BenchMark Knives Ltd Still Around?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by SwampWolf, Aug 28, 2022.

  1. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    I've had a little 31/2" fixed blade BenchMark knife, with its sheath, for many years and have always liked it. Seems to be a well-made knife that sharpens easily and holds its edge but I haven't seen their name around for quite a while. Is the company still in business?
    Thanks for any info.
     
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  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    SMKW still has some.

    Benchmark Quick Linerlock | SMKW

    They are a cheap Chinese knife that tries to confuse people with a name that sounds like Benchmade.
     
  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    rotated rolox.jpg View attachment 1099496
    Nope

    Benchmark started out as a company called Jenkins Metals in Gastonia, NC. Blackie Collins was their designer. They changed the name to Bench Mark because that meant the craftsman's mark on his work.

    This was long before Benchmade. So if anyone was trying to borrow reputation it was Benchmade equating themselves with BenchMark (and Blackie Collins).


    The company was sold to Gerber for the design rights, and much later, R.B. Jenkins bought them back to revive the company, until he eventually retired, along with his knives. Then the name was purchased and ... well.

    Benchmark was a legitimate innovative company. Like so many American knife companies they changed hands, went bankrupt, or were sold and too often turning into "cheap Chinese knife stuff".

    Sad to see one of the most innovative American knife companies only be remembered for what people see now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2022
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  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I wasn't aware of their previous history, but they aren't the same company at this time. The cheap ones are the only ones I've seen.
     
  5. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Thanks for all the helpful input. My BenchMark is decades old and, though I'm certainly not a knife expert, I always considered it to be a well-made blade. It's helped me gut more than a couple of whitetails over the years.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2022
  6. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    I did some research on Benchmark not too long ago. I saw all of the same cheap Chinese knives and thought, "Really? Is this the same company that made MY Benchmark?" I came to the conclusion that even if it is technically the same company, they are not of the same quality.
    Benchmark 001.jpg
     
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  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Brands get sold and bought and sold keeping the same name, but the company and products rarely stay the same. Usually they play off a great reputation and then sell lesser and lesser quality under it. Marbles, BenchMark, Camillus, Schrade, ... :oops: We'll cross our fingers and hope Cold Steel doesn't go that way under new ownership.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2022
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  8. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    BTW, beautiful AD Hunter. Very few were done in Westinghouse ivory micarta.
     
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  9. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you know more about my knife than I do.
     
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  10. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    I think he knows more about ALL of our knives than we do. o_O
    ;):)
     
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  11. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    Of that, I have NO doubt!
     
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  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I think I think I know ... umm...what? SHINY!
     
  13. Blue Jays

    Blue Jays Member

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    Very interesting thread! I learn something new everyday around this place. :thumbup:
     
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  14. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Here are 3 of the last run of Rolox knives when Gerber owned Benchmark's designs.

    30166_8.jpg
     
  15. Chaosracer15

    Chaosracer15 Member

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    I
    I have a first production run 1992 Benchmark Diamondback Rolox with westinghouse micarta handle. I've been trying to find another like it for a while.
     

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  16. rust collector
    • Contributing Member

    rust collector Moderator Staff Member

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    An interesting if all too familiar tale of the history of knife-making in the US. Someone works hard to build a company by producing an outstanding product, then sells the brand to someone he hopes will continue the mission, but who ends up trading on the brand recognition and former glory of the original.

    As a side note, a benchmark is a reference point or scale on a bench or other stationary object. Land surveys usually begin with a benchmark of known location/elevation. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/benchmark
     
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