The Benchmade Mini Adamas: A Heavy-Duty Tactical Pocket Knife
Last month, I received two knives from Benchmade. This review will focus on the Mini Adamas, with the Mini Barrage review to follow soon. Before we begin, I feel I should address the elephant in the room. Some in the 2A community have beef with Benchmade. Back in 2018-2019, the company assisted the Oregon City Police Department in the destruction of seized firearms. For obvious reasons, this upset some people. I'm writing about this upfront to acknowledge the controversy.
I personally don't have a problem with it. The guns were legally seized and slated for destruction and disposal. I think it's better that the OCPD got rid of them than left them in an evidence locker to take up space and collect dust. If Benchmade didn't do it, someone else would have. Obviously, you can make up your own mind on the issue. With that out of the way, let's check out the Benchmade Mini Adamas.
First Impressions of the Knife
The packaging is nice. The Mini Adamas arrived in a rigid, foam-lined, shoe box-style box, and the knife itself sits in a black drawstring bag. I realize this point doesn't matter to everyone, but for collectors and gift-givers, it's a nice touch. Inside that bag lies one beast of a knife. The Mini Adamas fills and fits my hands perfectly. The ergonomics, weight, and balance all work well for my day-to-day needs, and I have no doubt the knife is capable of much more than I've put it through in the past month.
EDC Applications & Tests
For day-to-day usage, it cuts through tape, cardboard, and plastic. The blade is good and sharp right out of the box, and it has a robust spine. The Axis Lock mechanism works well, but it is a bit tight for the first several uses. Once it's been put through the paces, the lock works more smoothly and prevents unintentional closure. I cut some 13mm rappelling rope, 3” wide nylon cinch straps, and various diameters of sisal rope. The Mini Adamas cut through each effortlessly and kept its edge so well that I was able to make paper cuts without re-sharpening.
For the bush craft and survival crowd, yes, it cuts through 550 paracord and #36 bank line with minimal effort. Whether you're working in a warehouse or kicking around in the woods, it's a great tool to have on hand. Though I typically use an ESEE 4 for outdoor work and hunting, the Mini Adamas would more than suffice for hunting and lighter outdoor tasks. I wouldn't try and split firewood with it, but it will definitely make some nice feather sticks to get a fire going. Though I can't speak to the specific needs and applications of law enforcement and military personnel, I imagine the Mini Adamas would perform in both fields.
Specifications & Materials
As indicated on the company's site, Benchmade knives are “laser-cut from high-grade steel” and “ground, beveled, and finished with uncompromising precision.” Some companies do overstate quality or embellish aspects of the manufacturing process, but in my experience, Benchmade is not one of them. This is most definitely a quality product made from quality materials. The 3.25” drop point blade on the Mini Adamas is made from CPM CRU-WEAR tool steel and it has an HRC rating of 63-65, making for a highly durable knife. This knife also features a cerakote-finished blade with a plain edge and G-10 handles.
Value & Conclusion
With a price range of $225-$250 on various websites, the Mini Adamas is not a budget knife. On Benchmade's own site, it lists for $290 (as of this writing). Obviously, shopping will save you some money, but I realize that a $250 pocket knife is not for everyone. That said, you do get a high-quality knife which Benchmade backs with their limited lifetime warranty. They also offer maintenance through their LifeSharp program which includes cleaning, sharpening, oiling, and adjustments. You only have to pay to ship it to Benchmade and they'll perform all the work and ship it back to you free of charge.
I've used this service with my SOCP 178 (may write a review on that one someday) and I was impressed with both the quality of the work and the turnaround time. Ultimately, value is subjective. My standard of value may differ from yours. After a month of putting the Mini Adamas to work, I can say I like the fit, finish, quality, and value, but I would also not want to lose this one as it's not my run of the mill $25-$50 pocket knife I typically use for everyday tasks. If you're in the market for a high-quality knife, and you're not too worried about breaking the bank on a good piece of well-crafted steel, you may want to give the Benchmade Mini Adamas a shot.