Benchmade Knife Company‘s 910 Stryker debuted in the late 1990’s. Designed by Allen Elishewitz, the original Stryker won the Shooting Industry Magazine’s Knife of the Year in 1998. Back then, titanium liners, G-10 scales, ATS-34 steel, black blade coatings, and designer collaborations were reserved for Benchmade’s upstart folding knives such as the CQC-7, AFCK, and the Stryker.
Stryker was at the jump-off point of Les de Asis’ tactical assault on the late 90’s marketplace. It has gone through a few upgrades and the Stryker is back for 2014 with some new boots. Benchmade’s ambidextrous McHenry & Williams AXIS lock is incorporated into the Stryker. The strong and secure lock is the center point for this current interpretation.
The 909’s 3.57″ blade of 154CM steel has the same modified tanto grind of OG Strykers. Elishewitz’s design leaves plenty of steel at the tip and an eye-pleasing profile. The 154CM will be hardened to 58-60 HRC. As opposed to the original’s thumb disk, the new blade opens with dual thumb studs, like the Stryker Nitro-assisted 912’s.
The black blade coating has not been announced, but I suspect it to be either Benchmade’s matte BK1 or Xylan-based, “Teflon-y” BT2. The photo shows blackened hardware with the black blade.
There are minor changes to the 909’s handle. The liners will be stainless steel and not titanium. Its profile has less of the teardrop shape of the previous versions, and appears more squared off. A small scallop at the lower rear of the butt is also new, as is some chamfering along the lower edges.
I really want to hold the new knife to feel the ergonomics of the handle. The older models felt slim, but had that nice swell at the top rear that filled your palm. Otherwise, the latest G-10 has longitudinal grooves, unlike the Nitro’s zebra machining or the flat slabs of old. The new G-10 retains the standard texturing.
If you look closely at the Stryker 909, you will see pocket clip mounting points on the left side rear of the handle. Previous versions were tip down, right side only. This was due to the detent of the previous versions’ liner locks. The AXIS model has no such safety restrictions.
The spacing and position of two clip mount holes portend the use of Benchmade’s latest deep carry pocket clip. No photos showing the clip have been released yet. But a right/left, tip up clip would be very welcome, especially since the AXIS lock makes for an ambidextrous knife.
I had several Strykers from the original runs that have since been sold, but I retained a Mini-Stryker in BT2, since I like the smaller blades. Come to think of it, I have two discontinued Mini-AFCK’s in the knife roll, too.
Benchmade’s web page indicates the new 909 will be available in satin or black-coated blades, with or without partial serrations. MSRP’s are $180 for satin and $195 for black. That will bring actual retail pricing to a hundred and a half, give or take.
I am looking forward to revisiting an old friend in this new Benchmade AXIS Stryker.