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.

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