Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

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Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby sal » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:56 pm

I am sorry to inform you that Mr.Lester DeAsis has passed away. Lester was the founder and owner of Benchmade knife company. He was a passionate, knowledgeable and worthy competitor and we will miss him.

I first met Lester in the late 70's when we were selling our Sharpmakers at consumer shows. We also were selling his Butterfly knives which we used to demonstrate and sell along with our sharpeners. This was before we made knives. We continued to sell his butterfly knives well into the 80's.

At one time, Les and I had considered going into a partnership in a knife factory, but the legality of Butterfly knives was turning and he decided to build his factory on Oregon where switch-blades were legal ( Butterfly knives are considered switch-blades ). We elected to build our factory in Golden.

Lester pioneered the resurrection of Butterfly knives in America. He's in the Cutlery Hall of Fame for his accomplishments.

Our condolences to his family, friends and crew. May he rest in peace.


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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby blues » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:58 pm

Sad to hear this. I had some pleasant conversations with him in years past and still have a handful of the iconic models produced.
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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby Dazen » Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:09 pm

Thank you for this sad new. I will carry a Benchmade the rest of the weekend to remind me of the impact he made on the knife community.

Thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends.

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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby jdw » Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:31 pm

To me, he was an icon in the industry and one of a handful of people who helped it progress to where it is today. May he rest well.
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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby Sharp Guy » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:04 pm

Heard about this last night. Sad day for the knife community
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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby SteveMidwest » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:14 pm

Thank you Sal.
RIP Les. You have left a much loved mark, on this Earth.

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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby JuPaul » Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:27 pm

Very sad day, indeed. Wishing for comfort and solace to the many, many people who love him.
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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby PayneTrain » Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:41 pm

Very sad news, and it sounds like you lost a friend, Sal. Very cool you got to know him, but of course not surprising as you are both kings of the industry. I like a lot of Benchmade designs and own a few, and they've driven the industry as much as any company for as long as I've known. I only hope I could look back on such a successful life, he's got a lot to be proud of and I'm sorry he couldn't hang around a little longer. Thank you for all your hard work, Mr. DeAsis!
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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby GarageBoy » Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:44 pm

BM and Spyderco were always the two production knife companies that made the products that most intrigued me. RIP to a legend

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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby RustyIron » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:02 pm

Never met the man. I started carrying his knives in the 80's or 90's, and still would be if I hadn't become a Spyderco fan. I wish is family and friends wellness in this difficult time.

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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby Bloke » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:23 pm

Sorry to hear. Condolences to family and friends.
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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:47 pm

It is always painful to the heart to read of the passing of accomplished people who contributed so much to any and all fields of endeavor.

Just last night I was going over my knife collection deciding what to keep, what to sell.

Oddly enough I came upon two boxes.

One was my Spyderco Jumpmaster I recently gifted to my plumber who is an avid hunter and fisherman.

The other was my only Benchmade.

The Nestucca cleaver. I looked at it thought of the Deacon and something was tugging my heart. Odd I just stared at it absorbed and said don’t worry my friend you are home, you are not going anywhere ever.

Then I wondered about why so such strong sentiment and put the box up remembering all the meals I have prepared with it.

Today I read this sad news and wonder at the connectivity and sanctity of life and the strangeness of the universe.

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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby Peter1960 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 3:21 am

My condolences to his family and friends.
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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby kodai78 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:26 pm

Condolences to family and friends. I enjoyed the Benchmades I have bought. He leaves behind quite a legacy.
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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby FCM415 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:31 pm

My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby Halfneck » Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:35 pm

Spyderco & Benchmade make up a majority of the knives I own. By whatever circumstance a Benchmade was in my pocket during the birth of both my sons - Benchmade 330 for my oldest & a Benchmade 940 for my youngest. Once they hit 21 I plan on giving them their birth knives. I also carried a Benchmade Emerson CQC-7 during my time in the Army. Saddened to hear of his passing, but he left one hell of a legacy in the knife world.

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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby JD Spydo » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:14 am

I cut my premium knife loving teeth on Benchmade models before I got my first Spyderco. Spyderco obviously became my ultimate favorite over the years but I still kept a few of the older Benchmade knives.

I met Les DeAsis a couple of times and he was a real gentleman and fun to chat with. I just hope the BM company will remain in good hands. Competition from other premium companies is truly healthy for the overall market. But Mr. De Asis will be missed by many.

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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby curlyhairedboy » Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:04 am

Tragic news for sure, we've lost an icon.
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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby The Meat man » Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:17 am

Condolences to his friends and family. :(
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Re: Mr. Lester DeAsis passes

Postby gundamaniac » Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:20 pm

Condolences to the DeAsis family and the larger Benchmade family. Spyderco and Benchmade were the established major players of the higher end US knife industry when I got into knives, and they were the knives I aspired to own in my early days of knife collecting. I very much appreciate the contributions Mr. deAsis brought to the industry through Benchmade. May he rest in peace.

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