Review Details

Bushcrafter Family

Product Review (submitted on June 6, 2016):
I ordered the green G10 version that came with the leather sheath. I also wanted to try the Kydex sheath so I went ahead and ordered that too. I wanted to wait on writing this review until I've had ample time to get out and use this knife a lot. I don't believe in writing reviews of products you're not intimately familiar with! After using this knife to perform a multitude of tasks such as: carving tent pegs, feather sticks, try sticks, Arapuca bird traps, figure 4 dead falls, shelter craft, cooking tripods, frog gigs, walking sticks, bow drill kits, spoons, batoning saplings, processing firewood, cutting fruit and vegetables, and the list goes on.... This is what I've found.

-Benchmade's customer service is outstanding! I've never come across a company with such professionalism and willingness to make their customers happy! Well done everyone at Benchamde! Well done!

-Both the Kydex and leather sheaths were very well made. Fit and finish were spot on. The Kydex sheath was initially rather difficult to extract the knife, but loosened to a perfect snug fit with some use. The leather sheath works well, but isn't my first choice of style. I would have much rather a deep carry leather sheath with no retention strap. I've found the leather retention strap on this sheath is often always in the path of the blade when extracting or returning the blade to the sheath. I believe it will only be a matter of time before the retention strap gets cut. I also didn't really understand Benchmade's choice to add a danger D-ring, but not supply the actually leather dangler loop. Really peculiar to me. I do however think the added integrated firesteel loop was a very nice touch! Another thing to note is that the inside of the leather sheath is lined with a taco style piece of Kydex to both protect the sheath, and retain the sheaths shape, however the piece of taco formed Kydex is oriented so there is no Kydex preventing the blade from cutting the leather welt... I think they should have reversed it so the opening of the taco fold was at the spine of the knife seeing as the spine won't cut anything.

-Fit and finish were absolutely perfect. Both the primary and second grinds were perfectly symmetrical. The spine came with a perfect, sharp 90 degree bevel capable of throwing beautiful sparks from a ferro rod. The G10 handles were ground perfectly symmetrical and were elegantly refined with titanium tubular rivets that added a nice bit of flair to an already eye catching knife. The eye-catching green G10 handle scales are also well complimented with deep red liners and ground flush with the tang to absolute perfection. Rubbing my finger around the grip where the scales meet the tang feels like glass! Nice job Benchmade! Certainly some of the best fit & finish I've ever come across! I absolutely love it when a company pays that extra attention to detail like this!

-The handle design is probably my least favorite part about the knife quite honestly. After getting some serious dirt time with this knife, I've really come to resent a few things regarding the grip. First, I think the grip is much too blocky and creates hot spots on the hand up where the user's thumb meets the corner of the grip. This is only amplified by the fact that the handle flares at the front as well; a poor choice in my honest opinion. If you are going to design a knife with a swell in the handle, the best place to put it would be the middle of the grip, and if not there, then the pommel, but certainly not the front. This design flaw quickly leads to hot spots and discomfort. I also didn't care for the hook shape at the pommel of handle. This design feature severely limits the number of ways the user can hold the knife which is bad for a bushcrafting blade. It's nearly impossible to effectively use this knife in a chest-lever grip. I've also found that the handle doesn't leave much to spare as far as room on the grip goes since it has the pommel hook. Men with larger hands may find their hand rather cramped while using this knife. I think this knife could be made much better with no hook in the pommel, an oval or round handle cross-section instead of a squared one, and either a SLIGHT central palm swell, or no palm swell at all... Think "LT WRIGHT Genesis, or Diving Sparrow Knife Works handles, or even Mora Handles. These are all ergonomically far superior to the Bushcrafter's handle design when it comes to comfort. Overall, I'm just not a fan of the Bushcrafter's handle design, however the fit & finish were executed perfectly! I would be very interested to see what Benchmade could execute with a more ergonomic handle design!

-Blade steel is far superior to anything else I own! CPM S30V is just a ridiculous steel! And I mean that in a good way! Being somewhat close to the ocean living in Massachusetts, I actually kind of enjoy the choice of stainless steel over the normal carbon variety. While I really enjoy a trusty carbon steel blade, I've found that carbon steel imparts a rather nasty taste to any food cut with it. For this reason I always prefer my food prep blades to be stainless steel. And let's face it, I'm probably never going to need my blade to strike sparks from a rock for a flint & steel fire anyways. Besides, you need char cloth before you can have a flint and steel fire anyways! Regardless, I really enjoy the low maintenance of this knife. It really makes life a bit easier in wet environments. The only concern I have with this incredible super steel is it's ability to resharpen easily... I somehow doubt this blade can by sharpened by something as simple as a river rock... That does bother me somewhat, as I generally like my blades to be made from steels that can be sharpened by everyday items and not require specialized diamond or ceramic sharpeners. I guess at the end of the day, it's a trade-off.

-The Saber blade grind is also not something that would have been my first choice for a "bushcrafting" knife. I would have much preferred either a Scandinavian or full flat ground blade. While I understand that Saber grinds are generally stronger than both of the aforementioned grinds, Scandinavian grinds are much better at working wood, and full flat grinds a great because while then can certainly work wood in passable fashion, they also excel at food prep and skinning tasks. The Saber grind really doesn't excel at working wood, food prep, or skinning... Strength is the Saber grind's only real benefit, and one that I would certainly have traded to get a grind that was better at one or all three of the other tasks!

-The blade design was good and bad. I liked the simple drop point design and thought the blade length was right in the pocket with regards to being perfect for general bushcraft tasks. However, I didn't care for the overall downward blade arc from pommel to blade tip. It made carving a little awkward and sheathing the knife rather difficult due to it's propensity for wanting to cut into the leather because of the angle of the blade in relation to the handle. I would have much preferred a blade that was inline with the handle.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to leave an unbiased review, and I hope these critiques will maybe help birth the next generation of Benchmade Bushcrafting fixed blades.