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benchmade axis lock blade play

Discussion in 'Knives' started by Ironman5517, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Ironman5517

    Ironman5517 Loaded Pockets

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    I recently found myself in possession of some gift-cards to a local sporting goods store that has a decent selection of Benchmade knives. I selected a 551 for purchase. Inspected the knife and all seemed well. It was the last one they had and were closing so I hastily checked the knife for use and purchased it. Upon Further inspection the blade is not centered, it slightly rubs the handle scale and there is significant blade play side to side. I do not have blade play on any of my other BM axis folders. I took it to the retailer and was told all BM axis folders have blade play. I have owned several knives and know blade play is not a regular occurrence, especially with BM. I explained it to the associate that blade play is not acceptable She then said "here look at these." I did and to my shock, ALL OF THEIR AXIS LOCK FOLDERS HAD SIGNIFICANT BLADE PLAY! WHAT GIVES!? I will be sending mine in. They didn't have another 551 so I decided to keep mine. I know they can send it in for me but the hassle of going back to the store is enough to send it my self. Anyone else having issues with the griptilian line or any other axis locking model? Oh and I know I made the first mistake of not checking the blade, but it was the last one and there won't be any in stock for a long time according to the associate. I can use the knife not care of the centering or rubbing but I need to know if the blade play is widespread.
     
  2. StubbornWheat

    StubbornWheat Loaded Pockets

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    I have a 551 in my hands right now.
    It has slight blade play, but not what I would call significant. Its also perfectly centered.
    Seems to me like this store has a bad batch. Hard to imagine BM letting such poor quality leave their facility.
     
  3. onceuponanace

    onceuponanace Loaded Pockets

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    I have had some blades from BM and they do develop some play over time but I have just tightened the pivot screws and the problems went away. As for the centering I know that frame lock knives can look off center when the pivot screw is loose due to the frame pushing on the blade but since this is an Axis lock this should not be the case. You may want to try tightening the pivot screw first and see what happens (if you have a blue box that is).
     
  4. mrpink

    mrpink Banned

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    you need to send it in. mine has that problem, i tightened the pivot and it works but at the expense of ease of opening i have been needing to send mine in. and i hate how sporting goods stores sell most of their knives as brand new when most of them they sell have been fondled by customers and some even returned.
     
  5. twinboysdad

    twinboysdad Loaded Pockets

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    I would return it to the store for a refund and let them deal with Benchmade! An exchange for something else at a minimum
     
  6. Flash Owl

    Flash Owl Loaded Pockets

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    id suggest tightening the pivot screw.
    benchmades have tight tolerances so tighten it millimeter by millimeter. less than that if possibly.

    if that doesnt help, then id say return it if your not satisfied.
     
  7. Lev

    Lev Loaded Pockets

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    I'm EDC'ing my Mini grip today. Zero blade play and perfectly centered.
    I definitely return it if you are not happy.
     
  8. Ironman5517

    Ironman5517 Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah, I went back and opted for a different knife. The one I picked out has a perfectly centered blade but has blade play issues. Not when the lock is engaged it wiggles when you close it. My old griptillian does not have any play open or closed. I can deal with the wiggle when its closed. I will be sending it in since I decided to get a new blade for my old one. Just wonder if they will swap it out with a 154cm since it is the old 440c.
     
  9. knifeguy

    knifeguy Loaded Pockets

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    My ritter grip has side to side blade play when open and closed. I can tighten down the screw but then the knife is hard to open. I had been wondering if this was normal for a while.
     
  10. Chris201W

    Chris201W Loaded Pockets

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    I've purchased five Axis lock Benchmades (three mini-griptilians, one full-size griptilian, and a 707). A little bit of side-to-side blade play is totally normal for these knives. Opening and closing the knife loosens up the pivot screw over time. Note that vertical blade play is not normal, and indicates something is actually wrong with the locking mechanism. If you look at how the Axis lock works you'll understand why that's the case. The design is self-correcting for vertical blade play.

    The reason I say side-to-side blade play is normal and nothing to worry about is that it's easily corrected by adjusting the pivot screw. I would suggest putting a small drop of blue loctite on the pivot screw and adjusting it to that sweet spot where the knife opens easily but there's no side-to-side blade play (note that this voids the Benchmade warranty, as absurd as that is). In my experience, that sweet spot is very small. When the screw is close to the right position, moving it a very small amount makes a big difference in how tight the blade is. It takes a little bit of trial and error. Once you get it just right, let the knife sit for 24 hours to let the loctite cure. After doing that, you'll probably need to take the knife apart to clean and lube it before you need to adjust the pivot screw again.

    Regarding blade centering and overall fit and finish, remember that the griptilians are relatively inexpensive mass-produced knives. We can't expect perfectly centered blades on every one coming out of the factory. Of the five Axis lock knives I've bought, four had perfectly centered blades (for all intents and purposes) and one had a grossly uncentered blade. It's way over to one side, and almost rubs against the liner. It's disappointing to see, but I can't expect Benchmade QC to reject a knife that opens and closes without binding and otherwise functions properly just because the blade is off-center. If they started doing that, where would they draw the line? They would have to specify some allowable deviation from center, and measure every knife that comes off the line to see if it meets that requirement. That's totally impractial compared to the more realistic test of quickly opening and closing the knife to make sure it doesn't bind.

    My full-size griptilian has a centered blade, but, believe it or not, the liners are not parallel. This causes a gap between the liners and one side of the washers when the pivot screw is adjusted for minimal blade play and easy opening. This isn't great, but the bottom line is the knife functions properly. Just as with blade centering, if Benchmade were to specify some tolerance for liner parallelism, they would have to reject an awful lot of fully-functional knives. The end result would be increased cost to the consumer. There are higher end knives for people who are willing to pay a premium for more consistent fit and finish.

    In the end, the best thing you can do is always buy knives from local stores, and thoroughly inspect them before buying. That way you can be sure the particular knife you're getting is up to your quality standards, not just Benchmade's.