Benchmade Gold Class 945-221 Mini Osborne
(Photo/David Young)

Benchmade Gold Class 945-221 Mini Osborne Review: A Collector’s Work of Art

While Benchmade probably puts thought into all the knives it produces, when it comes to the Gold Class line, the company takes it to another level.

With the latest limited release of the popular Mini Osborne, Benchmade gives the blade a Damasteel blade treatment called Ægir, inspired by Norse mythology. The new Gold Class 945-221 Mini Osborne, by Oregon-based Benchmade, is a deluxe upgrade on a fan favorite knife.

In 2021, marking the 20th anniversary of the iconic Osborne family, Benchmade released the Osborne Mini, a scaled-down version of the classic, complete with the plain reverse tanto blade and a featherlight weight of 2 ounces.

Benchmade crafts its Gold Class series of knives with care using only the best premium materials available, which accounts for the price tag associated with these blades. In addition, there’s a limited number of these knives available for sale. This means that when they sell out, it makes them that much more coveted by hardcore collectors.

In short: The Gold Class Mini Osborne is not a knife for the casual everyday carry (EDC) consumer. These blades will appeal more to avid Benchmade collectors, or for special gifts that will mark a momentous occasion for a lifetime.

Benchmade Gold Class Mini Osborne Review

Benchmade Gold Class 945-221 Mini Osborne - review
(Photo/David Young)

Benchmade Gold Class 945-221 Mini Osborne Specs

  • Blade length: 2.92 in. | 7.42 cm
  • Blade thickness: 0.104 in. | 2.642 mm
  • Open: 6.76 in. | 17.17 cm
  • Closed: 3.84 in. | 9.754 cm
  • Weight: 2.24 oz. | 63.5 g
  • Handle thickness: 0.43 in. | 10.795 mm

Making an Icon Into a Legend

Benchmade Gold Class 945-221 Mini Osborne - handle inspired in the Baltic Sea
(Photo/David Young)

According to Norse mythology, Ægir is the personification of the sea, which is where the inspiration for the aesthetics of this Gold Class knife originates. The teal blue and black coloring inspires images of the Baltic Sea. The “Arctic Storm” handle made of fat carbon includes a gold floating backspacer that pops against the flowing black and blue.

Benchmade Gold Class 945-221 Mini Osborne - blade design
(Photo/David Young)

As eye-catching as the handle is on this knife, it is the Damasteel blade that is the real standout. The new pattern drips across the small reverse tanto blade, inspired by the chilling waters off Sweden’s coast.

All together the Damasteel blade and Arctic Storm handle, with the gold plated spacer, does create a striking package that will certainly draw looks. The teal color may put off some collectors while drawing others in. Odds are people will immediately love or hate this knife based on the bold statement it makes.

More Than Just Looks

Benchmade’s mantra is that its knives are intended to be used and carried, and the Gold Class Mini Osborne is no exception. While it may feel wrong to get such a pricey and good-looking knife dirty, it can do anything the standard Mini Osborne can handle.

Benchmade Gold Class 945-221 Mini Osborne - Size comparison
(Photo/David Young)

Using a $700 knife as an EDC may seem extreme to some. Admittedly, there is a lot more to lose if you misplace this knife. However, the Gold Class Mini Osborne has served as a fantastic EDC for me considering how lightweight it is, and how it gets daily cutting tasks done with ease.

The Damasteel (58-60HRC) is the heart of this collector’s piece. Damasteel is made using Hot Isostatic Pressed (HIP) Powder Metallurgy (PM), which is a technical way of saying that it is one of the strongest steel used in knives. The process imparts the unique signature pattern of tiny small circles, akin to a topographical map, to the blade.

Benchmade Gold Class 945-221 Mini Osborne - closed
(Photo/David Young)

The reversible mini-split arrow clip makes it easy to carry the knife tip up in a pocket, and it is so small, light, and compact that I barely noticed it is there. There is no lanyard hold on this manual open knife.

With the Gold Class Mini Osborne, you get a blade that is not only very sharp and durable but also looks unique. In using this knife as my EDC, it met the mark from basics such as opening boxes to cutting rope and food with ease.

Really, Who Is This Knife For?

While this is a fantastic EDC knife, it’s not your average everyday knife — but it is certainly special, considering the Gold Class treatment Benchmade has given it. It is built with knife collectors and those in search of a special and unique blade in mind.

Benchmade Gold Class 945-221 Mini Osborne -
(Photo/David Young)

All Norse mythology aside, the Gold Class 945-221 Mini Osborne is a fantastic small, lightweight knife that also happens to be a little work of art.

It is always fun to watch people check out the colorful handle and Damasteel blade when you pull out the knife. It almost always warrants showing off.

Friends’ reactions to the knife vary, but no one can deny the care that went into making it. The major hurdle for most casual consumers will be the cost, clocking in at a cool $700.

Benchmade Gold Class Mini Osborne Conclusion

Born from Norse mythology, the Gold Class 945-221 Mini Osborne is a tiny artisan knife with a gorgeous Damasteel blade that delivers on every level when it comes to everyday carry needs. The only drawback is the steep price tag associated with this high-end, limited-edition knife.

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David Young

David Young is a freelance writer based in Fort Collins, Colorado. He specializes in outdoor writing and has a degree in journalism and English. He has more than two decades of experience writing for daily newspapers and working in public relations. David enjoys all that Colorado has to offer from mountain biking and fly fishing to backcountry skiing and backpacking.