I have been looking for a new dive knife after leaving my fixed blade Benchmade Dive Knife [model 100SH20] in a hotel in Pattaya, Thailand after a weekend of diving and drinking massive amounts of booze last year.
I was planning on just getting another fixed blade Benchmade just like the last one I had because it was a great dive knife and one of the only high quality ones that had a yellow handle. But when I was surfing some knife websites I saw that Benchmade now had a Folding Version of their Fixed Blade Dive Knife.
At first I was thinking “a folding dive knife, that is strange” but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. One of the other reasons why I liked Benchmade’s fixed dive knife was because it was not so big that I looked like a serial killer with it strapped to my leg.
I do 99% of my snorkeling and diving overseas in the 3rd world and I want to be somewhat discreet when I am walking around the beach and docks. So carrying a big-ass knife on my leg or waist either screams “tourist, rob my hotel room” or “crazy person walking on the beach with a bowie knife”. So having a dive knife that I can discreetly stick in my pocket [I like to wear shorts when I dive] is something that appeals to me.
I am also a sucker for anything new with a blade so I ordered one up and a month later it arrived to me here in Iraq. When I opened up the box and flipped it out I was surprised that the blade was the same size of the fixed model. Most folding versions of knives that were based on a fixed knife are way smaller, but the blade on the Benchmade 111H2O Folding Dive Knife is the same length and thickness as the fixed version.
Actually this is one of the thickest blades I have seen on a folder, it is easily a quarter inch thick on the spine with a 3 ½ inch Modified Sheepsfoot blade. The blade itself is made of N680 (57-60HRC) highly corrosion resistant blade steel, the same steel used in the fixed version. I used my fixed Benchmade Dive Knife for years without any corrosion issues so I expect this blade will fair the same.
The handle has uniquely patterned scales made of something called Grivory that feel like a combination of plastic and ceramic. The pattern on the scales is an interesting cut zig-zag design that grips well in wet hands even when wearing gloves and looks pretty damn cool.
The Benchmade 111H2O useds the AXIS lock located at the top end of the handle, some folks don’t like the AXIS lock and honestly I am not a big fan of it. But for the purposes of this knife [a dive knife] it actually makes sense because it would be easier to use underwater than a liner locker [especially if wearing gloves].
I have been using it here in Iraq on and off for basic EDC stuff, I even left it in a glass of water for a couple of days and it came out like new. I am going do some diving and snorkeling in Indonesia later this year so I will throw up an update then.
Overall it is a solid knife [as pretty much all Benchmades are] that is an interesting concept [honestly I have never thought “hey I need a folding dive knife”] that fills a niche in the dive knife market.
Benchmade AXIS Folding N680 Dive Knife 93 - 110 Bucks Benchmade AXIS Folding N680 Dive Knife (Black)Benchmade ComboEdge AXIS Folding N680 Dive Knife (Yellow)
~James G Founder - Editor in Chief
James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and Blacking out In Thailand. James G. on FACEBOOK