By Nancy Jo Adams
Benchmade Knife Company is known for designing and manufacturing top shelf quality sports knives and tools for over twenty years working with over a dozen renowned world-class custom designers. There is no doubt when you pick up a Benchmade knife you can see and feel the quality in the product; blade, handle and even the sheaths that many of the products are sold with.
The company doesn’t take shortcuts and goes above and beyond to put a quality product in the hands of owners and it is evident by the company’s belief:
“We believe that when a customer chooses to purchase a Benchmade, they don’t do so just to be different, they do so because they want the best. This mindset of innovating for improvement is alive and well throughout Benchmade. It goes into every design and comes out of every product. Admittedly, it’s not the easiest way to make knives, but it’s the only way we know how.” ~Benchmade Knife Company
Benchmade classifies their product line specific to the product’s intended use. The three classes are the GOLD Class, the premium in knife manufacturing–the best of the best, the BLUE Class, designed for those who seek high-quality, durable cutting tools, and the BLACK Class, designed for extreme duty and preferred for Public Safety, Law Enforcement, and Military Troops.
The reputation that Benchmade has built over the past two decades is unrivaled by any other knife company that caters to hunters, public safety officials, military troops and/or the avid knife collector. Benchmade offers a “Limited Lifetime Warranty” to the original owner of its product, warranting that the product is free from defects in materials and workmanship. Any product found defective will be repaired or replaced without charge.
The company also offers a “LifeSharp Service” which is lifetime factory sharpening on all Benchmade knives to a factory razor-sharp edge. When returned for this service, the product will be fully inspected for any warranty repairs and sharpened for optimum performance. Benchmade also offers superior knife sharpening tools made specifically for its products to keep them in top performance condition in the field. For an added personal touch, Benchmade offers personalized laser markings for those who want to commemorate and event or personalize a special gift. Logo and artwork can be laser-etched onto any product either on the blade or the handle, depending on the product.
I had the opportunity to field test two of the Benchmade Hunt Series knives, the Saddle Mountain Skinner and the Hidden Canyon Hunter; which is a series designed with the hunter in mind and classified in Benchmade’s Blue Class. I found both products to be of the highest quality in materials and workmanship. These two knives had the sharpest edge on the blade right out of the box. Each knife felt balanced in my hand with the idea weight and handle contour. Both knives possessed the perfect width of the handle and a built-in notched rib along the top edge for a secure grip. The knives worked well without failing across five states on various hunts, from turkey, duck, and deer hunting. I found that water or blood did not harm the Dymondwood handles, the blades did not build up any corrosion in the different elements we hunted and the blades retained a very sharp edge. I did sharpen the larger of the two knives, in an abundance of caution, since this knife was used primarily to process game and it was imperative that it had the sharpest edge possible for the job. The smaller of the two knives has been used for everything from processing a turkey on a tailgate, peeling an orange in a tree-stand, notching a carcass tag, cutting rope, and even cutting a homemade coconut pound cake in the hotel on one of our out of state hunts.
The Saddle Mountain Skinner (Model No. 15001-2) and Hidden Canyon Hunter (Model No. 15016-2) were designed for the harshest of conditions and toughest seasons. Both models are designed with a fixed, modified drop-point, satin finish blade made of CPM-S30V; a quality grade powder-made stainless steel blade which incorporates Carbon, Chromium, Molybdenum and Vanadium for consistent high-grade steel. The specialized process incorporates a million steel BBs that are collected and fused together into a solid billet under extreme temperature and pressure, then forged into sheets making a uniformed grain structure of the steel resulting in a blade with superior strength. This process offers durability, superior edge retention and superior resistance to rust and corrosion.
The Saddle Mountain Skinner has a 0.140-inch thick blade that measures 4.17-inches in length, weighs in at 4.70 ounces with an overall length of 8.73-inches with a Dymondwood handle thickness of 0.58-inch. The Hidden Canyon Hunter has a 0.140-inch thick blade that measures 2.67-inches in length, weighs in at 3.19 ounces with an overall length of 6.32-inches with a Dymondwood handle thickness of 0.58-inch. Each model features a lanyard hole molded into the metal at the handle end of the knife.
The Dymondwood handles are made of a unique layered natural fiber composite that is far superior to that of natural wood. This material is resistant to extreme temperatures and moisture. The rich look of Dymondwood pleases those hunters who prefer a wood handle and satisfies the demand of those extreme hardcore hunters. Both models are available with a G10 handle; an aerospace grade, resin based handle impermeable to moisture and liquid, remains strong and durable in all environmental extremes.
The Saddle Mountain Skinner has an MSRP of $155 and the Hidden Canyon Hunter has an MSRP of $135 and both come with a rich leather pressure-fit sheath with an integrated guard and belt loop. For more information on these products or any Benchmade Knife Company’s products, visit www.benchmade.com.
All logos and/or photos are the property of the rightful owner and used within this writing as reference. See the copyright information in the photo caption for ownership. Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, the products reviewed in this published material is an endorsement and the writer may have been compensated by “in-kind” or monetary payment to review the product.