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Benchmade 710-02 D2 Limited Edition
McHenry & Williams Axis Lock Folding Knife review

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Benchmade 710-02 D2

One more limited edition of legendary Benchmade 710-02. This time it comes with D2 tool steel blade and Aluminum handles with G10 inserts. This ws produced in 2003. Limited run of 500 units Mine is #75. By the time this knife came out I've already had 3 BM 710 axis locks. One my customized EDC - 710 HSSRAL, another limited edition 710-01 with D2 blade and brass handle with rosewood inserts, and one more plain 710 HSSR, which is assembled of spare 710 parts I've ehad left after all customizations. Nevertheless, I bought 710-02 too, simply because it was quite dirrerently redesigned. Major components of course are the same, but blade and handle material, G10 inserts, anodization color, all that made 710-02 real appealing to me, so I went for it. Also, if you like 710 series you might wanna look at it's little brother Benchmade 705 or even better evolution of 705 - Benchmade 707 Sequel.

Overview

 - All I could and had to say about 710 knife design and its pros, cons and usability is in my EDC BM 710HSSRAL knife review. See the link above. As I said, mainly I got this knife because of its D2 blade and different handle. Visually I like this model the best out of all four 710 knives I have. Here's a picture of all four 710 knives together. Sort of evolution of 710 model. Unlike 710-01 this one is equipped with a pocket clip, which I personally find very useful. Overall fit and finish were almost top notch. No uneven grinds, scratches or nicks. Packed in special box like other limited edition knives from Benchmade. Almost, because there is a very smal lgap between the spacer and the handle liner, about 0.2mm. As usual factory edge was far from perfect, quite rough. Althuogh I don't pay too much attention to that anymore. Just as an indicator of overall attention to the product making and execution. So far I have not decided what type of the edge do I want on this knife, convex or V grind. So it's sitting in there, on the shelf. I did carry it few times, as a dress knife I guess, looks real nice. But haven't used it seriously so far. Eventually I think I'll manage to shrpen it to my liking and compare to 710 M2. Which is one of the main interest points.

D2 Steel

 - Well known cutlery steel in custom knives and by now (summer 2004) D2 is used by several manufacturers in ther production knives, I wrote about D2 steel use in knife industry a little bit in SRKW Bog Dog review. Semi stainless steel, lots of carbod. Very good wear resistance, not very tough, so typically it's being used in light utility small/medium knives. Although I've seen 10 inch long blades made otu of D2 as well. Don't know how they perform in the field, but I think not as well as A2 steel, INFI or CPM3V. Later when I have time I am planing to get identical edged on M2 and D2 710 knievs and try to compare their performance. Not very often you get identical knives with different blade steel. This is probably the most fair comparison for the steel performance, that is relative to each other. For the record, here's D2 and M2 steel composition comparison.

Remix

- Benchmade 710-02 did sit in the drawer for very long time. Finally, in 2011, August 4th to be precise, I've decided to start carrying it. Except factory D2 steel blade wasn't really gonna compete with Phil Wilson rehardened M2 steel blades. Especially with Tom Krein regrind on it. The difference in cutting performance and edge holding is just too big to ignore. So, I came to a very simple solution, replaced the D2 blade on 710-02 with the M2 blade rehardened and reground. Polished the rounded back of the blade, pivot area, using belt grinder, just CrO loaded leather belt, gave it a nice mirror polish, and now the action is super smooth. Like I said above, I really like the handle design, and having a high performance blade with it just makes it that much better. I'll post the pix soon.

Specifications:

  • Model: #710-02 McHenry & Williams
  • Steel: D2 Semi Stainless Steel Hardened to 60 HRC
  • Blade: 99mm (3.90")
  • Thickness: 2.92mm (.115");
  • OAL: 223.4mm(8.80") Closed: 124.4mm (4.90");
  • Weight: 128g (4.50oz.);
  • Handle: Anodized Aluminum scales with G10 inserts/double 410 stainless steel liners;
  • Lock Mechanism: Axis lock (U.S. Patent #5737841);
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime;
  • Acquired - 10/2003 Price - 270.00$

Last updated - 09/01/11