I’m a noted Benchmade fan, as they are one of the few companies that make most of their designs fully ambidextrous. It has been a while since a new Benchmade caught my eye, especially with the upward movement in their pricing. But the Full Immunity, from day one, was an exciting knife, so I took a chance on it.
It’s probably the best Benchmade on the market and a sleeper hit.
Specs and Such
This knife is small but stout. Completely open, it is shy of 6″ in length. Folded, slightly under 3.5″. The blade is a tick under 2.5″, as the premise of this knife is that it should meet the more restrictive blade environments (here in the USA). But, the knife is no slouch as the handle is half an inch thick, and the blade is 0.09″ thick itself with a hefty Cerakote textured finish on the CPM-M4 blade steel.
The Wharncliffe shape also helps tamp the looks, which oddly works well here. It is mated to anodized billet aluminum scales with the axis lock, dual thumb studs, and reversible pocket clips, and in a first for me with Benchmade, a lanyard with a lanyard bead.
This is like when someone soups up a small truck — you know it is capable of feats off-road, but you also know they want to fit in a city parking spot. This knife is something designed to do tough jobs, but for people who can’t carry the knife they perhaps want to be carrying.
The fit, finish, and blade edge were stellar out of the box. All I’ve done in the months I have had this knife is flip the pocket clip and hit it on the strop a few times. This is good stuff.
In Use & Carry
Carrying this knife is odd, as it’s chunky and slightly heavy while not being overly large at the same time. That mix works well, as the handles are smooth enough to come cleanly in and out of the pocket. And the roundness of the edges means that it doesn’t print too severely in your pocket.
I’ve found it to be an easy carry for a knife of this thickness. Using the blade took a couple of days to get used to, but once I was used to it, it felt perfect in hand. The blade is short, and the Wharncliffe keeps the cutting edge flat, so you are prone to plugging the knife into a slice too far. Once you gather control of that, this knife slices surprisingly well for the thickness and roughness of the blade.
Wharncliffe blade shapes are among the best for cutting open boxes, and that’s also the case here. It’s a versatile and excellent blade shape. The handle fits on my hand well, though most will find it a “barely three-finger” grip. You’ll want the lanyard on this, as it’s the easiest way for me to get the blade in and out of my pocket organizer when it is clipped in place. The scales are too slick for a good grip with the tips of your fingers when you want to draw the knife from your pocket.
The scales feel comfortable in your hand, and the shaping helps keep the blade from slipping when you are holding it. I am not sure this would be my go-to selection for very wet or muddy conditions, but you’ll have no issues with EDC.
Speaking of the scales, the “crater blue” anodizing looks tremendous in person. But, it spent a day in my pocket with a metal flashlight and the flashlight one, wearing the anodizing off the high ridges of the scale. Anyone wanting this to stay bright in color must let it stay on the shelf. I suspect these scales will pick up considerable patina and wear over years of use.
A 2.5″ blade is not a knife size I would select outright, but somehow, the Full Immunity makes me forget that the knife is about a half-inch smaller than most of the knives I use. It also feels more rugged and durable than my current pocket knives in rotation. It’s like an EDC Mini-Mini-Adamas.
Then there’s the blade steel. CPM-M4 is hardly new or top-of-the-line. It’s tough but rust-prone and can be annoying to sharpen. This implementation has shown that it can hold a stellar edge, and I’ve seen no issues with the blade’s toughness. I would love it if this came in Magnacut with no coating on the blade — that would be a hell of a knife. But, as it is, I’ve not thought much about steel one way or the other, so it’s not a practical issue in any way.
This knife isn’t likely to beat out my Small Sebenza or Bexar for pure pocket time, but it’s nipping at the heels in third place. It’s a reassuring knife to carry — it feels like a tool you can work hard with and never worry about.
And in that sense, it’s pretty good. The price is higher, at $300 MSRP; you can usually find it for a touch under that at retailers. It’s not the worst deal out there, and with everything being overpriced, it’s certainly not out of line. If you find it for about $230, you should snag it — that is the correct price.
If you want something unlikely to get you into too much trouble but still is a tough little knife. Look no further than the Full Immunity.