Benchmade 530 Pardue Review

Pocket knives come in handy when you need them. And you usually need them when you least expect it. So if you want to prepare yourself for the foreseeable future, what type of pocket knife should you get?

With the many pocket knives on today’s market. The selection out there today is vast—but not all of them will suit your needs. Perhaps the Benchmade 530 Pardue might….

The Benchmade Pardue is based on the Model 350, designed by Mel Pardue. The knife has the same general look as its predecessor: a spear point blade and coffin-like handle design. In order to turn this knife into a pocket wonder, Benchmade added the AXIS lock and slimmed down the overall design of the knife to make it more portable.

Key Specs of the Benchmade 530 Pardue

Benchmade 530 Pardue
  • Blade Length: 3.25 inches
  • Blade Material: 154CM
  • Blade Style: Spear-Point
  • Overall Length: 7.42 inches
  • Closed Length: 4.17 inches
  • Weight: 1.88 ounces
  • Lock Mechanism: AXIS

Blade Materials and Features

The 530 Pardue is crafted from 154CM stainless steel, which produces a strong satin-finished blade with good corrosion resistance properties.

​154CM is an American-made premium grade knife steel and is known to be very durable. Having a hardness of 58-60HRC, makes the blade very tough with good edge quality.

​Sharpening the 154CM isn’t too bad, the angle of the blade makes a huge difference in getting a good sharp edge.  Free hand sharpening has always been a skill that takes time to master.  I would suggest a tool like the Spyderco Sharpmaker with pre-defined angles to help in keeping all your blades sharp.

Additional versions of the Pardue utilize a Cerakote black finish and maintain the same strength as the satin finished version. The blade measures 3.25 inches long and 0.090 inches thick.

The Pardue is also available with a partially serrated blade, or combo edge.  The combo edge may be more suitable for first responders types.  The serrations can make cutting through heavy duty materials, like seatbelts an easy job.

Handle Materials

Benchmade 530 Pardue Handle

The handle of the Benchmade 530 Pardue is made from Grivory scale that produces a lighter, yet tough handle. However, due to the plastic feel of the grivory handle, the complaint mostly heard is that is makes the knife feel weak and cheap.

The choice of using Grivory over other materials was to keep the weight down of the knife, the Grivory in my opinion doesn’t compromise the knife in any form.  It’s a lightweight and very durable material.

The handle measures 4.17 inches long and is .370 inches thick.  If you are looking for an EDC folding knife the Pardue would make a good choice.  It’s not too large and with the grivory handle weighs under 2 ounces.

The shape of the handle is also somewhat unique, the handle flares out on both ends making a nice slot for your grip in between.   This design aids in keeping your grip from slipping forward into the blade or slipping out of your hands completely.


Benchmade 530 Pardue

The Pardue is equipped with Benchmade’s patented AXIS mechanism that’s made to successfully lock the blade in place.

The design consists of a resilient steel bar that’s pushed forward with two omega-style (U-shaped) springs, which lock the blade in place when the knife is opened.

When you close the knife, the locking bar pulls back into its grooves and completely closes the knife. The lock bar sits quite close to the case and may impair how you open this knife. It’s been described by some as being somewhat difficult to open with just your thumb.

All in all, the lock is very easy to operate and I’ve only heard of a handful of complaints about it. The lock is very strong when the knife is in use, preventing it from suddenly sliding closed.

When it’s actually closed, the locking mechanism slides completely forward, releasing the spring’s tension, keeping the knife closed shut.

Benchmade 530 Pardue Ergonomics

As mentioned, the Pardue is very easy to operate. Although shorter than similar knifes of it’s class, the strong blade holds up well against a variety of materials, thanks to the blade’s inherent thickness.

The Pardue’s strength actually makes it a suitable camping or hunting knife, since it’s portable and resilient enough to resist corrosion, its always handy to keep around.

The handle’s lightweight material significantly reduces the knife’s overall weight making it an excellent choice for an EDC knife. In addition, the design of the handle makes the tool easy to hold and operate. Many users of this folding knife, myself included consider it a very comfortable tool.

Other 530 Pardue Versions

I mentioned it earlier, but there a a few versions of the Pardue available, mostly to do with just the different blade types and color options.

Benchmade 530 Pardue, Satin Plain Edge

Benchmade 530 Plain Edge

Benchmade 530 Pardue, Satin Combo Edge

Benchmade 530 Combo Edge

Benchmade 530 Pardue, Black Plain Edge

Benchmade 503BK

Benchmade 530 Pardue, Black Combo Edge

Benchmade 530SBK

Pros – What People Liked about the 530 Pardue

  • The knife is incredibly lightweight at only 1.8 ounces, an excellent choice as an everyday carry folding knife.
  • AXIS lock is very strong with zero blade play when opened.
  • High quality materials include the 154CM stainless steel blade

Cons – What People Didn’t Like

  • Cheapish plastic feel of the Grivory handle
  • Thumb stub too close to handle, making it difficult for your thumb to engage much of the stud.
  • No assisted opening mechanism

Final Thoughts on the Benchmade 530 Pardue

If you’re looking for a good, durable EDC pocket knife, the Benchmade 530 Pardue might be what you need. Its lightweight, feels comfortable and comes in handy for any odd job you need to get done.

Benchmade knives are known to be on the more expensive side for knives, so the fact that you can pick up the Pardue for around $100 bucks off makes this one a pretty good buy.

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