Modern traditional knives are a growing trend and Benchmade is entering the arena with a brand new slipjoint called the 319 Proper. Other Benchmade models like the discontinued Lone Wolf Tailout and the Summit Lake series also capture a traditional vibe but the 319 Proper is Benchmade’s first ever non-locking folder.

“[It] is definitely a callback to traditional slipjoints,” Benchmade’s Derrick Lau tells us. “This year is our 30th anniversary and we wanted to cover the whole map.” The Proper has a 2.86-inch S30V sheepsfoot blade, modified with a slight belly. Weighing 2.3 oz., it doesn’t have a pocket clip and is meant to be carried loose in the pocket, with or without a lanyard.

The Axis Lock has been Benchmade’s bread and butter for decades, but the Proper sees the company breaking away from locking knives altogether. Making a non-locking folder meant balancing ease of opening with back spring strength. A fuller works in place of a nail nick, and for added safety, Benchmade employed a half stop that catches the blade between the open and closed position. “Obviously it’s not like an Axis Lock but it’s pretty sturdy,” Lau says.

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