First Responders Depend on Benchmade Safety Cutters; That’s why Benchmade Depends on PTC Creo


Police officers, paramedics, fire fighters, and even everyday citizens are sometimes referred to as “Sheep Dogs.” This title is earned by people who can selflessly step in and save lives when confronted by a life-threatening situation. Essentially, these good guys watch over the “sheep,” and protect them from the wolves, or predators of this world.

When a Sheep Dog Impact Assistance professional responds to an emergency, something inside them motivates them into action.  One thing that makes a difference in critical situations is being prepared and having the tools available to respond quickly and effectively.

Many first responders rely on the Benchmade Triage 915. The Triage knife is a dynamic triple utility tool that includes a patented axis locking blade, safety cutter and glass breaker. Like all Benchmade products, the Triage is made in the USA.

Triage’s award-winning safety cutter can cut a boot or shoe off an injured person in just seconds, or cut away clothing to get to an injured limb. It can also cut through seat belts to free someone trapped in a vehicle.

This video shows the USA based Benchmade Knife Company products and the Benchmade Triage 915 safety cutter in action easily cutting through a seatbelt strap quickly.

So, how does Benchmade – a well-known market leader with a reputation for quality – continue to innovate and produce the highest quality knives and safety tools? Benchmade relies on PTC Creo.

Dave Maxey, Director of Research and Development at Benchmade, explains, “PTC Creo lets us easily re-purpose our recognized design standards by utilizing mechanism templates – eliminating a lot of the up-front legwork of recreating proven geometry and component relationships.  As compared to creating a new model from scratch, we save about 70-80% of our time by reusing core designs with PTC Creo.”

In addition to accelerating product design and innovation, Benchmade is reducing development loopbacks and decreasing product development costs. Since its products are made with expensive materials, keeping prototypes and scrap to a minimum is one way to do this.

With PTC Creo’s top-down design enabled environment, using skeleton modeling and copy geometry techniques, Benchmade can capture and learn from design iterations. The creation of template parts allows Benchamde to set-up parameters for known mechanisms like the Auto-AXIS ® This enables an easy transition into a new design that incorporates that same locking mechanism in a new package.

Benchmade uses PTC Creo Mechanism Dynamics Extension to test clearances for knife closures and PTC Creo Simulate for strength testing. This lets the engineering team verify the design with the software and compare the analytical results to real-life test data in the lab.

As a result of implementing PTC Creo, Benchmade has reduced time-to-market for new models by 20-25%. Modeling with skeletons and copy geometry makes developing new products an iterative process, and is much quicker than starting from scratch each time. In addition, eliminating errors in the first build reduces costly scrap. All of this adds up to superior product quality and reliability.

A Benchmade customer sums up why he likes the Triage: “As a police officer, I like the idea of a knife that incorporates a glass breaker and a seatbelt cutter. Sure, I have a very good seatbelt cutter and glass-breaking tool in my unmarked unit, but when I exit the vehicle, guess where it is? Yep, back in the car.” He continues, “The beauty of incorporating these items into your knife is that the odds are very good that you’ll always have your knife on you, even if you get separated from your vehicle. The problem with some other knives has been that while they have the tools needed on them, they sometimes detract from the ergonomics of the knife. … Benchmade has come up with possibly the best implementation of this idea yet with their 915 and 916 Triage knives.”

With the help of PTC Creo, Benchmade has been able to create designs that help first responders have the tools they need, whenever and wherever they need them.

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