When it comes to knives, Benchmade is certainly one of the top brand names you'll think about. Their knives, pens, and rescue tools are geared toward outdoor sporting cutlery enthusiasts, law-enforcement, martial arts practitioners, and military infantry.
Founded in 1979 by Roberta and Les de Asis in Oregon, United States, Benchmade is one of today's industry-leading knife manufacturing companies.
Also known as butterfly knives, balisong-style knives are a key product to Benchmade's identity, so much so that their logo is a butterfly. Jody Samson's original Balisong knife design was awarded Knife of the Year Award in 1979 by Blade Magazine.
Benchmade knives are known for having the incredibly intuitive and secure AXIS lock. Originally developed and patented by knifemakers Bill McHenry and Jason Williams in 1988, the rights of the mechanism were bought by Benchmade and renamed as AXIS Lock. The locking mechanism works using a small, hardened spring-loaded bar that moves back and forth in a steel liner slot. The Axis lock then engages a ramped tang portion of the blade when it is opened. Two omega-style custom made springs are placed on each liner, giving the locking bar the inertia needed for full tang engagement. Thid places the tang between the stop pin and AXIS bar for complete lock up.