Reviewed 06/14/2010 by Richard
-Price Paid: $140.00
-Used for Every Day Carry
-Owned for 6 months
This is my review of the Benchmade Rift. It is my favorite knife out of the approximately the one hundred I have. In a nutshell, it was a brilliantly designed by one of the best minds in the industry, executed by a world class company, and produced here in the best nation in the world!
Now, let's start with the details, starting with the blade. It is a ___ inch 154CM blade featuring Osborne's trademark reverse tanto point. The blade is flat ground, with the grind starting somewhat between FFG and saber ground. The reverse tanto provides a strong tip that the tanto provides, while retaining a functional belly. The belly combined with the almost fully flat ground makes it a hell of a slicer. The tanto tip provides strength to the tip, and unlike conventional belief, the tanto tip does not make it a good all-around piercer, but instead helps introduce most of the widtth of the knife very quickly. This makes the best of use of the short time when the power of the stabbing motion is as its peak. This allows for Cold Steel to pull off their famous stunts and allows the tanto to achieve a reputation for being an armor piercer. While the real life applications for an EDC carry do not require such a strong point, it is always good to have assurance the the tip will not break off under hard use. The tip, however, is still acute enough for any task I can think of. Benchmade likes to use 154CM for many of their top knives, and while many people (ahem steel snobs) think Benchmade should offer their black and blue class knives in "better" steels like VG-10, D2, and S30V, 154CM is only marginally inferior on paper, and I daresay 95% of "knife people" would be unable to discern a difference. Benchmade's heat treat is also top notch, and the 154CM can take just a fine of an edge as S30V and VG-10 and even finer than D2, and holds it for a VERY VERY long time. Now here is the most ingenious part about this blade: the choil. The blade is listed as a __ inch blade. It does indeed extend that far from the handle, but the choil makes the edge start at a half inch past the end of the handle. By that, the distance from the start of the edge to the tip is only a bit past 3 inches. I asked one of my buddies, who is a LEO whether or not the knife is okay for civilians. The law in my locality is, like most knife laws, is an outdated and subjective. It states that the blade must not be bigger than the width of the palm. Not counting the choil, the blade is "legal". My LEO friend checked it and said that it was fine. Now this may not seem like a big deal, and I may be excited over very little, but I come from the school of thought that if a knife is to be used in an altercation (it really has almost no value in a SD situation with disproportionate legal implications, but is a brutal and deadly offensive weapon) the only real way to use it is to pump it in to the adversary as many as you can until they drop. This is how it is done in prisons, and has proved effective all over the world. Every little bit of length helps, especially considering that the fact that flesh compresses three times, so the extra half of an inch can equal one and a half inches of penetration. Other features that bear mention including an attractive swedge to aid penetration and contoured thumbstuds that are more than adequate for opening the knife.
Now on to the handle: It is contoured G10 that is both attractive and functioning. The scalloping along the edges of the handle give the the user a firm grip and allows for good tool retention. I am glad to see that there is no scalloping along the center of the handle, which prevents the handle and the clip from eroding your pants away. I am also to see the lack of a backspacer (which some people like, some don't). This allows for the inside of the handle to be cleaned easily. One critique of this knife is the lack of jimping along the thumb ramp and the finger choil. While I don't think tool retention is lacking, it may help in some tasks. Worth mentioning is the little hump at the rear of the handle. I have seen this executed on many knives (ie: Benchmade Pika II) and all have been unsuccesful, but in this instance, it has been very comfortable. The handle is torx construction. One easy and failproof way to see if the handle "works" is to stab it repeatedly into a constructed target out of a old pair of jeans and stuff it full of cardboard. I did this and the knife stabbed deeply, and while the handle still felt comfortable in my hand. There is also a hole in the base of the handle for a lanyard.
For the lock, we have Benchmade's proprietary axis lock, which is proven time and time again. The omega springs keep the lock functioning and even if one spring is broken, the other spring can keep the lock functioning. The lock is designed to fit snugger as it wears in, which makes it pretty much the perfect lock. There is absolutely no blade play, and it locks up Fort Knox. The axis lock on this model also is angled upwards, which I think has no change in the operation of the lock, but allows for an added dimension of safety of being harder to accidentally disengage.
A final aspect of the knife to discuss is the clip. It is attached by three torx screws, and is very secure. The spring is very stiff and allows for the knife to be attached very securely to the pocket. There is no play in the clip, and the clip is reversible for left and right handed carry, and is only available in tip-up carry.
Overall this is a very excellent knife, offered by Benchmade's Black Class, designed by Osborne, and produced here in the US of A. I give it a 10/10 overall. For any needs, EDC or professional field use, this is the superior tool/weapon to use.
Comment by Kisok 04/22/2013
@Richard, thanks for your review. After reading several reviews, and yours in particular, I picked up the Benchmade 950 Rift for EDC.I've only had it for a few weeks, and haven't put it through its paces yet, but based on my limited experience with it and the stellar reviews, I'm confident it will serve me well.