Axis Lock fixes

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Matty10, May 22, 2020.

  1. Matty10

    Matty10

    5
    Apr 15, 2020
    I picked up a Benchmade Bugout (535) with the og blue scales and satin blade and was super excited to get my first Benchmade product. Things started out great but I’ve now hit some grittiness when opening and closing the blade. It wasn’t a perfect action when I first purchased the knife nor would I expect it to be but after spending a week with it and minimal use other than hours flipping open and closed to break in all I’ve got is a distinct gritty sound and an Axis lock that can be bound to stick. I’ve read flipping open to hard can cause this but I’ve also seen people really snap these things open and not having this sticking problem with the lock.


    Do I just need to keep working it in?
    I’m also seeing some discolouring on the axis lock from the black colour thats on it as it leaves a strip of silver. I have not pulled it apart yet on the advice to let the knife wear naturally and it really couldn’t have any crud it it anyways





    I want to open this thread up to see what tricks and solutions people have to help with these problems as well as maybe help me and other people who experience this.

    TIA for help and opinions
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  2. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    I know nothing about flipping knives open, and I'm not a Benchmade fan-
    But if you keep working pieces of metal against each other (especially with substandard lubrication,) metal particles will wear off the parts and cause grittiness.
    Flush it clean and lubricate it with a good oil.
     
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  3. Eversion

    Eversion Gold Member Gold Member

    137
    Apr 9, 2020
    Are you comfortable with disassembly/reassembly? I'd recommend disassembly and a thorough cleaning.

    I also polished the washers on my Bugout to improve the action. That's what mine took to get the fall shut action an Axis lock should have.

    My Bugout still sticks a little, but it's not too bad.
     
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  4. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Rinse it out with hot water and dish soap, dry, and lightly lube the pivot and inside the Axis lock slot. BreakFree CLP works for me. A tiny drop each side should do it.
     
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  5. Eversion

    Eversion Gold Member Gold Member

    137
    Apr 9, 2020
    Not to start a beef, but someone suggested lubricating the axis lock slot. I'd personally recommend against that, as lubricant on locking faces exacerbates lock stick.
    Only the washers need lubrication, in my opinion.
     
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  6. Matty10

    Matty10

    5
    Apr 15, 2020
    @Eversion @Alberta Ed @Bill DeShivs

    awesome feedback from you all!

    I’m comfortable with disassembly and Re-Assembly, I’m going to post some photos and maybe some other people can relate to this problem.

    I’m using Nano Oil 10w. The grit is mostly noticeable right before the closing and right after the opening of the knife.

    The flick of the knife when opening doesn’t seem to factor in when the lock decides to stick up.

    @Eversion how did you polish your washers and do you have any pointers?
     
  7. Eversion

    Eversion Gold Member Gold Member

    137
    Apr 9, 2020
    I actually used my strop with green compound! I do this with my PM2's as well. It's quite simple.

    Just rub the side that contacts the blade (doing this on the liner side isn't really going to help much of anything anyway, and increases your likelihood of making the washer a tad too thin) in a circular motion on your green loaded strop for about 15 seconds or so. Be careful to keep the washer flat. Then throughly clean all the compound off with something like isopropyl alcohol.

    If you did good, it should reflect light like crazy, like the top one here:
    20200424_235840~2_resize_54.jpg 20200424_235827~2_resize_18.jpg

    On Benchmade knives like the Bugout, there's often a side of the washer with a rougher finish and square corners, and a side with a smoother finish and more round corners. The round cornered, smoother finish side is the one that contacts the blade. I say this because my Bugout came with one that was backwards!

    The reason the Bugout often doesn't have as good of action as other axis lock knives is because the blade is so light and, perhaps more importantly, because of the peculiar choice to continue that ridgy, striation like finish from the blade through
    to the tang, where the washers make contact.

    Best of luck!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  8. fishface5

    fishface5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2001
    Just disassemble and clean the gunk out. Some crud is stuck somewhere, or maybe there's a slight burr on some part. To polish washers put a piece of paper with polishing compound, or very high grit sandpaper, on a hard flat level surface and gently circle each side of the washer (or just one side) on it.

    Oops posted at the same time as eversion
     
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  9. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    I would think (and I'm a pretty good thinker when it comes to knives) that polishing a blade washer is an exercise in futility.
    The first time you open the blade, that polish will be gone.
    Now-as I said above- I know nothing and care very little about knives that flip open, but I have been working on knives for 50 years and I do understand friction and bronze washers.
     
  10. Eversion

    Eversion Gold Member Gold Member

    137
    Apr 9, 2020
    You do have a point, yes. I've noticed after another disassembly that concentric scratches have occurred in the washers since. The majority of the surface is still polished, though, and the action is still better than it was otherwise.

    At worst, polishing negates the break in period for the washers. At best, perhaps it provides a better surface for the oil to slide over and provides a clean surface for the blade to carve its path.
     
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  11. Oloung1

    Oloung1

    2
    May 21, 2020
    I received my first benchmade during quarantine with a 535bk-2. Similar to you, axis lock was smooth until about week 2 and noticed grittiness on the lock right before closing. This is my first knife outside of mall ninjas so instead of disassembly, I started cleaning the tang and the axis bar with Hoppes patches with polymer cleaning picks. The cleaning helped a lot.

    Btw - have you noticed if your axis bar is still spinning when two hand deployed with the grit? I know the bk-2 & gry-1 are more prone with grittiness with the softer TI bar. So far, it's still spinning. Seems like the ones that are noticing severe lockup are bars that no longer spin?
     
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  12. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    That's an interesting comment. I always polish the washers and tang on my Rukus 610, clean and then lube with fluorinated PFPAE grease. The result is a big blade that flies open and swings freely like a pendulum when I hold the Axis lock back, which is how I like it.

    I have purchased Rukus knives where the blade action is stiff. This polishing and greasing makes a huge difference.
     
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  13. colin.p

    colin.p

    878
    Feb 4, 2017
    I hate to be a contrarian, but I have never experienced a spinning axis lock bar in any of my Benchmade's. Now you are not the first person to mention the axis bar spinning as I checked my knives out the first time I heard about it (a couple months ago) and none spin whatsoever.

    I've got a 1st gen Bugout and haven't noticed any lock stick nor grittiness after the usual "newness" passed after a few cycles. The coating on the bar itself is long gone and I have pretty well bathed the damned thing in oil and never had any lock stick nor grittiness. It's now dry as a fart and still nada. But it's been opened and shut literally hundreds (perhaps thousands) of times, drops shut and is smooth as a babies bum.

    I think it has something to do with the titanium lockbar that causes some sort of galling and maybe Benchmade should use the 531 SS bar. However, interestingly my 531 had more lock stick than my Bugout and still has some if I flick it hard, but I would hardly notice it otherwise.
     
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  14. Matty10

    Matty10

    5
    Apr 15, 2020
    Welp, I’ve pulled everything out, cleaned all the internals. Polished washers and tang area, lubricated everything that requires lubing.

    The axis bar does have some spin to it and the coating is wearing off equally now.
    There is grittiness through opening and more when closing the knife.

    I’m also getting a considerable amount of lock stick to the point it requires 2 hands on the knife in order to have the axis lock disengage and blade fall shut. This is even with the most minimal amount of force to open let alone any wrist flick to open the blade, it seems to pick its moments when it wants to stick.

    Am I missing something or is it time for it to go back to @Benchmade ?
     
  15. wade7575

    wade7575

    865
    Apr 3, 2013
    @Matty10 I have had a few Benchmade's with a gritty feeling lock,the way I was able to fix my 2 that had that problem was was to put the knife on it's back and hold the lock and push down really hard on it while moving it back and forth a bunch of times.

    Flip the knife over and do the same thing while holding it,you can put the blade on a table and push down because it will bind the lock from the pressure on the blade,work the lock bar back and forth really fast and with lot's of pressure.

    I think what happens is that the cutout for the lock bar doesn't always get machined really smooth and that's where the gritty feeling comes from.
     
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  16. fishface5

    fishface5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2001
    That could be it, and is worth trying -or even lightly sanding the insides of the channels for the lock in the liners - but it sounds like the angles might be slightly out of spec somehow in the screw holes perhaps, so when assembled you are getting pressure that wouldn't be there if everything was up to spec.
     
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  17. Matty10

    Matty10

    5
    Apr 15, 2020
    After trying everyones suggestions and working tirelessly with the Bugout tonight it threw an omega spring and now will be sent back to @Benchmade

    I appreciate everyones help and I hope people will keep posting if they have solutions that weren’t mentioned so that someone else who may be experiencing this problem can hopefully have it resolved without having come to the issue that I have.

    I noticed today when slowly opening the knife that the omega spring felt gritty while opening and almost felt vibration throughout the Axis Lock. After the spring had broke (and I’m not sure if this can attest to how the knife is supposed to operate) the knife seemed to operate without any lock stick from the one good omega spring and the grit has completely disappeared when opening and closing. I’m taking a guess that the omega spring could’ve been a major culprit in all the problems I faced and at the end of the day it was always going to result in this. The knife was subjected to next to no cutting and only opening to break in the axis lock. Very disappointed but look forward to updating once the knife is returned with new components.
     
  18. colin.p

    colin.p

    878
    Feb 4, 2017
    Now that you mention it, I have a 940 "problem child" that used to bind when opening and closing. I tore that thing down to pieces to get it to stop binding and I was able to straighten it out after a couple tear-downs. However, driving home from work last January (i'm a recovering "flicker"), I noticed a scratchy type of grittiness and shortly after the clip side spring broke. I put a replacement set in (I make my own) and it worked better than it did when new and it is my go-to of all my 940's. I wonder if maybe somehow in the assembly process on the Bugout, that the Omega springs aren't causing some sort of problem? I can't see how that would be but I'm just grasping at straws here.

    Whatever the problem is, you certainly aren't the first to have problems with the Bugout/Bailout so Benchmade needs to sort that out. However, I have heard some whispers of an "upgraded" Bugout in the works that may address the issue but who knows.
     
  19. scottc3

    scottc3 Gold Member Gold Member

    394
    Oct 11, 2014
    I have two Bugout's, the first one bought used off exchange here, a part of the first run, came to me gritty. Careful inspection and cross model comparison did not reveal anything obvious when switching scales. Seeing a post by Jimmy from BM, suggesting a dry break-in, I washed it and ran dry for a while before applying 5/30 synthetic motor oil. The next Christmas, got the Ranger green model, and ran it dry for the first bit before lubing, washing with dish soap to clear any debris. Both are extremely smooth now, such that I do not need to dismantle them, other then out of curiosity, to see wear patterns. Neither lock bar spins; No spin on a BM940-1501, 710-1401 or 810-1401, under direct light with sharpie on all five.
    I have used pencil graphite to lube some titanium on titanium knife interfaces, which works well.
    When required, some knife brands do not loosen and adjust, or dismantle and assemble properly. I have yet to strip a screw or cross thread any Benchmade yet, and everything always squares up evenly. Keyed pivots, stops, standoffs, and blind anchors just work. Plus Benchmade's warranty and customer service has been quick and competent when I have had an occasion to call.
     
  20. Oloung1

    Oloung1

    2
    May 21, 2020
    So out of this thread, looks like I'm the only one that's spinning. Hopefully that's not a sign of things to come. Maybe mine got cloned out and I didn't even know it.

    Sucks about your update OP, but hopefully the action and lock becomes buttery smooth after the spa service.
     

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