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Last Updated: August 21, 2019
Once in a while you run into a knife that really blows you away. The Benchmade 741 Onslaught is certainly one of those breathtaking knives for me. Designed by the late Bob Lum, the Onslaught is a large and elegant folding tactical knife that speaks to me on a lot of levels.
Buy the Benchmade Onslaught at BladeHQ
General Dimensions and Blade Steel
Make no mistake, the Onslaught is a big knife. The blade alone is 4.3″, the overall length is 9.63″ and the weight is 6.8 ounces. Yeah, this is a big knife and I wouldn’t use it for EDC. I would prefer to use a Benchmade 746 Mini Onslaught with a 3.45″ blade, an overall length of 7.8″ and a weight 3.9 ounces. The “mini” is still a pretty big knife, but I find it much more practical for daily carry. That said, the full size Onslaught could make for a very deadly defensive/tactical knife, or a high end user.
In reality, I think many of the people who buy the 741 will buy it as a collectors piece. They may be fans of Bob Lum or simply like the look (it’s pretty wicked looking). There is nothing wrong with that. When you drop $150+ on an elegant folding knife like this, you are probably not going to immediately take it to the backyard to thump on some 2x4s. This is the kind of knife you could pass on to your kids, and who knows, if Benchmade decides to discontinue the model or ship production overseas, it may even be a little bit of an investment down the road.
Anyhow, lets talk about the blade. The 741 Onslaught has a big, up-swept modified clip point blade. There is plenty of belly on this knife, and it looks like this would be a decent skinner. There is a long swedge that terminates with a very delicate tip. For such a big knife the tip is almost comically thin. In fact, the entire blade is made from pretty thin stock. I would prefer if they made it slightly thicker. I think this would improve the strength and utility of the knife as I would be very cautious with putting this knife in any kind of hard use role.
Further adding to the delicate nature of the blade is the almost full flat grind. The slicing ability of this knife is incredible and the long thin blade will shave off material with ease, but this is all done at the expense of blade strength. My blade came with a lightly stonewashed finish, but you also have the option of a black coated blade as well.
Blade steel on this knife is tried and true Benchmade 154CM. 154CM is a hearty steel that takes a great edge and holds it well. The 154CM can be somewhat prone to rust so keep the knife clean and dry to ensure it will stay beautiful.
Handle and Pocket Clip
The handle is made of large pieces of G10. The G10 has a relatively smooth finish and it isn’t particularly grippy but the handles are so large it doesn’t really matter and the result is you have a beautiful knife. Under the G10 scales are full stainless steel liners. These liners have been blackened and are skeletonized in effort to reduce the weight. Everything is screwed together with attractive black chromed hardware and a large black backspacer runs most the length of the handle.
As far as ergonomics are concerned the handle is fairly comfortable. The handle material doesn’t have a high traction finish, instead relying on larger design elements to hold your fingers in place. The choil and sweep of the handle have a way of wedging your hand in place. This provides a firm grip and is still pretty comfortable for my larger hands. If I choke up a little more on the knife it’s much more comfortable and allows me to better control the big blade. There is no jimping to be found on this knife, which doesn’t bother me because of the overall size, but for such a big knife I felt the ergonomics to be decent, but not outstanding.
The pocket clip on the Onslaught is rather large, which compliments the overall size of the knife. It is made of blackened nickle and allows for right side tip up carry. It is designed to support a lot of weight and balances the knife well in your pocket. I like the chrome finish Tip up carry is preferred for quickly deploying folding pocket knives so I am not complaining that Benchmade didn’t leave an option for tip down. The nickle pocket clip fits well with the overall elegant nature of the knife.
Deployment and Lock
For a big knife the Benchmade Onslaught moves fast. There is a large thumb hole that provides enough room to snap the blade out with or without gloves. The G10 scales have been machined to open up access to the thumb hole. Even though the thumb hole is partially occluded by the handle it is still easy to get at.
The Onslaught uses the Benchmade Axis lock. This is a great lock and has been proven time and time again with Benchmade’s other offerings. The Axis Lock in the Onslaught is very smooth and when the blade is locked open there is zero play in the knife. When the blade is closed it is centered in the middle of the handle, another small detail that I’ve come to expect from Benchmade.
Benchmade 741 Onslaught Review – Final Thoughts
The Onslaught is a beautiful knife with amazing build quality and great attention to detail. As a working mans knife you could find some faults with the design, but I suspect that Benchmade had the collector in mind when they built this blade. Practical weaknesses would include a relatively thin tip and a low traction handle, but the end product would still make a serviceable weapon and a beautiful heirloom. All in all I like the full size Onslaught a lot, but for every day carry, and even tactical use I would reach for the “mini” version.
- Axis Lock Bob Lums first
- 154 CM
- Big Awesome Folding Knife
- Reversible pocket clip
I recommend purchasing the Benchmade Onslaught at Amazon or BladeHQ. Thanks for reading.
This is the knife that got me back into knife collecting last year. I was waiting for the 2010 Cold Steel Voyager series to be released, but that didn’t happen.
I like almost everything about this knife and even the mini-version. Handle ergonomics, blade shape, full flat grind and tip-up pocket clip make it well worth the money to me.
My only real complaint is that there is a huge gap left in the base of the blade’s cutting edge that can be caught on during cutting through thick material. This is also on some other Benchmade models too.
Greg, I agree – this one is definitely worth the money. It’s a smart design and it’s built right with excellent materials. It oozes quality.
Interesting point about the gap, I think they do that for ease of sharpening.
Love your review. I would like to add that wish Bob Lum had designed the clip with sprit arrow (may be bigger size) and made it 2-way so the this knife can be closed and opened ambidextrously.
As you have mentioned I wish the spine part can be a bit thicker, especially toward the pivot point. I would love to have this in S30V of M390. (I hope Benchmade folks may be reading this 🙂 )
While the Onslaught’s clip is cool, I agree that a split arrow would be more practical and discrete. A version in M390 would be killer, I’ll forward this review to Les De Asis. 😉
This review is for the Mini Onslaught, which I recently added to my collection. This is a real gem to own and I encourage others to pick one up before it’s discontinued, which I found out should happen this year. In the hand the Mini feels custom made, with its contoured G10 scales this knife just grows on you! It’s blade is made very thin and the tip is nearly surgically thin so jabbing or stabbing could be an issue, the knife is made for slicing. What can you say about the Axis lock?, Simply the smoothest design out there and keeps customers like myself coming back to Benchmade .
Thanks for your thoughts on the Mini Onslaught. That is a model I have been curious about, since the full size model is so large.
I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one, as I wrote because the knife blade is so thin, I wouldn’t be hacking with this one- you could almost filet a fish with it. As is, the blade shape and belly are unique and overall the whole package is kind of sexy! Love it.
I just bought this knife yesterday from a Benchmade dealer for $140.00. I love this knife, my only complaint is the blade feels a little rough when closing. Hopefully it will smooth out with use.
Nate burnham says
I have owned 2 of these and deployed with one for 2 years and as my everyday carry I have put it through hell his Comment of he wishes it had a thicker blade for utility use is bull I haven’t broke either in over 9 years and put one through hell and back it holds a edge better than anything I’ve ever had it’s thin that’s why it holds the edge like a samurai sword it’s also thin but not weak if you look at the middle it has a nice thick bevel perfectly placed for strength I would take this to war again any day this why it’s my only!! Every day carry nothing bad to say about it