Benchmade’s new Onslaught is a design from renowned knife maker Bob Lum. Essentially a Lum Forester with an Axis lock, the Onslaught takes an aggressive custom design and brings it to the mainstream market.
Anyone familiar with Benchmade knows that they aren’t a company known for resting on their laurels. Each year brings about new designs and they keep a close eye on the pulse of the market. It seems that big blades are in these days and Benchmade has been quick to respond. While they’ve certainly done some large folders before, such as the frame lock Skirmish, their latest venture into the market is a distinctly different style piece. While new to Benchmade, the Model 741 Onslaught is a knife with some history behind it. The Onslaught is a design of the late Bob Lum and is essentially a production version of his custom Forester. Benchmade has done a number of Lum designs in the past and, despite his passing in 2007, plans on continuing to offer them in the future as they still have a lot of appeal to the massews. One thing that really sets the Onslaught apart from previous Lum models done by Benchmade is the use of the Axis lock. Bob’s clean styling, combined with Benchmade’s ability to produce a quality blade for the mass market makes for a great combo and results in a near custom quality blade that most folks can afford.
The Onslaught is a big knife. It features a huge 4.3-inch clip-pointed blade of 154CM steel hardened to a 58-60HRC. The blade has a one-hand-opening hole at its base and a top swedge along the spine. Folded, it still measures in at almost 5-1/2 inches long, and it snaps open to a healthy 9.63 inches in length. Weight is right at 7.3 ounces. Not a lightweight, but actually not too bad for its size. The handles are of contoured black G-10 and have tough 420J stainless steel liners. A big, wide, nonreversible, black steel clip is affixed to the Onslaught. The blade glides open smoothly on a huge pivot pin, just forward of the ambidextrous Axis lock mechanism. The Onslaught exudes Benchmade’s usual quality. Opening and closing is very smooth and the lockup is rock solid with no play being evident. The Onslaught’s big handle is devoid of any sharp corners likely to cause hot spots, and features a recessed groove opposite the clip to give some additional traction if needed. It provides plenty of room even for a large-sized hand and is very comfortable. It also allows for a solid grip with easy access to the thumb hole and lock button.
A wide, black steel pocket clip is mounted on the butt of the Onslaught, positioned for tip-up carry. The clip proved easy on the pocket and provided a lot of support for the big blade.
I carried the Onslaught quite a bit over the couple months that I was testing it, partially because I was testing it, but also because it really was a joy to carry. Despite its size, it carries like a smaller knife. The big, wide pocket clip helps distribute the weight evenly and is easy on the clothes as well. I’m generally wearing dress slacks at work and some pocket clips can be pretty rough on those. I have quite a few pairs of pants with wear spots on the lip of the pocket, much to my wife’s dismay. The clip on the Onslaught was excellent though. It had a great balance of good retention, while not damaging the clothing and still allowing the knife to draw easily from the pocket. The well-rounded grip slides in and out of the pocket easily as well, and the Onslaught doesn’t seem bulky when you’re carrying it around or sitting on it. I usually carry something a fair bit smaller, but I found after a good bit of use that the Onslaught carried as easily for me as a smaller blade due largely to the clip and smooth contours of the knife.
Benchmade’s new Onslaught is a design from renowned knife maker Bob Lum. Essentially a…
by Dennis Adler / Nov 1, 2010