Benchmade 15400 Pardue Hunter Knife Review

Benchmade 15400 Pardue Hunter

For over thirty years, Benchmade has been designing and manufacturing world-class products for world-class customers. When Benchmade was founded, the mission was to create something better; something exceptional. Today, they continue to innovate with the goal of taking performance and reliability to the next level. “To exceed what is expected. We live it and breathe it, and we know what you mean when you say: It’s not a knife. It’s my Benchmade.”

Benchmade builds knives for the most demanding customers, from special operations forces to elite backcountry hunters, and building for the best requires the best raw materials. They select premium blade steels and pair them with aerospace-grade handle materials to create premium-grand knives and tools that provide great value for their customers.

Benchmade knows that the mechanics of opening and closing a knife are essential to its function. They ask, “Is it easy to actuate? Can it be opened with one hand? Is it ambidextrous? Will it absolutely not fail when you need it the most?” They know that those are all critical considerations when it comes to the mechanism.

When it comes to manufacturing, the Benchmade factory employs modern laser cutters and CNC machining centers hat offer control and tolerances commonly found in the aerospace industry—often to tolerances half the width of a human hair. Their commitment to modern machining techniques and rigid quality control has allowed Benchmade to bridge the gap between custom and manufactured.

Benchmade 15400 Pardue Hunter
Benchmade 15400 Pardue Hunter

The Class/Series:

This knife is in the HUNT series. Benchmade chooses to describe the HUNT series by saying, “Research projects, R&D lab tests and many miles of field research provided the foundation for the design and development of Benchmade HUNT. Built form advanced materials usually reserved for spaceships and surgical equipment, these technologically advanced hunting knives provide refined performance and rugged durability.”

When it comes to edge retention in the HUNT series, edge retention is one of the most features while field dressing an animal, and CPM-S30V blade steel delivers.

With durability, “A powdered metal steel, the durability of CPM-S30V outperforms other blade steels thanks to its uniform grain structure.”

And lastly, when it comes to corrosion resistance, “A TRUE stainless steel, CPM-S30V requires little maintenance and out performs other steels like D2 by 619%.”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM-S30V steel, which is true to the HUNT Series. This steel was designed by Crucible Steel Industries with knives in mind. Crucible is a steel company that is based in the United States, so not only do you know that you’re getting a good product, you can be proud to own a blade with a Crucible blade. Crucible chose to add in vanadium carbides, which brings high hardness into the steel alloy matrix. This steel is known for having one of the best balances between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. This balance is hard to achieve because the harder the steel is, the less tough it gets. CPM S30V steel also resists rust effortlessly, because it was designed to be on expensive kitchen cutlery. When it comes to your hunting knife, you are going to want a blade steel that isn’t going to rust when it comes in contact with blood and fluids when you are dressing your game. The only drawback to this steel is that because of the high level of hardness, it does prove to be tricky to sharpen. If you are a beginner sharpener, I do not recommend trying to sharpen this knife.

The knife has been finished with a satin finish, which is the most popular and traditional blade finish in the cutlery industry to date. This finish is achieved when the manufacturer repeatedly sands the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive. A satin finish is designed to show off the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the fine lines of the steel. It also reduces reflections and corrosion. Because Benchmade has such a fine satin finish, it will increase the cost of the knife slightly, because of the time and labor, but it is also worth the additional cost.

The Pardue Hunter has a drop point style blade. The drop point blade style is known as an all-purpose knife that can stand up to almost anything. It is also one of the most popular blade styles today, for good reason. The most common place that you are going to find a drop point blade shape is on hunting knives, such as this one. The shape is formed by having the back edge of the knife run straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. The lowered point is where the blade style gets its control and strength. The controllable aspect is what makes this style such a good hunting knife, because it is easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruing the meat. One of the other reasons that the drop point blade style is such a popular option for a hunting knife is because of the large belly that it sports. The belly is the slicing area, so the bigger the belly, the easier it is to slice. And when it comes to hunting, you are going to rely on slicing pretty often. The drop point blade does have one big drawback, which is its broad tip. Because of the broadness, it is not as sharp as the clip point, and therefore, not as good at piercing. However, when it comes to your go-to hunting knife, many people can overlook the broad tip in exchange for the strength it provides.

 

The Handle:

The handle of this knife is made out of Micarta. This is a popular option for a knife handle material. Micarta is a fabric reinforced phenolic laminate, which just means that it is created by soaking linen cloths in a phenolic resin and then pressing them together. The creation process of Micarta and G-10 is similar. However, Micarta does end up looking a little bit classier and full of character than G-10. Because of how this material is made, Micarta actually has no texture and is extremely smooth or slippery. It takes a lot of hand labor to carve some texture into the material, which does increase the cost quite a bit. Also, because of how texture is create don this knife, there is a myth that Micarta can easily be scratched. This is not reality. Micarta is difficult to scratch because of how hard it is. Micarta is lightweight, strong, and was originally introduced as an electrical insulator which means that it is one of the best plastics out there for knife handles. Overall, Micarta is going to be tough, light, and durable. However, it is brittle and it is expensive.

This Micarta handle has been finished to look like it is a wood handle. This gives the tradition of a wood handled hunting knife, but it also gives you the strength and durability of a modern material. The belly of the handle curves in slightly to fit more comfortably in your hand. There is a row of jimping near where the blade and handle meet to give you extra grip when you are in the thick of it.

The butt of this handle does have a lanyard hole carved into it, so you can always keep this knife next to you. Also, if you are in the middle of dressing your game and you feel like everything is getting too slippery, you can wrap the lanyard around the handle of the knife to give you some added texture. Slipping the lanyard around your wrist while you are dressing the game also ensures that the knife does not slip out of your hand.

 

The Mechanism:

This hunting knife is a fixed blade. Some of the benefits to a fixed blade is that they are big and strong. Plus, the blade on a fixed blade is usually longer than a blade on a folding knife. This is because the blade does not have to fit inside of the handle. Plus, because there is no internal mechanism or even moving parts on a fixed blade, they don’t break. The blades are thicker, the parts are stronger, and there are no pieces that can rust or break down over time. The last thing you want is for your knife to fail you in the middle of a big hunt. The Benchmade Pardue Hunter is not going to fail you—ever. Also, because of the strength, a fixed blade can be sued for more than just your typical slicing; it is strong enough to be a survival tool. You can cut, dig, split wood, use this as a first aid tool, prepare food with it, hammer (using the handle), and some people even pry with their fixed blades, although I would not recommend doing the last one. The biggest advantage to a fixed blade for your hunting knife is the ease of maintaining it. You don’t have to worry about cleaning each individual piece, because it is essentially all one piece. All you have to do is wipe down the blade and handle and oil it occasionally.

Of course, a fixed blade is going to be harder to conceal and not as easy to keep with you all the time.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is just as classic as the knife itself: leather. Leather is one of the traditional materials that is still used to make a knife sheath. It is rugged, tough, and strong. Plus, it is not going to break down like plastic eventually does. And because leather is sewn, if the stitches start to loosen or come out, it is easy to mend or replace them. Another benefit to having a leather sheath is that once it is broken in, it will fit your knife exactly. The absolute best advantage for a leather sheath for your hunting knife is the fact that it is silent. You can easily pull the knife out and put it back in without making a sound and spooking the game that you are hunting.

Of course, every material does have its disadvantages as well. For starters, leather is not waterproof, and if exposed to water or humidity too long or too often it can start to rot and mildew. Also, if it is exposed to extreme heat it can start to dry out and the sheath will crack. Both of these can be avoided if you oil your sheath from time to time.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this new hunting knife measures in at 3.48 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.132 inches. The handle on this knife has a thickness of 0.57 inches. The overall length of this knife measures in at 7.96 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.08 ounces. This is a truly American knife, made in the United States of America. This means that you can feel proud to own, carry, and use this knife for all your hunting needs.

 

Conclusion:

This knife is the first custom collaboration in the Benchmade HUNT line. Mel Pardue brings years of hunting experience and practicality to the design of the is all-around hunting fixed blade with Bushcraft in its blood. This knife features an S30V drop point blade. The steel resists rust easily, which makes maintenance a breeze—especially when you are in the field. The drop point lade style is perfectly suited for hunting; providing you with a strong tip and a large belly. The satin finished blade and the leather sheath give this knife a traditional feel. The Micarta handle is tough, lightweight, and has been finished to look like a wood handle, which brings in the traditional look that this knife sports. Because it is a fixed blade, this knife is tough, strong, durable, and easy to maintain. The Pardue Hunter is the perfect option for you. Pick up this brand new Benchmade knife today at BladeOps.

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