The Benchmade 430BK Redoubt. A Lightweight Black Classic Knife.
Redoubt. What a strange and oddly anachronistic word. A redoubt is a fortification of sort—but without the strength or permanence of a full-sized fort. These are often temporary fortifications built by smaller, faster-moving units that need something like a fort, but who don’t have the time to build an actual fort. The soon-to-be Americans in revolutionary war made solid use of the structures.
Benchmade is pulling this legacy, however metaphorically, into the design of their new Redoubt folder. This is a halfway point between the heavy hitting designs (like the Bugout or the Crooked River (knives that are clearly built to take on anything), and the svelte, minimalist designs like the Bugout—a knife that is so light you have no excuses not to carry it.
|Grivory has a plastic feel
|Ease of maintenance
|Grivory has a plastic feel
|Weight reduction means inherent sacrifice of strength
When I first saw the Redoubt on the web, I’d assumed it had a metal handle. Benchmade coats many of their aluminum handles and the appearance is very similar to the Grivory on the Redoubt.
While some nylons and plastics flex, Grivory can be molded thin—with internal ribs for structural support.
Grivory is, for those new to the material, incredibly light and rigid. It is a semi-crystalline polyphthalamide thermoplastic. Tap it with your fingernail, and it sounds slightly hollow and thin, but it is strong and remains a popular build material for its weight to strength ratio and ease of molding.
The surface texture is ever so slightly rough. At the back of the handle, a greenish-grey section has some aggressive grid-patterned bumps. At this end, there’s a lanyard hole.
On the underside of the blade, there’s a set of molded ridges. While subtle, they will help add grip to the Grivory.
Carrying the Benchmade
The clip, which comes oriented for right-handed tip-up carry, can be reversed. Unlike most other knives—and I really think this is a big win for this design—the clip’s mounting hardware passes through the handle. This may prevent pocket wear from loosening the screw. If you’ve ever lost a clip or stripped out the little screw holes in a plastic handle, you’ll appreciate this design.
The clip itself is steel, coated black, and would allow for deep carry. The tension is strong, but not so stout that it is going to eat up pocket seams.
The Redoubt’s blade
While I keep coming back to the Redoubt’s similarities to the Bugout, there are some obvious differences. You can pick up on most all of those without my help. The subtle nuances, though, might need further exploration.
The Bugout’s blade is a spearpoint. Once the spine begins descending toward the point, the shape remains convex. The Redout has a bit more of a drop point shape. Again—this is a really fine line to draw between the two, but it is there.
The blade moves smoothly and has no play. It stays closed well, opens smoothly, and will drop more than halfway shut with the release of the Axis Lock pin.
The weight reduction in this design comes from the short supports internally. The liners are long enough to support the pivot and lock, but don’t extend the rest of the way through the handle.
The Redoubt moves the thumb stud out, too—farther down the blade. This is a boon for those of us with big mitts. I’ve not had any difficulty with the placement of the stud on the Bugout, but I won’t rely on it as a defensive knife as I’m not fast as I’d like to be with it.
The Redoubt feels more aggressive in my hand. The wider radial arc of the thumb stud allows me to snap it open fast.
The blade on the Redout is a solid length for EDC. At over three and a half inches, it is capable. The blade stock is still thin—just .125”. And the CPM-D2 is hard. Benchmade is testing the hardness at 60-62 on the Rockwell scale, which puts it a few points north of most folder blade steels’ hardness ratings. Edge retention should be exceptional.
CPM-D2 is a powder formed version of D2. The Chromium content remains low—typically in the neighborhood of 11%. This means you’ll get more ease-of-maintenance and corrosion resistance that you might with a carbon tool steel, but it won’t be as forgiving as traditional stainless.
The Redoubt, though, has a black finish (likely a ceramic coating), which should do most of the protection for you. But keep the edge clean and dry, oil everything from time to time, and you should be good.
For those curious about what the coating is, I will extend this invitation to descend into the internet rabbit hole. Benchmade says this in their spec list: “Blade Finish: Finish Black Blade.”
How’s that for clarity. The finish has what I’d describe as tooth. It doesn’t feel as thick as most applications of Cerakote. Nor does it feel like a penetrative finish. Maybe they’re protecting something proprietary?
The Redout is an odd build, but one that is rapidly growing on me. Benchmade groups this in their Black Class knives, meaning they’re designed and built for working professionals: LE, military, first responders and the like. But it is a fantastic EDC knife, too.
The MSRP on this one is $180. With the level of precision built into the design, the Redoubt is well worth it if you’re looking for an EDC knife that is both easy to carry and big enough to do real work.