Benchmade’s New Black Class Knives features the Osborne Rift Axis


by Greg Quinn

photography by Greg Quinn

August 4th, 2008




Benchmade has been designing and making high quality knives for many years.  We at have used and abused many Benchmade knives.  We test them and use them because we like them.  They’ve never failed us.  Benchmade stands behind their products.  Most (but not all) are made in the good ol’ USA.  They have a lifetime sharpening service.  Their lockwork is well-designed, strong, and easy to use.  They employ some of the finest knife designers to work on great knife designs and features.  And, they are delivered to the market at a reasonable price point.

One of Benchmade’s latest knife series is the “Black Class” series.  These special duty knives feature great tactical designs and features by some of the finest knife designers around.  The knife of this article is the Rift design by Warren Osborne.

The Osborne Rift Axis features patented AXIS mechanics, one-hand ambidextrous function, available in serrated (950SBK) or non-serrated blades (950), a unique camo pattern on the handle, heavy textured G10 handle, and tough black finish on the 154CM reverse tanto blade.  This product is new for 2008.  It has a 3.67” blade, is 4.60” closed, 8.27” open, and weighs 4.80 oz.  It is made in the USA.  The stainless steel blade is hardened to 58-61 HRC.  The G10 handle features layered scales (in black and charcoal) for ease of hold, even with wet hands, double steel liners, and a removable carry clip.  The black and charcoal gray scales come together in a unique pattern than resembles an urban camo pattern, but then blends well with any treestand type camo. 

Like most Benchmade folders, the lockwork on the Rift is strong.  Unlike many knife designs with the blade release in the liner, Benchmade uses their AXIS lock system with the blade release in the handle.  For most of us, this is a nice feature.  It is easier to use with gloved hands and for one-hand closing.  Some of my favorite knives have releases in the liner, but I do like this feature on the Rift and other fine Benchmade knives.

The Rift in serrated as shown can be yours directly from Benchmade for a price of $192.

The Rift and other Warren Osborne designed knives can be viewed on Benchmade’s fine website (, as well as their entire product offering.  No matter the knife need, you will most likely find it represented in a quality fashion from Benchmade’s offerings.

Greg Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.



The Benchmade Osborne Rift AXIS lock blade is a good looking and tough knife, ready for all your tactical edged weapons needs.



The Benchmade Rift, one of the new "Black Class" knives for 2008, blends in very well with a variety of treestand camo patterns, such as on this Realtree camo Rynoskin underclothing.



The Rift, with its strong AXIS locking system, ambi opening studs, reverse tanto blade design, and strong G10 handles is as practical as it is good-looking.



Another view of the Rift.  The clip is removable and reversible.  note the lock release is ambidextrous as well; a nice feature.  This knife was a first production run prototype, but production models will have the same exact features (except the first production run markings on the blade).



The Warren Osborne-designed Benchmade Rift AXIS.  Good looks, tough, dependable cutlery for a less-than-$200 price.