Benchmade HUNT Steep Country Fixed Blade Skinner Knife Review

Benchmade HUNT Steep Country
Benchmade HUNT Steep Country, 15008-BLK

The Benchmade HUNT series of knives continue to impress.  One of the most recent releases, the Steep Mountain, boasts a 3.5″ CPM-S30V stainless steel blade that is built for serious, hard use.  Add a black (or orange) Santoprene handle and you have a knife built for rugged, wild conditions that will get the job done after you have taken your shot.

The Benchmade HUNT knives are built for real life.  Tested over thousands of hours in the lab and more importantly, in the field, each of the HUNT knives has a CPM-S30V stainless steel blade.  With their extensive testing, Benchmade has proven that S30V will outlast and outperform just about any other steel in the field.  It has several advantages including edge retention, durability, and corrosion resistance.  If you want a detailed explanation of why S30V is better, you can read an earlier post I did on the HUNT Saddle Mountain Skinner knife.

The Steep Mountain has the perfect size blade for serious outdoor hunting chores.  The drop point blade has several design advantages that make it perfect for your needs.  The blade is full tang, which means it has maximum strength for heavy cuts.  On the spine of the blade, where it is inserted into the handle, there are a series of upraised steel crenellations that gives your palm extra grip points when you have the handle in a traditional forward grip.  If you choose to hold the handle in a different grip, such as between your thumb and forefinger, these crenellations give your thumb positive purchase points no matter where you decide to grip the handle.

On the forward part of the blade, there are two stretches of fine jimping.  The first is close to the handle and measures 13/16″ long.  The second is found just 5/8″ in from the tip of the blade and it measures 1/2″ long.  These jimping closer to the handle gives your thumb the perfect grip point when making more controlled cuts.  The jimping close to the point gives your forefinger the perfect grip point when making extremely controlled cuts.

The handle on the Steep Mountain is black Santoprene (you can also pick it up in hunter orange).  The handle is a classic shape with some texturing across the face.  The inner edge has a series of regular, small bumps and valleys which gives your fingers plenty of grip points when holding the knife in the forward grip.  Santoprene is a thermoplasic elastomer that delivers high durability and fatigue resistance.  It is also resistant to harsh chemicals.  This makes it an ideal material for outdoor use.  It won’t crack, chip or warp when it gets wet.  It has just a slight “give” when you grip it which I really like.  I think it makes the handle more comfortable and delivers a more solid grip.

At the base of the handle, the Santoprene sits back just a small amount on the top corner.  This exposes the full tang blade and a 3/16″ lanyard hole.  Perfect to strap the knife on your wrist so you don’t have to worry about setting it down and losing it when the light is almost gone and you are trying to finish up that skinning job so you can get down off the mountain.

The Steep Mountain comes with a black Kydex sheath with an attached leather belt strap.  The belt strap is nice and thick as well as wide.  There is also a small leather strap with snaps to keep the blade secure in the sheath when you are moving through rough country.

The Benchmade HUNT Steep Country could just be the perfect skinning knife.  It offers all around cutting capabilities as well as durability and strength.  It is comfortable and will last a lifetime with proper care.  Let me know what you think of yours down below in the comment section.

SPECIFICATIONS: 

  • Blade Length: 3.5″
  • Blade Thickness: .14″
  • Blade Material: S30V Premium Stainless Steel
  • Blade Hardness: 58-60HRC
  • Blade Style: Drop Point
  • Lock Mechanism: Fixed
  • Overall Length: 7.65″
  • Weight: 4.40 Ounces
  • Sheath Material: Kydex Sheath
  • Class: Blue
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