Benchmade 32-81

This page contains information on the Benchmade Gold Class "Morpho" Bali-Song (Butterfly Knife), model BM3281, designed and manufactured by Benchmade, Inc.
The 32-81 features a modified spear point blade with a hand convexed edge and hand finished carbon fiber handles, jeweled liners, hand polished bright hardware and gold custom anodized clip. This knife was purchased for $530 in 2008 and sold by the author in 2021 for $1,250.

Specifications: Overall Length: 7.29", Closed Length: 4.39", Blade Length: 3.25", Blade Thickness: 0.100", Blade Material: Acid Eteched Hakkapella Damasteel Stainless Damascus, Blade Style: Crowned Modified Spear-Point, Lock Mechanism: Bali-Song w/ Next Generation Spring Latch.

Pros: A true collectable, only 100 made. Exceptional fit and finish, lovely materials, and a decent presentation box.
Cons: The knife is harder to manipulate than a full size balisong. As with all Benchmade boxes, the paper tabs on each end quickly wear away to nothing. The Damascus pattern is beautiful, but the acid etching is nothing to write home about.

Final Score: 8/10

One of One Hundred

The Benchmade 32-81 has all the features you look for in a collectable knife: Only 100 made, every kind of high end material you could imagine, and it's a butterfly knife—the Doberman Pinscher of the knife world that bites back if you handle it wrong. It just oozes elegance and danger. I love it.

Video Overview


The box is an onion, lots of layers. Inside the gold box is a black presentation case, inside that is a foam cover, underneath that is a protective pouch, and inside that is the knife.


Tucked into the box is a certificate of authenticity: signed, dated, and numbered to match the knife.


The knife is light but well balanced. Some might prefer a larger knife, but I think of the 32-81 as akin to a Swiss watch or a piece of jewelry: the small scale only makes it that much more precious.


The outer box is a slightly nicer version of Benchmade's basic sleeve box design. Apart from the gold color, it is only differentiated by some nice debossed text on the side; unfortunately, it uses the same fragile paper tabs that the basic boxes do. These very quickly fold away to nothing. Fortunately, the inner display box is much better. This is made of a thicker soft-touch material and has two magnetic living-hinge lids. Inside is a custom foam lining cut to the shape of the knife.

The two magnetic lids open smoothly to reveal the knife inside, which is protected under a thin sheet of gray foam.

Fit and Finish

The knife is very well built. Flipping it open is silky smooth and very controllable. It feels dampened (in a nice way), although that may be a byproduct of the smaller size and lightweight carbon fiber handles. It doesn't "clink" the way its bigger brother the Benchmade Model 42 does. Think of a BMW car door - there's certain type of "thunk" that says: quality.

Final thoughts

For a production knife, it doesn't get much better than this. Sebenza, eat your heart out. This is a true unicorn, a rare knife in an already niche category. It was a treat to own it for 10 years, and if the fact that it sold for twice its retail price is any indication, this is a very special knife.

More Rare Reviews