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Benchmade Volli Axis-Assist

The Volli is the newest AXIS®-Assist tactical folder from Benchmade. It has the stainless-steel alloy, an excellent lock mechanism, a police-oriented opening mechanism and maximum durable handles, and perfect for the police budget.

AXIS-Assist refers to the locking mechanism. There are many designs of tang-lock, and the tang-lock is the strongest of all the lock designs. Any tang-lock design is superior to any lock-back or any liner-lock design.

AXIS-Assist also refers to the opening mechanism. Again, there are many designs of spring-assisted opening tactical folders. In an assisted knife, the operator starts the opening with a thumb stud or thumb hole, and then the internal spring takes over and opens the blade the rest of the way. The AXIS-Assist is one of the best such assisted opening designs.

What really caught our attention was the S30V blade alloy. This is an extremely expensive stainless steel, a very hard-edge hybrid alloy. S30V is ideal for the kind of abuse we patrol and tactical officers constantly do to our knives. That said, the Volli has an MSRP of $160, and online prices as low as $115. That is less than half of what S30V tactical folders usually go for.


Go-To Police Knife

The Benchmade Griptilian is the go-to tactical folder for law enforcement. At just under $100, the Griptilian uses the AXIS internal tang lock, is a perfect fit for most hands, and is completely functional for patrol use. The legendary police knife instructor George T. Williams gives the students attending his police knife tactics course the Griptilian. It is that good. Think of the Volli as an upgraded Griptilian, as the next step up for the more demanding, knife-enthusiast officer.

Both the Volli and Griptilian use the AXIS locking mechanism. Both are available in plain edge and partially serrated edge. Where the Griptilian uses Noryl® fiberglass-filled plastic handles, the Volli uses the more rugged G10 handles. The Griptilian is strictly a manually opening folder; the Volli uses the AXIS-Assist to fully open the blade. Where the Griptilian uses the (excellent) 154CM blade steel, the Volli uses the (outstanding) S30V blade steel.



The most important factor in choosing a patrol or tactical knife is the blade steel. A confusing variety of blade alloys exists. Even among the police-oriented steels, there are many steels. The “good” blade steels are 440-C, AUS-8, N690Co and VG-10. The “better” blade steels are 154CM, ATS-34 and BG-42.

The “best” blade steel for the rigors of police use is S30V. It is hard for edge holding, and has the toughness for blade abuse. While other alloys are just fine for patrol-type use, the S30V is the right alloy for tactical operator-type use. The downside has always been price—and Benchmade just fixed that with the Volli. The Volli uses a 3 ¼-inch long drop point blade. Since S30V is so strong, the Volli easily gets by with a 0.100-inch thick blade.



The Benchmade AXIS-Assist is a long-proven mechanism to both open and firmly lock a tactical folder blade. The Volli has dual, ambidextrous thumb studs to start the one-hand opening, and then the spring takes fully over to open the blade.

The locking bar in the middle of the liner slides forward in the tang slot and the blade is locked, period. The tang-lock is as close as any folding knife gets to being a fixed blade. The locking bar is also ambidextrous, so the Volli can be unlocked by sliding the bar to the rear with either the thumb or index finger or more commonly by a pinch between both.

The Volli uses a reversible, split-arrow pocket clip with a blade-up carry. The Volli is very light, just over 4 ounces, and about disappears in the duty pants and off-duty pants. The S30V blade started off sharper than razor sharp…the sharpest production blade we have ever reviewed. The S30V alloy is so hard, the Volli stayed sharp. That makes it perfect for a police knife because we never sharpen our knives. The Volli has our highest praise…it is an awesome tactical folder. Think Griptilian. Think Volli.

Published in Law and Order, Feb 2014

Rating : 10.0

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