I’m always thinking of ways to combine things that I love. In fact, that’s partially how I came into reviewing knives. Knives have always fascinated me, and I happen to do a lot of writing as part of my job and the seminary training I’m currently undergoing, as I pursue a Masters of Divinity degree. Ministry and knives may not seem to go together, but somebody had to have stuck a lot of things in milk before they finally decided on the Oreo cookie. The Benchmade 300SN AXIS Flipper is kind of like that.
It combines the attributes of a wonderful work knife with the convenience of an everyday carry. Due to the flipper mechanism, AXIS lock, and G10 handle, this knife works well with those who need to wear gloves on the job site. But let’s not limit ourselves to the work environment because this knife rests deep in the pocket, which makes it considerably comfortable for every day carry as well.
Drop-point, Swedge Grind, Blade
So let’s start with the blade. The American-made 154CM stainless steel blade exhibits no blade wobble between the handles—which is important because it shows that special care was put into the design. Sloppy design often results in a sloppy product. The Benchmade 300SN AXIS Flipper, however, cut well and carried well. It really proved to have a great design. In our blade testing, the knife charged through cardboard, hard plastic, and ¼ inch rope with ease. The 300SN has a drop-point blade that is handy for everyday needs and is complemented by a swedge grind along the top that tapers into a sleek look and razor-sharp point. The advantage of the swedge is that it brings the blade to a finer point—plus it gives it some attitude!
Benchmade 300SN AXIS Flipper is Easy to Use
By far, the most impressive feature is how smooth the 300SN AXIS flipper opens. This is not a blade-assisted knife, but with a touch of the flipper and a gentle flick of the wrist, the silky smooth opening releases the blade into a marvelous position that just makes you wanna smile and say, “Wow, that was fun.” In my opinion, this feature alone makes the 300SN a bona fide everyday carry. As far as carrying this knife, the pocket clip allows the knife to sit deep in the pocket—perfect for concealment and definitely more comfortable. And the experience was the same whether I was wearing jeans or shorts. It just lies tucked away so that you almost forget that it’s there.
There is another feature of the flipper that presents itself when the knife is fully opened. Here the flipper converts to a finger choil. The added benefit of the choil is obvious for safety reasons, but it also adds to the overall comfort and usability. The choil positions your (left or right) hand perfectly so that it wraps comfortably over the knife and into the finger spacings. It’s a feature that stood out to me and shouldn’t be overlooked. Those who carry knives know how important the grip is because it affects the way you cut.
Work Glove Friendly AXIS Lock
Whether you’re a professional builder or a weekend warrior (I’m the latter.), it’s hard to find a knife that compliments the work glove—this product pulls it off. Most knives won’t accommodate a gloved hand because the bulk makes it either too hard to open or too hard to close. This isn’t the case with the 300SN—mostly due to the flipper and the AXIS lock mechanism. Wearing gloves, I found that the flipper allowed me to open the knife quite simply. In fact, I’m fairly certain you could even open this knife with a catchers mitt.
OK, maybe not. Still, the AXIS lock is just as glove-friendly, letting you close the knife with just one hand. Without a glove, you can fold the knife over with just a finger. Wearing one, you simply hold the knife vertically, press the lock downward, and let gravity do the rest. The one-handed close worked great no matter what we were wearing. It’s not often that the closing mechanism of a knife is as enticing as the open, but in this case, the AXIS is something of a marvel.
Desert Sand G10 Handle
The desert sand G10 handle provides excellent grip, comfort, strength, and durability. G10 scales are very popular among high-end knives because they are incredibly strong and durable. Add to that strength and its thickness (0.59 inches), and you have a knife that fills the hand in a way that gives you maximum command of the blade. There is nothing worse than carrying a knife that slips around. With the Benchmade 300SN AXIS Flipper, the G10 scales allow none of that. Benchmade also carved the grip into the knife handle, which resulted in a gnarly tiger stripe-looking pattern. These are actually grooves that are cut right into the sandwiched layers of the handle. From an aesthetic point of view, these grooves look pretty cool, but in terms of functionality, I didn’t find them to be significantly useful to either the grip or the feel.
What’s the Deal with G10 Handle?
A G10 handle is made with a technology that is borrowed from the electronics industry. It’s a laminate material made by inserting glass-woven fabric into and flush with, an epoxy resin binder. All of this is put together under high pressure—very similar to how the main component to printed circuit boards are made. G10 can be made in virtually any color, and since it’s stable and easy to work with, it is quickly becoming a popular product used in the making of knife handles.
The 900SN Low-rider
Some may think this is insignificant, but I personally love a knife that sits deep in the pocket. For some reason, finding a knife like that seems rare. It’s just more comfortable, concealable and in my opinion, just better looking. I hate when I carry a knife that sits high in the pocket because when you sit, it ends up jabbing me in the side. Benchmade deserves some credit for taking a knife this size and providing a pocket clip that allows for a deep carry.
This is a fantastic knife. It opens like a charm with either the flipper or thumb studs, and it closes just as easily due to the AXIS lock. The desert sand G10 handle provides excellent grip and durability, and the low-rider pocket clip is a gift that keeps on giving. I can highly recommend this knife because it perfectly melds the work knife and everyday, all-purpose blade in a way I didn’t previously think was possible.