Axis Lock vertical play?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Fire Beard, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Never had a noticeable problem with any of my Axis locks-- 710, Mini Rukus, or Grippies.
    Lmiles11 likes this.
  2. scottyj


    Jan 29, 2009
    I actually spoke to Benchmade customer service and they said that blade play is due too the "Tolerance Gap" between the pivot screw, and the pivot hole in the blade. I said great thanks, and hung up.
    Edit. I actually gave away to a couple of my co-workers an Adamas, and a full size Crooked River, Both brand new out of the box knives. I couldn't stand the blade play, and didn't want the hassle of sending them back only to have them return with the same problem.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
    marrenmiller likes this.
  3. simple6


    Oct 6, 2002
    I've had several axis knives over the years and they were rock solid. That said, in recent years BM has definitely slipped in QC, 3 Bugouts I bought last year all went back to factory for crunchy grinding action. BM's are overpriced for what you get and now the QC is shotty. Then there's the elephant in the room we're not allowed to talk about. I hate to say it but I'm done with BM.
  4. Lmiles11

    Lmiles11 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 11, 2019
    Noticed all my BMs to be great in terms of QC. Some knife models I see appear to have more centering issues but that's an easy fix.
  5. johnnytoxin

    johnnytoxin Gold Member Gold Member

    May 24, 2010
    Every Benchmade. I’ve owned was either solid up/down with some side play, or solid side to side with some up/down play. It appears you get one or the other with Benchmade.
  6. colin.p


    Feb 4, 2017
    I've got 11 Benchmade knives and they are all just fine. So there pffffttttt!!!
  7. CW308


    Oct 25, 2019
    I just got into knives , Benchmade was top of the line brand for me but never had the money at the time to pull the trigger. Now retired I got into wood carving and knives go hand an hand . Also got into EDC knives , like the different locking systems , blade shapes and steel . The Hogue button locking system looked Rock solid and it is . Hopefully we don't get a knife made on a Monday .
  8. razorburn

    razorburn Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    The majority of my bm knives do not have any vertical blade play except for their AO knives.IMHO my first Hogue Ritter had an obscene amount of vertical blade.Way more than any BM knife that I have ever owned.
  9. CW308


    Oct 25, 2019
    Yes , what I'm talking about is the locking system , the Hogue button lock is Rock solid not the axis.both make great knives but some locking systems are better then others , some play is needed if looking for speed in opening . I guess it's a matter of what's more important. I also rather a solid lock.

  10. razorburn

    razorburn Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    Hey Chris

    I do not have any Hogue Knives as they are not really my cup of tea except for the Ritter.
  11. Brooks2


    Jan 7, 2019
    I got a Benchmade north fork yesterday, the lock up is solid when it comes to both horizontal and vertical blade play. The blade is so close to touching the metal liner it gives me anxiety just looking at it. The knife was made less than a year ago so alignment is still very much an issue.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  12. MarkN86


    Sep 3, 2012
    I had 2 benchmades, never had any vertical play. I drifted away from being a fan of the Axis lock, or Benchmade in general, so I don't have them anymore. Not sure if they still do, but they marketed the Axis lock as self-adjusting. For the price you pay I'd want it to be free of any play, but that's just me.

    A lot of lockbacks and clasp locks have some slight vertical play as the norm, and I feel like both are stronger than the Axis lock. Only drawback is they aren't as easy to open and close as the Axis lock.
  13. skyhorse

    skyhorse Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    If you're having vertical play problems , you could always send it in for warranty. Horizontal play can often be just a matter of adjustment.
  14. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    I knew it. That's what mine had too, and Benchmade didn't do anything about it when I sent them back for repair. Thanks for finding this out.
    scottyj likes this.
  15. allenC


    Jun 18, 2000
    I've owned and used 7 Benchmade Axis lock knives and none have ever had blade play.
    CW308 likes this.
  16. Professor

    Professor Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 1999
    If we refer to the necessary tolerances between the pivot and blade pivot hole as "micro-slop," which allows the blade to travel freely dependent on pivot tension, my contention is that older BM designs, like the Grips, 710, 705, etc., do a far better job of absorbing the micro-slop via the self-adjustment of the Axis bar, blade tang, and stop pin. It seems to more or less force everything together, making the micro-slop nominal if not non-existent, but again on older models. It's as if the original McHenry and Williams recipe got lost for a few years. Maybe they found it? I believe it's all in the distances, geometry, and allowance for travel of the Axis bar which varies across newer models and may in fact become far more important on larger, thicker Axis models. Just a theory.
    marrenmiller likes this.
  17. CW308


    Oct 25, 2019
    Sounds good to me Professor.
  18. Professor

    Professor Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 1999
    Sorry to geek out. I'm just a believer in the Axis lock when done right. When I first joined here in 1999, BM had just introduced the 710, followed shortly by the 705. I'd seen the drawbacks of the liner lock. Framelocks were far less prevalent, thought CRK was in full swing then yet out of my budget. I had a 710 and 705 that I adored from a design standpoint due to their lockup's resistance to long-term wear. I still believe. I went down the CRK rabbit hole for close to 10 years and returned to Benchmade in roughly 2010. The mini-Grip, which I'd written off due to the FRN handles, over time became my EDC and remains so due to the fact that it locks up now as solidly as it did when I first put it in my pocket.

    I've since picked up a few spares in the instance that it becomes extinct, which the hollow-ground version already has. Spare CRK's were a bit more of an investment.

    Best to all!
  19. Brooks2


    Jan 7, 2019
    Its a simple problem- Bench made does give enough of a crap to make sure each and every knife they let out the door is competitive with the quality of other knives offered in that price range. I believe it is the fault of Benchmade letting its QC go to shit and not poor design because as all these issues with sloppy axis locks were becoming a larger issue so were the issues relating to blade alignment and unequal blade grinds. The problem of poor execution on Benchmade knives is not isolated to just the axis lock, it is a problem with many parts on the knife such as the blade grind and the blade alignment. I could be wrong, but it seems reasonable to me.

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