Benchmade 940-2 Osborne AXIS Lock Knife
It probably goes without saying that a good knife should be at the top of the list for inclusion in an emergency survival kit. Even if you live in the city or suburbs, there are hundreds of situations when a knife could be required.
There are literally thousands and thousands of options out there - from 99 cents up to hundreds of dollars. With knives, you really do get what you pay for, as materials and design matter greatly.
For that reason we wanted to focus on one blade in particular that we like that sits in the upper-middle of the road in terms of quality and price but that will last a lifetime and be able to handle anything that you throw at it: The Benchmade 940-2 Osborne Axis Lock Knife.
Let's look at the utility that a knife like the Benchmade 940-2 provides first, since this is what is most relevant to you if you are reading this in the context of emergency planning, or thinking about including a knife like this into a Bug Out Bag or Everyday Carry.
There are 2 styles of knives we think you should consider for a survival kit: full-tang and folding. Ideally you would have one of each since they serve different purposes.
Without getting into the weeds why right now, if you could only have one knife, and you live in the aforementioned city or suburban areas than a folding style knife is probably your best bet.
There are a few reasons why:
- Since it folds, it is easier to carry in a pocket, or conceal if need be.
- Folding knives don't require a separate sheath to hold it when not in use.
- They tend to be smaller and more lightweight overall.
Full-tang knives are great for being out in the woods, if you need to baton wood, or deal with skinning large animals.
Since the Benchmade 940-2 is a folding knife then it offers us the features outlined above. It is designed to be carried daily, in a front pants pocket typically, since it comes with a built-in pocket clip.
The pocket clip can be moved from one side to the other, for you lefties out there. It comes from the factory in the right hand configuration.
It is rock solid, and pressed tight against the body of the knife. It's not going to let that knife come out of your pocket until you take it out.
The butt end of the handle sits above the pocket top so it is easy to get a grip on it and pull it out. If you prefer to have the knife sit deeper into your pocket, there are deep carry clips available that can replace the stock one.
The 940-2 is also really light weight at only 2.65 oz. Almost surprisingly so. You will hardly notice it in your pocket, and it won't deform or sag your clothes.
I've been wearing mine everyday for a week and unless I put my hand in my pocket or I need to cut something, I completely forget that its there.
The need to cut things is about as old as humanity itself, and so are knives as tools. One could easily imagine several scenarios where a knife would be needed during an emergency scenario.
I won't bore you with 1,000 possibilities, but some obvious ones would be: cutting open packages (first aid kits or food boxes,) for food prep (clean it well and good beforehand,) cutting paracord or tape, creating other tools out of wood, etc etc ad nauseam.
There are certain design elements that make the Benchmade Series of knives really stand out from others.
The first thing you will notice is the 4.47" G-10 handle. G-10 is a 3d milled laminate of fiberglass and resin. It is very lightweight and grippy, even when wet.
(If you want to learn more about handles and the types of materials used for them, check out this explainer at BladeHQ)
It feels great while holding it, and was something I really appreciated when I took the 940-2 out of the box for the first time and opened it up.
It's a good size that fits well in small to large hands. It's called the Osborne shape. The ergonomics are fantastic.
Along the back side and the bottom side are lightly serrated thumb and index ramps for extra grip right where you need it.
It's designed to sit well in all sizes, from dainty lady paws to ogreish meat hooks.
Unique to Bechmade knives is their fantastic AXIS technology. I'll let them explain it:
AXIS® gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade.
It engages a ramped tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega-style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS® bar itself.
What does that translate into?
You can use your thumb to easily open the knife. Once it is full open it locks the blade into place. Pulling the AXIS lock with your thumb unlocks the blade so you can close it up.
The AXIS lock is right where it needs to be, so you don't need to change your grip on the knife in a weird way. It can take up to 200 lbs of downward pressure so is very unlikely to break and let the blade fold back toward the handle, and hence your hand.
Last and yet most importantly, let's talk about the 3.40" blade that comes with the Benchmade 940-2.
More from Wikipedia:
CPM S30V is considered a premium grade knife steel. It is so expensive that it strongly affects the price of the knife, and is largely used in higher-end production and custom knives. Buck Knives calls it "the absolute best blade steel available".
Joe Talmadge claims it might be the ultimate high-end all-around stainless steel, due to high performance coupled with easier machinability and sharpenability than the other steels in this class.
It holds a sharp edge, it sharpens well, and it is durable and strong. The best of all worlds.
Do you pay extra for it? Yes you do. But what you are paying for is the peace of mind knowing that you have the best quality available when you might need it most.
When it comes to knives, it much more prudent to have a couple of good ones you can rely on rather than a pile of junky ones that will chip and dull just by looking at them funny. Especially if you plan on carrying one with you everyday.
You don't want it to fail on you when you need it to perform. Hence you will often see the better knives in the $200 range. You are paying for the materials that will provide the best performance.
For those reasons we have become a big fan of the The Benchmade 940-2 Osborne Axis Lock Knife and think you will too.
Where to Get One
Typical Price: $175
The Benchmade 940-2 offers the proven Osborne design of the original, now updated with a black G-10 handle.
It's a comfortable everyday carry knife with its slim design, great ergonomics and light weight. The handle is outfitted with black G-10 scales with green anodized barrel spacers.
This model has a satin finished blade with a plain edge. The AXIS lock and reversible pocket clip make the knife usable for right or left-hand users.