Benchmade’s Gorgeous Harley Davidson Ti-Fender™ Monolock

I’ve been around motorcycles of every description for a long time and nothing, other than the Indian, will ever replace the love I have in my heart for the Harley Davidson motorcycle. It screams American in a way no other bike can. On a few trips to Paris, France, I was surprised at the number of Harleys cruising around the country side; it was great! So, when I laid eyes on Benchmade’s H-D Ti-Fender™ Monolock it was love at first sight. This is a gorgeous knife!

 I remember commenting how it reminds me of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural designs. Wright is known for his use of straight lines and very soft sweeping curves; looking at the Ti-Fender was as esthetically pleasing as looking at one of Wright’s architectural wonders, striking!

The “Ti” in its name stems from a beautifully designed all titanium handle. The brushed finish gives this knife a sleek and superbly elegant look, which belies the utilitarian inclinations of its country of origin, China. However, looks alone won’t carry the day and the Ti-Fender brings a great deal to the table in both value and features.

This folder sits comfortably in the hand. There are degrees of comfort but the Ti-Fender is one of the more comfortable designs that I’ve come across in quite some time; conforming to the hand in a way that is difficult to explain and has to be experienced. The rolling curves sculpted into the handle remove all pressure points with a conformity that speaks volumes. The drilled out plugs incorporated in the handle’s design enhance both grip and reduce the overall weight of the knife, which comes in at a meager 4.88 oz. Amazing, given its overall length of 8.59 inches.

I found the handle’s length of 4.84 inches, along with its rolling finger coils, superbly functional with any gripping technique including the icepick.

Benchmade provided a pocket clip that is also titanium, which I thought was a very nice touch; other manufacturers would have used a spring steel to cut cost, not Benchmade. That’s class!

Since the handle is finely polished on both halves, you can safely carry the Ti-Fender while wearing your best dress slacks. The pocket clip will not tear or snag your pocket, or pocket lining. The clip is also reversible for tip up right side or left side carry and allows the knife to sit deeply into the pocket, and barely visible.

Benchmade refers to its knife’s locking mechanism as Monolock rather than the familiar frame lock. I’m not sure that a distinction exists, and the Ti-Fender is clearly a frame lock design.

Blade lock up is solid with no detectable up and down, or side to side movement at the axis, and any play at the axis is adjustable using the axis point screws.

The knife’s handle is an open pillar design; therefore, the blade is visible from the top and bottom as you look through the halves. It has been my observation that with some production open pillar knives the blade does not center very well in the frame, not the case with the Ti-Fender. Its 3.75 inch spear point blade tucks nicely and sits perfectly centered in the handle. Benchmade thoughtfully included a lanyard attachment point; although, I’m not sure that I would add a lanyard to this eye-catching knife.

Benchmade elected to use 9CR13 stainless steel, for the blade material, which is a high-carbon Chinese steel that has extra Cobalt added to help with edge retention. It performs very much like a 440C in regards to ease of sharpening and hardness; however corrosion resistance may be somewhat lower than a domestic 440C or Japanese AUS8.

Benchmade claims a blade hardness of 58 – 60 HRC, which compares favorably with many of the heavy duty tactical folders or fixed blade designs but clearly this is not a tactical folder.

If you’ve been reading my knife reviews, you already know that I am a Tanto devotee; however, fixation is never good and a properly implemented spear point “floats my boat” equally well. The Ti-Fender Monolock falls squarely into that box.

The blade tip is exactly at the center of the blade and extends rearward through the knife handle axis, so the puncturing ability of this knife, although not quite up to par with a combat folder, is considerable. That charisma is further enhanced by a faux double edge that could easily be sharpened – keeping in mind state and local laws as well as your own personal safety.

The blade thickness is .120 inches, with a shallow hollow grind; making the knife an excellent slicer.  Benchmade knives ship with a razor sharp edge, the Ti-Fender is no exception.

Gimping, gimping and more gimping – folks you are going to love what Benchmade has done with the Ti-Fender. They have provided an abundance of gimping along the spine that extends all the way to the start of the swedge. I love it.

Deploying the blade is a manual process and easily accomplished via the flipper or a combination of flipper and thumb studs. While I’m on the flipper, I would like to see the fine folks at Benchmade apply a slight bevel along the edges of the flipper with shallow gimping to top it all off -not an indictment, simply an expression of personal preference!

Conclusion

Benchmade has knocked the ball out of the park with the H-D Ti-Fender Monolock.  Everything on the knife, from its etchings to the finish is superbly implemented. You couldn’t ask for a more elegant and modern look that is at home in a briefcase as it is in a pair of jeans or a saddlebag. Had the knife been made in the United States, it is doubtful that the quality would have been better. At the M.S.R.P. of $125 for the 13900BK it is quite the bargain. You’ll definitely want to add Benchmade’s H-D Ti-Fender™ Monolock to your collection and be sure to pick up a real Harley to match. It’s a great combination!

 

-SP

 

 

Manufacturer’s Specifications

  • Blade Length: 3.75″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.120″
  • Handle Thickness: 0.500″
  • Blade Material: 9CR13 Stainless Steel
  • Blade Hardness: 58-60HRC
  • Blade Style: Spear-Point
  • Weight: 4.88oz.          
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Down, Reversible
  • Lock Mechanism: Monolock
  • Overall Length: 8.59″
  • Closed Length: 4.84″
  • Sheath Material: Sold Separately
  • WebSite: http://www.benchmade.com/products/13900

 

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