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Maybe the best Benchmade ever?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by rcmodel, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Maybe the best Benchmade ever?
    To me, the quintessential Benchmade knife has to be the old AFCK (Advanced Folding Combat Knife) of the 90’s?

    #800 3.9” AFCK and #812BT 3.25” Mini-AFCK


    The AFCK was designed by former Navy SEAL Chris Caracci in collaboration with Benchmade.
    It also used the Spyderco trademark hole in the blade, and I think Benchmade had to pay Spyderco for using it under a license agreement.

    Even Benchmade says “The AFCK has a strong history as one of Benchmade®'s most popular knives.”
    So why did they stop making it then???

    I have heard there was a falling out with the designer.
    Also a falling out with Spyderco over the licensing agreement??
    But who knows for sure.

    I know I have never found the same combination of ergonomic hand fitting design, perfect balance, and cutting ability in any other folding knife I have ever owned.

    The #800 3.9” blade comes out as much closer to a 5” knife when held in a normal fencing grip.
    And the #812 3 ¼” Mini comes out as a 4” knife when held the same way.
    Yet you can choke up on either one for fine detail work.

    #800 AFCK balance

    #812BT Mini-AFCK balance

    They are still the perfect EDC knives for me to this day, and I keep going back to them again & again after buying & trying other knives for a while.

    I like the Axis-Lock on the newer Benchmade’s I own way better than the Titanium liner-lock of the old AFCK’s.
    But by the time they got around to making an Axis-Lock AFCK, they also got around to not making them without a black blade coating.
    BTDT, got the t-shirt!

    The #812BT Mini-AFCK shown here started out with the Birdsong Black-T coating.
    But it looked rode hard & put away wet after the first month of use.
    So I polished all the rest of it off that hadn’t already been scratched off.

    A couple of months ago, two liner screws stripped out of the G-10 threads on the Mini-AFCK.
    I sent it back to Benchmade, and they installed metal bushings in the stripped holes just like the larger AFCK had from the get-go.
    They returned the knife to me like new, except for the finish, for free after 20 years of use.

  2. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Well-Known Member

    The AFCK is a fine knife (although a bit pricey for my wallet...). I much prefer the old Ascent (also discontinued) which has the exact same handle configuration, a blade of ATS 34, along with a simpler lockback system. That lockback is the key reason I prefer the Ascent, since with it I can open AND close the blade one handed. I like the largest model and use it as part of my gear every day I'm on the water (fishing guide somewhere in the Everglades). If you toss a big castnet you need a one handed knife as a safety feature (and rarely have two hands free to close it when it's no longer needed).

    Wish they'd kept both models in production.
  3. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator

    Nice knife.
    I don't own any Benchmades, Just me and my quirky thinking.
  4. Walking Dead

    Walking Dead Well-Known Member

    Love that knife.
  5. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Well-Known Member

    I ran across mine on the bench today looking for stuff. I carried it long enough to get it looking like this but then watched a friend break his tip doing something I might do and moved to my Sebenzas.

    The Benchmade doesn't get far though as I keep it in the shop for cutting/trimming gaskets, shaving rubber and generally jobs that I might otherwise use an X-acto for.

    I carried it for years around my neck on a brass bail I made but eventually removed the bail and reinstalled the clip. The great balance from the bail is shown in the photo hanging from the vice.

    Attached Files:

  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    You should try an AFCK liner-lock sometime then.

    If it isn't one-handed, I don't know of any knife that is.

    If the pivot screw is properly adjusted, it almost falls open once you start it open.
    And falls half-way closed when you push the liner-lock over with your thumb and give it a gentle downward flick.

    At no point is two hands ever needed.

  7. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Well-Known Member

    I agree, the later Axis AFCKs with the D2 blade were about as close to a perfect EDC knife as you could get.
  8. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Well-Known Member

    Looked quickly at the pics of all the AFCKs and was reminded of something I'd forgotten. The Ascent (unlike the AFCK) has the threaded mounts in place to allow you to carry the knife with the clip at either end of the handle (and, of course, as contrary as I am my clip is opposite of the way you see all the AFCKs as they came from the factory....).
  9. hmphargh

    hmphargh Well-Known Member

    Benchmade has stated that they will not make any knife with tip up carry if it does not have an Axis lock. I believe that the logic is that the Axis lock mechanism provides just enough resistance to avoid it from accidentally coming open in a pocket if a pivot is loose. Not sure if I agree with the logic, but it is what it is.
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The AFCK comes out of the pocket in perfect opening position in your hand tip-down anyway.

    You can use the Spydy-hole, you can use a finger - thumb pinch-grip on the hole and let the handle weight open it, or you can start it open with your thumb and flip it the rest of the way.

    But regardles of how you do it, your hand is in perfect position on the grip when it opens.

    Tip-up would be bass-ackward for the design. you would have to do a double hand shuffle to get down to the opening end as fast, IMO:

  11. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Well-Known Member

    I carried one of the later production 806D2 models as my EDC for about six years. It's one of the ones that is drilled for 4-way carry. Sometime around 2008 I switched over to tip-up carry and I have found that the old AFCK still works pretty well.

    My current EDC is a Spyderco Paramilitary 2. I can't think of a single way to improve it other than to offer a fully serrated version.
  12. JN01

    JN01 Well-Known Member

    I have the Mini. If I carry a folder, it is usually that one.
  13. hmphargh

    hmphargh Well-Known Member

    I respectfully disagree. I don't mind either tip up or tip down carry, but for convenience and quick opening, I do vary the way I carry the knife depending on design.

    If a knife is carried tip up, I put it in my pocket so that the blade faces the outside of my pocket. If a knife is carried tip down, I carry it in my pocket so that the blade faces inward. This system allows me to reach into the pocket and retrieve a knife for quick opening using essentially the same motion.

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