Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter Fixed Blade Knife Review

Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter Fixed Blade Knife
Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter Fixed Blade Knife
Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter Fixed Blade Knife

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.

They say, “Whether you are using a Griptilian® for every day duties or taking the fight to the enemy with the Infidel®, our knives are built to perform. When you choose to purchase a Benchmade, you do so because you want the best. You demand it. And programs like our LifeSharp Lifetime Service and Warranty are the foundation of our commitment to excellence. We live it and breathe it, and we know what you mean when you say: It’s not a knife. It’s my Benchmade.”

So how do they get their knives so good? Well, it starts with the materials. 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-grade knives and tools that provide great value for their customers.

The next thing that makes their knives so fantastic is the mechanisms. When Benchmade is discussing the process they go through to get their mechanisms right, they say, “The mechanics of opening and closing a knife are essential to its function. 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? These are critical considerations when it comes to the mechanism.”

Lastly is their manufacturing. The Benchmade factory employs modern laser cutters and CNC machining centers that 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.

Another thing that makes Benchmade so fantastic is their LifeSharp guarantee. When Benchmade is describing this, they say, “Benchmade knives are all supported through a team of skilled technicians. Their only function is to ensure your Benchmade is in optimal working condition for your entire life. This service is called LifeSharp®. A name that speaks for itself. When you send your knife to the Benchmade LifeSharp team, the knife is completely disassembled and all worn parts are tuned or replaced. The knife is then lubricated and reassembled, a sharpener applies a factory edge to the blade and the knife is shipped back to you. All at no cost to you.”

 

The Designer:

The man behind this knife is Shane Sibert. When Benchmade is talking about Shane, they say, “Since 1994, Shane Sibert’s goal has been to design and handcraft unique and functional knives that will invoke pride of ownership, while at the same time perform challenging tasks with exceptional ease. He’s established a reputation for making knives constructed to hold up to the rigors of various hostile environments. A life-long avid backpacker and hiker, Sibert draws inspiration from adventurous treks throughout the Pacific Northwest’s vast wilderness and from hobbies that have included Martial Arts and S.C.U.B.A diving.”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel. This is a premium steel that is made by Crucible, which is a US based steel manufacturer. This steel is able to hold its edge for long periods of time and can resist rust effortlessly. This steel was designed in the United States specifically for high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. This means that you are going to get all of the best characteristics out of it. Crucible added vanadium carbides into the steel alloy matrix to bring out extreme hardness without making it brittle. Overall, this steel is known for having the best balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that it can be a little bit hard to work with and sharpen. However, you don’t need a master sharpener to get a fine edge, you just won’t want a beginner sharpener.

The blade has been finished satin, which is a very traditional look, matching well with the traditional leather sheath. The satin finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. This shows off the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the fine lines of the steel. The satin finish is known for reducing glares, reflections, and even cutting down on corrosion.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape, which is one of the most common blade shapes on the market today. The drop point is going to be strong, durable, and extremely versatile. These characteristics are created by having the spine of the knife run form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curve. This creates a lowered point, which gives you plenty of control over your cuts. With this control, you can perform fine detail work including dressing your game. The lowered point is also broad, which is where this blade shape gets its characteristic strength form. Lastly, the drop point blade style has a large belly, which is a must for when you need to slice something. There is one major disadvantage, which is that the drop point blade does have such a broad tip. It seems funny to list this as a disadvantage, because it is through the broad tip that you get so much strength and durability. However, because it is so broad and not fine, like a clip point, you do lose out on a lot of your piercing and stabbing capabilities. This should not be a huge deterrent for a survival knife, when you are most likely going to want the durability over the ability to pierce.

 

The Handle:

             The handle is made out of green and red contoured G10. G10 is made out of fiberglass. The manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. This process yields a material that is very hard, very tough, very lightweight, and very strong. Out of all of the fiberglass resin laminates, G10 is known to be the toughest. Plus, G10 is known to be stronger than Micarta, although with more strength comes more brittleness. This is one of G10s disadvantages—it does tend to be brittle. If it is subjected to a hard or sharp impact, it might crack.

The material is easy to add patterns or texture to, which is what gives the user such a solid, comfortable grip. And one of the biggest advantages of G10 for this specific knife is that it is a non-porous material, which means that it won’t soak up any fluids. This cuts down significantly on maintenance. Overall, G10 makes a great handle material because it is tough, light, and durable. However, it is brittle and it does lack elegance.

The handle on this knife has a pretty straight spine, although it will still be comfortable to use. It also has a very large and thick finger guard, which will keep your fingers safe. The belly of the handle does bulge out to better fit inside your hand for long periods of time. There are two large holes cut out of the middle of the handle to cut down on weight. There is also a smaller hole cut out of the butt of the handle for your lanyard. This is a wide enough hole to hold almost any type of lanyard. The lanyard is nice for your outdoors knife, because you can attach your knife to anything—your belt, your backpack, your boot. It will keep your knife close by without it getting in the way.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade knife. Fixed blades have a few advantages, especially when it comes to a survival knife. For starters, the blade can be longer and thicker because it does not have to fit inside of a handle. You see this on this Benchmade knife, with a very thick blade. This helps to make it more durable and less likely to snap. These characteristics also help to add strength to a fixed blade knife, which is what you are going to want out of your outdoors or survival knife.

Fixed blades are also much easier to maintenance because you don’t have to worry about the hinge, the spring, or any of the internal mechanisms that you do with a folding knife. Nothing is going to get inside of the knife, because there is really no inside to get to. This means that all you really have to do is wipe the knife down, wipe the handle down, and oil the blade occasionally. This is ideal for your survival knife, because you are not going to want to be worried about drying out the inside of a knife when you are trying to survive.

When it comes to a survival knife, this knife is going to allow you to do much more than just cut. You can also dig, split wood, use this knife to prepare food or even as a hunting weapon, use it for first aid, use it to hammer. And lastly, you can use it to pry, although I don’t recommend doing this, because it is usually prying that causes a knife to snap.

This knife is also a full tang knife, which means that the metal piece of the blade extends all the way through the handle. This adds durability, strength, and if the handle scales happen to break, you still have a complete knife.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is made out of leather. Leather is one of the more traditional material that is used to make knife sheaths. This material is rugged, tough, and even strong. Because it is flexible, it is not going to break like plastic sometimes does. Plus, if the stitches should come loose, it is an easy fix. Leather sheaths are love all around because they fell and look good. Plus, when you care for your sheath as well as you can, it will only get better with age. One of the biggest loves that comes from having a leather sheath is that once it is broken in, your knife has a custom fitting sheath for itself. This means that it is going to be secure and won’t wear the edges of your blade out as much. This knife is designed as an outdoors knife as well as a survival knife, so this next benefit is a pretty big deal: leather sheaths are silent. You can pull the knife out and put it back in without making a sound at all.

Of course, with all of its great advantages, there are going to be a few disadvantages. Leather is not waterproof. Getting this sheath wet a lot or even exposing it to other extreme environments such as high heat can dry out the oils in the leather and cause the sheath to crack. This can be prevented by oiling it from time to time.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4.40 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.164 inches. The handle on this knife has a thickness of 0.92 inches. The overall length of this knife measures in at 9.15 inches long. The knife itself weighs in at 7.72 ounces. The sheath that comes with this knife measures in at 2.70 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America, so you can feel proud to own, carry, and use it.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade is talking about this knife, they say, “A modern Bushcraft knife from designer Shane Sibert. The Bushcrafter is good looking and built for the trail.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

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