It seems unreal, but we've once again completed another trip around the sun, and 2023 was a wild year. Tucked away in Oregon City, Oregon, our factory buzzed all year long with the hum of mills, grinders, lasers, and hands fabricating new knives in new colorways that we put to the test in rugged and beautiful outdoor environments. Outside the factory, we were recognized by our peers with several awards, and on top of that, we launched a brand new version of our website. With 2024 just a few days away, we wanted to take a look back at just a few of the big moments from an exciting year, made possible by our amazing friends and fans.
Inspired by Nature
Inspired by nature and the places we love to explore, we found connections with Earth’s natural hues to develop a range of natural colorways for our most popular outdoor knives. This new direction took us from high above the treeline, where we witnessed the breathtaking Alpine Glow, to Alaska’s deep, blue, frigid waters, where we derived Crater Blue. From red rock slot canyons in Utah came Mesa Red, while the crashing waves of the Oregon Coast inspired Sea Foam.
Rather than adhering strictly to the dark, tactical colors of years past, 2023 was a year of experimentation and bold choices in how we employ color, and we look to continue that into 2024 and beyond.
From the River to the Mountain
From roaring white water rapids in the Pacific Northwest to the sandstone canyons of Utah to the snow-capped Rockies, we put our most popular, colorful, and durable outdoor knives into the hands of expert river rafting guides, hikers, and the Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol team. These outdoor warriors shared their stories with us, providing unique insights and fresh perspectives on how they carry and where they explore. We enjoy telling stories, and we can think of no better way to connect Benchmade knives to outdoor adventures than by meeting these explorers where they roam.
American-Made Knife of the Year
We're always looking for ways to push boundaries, and every now and then, we challenge our design and engineering teams to do something that stretches the limits of what can be done. This year, that project was the 748 Narrows.
The innovative 748 Narrows was the preeminent EDC head-turner at Blade Show, the world’s largest knife show, held in Atlanta, Georgia. Our thinnest full-size folder—an ultralight EDC with a svelte titanium frame and a specially engineered torsion-spring ACIS lock—was named American-Made Knife of the Year, a recognition by BLADE Magazine for Benchmade’s unwavering dedication to building an innovating in the US.
The 940 Comes to CSTM.
We've long joked that we would need to build a new factory to bring the 940 to the customizer, and while we didn't go quite that far, we challenged our Operations team to rethink how we deliver on the incredible demand for custom products
Designed by the great knifesmith Warren Osborne twenty-three years ago, the iconic 940 has a bevy of variants to its classic name and frame over the decades. This year, we took the 940 and its mini variant, the 945, to the final frontier of design: the creative realm of Benchmade CSTM. We opened the floodgates for material choices and style options so you could design your very own 940 or 945 and make your mark on the Osborne legacy.
We had an incredible journey in 2023, and we've got big things in store for 2024. Thanks for taking the ride with us this year.