Benchmade 940 Pocket Knife

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Editor rating: 9.1 / 10
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Benchmade 940 Pocket Knife Review Facts

Reaching the top spot on many lists for best EDC pocket knife is the classic Benchmade 940 pocket knife. With a lightweight profile and strong S30V steel blade, this is the perfect addition to any knife collection that will conquer all challenges faced out in the ever-changing world. The Osborne was created with a highly ergonomic design to ensure ease of use and comfort. Dual thumb studs and AXIS mechanism on the knife enable you to open the blade instantly with one hand and without difficulty. Its standard Benchmade pocket clip is simple yet effective and reversible for right or left-handed storage. You’ll find the length, width, and weight perfectly balances allowing for easy carry in your pocket or attached to a pack without constantly feeling that something is there. Take it on a trip and while handling rugged wilderness tasks with ease, your friends will be impressed and want to know where you got it. This 18-year-old knife will also make a noticeable difference during day to day tasks. We touch on the features of this superior quality pocket knife below in our comprehensive review.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Compact, slim build
  • Holds a sharp edge right from the box
  • Long-lasting durable materials
  • Can be used every day
  • Excellent steel grade
  • Optional serrated or plain edge blade
  • Solid lockup
  • Covered by limited warranty and LifeSharp
  • Pricey
  • No open assist mechanism


The Benchmade brand has always been a strong seller, this knife was designed by Warren Osborne and has been in production since 2000 -- now nearing the brink of adulthood the buzz around the 940 is still prominent. The company was founded in 1988 with the mission to “create something better” and has proven time and time again with superior products that they are the best knife makers in the industry. The fantastic quality control standards and builds of their knives from premium materials have turned many a curious first-time buyer into a life long and loyal customer. A reputation for quality knives and support behind their products is what makes Benchmade the one to beat.

Size & Weight

Weighing in at a feather-light 2.9 oz and an overall open length of 7.8” the 940 is a go- everywhere type of modified tanto blade with a thickness of 0.114”. The portability of this knife makes it an easy everyday companion or throwing it in your survival kit to live as a permanent staple. Many users online said they were surprised by the lightness of the high-quality steel and solid aluminum handle and some even afraid of it may lack proper longevity. The lighter the knife, the lighter you are and with a blade length of 3.4”, it's perfect for common chores like opening packages, cutting light material with efficiency or take it on the road to prepare food. It basically disappears in your pocket until it’s needed and with a sharpness right out of the box, you’ll be ready.


With the practically invisible pocket size, a smooth hinge in place for easy one-handed operation, and an anodized finished handle giving extra grip, this is a very easy knife to hold onto. The full-size handle fits any size hand and leaves sleek edges for even the most challenging cutting tasks to press through with no hot spots. The pocket clip is applied to the knife in a way that allows the user to pull the knife from where it clipped and draw out the blade with a thumb flick, all without readjusting the knife in hand. It does not have an assisted opening mechanism in place. As an added feature, the pocket clip can be reversed for easier access in either left or right pocket.

Larger knives may be better for bigger than average tasks but it is not always necessary to go big just because of a larger sized hand. Fully tested by its wide customer base, the size of the 940 is just right for all people whether their hands are XL or petite. During cut tests by a variety of users, there were no complaints of discomfort and many found the knife fit was perfectly balanced.


From industrial and professional use all the way to recreational and personal use, you will find this the 940 is designed to cater to almost every need. With its no-nonsense deployment, this is a favorite amongst those who regularly utilize an EDC pocket carry. The handle is ergonomically friendly, and the reverse tanto blade works very well camping in the mountains or applied in small office jobs. Cutting through thick plastic, puncturing reinforced metal, or dressing a fish you will have the same result: a job well is done. While on a weekend camping trip the 940 excels at bushcraft, breaking apart larger pieces of wood for kindling, and on chef’s duties chopping onions, easily slicing paper thin garlic, or ripping through a piece of marinated steak. With its slim profile and lightweight design, the 940 is the perfect addition to your survival kit, backpack, tackle box, or pocket.


Benchmade after all these years continues to offer unrivaled quality and design with a wide variety of knife blade and handle options that will satisfy all user tasks. The strength of the S30v reversed tanto knife is better than most other types of blades. The American made premium powdered steel is popular in the 940 because it resists corrosion and has superior edge qualities suitable for everyday use. A tanto knife is crafted with a high point and flat grind providing the tool with exceptional strength to pierce even the hardest surfaces without breaking. Professional users of this knife commented on the pleasing 2/3 blade length swedge along the spine taking away unnecessary weight. It runs straight to the tip increasing durability, and it won't wear out easily or bend with regular use. The blade and handle are held together with a recessed hex bolt and inside the handle around the pivot screw are steel plates in place for wear resistance. This handle shaped for safety has an indentation with jimping for your index finger so your hand is unlikely to slip towards the blade while in use.


Utilitarianism and function come first on this Osborne design but that doesn’t leave out the eye-catching details adding to the overall style of this EDC tool. It is a slim, well proportioned and attractive knife with the Benchmade butterfly and Osborne boomerang logos peeping out on opposite sides of the handle. The aluminum handle is an anodized green color with a purple titanium backspacer that adds a personal touch and is more commonly seen on a custom detail. The reverse tanto blade point aligns perfectly with its spine, reminiscent of time-honored craftsmanship. This Japanese inspired design gives the blade a classic appeal that is continued through other styles of popular knives today. The blade is available in a plain edge or coated black edge that looks sharp but some have had issues with the blade coat chipping after extreme use. A black painted pocket clip is attached on the outside of this knife bearing the Benchmade name and is made of stainless steel. Many users online seem to think this is the one flaw of the 940. The paint seems to chip off very easily; with some experiencing scratches after just a few weeks of carrying.


When a knife is made of high-quality materials, holds an edge, and resists corrosion, and can essentially last you a lifetime, it basically pays for itself. With its versatile use, lightweight modern design that you can carry with you every day and lifetime blade warranty the Benchmade 940 is a good investment. It may not be the cheapest, depending on blade finish and style, but when compared to all of these features its a great value for the money. Some users found it difficult to shell out the extra dough for a tool of such small stature -- especially if they are adding to an already extensive collection of pocket knives. However, making the significant investment into any Benchmade knife has been proven to be returned time and time again with its durability and added perk of a lifetime sharpening service, LifeSharp, available directly through the company.


Benchmade knives have a well-deserved reputation for having some of the highest grade products on the market. The companies diligent quality control is of legendary status and their designers make a commitment to their craft. Each knife that comes out of the Oregon based production facility with written documentation that is has been handcrafted and tested and is fully covered by a limited lifetime warranty and LifeSharp. The warranty covers replacement parts for genuine products due to defects made in production. They will repair or replace these faulty products without charge.
The LifeSharp service is a perk of Benchmade products that is rarely needed, according to users of this knife but it will keep your knife in top shape and is included in the price. Find your knife is getting dull after cutting up wood and plastic all summer on the job? If you send it into Benchmade their team will disassemble it, replace worn parts, clean out debris, re-lubricate all of the turning parts then put it back together for a factory edge sharpening before it's shipped back in 8-10 days. Benchmade also offers a personalized engraving service of the blade if you are in the giving mood and want to make someone’s special day even better.

Ease of Use

While in a survival setting, cutting fruit, or someone just needs a box opened in the office that’s where this EDC pocket knife comes in handy. The ergonomic shape of the handle aligning with the blade prevents anything from grabbing when you draw the knife. The edges of the handles are thin that your hand easily wraps around the base for a comfortable grip. With one hand motion, using the dual thumb studs or by depressing the AXIS- lock the blade flys open. Many online comments say how easy and fun it is opening and closing the pocket knife with just a flick of the thumb. It arrives extremely sharp so open with caution the first few times until you get the hang of it. Another quick press of the lock and the blade drops closed. The knife is meant to be carried tip down and the pocket clip is reversible to accommodate both left and right-handed users.


There are two blade options for this knife, the fine edge, and the partially serrated edge. While some prefer the serrated edge for cutting with a little more teeth, the more popular choice is the fine edge because it is easier to sharpen down the road. If you end up really enjoying the 940 (and we think you will), it’s good to know there are two other versions under the same name made by Benchmade. The 940-1 comes with carbon fiber scales, a blue aluminum back spacer, and an extremely sharp S90V saw-like blade. The 940-2 grip is a little better with G-10 handle scales and an S30V blade. On this version, the black and steel coloring is magnified by the anodized green spacers.

Key Features

-4 inch reverse Tanto blade
-Benchmade Axis Lock
-Anodized aluminum handle
-S30V stainless steel blade
-Reversible belt clip
-Ambidextrous thumb studs

Bottom Line

Long story short this pocket knife is a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts and the always prepared life jocks because of its many admirable qualities. Even after two decades the 940 family still takes the top spot on a lot of best EDC pocket knife lists. It has something for everyone with the strong easily deployed steel, custom detailing and cut-through-everything capabilities -- its a basic and invaluable tool with hundreds of potential uses. If you’ve heard of Benchmade and are curious what the buzz is about, the 940 is a solid way to test them out. While some might be dissuaded by the price tag, even causing one reviewer a very difficult internal struggle over whether or not to keep it, the lifetime warranty and support through the company with LifeSharp is reason enough. They stand by their product and so will you.