Finally it's here ;) Long, long awaited AFCK Axis was finally produced by 11/2001. AFCK was one of the most successful designs from Benchmade ever. AFCK (which stands for advanced fighting combat knife) was developed by former navy seal Chris Caracci in collaboration with Benchmade, more details see here. Anyway, since the first Axis lock knife appeared people were asking for AFCK with Axis lock instead of the liner lock. For many it was an ultimate folder. Although it took some 2 years to make it happen Benchmade did it. I'm really glad to see that happen :)
Blade- Long (4 inches), straight, blade is made of D2 semi-stainless steel. I for one, didn't think I'd want something other than M2 on the AFCK, well for a production blade for sure. However Benchmade made a nice surprise producing AFCK with D2 blade, which is known for its wear resistance. I Haven't used my AFCK NIB, as intensive modifications were planed, but having very positive results with D2 steel from Neil Blackwood's American Ninja and Camillus EDC D2 blades my expectations were high. Besides people out there seem to be ok with BM D2. For the curious minds, here is M2 vs. D2 steel composition comparison graph.
As I've mentioned in AFCK review its blade is well suited for both utility and self defense purposes, and visually I definitely like it a lot :) May be a little recurve(like on 710 McHenwy & Williams) would've been better, but it's just fine as it is too. At least it has all I need from it. AFCK blade geometry (and the handle too) is very efficient for stabbing and cutting, no problems with finer cutting tasks. In short it's very versatile. The factory edge was shaving sharp, but not satisfctory anyway. Later, when I got it back I've resharpened it to the lower(thinner) edge.
As usual, because BM doesn't produce non-stainless knives without protective coating, AFCK Axis came with BT2. Can't say folks were too excited about that. I personally would much rather BC coating. Well, luckily all that is doable now. BodyCote will coat your blades for 20-25$ in BC. I'll provide more details later. Unfortunately for the time being BodyCote stopped taking orders from private individuals, and accepts only knifemaker and factory orders, which indeed sucks big time for us, individual knife enthusiasts. Let's hope it'll change back.
Handle- One of the best parts of the AFCK was its very comfortable handle. In AFCK Axis it's even better. While retaining the original handle shape, AFCK Axis has hardened stainless steel liners vs. titanium liners on its ancestor. Sure it is slightly heavier, however the flex is practically eliminated, considering that the steel is at least twice as strong then Ti. All I've said about the handle in my AFCK review applies here as well. All but the flex :)
Much more solid feel, and I do like anodized aluminum.
Lock- One of the reasons for not buying AFCK was the liner lock. Axis lock however, is my favorite. I've written a lot about it in my other knife reviews, and you can get more info on Benchmade Forum, Benchmade Web Site, and BladeForums.
Modifications- I was lpaning to customize axis AFCK even before i got it. So, in a few days after delivery, AFCK was on its way to Reese Weiland, who is well known person in the knife world. He's an talanted knifemaker and does wonderful job with customizing blade too. Unfortunately FedEx lost AFCK, so I've had to buy another one and ship it to Reese again. Then few months of waiting and finally it's back to me. In short looks just gorgeous, more pix in the gallery.
Modifications included installation of the anodized aluminum handle scales, replacement of the short, plastic spacer with much longer, stainless steel spacer, and satin finish on the blade. Overall Reese did excellent work with this knife and now it looks so much better. Long, steel spacer and aluminum handles make the knife heavier and much more rigid, giving very solid feel.
And the last modification was done by myself, which is puting full convex edge on AFCK. This is one of the first ful convex edges I've done myself and I am very pleased with the results. I am going to thin down the edge further, as it showed very good results in terms of cutting ability and durability. Convex edge is surprisingly strong compared to V edge, at least turned out so on AFCK. I'll post updates sometimes in the future ;)
- Model: #806D2 AFCK Axis(Advanced Fighting Combat Knife);
- Steel: D2 Semi-Stainless steel 58-60 HRC;
- Blade: 99mm (3.9")
- Thickness: 3.175mm (0.125");
- OAL: 234mm (9.2") Closed: 135mm (5.3");
- Handle: : G10 scales/titanium liners;
- Lock Mechanism: Axis lock (U.S. Patent #5737841);
- Weight: 116g (4.10oz.);
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime;
- Acquired - 12/2001 Price - 120.00$
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Last updated - 02/09/15