Discussion in 'Benchmade Knife Company' started by John_0917, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. John_0917

    John_0917 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 15, 2014
    I'm a big fan of Benchmade knives, I own 3 (2 Grips and an Axis flipper) I just have one complaint and one very reasonable suggestion:

    Complaint: The black coating, BK1, used on coated blade models really, well, sucks. It is basically a fancy paint, not all that durable and has a texture that seems to cause it to 'hang up' on cutting media much more than is desirable. One of my Grips is the D2 model, which benefits from the protection, but I have has many small chips and spots in the coating develop through use that I don't think is all that hard and shouldn't cause all that much wear.

    Suggestion: Start using DLC as the blade coating. At the price point that the brand sits, most coated blades are DLC or similar. DLC is vastly superior to any painted on coating, has a matte finish and is extremely durable. I think it's pretty lacking of Benchmade to be using a cheaper, lower quality coating when $60 Kershaws use the superior DLC.

    Just my opinion, I would be thrilled if they started using DLC or even TiNi rather than paint.
  2. RevDevil

    RevDevil Super Evil Supermod Staff Member Super Mod

    Nov 9, 2009
    DLC coating is expensive when compared to whatever is being used now. Benchmade has used a few different coatings over the years. The Contego when first released had a pretty bad coating, it chipped and flaked off pretty easily on some knives. True DLC like on the USA made Spyderco knives or ZT/Kershaw US models is very, very tough and take a real beating. The scuffs you see on it comes from the material rubbing off on the blade. I wonder what the cost increase would be using DLC vs the "cerakote" they use now.
  3. ginaz


    Apr 19, 2001
    i really liked the old BP coating but whatever is on the M4 Ritter grips is fantastic as well
  4. 338375


    Nov 4, 2006
    I think even if there was a small increase in price per knife, they would sell more coated knives, if they used DLC
  5. RevDevil

    RevDevil Super Evil Supermod Staff Member Super Mod

    Nov 9, 2009
    I personally like black knives, they work better in an office setting for me because people don't necessarily see the gleaming blade. Not very tactical, but that is what a lot of manufacturers use the coatings for to control light reflecting like a signal mirror off a live blade. It works too because it's harder to judge the size and overall shape of a blade blade when it's not shining like a disco ball in the middle of a busy office while opening palettes of copy paper, or tearing down larger boxes. :)
  6. Keyman

    Keyman KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 26, 2001
    The first run of LE M4 Ritters was done in a stonewashed DLC.
    This is an awesome finish, it's a satin-ish black that can look quite iridescent in the right lighting and very durable too.
    Definitely my favorite BM coated knife thus far.


  7. somber

    somber Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    The second run (non-serialized) M4 Ritter was also done with the stonewashed DLC coating
  8. Der W.

    Der W.

    Dec 18, 2012
    This is exactly what a blade coating should be!
    I despise "paint" coatings but DLC is another story.
    If they would have used DLC, I don't think I would own as many satin as i do right now (in fact, i exclusively have uncoated or "painted" blades).
  9. Skimo


    Mar 28, 2009
    Agreed, DLC is good. I have a sneaking suspicion that BK is preferred because it better covers rough machine finish, DLC would require a more finished machine surface. So two ways to increase the cost over BK.

    I will admit that my thought process may be incorrect or incomplete. I'd love to hear otherwise. Carrying my Manix2 XL today, only thing to have scratched it is ceramic and carbide.
  10. pbcg


    Oct 20, 2009
    OP, are your sure your Grip has a BP1 coating?

    Reason I ask is BM hasn't used BP1 for many, many years. All current coated blades use Cerakote unless otherwise stated. It's also my understanding that the BKI & II are Cerakote (ceramic coating) but a slightly different formulas.

    From what I understand the primary differences between Cerakote and DLC is, DLC offers little to no corrosion resistance, however it's far more wear resistant. where Cerakote offers far greater corrosion resistance but doesn't wear as well. However, even if scratched the Cerakote continues to provide corrosion protection.

    I guess then the question becomes what is more important to you. If you're more concerned with protecting the blade from corrosion then Cerakote is the way to go, if you're not as concerned with corrosion protection but want or prefer a coated blade, and a coating that wears longer then DLC would be preferred.

    I'm sure there others here who could chime in and explain the Pro's and Con's of DLC vs. Cerakote better then I can. But that's my basic understanding.

    Personally I've always preferred a coated blade, mainly for esthetic reasons but also as mentioned earlier, not having a blade that beams light off it when I take it out. When I was working on ships in a saltwater environment corrosion prevent was far more important to me but since I regularly coated my blades with CLP corrosion wasn't that much of an issue.

    As an aside, if the coating on your knife is Cerakote and actually "chipping" or "Flaking" off, not just scratching or wearing, you may have a legitimate warranty repair issue. If the blade wasn't prepared properly prior to the Cerakote being applied it can chip and flake and should be covered under warranty. You could send it back for a replacement. I've seen this issue come up before and BM replaced the blade under warranty. Again, the key being that the coating is actually flaking off because of improper preparation prior to being coated.

    Give BM customer service a call and see what they say. It can't hurt.

    All the best!

    ETA: Disregard the BP1 coating part. I mis-read that. Sorry for the error but I'd still encourage you to contact BM CS because if it's flaking it shouldn't do that and may be covered.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  11. Skimo


    Mar 28, 2009
    OP stated BK, not BP.
  12. pbcg


    Oct 20, 2009
    You are absolutely correct. Don't know why I misread that.

    BK1 & BK2 are Cerakote coating's.

    I was mainly trying to determine if it's a Cerakote coated blade or not because if it's "Flaking" off it may be covered under warranty and he may have some recourse.

    Don't know why I read it as BP. That coating's been gone a long, long time and was only used as I recall on the cheaper imports.

    I still hope my post has some value to the OP in there may be a remedy and also discussing the differences between Cerakote and DLC.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  13. Cypress

    Cypress Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    I'd love some DLC on my Benchmades. I owned a Spyderco Paramilitary 2 with DLC for quite a while. I put it through the paces and sold it, still looking nearly new. On the other hand, I cleaned 5 fish with my new 9051 and the coating already shows use.
  14. ginaz


    Apr 19, 2001
    my post may have gotten BP in your head. and i was mistaken, it was the BC1 coating i liked as it came on my 690.
  15. pbcg


    Oct 20, 2009
    lol, Prehaps. The BM coating's can get confusing at times. Can't tell you how many times I've called BM to ask or clarify about a coating and I still have to refer back to my notes at times.
  16. ginaz


    Apr 19, 2001
    BT, BK, BK1, BC1, BP, DLC, ETC... lol
  17. grybsh7

    grybsh7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    DLC for the win!


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