Benchmade and Spyderco are pretty much the cream of the crop when it comes to folding knives. While you can find other premium brands, these two manufacturers are two of the biggest and most well known companies that produce quality pocket knives that are good for EDC as well as outdoor or tactical tasks.
Benchmade has invested in manufacturing by using some of the highest quality steels on the market. The SV30 is one of our favorites, and the Benchmade 940 will stand the test of time (and already has).
Spyderco has been making high quality steel knives since the 70’s, and makes some excellent options for folding knives as well as fixed blade options. While many of Spyderco’s knives are pretty budget friendly, they do have some that are higher quality and have a more expensive price tag to match.
1. About Benchmade
Benchmade started back at the end of the 1970s, which is when the company was first established. They have grown and molded themselves to become one of the most well respected premium knife manufacturers in the United States.
Make no mistake, buying a Benchmade knife is an investment. You can see the steel quality in some of our pictures here in our 940 McHenry review, and you can tell by the quality that their knives are built to last.
2. Benchmade Specs
There are so many options to choose from with Benchmade, that it can get confusing. We want to help alleviate that confusion by breaking down some of our favorites:
Fixed Contego: The fixed blade Contego has a blade made from CPM-S30V steel. The blade length is 4.97 inches and the overall length of the knife is 10.18 inches. This is a tough, high performance knife with a great design.
Auto Triage: The Auto Triage comes with a 3.58 inch blade that is made from N680 steel. The handle is made from G10 and aluminum and the knife has a drop point style. It’s an excellent choice for any rescue situation.
Mini Barrage: The Mini-Barrage is a folding knife with a 2.91 inch blade. The blade is made from 154CM steel and overall the knife measures 6.91 inches when open. It has an assisted opening mechanism for ease of use.
Bedlam: The Bedlam comes with a 4 inch blade made from 154CM satin steel. This is a folding knife with manual opening and its overall length when open is 9.76 inches. It’s another high performance premium folder that’s slightly longer than other folding knives, which provides additional leverage when needed for difficult tasks.
Saddle Mountain Skinner: A hunting knife needs to be able to perform well, and the Saddle Mountain Skinner exceeds in just about every category. It comes equipped with a 4.17 inch blade made out of CPM-S30V steel. You can choose from two different options when it comes to the handle.
3. Spyderco Knives
The first Spyderco folding knife was made back in 1981. This was a knife that had unique features at the time and helped to change the face of knife manufacturing across the board. Today, this company has become known for its high quality knives that are manufactured with precision and the latest technology.
Spyderco has knives that cross all budget spectrums, so if you find something that looks too expensive at first, you may find a similar model made by them that’s easier on your wallet.
4. Spyderco Specs
There are hundreds of knives in Spyderco’s catalog, which can make picking one a daunting task. We help you out by highlighting some of our Spyderco Favorites:
The Advocate: The Advocate is a flipper style folder. The 3.49 inch blade is made from CPM M4 steel and the knife measures 8.04 inches overall when it is open. It comes with a durable and stylish titanium handle and a full flat grind.
Proficient Carbon Fiber Knife: The Proficient Carbon Fiber has a 4 inch blade made from CPM S90V steel. The handle is made from carbon fiber and provides comfortable handling and easy grip. It measures 8.75 inches overall and has a full flat grind.
The Manix: The Manix is great for fishing, EDC and outdoor use. It’s a stylish folding knife with a blade that measures 3.37 inches. It comes with a G-10 handle and the blade is made from CPM S30V steel.
CHaparral Stepped Titanium: If you are looking for a stylish and affordable gentleman’s knife, the Chaparral Stepped Titanium is worth a look. This is a stunning knife that has 2.75 inch blade made from CTS XHP steel. It comes with a full flat grind and an overall open length of 6.35 inches. The titanium handle is robust and adds a beautiful finish to the knife.
Karahawk G-10: The Karahawk G-10 is a tactical beast and is made with VG-10 steel and comes equipped with a G-10 handle. Stylish and unique, this knife measures 6.50 inches when open and has a Saber grind.
5. Making the Right Pick
Picking a knife isn’t a life or death decision, but you still want to get the most value for your dollar. The good news is that both of these manufacturers produce excellent quality knives, and it’s hard to go wrong with either one of them.
Spyderco has great options, Benchmade has great options. Benchmade probably has more “premium” options than Spyderco, but they will also hit your wallet harder.
Bottom Line: Both are fantastic manufacturers. If budget is an issue, go with Spyderco. If you can cough up the cash, you’ll never regret owning a Benchmade knife.