I posted a little while ago that Benchmade has re-released the Stryker in an Axis Lock configuration. Having been a fan of the Stryker since I bought the original +10 years ago (and subsequently loosing it) I was very happy to see them bring it back out. I ordered and received my new Stryker this week and after working with it, here is the review. I will do quite a bit of comparison between the old and new configurations.
Here is a good pic of the original Stryker Config.
Blade and Opening System
The Blade profile is almost exactly the same as the old Stryker. It is a good, strong, thick modified Tanto style blade. The tip profile is a little sharper than a traditional Tanto. I ordered the satin finish blade with partial serrations, which is what my first Stryker had. The serrations are the same as on all BM knives.
There is a small notch behind the serrations on the new knife where it meets the handle section, rather than the smooth transition on the old knife. i haven't had a problem with it yet, but i can see it getting hung on something.
One BIG thing i was disappointed with was BM went with an Ambi stud for the opening system rather than the "Emerson" style disk. The stud works just fine and is located in a position that is easy to find.
The top side of the knife above the stud has a small field of traction ridges which seems a little redundant because of the top profile of the handle scales. Like the bottom of the knife there is no smooth transition between blade and handle like on the original. On the original knife these traction ridges we in contact with the thumb when using the knife with a top thumb grip. on the new knife the thumb naturally rests on the slight upcurve at the blade end of the handle. There are some traction notches in the liner in this upcurve.
The original Stryker had a G-10 handle with a very subtle texture and a deep groove before the opening disk. The new handle scales are still G-10 but with a much more aggressive texture and a shallower groove before the opening stud. I haven't had an issue opening the knife with the new groove, but i haven't tried opening it with gloves on. The texture reminds me of shark skin, and i can see this knife being a pocket eater.
One of my biggest complaints with the new knife is the profile of the handle. It almost seems like they took the Stryker blade, added material onto the back of it, and plunked it into a handle that they already have. If taken separately the blade would be superb, and so would the handle, but together they just don't seem to flow together as well as the original.
On the back side the pocket clip is ambi and set up for a tip up (when folded) carry.
This is where the new Stryker really shines. The old knife used a liner lock and the locking leaf put a considerable amount of force on the blade leaf making the knife stiff to open. it wasn't an issue if you were tying to open the knife with constant pressure on the disk, but it wasn't a "flick open" knife. The Axis lock puts so little force on the blade it can be opened with the smallest push on the opening stud. The movement of the blade is so fluid that the blade can be opened using the Axis lock alone with a twitch of the wrist if you slide the Axis leaver back, almost like and Automatic. The knife can be closed the same way
Links to Video's below;
Overall I am very happy with the new Stryker Axis. I've spent the last 10 years buying knife after knife looking for a replacement for the original to no avail. Opening the box and pulling out the new Stryker was kinda like coming home. My only real complaint is the mismatch between the handle and the blade, and is probably attributable more to nostalgia than an actual deficit in the knife. If anyone is looking for a solid tanto blade knife with Benchmade quality you can't do much better than the new Stryker Axis.
Edited by redsol1, 26 October 2014 - 10:07 AM.