Benchmade announced its first flipper-activated folder at the 2013 SHOT Show: the 300 Axis Flipper designed by Butch Ball. As the name indicates, the new knife has the advantage of using Benchmade’s proprietary ambidextrous Axis blade-locking system.
The 154CM stainless, drop-point blade is 3.18 inches long and 0.013 inches thick. Its stainless steel handle frame is covered with textured, brown and tan G10 scales with a reversible pocket carry-clip. For those who are not fans of blade flippers, and I know there are a few, the knife offers dual thumb-peg openers. The weight is 4.85 ounces, and suggested retail price is $175.
I’ve been carrying the 300 around our homestead on an almost daily basis for roughly three months now. The 3.18-inch blade is a little shorter than I prefer for everyday carry, but to a certain a degree the knife makes up for its modest size with its heavy-duty construction. This is a serious working folder that will take a licking and keep on ticking. I had zero problems with lock function or blade play. And like all Benchmade knives, the 300’s edge came extremely sharp, and the American 154CM blade alloy retained that cutting ability for long periods of time.
Flip or Thumb
I never decided if I preferred the flipper over the thumb pegs, as I found myself using both without thinking about it. If you have a tendency to not religiously clean and oil the pivot area of the knife, you may find that it takes a little extra English to use the flipper. The pegs, on the other hand, are normally pushed all the way through the opening movement, so a perfectly tuned pivot pin is less of a concern.
Combine the custom lines of a Butch Ball design with the strength and practicality of the Benchmade Axis lock, and the end result is a sure-fire folding knife. Hopefully, we can look to more Butch Ball flippers from Benchmade in the future.