Benchmade 707 Sequel McHenry & Williams Design Knife
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- MECHANISM: AXIS lock
- BLADE STYLE: 2.95" Drop-point blade
- BLADE STEEL: 154CM stainless steel (58-61HRC)
- HANDLE: Black anodized, 6061-T6 billet aluminum with textured G10 inlays and stainless steel liners
- EXTRA: Reversible tip-up pocket clip
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The follow-up to the 705 and thus the pseudo little brother to the 710. The Sequel 707 is a great all around every day carry size with aluminum handles and black G10 inlays that provide a secure grip in any situation. –SPECS: Designer: McHenry & Williams | Mechanism: AXIS | Action: Manual-opening | Blade Steel: 154CM (58-61 HRC) | Blade Length: 2.95" (7.49cm) | Blade Thickness: 0.100" (2.54mm) | Open Length: 6.75" (17.15cm) | Closed Length: 3.80" (9.65cm) | Handle Thickness: 0.42" (10.67mm) | Weight: 2.60oz. (73.71g).— Intended for Everyday use, the Sequel 707 has a standard clip type with a reversible tip-up clip position.
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The 707 is basically a Mini-griptillian with a vastly upgraded handle. The blade and the locking mechanism (the Axis system) are exactly the same, in fact. But instead of the knobby FRN plastic handle, which is not "bad looking" but certainly has more of a camping vibe than an office vibe, you get a slick, black polished aluminum exterior and full steel liners. It is considerably thinner than a Mini-griptillian and has a much more upscsale look and feel. It looks like something a professional would have in his pocket -- it is definitely not a survivalist knife. Like any thinner, slicker, more polished handle, it does not provide the strong grip and sense of confidence for hard use that you'd get in a bulkier-handled knife, such as the mini-griptillian.
At 3" blade length and 3.8" closed length, this knife just slides right into your front pocket on a clip, taking up very little space and remaining all-but-unnoticeable until you decide it's time to use it. It is about as unobtrusive and inconspicuous a small edc knife as you can possibly get. The only way to take the inconspicuous concept further would be to go to something like a Sypderco Chaparral, which has about the same dimensions but a "paper clip" style pocket clip and a deep, deep pocket carry which leaves mere milimeters of handle exposed over the pocket top. With the 707, you see about 1/2 inch of handle over the top of the clip.
Let me say this: the blade on the 707 is wicked sharp. The only knife I have that's comparable to it for slicing ability is a Spyderco Dragonfly G-10, and that one only provides 2" of blade length for slicing tasks; the 707 gives you a full three inches. The blade EASILY passes all of the most challenging slicing tasks, like pushing through a piece of paper held with one hand, slicing right through cardboard or plastic, etc. It does a fantastic job on vegetables, bagel-slicing, and other light-duty food preparation tasks. I have other knives that are way more expensive than the 707, such as a Sebenza, and they have nowhere near the slicing ability of the 707. It's not even close. It uses 154cm steel, which from my understanding is not a super-high-end steel -- it's suitable to a $100 knife but even a lot of comparably priced knives have the much higher end S30V and VG10 steels. That said, I have other knives with S30V and VG10 blades, and to be honest, the 707 buries those others in terms of slicing ability.
The deployment on the 707 is absolutely the best of any knife at any price, period. It's Benchmade's Axis system, and they've perfected it. To say you can open and close this knife with one hand would be a radical understatement. Once you get used to it, which takes an hour or two, you can easily flick it open by thumb, flick it closed by thumb, or push the little Axis button and flick it open or closed with no thumb. It takes practically no flick to do so, either. It just sort of ... opens and closes. Yet when it's closed, it's locked closed. Seriously, this is the absolute best open/close action I've ever seen on a knife. I do like other systems as well, including frame-lock and liner lock. The only style I don't like is back lock. Compared to a framelock or liner lock, the Axis opens and closes incredibly faster with incredibly less effort.
Fit and finish is superb. It has the feel of a more expensive knife, that is for sure. Part of that is the stability and solidity you get from steel liners, which I'm a huge fan of. Part of it is the nicely finished aluminum scales and the rock-solid pocket clip. All in all, the knife feels like a really well-engineered, well-designed tool. Does it feel like a $350 Sebenza? No, it does not. For that kind of feel, you have to spend $350. For the amount a 707 would cost you, you get a LOT of knife.
So, any downsides? Well, not really. As long as you keep in mind what they knife is for ... and not for. It is a slick, upscale little edc knife for urban or suburban carry. Something to have in your pocket so you can do routine cutting tasks. For other uses, its functionality would be limited. It's too small for tactical use (really, though, who uses a knife for self defense, anyway?) and even if the 3" blade was enough to take into a brawl, the thin, slick handle doesn't provide anywhere near the kind of grip and confidence you'd need in that situation. The same limitations call into question whether you'd want it as your main blade on a camping or outdoor adventure trip. I don't hunt or skin animals, but without knowing anything about that, I can look at this knife and say this is probably not the one you'd want to do it with. This knife is really for opening packages and mail, cutting open that annoying clamshell packaging, breaking down the recycling, and generally having a knife on you for various casual uses.
I guess you could say that another "downside" is its rather plain looks. It doesn't look "bad". But it's just a basic 4" black knife. It looks like a tool, albeit a nice looking one. There's nothing artistic or exciting-looking about it. You might choose to show off the ultra-cool Axis locking system to your friends, but you'll never show off the knife for its looks. There are a lot of other choices in knives that have more of a "wow" factor, and it would't cost more to get more "wow". So something to ponder would be whether you're seeking a polished high-functioning tool or a "cool" knife. If the latter, maybe the 707 isn't the optimal choice.
The last downside isn't really a downside, but just a limitation on any 3" blade, 4" closed pocket knife. It just ain't big. Someone with small hands may be able to get a decent 4-finger hold, but the rest of us are going to find our pinkies dangling off the end, which reduces the grip and feeling of confidence. This is true of any 4" handle, not just the 707.
I want to conclude this review by saying again that the 707 is the best slicer I've used. It passes through paper, cardboard and plastic like butter, like no other knife I've used. It cuts much better than knives that cost several times its price. The mediocre 154cm steel you'll read about on the web is deceptive; the 707 absolutely rocks at doing its job, which is to cut things.
Conclusion: one of the better values out there in medium end knives, and a really, really nice knife for casual, routine edc carry and easy cutting tasks.
The Sequel is a solid design. Anodized aluminum handle with G10 inserts--not particularly showy but solid utilitarian. 154CM blade steel--not a "super steel" these days but solid dependable while being easy to keep sharp. Axis lock--one of Benchmade's solid best features due to smooth operation and safe lockup. Solid.
I find I carry this knife more and more these days. It may not be the most exciting knife around but it is one of the most useful.