Benchmade 3150BK Impel Cali-Legal Auto Knife, CPM-S30V Black Blade

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The Benchmade 3150BK Impel auto knife a push button design with an integrated slide safety. This Lerch design automatic knife has a plain edge blade of S30V premium stainless steel with a BK1 black tactical coat. The Impel also has a machined aluminum handle with black G10 inlay. The Impel comes with a removable tip down steel pocket clip. This small automatic knife falls in the Cali Legal class with a blade just shorter than 2". The Impel has extremely fast action and tight lock up. Especially nice is the slide safety that is right next to the button. Makes for easier one handed operation. This is the perfect carry auto for the office but it's solid construction makes it just at home pretty much anywhere.


Blade Length: 1.98"
Blade Thickness: 0.100"
Handle Thickness: 0.350"
Blade Material: S30V Premium Stainless Steel
Blade Hardness: 58-60HRC
Blade Style: Clip-Point
Weight: 2.10oz.
Pocket Clip: Tip-Down, Silver Steel
Lock Mechanism: Push Button Auto
Overall Length: 5.03"
Closed Length: 3.06"
Sheath Material: Sold Separately
Class: Black

Benchmade 3150BK Impel Auto Knife Review
Having carried the Benchmade 3150BK for several months now, I feel somewhat qualified to review the knife. The knife, right out of the box, has several characteristics that drew me to purchasing it. First and foremost, I like the thin profile of the Impel. At just 3/8" thick, and still less than 1/2" thick with the pocket clip, this is one of the most thin auto knives I have seen on the market. I also like the size. At just under 3 1/4" closed and 5 1/4" open, this Cali legal auto knife is for me, the perfect EDC size.

The blade is built from S30V. I like this because it has given me a blade that keeps an edge longer than most knives I have carried in the past. The blade cuts like a charm. Surprisingly to me, the blade feels like it is quite a bit longer than I expected it to. With the long curve of the modified clip point blade, it has always felt like I have plenty of cutting "real estate" to work with. I have sharpened the blade three times since I got the knife four months ago. After a month of heavy use, the blade always seems ready for a quick touch up. I normally use the Spyderco Sharpmaker system to sharpen my knives because it is simple to use and can get a good edge on the blade. The first time I used it, the blade came away perfectly sharp. I was a bit worried that I would have a hard time sharpening S30V, but with the Sharpmaker it has been no trouble at all. So every 30 or 40 days, I get out the Sharpmaker and put a fresh new edge on my Benchmade 3150. It takes a new edge with no problem and keeps a good edge under heavy daily use.
The handle of the Impel is built from machined aluminum and has a black G10 inlay on both sides. I especially like the G10 inlay since it gives my hand all kinds of extra grip. I haven't had any kind of a hand slip since I started using the knife and I have used it in wet and slippery conditions several times. My favorite thing about the handle is the integrated finger choil. It is slightly beveled so that as you grip the knife, the edge of the handle does not cut into your finger at all. It is a somewhat shallow choil that is long enough for a comfortable grip. When I have my Impel in my hand, it fits comfortable and does not slip at all. The handle is built with an open frame which I like. It makes it easy to clean out inside the frame.
The fire button is inset for maximum safety but the Impel also features a slide safety that is inset right "below" the trigger. The safety is just on the butt side of the trigger. This makes it easily accessible for one hand unlock and fire. There is no way to accidentally fire this knife. But when you want to fire it open, it is easy to open with just one hand. The safety has small "steps" that make it easy to push or pull--it is a breeze to lock or unlock with your thumb. The spring is strong. When you trigger the Impel, the blade snaps out. The lock up is tight like you would expect from a Benchmade knife.

Overall Impression
I rank the Benchmade Impel as an easy A+ in its class. This is one of the best small auto knives that I have come across and I heartily recommend the knife to anyone considering getting one. Thin profile and lightweight with high quality materials combine to make it the perfect, upscale auto knife for everyday carry.