When it originally released, the Mini Freek was clearly channeling the hard-working, relatively affordable ethos embodied by Benchmade’s signature Griptilian series. It had a 3-inch blade (.6 inches smaller than the full size Freek) made from S30V, and a functional handle made from a Grivory polymer with a rubberized Versaflex insert.
Now, the 565-1 has arrived, offering a premium counterpart for those who like the Mini Freek’s design but want it in more impressive materials. On the 565-1, the wide drop point blade is made from S90V steel. This is one of Benchmade’s favored super steels; it offers lots of edge retention and corrosion resistance, even if it’s trickier to sharpen than S30V. The blade is still opened with a thumb stud, although the stud itself has been anodized red to fit in with the 565-1’s new color scheme; and of course the Axis Lock is present and accounted for as well.
Moving to the handle, the change is immediately visible: gone are the Grivory and Versaflex, replaced by scales made from carbon fiber. The scales have been machined with a sculpted, two-level design. The visual effect echoes the look of the 940 Osborne‘s scales, and is an obvious departure from the ribbed look of the original Mini Freek. Benchmade has also shifted this model to open pillar construction, with anodized red standoffs to coordinate with the new thumb stud.
The announcement of the 565-1 follows a month after Benchmade revealed the 202 Leuku, a larger companion piece to their 200 Puukko model. Like other carbon fiber/S90V offerings from Benchmade, the 565-1 is a standard Blue Class model, not a limited edition, so it should be available on an ongoing basis once it arrives with dealers.
And according to Benchmade, the 565-1 will be available on June 5th. MSRP is set at $310.
Knife in Featured Image: Benchmade 565-1 Mini Freek