Benchmade 273 Mini Adamas
(Photo/David Young)

Benchmade Mini Adamas Review: Delivering Strength From the Backcountry to the ‘Burbs

There’s nothing ‘mini’ about what the new Benchmade Mini Adamas folding knife delivers. We tested it everywhere from the backwoods of the Rocky Mountains to urban EDC environments, and it retains the legacy set by the bombproof Adamas.

Surrounded by nothing but sprawling pristine wilderness for miles and miles in every direction, your life depends on the tools you carry. The margin of error in the rugged Rocky Mountains at more than 12,000 feet is slim to none. Nature is indifferent to whether you live or die.

Few tools in a hiker’s arsenal are more versatile and important for bushcraft than a well-built knife. Backpacking alone through the wilderness with the Benchmade 273 Mini Adamas in my pocket, I wasn’t worried. If anything, this beast of a knife added a little confidence to my step.

Since Benchmade announced an expansion to its vaunted Adamas series, popular amongst law enforcement for its toughness, anticipation has been building for the Mini Adamas release this year. The next generation of this knife cuts down on weight and thickness while upgrading the blade’s steel quality.

We put the knife through its paces to see if smaller is actually better in this case.

benchmade 273 mini adamas - review
(Photo/David Young)

Benchmade 273 Mini Adamas Review

First impressions out of the box were stellar. The knife just looks tough with its black G10 handle and tungsten gray blade. The handle, which fit nicely in my hand, and the thumb rise leading into the spine of the blade are both ridged, assisting with grip.

Out of the box, the CPM-CruWear (63-65) plain drop-point blade was razor-sharp and sliced through paper like it was air. CPM-CruWear is a newer type of steel that offers better wear resistance, greater toughness, and higher attainable hardness than D2 steel, cited the manufacturer.

My only concern was the weight clocking in at 4.6 ounces. However, the added steel proved no problem on my 12-plus-mile backpacking trip. It was the ideal test environment for the Mini Adamas.

From fishing to cooking, the blade handled anything I threw at it with ease. The knife was clearly designed for tough environments like the backcountry. The Mini Adamas cuts wood, paracord, moleskins, or packages with ease. It started a fire with a ferro rod and can gut fish or even small game if needed.

Perhaps the best news is that, after returning home, the blade is still shaving-sharp.

273 Mini Adamas
(Photo/David Young)

Benchmade 273 Mini Adamas Specs

  • Materials: CPM-CruWear 63-65 steel, 610 handle
  • Blade length: 3.25″ (8.26 cm)
  • Blade thickness: 0.140″ (3.556 mm)
  • Handle thickness: 0.63″ (16 mm)
  • Open: 7.62″ (19.35 cm)
  • Closed: 4.37″ (11.10 cm)
  • Weight: 4.60 oz. (130.41 g)

Benchmade Mini Adamas: EDC Use

Once back in civilization, I traded out my standard EDC SOG Bladelight Folder Mini for the Mini Adamas. While it doesn’t have a built-in flashlight, it does feel bigger and stronger in almost every respect.

The long pocket clip seats the knife deep in my pocket and the weight/profile is minimal for standard jeans or work pants. The clip caught or grazed against things such as chairs or railings, but the knife never came out of my pocket. You can switch the clip for ambidextrous carry options.

Accessing the knife and firing it open is also fluid and would be no problem in an emergency. And, as I’ve established, the blade can handle virtually anything you would come across in daily life.

Benchmade 273 Mini Adamas - edc review
(Photo/David Young)

The Verdict

The Benchmade Mini Adamas is a fantastic, bombproof knife. It’s a great go-to in the backwoods or for an EDC option. The only drawbacks may be the weight and long pocket clip, but the positives outweigh that.

The strong design based on the original Adamas and the CPM-CruWear blade set this knife apart from other comparable mini folder knives. Compared to other Benchmade EDC knives such as the 945 or the popular Bugout series, the Mini Adamas is like a burlier big brother.

The Mini Adamas retails for $215-250 and is available in olive or black.

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