Thursday, January 17, 2013

SHOT Show 2013: Benchmade and Leatherman

SHOT Show is an interesting mix of folks and while body armor is cool, I am not sure how relevant it is to EDC stuff (unless you are, of course, a mall ninja).  Wading through the torrent of information coming out of Las Vegas is still useful though because not only do you get a good deal of EDC related nuggets, you also find new people disseminating information.


Here is a video from Fate of Destinee at the Benchmade booth:

Her presentation is top notch and knowledge of steels is impressive (and not just "for a woman"; note that the equipped to endure guy mentioned nothing about steels until Ethan Becker did).  The Benchmade line up however is a bit staid.  The 300SN flipper has been covered extensively already, including this good review from Aaron.  The Volley looks, well, boring.  It seems like an answer to a unasked question.  I like that it is thin, but the market for 3-3.5 inch folders is already JAMMED with great blades and this looks like it offers nothing new.  The Sibert fixed blade looks great.  I am usually not a fan of Sibert's work, preferring lighter smaller folders, but I see the quality inherent in his designs and the Benchmade fixed blade is no different, except I am more willing to take the extra weight in a fixed blade knife.  The purist bushcraft folks will balk at the synthetic handle, but the overall shape and look coupled with Benchmade's always great fit and finish make it seem like a winner.  I am only afraid of its price tag.


Here is a video from friend of the blog Juli over at Leatherman:

First up are task specific multitools that appear to be based not on a butterfly opening multitool but last year's ZRex cutter.  There are a few new look updates for the OHT, the Charge TTi (my favorite large multitool).  The Surge (the extra large tool) gets a bunch of swappable options both for the saw and pliers.  It can now take any T-shank blade (like those used on a jig saw).  That idea alone is a master stroke, but with the upgraded plier jaws the Surge looks like the king of extra large multitools.  The Raptor is a EMT multitool shear.  I know nothing about what EMTs use it for, but I do not that most pitch their shears after a job, so I am not sure how useful they will be.  Of course, if you are an EMT, chime and tell me how dumb I am.  

Benchmade's showing was sparse, but the Sibert blade looks great.  Leatherman, on the other hand, had another great showing (after last year and the debut of the OHT).  They are the Tom Petty of SHOT Show--always consistently very, very good, never great, but very good.   


  1. I suppose it's too much to hope for Benchmade to actually make a smaller knife with an Axis lock. Heck, a smaller knife in general would be great.

    Like the Aphid, but with a useable thumbstud (or thumbhole, even).

    1. There is a compensation joke somewhere in this area, but I am not even going there.

    2. Oh, and yes, I totally agree. They have a few but they are overly fancy. How about a good competitor for the Dragonfly? How about a 2.75 inch flipper with an Axis lock?

    3. I think the Aphid is actually the perfect size and blade shape, but I'm not feelin' the liner lock or the thumbstud that's so close to the scales.

      So basically, just fix that knife, rerelease it, and we're cool.

    4. Word up. Beautiful shape on that little knife. Personally I would lose the assist opening (I think they're kind of lame on EDC blades), change the opening to flipper, give it Axis lock and 154CM. Sold! I even have a picture in my mind.

  2. The Volley looks like it has some potential. Not sure I'd want it assisted but seems very thin and light. As for a small Benchmade, I'd just go with a mini Griptilian. I have a 707 as well and it's well, like a more expensive mini Griptilian. Just my .02.

  3. I'm don't think the Raptor will fly (ba-dum-DUM-ching!).

    I'm only a First Responder, but I've worked with enough EMTs to know that they like their tools simple, accessible, and replaceable. The Raptor ain't any of these. The window punch and O2 wrench look like they would be awkward to use. The shears look tough, but you can get good ones for $5-10.

    I think most EMTs would be happy to stick with 2 or 3 dedicated tools instead of this.

  4. EMT here. I'd say that EMTs I know will probably fall into two camps on the Raptor. One group, the "Ricky Rescue" guys with the utility belts and all the gadgets, will be all over it. The rest of us will realize that it's combining a bunch of functions that don't need to be combined and probably won't do any of them well.

    Personally, I'll stick to my disposable shears and the oxygen wrench that we keep attached to the regulator, and continue to have a small multitool on my keys in case I need it.