Everyday Carry with the Benchmade 531
In the long search for a suitable everyday carry knife I stumbled upon the Benchmade 531. After having it in my hand, I could not get over how light and thin it was compared to most of the knives that I have previously carried. This was also my first foray into the Axis lock, or any Benchmade knife for that matter. The Axis lock was a nice change of pace from all of the liner locks utilized on my previous knives.
The closest comparison in size for what I have in my collection is the Kershaw Skyline. The styling of the 531 was a step up from the Skyline, with the milled, multicolored G10. The weight between the two is very similar; 2.1 ounces for the 531 and 2.5 ounces for the Skyline. Overall length between the two is nearly identical; the Benchmade is just larger by .045 inches.
The Benchmade 531 has a close relative in the Benchmade family, the 530. Both are the same size and look similar in profile, but there are some distinct differences. The 531 has milled and contoured black and gray G10, as opposed to the black grivory scales on the 530. As first glance they look similar, but in the hand, the 531 feels like a superior product. The G10 scales have a solid, refined feel to them. Grivory on the other hand, feels cheap on the knife. With how thin the scales are they have some flex and bend to them, which is off-putting when the knife is in the hand. Over time my initial feeling on the grivory handles may subside, but after having the G10 to compare it to, I’m not so sure. There is also a different grind on each blade. The 530 has a spear point with the grind line directly down the center of the blade. On the other hand, the 531 is labeled as a modified drop point, although the profile of the blade is shaped like a spear point, but has a saber grind, with a very small swedge grind on the top of the blade. Both come standard with 154CM blade steel, which seems to be a base stainless steel across many of Benchmades line. It sharpens easily, and can take an extremely sharp edge. I’ve sharpened mine on an Edge Pro, Wicked Edge, and KME sharpener with great results from each system. Each version comes in Benchmade’s standard variations; plain edge, combo edge, black coated plain edge, and black coated combo edge.
The Benchmade 531 was an excellent addition to my collection, and a knife that will stay in my EDC rotation for a long time. It has served me well, and has been carried nearly every day for the last year. Overall the 531 will be a welcome addition to any pocket, and one that will stay safely clipped in my pocket for a long time.