Benchmade Les de Asis Founder CEO
Courtesy Benchmade and Facebook
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Oregon-based knife maker Benchmade came under scrutiny this week after a video was posted by a local police department showing firearms being destroyed at their facility. Questions were also raised regarding political contributions the company has made to various candidates over the years (our post here).

Benchmade founder and CEO Les de Asis has posted this statement to the company’s Facebook page:

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  1. Yo, Les: a bit of advice. . . . Google “first rule of holes.”

    Defensive (rather than contrite/apologetic) attitude: check
    Ignore elephant in room (Benchmade’s contributions to anti-2A politicians, including ones in New Mexico and Colorado): check
    Constantly cite Benchmade’s marketing claims (“we’re so great”), rather than speak to the issue: check

    Strike two, Benchmade. No wonder you’re getting lit up all over the Intertubez.

  2. “… will continue to invest and work with our public and elected officials.”

    That is a damn poor way to describe funding the anti-gun politicians who they have given money to. Why should we do business with a company who supports those who want to take away our rights?

    • We should not. To bad because I really liked the one knife I bought from them. My money can go elsewhere. Dicks, Target, Nike and others won’t see one dime from me.

      • I just bought one. I also own a 940-1, a “premium” 940 model of Benchmade. The Microtech is MUCH better, more fun, overall cooler, and was $30 less than the BM. I can, without hesitation, recommend Microtech without any issues, so long as they don’t follow the same model as BM.

  3. Nothing stated in his video compels me to forgive Benchmade’s questionable politics and actions. Fortunately, there are many other knife makers in the USA.

    • 100% for me too. Too bad, I like their knives and have more in my collection than I can remember. I am done supporting companies that are selling us out. I was going tobuy another gold class benchmade but now have reason to look to make the next purchase a Microtech, Chris Reeve, or rethink Zero Tolerance and Cold Steel. There are plenty of good companies that make good knives for more and less money. I am going to blade show this year and just figured out I can sell my bench made collection and get knives from companies that are not stabbing us in the back.
      Good reminder to renew my kniferights membership, maybe a life membership with somemofmthe money i get from selling my benchmades.

      • Kershaw knives have always done right by me. Their customer service is kind of lame, but my broken stuff always gets fixed and their knives are great.

        • I have several Kershaw and also CRKT knives and have always liked every one of them. I’ve never seen the appeal to spending as much for a knife as I do some of my handguns. But that’s just me.

  4. Ignoring the donations to anti-gun politicians in his statement is a statement unto itself: he is not sorry about that, he is sorry to be found out.

    Mr. de Asis, you are free to donate to whomever you wish. We consumers are also free to buy from companies that actively support politicians who will vote for gun rights/knife rights instead of you.

    If you pay anti-gun politicians, it will not be with my money.

  5. While I understand that he is protecting his business in the short term he is hurting it in the long term. All UK citizens will tell you that first they came for the guns then they came for the knives. It was the Benchmade knives they confiscated first.

    Benchmade needs to do some serious introspective thought before making any more PR statements.

  6. Wow! If that was intended to be an apology to the 2nd Amendment rights community in this country, you did a piss poor job Les! What about contributions from your company to gun grabbing politicians? Crickets Les! Sorry Les….you’d of been better off not saying anything. Nothing you said in your faux video apology changed my mind about your company, and judging from other replies, you have done nothing to change most people’s minds. Benchmade is officially off my list of knife manufacturers……great job…..NOT! 😏

  7. Look at any Gun magazine, are any of the ads from Benchmade? possibly. Two Faced, I’d say. Him and a lot of companies want the money from the Gun owners but want to slap them on the hand at the same time too. I’d say avoid them, a lot of other Great companies that make just as worthwhile products out there.

  8. Not one American wants any American company to fail, especially when American workers jobs and livelihood are at stake. The exception to that is when an American company promotes anti-American values and behavior. You can figure out which statement applies here, because ultimately the outcome is up to each and every one of us.

  9. Let’s boycott Colt’s Manufacturing LLC, too. And while I’m on a roll, let’s also boycott Ledesma Arms Manufacturing in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. as well! While “Ledesma Arms” doesn’t actually Melt Down any spent firearms, they do buy their Steel from “Tamco Steel” in Rancho Cucamonga, that does Melt Down Spent Firearms. Big Business in Melting Down Firearms. Upwards of $500 per Firearm in some States. “Money Talks, Merit Walks”…

  10. Only buy Cutlery from “Pro2@/Pro-Knife & Gun Rights Supporting companies!” Matter of Fact, any company that supports our U.S. Constitutional-Bill of Rights in general…(All enumerated amendments pertaining to We the People…Unlike supporters of Demo-Authoritarians, Globalist GOP RINOs, and their EU/NWO-Globalist Ilk!) When the the Bricks are “pulled out” [altered/redefined/ignored/reasoned-away] of the foundation of the Bill of Rights, Then our Republic will fall !!!

  11. It ain’t gonna be easy getting passed promo from the cops. Letting the company get used that way was absolutely nuts! Unconscionable!

  12. As the ghostbusting parapsychologist Dr. Peter Venkman said and as ad-libbed by Bill Murray: “All right, this chick is toast.” is pretty applicable to Benchmade and CEO Les de Asis. Turn out the lights, the party is over.

  13. I, for one, am convinced….

    that he doesn’t give much of a fuck about the 2A.

    As stated by others, he should’ve kept quiet and it does look like a hostage video.

    • Much better he speak and inadvertantly reveal his true intentions, for us. Feel bad for those great people that work at benchmade that have to deal with this guy.

      • Agreed! Just saying whoever gave him PR advice sucks at it. I’m glad he did the video. True colors and all.

        Sounded and looked like it pained him to mouth any support of the 2A.

    • Michael , Tops knives are great and you get what you pay for. KA-BAR , COLD STEEL , KERSHAW . EMERSON are a few more brands worth a look. Benchmade disgraced the 2A community , and themselves.

  14. That neither set the record straight nor was it any sort of apology. From that video it is clear that Benchmade will continue to act against the Second Amendment.

    The Second Amendment is about all types of “Arms”, not just guns. When Benchmade donates to anti Second Amendment politicians or destroys firearms as a favor to the police, they are attacking their own customer’s right to own the product they make.

    How Les de Asis can fail to comprehend this fact is a mystery to me.

  15. Benchmade evidently has a history of questionable decisions, this is just the latest. I walked away from the company years ago when their designs took a decidedly “Gotham” turn. Rediscovered my “fist love” in pocket knives, the company that invented the clip everyone now uses as well as the hole…. Spyderco.

    • never lost my fist love.
      spydies can be chicom, taicom, japcom or u.s. made. all very nice, just be aware.

  16. If benchmade is being genuine about their reasons for donations to leftist politicians then at best they are being very short sighted. History shows us that knife restrictions follow gun restrictions just look at Canada and the UK. One would think it would be in their best interest to fight for the right to bear arms which includes knives. Either they are very naive in their world view or they are wanting to position themselves to be the “state” knife maker in a socialist country. Benchmade’s marketing rep has made claim that they have donated over a million dollars to pro gun rights organizations in the same period that they donated $33K to democratic candidates, I am curious to see if over the next few days any gun rights organizations step forward to acknowledge receiving any of the “over a million” that benchmade has claimed to contributed.

  17. One has to wonder who advised him that putting out a video like that, a dumpster fire of an “explanation”, was a good idea.

  18. I sure as f### don’t buy from Springfield or Rock River Arms…why would I ever buy from a leftard knife company?!? Dick’s called. They want to congratulate you😩😵😡

  19. Cold Steel and Lynn Thompson aren’t perfect. But Thompson is a proud gun owner and his knives can be pretty good.

    ESEE’s an even better option.

    • I don’t have any Cold Steel knives but I do have the Moro Barong, Naval Dirk, US Heavy Saber (aptly named “arm-breaker”) and 1830 Napoleon saber. They all seem like quality items, a good value for the price. The leaf-shaped Barong blade has a oval cross section and is distal tapered to a fine point. Scary. The Napoleon Saber handles surprisingly well, superior IMO to the US Heavy. I reworked the handle scales on the dirk, broke the edges for comfort. These are display pieces but I have no doubt they could be used effectively if the need should arise.
      I like Mr Thompson’s attitude, his products and enjoy his video demos.
      You can tell he loves his job.

  20. The outrage mob that is TTAG comment section wears me out.

    Declaring your purity online over and over again does nothing for our gun rights. Raging against minor infractions is good for internet clicks and really nothing else.

    • As I’ve said with these things before I think it’s better to wait a bit and find out the actual facts before judging. I’ve looked at the timeline of donations and who they went to. The donations do raise questions but a deeper look suggests they’re explainable. I’d like to know more and I’d really like to know what they are putting money towards with their lobbying contracts with ADS Ventures and Tremont Strategies Group. Especially since both lo bying firms seem to be the same company.

      That said, the video doesn’t really inspire confidence. At best it means the CEO has no idea how to respond to this.

      • Especially with the ‘stop, start, editing.’
        That made it look like too much editing from his handlers.

        • Indeed.

          When ISIS and Al-Shabaab have 1000x better video editing and production values than you do, well, you might be fucking up. Especially if you’re a CEO of a fairly profitable company.

    • Maybe the guy really is no fan of guns. He likes knives. His friends may not be hunters. Maybe they just like whittling. They make flutes for their campfire clubs. Just sayin’….

  21. I was never going to buy a benchmade knife at their prices with so many substitutes.

    I’m not going to write negative reviews on Amazon for a product I didn’t buy, but I am reading reviews and any that are sarcastic or funny I’m voting as “helpful.”

  22. My two almost 2 decades old Emerson’s have taken all the hard use ranch work I could throw at them and will be good for the next couple of decades.

    No idea about Emerson customer service as these knives never needed it. And I paid less than a couple hundred bucks for em.

  23. I sensed more arrogance than contrition in that video. Les doesn’t get it.

    I think the bottom line is that liberals are gonna liberal.

  24. That was complete milktoast crap. Looks like I’ll be sticking with Spyderco. I haven’t spent one dime with Dick’s or Target since they respectively banned AR’s and decided it would be a good idea to put gender-confused grown men in the bathroom with my daughter. Don’t be Dick’s, Benchmade. See ya!

    • “Looks like I’ll be sticking with Spyderco.”

      They have been my go-to for an EDC since 1989.

      Reasonably priced, and with the exception of plastic ‘clip-its’ that can be fragile, fairly durable knifes…

  25. I just went to the Facecrime page and watched the video…..twice.

    I came away with a few things.
    “We are a community based company that will continue to work with politicians.” “We make the best knives.” “These things happen.” “We will continue to invest in our company and people.”

    That was a terrible video that did NOTHING to explain or clarify anything related to the circumstances that have so many people riled up.

    I don’t own any Benchmade knives. I also don’t own any Springfield or Rock River Arms guns. My purchasing powers will continue to support companies that support my 2A rights as well as those of my fellow Americans.

  26. Sorry hotshot, it doesn’t fly. Your list of politicians that you contributed to speaks volumes.

  27. Funding politicians that will come after your knives when they get done with guns? Check out London for the example. You can meet with your politicians without giving them money. Especially if they probably don’t like your business.

  28. Okay, first, I think Benchmade can charge what they want for their knives.

    I also think they can support who they want to, politically. From the standpoint of supporting knife rights, narrowly focused, the donations make some sense. The anti-gun aspect doesn’t relate directly to their core business so I kind of “get it” in that respect; for them it would have made sense for it to be a 2nd tier concern.

    That being said … It’s not like they’re the only good choice one has (unlike, say, being the only grocery store for 30 miles around). And it’s not like the link between the knife and firearms communities is a well-kept secret.

    Going forward I’m not likely to buy a Benchmade. In the past it wasn’t so much affordability, as perceived value vs my use case. Now, in addition to that, I don’t want any of my money to go to one of my current state senators if I can help it. We have enough of that out-of-state donor crap – Bloomberg – as it is.

  29. I was willing to give benefit of doubt on the video. I didn’t like it, but helping your neighbor police department I’m willing to forgive if they had come out and actually apologized. Something as simple as we were asked for help and didn’t anticipate that it would be publicized and show us as possibly supporting gun confiscation and destruction.

    Then I found out about the Dem contributions. Especially contributions to anti-gun Dems in other states pretty much meant I was never going to be a customer again.

    This dumpster fire of a statement certainly didn’t make anything better in my opinion.

    Finally, maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see a knife clipped in his pocket. Does he even support carrying of knives? Does Benchmade ban carrying of knives by employees on premises? I would think the CEO of one of the supposed top knife companies would be proudly carrying one of his products.

    • Les started the company making Bali’s, very expensive, hand made, hand tuned Bali’s (butterfly knives). So it’s entirely possible there’s a 42 in his pocket.

      Doesn’t change much, considering everything you listed in your post.

  30. Yeah… sure.

    Boycotting, defunding, and sticking it to an overpriced, middle of the pack knife manufacturer that donated a few bucks to one wing of the ONE PARTY SYSTEM will really turn things around in time to save the Republic as it circles the drain.

    Instead, perhaps you should consider killing your smartphone with your Benchmade knife, leaving it embedded in your dead smart phone, oiling up your guns, sharpening your pitchfork, and COMMITTING YOURSELF TO DOING YOUR PART IN WHAT WILL ACTUALLY BE REQUIRED TO TAKE TO TAKE OUT THE DOMESTIC TRASH later this year or next year when “they” pull the mother of all plugs.

  31. Blah, blah, blah, sorry we got caught, won’t do it again with cameras present, we believe in the democrats version of the second amendment, blah, blah, blah

  32. Not in this “apology”, but…

    interestingly, On The Bench refers to regulations, laws, and requirements, while digging into details, so far the gun destruction is a local P D policy, and informal at that.

    Playing along with the local Boss Hogg I get, including mealy mouthed non-denial denials about what yr doing. The revealed issue here is What are they destroying? On what authority?

  33. The constant blinking and finger tapping during this recording made me think that perhaps this was taped in Hanoi? My Morse code skills aren’t what they used to be, but I did pick up this: “It’s all bullshit”

    Oh, it was done in Portland? Pretty much the same as Hanoi these days.

  34. Grow a pair and move out of Oregon as Magpul did out of Colorado, and other have out of the Socialist New England states. How do I post pics of the Benchmade knives I’ve cut up over this issue.

  35. It appears that Benchmade has been caught up in the Progressive Socialist insanity infecting Oregon.

    Sad…I own a number of Benchmade knives, one Springfield pistol and two RRA rifles (all purchased years before the respective companies outed themselves as anti-2A). Am I going to sell my perfectly good weapons to spite the manufacturer…NO…am I going to invest any more of my $$$ in these companies…NO.

    Mr. de Asis your actions have consequences.

    • I don’t understand the drive to “destroy or sell” the product of an offending company. Sure it “makes a statement”, I guess, but does no real harm. Don’t buy anymore of their products and ask others not to either.

  36. I love my Barrage 583. It is my opinion they make great knives. I was about to buy an automatic but thats not going to happen after the videos. For all those who are speaking negatively about Benchmade quality or price, who do you think your helping? Your opinons are not important to Benchmade because you will never be a customer or to those of us who do like them and are disappointed and will now have to settle for something else. Save the commentary space for those who were interested.

  37. Apparently no one here understands how government contracts work. If you want to play you got to pay, regardless of who you’re donating to.

    • Fine, explain the rationale for donating to Michael Bennet. He’s a minor Senator from a different state. He’s written no legislation, co-sponsored a few things, pretty much rubber stamps Chuck Schumer, and chairs no committees. Most people in his state of Colorado couldn’t name him or anything he’s done. What possible business advantage or connections can he give? His brother is the NY Times editor, but that’s tenuous, and has the NYT written a pro-knife editorial in response?

  38. They live in a sh**Hole liberal/progressive state and are contributing to the politics & politicans that are Against American Values….Nuff Said!

  39. Too bad. Sooooo sad. I just bought 2 Microtech UTF-85 OTF’s. Excellent quality. No need to look anywhere else. Especially BM.

  40. Have loved BM knives and own several. Also, Checking on Mr deAsis himself shows only 2 donations: $1000 to Scott Brown (R-Mass) in 2010, who’s election removed the D senate supermajority (though he wasn’t a pro-2A guy); and $2700 to Kurt Schrader (D-Ore) for Congress in 2018. Schrader said he’d never take money from NRA, but did vote for National CCW reciprocity.
    Not sure who else at the company made any contributions, including to out of state politicians.
    That said, video “apology” was lousy. Will wait and see if I buy any more BM products.

  41. I was kind of *meh* this company lent their tools to chop up firearms in Oregon, but the fact they gave money to Martin Heinrich (D-NM) is unforgivable. Heinrich is a commie scumbag marching in lockstep with the rest of the progressive Borg soldiers. I’m on his mailing list and the stuff his office crows about would scare anyone that cares about this country. We have enough damn problems in NM without apparatchiks like Heinie getting re-elected with cash from out of state. I never had a knife from Benchmade, and now I never will. I am so glad this was brought to my attention. Sometimes our discretionary spending can mean as much as our votes, especially when we are trapped behind enemy lines where our votes might not get “counted”.

  42. Who he donates to says it all. Republicans get a token $1000 each and Dems get the biggest slice of the pie. Even if he is just a knife guy why does he have to stab us gun people in the back.

  43. This is another reason to buy Cold Steel instead. I have cold steel knives I bought 20 years ago, and their president is a HUGE supporter if the second amendment.

  44. Thank God I never bought a Benchmade, although I certainly wanted one. Since there may be an increase in knife purchases from other companies, does anyone know the politics of the other major knife makers out there? Zero Tolerance, Cold Steel, Spyderco, etc.? I’ve recently purchased a ZT, but would gladly destroy or sell if there politics are screwed. Which I think you Benchmade owners should do. Thanks TTAG family!!

    • I wouldn’t destroy a knife I already paid for, they already have my money from that purchase. I have some benchmade knives and liked them and the ones I have are well made but now that I know where they donate I will not be giving them any more of my money. Though I won’t destroy what I have already paid for, I have not put any or my benchmade’s in my pocket since this all came out.

  45. Their political contributions contributed to the loss of second amendment rights and to anti 2A legislation in OR.

    I object to my money being used to fund totalitarianism.

    Benchmade is DEAD TO ME

  46. Not to be a stick in the mud but when chik-fil-a owners where found to support antigay religious charities people got all upset, which was dumb. A lot of those upset people where told by the people currently upset at benchmade to chill out and the owners can support whom they want as it is their money.

    So I’m getting a real pot calling the kettle black here type thing. Sorry I hate hypocrites and some of my fellow ttag posters on here are being the perfect definition of one.

  47. you know how all you have to do is hit your wife once and to the police youll forever be known as a wife beater
    its the same for us for those who cut up guns for the police

  48. We’ve donated 100% to democrat gun grabbers our entire history, but sometimes things happen. Idiot.

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