Originally founded in 1979 under the name Bali-Song, this California knife manufacture was best known for their quality butterfly knives. Moving their way up the west coast and finally settling in Oregon in the 1990’s with Benchmade as their new company name. Although Benchmade currently offers a wide selection of knives, they still pay tribute to their roots and produce a variety of bali-song, or butterfly knives. Hence the butterfly logo on the blades. Benchmade offers three different knife classifications, Blue (recreational), Black (professional) and Gold (collector). New to the professional “Black Class” products is a tactical folding knife called the 980 Turret.

Benchmade 980 Turret Video Review:

Designed with features preferred by tactical, first responder and law enforcement use, the 980 Turret checks a lot of boxes. First is the size. To me, this classifies as a large folding knife. With a 5 inch handle and an overall length of 8.6 inches, this beast isn’t built for your damn skinny jeans. This knife is best suited in the pocket of your work pants or uniform. The OD Green sculpted G10 scales offer a phenomenal full fisted grip on the 980. With plenty of room for all five of your digits. Aggressive jimping located on the backside of the handle and blade further promote a positive purchase while manipulating this tool.

980 Turret

Benchmade always uses top quality blade steel in their Black Class knives and the 980 Turret is no exception. Forged from CPM-S30V, the 3.7 inch drop point blade is available in both plain satin (pictured) or partially serrated black. But the crowning achievement of this knife is its Axis mechanism. This 100% ambidextrous locking mechanism is built around a hardened steel bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. And is one of the strongest locks in Benchmade history. The springs are firm enough to provide a positive click when manually deploying the blade via the dual thumb studs. Yet soft enough to allow one finger manipulation when unlocking the blade. Finally, a deep carry reversible steel pocket clip keeps the 980 within easy reach at all times.

980 Turret

Benchmade 980 Features courtesy of benchmade.com

Blade Steel CPM-S30V (58-60 HRC)
Blade Style/Shape Drop-point
Clip Type Deep-Carry
Clip Position Reversible Tip-Up
Glass Breaker No
Handle Material G10
Lanyard Hole Yes
MOLLE Compatible No
Sheath Type No Sheath
Use Every Day, Tactical

Final thoughts. Although this is my first Benchmade knife, it’s a welcome addition to the collection. Because you can never have too many knives, right? Quality of materials and craftsmanship are very obvious when handling the 980 Turret. The feel and balance of the handle fit my hand well and is comfortable while using the knife. At a price point of $220, the Turret 980 is quite affordable considering the packed feature-set. Since 2010, Benchmade has located all of their production inside the United States which is a refreshing business move. Additionally, the companies Lifesharp service offers free cleaning, lubrication, adjustment and sharpening for the life of the product. And with all Benchmade knives, they stand behind these products with a solid Limited Lifetime Warranty.

980 Turret