There are a lot of butterfly knives out there. Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how much to spend on a butterfly knife when there are so many options to consider. What price will get you the best quality? What price will leave you satisfied with your product not sulking at the drastic drop your bank account has taken? What is really the best butterfly knife?
Most high-end butterfly knives are going to cost at least around $200. Because of that, I figured $250 was a good price limit for finding an excellent butterfly knife. As I started looking around at all of the different butterfly knives, I realized that there is a pretty drastic split in terms of prices between all the knives. There are a ton of budget butterfly knives, there are a ton of really high-end and custom balisongs, but there’s not a ton in between.
From looking around and asking some knife experts at Blade HQ, I found one balisong that was without a doubt the best if you’re looking to spend $250 or less on a new butterfly knife.
Enter the Benchmade 51:
Benchmade got its start making butterfly knives. The Benchmade Bali-Song 42 is one of the most iconic knives from Benchmade, but right now, the most available butterfly knife you can get from Benchmade is the 51, and it is stellar.
The Benchmade 51 is lighter than the 42—the standard to which every butterfly is held, it seems. The 42 weighs in at about 4.1 ounces, while the 51 weighs a total of 3.3 ounces. The 51 is a little easier to move around than the 42, so if you like lighter balis, it’s a good way to go.
The 51’s light weight is great, and it doesn’t compromise the amount of room you have to work with while flipping. Often knives are light because they’re lacking in length, but this is not the case with the 51. It’s light, but it is by no means a tiny knife. It is 9.35 inches long compared with the 42, which totals 9.4 inches in length (there’s just a .05-inch difference in size there). The handle is just over 5 inches long on the 51, so you’re not going to have any problems having enough handle to grip while you’re flipping.
You see a lot of butterfly knife handles made of stainless steel, but the 51 has G10 handles. The G10 handles are great because they give you good, secure gripping. This is one butterfly that won’t be flying out of your hands.
The blade has D2 steel, which is tough and has great edge retention. However, as with most butterfly knives, you still probably want to reserve the 51 for lighter tasks. Even though this knife has a tough steel, butterfly knives are still more fragile than other knives that are built to be abused.
Last but not least, the 51 has excellent flipping action. Benchmade has done butterfly knives right from the company’s infancy. They really have perfected flipping action and have done a phenomenal job with the 51.The knife gives you silky smooth flipping action and makes it easier to flip, not harder.
If you want a butterfly knife that’s really excellent and comes from a respected brand, the Benchmade 51 Bali-Song is your answer. It is the best butterfly knife for less than $250 because it has great quality, great action, and a great warranty.