This company has managed to make quite a name for themselves in the knife industry, and the Benchmade 580 from the Barrage Series is no exception to their exemplary range of everyday-carry knives. Somewhat visually similar to the Benchmade 960 Osborne, it can be considered a smaller, more compact alternative to the former, but one that does not skimp on durability, performance, ergonomics, or functionality.
Sharing a similar craftsmanship and design with the Benchmade 960, this beauty was made by renowned knife-maker Warren Osborne and has all the trademarks of his style – quality, durability, and superior ergonomics. The blade whether folded or opened to full length, is an absolute beauty, but the Barrage 580 delivers more than just aesthetics. It may not be the best EDC knife for its price, but it sure as hell packs a lot of punch for something its size.
Blade Length: 3.6 “
Blade Material: 154CM Stainless steel
Blade Style: Drop Point (plain variety, no serrations and additional functions)
Mechanisms: AXIS Assist with Locking Mechanism
Blade Finish: satin
Blade Edge: plain
Handle Material: VALOX™ Resin
Overall Length: 8.35”
Closed Length: 4.75”
Carrying Weight: 4.2 ounces
The 3.6 inch blade may not seem like much by way of length, but it does make up for it with the overall quality of the steel it’s made of. Forged from 154CM stainless steel – one which is known for its hardiness and ability to take on a super-sharp edge with very little in the way of dulling – it can stand up to significant amounts of abuse without risk of possibly chipping or damaging the blade and is perfect for all day-to-day utility purposes. Sporting either a satin or blued-black, non-reflective finish, it is highly resistant to corrosion and can be employed as an all-purpose utility knife for camping or hunting trips. True to its utilitarian purpose, the 580 Barrage sports a distinctive tanto-style design, which makes it ideal for cutting and slicing maneuvers with just the right tip for thrusting and stabbing purposes.
Available in a plain satin or a blued-blackened non-reflective finish if ever any necessary ‘stealth’ is needed, the blade is surprisingly easy to use irrespective of the user’s dominant or blade-wielding hand. Thanks to its Axis-Assist deployment system, the blade can be flicked open with astounding speed. A safety lock for both the closed and open options is likewise present for added safety and sturdiness making it safe to carry and even safer to use even for the toughest and most demanding jobs. The blade is hollow ground to a fine edge and is capable of maintaining its sharpness even without regular sharpening, although it does take well to both manual sharpening with whetstones and even electrical sharpeners.
The Barrage 580’s handle is made from a unique, patented synthetic poly-resin substance called VALOX™, which provides a non-stick and non-slippery grip that makes it ideal for field use and any other application. Impact-resistant, shockproof, and water-resistant, the VALOX™ handle ensures the utmost in maneuverability and safety.
The handle grip is designed to ergonomically fit the hand flawlessly, with choice ribbing near the thumb area for additional control, and contour grooves (aka dimpling) all-throughout the middle to near end of the blade handle, plus a little bit of jimping on the spine of the handle itself for a truly non-slip advantage. Done up in a matte-black non-reflective finish with just the most minute hint of crackling for a more rugged look, the VALOX™ is further reinforced with stainless steel lining on the inside, for added sturdiness, extra heft, and superior long-lasting durability.
The handle likewise cradles the 580 Barrage’s trademark AXIS® spring-assisted easy-open and locking mechanism, which allows the knife to be flicked open in seconds and secured without fear or risk of accident. The clip is likewise designed for optimal ergonomics, with a standard and reversible option which allows you to clip the pocket-knife with the blade tip pointed upwards. This latter option may not mean much for individuals who simply wish to employ the knife for utilitarian purposes, but combined with the AXIS® assist easy-open system, it insures the perfect ready-action grip, each and every time. For individuals who wish to employ the Barrage 580 for self-defense purposes, this could mean a major advantage when it comes to drawing speed, stealth, and near-instantaneous action – all three factors which can catch a potential assailant off guard.
The overall ergonomics of the knife stays true to the trademark quality and reliability of both Benchmade and its maker. True to Warren Osborne’s style, the Barrage 580 is extremely well-balanced, with the additional advantage of being specifically designed for ambidextrous usage. The easy-open mechanism allows for a near-effortless action thanks to the spring assist, while a well-placed lock near the thumb area adds an additional safety feature while the knife is in use.
The blade’s tanto-style design itself is fully optimized for cutting and slashing, and with the addition of the specialized poly-resin non-slip handle with its ergonomic grip accents, one is guaranteed sturdiness that does not stint on complimentary ease of application as only well-made ergonomic grips can provide.
Overall, the handle nestles itself perfectly in the hand irrespective of the force of the grip. The added heft provides a more sturdy and substantial feeling plus a slight addition to force (although it may be a tad too heavy for some individuals), but is light enough to be flicked, flipped or turned whichever way with relative ease and some practice. The sleek design of the handle allows for unobtrusive handling, making the knife an ideal option for a self-defense weapon (for those who are into the practice). Overall, the ergonomics of the Barrage 580 is top-notch and is to be expected of a knife of this calibre and make.
With respect to its performance, the Barrage 580 does not disappoint. If you’re looking for a trusty EDC that smacks of superior quality, this is the knife for you. Though it may lack for blade length and may border on the slightly hefty-side with respect to overall weight, this is definitely a knife you wouldn’t want to miss out on! Not only is its solid construction, reinforced handle, and unique easy-open system hallmarks of what makes a knife great. This EDC is ideal for outdoorsmen who require an extremely durable knife for multipurpose use. Handymen and regular folks who need either a self-defense weapon or a handy tool to use for an assortment of day-to-day applications will also find this folding knife indispensable. With respect to safety and efficiency, this beauty cannot be beat thanks to the AXIS® assist easy-open system, its ambidextrous design, its handy dual-purpose safety-lock feature, and the VALOX™ poly-resin handle. With respect to durability and reliability, while 154CM may not exactly be the best kind of steel available, nor is it exactly the most ideal variety for heavy-duty knives, it does hold its edge well and does not easily dull or chip, making it ideal for a regular all-purpose knife that doesn’t necessarily see regular day-to-day abuse. The Barrage 580 however is a knife that can really take a beating, able to hold its own for a variety of tough and unforgiving applications such as skinning, wire-cutting, prying, whittling, and every imaginable application for an all-purpose knife. This is one pocket-knife that will last a lifetime in service, even without regular maintenance, and one that will definitely make for a great heirloom given due care.
Benchmade once again makes a stunner of a knife that most definitely does not disappoint. While it may lack certain key aspects that make for a better knife, it stands alone in its own respect as something that one can rely on with the utmost confidence. Of course, Benchmade has better models than the Barrage 580, and while it may not be everyone’s first choice when looking for an all-around everyday-carry knife, it offers a cheaper and more compact alternative that works just as well as better and more expensive models available on the market. Here’s a quick overview of its pros and cons:
- AXIS® spring-assisted easy-open system
- Tanto-style blade for better cutting and slicing action
- Matte-black blade stain option for extra stealth
- VALOX™ poly-resin handle with ergonomically-designed grip for added safety and precision
- Adjustable clip for further safety measures and added convenience
- Solid, sturdy build makes for a very durable knife at a very affordable price
- 60” blade length may be too short for some individuals who want an all-purpose heavy-duty knife
- Reinforced handle may be a just a tad too heavy for some individuals
- Plain drop-point blade design lacks serrations for sawing and other heavy-duty needs
- Tanto-design is optimized for cutting but may lack stabbing efficiency
Overall, the pros definitely outweigh the cons with respect to the Benchmade Barrage 580. If a simple all-purpose knife is what you need, the Barrage 580 will more than suffice for every imaginable task, and then some. Not only does it guarantee the utmost in safety and reliability, it most certainly does not lack in precision nor does it skimp on durability. If you’re contemplating on buying a budget knife, splurge on yourself a little bit more and get this one instead! You’ll thank yourself for it.