Benchmade 125BK Azeria Wharncliffe Fixed Blade Knife, N680 Black Blade

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SKU:
BEN125BK
The Azeria fixed blade knife is one of many new knives released by Benchmade this year. Modeled after the late H&K Plan D fixed blade model, this low-profile design boasts a pronounced finger groove coupled with a convexed cutout for your index finger for increased grip strength. The overall angled design allows for a full-size blade and handle length while diminishing the overall length over a standard fixed blade knife. Course jimping on the spine as well as the anti-assailant retention feature on the sheath makes this a must-have for any tactical situation. This Black Class model, the 125BK, features a black Grivory (nylon copolymer) handle, a warncliffe style blade in a black finish and Boltaron sheath that has an ambidextrous clip designed for heavy-duty belts. Made in the USA.

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Blade Length: 2.9"
  • Overall Length: 5.6"
  • Blade Thickness: 0.11"
  • Blade Material: N680 Stainless Steel
  • Blade Finish: Black
  • Handle Length: 3"
  • Handle Material: Grivory
  • Weight: 2.4 oz.
  • Sheath: Boltaron
  • Sheath Weight: 1.8 oz.

The Benchmade AZERIA

Heckler and Koch is a firearm company with a rich history. The people who started H&K pulled the beginning plans for their first products out of a fire at the end of World War 2. Since then, they have created a truly amazing company. They have designed and built many innovative firearms. When they decided to expand their inventory, they wanted to start building knives. These knives were meant to be designed as quality knives that are still affordable. These knives were targeted towards police, first responders, military personnel, and the common person who has a budget.

However, H&K knew to produce the best knives they could, they would need to collaborate with an already established knife company. H&K didn’t have the machinery or history to build the knives that they wanted to. Benchmade and H&K formed a collaboration that gave Benchmade the right to any designs that came out of the collaboration; Benchmade would be the company that was building the knives. H&K would get to put their name on the knives, helping to broaden the target audience. Through this collaboration, the two companies have produced many innovative knives that have become extremely popular.

Recently Benchmade decided to call off the collaboration and focus on their own knife lines. These Benchmade and H&K knives were great, but with this new focus, Benchmade decided to make these knives extraordinary. One of these knives that have become very popular was the H&K Plan D. The Plan D is a versatile back up blade that functions equally well as a daily carry or utility knife. Benchmade decided to keep this knife the exact same—that’s how good of a knife it was. But, they did rename it: The Benchmade AZERIA. Today, I’ll give a rundown of what this knife is and why it is such a great knife.

The Blade:

The steel of this blade is made out of N680 Ultra Stainless Steel. This specific type of steel is actually relatively inexpensive for the qualities that it has. One of the main benefits of N680 steel is just how corrosion resistant it is. It resists corrosion so well because while it is being smelted, the steel is infused with nitrogen. This nitrogen will interact with the chromium that is inside of the steel. After they interact, the chromium has a better defensive shield against iron from reacting to oxygen. When iron and oxygen react, you get rust. When they iron cannot interact with the oxygen, your blade won’t rust. This is truly one of the most corrosion resistant steels that you are going to be able to find. So, if you know that your knife is going to be interacting with water, even salt water, often, this is a great blade for you. Unfortunately, this steel is not going to hold an edge as a more expensive steel, such as S30V steel, would. A common steel used in mass marketed knives is 440 steel, and the N680 steel does perform significantly better than that 440 does. This steel has also been infused with vanadium, which gives metal a nice grain. When a metal has a nice grain, it is more prone to flexibility and chip resistance. The fine grain also guarantees a very fine edge. If you are worried about cost, but still want a good quality steel (and who wouldn’t want this?), N680 steel is a great option to consider. Other than the fact that it is going to lose its edge quicker than other steels, there is not a whole lot of extra maintenance. I wouldn’t be turned away from this steel just because it is not a premium grade steel.

The shape of this blade is a Wharncliffe with an angled profile. A classic Wharncliffe blade almost looks like a classic blade but then turned upside down. The sharpened edge is the flat edge, while the back is slowly curved until it meets the flat edge at a tip. An angled profile means that while the sharpened edge is still flat, the unsharpened edge curves until about three quarters towards the tip, where it sharply angles down. By doing this, it creates a much finer and sharper tip. A Wharncliffe is a very useful blade shape. This shape is great at opening boxes and envelopes and excels at box cutting. Wharncliffe’s have very thick blades, so they are strong. This thicker blade means that it can take on harder tasks and cut thicker materials. And because the back edge of the blade is curved and dull, you can hold onto the blade to provide more control. This shape is not good for culinary work or for skinning, because it has no belly whatsoever. Without the belly, you cannot rock to slice much. A big benefit to a Wharncliffe blade is that it is one of the easiest shapes to sharpen. You can use anything from a stone to a rod system to sharpen this style of blade. This blade shape is great for piercing or stabbing though.

The Handle:

This knife has a handle made out of black Grivory. So what the heck is Grivory? The scientific definition of Grivory says that it is a “subset of thermoplastic synthetic resins in the polyamide family defined as when 55% or more moles of the carboxylic acid portion of the repeating unit in the polymer chain is composed of a combination of terephthalic and isophthathlic acids.” Doesn’t really help much in defining what Grivory is for the average non-scientfiic person. So the version of the definition that I can actually understand is that Grivory is a type of Polyamides, which is a type of plastic. This specific type of plastic is manufactured to be one of the most versatile and well performing out of any of the plastic materials. The company EMS-Grivory has branded this version of Polyamides with the name Grivory. This plastic has an exceptional stability of 50% or greater. Commonly, a fiber glass will be used in this plastic material as a stiffener. This material is going to give you a very strong handle. To add texture, Benchmade has added a raised stripe-like pattern across the palm.

On the bottom of this handle, Benchmade has drilled a lanyard hole. There are many huge benefits to carrying your knife with a lanyard. One of the biggest advantages is that you can tie it securely to you during tumultuous circumstances; you won’t have to worry about losing your knife. Another big benefit is that while you are using your knife in messy situations, you can loop the lanyard around your wrist to give you a more secure grip.

There is also a serious finger choil that gives you a solid grip on your knife no matter what situation is thrown at you.

The Mechanism:

The Benchmade AZERIA is a fixed blade. Many people prefer using a folding knife for a couple of reasons including: they feel that folding blades can be more discreet and they feel like folding blades are more convenient and easier to have with you. But, having a fixed blade as your knife has many advantages to it. In my opinion, one of the biggest advantages to having a fixed blade is that they are less likely to break. There are no moving parts that can rust out and no springs that can snap. The blade is securely connected to the handle. Along with that comes many other advantages: a fixed blade makes an excellent survival tool. You can cut, dig, split wood, hammer, and even pry with a fixed blade. You can do all of these tasks because you don’t have to worry about your knife breaking. An advantage that many knife professionals consider to be the biggest advantage to having a fixed blade is that they are easier to bring into action. You pull the knife out of the sheath and its ready to be used. You don’t have to push any buttons to trigger or open the knife. If you are an outdoorsman, are going to be camping lots, or are just want a very versatile, strong knife a fixed blade is the best option for you.

The Sheath:

The AZERIA comes with a low profile, molded sheath. The sheath also has an ambidextrous clip that has been specifically design for duty belts. The clip has been drilled so you can carry this knife either left or right handedly.

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 2.9 inches long. This is a relatively short blade for being a fixed blade. But, that just means that you will have the strength that is provided with a fixed blade, but the convenience of a folding knife. The blade on this knife is 0.114 inches thick. The overall length of this knife is 5.64 inches long. The handle thickness is 0.55 inches. The knife weighs 2.37 ounces, while the sheath weighs in at 1.81 ounces. For the strength and ability that this knife has behind it, it is a relatively small and light knife.

Pros of the Benchmade AZERIA:

  • · The blade’s steel is a relatively inexpensive steel, so the overall price of this knife should not be out of the roof.
  • · The blade’s steel has extremely high corrosion resistance properties.
  • · You are going to be able to get a very fine edge on this knife.
  • · Because of the angled Wharncliffe profile, you have a finer tip than a classic Wharncliffe would offer you.
  • · The blade is great for everyday tasks, especially box cutting.
  • · The shape of the blade makes it very easy to sharpen.
  • · The Wharncliffe shape adds thickness to the blade, providing it with extra strength.
  • · This blade has a great shape for stabbing.
  • · The Wharncliffe shape allows you to hold onto the blade while cutting, letting you have better control.
  • · The Grivory handle is very strong.
  • · The handle has been texturized, providing you with exceptional grip, no matter the circumstance.
  • · The handle has a lanyard hole drilled into it.
  • · It is a fixed blade, so you can dig, pry, hammer, and much more without worrying about it breaking.
  • · Because it is a fixed blade, you do not have to worry about the inside workings breaking, rusting, or snapping—much more durable.
  • · Comes with an excellent sheath.
  • · The knife is not too bulky or heavy.

Cons of the Benchmade AZERIA:

  • · The blade’s steel does not keep its edge as well as a premium grade steel would.
  • · Not great for culinary work because there is no belly to slice.
  • · This blade is not going to easily allow you to skin, because of the lack of belly.
  • · Fixed blades are harder to conceal than a folding knife.
  • · Fixed blades can feel less convenient and easy to have with you as a folding knife would.

Conclusion:

Heckler and Koch’s collaboration with Benchmade has produced many fantastic knives. When word came out that Benchmade was choosing to focus on their own line of knives, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed, because we were losing some fantastic knives. However, Benchmade decided to take some of the most popular H&K knives and revamp them to make them exceptional. I was ecstatic. While looking at some of the new versions of these old knives, Benchmade has made small tweaks here and there, upgraded a few of the materials, and gave the knives a sleeker look. The AZERIA knife was designed to be like the Plan D knife, and it is actually the exact same knife. Benchmade chose not to switch anything about this versatile back up knife—except for the name. So you know that this is a trusty, reliable knife that will be a great addition to your knife collection if you don’t already have the Plan D.

The steel on this knife is one of the most corrosion resistant steels that you can find. This means that there will be less maintenance and it can be in more extreme conditions. You really get the best of both worlds. The handle is strong and durable with a nifty lanyard hole. This is a fixed knife that comes with a great sheath. There are so many advantages to this knife with such a rich history.