Should Benchmade Move to Ball Bearings?

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Jan 23, 2016
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I've noticed that, more than any other knife brand, Benchmade knives seem to be coveted for their smoothness and flickability. I've owned a few benchmade knives and have never been able to get a free falling blade without at least a bit of horizontal blade play. I also own a ZT 562 (on bearings) and have noticed that the blade pivot, even when tightened excessively, is as smooth as silk and allows the blade to move freely with absolutely no blade play. The only thing preventing the blade from free-falling is the lockbar. One would think that Benchmade would have made the switch to bearings considering that an axis lock can allow a blade to fall freely when the lock is depressed.

Long story short, should Benchmade make the move to ball bearing pivots? Are bearings an undeniable upgrade or simply an equal alternative?
 
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Jan 17, 2012
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Bearings are easier to gum up, more expensive than bronze phosphor bushings, and more labor intensive to install, assemble, disassemble, etc.
I think BM is doing fine, plus they usually put one of them newfangled thumb studs to help if your blade doesnt fall on its own :D.

Connor
 
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Bearings have nothing to do with cutting anything it is just bells and whistles.
 
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Jan 20, 2016
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No need to change. Benchmade designs are rarely different from previous ones. Just add a slightly different blade shape with the latest marketed supersteel, axis lock, and a solid colored handle and you have a benchmade. Their designs work extremely well though, so no need to change anything from a monetary standpoint.

I don't think bearings have too much benefit over washers either, since I owned both types and both were gravity falling smooth. I am partial towards bearings though because they are easily replaceable and cleanable. Can't comment on washers because I never owned one long enough to wear it down.
 

sharp_edge

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It would be interesting to try out bearings on some selected benchmade, esp if it can help reduce/eliminated blade play and off centering.
 
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I can't picture bearings costing that much more than washers nor would it be any harder to assemble if they use caged bearings. Just seems like something that should be more widley available. A 710 on bearings would be mouth watering.
 
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Nope. It would just increase the price for an unnecessary feature.
 

sharp_edge

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there will be an extra machining step to create that recess on the liner to host the bearing, which translates to extra cost. Other than that, I agree assembly/dissembling does not seem to be more complicated than washers.
 
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Please no. Benchmades are my smoothest, most reliable knives. Please don't add extra moving parts.
 

stonproject

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I've noticed that, more than any other knife brand, Benchmade knives seem to be coveted for their smoothness and flickability. I've owned a few benchmade knives and have never been able to get a free falling blade without at least a bit of horizontal blade play. I also own a ZT 562 (on bearings) and have noticed that the blade pivot, even when tightened excessively, is as smooth as silk and allows the blade to move freely with absolutely no blade play. The only thing preventing the blade from free-falling is the lockbar. One would think that Benchmade would have made the switch to bearings considering that an axis lock can allow a blade to fall freely when the lock is depressed.

Long story short, should Benchmade make the move to ball bearing pivots? Are bearings an undeniable upgrade or simply an equal alternative?



I've owned probably half of benchmades catalog over the years and I've never had an issue with smoothness. Bearings would just cost more. I've always seen the axis as a sort of gravity knife style lock, and gravity don't need no bearings! ;)
 
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Jan 23, 2016
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I've owned probably half of benchmades catalog over the years and I've never had an issue with smoothness. Bearings would just cost more. I've always seen the axis as a sort of gravity knife style lock, and gravity don't need no bearings! ;)
Better not let the police hear you say that. Seems to be if a knife can be gravity opened, then it's a gravity knife and thus illegal. I don't know much about it but I heard there were some cases dealing with it in the past that didn't turn out too well.

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/ho...nife-law-has-landed-thousands-in-jail-6662589
 
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Since I've got my ZT0452 and been playing it with constantly, I can't help but think - an axis lock with bearings would be really sweet. I'm not super fond of the axis, but I bet bearings would improve it quite a bit!
 

sharp_edge

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people who say washers can be as smooth as bearings are either denying, never tried bearings, or do not understand the basic physics. This does not mean I will always choose bearings over washers.
 
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The Benchmade 761 is on bearings and is very smooth -but the 757 is insanely smooth and is on washers. It's not my intention to argue, just to point out that there is magic on the 757 pivot. I think that magic is the smoothest. :D
 
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