The Benchmade 915 Triage came in for review as part of my effort to find the best EDC rescue knife for my elite everyday carry backpack setup a while ago. In case you’ve read my review on the Boker Plus CFR you know already that I’m putting together an elite urban survival backpack with only the best gear for the job. This is my attempt to document my considerations and choices, hoping to help my fellow preppers and survivalist friends in making their own informed choices.
In survival and prepper communities we mostly talk about tactical or utility blades and not so much about rescue knives. I get that, I’m guilty of it myself. But when I was thinking about gear you would need for the circumstances you might end up in one day, it dawned on me.
We need a EMT rescue knife on or near us. When driving a car or truck you need one for sure, but it’s maybe just a good idea to have one with you at all times as part our Near Person Gear.
I’ve made that choice. I have moved to EDC-ing an EMT knife in my backpack or pack. And that’s not about being a hero. It’s about me, my safety and the safety of my loved ones.
How many times haven’t you heard or read about people burning alive or drowning in their car because they couldn’t get out? I owe it to my wife and kids to have the tools at hand to rescue them in case we were to end up being that family, and to be honest, I think you owe it to your family too.
The 915 Triage is one of very few rescue knives that came up during my desk research as a potential rescue knife for me. I like it a lot. It’s well designed, compact, and it isn’t tactical, something that carries a long way in an urban office setting.
Why The Benchmade 915 Triage
The Benchmade 915 Triage is not a new knife by any stretch, it’s been around since 2011, the year it won the EMS Innovation Award and the Shooting Industry Knife of the Year award. Since then it has seen great adoption among those who work in law enforcement, fire /EMT /EMS crews and sheepdogs. Understandable as this knife combines three primary rescue tools into a neatly designed package and is part of Benchmades Black Class or “extreme duty” line of knives geared toward professionals.
You shouldn’t be skimping on quality when putting together you EDC setup, especially not on crucial gear your life may depend on one day. So when looking around for a high quality EMT knife Benchmade with its Black Class “extreme duty” line was an obvious company to check out.
There are several versions of the 915 Triage. It comes in either black or safety orange and you can choose between a BK1 matte black coating or a plain satin-finished blade. The orange version with the plain satin blade is what I choose, as it’s a good fit for the urban setting that I’m mostly in.
Facts on the 915 Triage
Blade Length: 3.50 in (88.9 mm)
Blade Thickness: 0.130 in (3.3 mm)
Blade Material: N680 Main Blade; 440C Safety Cutter
Blade Hardness: 57-59HRC Main Blade; 58-60HRC Safety Cutter
Blade Style: Modified Sheepsfoot Main Blade; Hook-Shaped Safety Cutter
Weight: 5.10 oz (145 grams) Pocket Clip: Reversible, Tip-Up, Deep-Carry
Handle Thickness: 0.450 in (11.4 mm)
Lock Mechanism: AXIS
Overall Length: 8.20 in (208.3 mm)
Closed Length: 4.70 in (119.4 mm)
Sheath Material: Sold Separately
Benchmade 915 TriageHandle and Ergonomics
One thing I noticed right away is the extreme grippiness of the handle. It’s a semi open design utilizing textured G10 scales that have a pleasingly looking, yet extremely aggressive texture to it. Holding the Triage you just feel that it won’t slip out of your hand any time soon.
You’ll also notice that it’s slightly heavy. This is due to the use of liners made of 420J steel. A tough steel that adds to the overall strength allowing you to focus on the job at hand without having to worry about breaking it. To reduce weight Benchmade drilled several holes in the liners. Not to many or too large though in order to maintain the strength of it.
Ergonomics is about designing for people to ensure that designs complement the strengths and abilities of people and minimizes the effects of their limitations, rather than forcing them to adapt. Benchmade shows with the Triage 915 that it is well aware of that. The shape of the handle makes for a perfect ‘hammer’ when using the glass breaker and provides great control when operating the blade.
Operating the seatbelt cutter is just as comfortable. The thumb ramp that is incorporated onto the handle (instead of on the blade) acts as a pull assist, increasing the force you can apply when cutting materials.
Pocket Clip & Carry Dept
The one drawback I could find with this knife is the pocket clip. For one I like my pocket clips to be positioned high up the handle, preferably engulfing it, making for discreet carry.
The clip on the Benchmade 915 Triage is neither. It sits rather low on the handle which as a result has the knife stick out of your pocket. This isn’t good in an urban office type environment at all. I can imagine it being like that because of the target audience, where that doesn’t really matter. Still, for me this doesn’t work.
It’s not a deal breaker though as I carry my EMT / rescue knife in the front pocket of my EDC backpack or pack.
In case you don’t mind your knife sticking out a bit you’re good to go. It is a strong, sturdy and proven clip design being used on lots of Benchmark knives. And the handle is prepared for ambidextrous tip up carry.
Blade & Locking Mechanism
The Triage has the perfect blade for the job. It has a modified sheepsfoot shape with a high flat grind and short second bevel. The edge curves up slightly increasing its cutting effectiveness ending in a blunt tip. A blunt tip is perfect for operating the knife close to people as it has little stabbing capabilities.
Deployment of the blade is nice and smooth. Two phosphor bronze bushings allow for fast travel speed of the blade and the dual thumb studs make for easy left or right handed operation.
It’s made of Bohler N680 steel which has been hardened to between 57-59 Hrc. This means that is hard enough to hold a good edge, but can be touched up with some effort when using the right sharpening tools. The steel itself has been specifically made for being high corrosion resistance, also in salt water.
The lock is one you’ll find on most Benchmade knives, the Axis lock. One of the better locks you can get on a knife. It is easy to use and incredibly strong. Unlike is the case with liner locks this lock sits up towards the back of the handle. The thing I like about that is that it doesn’t require you to put your fingers in harm’s way when disengaging the lock.
In practice this means that when you are busy rescuing people you won’t have to pay to much attention to securing your knife, and instead keep your focus where it should be, at helping others.
Simply pull back the lock bar, press the spine of the blade against, say, your upper thigh and it’s closed.
Safety Cutter & Glass Breaker
Next to a great purpose blade the Benchmade Triage 915 sports two critical tools. The safety cutter and the glass breaker. Starting with the safety hook you’ll find that Benchmade has incorporated its awesome 7 HOOK into the Triage 915.
In case you’ve never heard of this tool just watch the below video where it’s unparalleled capabilities are being demonstrated. This cutter slices through pretty much anything you may wear. It cuts through clothing and backpack straps, even military boots with ease, and without doing harm to the person. Truly a tool worth having.
Another need to have tool on a rescue knife is a glass breaker. When used correctly a good glass breaker doesn’t require more than a gentle tab with the tip. When going through YouTube video’s you’ll see lot’s of guys breaking car windows the wrong way. One thing almost all of them do wrong is hitting the right spot. You’ll see them smashing through glass by hitting the center of the window.
Although that works, it’s not very safe for the operator. You’re best of tapping the window at one of the lower corners. By doing so you keep your arm from passing through the plain of the window (which happens because you just swung it at the window, so it’ll keep on traveling at that direction for a bit) and getting cut by the glass. Tapping a lower corner allows you to use your wrist as a stopper against the car or window frame and thus not hurting your self. The glass will shatter into a thousand pieces, all you need to do now is just push it out of the way.
I ran into a demonstration video on the Student of the Gun channel showing different tools to break car windows. He doesn’t show the Triage 915, but it’s worth watching anyway as he shows exactly how to break a car window using a breaker, without hurting yourself.
My Final Thoughts On The Benchmade 915 Triage
It’s clear we’re looking at a Black Class Benchmade here. Quality is written all over this knife, as is it clear that the use case for it has been a central topic in the design process. It encompasses the three main tools you need packed into a tight, well designed package and it comes in at a reasonable price point.
What I love is the focus on rescue work. What I mean by that is the tip of the blade for example. It’s blunt. Exactly the tip you need. I’ve seen other companies trying to incorporate a tactical element by using a drop point blade instead. I don’t like that much. I also love the bright orange rescue color aiding the benign use case. The safety cutter is in a class of its own and when you’re not getting this knife, you should at least buy the 7 HOOK separately.
So is it all and only love for the Benchmade 915 Triage? No, but close. What I don’t like is the cutting edge of the blade. It’s short and not very sharp. I sharpened it myself using the Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System to get it up to an acceptable sharpness. I shouldn’t have to do that with a knife at this price point.
Also the clip is not my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, it is for all intents and purposes a very good clip. It just doesn’t hide the knife in your pocket and from an urban survival, downtown city office type environment perspective, that is a problem.
Would I EDC the Benchmade 915 Triage?
Yes I would. As a matter of fact, I do so regularly (I switch between different EMT rescue knives at the moment). I keep it in my EDC backpack or bag in an easily accessible front pocket. Whenever I’m driving I either have the backpack on the passenger seat or I take out the 915 Triage and put it in the center console. Always close by, always ready.
Rounding of I’d like to make the point that I think every survivalist or prepper (and any other sane person) should carry a means of entering and exiting vehicles, ie. ways to smash car windows and cut seat belts. The Benchmade 915 Triage is an excellent choice you can’t go wrong with. If you don’t have an EMT rescue knife already you should step up your game and get one today.
That’s all for now, thanks for reading this far. I hope I gave you at least one bit of handy information as a take away. I’d love to hear what your ideas and experiences are, so please leave your comments below and share your thoughts.
Till next time, Kain.