Last Updated: February 21, 2017
Designed as a tool for law enforcement and military personnel, the 275 Adamas could be the epitome of a hard use folder. The 275 shares the classic lines of many “normal” folding tactical knives, but is massively overbuilt in every direction. Designed by custom maker Shane Sibert, a man who strives to build practical knives that aren’t afraid of hard work, the 275 is as rugged as it is functional. The Adamas dwarfs typical tactical folders, and has these striking proportions that intrigued me ever since the knife was first announced in 2011.
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Having owned my 275 for a while, I will say that whether the 275 is “tactical” or “impractical” will rely heavily on your individual needs and preferences – but there is no question that this knife is solid, and well built.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The 275 has an overall length of 8.7 inches, sports a 3.82 inch blade and comes in at a hefty 7.7 oz. Yeah I wasn’t kidding, this is a big knife. Holding this chunk of G10 and steel in the palm of your hand is an interesting sensation, weighing on both body and mind. There is no doubt that fans of feather-weight folders will be disappointed here, but those in need of a tool capable of taking a real beating might feel reassured by these extra ounces. For daily use I find the 275 to be too heavy, and for a mild-mannered student that should come as no surprise. So it really depends on what you need from your knife.
The 275 has a bold drop point blade that compliments the rest of the knife nicely. The blade has a partial flat grind that starts about halfway up the blade, and the edge has been neatly applied by a practiced hand. On top we have a small swedge that refines the 4mm blade stock into a sturdy tip. There is a small fuller (or “blood groove”) on the flat of the blade, a design element often found on Sibert’s custom knives. These components all combine to form a blade that is very strong and functional. While this thick blade doesn’t make for the finest slicer, the flat grind is surprisingly capable. The weight and geometry allows this knife to chip and I wouldn’t be surprised if this knife could hold up to even more demanding tasks like prying and batoning. It’s a surprisingly versatile design and allows the 275 to work in a variety of situations.
Benchmade went with D2 for the blade steel here. I don’t have a ton of knives in D2, but in my experience I have found it to be a very tough and durable steel. Here it has been hardened to 60-62 HRC, and in my experience it is not the easiest steel to sharpen. The good news is that it will take a nice edge, and edge retention blade is quite good. I generally like D2 but I wonder if it was the best choice for a knife meant to be used by soldiers in the field, where access to sharpening tools is limited.
Because D2 is often regarded as a “semi-stainless” steel (D2 technically isn’t stainless) it is more prone to corrosion than a true stainless steel. For that reason you will want to be careful to keep the blade clean and dry (and possibly oiled depending on where you live). Benchmade helped mitigate any potential corrosion by applying a durable black coating to the blade.
Handle, Ergonomics and Pocket Clip
The 275’s handle is made of G10 over stainless steel liners. Everything is screwed together and there is a partial backspacer by the pommel. The liners have been milled out to reduce the weight (somewhat) and everything has been nicely finished. Like the rest of the knife, this is a very large and sturdy handle. Shown here is a limited edition of the knife with black handle scales and a black blade. I actually prefer the regular version of the knife that comes with tan scales and a black blade. It’s just a little different, and sets the knife apart from the sea of black handled knives already in my collection.
The ergonomics of the Adamas are as solid as the rest of the knife. The large handle offers plenty of room for any style of grip and there is jimping everywhere. The thumb ramp offers great control and additional texturing in the choil region prevents your fingers from slipping forward on the blade. The knife feels just as comfortable in a reverse grip with a great spot for your thumb and tons of texture.
If there were an Achilles heel on the 275, it would have to be the pocket clip. First off, I like how it’s a discrete clip that rides reasonably low and offers ambidextrous tip up carry – that is all great. Where the clip misses it’s mark (for me at least) is the lack of retention. You can see in the video that the clip doesn’t even touch the handle, and that the clip has a lot of spring to it. A knife this heavy really needs a stiffer clip to hold it in place. If Benchmade stuck one of their classic clips on there I think it would have worked out better – but the bolt pattern is different so it can’t be swapped out. [Update – I’ve since been told that the pocket clip issues have been fixed, and the clip now offers much better retention. Kudos Benchmade!]
Since we are talking about carry, I want to mention that the 275 Adamas comes with an optional carry pouch. The pouch is made out of nylon, is MOLLE compatible, and comes with a malice clip. For low-speed high-drag guys like myself it’s about as useful as an extra hole in the head, but if you are a military operator or regularly wear MOLLE compatible gear it could be a good way to carry this heavy knife.
Deployment and Lockup
The Adamas makes use of ambidextrous thumb studs. These thumb studs are easy to get at and allow you to flick this big blade open with surprising speed. The action is extremely smooth thanks to some oversized phosphor bronze washers. I love how Benchmade doesn’t skimp on details like the washers, it really gives the knife a quality feel. The 275 should deploy smoothly and easily under almost any conditions.
The 275 makes use of an oversized Axis lock. Not only is the lock bar extra wide to accommodate the huge handle, but it’s much thicker than the normal Axis lock found on models like the Griptilian. Benchmade claims this knife can withstand 800 pounds of force, and that is extremely impressive. And of course this axis lock is fully ambidextrous and the knife easily closes with 1 hand. It’s phenomenal.
Benchmade 275 Adamas – Final Thoughts
If tank like construction is your primary concern, and you can get around the 7.7 ounce carry weight, the 275 Adamas is pretty dang cool. But if you are looking for a lightweight EDC or folding tactical knife, then I would suggest looking elsewhere. I will say that the materials are all top notch, the knife is extremely well built, and the price is very reasonable. I would prefer a stiffer pocket clip (an issue that has now been addressed), and a blade steel other than D2. Aside from that I really couldn’t find much to complain about.
My guess is that the sheer size and weight of this thing will be the biggest deal breaker for people, and I totally respect that. But if you want a knife that will take a lot of abuse, and weight really isn’t a concern, then the Adamas could be just what you are looking for. I certainly have been enjoying mine.
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