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Bench Mark Knives American Made
Blackie Collins Premier Design
BENCHMARK SIDEWINDER AUTO - FIRST IMPRESSION
Designed by Blackie Collins, Benchmark's Sidewinder automatic is not just another automatic opener. Though on the outside it may look like any other auto on the market, but it's what's on the inside that differentiates the Sidewinder from other automatic openers on the market today. The textured GV6H polymer scales conceal an aircraft cable and pulley system that drives the 440C stainless blade open with full force throughout the arc of the blade's travel. If you look at the inside of the handle when the knife is opened, you can easily see the expansion spring (imagine a giant version of the spring of a retractable ball point pen) attached to the end of the braided steel cable. The cable extends to the pivot and winds up around a phosphor bronze bushing, in which the blade rides on. Press the button and the spring pulls on the cable - which in turn unwinds off of the bushing causing the blade to open quickly and effortlessly. All this happens in the blink of an eye! A button plunge lock mechanism keeps the blade locked in the closed or open position, and is recessed enough to avoid unintentional firing when the knife is in the pocket. Another item of noteworthy mention - the handle spine is fully enclosed. When the blade comes to a rest in the open position, it butts up against a steel grub screw that serves as the blade stop. The screw has a hex head and is anchored firmly in the end of the GV6H handle spacer. If the blade were to develop some up-and-down play when open, all you need to do is obtain a hex wrench of the appropriate size and adjust the grub screw accordingly to take up the slop. Also notice the combination assembly screw/lanyard screw at the rear of the handle. This large assembly provides a place to thread a lanyard through and also provides strength and rigidity at the rear of the handle. Overall, I am pleased with this knife. It lays in your hand comfortably with its rounded handle contours. The large finger recess forms an integral guard to keep your hand from sliding forward. The large drop point blade lends itself well to a variety of utility tasks. Benchmark and Collins have done a superb job on the Sidewinder. Benchmark has also informed me that a manual version of the Sidewinder will be available in the future. It will have the same button lock mechanism and phosphor bronze bushing, and ambidextrous thumbstuds.
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