Our Designers

Form and function are the key ingredients to any knife design, and we take both very seriously. That is the reason Benchmade believes working with custom designers creates the most innovative and functional designs in the industry. These skilled artisans and craftsmen pour their passions into their work and agonize over every detail. By collaborating with a selection of world-class custom designers, we’re able to tap into the newest locking mechanisms, modern materials, and custom blending and finishing techniques. The results are quality designs that are built for performance, reliability and dependability.

Pardue Logo  Mel Pardue The senior team member, Mel has been grinding sparks, making knives and creating a following for 25-plus years. His style has a class and simplicity all its own. The Pardue collaborations offer great utility to the everyday knife user while at the same time presenting an upscale distinction. Less is definitely more with Mel’s designs.

McHenry & Williams Logo Bill McHenry & Jason Williams It runs in the family… Bill and stepson Jason spend their days making exquisite pieces of “art with an edge on it.” Their dedication and talents compliment one another very well, and have led to several noteworthy innovations in the knife making world. Benchmade was fortunate to be involved with one such innovation, the AXIS® mechanism. The rest is history in the making.

Osborne Logo Warren Osborne Being raised in the farming and ranching industry taught Warren early on what great utility a quality knife can offer. How a knife feels in the hand over extended use, blade design/edge configurations, and the types of materials used are all mandatory considerations of an Osborne design.

Nakamura Logo Seiichi Nakamura Engineering was his life’s work until he retired to focus his efforts on a passion for custom knife work. He specializes in small Japanese style folders, gentlemen’s carry and jewelry knives. His eye for artistry and mechanical engineering make him a perfect fit for the innovative Benchmade team.

Sibert Logo Shane Sibert Since 1994, Shane Sibert’s goal has been to design and create unique knives that will invoke pride of ownership, while at the same time perform tasks and challenges with exceptional ease. A life-long avid backpacker, Sibert draws inspiration from hiking throughout the Pacific Northwest’s vast wilderness. He’s an occasional practitioner of martial arts, and enjoys S.C.U.B.A. diving in Oregon’s chilly waters.

Steigerwalt Logo Ken Steigerwalt In 1978 at the age of 15, Ken found himself at the kitchen table with some files and a vise. Three years later he decided that knifemaking was going to be his full time career. Since then, Ken has dedicated himself to wowing the industry with his innovative style and describes his work as a passion and a journey to build a better knife than the last. Benchmade has been fortunate to be involved with one such innovation, the Nitrous Assist mechanism.


K5-Tactical Logo Eddie Killian Born with a love of knives, Eddie has carried a knife in his pocket since the second grade, and started to make his own knives in his garage in 2003. A volunteer Search and Rescue Team Leader, Eddie is also a Certified Technical Rigging Instructor specializing in Technical/Tactical Rope Rescue Rigging for Search and Rescue teams, Fire Agencies, Law Enforcement and Military personnel. He is the founder of Durango, CO based K5 Tactical. He works as an industrial two-way radio system designer and consultant, as well as Military and Law Enforcement equipment designer. Eddie has worked with countless local, state and federal agencies including the California Highway Patrol, U.S. Secret Service, Department of Justice, and the Department of the Treasury.

Lerch Logo Matthew Lerch Codeveloper of the Nitrous Assist mechanism, Matthew has his finger on the pulse of industry leading innovations and will continue to be a valuable contributor to Benchmade’s genuine passion for that next, better design.

Lum Logo Bob Lum Growing up in the Pacific Northwest gave him an opportunity to develop an appreciation for the importance of a fine knife, which comes through in his elegant and utilitarian designs. Thanks, Bob.

Marlowe Logo Charles Marlowe Charles Marlowe began making knives when he was fifteen years old in his father’s workshop. His passion developed throughout his college career and he has been designing knives ever since. Known for his unique butterfly knife designs, Charles and Benchmade share a mutual commitment to precision and quality.

Thompson Logo Greg Thompson Greg Thompson is the creator of Special Operations Combatives Program (SOCP), a designated program for U.S. Army Special Operations Forces. With over twelve years of experience training Special Operations soldiers, Greg currently works as the Director of Training for the 18 ABN CORPS at Fort Bragg, NC.

Thompson Logo Butch Ball Butch Ball developed a passion for knives at a very early age. After building a few fixed blades in the early '90s he decided, in 2000, to begin a true custom shop. Butch starts each knife as a prototype, which he then tests, recreates and tests again. At each stage in this development process, he is thinking of ways to improve the design, whether mechanical or ergonomic. The results of this process are designs that are as robust as they are innovative.
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