Benchmade has been making high quality
knives for many years. Among
my favorite carry knives is a Benchmade 10200 Ambush that Iíve
been using without fail for some 4 years now.
Iíve used it as a screwdriver, a pry bar, a scraper,
and a knife. Iíve lost it in the mud, dropped it, ran over it with a
4-wheeler, and abused it severely, and it is yet to fail me.
It holds an edge well and still looks good after several
hard years of use. Itís
not one of my nicest knives, or nearly the most expensive.
It is simply a hard-working, tough, inexpensive knife
that has worked well over the years.
It is a Mel Pardue design.
Mel has a 20-year experience of designing and making
knives, and has been teamed with Benchmade for some time.
Unlike most Benchmade knives that are made in the good
olí USA, the Ambush is imported (unfortunately).
Even more unfortunately, it is no longer available.
Over the past several years, Benchmade has moved
from creating knives for tactical, hunting, and general purpose
use to specialty knives for unique functions.
Their rescue tools, for example, are utilized extensively
in the field and are very well made and do their job well.
No doubt that many people trapped in cars have owed their
lives to brave rescuers and emergency personnel, and the tools
they carry, such as the Benchmade Models 5, 6 (now
discontinued), 7, 8, 100SH2O, or 10105.
When I saw at SHOT
2008 the Benchmade Ink Pen, the subject of this article,
I thought that pretty Emily DuPlessis was pulling my leg.
To my brother Jeff, a knife is a tool.
To me, an ink pen is a tool.
I use them and go through them more often than most, and
never could understand the person that spent $100 or more for a
quality writing instrument. Until
I have been using the Benchmade 1100 Pen Series
ink pen for nearly 4 months as of this writing.
It is practically part of my daily business wardrobe.
As a business executive with a technology company, and as
VP of Business Development with Gunblast.com, I use an ink pen
daily. If I have on
a shirt, then I have an ink pen clipped in its pocket, or
between the buttons of a golf shirt.
For the past several months, the pen has been the
The 1100 has a charcoal body out of
hard-anodized T6 aluminum.
The body, cap and grip are all made of the same durable
aluminum material, and are all anodized charcoal, except for the
blue ink instrument, in which the pen grip is anodized blue. The
pen has a removable stainless steel clip containing the
Benchmade logo. Cartridges
are manufactured by Fisher, and are of the excellent
Fisher Space Pen cartridge type.
The body, cap, and grip have an ergonomic
texture pattern that makes the pen easy to hold.
The edges are sharp on the body so to offer firm grip,
even with wet hands. The
charcoal finish is non-reflective, much like a tactical folder
knife. The end of
the pen body has a sharp point, almost like a small 3D
affording a nice look, it is made to double as a self-defense
weapon in a crisis situation. This is one pen body that could, if necessary, inflict
serious injury with proper thrust and placement.
Iíd hate to have one of these things gouged in my eye,
As one who flies a lot, I was concerned about TSA
confiscating the Benchmade 1100 pen in airport security.
Looking at the pointed end, one might consider this a
ďweaponĒ, or so I feared.
However, it has accompanied me on several flights, and
has yet to become an issue.
Iím not an ink pen expert.
They are tools that are used daily and not given much
thought by most. Iíve
used nice ink pens in the past, and own several other high
quality writing instruments.
Iíd say that the Benchmade 1100 is among the finest I
own. While it
doesnít have the luxury feel of a Mont Blanc, it is
designed for one that appreciates utility function over luxury.
The fit and finish are excellent.
The function is flawless.
The Fisher refill is very high quality.
Some may say it is a bit heavy, but I appreciate the heft
of the instrument. It works. It is
tough. It is made
in the USA. It is
manufactured of quality components.
For a high-end writing instrument, the price of a bit
over a hundred bucks isnít bad.
And, in a crisis situation where an ink pen was the
closest thing to a weapon to be found, Iíd prefer the
Benchmade 1100 to any other pen out there.
Leave it to Benchmade to blur the line between
an ink pen as something to write with and something to use in a
defensive situation. The
1100 does both very well.
For more information on this and other fine
Benchmade products, go to www.benchmade.com.
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