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Review First Impressions: Benchmade 940

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Smaug, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    930
    Jun 30, 2003
    It was with a little trepidation that I ordered a 940 Osborne last week. I had read about bad QC @ Benchmade lately, but sometimes, things get blown out of proportion on the internet. Passed down and repeated, so it sounds like the problem is bigger than it is. That's what I was hoping for here.

    Blade shape: 10/10. Love it in pix, love it in person too. I particularly like how the swedge starts narrow and gets wider. It's a really complex blade shape, but is just really attractive to my eye.

    Grip: 8/10. The shape is good, but it's not exactly hand-filling, is it? Gerber, Spyderco, Buck and many others have done the shape better, although not as handsome.

    Action: 9/10. I flipped it open probably 150 times to wear off any sharp edges, then applied a drop of oil to each bushing and one to each Axis lock button. Wow is it smooth now, and just the right tension on the lock. The only thing I would change is to have some kind of damping so that when the lock is pulled and blade is closed, it doesn't bounce back out. It's hard to get the closing just right: it either slams shut and bounces back out, or doesn't close all the way. Maybe with some more hours of practice. I couldn't in good conscience deduct a point for this.

    Blade Steel: 10/10. I think S30V is a good compromise between hardness, stainlessness and sharpenability.

    Edge Grind: 4/10. This is the one place the 940 fell right on its face. It's got the grind like a gas station knife; feathered toward one side and kind of coarse too. It took a good while to grind a micro-bevel on the cutting edge with just the medium rods on my Sharpmaker. I shouldn't have to do this on a $183 knife. Before I received it, I thought about returning the knife if it had this problem. But I couldn't do it. Everything else is just too nice. I've heard that Benchmades are mostly hand-made. I can certainly tell the edge is hand-sharpened, but this is one area they should have a mahine do it. This is not where we want to encounter human error for the sake of charm. We want machine perfection!

    Flickability: 9/10. Only a balisong can really beat it here. The Axis lock does a great job of being both an opening and closing device. I find myself using the thumb stud just to do the speed flick, but in reality, using centripetal force is more practical on this knife.

    Value: 3/10. At this price point, it should be about flawless and have the very best materials. Although I like S30V, I feel like up here, it should have something a bit more exotic. Or should be $60 less. Also, the edge grind. They're really feeding the copycats with this kind of pricing vs. workmanship and materials. I can spend 1/3 this amount on a Spyderco, and everything is perfect.

    Fit & Finish: 8/10. Minus a couple points for the bevel grind and a bit of crunchiness in the action at first. This may seem nitpicky, but other companies' knives come super smooth, right out of the box.

    Clip: ?/10. WAY too tight, at first. It's noticeably better after an overnight clipped onto a magazine. I don't mind that it's shallow carry. It seems to be a proper spring steel. I'll reserve judgment on this until it has seen some more hours.

    Looks: 9/10. MAN does it ever look The Business.

    Cutting: ?/10. It's a little early, but it sure did a fine job on my pot roast last night! I'll update this later, when I turn it into a full-on review.

    Overall: 8/10. For now. We'll see how she holds up over time!

    Pictures later. I gotta hit the shower and bed; it's too late...
     
  2. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    930
    Jun 30, 2003
    I've been carrying this for a few days now. The action is slicking up nicely. The aggravation of the uneven bevel is nearly forgotten. (there's STILL no excuse though. ;)

    I can see why this is a classic. I don't feel the need for another Benchmade.

    I like how it can be flipped out lazily, just by pulling back the Axis lock. If I don't want to use the lock for deployment, it is easy enough to give it that quick downward jerk, then flip up, and she still pops out easily. This is one of the best fiddly knives I've ever had.

    Spydiechef just landed, so now this goes back in the box for a bit. I'll get some more miles on 'er, then do a proper video review.
     
  3. Pilsner

    Pilsner Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    I assume you have a 710? ;)
     
    oatmeal likes this.
  4. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    930
    Jun 30, 2003
    Looks like a 940, but with all the corners melted off... And it's discontinued.
     
    Pilsner likes this.
  5. Pilsner

    Pilsner Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    No no no no NO! :mad:

    The 940 looks like the ugly sister of the 710, the equivalent of a certain female presidential candidate wearing the boxiest of all possible suits! And yeah, it’s discontinued and I ain’t sellling either of mine. :p
     
    Kevlar1947, sliceofaloha, whp and 2 others like this.
  6. sgt244

    sgt244 Gold Member Gold Member

    870
    Mar 15, 2010
    The 940 is an amazing knife... No complaints to be made on my end for the price point. If you want flawless / perfect.. get a CRK =D
    Good day sir.
     
    rexromic likes this.
  7. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    930
    Jun 30, 2003
    ...or maybe a stretched-out Griptilian? (or rather, the Griptilian is a smushed-down 710)
     
  8. Pilsner

    Pilsner Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    :rolleyes:

    Nope. Griptillian is simply fugly. Not as fugly as the 940 admittedly, which fell out of the fugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. :D
     
    sliceofaloha likes this.
  9. sgt244

    sgt244 Gold Member Gold Member

    870
    Mar 15, 2010
    lol very true, grips are not good looking knives in any way shape or form.... They are great knives, and function well enough especially at the price point. But I need to be attracted to my blades aesthetics as well for me to enjoy carrying and using the knife.

    The 940 looks good imo...

    even the 710 was a decent looking knife, just prob gave too many people a hard time sharpening that recurve it had on it! hence they discontinued it, haha...
     
    Pilsner likes this.
  10. Chucktabulous

    Chucktabulous

    100
    Jan 11, 2019
    This shocked me. After a brief online investigation it seems that it's true.
    The 710 is discontinued.
    Its one of the few knives I'll never sell.
    I always considered it one of their flagship knives.
     
  11. sgt244

    sgt244 Gold Member Gold Member

    870
    Mar 15, 2010
    Haha, yeah man been discontinued for a few years now I believe.

    It was a great knife especially for the price point...They sell for around $90-100 here on the forums usually if in very good condition..
    It never seemed to make a huge splash in the knife community...

    Honestly, might have been the action, wasn't smooth from my recollection, too much resistance and snappy when closing.
    The g-10 wasn't the nicest out there, and pocket clip mounted a little too low, exposing too much on handle while clipped. I like the knives to carry deeper when possible. lastly that re curve was hella annoying to sharpen... overall I did enjoy owning the 710, but don't regret selling it.

    The 940 is overall a better knife in almost every aspect.
    It's better fit and finish, lighter weight... Shorter overall length allows for easier EDC. Only drawback is the price is nearly double that of a 710!

    Speaking of Benchmade, I've wanted a Contego for some time... nearly 4" blade, heftier knife at I believe almost 6 oz. but also get a nice glass breaker on there.. More of a serious duty knife, any experience with one?
     
    Smaug likes this.
  12. Chucktabulous

    Chucktabulous

    100
    Jan 11, 2019
    Yeah, I had a Contego. Good knife, but it seemed a bit overdone for a folder for me.
    Perhaps I could justify a fixed blade Contego, but again, it's just too much blade and handle for a folder IMHO.
    I don't like the aggressiveness of the G10 (I think it was G10) scales. If I was a tactical guy maybe I'd like it, but again if I was a tactical guy I'd get the Contego as a fixed blade.

    Luckily the 710s I've had were spot on in the fit and finish department. The one I had in D2 was perfect and my Knifeworks 710-1401 easily has the best fit and finish of any Benchmade I've ever handled - Gold class included. I've seen tons of evidence that BM blade centering and fit and finish is a crapshoot, but I got lucky thankfully with the folding BM that was the most suited to me.
    My two 940s would have qualified as factory seconds, or blems, or whatever they call the "oops" knives. The 940 is a great knife, there is no doubt. It ain't for me.
    Never know what you're going to get F&F wise from BM, but they have some excellent designs and some great materials.

    My 2 cents.
     
    sgt244 likes this.
  13. sgt244

    sgt244 Gold Member Gold Member

    870
    Mar 15, 2010
    Thanks for the feedback about the contego, would love to handle 1 before I pull the trigger!
     
  14. sliceofaloha

    sliceofaloha Gold Member Gold Member

    210
    Oct 4, 2018
    I was skinning an apple with a PM2 today and the 940 would have done a much better job. Don’t know what else I’d use such a knife for though (940). I love my Contego folder.
     
    Smaug likes this.

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