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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.

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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.

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