benchmade 945
Photo Credit: Anthony Sculimbrene

Best Benchmade Yet: 945 Folding Knife Review

This formula is one that Benchmade has followed before: Take a successful model and shrink it.

Because of Benchmade’s tried-and-true process, it is not surprising that we got the Benchmade 945, a shrunken version of the venerable Osbourne-designed 940.

What is surprising is just how fantastic the 945 truly is.

Benchmade 945: Specs

  • Steel: S30V
  • Grind: ¾-height flat grind
  • Lock: Axis Lock
  • Blade Length: 2.92 in.
  • Handle Length: 3.84 in.
  • OAL: 6.76 in.
  • Weight: 2.00 oz.
  • Price: $174.95
  • Country of Origin: USA

There are (currently) two versions of the 945 — the aluminum-handled version I have for this review and a black and blue G10 version with a coated blade. All of the specs are the same for both models.

benchmade 945
Photo Credit: Anthony Sculimbrene

Benchmade 945 Folding Knife Review: Yes, THAT Good

Surprisingly, after carrying and using both, the original 940 seems oddly long instead of the 945 seeming oddly short. That is to say, the Benchmade 945 is so good that it seems like this is how the design should have been made in the first place.

With more compact dimensions, the look and feel of the knife are “just right” without long generic stretches of space that do nothing but add length (see, for instance, the blade’s long straightaway before the belly). Both blades are great, but the 945 is just a little better.

As a standalone design, there is a wide variety of great stuff to choose from here — absolutely dialed-in deployment, a crisp and even set of grinds, dead solid lock up on the Axis lock, and a really stellar weight (2.00 ounces!). If you like compact EDC blades, this immediately stands out as one of the best choices on the market.

I have even taken to the powdery aluminum handles, which I once disdained. Over time, they wear into a nice grippy texture despite coming out of the box as an absolute stray mark collector (as seen near the pivot in the pictures for this article).

benchmade 945 review
Photo Credit: Anthony Sculimbrene

A Few Drawbacks

First, for the money, the S30V steel is decidedly below par. I am not such a stickler on steel these days, as geometry trumps steel. But for nearly $200, you should get at least S35VN.

Second, I wish Benchmade made the small deep carry clip standard. It’s the best clip in the brand’s lineup and one of the best production clips out there.

But, those are frankly nitpicks given how great the entire package is.

Benchmade 945: Conclusion

The 945 is the best knife in the Benchmade lineup and, having carried a bunch of them recently, it is not even that close. I like the 945 substantially more than the Bugout or Mini Bugout.

benchmade 945 knife review
Photo Credit: Anthony Sculimbrene

While the smart collector may want to wait for a limited edition S90V version a few years from now, they will ultimately be missing out. If you need a folder and have some money to spend, this is an easy choice.

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