May 24, 2022

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

Hands-On with the New Benchmade Claymore Auto Opening Knife

6 min read

Bemchmade 9070SBK Claymore

The Benchmade® 9070SBK Claymore™ is an evolution of Benchmade’s push-button autos. The challenge that Benchmade gave to its design team in creating the Claymore was to create a full-frame full-size side-opening push-button auto and to cut as much weight out of it as possible without compromising strength. According to Benchmade, they took it to the next level, making it the strongest push-button auto in the Benchmade product line.

The Benchmade Claymore was named after the M17A1 Claymore directional anti-personnel mine, not the Scottish broadsword of the same name

The Claymore has a 3.6″ CPM-D2 (60-62 HRC) drop-point blade with swedge/false edge. A drop-point blade is a great all-around blade shape and one of the most popular. The blade on the Claymore is partially serrated and has a non-reflective matte Cobalt Black Cerakote® coating. The Claymore has overall length of 8.60” open. Closed length is 5.00” The handle is 0.60” thick. The knife weighs in at 3.50oz.

The Claymore is the first Benchmade knife to use CPM-D2. Produced in the USA by Crucible Industries, CPM-D2 is an air-hardening, high carbon, high chromium tool steel that’s heat treatable to to 60-62 HRC. CPM-D2 has the same metallurgy as D2 but is made in the patented Crucible Particle Melt (CPM®) process, which results in more evenly distributed carbides with a reduced grain size providing added strength and toughness.

CPM-D2 has superior cutting performance and edge retention. It takes a keen edge. The Claymore that I received from Benchmade was razor sharp out of the box and holds its edge well..

Where CPM-D2 is lacking is in its degree of corrosion resistance. While it’s often considered a semi-stainless steel, its corrosion resistance is very limited due to the precipitation of the majority of its chromium and carbon constituents as carbides.

Although we all have our individual preferences, there’s no single best steel for knives. There are advantages and disadvantageous to every steel. When selecting a steel, a knife maker or end user must balance multiple factors, including type/design of the knife, how the knife will be used and cost. Requirements will differ.

The Claymore has a 3.6” CPM-D2 (60-62 HRC) partially serrated drop-point blade with swedge. The blade has non-reflective matte Cobalt Black Cerakote coating.

As mentioned, the blade has a Cerakote® coating. Cerakote is proprietary thin-film ceramic coating made by a company called Cerakote. It provides excellent corrosion resistance and lubricity, as well as high chemical resistance. It’s hard and wear resistant.

The partially serrated blade offers the advantages of the plain edge for precise push cuts and the advantages of the serrated edge for slicing cuts, especially through tougher or fibrous materials, such as rope and webbing. Tough tasks can be handled by the serrated edge, saving the plain edge of the blade.

The serrated edge is a functionally longer cutting surface, so it will hold up longer without needing to be resharpened. Over half of the edge on the Claymore is a plain edge allowing you to still make long clean cuts. The combo edge gives you the best of both worlds for utility, although you do lose length for both which may hamper cutting capabilities to a degree in some tasks. A drawback to serrations is that they aren’t as simple to resharpen, although with the proper sharpening tool and technique it’s not a daunting task.

The handle is textured Grivory® with recessed stainless steel liners. Grivory is a fiberglass-reinforced nylon (FRN) that’s similar to Zytel® but even more rigid. The Claymore is available with either Ranger Green or Black handles.

The handle is of open back design with a Grivory backspacer. The stainless steel liners extend about halfway down the handle. The stainless steel pivot pin and spacers are oversize for added strength. The blade on the Claymore provided to me is perfectly centered in the handle, a good sign of tight manufacturing tolerances..

The Claymore features an oversized knurled firing button and a front-mounted slide safety. Powerful coil spring rapidly deploys the CPM-D2 drop point blade. Note the letters FTE for Front Toward Enemy in International Morse Code.

A lot of design elements went into the handle. Benchmade extended the handle ribbing to the outside of the handle and added “ball bearing look” texturing for a distinctive appearance, as well as a secure, slip-resistant grip. There’s jimping on the top and bottom of the front and back of the handle for added purchase. The front of the handle is contoured to serve as a guard.

I have average size hands (medium glove size). I found the handle to have excellent ergonomics. It’s very comfortable in my hand in all grip positions. The handle is equipped with a lanyard hole.

The front of the push-button side of the handle has the letters FTE displayed in raised International Morse Code. FTE stands for Front Toward Enemy as found on the M18A1 Claymore directional anti-personnel mine, which the knife is named after.

The Claymore has an oversize release button that features knurling. The button is mostly recessed to prevent accidental opening. The top of the button features knurling/checkering. A front mounted slide safety acts like a secondary safety to prevent the knife from being opened or closed. It features a red indicator that shows when the safety is off. The safety is grooved and easy to operate but secure. It has an audible click when actuated.

The Claymore utilizes phosphor bronze washers for a smooth blade opening action. It has a heat and cryogenically treated stainless steel high-torque coil spring that deploys the blade quickly and reliably. The action is outstanding. If you don’t have a solid grip on the knife it will want to jump out of your hand. I own several Benchmade auto openers and the Claymore has the most powerful opening action by far. Lockup is strong and secure. There is absolutely no blade play or wobble in the sample knife.

The Claymore has an ergonomic Grivory handle (Ranger Green or Black) with stainless steel liners. The pocket clip may be mounted for right- or left-hand tip-up carry. The Claymore also has a large lanyard hole.

The knife is equipped with a reversible deep-carry pocket clip for tip-up carry. The clip is black-oxide finished stainless spring steel. The clip is attached to the handle with stainless steel Torx® head screws, as are the handle scales. Although the Claymore is a fairly large folder, it carries well in a standard pant pocket.

To Sum Up

To sum it all up, the new Claymore is an exceptionally well-thought out and well-made automatic opening tactical folder that meets all of its intended design parameters. It’s an outstanding knife. Fit and finish on the sample provided to me is excellent.

The Claymore is made in the USA at Benchmade’s Oregon facility. It comes with Benchmade’s Limited Lifetime Warranty and LifeSharp® sharpening service. The LifeSharp service doesn’t apply to any serrated portion of the blade.

MSRP is $230.00. Personalized custom lasermarking is available at a very reasonable additional cost.


Manufacturer: Benchmade Knife Company
Model: 9070SBK Claymore
Designer: Benchmade Knife Company
Benchmade Class: Black (Professional Use)
Type: Automatic Side-Opening Knife
Blade Length: 3.60” | 8.64cm
Blade Thickness: 0.114” | 2.896mm
Blade Steel: CPM-D2 (60-62 HRC)
Blade Style/Shape: Drop-point w/ Swedge
Blade Edge: Partially Serrated
Blade Finish/Color: Cobalt Black Cerakote
Lock: Push-Button / Plunge Lock w/ Slide Safety
Open: 8.60” | 19.81cm
Closed: 5.00” | 11.18cm
Weight: 3.50oz | 97.24g
Handle Thickness: 0.60” | 14.99mm
Clip Type: Deep-Carry
Clip Position: Reversible Tip-Up
Handle Material: Grivory (Ranger Green or Black)
Lanyard Hole: Yes
MOLLE Compatible: No
Use: Tactical / EDC
Country of Origin: USA
Warranty: Limited Lifetime
MSRP: $230.00


Benchmade Knife Company

Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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