Benchmade Bushcrafter – Overview
Benchmades’ foray in to the bushcrafting niche, like bushcrafting itself, adds modern improvements to a traditional approach. While many in the bushcraft community prefer age old, time tested methods and natural materials… the Bushcrafter effectively demonstrates a viable alternative. A perfect middle-ground size, innovative blade grind, synthetic and intuitively contoured handle, and modern supersteel combine to form an extremely capable tool.
Benchmade Bushcrafter – Blade
Benchmade’s designer for the Bushcrafter Shane Sibert has modeled the blade after his own design, the Cascadia Bushcrafter:
Like the Cascadia, Benchmade’s knife features a “high ground drop point” blade. Similar to the revered Scandinavian grind but with a higher grind and a secondary bevel, Sibert claims this design offers superior strength to a Scandinavian while still being “super sharp”. Unlike most bushcraft blades, the Bushcrafter is not made with high-carbon or tool steel. Rather, Benchmade has used supersteel S30V. Excellent toughness and edge retention without being too difficult to sharpen are some of its best characteristics. Also, its stainless composition and ability to accept an extremely keen edge separate it from the pack of most comparable steels. As such, its a great pick for a blade like the Bushcrafter.
All of the above stated, it performs admirably in the field. It’s literally such a “bomb-proof” design that it’s used by Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal teams to dismantle explosives in the field. For this purpose Benchmade even made a variant of the Bushcrafter called the “EOD”.
Benchmade Bushcrafter – Handle
For the handle, Benchmade chose extremely durable G10 scales held by flared titanium tubing. According to Sibert the flared tubing helps hold the scales against the blade preventing separation under lateral pressure. Hollow tubing also adds two potential lashing points for a spear if needed. Synthetic G10 ensures that your handle will never decay even under the most corrosive or wet conditions. The textured grip also provides a comfortable positive feel. The grip contours have received criticism from some for being too extreme, however I have not found that to be the case. The upper palm swell adds comfort and control during fine carving tasks while the flared end towards the bottom allows for a secure grip while wielding the knife for hacking and chopping.