What's up with the 804?

Jul 2, 2000
I just got a BM 800sbt for an everday carry. Now I read there is an 804 with an oval hole. Is it the same knife with subtle changes? The 800 is by far my favorite knife out there. I got one in 95' when I joined the Military, and lost it 2 years later. I then bought just about every production folder I could think of to find what I would call "My Favorite". I know the 800 was discontinued, but I just started a part time job at a local knife shop and they had one last 800 in stock and hence I was re-united with an old pal. So what is with the new model?

S.P. Motto:

Don't confuse your rank
with my authority
Spyderco's patent on the hole has expired from what I heard, so apparently royalty minimization isn't the reason.

Benchmade apparently finds the oval hole to fit more people's thumbs. It might. I'll try one when they are out.

Otherwise, it would appear that all else is the same.

The 800 and 812 are "retired" models.

Can read it from the horse:

[This message has been edited by rdangerer (edited 02-16-2001).]
Actually, to expand upon what rdangerer said, if I understand correctly, Spyderco's patent on the idea of a hole-based knife opener has expired recently, but the "Spyderco round hole" is also registered as a trademark, so other knife companies are suddenly finding reasons to make non-round holes. I presume this is part of the reason behind what Benchmade's done, though people who have tried the oval hole report that it works quite well.

But the idea of other hole shapes fitting one's thumb better seems like a bit of fuzzy thinking IMHO, given that the hole needs to fit one's thumb through a 180-degree rotation (presuming one doesn't give the hole a fierce starting push and then let go, or perform a "Spyderco drop"), and no other shape besides a circle could present a consistent "image" to your thumb from every angle as the blade goes 'round.

Carl /\/\/\ AKTI #A000921 /\/\/\ San Diego, California

Think this through with me ... Let me know your mind
Wo-oah, what I want to know ... is are you kind?
-- Hunter/Garcia, "Uncle John's Band"
I will have to buy one as soon as my shop gets one in. I don't really need another AFCK, but the new style hole will definately give me a reason to get one. I was hoping that BM would switch the steel to 154cm. Maby they did. Who knows. Does anyone have any idea what the blade steel is?
154CM does appear to be the choice.

This is a subtle, not major, change from ATS-34... not like it's much of an upgrade.

When I hear guys like Jerry Hossum say they detect a noticeable difference in clean-ness (lack of impurities) and a finer grain structure, these are good things.

But when the underlying composition is essentially the same, there are nothing but subtleties to attempt to appreciate amongst the vagaries of high volume commercial heat treating.

[This message has been edited by rdangerer (edited 02-17-2001).]
I don't get it...

Why is it that Benchmade is releasing a "modified" AFCK without an Axis lock? Everybody's been asking for one for so long, and all they do is change the blade-hole shape and the steel? Unless there are some legal problems involved (which I doubt since the oval shape is not patented/trademarked as far as I know, AND the Axis lock is theirs) this does not make economical sense. I'm sure that they would sell many more units if they changed to an Axis lock.

These changes make the knife worse. The steel is 154CM, which isn't a big deal since it has almost the exact same properties as ATS-34. The oval shape is inefficient since it doesn't follow the thumb's natural round trajectory when opening. Aesthetically speaking, the oval looks uglier as it occupies even more space on the blade.

Anybody has any answers as to this blatant oversight?

For those who wear gloves on cold Winter days, the oval thumb-opener loses points over the Spyderco round hole. Though I have resisted buying a Spyderco Military, the enlarged round hole for gloved-hand opening keeps beckoning me to buy one.