Are you looking for the perfect everyday carry? I was, and I decided to test out three Benchmade knives including the Osborne 940-2. Here is my analysis!
The Osborne 940-2 is great knife for those wanting something durable, with good looks, that will stand the test of time. Due to the high quality materials its made with, along with the lifetime sharpening that is offered by Benchmade along with an excellent warranty, you can be sure the knife will last. And with a price point nearing $200, you should hope it would last a long time!
Unboxing the pocket knife
The knife came in a thick cardboard box. Since I paid so much for this knife, even though the packaging doesn’t matter, seeing high quality presentation is a plus. The box is sturdy enough that I kept it to store the knife in when not in use.
Since I have other Benchmade knives that came in the same kind of box, they stack perfectly in the closet and have the name and model of each knife written on the corner for easy viewing when looking for a specific knife.
The Differences between the Osborne 940/943, 940-1, and the 940-2
The specific model of knife I purchased was the Osborne 940-2. This knife comes in three different variations but they can be confusing and it’s helpful to know the differences. The variations are the 940/943, 940-1, and the 940-2 (the knife I’m reviewing).
The 940 version is the oldest version of the line up. 943 is sometimes used to refer synonymously with the 940, and at other times is the term used to describe the whole 940 family of knives (with three variations, hence the “3”). The 940 has an aluminum handle and weights 2.9 oz. The blade steel is made from S30V which is a good all around steel for keeping sharp while remaining hard.
The 940-1 variation has a carbon fiber handle and weighs in at 2.44 oz. The blade steel is the S90V variation which is harder than the S30V that the other two models have, but still provides a long lasting sharp edge. This knife is the most expensive of the three coming in around $320
This is the variation I tested and it has a handle made from G10. G10 is a high-pressure fiberglass that looks and feels similar to carbon fiber but with a lower cost to produce. Thus, leading to a lower cost knife that is still light weight. The 940-2 variation costs around $179 and weights 2.6 oz which comes in right between the other two models.
Look and Feel of the 940-2
The knife looks good overall. I was impressed with the detail in the G10 handle. At first I thought I was mistakenly sent a 940-1 since it looks similar to carbon fiber at first glance giving it a high quality look.
The handle feels smooth to the touch, but extremely firm when pressure is applied. The grip features varying degrees of curve that shape to your hand well when held.
One this is did notice as soon as I took it out of the box was the pocket clip. At first glance it looked worn. I’m not sure how much you can see from the above picture, but it looked almost like it had been used before with very small “scrapes” on the pocket clip.
Upon further digging, I found from another owner that the pocket clip on this knife has a black oxide coating. With this kind of coating it is completely normal to see these small imperfections, and this coating actually lasts much longer than its powder coated alternative.
It wasn’t a huge deal, but it looked off at first.
The grip of the 940-2 is my biggest complaint on the knife. Not that it isn’t well made, but that it’s too skinny in my opinion. I don’t have very large hands, and it felt skinny in them. When I would grip the knife my fingers would wrap all the way around the knife and touch my hand vs just being on the knife itself.
I personally like to have a slightly more substantial grip for my everyday carry knife. For comparison, the Bugout by Benchmade is also a popular everyday carry knife that is small and light and the handle is thicker overall giving it a more substantial feel.
The Axis Locking Mechanism
The axis locking mechanism is one of my favorites. It never seems to fail, and is easy to operate one handed safely for the non-assisted opening variations.
This knife was easy to throw open as soon as I tried. There wasn’t a break-in period like there is with some knives until it opens smoothly. As soon as you flick it, it opens up confidently.
There are only two complaints I have with this knife opening and closing. The first is that there was a small amount of side-to-side play in the knife when locked in the open position.
I checked on all my other benchmade knives and none of them had any play in the knife side-to-side. There is a good chance this was a one off with my particular knife, but I would have liked to see a more solid lock at the top with tighter tolerances.
Second, when this knife closes, it almost feels loose and “clicky”. It’s tough to describe, but it feels cheap when it closes. It doesn’t have the same confident click that other benchmades have.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not coming back open by itself or not staying in place when shut, it’s just the sound and feeling it makes when it closes doesn’t scream high-quality and secure.
At the end of the day, neither of these issues effect the overall usability of the knife, they are just nitpicky things I would have liked to see different in this price point. \
Durability of the 940-2
The blade steel on this knife is an S30V. If I am completely honest, I can never tell the difference is sharpness or durability between any of the top 3 steels used in modern day knives.
The premium version of this knife used S90V steel, and I can’t tell a single difference in day-to-day use. From a practical stand point, it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference for me.
I think of it like sights on a handgun gun. They may help you shoot slightly better, but at the end of the day, your abilities are limiting the gun, not the other way around. Same with the knife, the steel is not going to be limiting what you can do in 99% of use cases.
The blade is silver with a small reverse tanto edge. One thing I really like about this blade is that it’s skinnier in the middle at the top of the blade, and then gets thicker in the middle of the blade. This gives an excellent grip surface if you ever need to grab the blade itself. In addition, the ticker gauge of steel on the tanto tip provides extra durability in any prying you might need to do. You can be sure the tip will not break.
Would I Recommend this knife?
After daily carrying this knife for about 2 months, I ended up with a love hate relationship.
I love how light it is, but it’s still long. It feels long enough to accomplish any task I need it to do while still remaining a relatively “small” knife. I like the look of the handle and the material. It feels great and is extremely rigid.
I can’t stand knife handles that feel like they may snap under pressure and this handle never once gave me that feeling.
What I could never get over though was how skinny the handle it. I like my knives to feel more substantial in the hand and this knife never did that for me.
You should take everything I’m saying with a grain of salt though, because to this day this is one of their most popular knives ever made so MANY people disagree with my opinions.
I would recommend this knife for someone looking for a long-term, stylish, light weight, everyday carry that can stand up to nearly all day to day tasks you might need it for.
I would not recommend this knife for anyone with very large hands. I don’t think you would be satisficed with the handle for day to day use.
I personally ended up going back to my Benchmade Barrage for my everyday carry just because I like the size and durability slightly better. Along with the assisted opening.
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