Saturday, March 24, 2012

Benchmade’s “Invincible” or pardon my Greek!

Benchmade’s new Adamas just arrived today.  That gave me a chance to take it out and look at it.  I can’t run it through its paces.  It’s not mine but that doesn’t mean I can’t admire it.

The Adamas is also available as an auto.

It’s a big knife.  The handle is about three quarters of an inch thick and the blade is 5/32 inch thick.  I was surprised to find the blade is just under 4 inches long.  It looks longer in my hand.  (Don’t bother…I’ve heard all the guy jokes about measurements).

The steel is D2 which Benchmade hardens to 60-62 Rockwell C.  That hard, very hard.  I’ve had had instructors claim you really can’t measure anything above 62 Rockwell.  It seems at that level of hardness the flex of the machine’s metal parts throw the measurements off.  No matter.  I have no doubt that Benchmade has tempered the steel properly and you will not see the problem with brittleness high hardness steels can have.

I like the open design which exposes the spine of the knife.  It makes the locking mechanism more susceptible to picking up dirt and sand, but easier to flush, clean and re-oil.  What is life, but one trade-off against another?

You can't see them, but two bronze washers help support the blade.  The open black makes it easy to wash out the crud that collects there.

D2 is a high carbon, enriched chromium steel.  I suspect much of the chromium is tried up as chrome carbide grains, pinning steel grain boundaries and not available to for the rust protective chrome oxide on the surface.  I’d suggest keeping it oiled.  But it does have a reputation for being sharp and holding an edge.

The blade doesn’t fly out of the handle.  I’m not sure what I think about that. The pivot point and supporting surfaces are big.  This gives you strength.  Even with what I assume to be oil impregnated bronze washers, opening the blade remains a deliberate act.  It’s clear it was designed for glove-wearing men and women.  It’s not meant for the civilian, standing-back-by-the-barbecue market.  I should know.  I’m part of that crowd.

Should you own one?

Most of us have quiet, peaceful lives.  We cut open our pay envelope, make short work of duct taped wrapped packages in the attic and whittle down the ends of a swollen piece of wood to fit in a holder.  Just about any quality knife will fit the bill.

But if you ever had to build a fire to keep warm, or worried about the shadows at the end of the alley, or needed to pry open a box to get back in the fight, you’ll find a lot of comfort having the Adamas in your pocket.

From a tactical point of view, I can carry a knife in a lot of places I can’t take a gun.  Nobody gets too cranked up about it, if I open it the polite way. (That’s two handed.)  Even having a $140 knife confiscated isn’t as painful as a $300+ gun.

Sure, you get some kidding from the gun-only crowd.  But….I’ve known a lot of well-trained martial artists who’d think twice about going empty-handed against someone with a knife imitating a Waring Blender. 

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