Benchmade HUNT Big Summit Knife Review

With a rich history dating back over 30 years, Benchmade is the product of many dedicated employees, a never quit demand for excellence and the de Asis family’s vision and total commitment to culture, service, and innovation. While there are “handmade” and “factory made” it was “Benchmade” that describes the quality of this product. The operation made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s position in the market—even to this day.

Benchmade’s knives are made of many things: steel, aluminum and titanium, to name a few. But they believe that the most important part of a Benchmade knife is expertise. They carefully measure every part at every step in the process. They use the best materials and equipment to make world-class knives for world-class users. They go through a process of laser cutting, surface grinding, blade and handle milling, beveling, back sanding and finishing, and assembly and sharpening to guarantee the best quality knife that you could ask for.

At BladeOps, May is Benchmade month. To celebrate Benchmade month, we are going over a different knife or aspect of Benchmade every single day. Today we chose to go over the Big Summit Lake knife. Let’s begin.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel. This is a premium steel that is made by Crucible. This steel has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was designed in the US and is typically used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of Vanadium Carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. And, this is where the V in the knife comes from. Dollar for dollar, this is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. One of the only drawbacks to this type of steel is that it is one of the harder steels to sharpen. Sharpening a blade with this type of steel is not recommended for beginner sharpeners. This steel has a hardness level of 58-60 HRC.

The finish on this steel is a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the steel in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. The key characteristic of this finish is that it works to showcase the lines in the steel expertly. This is one of the most popular blade finishes that is used on the market today and gives you a very classic look. This is a medium finish in terms of how light reflects off of it. While a mirror finish would have the light reflect much more, a satin finish is by no means matte. It also does work to cut down on glares and reflections to a point, but that isn’t what this finishes purpose is.

The Big Summit Lake has been designed to be a perfect hunting knife. To accomplish this, Benchmade had to choose the perfect hunting knife blade shape. They went with the obvious choice of a drop point blade shape. This is a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to anything and the drop point blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. One of the most common places that you will find this blade shape is on a hunting knife, and for good reason. To form the drop point blade shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. This lowered point is the first reason that the drop point style makes for such a great hunting knife. Because the point is lowered, you have much more control over the tip and because of this, it is easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. The lowered tip also creates a broader tip with plenty of strength behind it and that is the second reason that it makes such a good hunting knife blade style. And while the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because of the tip and strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blades are a popular choice on tactical and survival knives. The third reason that a drop point style blade is such a great shape for a hunting knife is because it features a belly area that is perfect for slicing. This large belly will make skinning your game a total breeze. There are almost no drawbacks to having a drop point style blade. The only real disadvantage to the drop point style is its relatively broad tip, which does make it less suitable for piercing, especially when being compared to the clip pint. However, you should keep in mind that it is this broad tip that provides the point strength that is not found on clip point knives. When you choose the Big Summit Lake, you will be preparing yourself for almost any situation that you may encounter, whether it has to do with hunting or not.

Because this knife is designed to be a hunting knife, it does feature a plain edge. This is the more traditional edge that is easier to get a finer edge and easier to sharpen that edge. The plain edge blade will excel at push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling. All of these abilities will come in handy when you are trying to dress your game.

When you are working with your hunting knife, you are bound to run into some pretty messy, or bloody, situations. Because of this, you are going to want as much control over you knife as you can possibly get. Benchmade has added a row of shallow jimping on the area of the blade where it meets the handle. This will provide you with the little bit of extra grip that you desire.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Dymondwood. This is a stabilized wood material. A stabilized wood is when the wood has been injected with plastic. The manufacturer injects polymer resin and then compresses the wood under high pressure to create a very dense and durable material that still exhibits the natural beauty.  Wood has been used as a knife handle since knives came into existence. A good quality wood handle is durable and attractive, making wood a relatively inexpensive material for heavy duty knives. Wood also adds a lot of beauty to a knife, making wood handled knives popular among collectors. Dymondwood is a very similar material to Micarta, G 10 and Carbon fiber, except that the base material is wood, instead of an inorganic substance. Dymondwood is very affordable and is commonly used on budget knives. While Dymondwood does come in a variety of different colors, because wood comes in a variety of different colors, the wood on the Big Summit Lake is a dark brown. The wood handle gives you a natural elegance while remaining natural. It also provides you with a very traditional, yet somewhat rugged look, which is perfect for those tasks needed when you are out hunting.

The handle has a slightly flared butt and a shallow, elongated finger groove. The handle has been carved to fit into your hand comfortably for those bigger projects that you have to work with.

The liners on this knife are made out of stainless steel, which adds strength and durability to this knife. Stainless steel provides excellent resistance to corrosion, but it is not lightweight. Because the entire handle hasn’t been made out of stainless steel, but just the liners, this will add the perfect amount of weight. You will have the heftiness that you crave from a knife, but it definitely won’t be weighing you down.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is made out of stainless steel, which will resist rusting and corroding in most environments. This is a standard pocket clip. The handle has only been drilled to attach the clip to carry your knife tip down on the traditional side of the handle.

Benchmade HUNT Big Summit
Benchmade HUNT Big Summit

The Mechanism:

The Big Summit Lake is a manual opening knife that has a nail nick to assist you in opening. Nail nicks are probably the oldest form of opening system that was widely sued in production knives and they continue to be a popular opening method for high end inter frame folders. Nail nicks aren’t commonly used on tactical folders because they are difficult to open one handed. Normally with nail nick folders you will find that they use a lock back system or slip joints. The Big Summit Lake uses the lock back mechanism. A lock back is sometimes also called a spine lock because it has a metal spin that spans the entire back of the knife handle. Within the handle, the top of the spine and the tang of the blade resembles a hook. When the blade is opened, it pushes the spine out until the notch on the spine and the blade are hooked into place. The two notches exert pressure on one another to keep the blade opened securely. Replacing the blade into the handle of a lock back knife requires pressing on the bottom of the spine until the two notches clear one another. You can find the lock back locking mechanism on may classic American folding knives. Some of the benefits of a lock back locking mechanism is how reliable they are, how strong they are, and how safe they are. The unlock “button” is out of the way of your grip when using the knife, meaning you’re unlikely to accidentally disengage the lock and have it close on you. It also keeps your hands clear of the blades path when closing, which minimizes the risk of cutting yourself. One of the disadvantages to the lock back locking mechanism is that you usually do have to use both hands to close the locking mechanism safely, which can prove to be inconvenient when you need to keep one hand on whatever you’re cutting. And while it is possible to close a knife with a lock back locking mechanism with one hand, it is not easy. You would most likely need to switch grip and take extra care when you are closing the blade.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.77 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.124 inches. When the Big Summit Lake knife is opened, it has an overall length of 8.34 inches long. When it is closed, it has a length of 4.57 inches long. The handle thickness on this knife is 0.57 inches. This knife weighs in at 4.59 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

The Big Summit Lake knife is for the traditionalist. This knife is comfortable, practical, and durable. The blade has been carved out of CPM S30V steel. This is a premium stainless steel that will resist rust effortlessly while maintaining the balance between toughness, hardness, and edge retention. This steel has been finished with a satin finish and then carved into a drop point blade shape. For a hunting knife, the drop point blade shape is the perfect option. It has a tough point that can take on almost any task that you throw at it, while also being very easily controlled to make dressing your game a breeze. The big belly makes slicing quick and easy. The handle on this knife has been made out of Dymondwood which is durable, lightweight, and can stand up to repeated use without losing its quality. The lock back safety mechanism is durable, strong, and easy to use: perfect for your go to hunting knife. Come celebrate May as Benchmade month at BladeOps and pick up your Big Summit Lake knife today.

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Benchmade HUNT Grizzly Creek Knife Review

Benchmade has a rich history that dates back to over 30 years, Benchmade is the product of many dedicated employees, a never quit demand for excellence and the de Asis family’s vision and total commitment to culture, service and innovation. This is the story of Benchmade: It was 1979 when the Benchmade adventure began. Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives, also known as Bali-Songs, that he played with as a kid. He used his high school shop skills and blueprinted his dream knife before he eventually met Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali Song porotype. He paired that with handles that he had sourced from a small machine shop in California, he assembled and finished his first Bali-Song in his own garage. He took this prototype into a local gun store and the owner asked if he could build 100 more.

In 1980 Les incorporated as Bali Song, Inch and rented a small shop in a second story mezzanine in California. He utilized the technology that was available to him at the time and began building handmade custom Bali Songs, along with Jody Sampson, who ground all the blades. It was the success of these custom Bali Songs that spurred the creation of the first production Bali Song: The Model 68.

In 1987 this company filed for bankruptcy and dissolved. One year later, Les reintroduced a new company and new version of the Model 68. This time, with a drive to produce product in the US and an even stronger commitment to product availability, quality and customer relationships. The new company needed a new name. To decide how to name this company, he recognized that there was “handmade” and “factory made”, but theirs was Benchmade. He was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s positon in the market, even to this day.

Now, in present day, Benchmade continues to focus on innovation, customer needs, responsible business ethics, and operations to bring the highest quality products to the world’s elite.

This May, BladeOps decided to make it Benchmade month. Each day, we will focus on a different Benchmade knife that BladeOps carries. Today, that knife is the Grizzly Creek.

 

The Blade:

The steel that the blade on this knife is made out of is CPM S30V. This steel is made by Crucible, which is a United States based company. This steel has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was designed in the United States and is normally used in the high end premium pocket knives as well as expensive kitchen cutlery. Crucible added vanadium carbides into the streel to bring extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. This steel is often regarded as one of the finest knife blades steels that sports the perfect balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that it does prove to be tricky to sharpen. If you are a beginner sharpener, this might not be the best steel to start with. The steel on this blade has a hardness of HRC 5-60.

The Grizzly Creek has a modified drop point blade shape. The drop point blade shape is the perfect blade shape if you are looking for a fantastic all-purpose knife that can stand up to virtually anything. This is one of the most popular blade shapes on the market today and for good reason: it is crazy strong, crazy versatile, and crazy durable. To form this blade shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. This lowered point provides more control and adds strength to the tip. Because of the tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blades are a popular choice on tactical and survival knives. Clip points and drop points can often be confused with each other, because they are the two most commonly used blade shapes in use and are often used for similar purposes. If you are trying to figure out what shape your knife has, you only have to look to the tip. Both of the knife shapes have lowered tips, but the clip point has a thinner, finer, and sharper point. This gives you the stabbing capabilities that you might be looking for, however, it does make the tip a lot weaker. Clip point blade shapes are prone to breaking if you try to use them for heavier duty tasks. The drop point knife has a broader knife that adds plenty of strength to the blade. So while you will not have any stabbing capabilities, you do have the ability to take on those tougher tasks. The lowered point on the drop point blade shape makes this knife easily controllable. And because of that, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. This is one of the reasons that the drop point blade shape is the perfect blade shape for the Grizzly Creek: The Grizzly Creek is a hunting knife. One of the other reasons that this is such a great shape is because drop pint knives feature a large belly area that provides plenty of length for slicing. And with this knife, you are going to be doing a lot of slicing and skinning.

Having a knife with a drop point blade shape will be preparing you for almost any situation, whether it is the expected situations or the completely unexpected ones.

Because it is a hunting knife, the Grizzly Creek features a plain edge. The plain edge can get a finer edge than a serrated edge would be able to manage and as a bonus, it is the easier style of edge to sharpen. But the real reasons that this hunting knife features a plain edge is because the plain edge is the perfect edge for push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling. And with a hunting knife, you are going to be doing a lot of all of those things.

Benchmade Grizzly Creek
Benchmade Grizzly Creek

The Handle:

The handle is made out of Dymondwood. This material is phenolic resin impregnated wood veneers that are laminated and compressed. As you might expect, it is very similar to Micarta, G 10, and Carbon Fiber. The difference form Dymondwood and those materials is that the base material is different: in Dymondwood, it is wood. This is a very affordable material that is commonly used on budget knives. This material can come in many multi-color combinations but there are also many conservative Dymondwood colors that are available. The Grizzly Creek handle has a darker wood look to it. This material is a very stable material that has decent toughness. It is more stable than regular wood, and quite a bit tougher than most woods. This knife is meant for rugged situations, so it does have a rugged, masculine look to it. The handle looks well worn, but because Dymondwood is so durable, it will maintain that look for long periods of time.

There is a shallow, slightly elongated finger groove in the handle, with a larger finger guard. This is a comfortable handle to hold, even for long periods of time. The handle does sport stainless steel liners which help to add strength and durability to the handle.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is a stainless steel clip that is reversible, helping to make it ambidextrous friendly. However, it can only be attached to carry the knife tip up. This is not a deep carry pocket clip.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual folder knife that has an AXIS lock. To help you open this knife, the Grizzly Creek sports dual thumb studs. This is arguably the most common one hand opening feature and is widely used by Benchmade. The thumb stud essentially replaces the nail nick found on more traditional knives. The principle is pretty straightforward—you grasp the folded knife, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open. Knives with a thumb stud usually incorporate a locking mechanism of some sort. If the stud extends through the blade (protruding on both sides) like the Grizzly Creek has, the knife can be opened with either hand.

The Grizzly Creek sports the AXIS locking mechanism. The Axis lock is a proprietary mechanism you’d only find on Benchmade knives, but due to its ingenuity and popularity among everyday carriers, it should definitely be on your map. It is easy to use with one hand, but it is also completely ambidextrous. Here’s how it works: the lock is made up of a spring tensioned bar that slides back and forth on a track cut into the handles of the knife. The butt of each blade featuring an AXIS lock has a flat spot that allows a spring tensioned bar to lock into place when the knife is opened. To close the knife, you pull the bar towards the back of the knife, using the thumb studs and folding the blade shut. Right and left handers alike can appreciate how easy it is to use this lock, because the bar is accessible from both sides of the knife handle. Because this mechanism has plenty of moving parts involved it can be difficult to disassemble for cleaning and maintenance. This is truly on of the best ambidextrous locking mechanisms. Three of the biggest benefits to the AXIS locking mechanism is that it is strong, it is durable, and it is flick able.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.124 inches. The handle thickness is 0.65 inches. The overall length of the Grizzly Creek is 7.84 inches long and this knife sports a closed length of 4.34 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.76 ounces.

 

The Extras:

This knife is truly the ultimate hunting knife and sports a fold out gut hook that is only there when you want it. The purpose of the gut hook is to split the skin of a game animal in gutting operations of field dressing by hooking over the skin and being pulled along to sever it. The small hook can open the abdomen of the animal without slicing into the muscle, which would affect the quality of the eat. This hook is stainless steel and folds out of the butt of this knife.

 

Conclusion:

This knife comes from the Benchmade HUNT series. The Grizzly Creek AXIS folder has a modified drop point CPM S30V premium stainless steel blade that opens with the ambidextrous dual thumb stud openers. The steel is a premium steel that effortlessly resists rust while having the perfect combination between toughness, hardness, and edge retention. The classic Dymondwood handle gives you a solid grip for all your hunting work, and the 3.5-inch-long blade gives you plenty of length to get the job done. This blade size is the perfect blade size and shape for just about any game cleaning chore. Comfortable, practical, and durable, the HUNT Grizzly Creek is sure to become your favorite hunting knife. The stainless steel liners that are in the handle help to add strength to the knife. The pocket clip is a tip up, reversible, stainless steel pocket clip. Because of the included gut hook that folds out of the butt of the handle, this knife is the total package for a hunting folder. This knife is made in the USA, which is a bonus. Pick your Grizzly Creek hunting knife up at BladeOps today and celebrate the month of May by celebrating Benchmade with us.

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Benchmade HUNT Saddle Mountain Skinner Knife Review

Benchmade was founded over thirty years ago and has a rich history that starts even before that. Benchmade is the product of many dedicated employees, a never quit demand for excellence and the de Asis family’s vision and total commitment to culture, service and innovation. Benchmade’s story really begins in 1979 when Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives, known as Bali-Songs, that he played with as a kid. Before Benchmade was Benchmade, it went through a couple of different names. To this day, Benchmade continues to focus on innovation, customer needs, responsible business ethics and operations to bring the highest quality products to the world’s elite.

At BladeOps, May is Benchmade month. To celebrate, each day we will discuss a different knife or knife family and today it is the Saddle Mountain Skinner Family.

 

The Blade:

Benchmade HUNT Saddle Skinne
Benchmade HUNT Saddle Skinner

The blade on this knife is made out of S30V steel. This is a premium grade steel that is made by US based Crucible. This steel has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. IT was designed in the United States and is typically used for the higher end premium pocket knives ads well as expensive kitchen cutlery. Crucible has added Vanadium Carbides into the steel alloy matrix to bring out the extreme hardness of the steel without lessening the toughness that it has. S30V steel has gained the reputation of being one of the finest knife blade steels that sports the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. One of the only drawbacks to this steel formula is that it does tend to be rather tricky to sharpen.

The finish on this blade is a satin finish to showcase the lines of the steel. To form this finish, the steel is continually sanded in one direction with sandpaper or another similar abrasive with an increasing level of fineness. This is a medium finish, because there are shinier steel finishes and there are also finishes that are more matte. The satin finish does cut down on glares and reflections while providing you with a timeless blade.

There are actually two different versions of the blade shape that you get to choose with the Saddle Mountain Skinner. You can choose a regular drop point or you can choose a drop point with a hook carved into the back of it. The drop point blade shapes is one of the most common shapes that you are going to find on hunting knives. This is for a variety of reasons. For starters, this is a great all-purpose blade shape that can virtually stand up to anything. To form the shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. The lowered point helps to add more control to the tip. This is the second reason that the drop point blade shape is such a fantastic shape for your hunting knife. Because the point is so easily controlled, it makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. The lowered point also helps to add strength to the tip. This broad, strong tip is a huge benefit to the blade shape, but is also sometimes a drawback. The reason that it is a drawback is because with it, you have virtually no stabbing capabilities. But, it is such an advantage because it adds so much strength to the tip, enabling your knife to take on almost any task that you can throw at it. And because the point has so much strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blades are popular on tactical and survival knives. One of the last reasons that this is such a perfect shape on your hunting knife is because it sports a large belly that provides plenty of length for slicing. And with a hunting knife, you are going to be doing a lot of slicing and will want the clean cuts.

The second option that you have with this knife is a drop point blade shape with a gut hook in place. This is a blade in which the spine has a sharpened semi-circle ground into it. This gut hook is mostly a blade feature, although a lot of people call them a blade shape. This hook is most often used by hunters for field dressing, the hook in the spine is placed in a small cut in the underside of the animal and pulled like a zipper. Its purpose is to split the skin of a game animal in gutting operations of filed dressing by hooking over the skin, and being pulled along to sever it. The small hook opens the abdomen of the animal without slicing into the muscle, possibly affecting the equality of the meat. The gut hook is made from a semi-circle “C” shape being ground into the blade with the inward part of the “C” being sharpened. This hook needs to be sharpened occasionally but it can’t be sharpened with a typical flat sharpening stone or other knife sharpener. Most hunters purchase a round file and use this to sharpen the inside of the gut hook. This is a disadvantage, because sharpening this hook can prove to be very difficult. However, while this is a very specialized tool, it does the job perfectly, and what’s not to love about that?

Both versions of the blade sport a row of jimping where the blade meets the handle to help with control and add to your gripping abilities when you are doing your messier jobs. Both versions of the knife also have a plain edge. This is perfect for a hunting knife because the plain is most traditional, easiest to sharpen, has the ability to get a finer edge, and excels at push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling. All of which will come in handy when dressing your game.

 

The Handle:

There are also two different options for your knife handle. The first one is a gray G 10 that has been designed to look like wood. G 10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. IT has very similar properties to carbon fiber, except that it can be had for almost a fraction of the cost. To make this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The resulting material is extremely tough, very hard, super lightweight, and crazy strong. In fact, G 10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates although it is a more brittle material. And while it is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it still has to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process which is used in FRN handles. G 10’s production process can utilize many layers of the same color, or varying different colors to achieve a unique cosmetic look on the handle, in this case, the handle is gray and black and made to look like wood. G 10 is such a great option for your hunting knife handle because it is durable, lightweight, and non-porous, so it won’t weigh you down and it won’t absorb any of the gunk that handles can accumulate during the hunting process.

The second option that you have for this handle is a Dymondwood handle. Dymondwood is a phenolic resin impregnated wood veneers that are laminated and compressed. It is very similar to Micarta, G 10, and Carbon Fiber, except that the base material is different than those other materials. The base material for Dymondwood is wood. Dymondwood is a very affordable option. This is a very stable mateiral that has a very decent toughness. It is more stable than regular wood and is also tougher than most woods. This option is a dark brown with black accents.

Both versions of the handle are very comfortable to use for long periods of time as well as a safe option to use because it has a finger guard. The handle has been carved to fit nicely in your hand, with the curves cushioning your grip slightly.

Both versions of the knife have a lanyard hole on the butt. Dressing your game is a messy job and a lanyard can help to secure against loss during the craziest of environments. The lanyard can also provide safety when you are processing a large animal. When you are field dressing a large game animal, there is a moment when you’ll need to reach inside the ability to cut the esophagus so the intestines can be pulled out. This is a messy situation, which can easily make your knife handle slippery. And if you have a lanyard wrapped around your wrist or hand, you can prevent yourself from your hand slipping down onto the blade form the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

The Saddle Mountain Skinner knife is a fixed blade. There are so many advantages to having your go to hunting knife be a fixed blade. For starters, fixed blade knives are stronger and bigger than a folding knife This means that you are really going to be able to dress any sized game. Another one of the benefits to having a fixed lade is that they don’t break. When you are out in the field, you really don’t want your knife to break. And this knife will be able to stand up to most of your tasks. Another one of the benefits is that they are easier to maintain. When you are dealing with a hunting knife, you will want to jump at any opportunity you can to make your maintenance a little easier. Hunting knives are constantly caked in blood and guts after each use, so having a knife that you can just wipe down is going to be a huge plus. With the Saddle Mountain Skinner, cleaning will be straightforward and simple. A fixed blade is also the superior survival tool. A fixed blades offers you more versatility for any number of tasks that can be associated with so called survival knives, which include cutting, digging, splitting, using it as a first aid tool, using it as a food preparation tool, using it as a hunting weapon, hammering with it, and even using it as a prying tool.

 

The Sheaths:

There are two separate options for your sheath. You can choose between a kydex sheath or a leather sheath. The leather option is one of the more traditional materials that sheaths are made out of. There are a handful of benefits to a leather sheath, one of the main advantages is the aesthetics. Leather is a well-known material that looks exceptional, it feels nice in your hand and it smells good. Leather is rugged and also very quiet when you are putting a knife in and out of the sheath. However, since it is a natural material, it will eventually become unusable.

The kydex option is a more modern material for sheaths. Whether it is submerged in salt water or exposed to different environments, Kydex will be able to hold up very well. However, it does make a noisy clanking sound and it will eventually dull the knife’s edge.

 

The Specs:

The blade is 4.17 inches long with a thickness of 0.140 inches. The overall length of the knife is 8.73 inches long. The handle thickness is 0.58 inches. With the G 10 handle, the knife weighs in at 5.13 ounces. If you choose the Dymondwood handle, the knife weighs in at 4.7 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

This is a large fixed blade with a recurved blade that assists in meat cutting and skinning chores. This blade is made out of S30V steel with a satin finish, with the option of getting a gut hook in your blade. This is a fixed blade that has either a Dymondwood handle or a G 10 handle. This fixed blade will change the way you think of hunting knives. Pick yours up today at BladeOps and celebrate Benchmade month.

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Benchmade HUNT Steep Mountain Fixed Blade Knife Review — Video Review

Great new fixed blade knives from Benchmade.  All S30V blades and top quality handle materials.  Check them out.

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Advantages of CPM-S30V Stainless Steel

CPM-S30V has become one of the most used premium steels on the market among knife manufacturers.  Originally developed by both Chris Reeve (a world renowned knife maker) and Dick Barber of Crucible Industries, S30V is a martensitic powder-made stainless steel.

Martensitic is a specific type of stainless steel alloy. There are three main classifications of stainless steels if you want to classify them by their crystalline structure.  They are, austenitic, ferritic and martensitic.  Martensitic steels are carbon steels that are usually tempered and hardened.  This tempering gives the steel good hardness and high toughness.

S30V lands directly in the Martensitic camp.  It is also a powder made, sintered stainless steel.  Sintering is the process of making a solid by using heat and/or pressure without actually taking the substance to the liquid state.  Sintering is often used with materials that have an extremely high melt point, such as molybdenum.  CPM-S30V contains a 1.45% Carbon, 14.00% Chromium, 4.00% Vanadium and 2.00% Molybdenum.  Since it has a small but significant presence of Molybdenum, this high end stainless steel is produced by mixing tiny “ball bearing” bits of each of the appropriate ingredients.  After being thoroughly mixed, the entire batch is sintered or fused with heat and/or pressure.  This allows the atoms in the various materials to fuse together into one solid piece of stainless steel.

The vanadium carbides in S30V give the steel an extremely refined grain.  The uniform grain structure created during the process of making CPM-S30V gives the blade uniform wear and strength across the entire blade.  This means there are no weak points like can occur in many other stainless steels.

If you are looking for a high end stainless steel knife that will keep an edge, that will be durable, and will resist corrosion–definitely consider one made with a CPM-S30V blade.

According to Wikipedia, “CPM-S30V is considered a premium grade knife steel. It is so expensive that it strongly affects the price of the knife, and is largely used in higher-end production and custom knives.”  

Because of its high durability, high corrosion resistance and edge retention, Benchmade Knives entire new line of premium hunting knives, appropriately called the HUNT series, are all made with CPM-S30V.  Many other knife makers use it extensively as well including Spyderco Knives, Piranha Knives, Zero Tolerance and Microtech Knives just to name a few.

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Benchmade HUNT 15060-2 Grizzly Creek AXIS Folder Knife Review

The Benchmade HUNT Knives are here.  First to hit the shelves is the 15060-2 Grizzly Creek AXIS knife.

Benchmade HUNT 15060-2
Benchmade HUNT 15060-2, Grizzly Creek AXIS Folder

A journey that began many years ago, the Benchmade HUNT knives are the compilation of efforts from research labs, tests and most important–many miles of field research.  These knives are built from the most advanced materials available–in fact, they are built from materials that are normally used on surgical equipment and space vehicles.  They are used in the toughest of situations because they are tough, dependable, and reliable.  Just like these materials, the HUNT knives  provide tools that are ruggedly durable and perform to a higher standard.  The HUNT line is all about The Art of Pursuit.  

When you are choosing the best in hunting tools, you are looking for a tool that provides edge retention, durability, and corrosion resistance.  In a HUNT knife you are going to find each of these things.

CPM-S30V Blade
CPM-S30V Blade on the Grizzly Creek 15060-2 HUNT knife from Benchmade

Edge Retention has been unanimously declared the most important feature in a hunting knife.  When you are many miles from the closest sharpening station, you want your blade to be razor-sharp and stay that way.  The less frequently you have to field sharpen your blade when field dressing your game, the better.  Based on the standardized CATRA edge retention tests, which measures initial depth of cut as well as edge retention over many cuts, CPM-S30V was selected as the blade steel for all the HUNT knives.  It consistently scored in the top group of premium hunting steels.  The other major factor in edge retention is the blade angle.  Too shallow of an edge angle and you can’t cut well, too deep an angle and the blade dulls quickly.  Through a variety of field and lab tests, Benchmade has determined that best angle is between 30 and 35 degrees.

Semi Open Frame Construction
Semi Open Frame Construction

Durability of a knife blade is a factor of the “ingredients” used to form the steel as well as the manufacturing process.  CPM-S30V is a sintered powder manufactured steel.  This means that the correct blend of ingredients is measured out and then cast into millions of tiny round pellets.  These are then fused into a single billet under heavy pressure and high temperatures.  This gives CPM-S30V an extremely uniform grain structure–which means  that because of its uniformity it has no “weak” spots like many other steels.

Corrosion resistance is critical in a hunting knife.  In head to head comparisons with D2 steel, CPM-S30V outperformed D2 by a significant percentage.  In fact, during the lab testing which put the two steels into 96 hours of extremely corrosive conditions, CPM-S30V outperformed D2 by 619%.

With a Benchmade HUNT knife like the Grizzly Creek folder you get a knife blade that is incredibly well-balanced in the performance department.  It gives you fantastic edge retention, corrosion resistance as well as durability.

Dymondwood Handle
Dymondwood Handle on the Grizzly Creek Knife

What about the rest of the knife?  The handle on this knife is Dymondwood® which is a layered composite made from natural fibers.  This gives you the advantage of having a natural handle material that has high dimensional stability, resistance to moisture as well as the classic wood look that so many hunters prefer.

How about the layout of the knife?  The 3.5″ modified drop point blade has just a slight recurve.  This gives you excellent pull cut ability which is critical when field dressing your game.  Nearly at the tip of the blade there is a short section of jimping on the spine which allows for you to “choke” up on the blade when skinning.  This gives you maximum control on precision cuts.  More jimping is found on the blade spine right where it connects with the handle.  This gives your thumb an excellent control point when making heavier slicing cuts.  The blade opens smooth as silk with the ambidextrous thumbs studs.  And the AXIS lockup is world-class. In my mind, the AXIS system is one of the very best found on the market today–reliable, strong and easy to use with either hand makes it both functional and convenient.

Guthook
Guthook on the BEN15060-2

A gut hook is found in the butt of the handle.  The gut hook has a serious thumb/finger groove filled with heavy jimping that gives you a solid control point on the hook when using it.  It is definitely handy to have both a main blade and a gut hook on the same knife.

The handle has a classic, pocket knife silhouette.  The two handle scales are atop stainless steel liners that gives the knife strength and rigidity.  The semi open frame makes the knife extremely easy to clean after use.

Benchmade 15060-2
Benchmade 15060-2–Grizzly Creek AXIS Knife

The knife has a tip up pocket clip.  Built in the USA, this fantastic hunting knife is sure to delight you and many generations to come.  You can find your own here on our website so when you are out on your next expedition you have Benchmade HUNT knife.  The Grizzly Creek is a fantastic place to start–it gives you all the benefits of a mid-sized folder with a guthook all packaged into one tough, durable hunting tool.

 

SPECIFICATIONS: 

  • Blade Length: 3.50″
  • Blade Thickness: .124″
  • Handle Thickness: .56″
  • Blade Material: S30V Premium Stainless Steel
  • Blade Hardness: 58-60HRC
  • Blade Style: Modified Drop Point
  • Weight: 4.76 Ounces
  • Pocket Clip: Reversible, Stainless Steel, Tip-Up
  • Lock Mechanism: AXIS
  • Overall Length: 7.84″
  • Closed Length: 4.34″
  • Sheath Material: Sold Separately
  • Class: Blue
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