The Benchmade Barrage adds powerful spring-assisted opening to the already solid construction of Benchmade’s Axis-lock knives. The Valox grip also has some excellent features, but doesn’t beat Zytel in wet weather.
Benchmade recommends the Barrage for boaters, rescue workers, and anyone else who needs a dependable multi-purpose blade which opens one-handed in difficult conditions. The 4-3/4-inch handle deploys a 3.6-inch drop point blade with nearly automatic speed and convenience. Dual thumb studs allow easy operation with either hand — unlock the Axis slide lock, push the blade partly open, and the strong spring-assist swings the blade to the open and locked position. Once open, it stays there unless the Axis lock is intentionally released.
Benchmade uses 154CM high carbon stainless steel for the Barrage’s blade, an alloy originally designed for industrial tools. The alloy’s strong points include high corrosion resistance, shock resistance, and superior edge retention. Barrage knives are available in three edge styles — plain, serrated, or combo. The 4.2-ounce Barrage includes a reversible stainless steel pocket clip for customized carrying options.
The Barrage’s Valox grip depends more on shape than texture to provide a firm hold. The flared bolster prevents slipping forward, and the elongated oval handle includes indentations for your fingers. Ribbing on the grip is minimal, but the Valox resin has great mechanical strength and remains stable and chemical-resistant from 284 degrees F. to -40 degrees F. Anywhere between, you can count on it.
Try the Benchmade Griptilian if you prefer a heavy-duty, one-handed opening knife with a textured Zytel handle.