The Benchmade North Fork Pocketknife: The Full Nick Shabazz Review

Today, we’re going to take a look at a great everyday carry option, in a nice material, from Benchmade, the North Fork.


John Desper says:

The darker wood looks better than the fluorescent orange wood on the Pakkawood Delicas.

drysori says:

That recurve is a non starter for me.

Prestonscott536 says:

Hey Nick, I’ve had this one since early January this year. The recurve sucks, but look into rounded slipstones to sharpen it by hand. With the knife closed, the liner showing at the lanyard loop is great, because it balances the amount of silver showing all around the knife, and it allows the lanyard not to be overlapping the handle scale as badly. Mine had blade play, along with other issues, and I sent it to Benchmade, and they didn’t fix it so now I have to live with that problem 🙁

But besides all the negatives, this knife just feels great, and I won’t be getting rid of it anytime soon. Good review, God bless

L3001USPSA says:

I don’t like the look of the “wood” handles, but I think the Benchmade looks better than the Spydercos featured in this video.

ItzWolffz says:

I disagree, Benchmade’s S30v is easy to sharpen/touch up.

Magnum Mountaineer says:

I was considering the G10 version of this knife. I will not lie, the recurve erks me a little bit… But it wouldn’t be the first recurve in my collection. It is what it is, I guess.

Andy Richardson says:

Nice review. This knife is so close for me… Why the recurve? Seems a little unreasonable to me to call out wood handles as a negative. I think variability is a given for any natural materials (and some synthetic ones). The clip is a non-issue with Benchmade: they will gladly send you a new clip. That’s a big part of why their knives cost a little more.

Filius Martis says:

9:50 trying to flip it

Peter Galione says:

You said Woody.

A D says:

Having bought and carried the g10 one years ago, I still prefer my Stryker.

chuck middleton says:

I wish you could do the yojimbo 2 with the M4 steel spyderco. Thanks

Moshe Rogoff says:

Nick, I understand your comments re quality. But please. ‘Quality Control’ infers an inspector at the end of a production line. That step is antiquated; controls NOTHING. Modern manufacturing looks for QUALITY ASSURANCE and PROCESS CONTROL as proactive measures. It is what BM needs. Wish you would start advocating for these….

Micah Knepper says:

That clip though

BornIn1500 says:

Wow that wood on the Benchmade looks so much better than that cheap-looking Delica wood. The Delica just looks like stained Home Depot plywood. The Benchmade almost gives an appearance of fine leather. Completely in another league. I’m stunned that Nick calls it “unattractive” compared to the Delica. What…..

neroknives says:

That recurve is more then enough to add cutting performance. And the thumb studs can be removed

muffledstatue2 says:

Looks like a Kershaw blur

Jarrid O'Bryan says:

Is there a triage in the Shibazz collection or is that a future review?

RabidNomad says:

This is my daily carry for probably the last 2-3 years.

Maciej Taberski says:

Hi Nick, thanks for the review of one of my favourite knives. I owe the north fork since 2-3 years and I use it for hunting. My experience with this knife so far: I generally like this knife a lot. It is very well built, smooth, well designed item. However for my hunting applications there are some limitations. I use it as secondary blade, together with a fixed blade that I keep in my backpack. In my opinion it is more a skinning knife because of the blade shape (belly). I use a hunting knife mainly for gutting the animal. This involves mainly staight cuts, some of them with the reverse grip (edge up). This blade shape is not ideal for this. The round belly is making the blade to be kind of short. I often feel this blade is too short for my needs. Edge retention of Benchmade S30V hunt series is dissapointing for me too. After just gutting (no skining or portioning work) of 3 animals (wildboars or middle sized deer) the knife is pretty dull. Best system I found for resharpening of this knife is Lansky turn box. These relatively thin sharpening rods are coping with the recurved blade very well. Next point is maintenace. Because of the short blade and doing some work inside the animal the knife gets quite dirty after single use. It is possible to clean it well without dissassembly, but it requires a lot of work with a brush. After cleaning you also loose the nice smoothness of the action. Some light and penetrating oil helps to bring it back to shape. Generally this knife requires more time consuming cleaning then other folders I tried in the field. The diamond wood looks very pretty, but is not very durable. You can scratch it or damage if you hit something sharp (broken bone for istance) G10 handles are much more durable alternative, but they do not have the nice wooden look. I still like the north fork very much appreciating the nice design and build quality. But for my personal hunting it is not perfect, so it travels with me only occassionally.

Anne L says:

Hey nick this is a hunting knife dude, hunters want recurve for skinning and gutting

Paul X says:

Yo Nick thanks for the vid

Evan Schaefering says:

I’ve never cared for wood as the sole material on the handle scales of a knife. In my opinion wood looks way better when combined with another material. If this knife had a metal bolster like the Crooked River it would look far better. As it is, it reminds me of the Chinese made “Swiss Army Knives” your family gets you as a gift on vacation.

MrNorthstar50 says:

Good review. I know its to each his own but I like the color of the benchmade wood the best, the wood grain on the 2 spyderco’s you compared them to look like the grain of plywood to me.

lgsaenz says:

Great Review Nick! I own the North Fork and sharpening it its awful compare to all my other knifes. That said, I do love the North Fork and it’s one of my most carried Knives. The wood makes the knife a little more friendlier and the for my uses the recurve works.

Frank Andre Holmestrand says:

As I have said before, I am always a bit sceptical to S30V, as in my experience it has a tendency to chip.. I haven’t really tested S30V from BM, but Spyderco and their S30V, gives u micro chips all over the place even with quite light use.. There is something in the grain structure of Spydercos S30V which makes it brittle, and it is a pain to sharpen even compared to S35VN.

Rosetta Stoned 8 says:

I just got my first Benchmade knife today for my birthday, it is absolutely beautiful

Greg Naylor says:

Is there a legitimate knife shop in or near San Diego where you can buy knives in person?

single batch23 says:

i think in the last year since you did this review Benchmade has really picked up their game..with all the chinese companies coming out they really had no other choice…ive bought 4 benchmades in the last year and they were all pretty darn good with fit and finish..also reading the forums i think others feel the same way…dont get me wrong,i may of just got lucky,but i hope not

One Is None says:


Lane Howard says:

Benchmade as become lazy on there builds poor fit and finish has become Benchmades normal sad to say.
Best way to buy a Benchmade is in person so u see just what your spending your money on
Buying Benchmade knives online your taking a big chance on getting a good fit and finished knife you will be happy with

Isaac Ott says:

Nick, you need to kill a deer to understand this type of blade.

Hovan says:

I’m a huge fan of this knife so I feel like I need to defend some of the “BAD”:
• The “noncommital recurve” although isn’t an aggressive one is definitely intentional, opposed to accidental by lazy sharpening at the factory, and does serve a purpose. It definitely channels the material into the curve which in turn adds to the performance of the blade.
• Sharpening is not as bad in practice as you’d imagine by looking at the blade at first glance. The thumb studs are easily removed with a Torx bit and if you slightly tilt the stone (in a clamped system) while in the recurve, it isn’t a problem at all. However, it is not as easily sharpened on a bench stone. Both methods just take some getting used to.
• Although I do not use a lanyard on this knife I like the way the lanyard hole was done…with the relief cut into the scales, the lanyard won’t create that uncomfortable bump in the handle and I actually like the aesthetics of it. It also adds to the grip in a way for my L/XL hands…the tip of my pinky (HAHA) ends up sitting right in the cutout.

I’ve used this knife a lot over the past couple of years and it’s held up exceptionally well and done everything I’ve asked of it. I’ve enhanced the recurve on mine a bit just to add to the performance and I extended the sharpening choil with a Dremel and a drum sander bit but even before those slight enhancements it was a fantastic tool!

Carlos EDC says:

Handled a mini onslaught recently and I gotta say it was one of the nicest knifes I have handled.. great ergonomics for me very well finished really sharp out of the box and no blade play

Sir Galath says:

Hehe, not sure if the video is a year old or nick messed up the year…

Chuck Gilley says:

The wood on mine looks totally different. Much lighter and more woody.

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