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Benchmade bushcrafter long term review


Some thoughts on carrying and using the Benchmade model 162 for a few years.  Probably many here have read other opinions and seen reviews but I'm not prone to offer opinions on gear until it's well used over an extended period. I've carried this particular knife just about every day for a while, so ?

General Use: Just about everything I use a fixed blade for. With that in mind I don't beat on m knives as I have other tools for that. Also not a fan of knives on my belt so it's pocket carry which is likely a different approach, especially for a fairly heavy tool at 7.72 ounces. This knife will likely stand up to a beating though I haven't taken it there. I end up using this fixed blade way more than the folder I also carry.

Overall: A heavy, solid bit of S30V steel that holds a good working edge without problem for me. No rolling, chipping or pitting of the edge has been experienced with extended use. The edge is easily maintained and has not been reprofiled. It works for me as is. The blade profile is thick for a slicer but once the angles became familiar thin slicing is not a problem. I prefer a working edge based on expected regular use and don't keep it hair popping sharp but it's not that far off. The length at 4.4 inches is just about right. It's not as nimble as 3 inch blade or has the reach of a 6 inch but it's a good working size for me.

Steel: S30V is a good choice for my uses. Others might prefer newer or older stand bys steel but this has been my choice for a while. Hardened to 58 to 60 RHC it holds and edge and isn't difficult to maintain. Basic light maintenance is about once every four to six weeks and doesn't take much time. Could go longer if I had to.

Other stuff: Some folks like the handle geometry some don't. I didn't but after some intial use it seems one of the strong points of the design.  The most practical evaluation will depend on hand size. Some hands may be too large for the design and that will definitely limit usability. Even with winter gloves however, my L to XL hands get solid purcahse. Feels "locked in" with a tight grip and comforatble barehanded when choked up, which is easily done. Never experienced hot spots with use. The handle material is solidly attached and is holding up without problem.

The balance point is located at the first handle swell behind the blade and is well positioned for slicing tasks but not chopping.  The point is certainly stong enough for fine work even if a bit thicker than other designs. Scalloped areas adjacent to a modest forward guard forward allow good purchase during finer work.

Sheath: The original sheath didin't work for me. Since it was replaced right away there is no evaluation.

Cost: Since I've had this a while I paid less than the current new price range of $200. There is a very wide choice of knives in this price range and size. This is custom knife territory for me. When these show up on trade blankets they don't seem to last very long and a clean used one might be hard to come by. I've noted cheaper knock offs are showing up but aside from advising the usual caution I don't know about them.

The model I have was acquired from Benchmade just after the initial run when the spine was changed from rounded to squared off.  It produces good spark with a ferro rod and strips inner bark fine but can get dinged up if not carefully used. Differential hardening? I don't know. Likely my error.

Of the (too many? Is that possible?) knives acquired over the years the 162 is the most frequently carried and used by far. I'm used to the weight and handle geometry, like the steel and will happily hand this down to the next generation.  All in all not a bad choice.

Interesting review mate. No photo of the knife coupled with my lack of knowledge regarding Benchmade knives had me doing a Google search and that was interesting in itself.

I read a couple of professional reviews (well at least the reviewers were promoting themselves as "professional"). Your review was good, as already said, a photo would have been handy. Basic details would have been handy for someone like me but I reckon most of the blokes on this site already knew where these knives are made etc.

I'm glad I took the time to read your review though as I have now "found" another knife. The cost of that blade here in Australia is $399 - yep you read that correctly. It would need to be a bloody good knife at that price.

Once again, thanks for the review.

one of the Kracs has used one of those for many years.  It's the only belt knife I have ever seen him with.  I have borrowed it to play with , and yeah, it's a dang good, very effective knife for our kind of work.

Oh boy.  I knew going into this thread (nice review boomer) that it was dangerous.  Thankfully I'm home and 10 hours from SMKW.  But I'll go back up there soon (fall sojourn). Anyhoo.  Got to digging (surfing the net) for commercial knives.  Might pop for the Benchmade and the Buck 110 (a classic).


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