Benchmade released several exciting, new knives in their Hunt lineup this year at the 2018 ATA Show. Some were improvements on fan-favorites, while others were hybrids to fill gaps between existing platforms. My two favorite were the skeletonized knives, the 152000RG Altitude and 15200DLC Altitude.
At 1.67oz, these were destined to become part of each backcountry hunter’s arsenal. Even with the Kydex sheath, this slim and light package disappears into your pack. At first glance one cannot help but think “scalpel.” However, the standout feature on the handle is something you don’t find in medical office or other skeletonized knives on the market. The carbon fiber scales not only look great but greatly improve the dexterity when your handle is lucky enough to get “messy.”
These knives also feature another first for the Hunt line of knives: S90V steel. This premium, rock-hard stainless steel can be sharpened to a razor-edge bevel, and hold it. While I’ve only had the opportunity to test this on some mid-west squirrels, others tell me it’ll easily stay sharp through one and a half to two bull elk. The orange blade has a ceramic, Cerakote® coating that adds an additional level of corrosion resistance. The black 15200DLC model features a “diamond-like carbon” coating that is, as you can imagine, extremely hard. These knives fill multiple gaps that the variety of “disposable” blade knives currently on the market leave; rugged blades that can stand up to the abuse of backcountry hunting and less waste left behind. To further this pledge to future generations, a portion of the proceeds from each 152000RG will be donated to Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.
Expanding upon two highly successful platforms, Grizzly Creek and Crooked River, Benchmade also released two highly portable folders; the Grizzly Ridge and Mini Crooked River. The Grizzly Ridge features a dual-durometer handle in lieu of the stabilized wood handle of the Grizzly Creek. It also forgoes the gut hook for save some substantial weight, as well as make it a little bit more budget-friendly. The Mini-Crooked River is just like its larger brother: A well-designed hunting folder but sized for everyday carry.
The largest new fixed blade in the hunting line up, the Pardu Hunter, is a good slicer and all-around hunting knife. Micarta handles give a soft, textured grip that can easily be removed if you would like to shed a few ounces while still carrying a full-sized fixed blade. Aside from the two skeletonized knives, the remainder feature S30V premium stainless steel for all-around edge retention, corrosion resistance, and toughness.
For those that aren’t quite sure what knife to get, or those who want to put their own unique touch on their gear, check out Benchmade’s amazing new Custom Knife Builder. You can find this program, the new knives above, and other wildly popular models on their website www.benchmade.com. Also, be sure to stay tuned into the SELFILMED blog as we bring you up-to-date coverage from the 2018 ATA Show in Indianapolis.