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Automatic knives worth it?

Discussion in 'Benchmade Knife Company' started by bdjansen, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. bdjansen


    Jun 11, 2011
    I’ve moved somewhere where automatic knives are legal so I was thinking about getting one. Namely the Casbah or a CLA. I’m just wondering if the novelty will wear off and I’d be better off sticking to the non-automatic lineup. Thanks!
  2. t5brick


    Oct 4, 2018
    I carried a mini auto Presidio every day for 10+ years. I’ve got an auto Presidio II that I carried regularly for about a year. I wouldn’t say the novelty wore off, but I’ve started carrying different knives and I don’t use either as much anymore.
    wardcleaver likes this.
  3. Travis Cottrell

    Travis Cottrell KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 12, 2017
    for me personally it's not worth it. The premium paid is not worth what you get.
  4. Kiteman72

    Kiteman72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    I have a Casbah and I still like it just fine but I didn't carry it as much as I thought I would. I'm actually, thanks to this thread, gong to get it out today and play wit it a bit.

    I realize also that I am in the BM forum, but I must say that I recently bought a Spyderco Autonomy 2 and I like it waaaaay more than the Casbah. I dislike the clip setup on the Casbah, mine snagged on everything until I took it off.

    For EDC, I tend to stay away from autos. Manual folders work better for me.
  5. bikerector

    bikerector Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 16, 2016
    I think they're really neat but it sure seems like they are really expensive new. However, they don't sell for nearly as much so getting something used is pretty easy to do. I didn't like OTF's much but the button lock and axis-auto's are pretty sweet. One big plus, to me, of the axis-auto that the axis doesn't get is the axis-auto stays closed a lot better. I've had too many BM's open when I drop them on a hard floor which scares the crap out of me when the knife is bouncing around at my feet on a concrete. This was especially the case when I worked in a refrigerated manufacturing facility. I ended up moving to lockbacks but found autos shortly after as they became legal.

    This can be a plus or a minus, the autos I have, have larger handles so they fill the hand well making them nice for hard use. Not that manuals can't have that it's just that many don't. Also, I think the button lock is supposed to be one of the stronger locks available, if that's a concern.

    Lastly, not having thumbstuds, or similar, on the blade does give it a cleaner look and you don't have to worry about the studs hitting the sharpening stone at thin angles. However, the thicker handles can be the next in line to get tapped on the stone every now and then if going a little quick and getting careless.

    I really like the auto's and I think the CLA would make a nice model. I have an AFO that I likea a fair bit but since I got it used it had a combo edge which I'm less a fan of. I will either get another with a plane edge or go for a hogue, just because I like trying different knives. The mini auto-presidio is very nice, it's like a mini-grip on steroids.
  6. TiHawk60

    TiHawk60 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    The CLA is definitely on my short list of next knives, but I would not put the feature of it being automatic as a primary reason for purchasing (on that or any other knife).

    I only have an Infidel as autos go, and yeah, that's a double action OTF, but I do also have 2 barrages and although the assist is very snappy and solid action, I prefer a manual axis.

    The assist, or automatic, just doesn't really do anything necessary and in fact, makes closing more complex. Yes, you can do it one handed, but I can open a manual just as fast as an auto / assisted AND I can close it just as fast one handed.

    Yes, they are cool and if you have a range of knives, one would absolutely fit in a collection, but, in my opinion, it would not be THE reason I picked a particular knife.
    colin.p likes this.
  7. Michael Sankewitsch

    Michael Sankewitsch Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 4, 2018
    I was handling a Rift (or two) the other day (thanks to a GREAT LKS!), and I will say both models fill the hand well, the auto blade has a lower profile because of the auto assembly I assume, and operates with the same authority as my Barrage, and closes about the same. I like both models, but I think I like the "cool factor" of the auto more than I ought to for choosing sake. So I walked out with neither - thought for another day...

    My main attraction to the Rift to begin with is the overall blade profile, the reverse tanto tip fits my "utilitarian" fancy.
  8. PirateSeulb


    Jun 6, 2017
    To me autos have 2 purposes #1 fun/novelty of auto opening, and auto closing for dual action, then #2 double edged blades as they are the only non-fixed knife you can carry with a double edged blade to I can currently think of.
  9. colin.p


    Feb 4, 2017
    Auto's are illegal up here so my opinion is rather moot. However, I do own a Barrage that I really didn't like, nor saw any use for an AO. So I de-assisted it, negating the selling feature of it. Since switchblade type knives are just slightly different assisted opening knives, they absolutely hold no interest to me.

    Now however, an OTF would be cool. Not necessarily to use, but as a fidget toy? I could get used to that.
  10. Cypress

    Cypress Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    The novelty wears off after you realize that side-opening autos are a relative pain to close. They open at about the same speed as a decent manual knife, yet close significantly slower. I've accidentally stabbed myself in the leg trying to close a side-opening auto one-handed. My other hand was full, so I tried to put the spine of the knife on my leg to give it the pressure it needed and misjudged the angle I was holding it at. I've never understood autos being targeted at the tactical crowd. They aren't all that practical in situations where the knife gets dirty or needs to be manipulated with one hand. It's possible that the designs all come from "the old days" when two hands were required to open and close a lockback knife, so the push-button auto was a positive step in the "one hand operation" direction.

    As for side-opening autos, I currently own a Benchmade AFO II that I'll be buried with. It needs to go to the factory for a reblade and new internals, but it's always the knife I grab when I know there's going to be blood involved. I carry a 3550 on my motorcycle and when skiing because it's small and locks shut.

    I fondled the CLA, Casbah and the AFO II back-to-back, and the AFO II felt way more substantial than the others. The CLA was ok but I hate the placement of the safety. The Casbah felt cheap and awkward, and the blade could be stalled during opening if I held the handle even slightly harder than normal. I owned a 9750 Mini-Coalition that suffered from the same issue so I ditched it.

    OTF's have the advantage of closing quickly one-handed, but can be temperamental when opening/closing if they aren't clean and in good working order. The knife least likely to open in your pocket is a double-action OTF, as you must manually tension the firing spring for the knife to deploy. I've owned a lot of OTF and side-opening auto knives and sold all of my OTF's. I got tired of being told "those are illegal" by people that have no clue what the laws are (completely legal here in Oregon). I also got tired of disassembling my OTF's for cleaning after they start "slowing down". If anyone has ever disassembled their Infidel and dicked around with those tiny leaf springs, they know how tedious it is. Benchmade's OTF's suffer from lackluster blade steels, skinny little blades in large handles, and "meh" power when firing. Microtech is always about 4 steps ahead of Benchmade in the OTF arena (minus the proprietary screw heads, those bastards).
  11. Centermass


    Feb 25, 2016
    I guess “worth it” is a really hard estimation for anyone to make, other than you, and your needs.

    I have many of manuals and several autos, both side-opening and OTF. That said, I am in the “social work” field, and carry a firearm strong side. No one will argue that most modern, quality manuals are as fast, sometimes faster, than a good side opener in one’s dominant hand. When I’m not at work and not carrying a firearm, I usually carry my knife in my right pocket because that’s where I need it as a righty. Like most folks, I am much more dexterous with my right hand than my left, and having a manual instead of an auto for casual use is a non-issue. But at work, I carry my knife on my left side as an option for having to defend my gun side if I have to retain my firearm with my right hand. For that purpose, I like my Axis autos, particularly because they are easier to manipulate in that kind of pinch, and are ambidextrous. I don’t have to worry about a right-hand only button. Because when fine motor skills go out the window, I sure as hell want to make sure my knife opens without having to worry about a weak manual deployment with my non-dominant hand, or having to remember to flip it the rest of the way under stress if I have one. I’m not concerned about whether I can close it one handed in that kind of circumstance, as deployment is far more important than stowage. I can do that later when the blood pressure returns to normal.

    So, for me, they’re completely “worth it”, because my life might depend on it someday.
  12. 21bangbang

    21bangbang Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 19, 2019
    I think they're definitely worth it if you like them. Necessary? No, but great fun. I've been carrying a BM 6800 APB. It's such a great knife. Opens with such authority it will fly out of your hand if you don't have a firm grasp. So easy to open even with heavy mittens on, just squeeze and you're in buisness. I find that handy living in a colder climate. Now the downside is more parts to break. I personally haven't had one break, but it's definitely a concern. If you like the idea of a auto, I say go for it, they're great.
  13. Wolverine666

    Wolverine666 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2009
    I , too, think that autos are definitely worth it. It’s nice to have a mixed bag in my collection of autos and manuals.

    I absolutely love the Rukus2 auto. The handle is a work of art and feels very solid in hand. The opening action is lightning quick with secure lockup.

    I had a couple Rukus2’s but (like a fool) sold them last year. However , I just ordered a couple brand new Rukus2’s yesterday because I’ve been missing what a great knife it is. Can’t wait to get them!
  14. Michael Sankewitsch

    Michael Sankewitsch Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 4, 2018
    Great! Yet another perfectly good reason for an auto. Centermass, thank you for that thought, it is one often overlooked, and so "duh!" applicable.

    Keep yer powder dry!
    Centermass and mdrgn79 like this.
  15. simple6


    Oct 6, 2002
    It wears off. They are overpriced, if youre paying a premium might as well get premium steel.

    Buy a cheap auto to try out, save yourself some money.
    Cypress likes this.
  16. BlueBulls


    Jan 29, 2019
    I carried a BM Auto Stryker for years, it needs to go back to the factory for a rework. This was my first auto and still my favorite. Also have the original BM AFO but don’t carry it much due to the handle thickness, a solid knife nonetheless. Have other side opening and OTF autos as well. Sides are easiest and efficient while my two OTFs need to be manually closed and the lockup would concern me if I actually used them. AOs are can be a good alternative to autos though and may be cheaper to purchase and easier to serviced due to mfg guidelines or current laws.
  17. stevejams

    stevejams Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 27, 2018
    The only bm auto I have is an adamas which has the axis auto. I also have an adams with a manual axis. In this example, while the auto adamas flies open like the gust of a thousand winds, I still personally prefer the manual because I can still flip it open just as hard as the automatic option, as well as flip it closed. Perhaps I would feel differently with a push button because that is it’s own novelty/preference. Otfs are a lot of fun as well but then you’re really getting up there in price for that kind of mechanism (so I am led to believe). Because I don’t have many automatics I suppose I don’t have a horse in this race but I live in a place where automatics (and most fun stuff) are forbidden, so I personally would be buying out the store’s automatics :D.
  18. Dogdrawz

    Dogdrawz Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 15, 2016
    I think I'd go with an OTF than another auto. BTW, I'm on my 3rd & final manual Rift. They are the shizzel. :cool:
  19. t5brick


    Oct 4, 2018
    I’ve been carrying my auto mini Presidio and my auto Presidio II more since reading through this thread, so thanks everyone!

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