your fave retailer about 'em

Dexter Ewing
Knife Reviews Moderator

"The keystroke is mightier than the sword"

Okay, because I love you guys so much, I did about 10 minutes of testing, just to see how the Pinnacle did.

In use, it continues to be extremely ergonomic. I like it even more now. The factory Pinnacle edge out-whittled the hand edge I put on my Endura98 -- a very good sign. When I put my edge on the Pinnacle, it'll do even better. It did nicely on rope slicing too, but because it's partially-serrated I'm not certain how much of that performance is due to the serrations alone. I do sense the recurved edge is adding a significant performance boost.

So I've learned:

- The Pinnacle did well in its first little test. Great little knife!

- I need to stop comparing knives to the Calypso Jr. in pure cutting tests that don't require edge strength. Nothing beats the Calypso Jr. as a gent's scalpel.


[This message has been edited by Joe Talmadge (edited 30 January 1999).]
I received my Pinnacle Sat. and I really love the look and feel of it. No problems at all.