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Presidio II vs. Vallation

Discussion in 'Benchmade Knife Company' started by dr0, Nov 4, 2019.

Presidio II vs Vallation ?

  1. Presidio II

    14 vote(s)
  2. Vallation

    2 vote(s)
  3. neither: something else in this category I'll describe below

    0 vote(s)
  1. dr0


    Apr 3, 2007
    I'm looking at getting one of the larger Benchmade tactical folders mentioned above. I'll have to mail order them, no where around my location carries these.

    If you own either or both, or considered them and got something else, what went into your decision.

    Here's the specs off their web-site:

    Designer: Benchmade
    Mechanism: AXIS® Assist
    Action: Assisted-opening
    Blade Steel: CPM-S30V (58-60HRC)
    Blade Length: 3.70" (9.40cm)
    Blade Thickness: 0.124" (3.15mm)
    Open Length: 8.76" (22.25cm)
    Closed Length: 5.09" (12.93cm)
    Handle Thickness: 0.70" (17.70mm)
    Weight: 6.38oz. (180.87g)


    ... and then we have:

    Presidio II:

    Designer: Benchmade
    Mechanism: AXIS®
    Blade Steel: CPM-S30V (58-60 HRC)
    Blade Length: 3.72" (9.45cm)
    Blade Thickness: 0.124" (3.149mm)
    Open Length: 8.72" (22.15cm)
    Closed Length: 5.00" (12.70cm)
    Handle Thickness: 0.63" (16.00mm)
    Weight: 6.10oz. (173.20g)


    The biggest difference I see is the assist feature, which I don't know if I will like or not. I've got a very small (2" overall) Kershaw someone gave me and it's "jumpy", it feels like it might fly out of my hand if I'm not paying close attention, but in general I don't like 2" knives (other than maybe a keychain SAK), so I don't want to over-value my limited experience.

    Looks wise I like them both, I prefer the blade on the Presidio just a bit, and the handle on the Vallation.
  2. Centermass


    Feb 25, 2016
    I owned a Presidio II awhile back, and I thought it was a great knife. It’s a no frills, rugged, capable of just about anything you could ask of a folder type knife. I’ll probably get another at some point if the price is right. It is relatively heavy, which for some is a dealbreaker for EDC, but I’m a big guy and don’t mind it. Personally, though, I much prefer the original Pardue Presidio 520 profile, slightly smaller and fits my hand better. Which is why I still have and carry the auto version to work with me everyday.

    I have no experience with Vallation, but I do like the looks of it, and wouldn’t mind giving one a whirl. As far as the assist aspect, I’ve always been inclined to go either all the way auto, or strictly manual. I really fail to see the benefit assisted opening provides, given the need to have to force it shut. Every Benchmade manual I’ve ever had can open just as fast, if not faster, than an assisted knife with some practice, and will fall shut. But that alone is not a dealbreaker for me, if it works well. Specs day it’s even heavier than the Presidio II, which may or may not be a consideration.
    sliceofaloha likes this.
  3. dr0


    Apr 3, 2007
    Thanks to everyone who responded to my poll. I was surprised by the overwhelming preference for the Presidio II. At first I thought it might simply be due to the fact that it's been around for a while longer, so more people have had a chance to own one, or at least check one out.

    But then I did some more internet research and learned that one reason it's more popular is that the standard Axis-Lock is really loved by a lot of people, and many of them feel the assisted verison is a step backwards.

    As Centermass, you have explained above: Because the Axis lock allows one hand opening AND closing, and the assist feature (with the little spring in there) makes one hand closing impossible.

    I even found a YouTube video of someone removing the spring that makes it an "Axis Lock assisted" opening knife from another Benchmade model.

    A couple things about the Vallation are that it has a carbide glass breaker on one end, and it has a locking mechanism in the spine, that can lock it both opened and closed. I have a DPX HEST knife with a carbide window breaker. Once-upon-a-time I rolled a VW GTI into a very deep ditch far up in the Santa Cruz mountains. I could smell gas, as I hung from my seatbelt. I managed to wiggle out but could not get the door to open. A lady stopped and I yelled at her "pick up a rock. break the window" "PICK UP A ROCK! - BREAK THE WINDOW". She kept saying "Oh my God, oh my God" over and over. She was absolutely useless, paralyzed with fear. It was pathetic, but there it is.

    Soon another guy stopped, took one look at the situation and gave a mighty yank on the door, freeing me!

    So I do have an appreciation for a carbide glass breaker.

    The DPX HEST also has a lock, that round one that Lion Knives have. I find it to be more of a hassle than it's worth. It often goes on just enough that the knife won't open cleanly, and you have to fuck with it, and the same on closing. I don't feel it's adding much safety, I never turn it on intentionally. I don't know if the Spine Lock on the Vallation would have the same issue, but for sure without such a device their is nothing to go wrong.
  4. Centermass


    Feb 25, 2016
    I agree with your thinking on the additional locks. While all Benchmade autos and Axis-assists have them, Ive had plenty over time and personally never use them. This is obviously contrary to many others’ beliefs that you should always use the lock on an auto, and there’s a whole other poll thread on that in the “Automatic Knives” subforum, so I won’t beat that horse into finer powder here. To me, it defeats the whole purpose of speeding up the deployment by having an auto or assisted knife if you have to add an extra step you might just forget to unlock the dang thing to deploy it when you want it. Is there potential for accidental deployment in your pocket? Sure, but that’s up to you and your comfort level with whatever knife you’re carrying to deal with and decide. I’ve been bitten by manual knives with weak detents before, too. Carrying any knife is inherently risky to some extent. But that’s my .02

    I think the Lionsteel/DPX Rotoblock and others like them are a solution looking for a problem, and potentially more hassle than they’re worth, as you mentioned. Extra doo dads and gizmos look neat and are great marketing, but they’re just another moving part to potentially fail, either by design or by user error. In my opinion, if you want a folding knife to do fixed blade stuff, you should just be using a fixed blade.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019 at 7:18 PM
  5. Benchmade

    Benchmade BMK Jimmy - Design Engineer Moderator

    Jan 25, 2013
    This is why I prefer axis automatics vs push button automatics. Push button is a lot more likely to open in your pocket than an axis auto with the safety disengaged.
    Centermass likes this.
  6. Centermass


    Feb 25, 2016
    And I’m confident enough in my Presidio 5000 because it’s an Axis Auto to carry it that way on duty every day.

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