Bradley Alias II Framelock Folder Review

Reviewed by corwin99 on October 9th, 2012

Yet another Sebenza-killer comes to the market, the Bradley Alias. This is the Alias II, which is the smaller version and comparable to a Small Sebenza. As the Legend goes, Bradley Cutlery was created solely as a response to the Sebenza with the intention of creating an American made knife that was equal to yet more affordable than the Sebenza.

Now – did they succeed? Well, some might think they did, and some may feel otherwise. As I sit here and write this review, I have both a Small Sebenza and an Alias II in front of me since for many this is a natural comparison. I can say with 100% confidence that the Alias II is not equal in quality to the Sebenza. Now, I will elaborate on how I draw that conclusion, and will also tell you guys why or why not that may matter to a prospective buyer. The Alias II is roughly half the price of the Sebenza, so we can’t expect them to be completely equal – but it would be nice! The Bradley Alias is actually manufactured by Benchmade to Bradley’s specifications.

Blade
Both the Small Sebenza and Bradley Alias II have S30V blades at the time of the Alias’ release. The Sebenza has since upgraded to S35VN. The blade thickness between the two is the same as well. The Bradley alias has a very similar blade profile to the sebenza, but the grind is quite different. The Alias II features a sabre ground blade and a swedge that sweeps around almost the whole spine of the blade stopping at the thumbstud (which is annodized blue titanium – screwed in, not press fit). The Alias II came razor sharp, which is refreshing because Benchmade had slouched on the sharpness department in the past.

Handle
The handle is a all Titanium with a Framelock, bead blasted with a stonewashed steel pocket clip that can be switched for tip up or tip down carry. The handle edges are very slightly beveled but are still relatively square making it not as comfortable as it could be. The overall handle profile is slightly curved and feels nice in the hand with a slight scallop for the index finger. The handle is elogated slightly to allow room for a lanyard hole. In general its a good handle, but could have been refined a bit further.

Fit & Finish
The fit and finish of the Bradley Alias is very good. It seems in line with the better Benchmade knives, but not in the same league as a Sebenza. I’ll elaborate on a few of the differences that make the Sebenza superior in fit and finish. The Sebenza allows the user to fully tighten all the screws used in its construction and that is how it works best. Even the Screws are cut to perfection. The Alias II has to be adjusted as the pivot tightened all the way down will make the knife hard to open.

The Bradley Alias II, when opened, is not completely smooth throughout the whole cycle of the opening sequence when the pivot is tightened optimally. This is very normal and perfectly acceptable in even a higher quality folder, but a Sebenza will be perfectly smooth throughout, with absolutely no play. The Sebenza also has a perfect lockup and detent feel that is nearly identical on every single Sebenza – those that have tried to create that same feel so consistently have failed.

Overall
Overall the Bradley Alias II is a fantastic knife that is well worth the asking price. It is at the top tier of Benchmade’s manufacturing ability and locks up VERY solidly with a good strong contact between the lock bar and the blade. In fact, this lock up is among some of the best I’ve seen, next to the Sebenza. It is only when you are purchasing this knife expecting it to be as good as the Sebenza that you will be left wanting more. Otherwise, it is a well executed sporting knife with very good construction and materials.

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