Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

These Might Be the Best Knives Made in America Today

If you’re looking for a great knife at a great price, honestly you should go read some other article and consider some other brand, because Benchmade knives are not priced in a range most people would call “great.” On the other hand, that’s a rather weak adjective to choose when defining the quality of these blades. Simply put, Benchmade knives are almost without compare, and with few if any brands surpassing their products in terms of craftsmanship.

Benchmade knife
Steven John/The Manual

What makes a Benchmade knife so good? Well, everything.

Let’s start with the most logical point, which is the pointy part, also called the blade itself. Every blade Benchmade offers uses steel in the HRC 55 to 66 range, which is considered a very hard, very durable metal on the Rockwell scale, the standard hardness scale applied to knives, axes, tools, and the like. The brand’s knives arrive razor sharp and hold an edge well even with heavy use. And these blades come in all shapes and sizes, from five-plus-inch fixed blade knives designed for the outdoorsman to myriad folders of varying size for hunters, rescue, or tactical use to three-inch everyday carry knives and so on.

But a sharp blade alone does not a great knife make. So let’s move on to the handles, which, depending on the knife you choose, will be made from a lightweight but ridiculously strong polymer alloy called santoprene (a specially treated rubber, basically), hand carved and polished wood, Grivory plastic (again, a fancy, super strong manmade material), or a G10 fiberglass laminate. You can count on the grip being strong, ergonomic, and durable no matter which knife you choose. And that will be no easy choice, for the record.

Benchmade knife
Steven John/The Manual

Benchmade breaks its knives down into six categories: outdoor, rescue, everyday, hunting, survival, and tactical. There are some crossovers among the categories, but generally speaking these groupings will help you cut through the large size of the catalog and find a few options that suit your needs.

If on the off chance you’re having trouble finding a Benchmade knife that seems like it will suit, no problem there, you can have one custom built just for you. You start with one of multiple base designs, like the celebrated, classically styled Crooked River knife or a more tactically designed Barrage. Then you can choose blade type (drop point, tanto, serrated, etc.), the finish of the steel, the blade color, the handle material and color, and even the metal used for screws, clips, and other hardware. And you can even add custom laser engraving to make your knife a true one-of-a-kind.

Benchmade knife
Steven John/The Manual

Most Benchmade knives cost between $150 to $250, but you can find many blades well north of $500 and a handful priced above a grand. Which is a lot of money to spend on a knife, to be sure, but you can also be sure that these 100% American-made blades are designed to last a lifetime.

Editors' Recommendations

Steven John
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Steven John is a writer and journalist living just outside New York City, by way of 12 years in Los Angeles, by way of…
The 4 best snow blowers for wet and heavy snow in 2024
A man uses the Cub Cadet 3X 30-inch IntelliPOWER Snow Blower to clear his wet, heavy snow.

Techniques like shoveling a small driveway and blasting off a top layer of powdered snow with a one stage snow thrower don't compare at all to using a powerful snow blower on wet and heavy snow. It's an intense and satisfying labor that can feel like crushing your lawn's ice, the hard-packed snow behaving nothing like its fluffy cousins. As such, the snow blowers for wet heavy snow are going to overlap only slightly with the best snow blowers period, and you certainly won't see a snow thrower in the mix. Instead, the snow blowers that follow have high-performance engines, a strong drive train, and powerful throw.
The best snow blowers in 2024

Buy the  for the most powerful snow blower.
Buy the if you have difficult terrain.
Buy the for a cheaper, but still three stage, alternative.
Buy the 22-inch if you want something electric that is less expensive, and can handle a two stage snow blower.

Read more
Protect your dome with the best ski and snowboard helmets
It's 2023. It's time to trade your winter beanie for some proper, slope-friendly head protection.



Read more
Don’t let the season stop you: Our top picks for the best winter hiking gear
Keep hitting the trails this winter with the best winter hiking gear on offer
Hiker in the snow.

It can be tempting — when the snow is falling and outside temperatures drop sub-zero — to get yourself comfortable on the sofa with a good book or a new film. But the winter months provide some of the best outdoor experiences of the year. With spectacular sunrises and sunsets, snowy scenes and quieter trails, it's not just skiing and snowboarding that you can do in winter in the US.

But winter requires a whole different set of gear to stay safe and warm and to enjoy your days out on the trail. Along with knowing how to navigate on the trail in the winter, understanding the dangers of avalanches — if they apply to where you hike — or knowing what to do if you get caught out in a storm, having the right winter gear is a seasonal essential. This list of eleven items isn't a comprehensive winter packing list, but it does contain some winter essentials and a few items that will make your winter days that bit better.

Read more