Seems simple enough. You open the knife, you close the knife. But it's the mechanics of motion that happens in the process, which can make the difference between ordinary and extraordinary. Is the knife easy to actuate, can the knife be opened with one hand, is it ambidextrous, and will it be reliable when you need it most? These are all essential considerations when it comes to knife mechanics.

Benchmade offers several mechanisms, from patented exclusives including the unparalleled AXIS®, to more traditional lock back designs. It all comes down to your level of desired function.

AXIS® A patented Benchmade exclusive, AXIS® has been turning heads and winning fans ever since its introduction. A 100-percent ambidextrous design, AXIS® gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar which rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners, and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped, tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS® bar itself. Available in manual, assist or automatic configurations.

Notice: The carry-clip has been installed on the right side (or non-Benchmade logoed side of blade) of AXIS knife products for right side pocket carry. If you prefer to clip-carry the knife in the left side pocket, it is important that you remount the carry-clip on the other side of the knife handle. This is recommended for ideal access and optimum user safety.

MODIFIED LOCKING-LINER The basic principle is an integral locking bar within the knife liner being stress bent, enabling it to spring into position behind the rear tang of the blade when the blade is opened. The locking bar wedges against the rear of the blade, locking it open until you physically push it clear and close the blade (locking-liners are made either right or left hand specific). And with a modified locking-liner you get a patented feature which helps to enhance the lock function. The function success and function failure of a locking-liner depends greatly on how well it is made and also the quality of the materials used. With Benchmade, you get both.

MONOLOCK The monolock mechanism is basically a locking-liner on steroids. The knife liner is one in the same as the knife handle, and thus it is designed and made to function as the locking mechanism. Subsequently, a thicker material is used to provide enough surface area to be a functional handle, and in turn creates a larger surface area to lock the blade with. If executed properly, the monolock design rates very highly in strength and function.

NAK-LOK® Built from the framework of the locking-liner with some innovative updates. The lock engages using tensile strength, compared to the compression hold of more traditional locking-liners. With the Nak-Lok, the possibility of personal injury is greatly reduced with the opening finger never crossing the blades path.

NITROUS® Another patented Benchmade exclusive, the Nitrous boosts the blade with ease. As the blade is closed the two torsion arms which run the length of the handle liners are secured in place and make contact with the blade tang. As tensioned against the blade tang, the user rotates the blade open to a 30-degree angle, the torsion arms take over and continue the blade opening process on its own. The huge advantages to the Nitrous design over other similar concepts, is that the blade must be rotated open to beyond a 30-degree angle, which offers added user control.

ROLLING LOCK® WITH INDRAFT® Another patented Benchmade exclusive, the Rolling Lock utilizes a sizable, notched lock-pin, which secures against the blade tang when engaged. To disengage, a spring actuated thumb button on the right handle side is drawn back to rotate the lock pin and free the blade. InDraft is a patented exclusive, which is a combination of a slotted liner and a pin in the blade tang working in tandem to generate an inward inertia when closing the blade. These results in one of the safest blade detents available today.

LEVITATOR® A patented Benchmade exclusive, the knife handle scale/liner is cut to create a spring system which is used to leverage a lock-pin in and out of a notch in the tang of the blade. This spring/pin system effectively locks the blade both in the open and closed positions.

OPTIMISER® SYSTEM Another patented Benchmade exclusive, which "optimizes" the knife mechanism if the user chooses to do so... A steel torsion bar running the length of the inside handle spine is secured in place and contacts a surface area of the blade tang. As the blade is closed the spring is tensioned against the blade tang, then as the user rotates the blade open to a 30-degree angle the spring-bar is engaged and continues the blade to its full, locked open position. The huge advantage to the Optimiser® design over similar concepts is that the blade must be rotated open beyond a 30-degree angle, which offers added user control. And even more amazing, the Optimiser can be added or removed at the discretion of the user and the knife mechanism still functions normally. The choice is yours.

LOCK-BACK A basic functional lock that is relatively simple and low cost to manufacture. In practice the lock design positions a stop bar parallel to and in direct line with the blade at the upper back or rear tang of the blade to lock the blade open. Basically, as the blade is rotated open, the spring tensioned, center pivoted stop bar tracks around the circular portion of the blade tang until it drops or locks into the notched out tang. And to release the lock, the exposed portion of the stop bar in the handle back is depressed into the handle, pivoting the stop bar out, releasing the locked blade. This style of locking mechanism requires two hands to safely close the blade although you may still easily open the blade single-handed if desired.

AUTOMATIC It's important to first note that these types of knives are restricted to Active Duty Military and Law Enforcement, and federally regulated. Be certain of permissibility in your location including state or local governments and within your reporting bodies. These are folding knives, which open at the push of a button… An especially important feature to have if your disability, occupation or profession has the potential of limiting your mobility or freedom to access a knife through traditional means. The blade is deployed out from the handle side like traditional folding knives, but the blade is spring open assisted to a fully locked position. Benchmade is recognized for making some of the finest auto opening knives in the world. These are primarily manufactured for Law Enforcement, Military and Government Agency distribution. The Benchmade autos take full advantage of a powerful coil spring blade actuator coupled with our precisely machined taper lock mechanism, proving itself to be the most reliable system available in auto open knives. And our patented integrated safety mechanism (located on handle spine) ensures that the blade will not inadvertently deploy or close once it is locked open. Benchmade autos are precision engineered and manufactured to perform in the real world, you would be hard pressed to find a superior tool.

BALI-SONG® As much an art form as it is the ultimate example of form following function. The Bali-Song or butterfly knife is of Filipino ancestry dating back to nearly 800 A.D. Its basic form consists of a pin-hinged, two piece handle, which when closed encases the blade for carry. And when opened, come together to form the knife handle for blade use. This can all be accomplished with a single hand -making the tool that much more utility capable. Benchmade is recognized as the leader when it comes to making Bali-Song® knives.

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