​Microtech vs. Benchmade: Choosing the Best OTF Knife for You

​Microtech vs. Benchmade: Choosing the Best OTF Knife for You

May 30th 2019

Out-the-front (OTF) knives are switchblades with a mechanism that automatically flips out the blade when you press a button. Two of the best makers of OTF knives are Microtech and Benchmade. These companies offer high-quality, durable products.

However, when it comes to finding the best OTF knife for you, there are a few crucial differences between the Microtech and Benchmade options. Here, you’ll find a run-down of these differences so you can choose the OTF to meet your needs.

Why Get an OTF Knife?

You might be wondering why you should get an OTF knife at all. There are several reasons OTF knives are great purchases:

  • Powerful deployment action

OTF knives are arguably more powerful than their spring-assisted counterparts. The OTF’s default blade position is open, forcing it into a closed position by a mechanized lock. When you press the handle’s switch, the blade flicks out with considerable force. By comparison, the spring-assisted knife’s default blade position is closed, losing a lot of power in the deployment movement.

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  • Dual-action option

OTF knives can come in single- and dual-action models. Dual-action means the flicks, out and in, are automatic with the push of a button.

  • Clean and quick cut

These knives have powerful, sharp blades that provide an effortless cut on branches, twine, or wild game meat. The recent enhancement of accuracy in OTF measurement shows just how accurate and concise these blades are.

Microtechvs. Benchmade: The Breakdown

Here’s a look at how two of the best OTF knife brands stack up against each other.

  • Type of Metal in Blade

The Benchmade Pagan OTF is made primarily of aluminum, with a chisel-ground blade controlled by a dual-action switch mechanism. This blade’s elegant black finish is abrasion- and mark-resistant, reflecting the Benchmade knives’ premium quality.

Microtech OTFknives also have top-quality steel blades. The iconic Ultratech knife has a blade made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel,  and comes in drop point, double edge dagger and tanto edge comprised from from high quality steels like Bohler M390 and Carpenter CTS-204P.

Black Benchmade

  • Type of Handle

Both Benchmade and Microtech OTFs usually have aluminum handles, although the Microtech models have a slight advantage in quality and construction.

Find the Right Microtech OTF for You

The handle of the Benchmade Pagan comes with a specially designed dark, heat-anodized pattern, and the knife comes with a sheath for safe storage and everyday carry.

The Microtech Ultratech’s blade is gorgeous. This model is arguably the best OTF knife and Microtechs flagship model outpacing any other OTF knife on the market. The handle has smooth contoured edges that make it easy to grip and carry. 

  • Handle Grip

Although the Benchmade Pagan has some added curvature on its aluminum handle for a stronger clench, the Microtech Ultratech leads the way when it comes to true comfort and ease of grip.

The specialized 45° angles at the edges of the Ultratech’s handles make it simple to carry and hold. This knife’s handle is compact and tight, kept together with patented “Tri-Point” screws.

  • Weight

The Benchmade Pagan is a couple of ounces heavier than both the Microtech Ultratech and UTX-70 models. The Pagan weighs 5 oz. while the Microtechs weigh about 3 oz.

The Pagan’s longer blade, special thumb-switch mechanism and thicker aluminum handle lend it extra mass. Simultaneously, the Microtech models tend to have smaller, dagger-like blades with lighter and less bulky handles.

Some people prefer heavier knives, while others like to carry more lightweight, compact models that fit better in the pocket. It all depends on what works best for you.

  • Length and Shape of Blade

The lengths of blades for the Benchmade and Microtech models are similar, ranging between 3 inches and 4 inches for both makes.

When it comes to the blade’s shape, however, there are some differences. The Microtech models have a wider variety of blade options. The Ultratech can come with several different shapes and styles of blade, from a Japanese-inspired tanto model to a curvy drop-point design. You can buy a Combat Troodon as a dagger or a thickset Jim-Bowie style knife.

The Benchmade models have fewer options for blade shapes. The Pagan has a standard spear-point blade that can cut well on its chiseled side but not on the other.

Custom Black Knife

The Final Thoughts

These high-quality brands are excellent choices for OTF-style knives. If you’re looking for an OTF knife with a customized blade shape and a high-quality grip, get one from the Microtech range. However, if you want to get a slightly more affordable product, made from durable stainless steel and with a standardized shape, opt for a Benchmade OTF knife.