Review: The Benchmade Mini Osborne Is My New Favorite EDC Knife
This smaller version of a classic will suit most people perfectly
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Benchmade’s 940 Osborne has been one of the Oregon knifemaker’s most popular designs for the past 20 years. If there were an EDC knife hall of fame, the 940, with its distinctive reverse tanto blade design, would be in it, no question. Many consider it Benchmade’s best design of all time.
But for me, the Osborne was always a little much. For everyday carry, I don’t need a 3.4-inch blade and full-size handle. That’s why I’ve become a huge fan of the 945 Mini Osborne, which was released last year and has been refined for 2021.
The Mini Osborne features a 2.9-inch S30V steel blade in a reverse tanto design. For those unfamiliar, reverse tanto has become an increasingly popular blade shape, particularly in everyday carry knives. Unlike more traditional drop-point blades, which narrow to a thin point, reverse tanto blades actually widen at the tip, making them extra durable.
When open, the Mini Osborne is under seven inches long, making it perfect for people who like to carry a knife but use it most frequently for simple tasks like opening packages.
If you’ve read my best everyday carry knife review, you’ll know that a carry clip is a crucial feature for me. I generally prefer a deep carry clip, which hides the knife deeper in my pocket. The Mini Osborne has a reversible mini split-arrow clip, which has a more minimal design, but I’ve found it incredibly secure, and the knife has never fallen out of my pocket, even when kicking off my pants at the end of a long day.
These days, everyday carry knives are as much about form as they are function. That’s where the Mini Osborne really shines. At $205, it’s is not an overly pricey knife, but it feels expensive in the hand. I’m a huge fan of the G10 aluminum handle, which has a cool matte finish, doesn’t scratch as easily as regular aluminum, and feels grippier. The forest green color stands out in a sea of black knives, and purple barrel spacers add a little extra pop.
What We Like
- The sub-three-inch blade is perfectly sized for most casual users.
- It looks awesome. Sleek enough to go unnoticed in your pocket but beautiful when in use. It’s not too tactical or “outdoorsy” looking.
- The same excellent, American-made build quality we’ve come to expect from Benchmade.
What We Don’t
My only gripe is simply that I generally prefer assisted-open knives, which I find to be a little faster and more convenient for everyday carry. The Mini Osborne has dual thumb studs. That said, it has easily the fastest action of any knife I’ve used, including other popular Benchmade designs like the Bugout.
Should You Buy It?
Since receiving it in late December, the Mini Osborne has become my new go-to everyday carry knife. It’s small and non-threatening with a very fast action. Sure, in some ways it’s just a scaled-down version of a classic Benchmade knife, but for most people, I suspect the mini version is the best choice. Short answer: yes, you should. You won’t be disappointed.
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