Benchmade’s Stryker Auto 9101 is a tool that you will keep and use for the rest of your life. It comes out of the box sharp and ready to cut.
You will not be embarrassed to pull this knife out of your pocket. The handling instills confidence that it will be up to any task you put the knife to.
Tabs on the the box cover prevent the inner bed from sliding out, differing from traditional single body containers with flip top covers. The idea and execution is good because it keeps the box looking good for many opening cycles.
The design keeps the box looking good no matter how many people have looked at your knife before you. If the knife is a gift, you won’t have to dig to find a pristine sample.
Not that you’ll keep the knife in the box.
You will find the knife in a cut-out of dense foam and it’s pouch laid on as a cover. Don’t discard that cover. It’s meant to keep the knife clean when stored and not in use.
Taking the knife out of the foam, yow will immediately note the weight of the knife. Even though it looks like it is light, it is not. Weighing in at a little over 4 ounces, the Stryker is something you you will feel comfortable handling. It’s not so light that it feels cheap but not so heavy for its size that it’s ridiculous.
The handle is matte fine texture black while the controls are chrome polished. The spine of the stainless steel blade is also matte black with a finer texture.
You desire to open the knife.
Before you can do that, that’s are two controls to get the business end in use. Don’t be dissuaded by a knife with controls. You will appreciate them.
Down to business
The knife had a safety. Here is a reason. Should you inadvertently click this knife open, you have the chance of seriously hacking yourself. This blade is sharp enough to do deep, lasting damage.
Slide the safety toward the middle of the body. You are now ready to unleash the tool. Hold the handle with your palm clear of the blade tip.
Press the chrome button.
The blade will rapidly flip out and lock into place with a satisfying thunk.
Wrap your index finger around the finger groove as a guard.
The new tool is ready to use.
The blade does not wobble in the handle at all. That’s sign of a tool with a short life. When the blade engages the lock, the two separate pieces feel as though they are welded together. It handles like a fixed blade knife with pocket portability.
Action on the lock is good. There is no snagging as the lock is engaged or released. The travel distance is long enough that it’s easy to tell when the safety is engaged. Travel too short causes easy disengagement while travel too long us just irritating.
The only point of refinement can be with the release push button. When pressing the button rapidly, the switch drops cleanly and the blade releases at the same each time.
However, when the switch is slowly pressed, metal on metal grinding can be felt. The likelihood of this ever causing poor action on the blade is unlikely.
Plus there’s little point in slowly pushing a switch with a 3mm travel.
If you want to release the blade, you’ll do it deliberately. I appreciate the friction sothe blade is not released inadvertently. I now take this as a good rather than bad characteristic.
As the blade spring has quite a bit if tension, this is probably unavoidable without an expensive polishing process during manufacture.
The stainless steel blade is shaped with a medium Tanto cut on the tip. This feature reduces the likelihood of tip breakage. I would prefer a slightly shorter step on the Tanto. But, that would be at expense of overall length and ability to roll a cut to the tip of the blade.
Under close inspection, the cut from the main part of the blade to the Tanto is a hard corner rather than a smooth chamfer.
That corner makes sharpening easier because there are 2 straight surfaces to sharpen rather than a rolled corner which can make sharpening difficult.
The initial edge of the Tanto portion has the appearance of being sharpened on a wheel rather than a stone. It looks rough. Though when cutting, the fine serration sliced through anything with amazing ease. It’s a different yet just as effective type of sharp.
The main section of blade is polished smooth and will cut into anything right our of the box. It passes the thumb sharpness test with amazing alacrity.
Transitioning to the serrated part of the blade is smooth. I still debate liking a serrated section but I cannot deny the incredible ease of cutting ropes and lines.
The handle fits my hand very well. My hands are medium sized and fairly blocky. The index finger grove is perfectly placed for me. Someone with larger hands should have no problem, as the handle is pretty wide. It won’t feel like a toy. A person with smaller grip will feel like they’re holding something
The somewhat coarse texture of the grip means the knife will not easily slip out of your hands. Even when wet, there is no problem holding on. The ribs along the side of the handle are also good for giving a feeling of confidence.
The pocket clip is well sized and hold firmly to both denim and slacks. It’s not so tight that it’s irritating but far from loose.
I have yet to put enough cuts in the blade to warrant sharpening. I’ve used it quite a bit though. The Benchmade stainless steel has held its edge far better than other knives I’ve owned and had to sharpen constantly.
Over all, this is an incredible knife that I expect to own and use for a long time.
It may even outlast me.