An Old Knife Returns, Briefly

Benchmade 910BTSitting at a co-worker’s desk the other day, BS-ing with the troops, I saw a knife at the base of the guy’s computer monitor.  This Benchmade 910BT was beaten, dusty, and decidedly dull.  Shame, because these were once flagship collaboration pieces between the Clackamas, Ore. company and designer Allen Elishewitz.

The model 910, or Stryker, went into pre-production in 1998, with full production beginning shortly thereafter.  For those of us who already owned the Benchmade 970 CQC-7, this tanto knife was racier, with a much more ergonomic handle and rakish blade.  They were a must-buy and I obeyed this edict.

My co-worker returned to his cubicle and saw me pawing his Stryker.  I accused him of neglect.  He apologized then told me I had sold him this very knife back in 2000.  No kidding!  In those days, I was a part-time retailer, selling knives to my buddies.  The venture did not make money, but I did get to order knives for myself at considerable discount.

Benchmade 910BT closed Benchmade 910BT clipWhen I remarked about how unsharp it was, he said he did not know where to take it to get its edge back.  I have made a hobby of rehabbing my past sales, which I jokingly refer to as “warranty work.”  The Stryker went into my pocket and I told him he would have it back after Christmas.

I brought the knife home and got out my tools.  My first chore was to clean the folder.  It did not appear to need disassembly, just some attention with some rags, WD-40, and a toothbrush.  That shined her up as much as was possible.

He had really gouged up the BT finish on the ATS-34 blade, but the edge itself was not too abused.  I made some careful passes with it on a whetstone then transitioned to my Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker to finish.  It became a functional knife blade again.

Benchmade 910BT bladeWith a multitool and a rag, I straightened out his bent pocket clip and put fresh thread locker on the screws.  Allen wrenches checked the tightness of all fasteners.  A short length of paracord pulled lint and debris from the knife’s lanyard hole.  The toothbrush cleaned out nooks and crannies.

Benchmade 910BT logo Benchmade 901BT ElishewitzThis older liner lock style of Stryker went out of production years ago.  In 2014, Benchmade debuted the upgraded model 909, a Stryker with AXIS lock, reversible tip up pocket clip, and open standoff back.  Different animal.

I was beginning to get attached to the old knife.  My own 910SBT left the inventory long ago.  Would he sell it to me?  But, my friend had told me that he had employed the Stryker for many fascinating cutting and, gulp, prying chores in the decade and a half since he had paid me for it.  So, this was really his knife and not mine.

The now-serviced Benchmade 910BT Stryker went into a plastic sandwich bag for its trip back to the owner.  I was content to know that this old knife was once again ship-shape and ready to be enjoyed once more.

by Wilson


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