Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

If your topic has nothing to do with Spyderco, you can post it here.
User avatar
NCC-2893
Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:28 pm

Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby NCC-2893 » Thu Apr 15, 2021 7:31 pm

I keep a Benchmade Bugout in my knife collection. It does not see a lot of use. It exists as a comparison piece to my other knives; for size, grip, and cutting quality. I'd have sold the knife long ago because the Bugout did not live up to the holy grail status that so many seem to bestow upon it. I kept it around so that I could be reminded of how unimpressed I was with the Bugout, in the event I found myself itching for any other shiny new stuff from Benchmade. So today, I had it out to compare with my Salt 2 "Delica," PE LC200N. I noticed the usual gritty action on the Bugout (I've cleaned and tuned it before with no improvement). I flipped it a couple times while on a phone call to try to smooth it out, and the next thing I notice is the omega springs break, both at the same time. I've never had an Axis Lock failure until today, and let me tell you the Bugout looked especially sad as it limped lifeless, dangling from my hand. I thought more about Axis Locks and the vulnerability of an omega spring. It is a small piece of metal. And I would think in a climate controlled environment it would probably outlast hundreds of thousands of compressions. But our knives don't have the luxury of living in perfect conditions, and so that tiny piece of wire would be very vulnerable to corrosion or other minor imperfections. I then thought of how disastrous that could be if the failure happened during an emergency, in my line of work emergencies happen all the time. After hearing about omega spring failures and then experiencing one directly; I can confidently say that I'm no longer going to consider any other Axis Lock knives from Benchmade. Benchmade pricing made it all the easier to walk away as well. On a side note, I used to covet the compression lock above all others, but lately I've been drifting back to appreciate the back lock. Not because of any reliability or durability issues, but because I appreciate the extra security the back lock provides with the bias to keep the knife shut. Not a huge issue, but one that becomes more important as my facination in flickability wanes.
:spyder: “I get on my bike and I ride off…on the grass.”

User avatar
PeaceInOurTime
Member
Posts: 1144
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:37 am

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby PeaceInOurTime » Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:46 pm

I've had two Benchmade knives, both suffered broken omega springs within the first year of use. I replaced the springs with guitar string (don't recall what gauge) and never had that issue again.

While I also generally prefer a good backlock/midlock, I still like the axis lock. However, like you, I keep only one axis locking knife, the Mini Freek, mainly just to fondle and remind myself why I prefer other designs.

James Y
Member
Posts: 3207
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: Southern CA

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby James Y » Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:03 pm

I bought my first BM axis lock, an original 710, back in 2000. After that, I got several more axis locking knives. My favorite was the TSEK axis lock, bought around 2003(?) or so. It was also the last axis lock knife I ever bought. I carried that one every day for a few years.

Although I’ve never experienced a spring failure myself, I had heard of others experiencing it, and it was always a question in the back of my mind. I always unlocked them using both my thumb and index finger simultaneously, to keep the pressure even on both sides of the lock bar, and on both springs. But the thin little omega springs still bothered me. They are definitely a weak point. So although I’m keeping them, I no longer carry my axis locks.

IMO, Spyderco’s CBBL, with its coil spring, is a much better take on the general concept. And I’m not just saying that because this is the Spyderco forum.

Although my favorite lock overall is still a well-made back lock.

Jim

User avatar
TKCSA
Member
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:38 pm
Location: South...Wayyyy South.

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby TKCSA » Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:24 am

I can chime in here and relate my experience - I have had it happen on a Mini-Griptilian and full size Bugout. Never on the 950 Rift I carried for around 2 years.

By looking at the design I believe the lock to be immensely strong and well-designed, however the method the lock relies on to engage is not reliable or trustworthy in my opinion. The thin wire is not something I like to see on any tool in daily operation. Especially when you introduce variables like environment, stress and the uneven operation of the lock. As mentioned above I believe a big contributing factor to the failures would be the lock that is not pulled back evenly on both sides, but rather being used one handed with slightly more force placed on one of the springs.

User avatar
Doc Dan
Member
Posts: 10763
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:25 am
Location: In a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby Doc Dan » Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:33 am

I have three BM's with axis locks. The rest are liner locks or some sort. I have never had an omega spring break, but it has happened to so many people that I do not consider the lock reliable enough. I think they need to change to a wound spring. I still prefer back locks to all others, if made properly. I did have a lock bar break on a lock back knife many years ago. It was not my knife. The guy handed it to me to look at, beaming with pride, and the bar broke. I've seen, once, the bar break where it locks into the tang. These were on a good German brand known for hard steel many years ago. (I've seen their blades break more often). Anyway, I looked at the Bugout, and decided the Spyderco Salt was a better bet.
I Pray Heaven to Bestow The Best of Blessing on THIS HOUSE, and on ALL that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof! (John Adams regarding the White House)

Follow the Christ, the King,
Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the King--
Else, wherefore born?" (Tennyson)


https://www.facebook.com/fallplanet Author page

Telegram Channel: https://t.me/dandocthomas

NRA Life Member
Spydernation 0050

PSquared
Member
Posts: 578
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:44 am
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby PSquared » Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:53 am

Clearly a case of my mileage varying here. Until recently I carried BMs about as often as I did Spydercos. I’ve been using Axis locks for more than 10 years and have yet to break an Omega spring. That included almost 3 years living right next to the beach where rust might have been a worry.

Recently various Bugout versions have dominated my carry rotation completely. I have no concerns at all about the Omega springs failing.

User avatar
TkoK83Spy
Member
Posts: 6714
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:32 pm
Location: Syracuse, NY

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby TkoK83Spy » Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:11 am

PeaceInOurTime wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:46 pm

I still like the axis lock. However, like you, I keep only one axis locking knife, the Mini Freek, mainly just to fondle and remind myself why I prefer other designs.
Same here, I've only got one BM because I felt like I couldn't be a "knife guy" without at least ONE in my collection. I've got the BHQ 940. It's definitely a nice, fun to fidget around with knife...though I do think it was overpriced for what you get.
23 :spyder:'s in 14 different steels
2 - Bradford Guardian 3's (Wharnie Vanadis 4E and 3V/Drop Point)
1- Zero Tolerance 0470
1 - Microtech Ultratech DE OTF
1 - Benchmade 940 (BHQ Exclusive/M4)
1 - CRK Small Sebenza 31/Macassar Ebony Inlays
1 - CRK Large Inkosi Insingo/ Black Micarta Inlays
1 - WE Knives Gentry

-Rick

murphjd25
Member
Posts: 2621
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:43 am
Location: Bothell,WA

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby murphjd25 » Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:32 pm

Dang you guys and I just got my first Bugout. LOL.
Josh

bobnikon
Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:14 am

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby bobnikon » Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:37 pm

I think the comments about over priced for what you get are very funny. You have a solid knife with outstanding warranty and customer service and they charge prices that aren't out of line with other mid-range company prices.

People rage about the quality, fit and finish of a CRK. I have one, it is pretty good. But I tell you if the tolerance are so great, why can't I flick the knife (without voiding the warranty - at their discretion) and have it drop shot. Seems to me the tolerance may be a touch out actually...??? And they charge an arm and a leg for a knife with a mid range "super steel" hardened to a questionable level with a convex grind that is fussy to re-profile, and you can take em apart, but you can't get parts (washer/pivot) for the Seb because they have such "tight" tolerances... Meh

I have way more Spydies than anything else, but IMHO BM makes a great product at a competitive price, and their customer service is top notch. I live in Canada and they have shipped me clips on 3 occasions for free. Including once when I said I would like to try and mod one for a Spyderco... And they will send you replacement springs for free. So there is that...

User avatar
DSH007
Member
Posts: 895
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:49 pm
Location: Merrimac, MA

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby DSH007 » Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:59 pm

I have a handful of BMs. In theory I've always had similar concerns about the integrity of the omega springs, but in practice, I have never had an issue with them on any of my axis-lock knives. To me it seems like for every "my omega spring broke" story you hear on the internet, there are a couple dozen "well my BM did 4 tours in Iraq with no issues" type rebuttal posts. I'm not trying to invalidate the experience of those people whose springs break.. I'm sure it happens and that is unfortunate.. I just feel like its not as especially common of an issue as it's sometimes made out to be when you take into consideration the thousands and thousands of Axis lock knives that exist out there in the world. I feel like BM would have moved on from the Axis lock if every other third or fourth knife came back to them with spring issues.. I equate the spring breaking as being more like winning an unfortunate lottery haha. Also.. nearly every story I've heard about an omega spring breaking is accompanied by an account of BM CS/warranty taking care of the issue, no questions asked. Maybe I'll change my tune if one of my springs ever breaks, but generally.. all of these things put my mind at ease about carrying/using an Axis-lock knife..

I also have a couple of Hogues with the ABLE lock (Axis equivalent).. I've heard that Hogue uses Wolff springs, which have shown improved durability over omega springs in testing.. in my completely unscientific opinion, they do seem to feel a little bit sturdier in use.. I've had no issues with the ABLE lock either, but if I do, I imagine Hogue's CS will take care of me as well.

NCC-2893 - it sounds like your Bugout might be an outlier. "Gritty action" is not normal in my experience with the brand. My Bugout is extremely smooth with "drop shut" action. Thinking on it now, all of my BMs are some variation of smooth to really smooth with drop shut action. Perhaps something to do with the gritty action in your Bugout caused the spring malfunction? I think maybe it would be a good idea to send your knife in to BM to get checked out. I'd be interested to know how that goes for you. I'm not trying to belittle your opinions or sway them in any way.. when it comes to knives, I know people like what they like and that is A-okay by me.. it just seems to me that your experience with BM and the Axis-lock has been very different from mine and I'm trying to rationalize that..
Rick H.

..well, that escalated quickly..

User avatar
abbazaba
Member
Posts: 3587
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:40 pm
Location: New England

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby abbazaba » Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:09 pm

Sorry to hear. I've used and carried the hell out of a bunch of axis locks (probably mostly a bugout at this point)and never had one break. It does happen apparently, but I don't think it's very common.

User avatar
TkoK83Spy
Member
Posts: 6714
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:32 pm
Location: Syracuse, NY

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby TkoK83Spy » Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:11 pm

bobnikon wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:37 pm
I think the comments about over priced for what you get are very funny. You have a solid knife with outstanding warranty and customer service and they charge prices that aren't out of line with other mid-range company prices.

People rage about the quality, fit and finish of a CRK. I have one, it is pretty good. But I tell you if the tolerance are so great, why can't I flick the knife (without voiding the warranty - at their discretion) and have it drop shot. Seems to me the tolerance may be a touch out actually...??? And they charge an arm and a leg for a knife with a mid range "super steel" hardened to a questionable level with a convex grind that is fussy to re-profile, and you can take em apart, but you can't get parts (washer/pivot) for the Seb because they have such "tight" tolerances... Meh

I have way more Spydies than anything else, but IMHO BM makes a great product at a competitive price, and their customer service is top notch. I live in Canada and they have shipped me clips on 3 occasions for free. Including once when I said I would like to try and mod one for a Spyderco... And they will send you replacement springs for free. So there is that...
I looked at my BHQ exclusive 940 in M4 compared to the same exclusive I have as a Para 3. I think the 940 was around $50-$60 more expensive than the Para 3. I don't see anything in the quality or function of the knife that would warrant that high of an increase, especially with a lock/springs that has proven troublesome at times over the years (I have 2 friends at work with BM's that have had this issue in the past). I like the knife, and plan on keeping it. But I don't see where or why that knife would be that much more expensive.

I'm not sure which CRK you've got, but once they get cleaned up and broken in a bit, they can easily be "shake shut" My Inkosi is very smooth these days after using it and cleaning it. Can't disagree about the annoying convex grind...but, I did just reprofile mine down to 17dps a couple weekends ago. Made a world of a difference, and even though I also agree that for the price they should be using a better steel...but that soft S35VN that they run, made it very easy to reprofile the knife to my liking. Cuts like a dream now!
23 :spyder:'s in 14 different steels
2 - Bradford Guardian 3's (Wharnie Vanadis 4E and 3V/Drop Point)
1- Zero Tolerance 0470
1 - Microtech Ultratech DE OTF
1 - Benchmade 940 (BHQ Exclusive/M4)
1 - CRK Small Sebenza 31/Macassar Ebony Inlays
1 - CRK Large Inkosi Insingo/ Black Micarta Inlays
1 - WE Knives Gentry

-Rick

User avatar
NCC-2893
Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:28 pm

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby NCC-2893 » Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:53 pm

I've set it up to have my Bugout sent in for warranty repair. I would have preferred to have springs shipped to me like bobnikon mentioned but their website says they don't ship replacement springs (only screws and replacement clips). I certainly know Benchmade makes quality axis locks, but I'm also coming to learn that I don't want to take on the small risk of omega spring failure in a work knife (no matter how unlikely the odds). After being bitten, I just don't want to roll those dice at all if I don't have to.
:spyder: “I get on my bike and I ride off…on the grass.”

User avatar
M Sea
Member
Posts: 1143
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:20 am
Location: Margaritaville

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby M Sea » Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:24 pm

I have several Axis Lock knives from Benchmade. I live in a harsh salty environment and also fidget with my knives a-lot and on occasion use them hard and have never broken an Omega Spring. Just my personal experience.

RLR
Member
Posts: 845
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: Canada

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby RLR » Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:33 pm

Lots of BM no broken springs either. And the axis still “works” with one spring and can be wedged in the 1 in a million chance both springs break. From a real world perspective, the lock can still work even after spring failure in a pinch. I wouldn’t choose to do it, but in a pinch...

User avatar
Doc Dan
Member
Posts: 10763
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:25 am
Location: In a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby Doc Dan » Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:11 pm

While Colt was still using leaf springs, and many did not break, a lot did, Ruger went to coil springs, which are more durable. Some people are using guitar strings or wound strings to replace the omega springs. Perhaps BM should consider this? It is a great lock design and they make great knives. This would be an improvement, I would think.
I Pray Heaven to Bestow The Best of Blessing on THIS HOUSE, and on ALL that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof! (John Adams regarding the White House)

Follow the Christ, the King,
Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the King--
Else, wherefore born?" (Tennyson)


https://www.facebook.com/fallplanet Author page

Telegram Channel: https://t.me/dandocthomas

NRA Life Member
Spydernation 0050

User avatar
jpm2
Member
Posts: 1097
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:40 pm
Location: TX - in the sticks

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby jpm2 » Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:25 pm

I noticed a spring on one of my axis locks, while apart, was thin and flat on one side of it. Looking further it appeared to be rubbing the liner on that flat side. I adjusted the spring where it wouldn't rub and it's still intact 10 years later.

I'm curious, for those who have had a spring break, if any were thin and flat where it broke.

murphjd25
Member
Posts: 2621
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:43 am
Location: Bothell,WA

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby murphjd25 » Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:34 pm

Darn those CRKs. I wish they would make a better knife. Especially for the amount of money you have to pay for them.
Josh

User avatar
TkoK83Spy
Member
Posts: 6714
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:32 pm
Location: Syracuse, NY

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby TkoK83Spy » Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:37 am

murphjd25 wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:34 pm
Darn those CRKs. I wish they would make a better knife. Especially for the amount of money you have to pay for them.
Hahah, well played sir ;)
23 :spyder:'s in 14 different steels
2 - Bradford Guardian 3's (Wharnie Vanadis 4E and 3V/Drop Point)
1- Zero Tolerance 0470
1 - Microtech Ultratech DE OTF
1 - Benchmade 940 (BHQ Exclusive/M4)
1 - CRK Small Sebenza 31/Macassar Ebony Inlays
1 - CRK Large Inkosi Insingo/ Black Micarta Inlays
1 - WE Knives Gentry

-Rick

User avatar
Halfneck
Member
Posts: 1818
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:51 am
Location: Calhoun, Georgia.

Re: Benchmade Bugout Omega Spring Failure

Postby Halfneck » Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:20 pm

I have a BM 531, Bugout, the BM/H&K Axis-lock, and the original BM 940 in 154cm steel. No Omega spring issues with any of them. My BM 531 has almost seen as much pocket time as my Delica when I worked as a Med Asst/CNA. Even took it along on some camping/Scout trips. Other than some minor side to side wiggle, it's been great.

Not discounting the issue with Omega springs breaking, just guess I've been lucky. It does bug me I can't order some spares from BM just in case.


Return to “Off-Topic”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: jpm2, The Meat man and 18 guests