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Sixteen months with the Mini-Axis...


Gold Member
Apr 6, 1999
The Benchmade Mini-Axis has been my everyday carry folder and primary LPU (life preservation unit) for well over a year now since it's pre-production birth to the knife market in May 1999. The little folder has been to at least five foreign countries, has been snorkeling, hiking, fishing, camping, and mountain biking. I've even got a little clip on the back of my Fender American Stratocaster where the little knife resides when cranking out Clapton-stolen riffs.

It's been said that the little folder is overbuilt. Sure it is. In all the right ways

It does everything I ask it to do, and is probably the absolute most rugged production folder of its size on the market today. Wear and tear have not made the locking bar advance noticeably further up the tang ramp, and lockup is still tight and solid.

I've got small hands, and the Mini-Axis feels just right in the reverse grip with the thumb capped over the butt, edge-in ala JAK. His Hornet's not much bigger for that matter.

Some say the handle's too small to be utilitarian. I say, you've got freakishly-big meathands

The little knife remains my number one carry knife (production or custom, fixed or folding), and only looks better with wear on the G10 and the clip. Haven't had any edge chipping to speak of, and the combo edge continues to take a keen sharpness on Spydie stones.

Couldn't help but throw out the yearly ode to the BM705.

Anybody else carry and use the Mini-Axis on a daily basis?


My favorite small production knife (although someone once complained about me using a 'huge knife' to cut off one of those wristbands they use for amusement parks and the like). I don't know what the complaint about the handle size is, though. Sure, the handle is small; the blade is 3" long. If the handle was much bigger, it would be disproportionate to the blade. I have no problem using it, even though I have reasonably large hands, and it sees more utility use than any other knife I own.

Here's to knives that are built like a tank!


Couldn't agree with you guys more. Granted, I don't have the 705 but I do have the 710 which is my size exactly. The 705 was just too small for me, but different folks, different strokes. I've had it for about 6 months now and it actually doesn't show much in the way of wear and tear. No edge-chipping and I just redid the edge at a better angle with my Lansky, so now it cuts like a demon.
I love the 710, and it will definitely be my steady carry for a long time, together with my Lagriffe.

Joshua "Kage" Calvert

"Move like Water, strike like Thunder..."
I got a 705 a about 4 months ago based on input from you (Professor) among others. I wasn't completely sure at first if I liked it. It was much heavier than the small Ascent that I had been carrying most of the time. It was also tip up and didn't have a Spydie hole. I was pretty gentle with it the first couple of weeks I carried it, figuring that if I decided I didn't like it, I could at least get moderately close to what I paid for it out of selling it.

Ultimately, I decided I do like it and sharpened it up to a decent edge. I still rotate some other knives into my pockets occasionally, but the 705 has been my normal, everyday carry ever since.

Paul Neubauer
If the odds are a million to one against something occurring, chances are 50-50 it will.
I'm very fond of this little knife. Of course, I love the axis lock but I also like the look and feel of the 705. I used to carry it daily but now it gets cycled around with several other knives I carry: the Wegner Jr., small Sebenza, and yes, believe it or not, a small Opinel. If I have a vest or coat on, the 705 is almost always in a pocket.

You hung your hat on a great little knife, Professor. Opening and closing, it's still the smoothest knife I own. And as squirrel and rabbit season will be opening next month here in Michigan, the 705 with its sharp little point, will see some field action.


And so, to all outdoor folks, the knife is the most important item of equipment.

Ellsworth Jaeger - Wildwood Wisdom
I like the 705 because its a pocketable Axis folder. It has full spacer so coins are not going to dull the blade. Many knives today lack this.

The ergonomics of this knife are good too. Its handle comfortable to cut with. The thickness of the handle contributes to this comfort. Still, I would like this knife more if it were slimmer. It is the same thickness as the 710 but its so much smaller.

Currently I have three knives in the 3" blade length that I rotate in carrying. A Calypso Jr, Rookie and the 705. I like them in that order.

In the 4" the 710 is hands down my favorite.

The fact that I have kept the 705 says a lot for it.

Roger Blake
I'd been looking for a sturdy sub 3" class knife for some time. Already having the BM710 I decided to give the 705 a try but was put off by it's thickness when I first handled it. I went through two FRN handled, VG10 blades, both of which were unstable at the pivot. Then went ahead and bought the 705 and was disappointed with its vertical blade play. I sent it back to the factory and they replaced it. Since then, I've come to favor it for daily carry. Professor, your love for this knife is well known on the forums and completely justified, I now know.
The only BM that I own that was sharp and had no blade play out of the box.
I've had mine for about 8 months and abused it every one of those months. Tough little bastard.
Thanks for the long-term report. I'm not thinking about a 705 for myself, but this is exactly the kind of information those who do will find useful.
Originally posted by ptn:
Already having the BM710 I decided to give the 705 a try but was put off by it's thickness when I first handled it.

Pretty neat little knife for a 3" or less user that can take some use.

The thickness was my only real criticism also. Benchmade scaled it down in all other ways, but the thickness makes it pretty chunky. Maybe they could have used thinner liners...??

I think I like my BM AFCK 812 just a bit better overall. The lock remains smooth while the Axis can get a bit gritty sounding/feeling.

I remember reading that a minimum thickness in the liners was required for (axis) lock integrity.

I removed the clip from mine which makes it a bit slimmer. I prefer "in the pocket" carry for a knife that size anyway. I am constantly checking the lock/pivot area for dust & pocket fluff, though.

I really do favor the knife now. Funny how first impressions don't necessarily last.
The Benchmade 940 uses thinner liners than the 705-710-720-730 series of Axis Locks do, and the knife is noticeably thinner. Not every short pocket knife has to be thin. Some people like to have more handle to get more of a grip. But I'd expect to see a thinner Axis Lock with a blade under 3" at the Benchmade booth at some future SHOT or Blade Show.

AKTI Member # SA00001
Professor, nice to hear that this is a knife that stays with you, rather than being a "fad" or a regretted purchase. Mr. Mattis, I believe that the bulk of Axis lock folders is due to the fact that there is one "axis lock module" that Benchmade simply drops into the handle. I.e., there is not a redesign for each knife with the Axis lock. Of course it could probably, and will probably, be done, sooner or later.
I've had my 720 for 9 months now and am continually pleased. My liner locks are gathering dust rather than pocket lint now. I love the simplicity of the Axis lock and there is less blade play than any folder I've ever owned. The only thing I would change is to lessen the drop of the point and thin out the blade via the primary grind, resulting in a better slicer. Who wants to pry anything with a folder anyhow?
I'm glad you guys like you 705's. But I really hate mine. I do regret wasting 90 bucks on it. The handle is simply too too small, definitey NOT the knife the hold in the reverse grip. It's also too thick and there isn't enough distance between the thumb stud and the blade edge. Mine went back in the box and it will be collecting dust. Maybe in 20 years it will be worth something.
I like the shape of the new 940 and was wondering if it was a thinner way of splitting the difference between the 705 and 710. Any thoughts?