Benchmade 722 Mel Pardue Folder
This one’s another old school model – Benchmade 722, Mel Pardue designed Axis Lock Folder. When the 722 was released, it was one of my favourite Axis Lock designs from Benchmade and has since been discontinued. Its such a versatile folder and features a reliable design by one of the most trusted names in custom knifemaking, Mel Pardue.
This particular model is the 722BT Pardue folder, which features a black coated Tanto blade of ATS-34 stainless steel (Later models used 154CM). This also happens to be a First Production Run, numbered 862 of 1000 pieces so you know its an old school knife! The Americanized tanto blade works really great for me. I like this blade shape because it has a secondary point which is really handy for opening boxes of even more knives that I’ve ordered online! 🙂
The blade comes in a 3 1/4″ length, which is a very good EDC length in my opinion. While some may prefer longer knives above 3 1/2″, I tend to prefer the shorter length as my day is spent primarily in an office. The blade shape also reminds me a lot of Allen Elishewitz’s Stryker design, but with a beefier handle and height.
Great G-10 handle in solid black with a raised area in the middle to give a bit more ‘fill’ to the handle in your hand, and it also gives a little extra detail to give the blade a little style. The G-10 is moderately textured to give it a good amount of grip without tearing up your pant pocket. You’ll notice that my 722 is missing a pocket clip screw. The pocket clip itself is a typical Benchmade pocket clip used on every single Benchmade knife during that era. I love the shape of the handle… it just fits my hands really nicely and the slight guard is a nice feature to have as it gives a bit of confidence when thrusting the knife forward.
Fit & Finish
Great fit and finish with this knife, though because its so well-used, its hard to say how good it was when new. I did not get this one new, so I am not sure. I do remember all my other Benchmades from that time were superb, so I don’t think this one would have been any different. I’ved used many of my Benchmades pretty hard, and they do hold up very well. While they do hold up well, I have had some issues with lock up and some times blade play and blade centering being affected after long term hard use. Nothing that I would say is unexpected, but they’re not Striders.
Fit and Finish is still above average for a Production blade, and in-line with the price of the knife. I am always happy with what I get with Benchmade, and the 722 is no exception. Great knife with a very versatile blade shape and handle shape.
Blade Steel: ATS-34
Handle Material: G-10
Locking Type: Axis Lock
Blade Length: 3 1/4″
Overall Length: 7 5/8″