Does it deserve its reputation as a definitive EDC knife?
What makes a great EDC folder?
Well, the obvious would be a highly useful blade shape paired with an ergonomically shaped handle. Then, make both out of high-grade materials for durability and longevity. It wouldn’t hurt to have a popular knifemaker scratch up the design and make certain the QA is in line.
Put together this amalgamation and the result might just be the Benchmade 940.
Designed by the late Warren Osborne, the production knife is some somewhat an outlier in his portfolio. The Texas maker is perhaps best known for his high-dollar art knives favored by discriminating collectors around the world. Osborne’s 940 design was refreshingly non-tactical, especially for a company who a large presence in this niche.
Furthermore, it has a broad appeal for those who are serious about their daily carry knife checking all the boxes. It’s no stretch to call the 940 a workhorse of a folding knife.
Since its introduction in the early 2000s, the Benchmade knife’s popularity has skyrocketed to the point it has a sort of cult following. We’re going to take an in-depth look at why this is so. It is why the 940 might even be worth adding to your collection.
Benchmade 940 Blade
The blade profile of the 940 is a reverse tanto, in which the edge and spine of the classic tanto design are flipped. However, it does somewhat look like a clip-point blade, albeit one with an extremely abbreviated downward-sloping tip.
Measuring 3.4 inches long, the blade uses CPM S30V premium stainless steel for the ultimate edge-holding capabilities. The alloy provides the muscle required for most daily cutting chores inside and outside of your house as well as offering excellent corrosion resistance.
Dual thumb studs provide an ambidextrous opening with either hand. Satin is the standard finish, though a black-coated blade is available at a minimal cost increase. The blade’s slender form factor allows the 940 to get in and out of a variety of cutting tasks with great efficiency. Not to mention, this svelteness doesn’t raise eyebrows in public like some bigger, more brawny tactical folder designs.
In the handle department, the 940 uses aircraft grade T6 6061 aluminum, offering excellent weight savings while not compromising strength. The handle is given a very nice dark green hard anodized coating, which is both scratch-resistant and aesthetically pleasing. Milled channels in the handle provide a slim-feeling knife in hand.
A tip-up-only pocket clip mounting is available on both sides of the handle to accommodate both left-handed and right-handed users alike.
The blade is secured in the open position by Benchmade’s own Axis Lock—regarded as the original crossbar lock. It promotes a smooth opening and closing action as well as very positive blade engagement, securely holding the blade open until you release it. Ambidextrous thumb buttons on either side of the handle allow one to release the lock with either hand. The Axis Lock is truly righty and lefty friendly, unlike liner locks that are specifically for right-handers.
Not only does the 940 perform very well, but the knife also carries like a dream. It’s lightweight and compact, allowing it to disappear while clipped to jeans, casual pants, or dress slacks. It doesn’t weigh you down by any means. The handle sits deep enough in the pocket, away from prying eyes but there still is enough to grab onto when you want to retrieve the knife and put it to use.
In use, I appreciate the way the handle drops down a bit, forming a finger guard of sorts to keep your hand in place. It also helps to index your grip, as well. The purple anodized titanium handle spacer provides a neat pop of contrasting color against the green. Traction notches above the pivot give enough friction to hold your thumb or index finger in place during tough cutting tasks.
A great testament to Benchmade’s manufacturing quality, every single 940 I have seen out of the box, the blade is centered in the handle, and the action is very smooth. These knives are really dialed in when they come from the factory.
Benchmade also expanded the selection of 940 to include variants that have carbon fiber handles, G-10 handles, and even an automatic opening version with the model 9400, which utilizes a coil spring-fired blade and a button plunge lock as opposed to the Axis Lock. There’s also the model 945 Mini Osborne which scales the 940 down some, creating a nice, ultra-compact folding knife with a 2.9-inch long blade. It still opens quickly, and cuts efficiently.
MSRPs understandably vary with size and handle materials. However, the MSRP for the standard 940 is $240, which puts it on par with other USA-made folders on the market.
Get one and it became fairly clear why the 940 resides at the top of Benchmade’s catalog. Even better yet, you will not be disappointed with the knife as your everyday companion.
Benchmade 940 Osborne Axis Lock Specs
Blade length: 3.4″
Blade thickness: 0.115″
Overall length: 7.8″
Blade material: S30V
Handle material: T6 6061 aluminum
For more information on the 940, please visit Benchmade.
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