Review Details

Barrage® Family

Product Review (submitted on February 16, 2018):
A tiny bit of a read but I urge you to read it through to the end.

I ordered a fully customized barrage and I just received this knife today, so take my review with a grain of salt, as I’ve barely been able to use it yet. This review is based entirely on first impression. I’ll start with pros, then move on to possible cons, and finish up with my overall feelings about this knife.

Pros:
#1: Extremely light weight. When I grabbed the package off the doorstep, I was almost certain it was going to be an empty box. Obviously it wasn’t, but hopefully that puts into perspective how truly light this knife is. Generally I prefer a knife with a bit more weight, but it’s not a big deal at all. I’m actually excited to try out a light knife for once.
#2: Every detail of my order was spot on, including my custom engraving. It’s positioning was exact to how I wanted it, and utterly perfect.
#3: Even with as thin of a blade as this has, the blade feels very strong and does not flex.
#4: The axis lock feels great too, definitely a locking mechanism I feel I can trust.
#5: The lifetime warranty and lifetime sharpenings are a great added feature to a knife I hope to have for many years to come, and eventually pass on to my children.

Now let’s look at the (possible) cons:
#1: Based on the video emails I received showing each step of the build process (which is awesome by the way), I expected this knife to be MUCH sharper. It’s sharp, don’t get me wrong, but it failed to cut through phone book paper, and failed to cut cleanly through printer paper, and couldn’t make a clean cut through speaker box carpet (very similar to felt). Based on the video that shows them testing each knife with phone book paper, I expected more of a razor finish on this blade, but sadly that was not the case. I also noticed the blade is not evenly sharpened. I can shave with the curved edge near the tip, but I can’t with the end nearest the middle and the handle. Also a bit disappointing, but still not a deal breaker by any means.
#2: While I knew the handle would be a form of plastic, I expected it to feel more rugged, but the handles feel like they’re hollow. I’m not sure if they are or not, but that’s certainly how it feels. Based on countless other reviews however, I have come to accept that this supposedly won’t be an issue in the longevity and overall durability.
#3: The inner metal frame of the handle is so thin that it flexes under a decent grip on the knife. I don’t feel like that should happen on a knife coming from a company like benchmade, and especially on a knife with a starting price of $145.
#4: It’s not just the handle that is plastic. The piece that bridges the gap on the spine of the handle (at the top back portion of the handle) is also plastic. Don’t quote me on the name of this piece, but I believe it’s called the backspacer. I would have expected and hoped that they would have made this part from metal. Plastic just doesnt seem durable enough for that piece, but I’m going to trust benchmade and their legacy that they know what they’re doing.

Now for my overall opinion. Considering this knife has a base price of $145, and my custom selections bringing it just over the $200 mark, I can’t help but feel like the knife should have a more rugged and durable feel. It’s like the front half (blade and axis lock) were made by an amazing company, but the back half (handle, backspacer, and inner metal frame behind the handle covers) was made at the same factory that manufactures silverware for the local dollar store. However, all this being said, as contradictory to my review as it may sound, I don’t regret the purchase, and hope to be able to pass this knife down to my children some day.