This is a discussion on My New EDC - BM 950 Rift within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The laws in NYC are such that no knives can be carried with a blade over 4 inches in length. About 9 years ago, my ...
The laws in NYC are such that no knives can be carried with a blade over 4 inches in length. About 9 years ago, my daily commute had me walking past the 1st Precinct in Manhattan. One day around the 4PM shift change, as I'm walking to the train station, some cop sees my knife inside my waistband, and pulls me to the side. He tells me he's doing me a favor by not arresting me, tells me that what I'm doing is illegal, and ultimately ends up stealing my knife from me and sends me on my way. The knife in question was some Smith and Wesson folder with a serrated blade (blade was definitely under 4", not that it mattered, according to the thief NO knives were legal at all).
That experience soured my taste, and I replaced that knife with one so clearly within legal limits, that next time I wouldn't be scared by the blue bullies. I ended up purchasing a Spyderco Salsa, blade length of under 2.5", and carried it daily till now: :: Spyderco Product Details ::
I no longer commute to NYC on a daily basis, and I've been getting the hankering for a new, quality blade for a while. When it comes to full-size folders, my eyes have always fallen on Benchmade's and Emerson's. I almost ordered a CQC-7, but had nowhere local that I could go check one out and with my hands (XXL gloves sometimes are too small) I really need to hold a knife before purchasing. I have a Victorinox (sp?) nearby that is an official Benchmade seller, so after narrowing my choices down to the 940 and 520, I dropped on by this weekend.
While the 520 was nice, I was really attracted to the Osborne design and I found nothing that stood out as special about it, it just didn't speak to me. The 940 was gorgeous, and even in green (a color I'm not known to be fond of) it looked the part. The problem was that the handle was just not grippy enough for my preferences. With my gargantuan hands, even full size folders disappear in my palm and a grippy surface is something I put a lot of weight on.
What I came home with was something I had missed entirely on Benchmade's site, the 950 Rift. 950 Details | Benchmade
I ended up with the plain edge in acid-etched stainless and black/gray handle. This knife, for me, fits my preferences about as perfectly as a modern-day folder can. The layered G10 grip is the grippiest I have held to date and yet it doesn't rip up your hand (it may rip up jeans/pants though, I'll have to see). The swelled center of the grip adds nice meat to the overall thickness of the knife without making it feel "blocky" ... kinda like a nice thick 1911 grip.
I'm a fan of thumb-studs and this stud does not disappoint. The stud itself is fluted and is coated in a black coating that is quite grippy. The stud is also of nice size, not too big that it interferes with anything, but big enough that it's easy to find when you need it.
This is one of Benchmade's AXIS locking knives. As someone who's had a liner-lock break hold and cut a finger down to bone, a good locking mechanism is also quite important to me. I've had an AXIS lock knife before, and I have 100% faith in this mechanism.
The knife can only be carried tip-up if you use the supplied belt-clip which is fine by me since that's how I carry. You can mount the clip on either side of the knife. The knife has a supplied lanyard hole, but I don't think I'll be using it.
I've read some other reviews since purchasing it, and noted as other have, that the blade is somewhat slow and "gritty" as it came out out of the box. I added a single drop of Weapon-Shield to the pivot area and the knife is now as it should be, that is to say, of Benchmade's standards which are excellent. To that, there is no play in the blade at all, the edge is even throughout the entire length of the blade and of shaving-quality sharpness (as has been every Benchmade I've ever owned/handled).
I don't normally rate things unless I find something extraordinary ... and this knife clearly qualifies. It has all the features I was looking for (grippy, under 4" meaty non-serrated blade, tip-up belt clip, thumb stud, quality lock, no open-assistance), a price I could swallow (I paid MSRP, $180), and a wow factor that speaks to me (the gray/black scales look freaking incredible - I can't wait to show this knife to my friends/co-workers). It excels beyond my wildest expectations in the grip arena though, and that is what has prompted this review.
If you, like me, have overly large hands and have a tough time finding a tactical folder that doesn't make you wonder if you'll be able to retain the weapon with sweaty or bloody hands in a self-defense situation - I highly recommend you check out the 950 Rift.
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I have a Benchmade Kulgera (Osborne) and it also has an Axis lock. I think that it's the best lock on the market. It's extremely slick and easy to use. I looked at the 950 for a really long time, but I ended up buying an Emerson CQC-10. I'm not a big fan of the chisel grind of the CQC-7. The Emerson is my favorite knife that I've owned. My only gripe is that it uses a liner lock. I'm sure the Emerson liner lock will hold up to serious abuse, but I wish it had an Axis lock.