on March 13, 2013
I'll spare the gushing over this knife seen in other reviews on the 470. To summarize, it is excellent. Solid, smooth, lightning quick. It will be my EDC for years and years.
A few other notes:
1. Your blade may have a touch of play in it (mine did), just tighten the pivot screw and it will be perfect with zero movement. There is a very small tolerance in this screw between a tad too tight which slows down the opening and being fast but with blade wiggle. I'm talking like 1/8th a turn. I recommend a tiny dab of blue loctite on the pivot screw before you start tinkering. Without it, the opening recoil of this knife will definitely start to back that screw out a tiny bit each time and with such a small tolerance on how tight that screw needs to be you will get blade play . I would be very surprised if this voided your warranty, but cannot confirm. You could call benchmade if you are concerned.
2. I went ahead and put some loctite on the clip as well. Careful when tightening these screws. I semi-stripped one of them while doing this. Doesn't bother me at all since those screws are nice and snug with some loctite and i'll never need to get them out. I wish they recessed the clip into the knife handle so it would be flush. The screws can just slightly catch your pocket and require a second jiggle to get fully down. This is a very minor inconvenience. The knife sits nice and low in the pocket. I wish the clip were either matte silver or black instead of mirror finish so it would be less obvious that I am carrying a knife, but it's not a huge deal. It does look pretty good on there.
3. The coating seems like it is going to scratch up fairly easily. Mine already has a few tiny grey scratches from only a few days of EDC. I'm not at all concerned about this, some might be.
4. The knife takes a good 100 openings before it really smooths out. When it first came out of the box I was sort of disappointed. The axis-lock was crunchy and the mechanics just didn't seem like they were to my expectations. However, after fixing the pivot screw and playing with the knife for a while the action is beautiful now. The axis-lock still kinks if i try to only use my thumb instead of thumb and index, but this is not at all a concern to me. I personally never one-handed close the knife.
5. The blade was definitely very sharp out of the box and will be just fine for 9/10 people. It will easily go through paper but won't shave your arm. It can be improved with a bit of a touch up.
on September 12, 2014
I've had a couple Benchmade EDC folders and this is my favorite. I was sad when I lost my gray version of this knife and wasn't sure if I would like the black as much, however after a few months I can say this black has grown on me and I might actually like it better than the gray.
The build quality is excellent, nice and sharp right out of the box. Fast opening. Barely sticks out of your pocket. Legal size for Los Angeles (www. knifeup.com/los-angeles-california-knife-laws/ )
One drawback with this knife (and probably most knives with a clip) is you can scratch your car if you are not careful should you brush against the paint with this knife clip. Just don't wash your car with this knife clipped into your pocket... either unclip it or leave it in the car. =)
on July 17, 2015
Too expensive? BENCHMADE has unfortunately kept their pricing higher because of the many outstanding designs. I have what I consider the best and all are mostly Osborne designs. This smaller Emissary is beautiful and feels just right in your hand. This model is replacing all of my Gentlemen folders. If you can remember how it felt the first time you had an Osborne design in your hand and how great it felt you will love this 470-1 version. I still want to add the larger version to my collection as well. BENCHMADE by Osborne is well worth the price.
on February 22, 2015
I've carried a Benchmade Mini-Barrage 585 daily for over five years, and really enjoyed it all around. With dress slacks, it's a bit heavy and thick, so when I saw the Emissary, it seemed like a more gentlemanly version of the same. Thinner, lighter, without giving up anything in blade length.
The knife delivers on that promise -- I like the Axis Assist opening, and am getting used to the thinner grip just fine. The other reviews here are spot-on.
I could do without the 'safety'. It rattles around and seems pretty pointless since the Axis Assist has some spring retention already, and excellent locking while open.
My main gripe is the belt clip. While it allows for excellent "deep" carry, it looks like it was made in shop class. Sharp corners, no class, and a protruding lip that will scratch anything. It's also polished bright, unlike the rest of the knife. The one part that sits OUTSIDE your pocket, and it's a mirror finish?
Between the coarse edge of the (stamped?) steel and the button screws, there's always a bit of wiggling required to get it all the way seated in the pocket. What would it have cost to Recess the thing a bit? Or use countersink screws? The clip design on the Barrage is far superior.
The worst part is that the point of the beltclip is very sharp and aggressive. It will wear a hole in your jacket if you lay on it sideways, and scratch the finish of any car you brush against. I took the clip off and did some work on it with the grinding wheel, sandpaper, polish, just to take that point back a bit, and now it's more livable.
All in all, it's a five-star knife, but at this price point, I shouldn't have to rework the belt clip to get something usable -- minus one star. If someone offered a belt-clip upgrade (wider/thinner, black anodized, rounded edges, countersunk screws), I'd jump on it.
on January 26, 2014
My view of this knife has waffled a lot. Overall, it's a great knife for the reasons other reviewers have mentioned. Since I think other reviewers have done a good job highlighting the positives of this knife, I'm going to focus on the negatives in my review, and will hopefully help you in making an informed purchase of this (expensive!) product.
This knife had literally the worst relief edge I've ever seen on any knife of any price. It was coarse, uneven, and so shallow that I could barely see it. It could not cut paper. For a knife of this price (now listed at ~$170), this is unacceptable, and severely detracted from my enjoyment of this product. I've seen on various knife forums that many earlier Benchmade knives have bad factory edges, and that the issue has since been corrected by Benchmade. That may well be so, but the product I received (in late 2013) had an unsatisfactory edge, and as a consumer buying a $170 product, I shouldn't have to roll a dice and hope I get a newer factory model. I should note that I own many Benchmade knives and that in general their factory edges seem satisfactory (though never great), with this specific knife possessing by far the worst edge. I also believe that Benchmade provides a free sharpening service (although I'm not sure I'd trust them to sharpen my knives, seeing what comes out of their factory).
I feel as though this knife took quite a nice edge, however, once I sharpened it myself. In fact, I feel like I was able to put the sharpest edge on this knife of any I own, although it could be the excellent blade shape. The blade is thin and narrow. It slices like a razer, and the short width of the blade gives it extreme mobility while slicing.
I'm not a fan of the assist. I feel like assists are a band-aid fix a lot of cheaper knives utilize to skate around having smooth deployment. At best, it provides minor assistance in opening. At worst, it makes the knife difficult to close with one hand. This knife can be de-assisted, however, and if you're into assists, the Emissary functions exactly how you'd expect an assisted knife to operate.
It appeared as though someone had done a bad job loctiting the clip, since there was a lot of hard goop around the screw holes near the clip. Gentle rubbing with a Scotch-Brite pad removed the goop, but also removed a little bit of the texture/grip from the handle (this wasn't a visible change, however; it could only be felt).
I'm also not a fan of safeties in general. The only assisted knife that has deployed in my pocket, the Kershaw Leek, was one with a safety. With that particular knife, if the safety was engaged while the blade was opened, it would prevent full closer of the knife, potentially allowing it to open while in the user's pocket. The Emissary's safety is rather clever, however. When it is activated while open, it prevents the blade from closing, acting as a secondary, manual, lock. The axis lock blocks the safety from being deployed when the knife is in any half-open state. And the safety obviously prevents the knife from opening when it's closed.
In terms of materials, I feel like you can do better in this price range. S30V is a premium quality steel, but when you get up to the $200 range, you should expect more exotic steels, like ELMAX or CTS, Also, although aluminum is light and works well with the axis lock (because it's not constantly bending like a frame lock), it's not a material I'd expect on a knife of this price. For example, the Spyderco Sage 2 has a titanium handle and S30V blade steel, and is a cheaper knife (although it is made in Taiwan).
The knife is on the small side. I don't find the handle to be particularly comfortable or uncomfortable. It will likely be too small for you if you wear a large sized glove (I wear a medium, and it's fine for me).
on October 19, 2015
This is a fantastic knife. I was looking for a new EDC knife to carry when wearing a suit or dress pants. I wanted something small, light weight, and with a good blade steel, the Emissary fit the bill. With the deep carry pocket clip it rides great in the pocket of dress pants. The 3" blade is long enough to handle any task you would expect to face while wearing a suit, unless you ar Mil/LE. S30V steel is a proven primeur steel and the blade on my knife is no exception. It holds an edge quite well and is not hard to resharpen back to an out of the box edge. I could do with out the spring assisted opening, but with the inclusion of the intuitive little safety switch I don't mind. The safety also allows me to drop the knife directly into my pocket without fear of an accidental blade deployment.
on March 17, 2015
This is my favorite knife in my collection so far, however, its not perfect.
Its very small, yet has a more than adequate sized blade for EDC if you dont plan on going out into the woods. perfect for people who wear business casual/semi-formal clothing all the time.
The design of the blade is just stunning, when you pull it out and flip it open, you can really appreciate the subtle lines and how minimalistic the blade is, yet it still looks great.
The steel of the blade is a very solid choice, at $150+ you would expect something like S30V, for something this size, the steel is great, it comes with a wicked edge from the factory, and it keeps that edge for a very long time, and when you want to sharpen it, it doesnt take much effort to get it back to uncomfortably sharp.
theres a couple minor issues that ive noticed with my blade however that are not quite up to the snuff I was expecting from Benchmade. First off, the blade doesnt seat perfectly in the middle when closed. it leans about 30% to the left. The other thing was that the initial grind of the blade was not centered. the right side grind was at a lower angle than the left side, so if you look at the tip of the blade, its about 30% to the left. very odd given the high praise I continually hear about Benchmade.
The issues with the knife are somewhat minor, and mostly a cosmetic thing, but given that the looks of this blade is one of the strong points, I would have expected a little better.
on March 15, 2016
Pros: great steel (s30v). Holds a very nice edge. Lightweight. Assisted opening. Been carried daily for a year and a half and has very few signs of wear. Grip is made of scratch resistant material. Benchmade quality tool. Benchmade offers a life time warranty for repairs and sharpening.
Cons: grip is a little slippery (my opinion) but not enough that it matters for EDC tasks. Blade has a tiny bit of wiggle out of the box. With the proper tool, 1/8 of a turn snugged it right up and has stayed tight ever since. Comes with a safety, but that is buyers opinion. Generally i don't like knife safeties, I just made it a habit not to engage it and it has never been an issue. The safety has a positive click to lock and I have never accidentally engaged it.
Price is a little high in my opinion, however it is a premium steel and back by one of the best knife companies around. This knife is a fantastic EDC option, although it would be limited in any serious camping/backpacking application.
on September 23, 2014
This knife embodies everything written in all the good reviews that I read. It takes a little getting use to if you previously had a standard folding pocket knife. I have gotten use to opening and closing the knife with one hand.The spring assist is nice. It clips into my pocket very well. I use my leg to help close the knife with one hand or it would take two hands. I did this same closing procedure with all my standard folders. It was exceptionally sharp and is still so after daily use. I am a remodeling contractor so I use this regularly. I use to sharpen my Carbon steel knife several times a week.
on January 26, 2014
This knife has replaced all others that I would carry on a daily basis. It's the perfect size for the task I use it for most often, opening boxes. The blade steel remains sharp for a very long time. The anodizing on the aluminum handles has rubbed off a bit in two spots, I don't care though, still a great knife.