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  • Review: Benchmade 565-1 Mini Freek Carbon Folding Knife

Review: Benchmade 565-1 Mini Freek Carbon Folding Knife

A premium compact EDC knife that has become a favorite pocket companion.

Mar 11, 2021
Benchmade, one of our favorite premium knife manufacturers, has hit another home run with the company's 565-1 Mini Freek Carbon folding knife, based on the popular 565 Mini Freek. Benchmade has made the 565-1 even better with the addition of reshaped, milled carbon-fiber scales with True Red barrel spacers and thumb studs and a 3-inch blade made from high-end CPM-S90V stainless steel.
We were already fans of the full-size ("Super") Freek and of the standard Mini Freek, but we always felt like those models were meeting a price point and looked a little pedestrian with their S30V blades with gray Grivory and black overmolded Versaflex handles. Those knives are functional with excellent ergonomics, but not flashy. We always wondered what a kicked-up version would look like, and Benchmade has delivered.
Upon first inspection, we were amazed with the fit and finish of our Mini Freek Carbon. The blade was perfectly centered, the coatings and materials were completely blemish free, and the classic Benchmade Axis action was wonderfully smooth, if not a bit tight for the first few uses. The gorgeous carbon-fiber scales have been milled with scallops for a better grip, and despite its compact proportions, average- to large-sized hands can get a comfortable and secure four-finger purchase on the knife.
Barrel spacers (instead of a backspacer) and the use of carbon fiber also help keep the weight down to just a little over 2.7 ounces while making the knife body very stiff, with no noticeable deflection. A reversible pocket clip allows the knife to be truly ambidextrous.
We love the versatile shape and the satin finish of the drop point-style blade, and the S90V is a pricey and durable material that will hold an edge longer than most knives and resist wear. S90V is considered to be in the high echelon of blade "super steels" and is extremely hard to dull, though when it does dull, it is a difficult blade to sharpen. Fortunately, Benchmade offers the LifeSharp service with a guarantee that they will clean, oil, adjust and resharpen your Benchmade knife to a factory edge for the life of the knife, free of charge. So whether you use it a lot or don't, blade sharpness should never be an issue.
Using the 565-1 Mini Freek is a pleasure. Not only does it feel intuitive, but it is also balanced and manageable through the cutting path. The jimping adds thumb control, and because of excellent ergonomics, the Mini Freek Carbon handles like a larger knife.
If there was one complaint about Mini Freek Carbon, it's that the standard pocket clip rides a little too low on the knife for our liking. Our first and only mod would to be to add a deep-carry pocket clip, which is a simple swap and elevates the 565-1 to EDC perfection.
Overall, the 565-1 Benchmade Mini Freek Carbon is a compact and comfortable carry that is almost unnoticeable in the pocket. It is a beautifully crafted, great-looking, high-quality piece that features premium steel and ranks as one of the finest Benchmade knives we've put our hands on. It's so well made and with such exceptional quality that you almost don't want to use it—almost. But then you realize it's the perfect tool for the job, and you'll find it becoming your go-to, whether you are hanging out around town or heading out to the backcountry.
For more information on Benchmade knives, head over to www.benchmade.com.
Specifications
Blade Edge: Plain
Blade Finish/Color: Satin
Blade Steel: CPM-S90V (59-61 HRC)
Blade Style/Shape: Drop Point
Handle Material: Carbon Fiber
Blade Length (in. ): 3.00
Blade Thickness (in. ): .104
Open (in. ): 7.04
Closed (in. ): 4.05
Weight (oz. ): 2.74oz
Handle Thickness (in. ): 0.545
SOURCE
Benchmade
www.benchmade.com
Photo 2/11   |   Here is everything that comes with the "Blue Class" Mini Freek Carbon, including a nice carry bag. As you can see, the pocket clip is positioned for right-hand use out of the box but can easily be swapped to the other side with a T6 bit.
Photo 3/11   |   The 565-1 is a great-looking knife that uses premium materials, such as True Red anodized thumb studs, real carbon fiber, and CPM-S90V steel.
Photo 4/11   |   The 3-inch drop point blade has a uniform satin finish and is very sharp out of the box.
Photo 5/11   |   The release for the Axis action can be accessed on either side, making for a true ambidextrous knife.
Photo 6/11   |   Thanks to the smooth and precise Axis mechanism, the Mini Freek is easily opened with a one-handed motion.
Photo 7/11   |   Benchmade uses real carbon fiber and barrel spacers in the Mini Freek to save weight.
Photo 8/11   |   We were impressed with the Mini Freek's fit and finish, including the centered blade position, when stowed.
Photo 9/11   |   Despite its compact size, we were able to get a four-finger purchase on the knife.
Photo 10/11   |   We'd gladly sacrifice the lanyard hole to have deeper concealment by moving the pocket clip up, but fortunately deep pocket clips are widely available from Benchmade or the aftermarket.
Photo 11/11   |   We love the way that the Mini Freek feels. Whether it is in the hand or in your pocket, this is a knife that will give you a long service life and one that is a pleasure to use every day.

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