Benchmade Vector: Compound-Grind Blade in Superior Steel

Just announced this week, the Benchmade Vector grinds premium CPM-20CV steel into a complex blade suitable for myriad tasks.

CPM-20CV is a very high-end knife steel. It has superior edge retention and good corrosion resistance and toughness. And while it’s hard to sharpen, knifemakers use this still in blades that need to do a hard job for a long time between stropping.


Now, couple this very good steel with a really useful-looking, complex grind, and the new Benchmade 496 Vector provides a compelling tool.

Here’s Benchmade’s elevator pitch:

As the new addition to the Vector family, the 496 Vector is a detail-laden knife, ready for everyday carry, that exudes style at every angle. This EDC will hang with the best of them, featuring Benchmade’s first compound grind blade crafted from CPM-20CV and uses the Benchmade AXIS Assist flipper mechanism. Full stainless-steel liners, a gray aluminum bolster, and dual colored G10 handles provide strength and comfort to this unique design.

That piques my interest for sure. However, the $325 price tag definitely dampens my enthusiasm.

Here are the specs for you knife nerds:

  • Blade length: 3.6” (9.14 cm)
  • Blade thickness: 0.1” (2.540 mm)
  • Open length: 8.42” (21.39 cm)
  • Closed length: 4.82” (12.24 cm)
  • Weight: 4.5 oz. (127.57 g)
  • Handle thickness: 0.60” (15.24 mm)

Benchmade 496 Vector

Now if you can get past the hefty price, Benchmade gives customers what looks to be a very versatile tool. I haven’t had my hands on it yet, so I’m just judging from photos and specs. But if the AXIS assisted-opening flipper action proves smooth and ergonomics nice in the hand, the blade shape alone is very interesting.


The tip of the drop-point blade, being flat-ground, should provide excellent durability. Then, the hollow-ground main cutting edge will help the knife in precise cutting situations while holding an edge for a very long time. This is Benchmade’s first compound grind on 20CV, and I’m excited to see it in person.

The Vector hits the market September 20. Learn more at

Sean McCoy

Editorial Director Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.